– By Arti Agarwal, Bangalore
An eternal revelation, a mystery, a conscious fire, a happening, an immeasurable energy, an ocean of mysticism, a congregation of enlightened beings, a place beyond space and time – and, a completion of lifetimes. Kailash, the abode of Shiva. The place where the entire cosmos is centered, as explained by Swamiji. The headquarters of the cosmos.
All these, and many more ideas cross my mind when I have to recount my Kailash yatra to anyone. Yet, I am not able to say much because I know that no matter what I say, I cannot do justice to Mahadev, the One who planted the desire in me to see Kailash, and who made my Kailash yatra not only possible, but also the ultimate fulfilment life can offer me.
The Kailash yatra was only the beginning of the actual yatra – life after Kailash! Even though words are to the real experience as puppets are to living beings, having no other way to put my Kailash experience on record, I will throw a flashback on one of my most intense experiences of the yatra.
The Kailash parikrama in Tibet starts from Darchhen and after an 8 km stretch of mountains and valleys comes the first halt at Dhirapuk. At Darchhen, where the parikrama starts, the Kailash looks the way I was expecting to see it – a holy mountain, at a great distance, high up in the sky, standing out majestically from the surrounding huge rocks. As the parikarma progressed, I soon lost sight of Kailash. Almost half way through the journey, as I was gazing happily at the hills and the rivers and the yaks, I suddenly got the shock of my life. I almost fell from my horse.
Kailash was at my eye level, almost as if just a few hundred feet away! It was definitely pretty far away still, I figured that out much later, but it was so huge that it felt like right next to me. Larger than life, in every sense. I felt it a huge disrespect to Kailash to be sitting on my horse, so I got down and started walking for the rest of the journey, unable to take my eyes off Kailash.
On reaching the Dhirapuk Guest House, I dumped my bags in the room assigned to me, and went out to gaze at Kailash. I sat there, at a little distance away from people, leaned against a rock, with the horses neighing in the background and the chilly wind reddening my nose, unwilling to close my eyes even to blink. I sat for several hours. How many, I don’t know. Though I had uncountable mystical experiences throughout the yatra, in the time stretch when I sat lost in Kailash, I had no such experiences. And yet, it was the most fulfilling experience from the entire yatra. It was almost as if I wanted to absorb the very air, the very breath of Kailash and take it away with me.
After coming back from the yatra, I still feel as if that experience of being lost in Kailash has become a very part of me, my life, my very thinking. I feel like I have nothing more to ask of life, and yet, there is an immense excitement to do so many things in life, out of gratitude to Swamiji and Mahadev. That, to me, is the ultimate completion with life.