A chosen one

By Sam Lad, UK

The beginning

I wasn’t supposed to be a part of this beautiful journey initially, but I was destined to become one of the yatris. I followed the footsteps of my better half as I have done for every single journey that we have made together. Her dream about Mohanji’s instructions was an indication that I was destined to do this parikrama.

Luxuries of the materialistic world

I came into Hyatt as a child who would seek answers to his questions from his mother, and Mohanji, as a mother, answered every single question of mine. However, astonishingly, he read my mind and answered some of them even before the questions took a verbal form.

An abhishekam is needed before every sat-karya (a holy deed). The days in Hyatt were truly the days of abhishekams. Not only the abhishekam of the divine lingams that we did on every pure dawn of the holy month of Shiva (Shravan) but abhishekams of us by Mohanji with pure wisdom and spiritual knowledge (the satsangs). What else, if not the beautiful divine bhajans sung by Kanhaiya, could conclude such ceremonies?

The struggles on the way to Shiva’s home

The divine moment, a glimpse of Kailash, comes with a price, yet it is priceless. Nothing valuable can be achieved easily. So, how could a glimpse of Shiva’s home be different? From a bumpy ride to the border to the physical challenges and the psychological roller coasters. Needless to say, there were Mohanji Acharyas around always to help you get through these roller coasters.

The spirits of Manasarovar

Mansarovar is a court (darbar) of Shiva. Although even on the cusp of dawn, we could not witness any celestial bodies descend onto this lake in the form of lights, it has something for everyone. How miraculously, the grey, wet afternoon with our honest chants of Shiva turned into a bright and beautiful one? And how the bright sky glittered with a miraculous circle over our homa at the end of Kanhaiya’s beautiful mantras? The Mansarovar truly rejuvenated me. 

The trilogy

Why my spiritually naive mind tried to correlate these three days of parikrama to the trilogy (creation, preservation, and destruction) or the trigunas (the three fundamental elements of reality – sattva, rajas, and tamas) is unexplainable. However, my mind certainly experienced passing through these three stages gradually.

Day 1 (The creation of ‘you’ – sattva)

While stepping out of the Yam Dwar, I truly stepped into the home of Shiva. You leave behind the ego, the personality, the attachments, and every attribute of the materialistic world that defines ‘you’.

This home of Shiva is a definition of pristineness. You feel all those shackles being broken with every breath that you take, with every step that you take. The ‘re-birth’ of you is witnessed by the Nandi, the Airavata, the sun, air, water, sky, soil, the pancha mahabhutas in their purest forms.

The spiritual infant in me naively started hunting for the signs of Shiva in every direction that I looked in, in every giant structure around me, including the Kailasha itself. Could I be more fortunate than to settle in Shiva’s home and chant out in the open before the mighty Kailash?

Day 2 (The desire for survival, the preservation – rajas)

Life is another form of accepting challenges and surviving through them. This penultimate day, the phase of survival, is an ultimate reflection of that. With the weight of your lineage, the karmic heaviness over your shoulders, step-by-step, make your way forward. Do desire for the apex, but as Mohanji says, don’t hang in there.

The apex, like the utmost success in your life, is your test. Life gives, and life will take it back. This is the utmost reality; this is the naked truth. Embrace the truth, surrender yourself to the almighty.

Throughout this survival, I have been lucky to have the presence of my better half. This is how things fall in order. Hand in hand, a true nuptial knot is made to share the pains and joys of each other. A journey togetherness with a sight of the Gauri Kund that takes all your pains and sorrows away.

Day 3 (The destruction – tamas)

What has been created will be destroyed. It is a law of nature. Tamas is often misunderstood but is equally essential for the balance. Tamas, in this context, would be your dissolution into the divine, the destruction of the ego, the oblivion. This is not the end, though. This is rather a new beginning. The inevitable cycle goes on. I stepped back into the ‘world of people’ with this purity in my heart, thus forth, with a responsibility to guard it against the impurities, as Mohanji says.

The end?

What has the parikrama given to me? … Everything that you cannot buy with money in the fake world… Everything that you would need to survive in this fake materialistic world, to keep yourself rooted in. New friends, a new family, new lessons that taught me how to value everything that I have, and a realization of how, one day everything would vanish in the blink of an eye.

My affair with Shiva has been lifelong, but it certainly has gone through its phases, from my everyday prayers to the ink on my skin and the words in my poetry to my thoughts.

I came to Kailash with the stories and experiences that I heard from others. Only to realize that Shiva has always been within us, within others, and within everything that’s pure around us. I saw a glimpse of him in the innocent smiles of the little girl that I shared my chocolate bar with during the first day of the parikrama. 

I saw a glimpse of him in the honesty of my 65-year-old pony owner, who paused for a moment in the heavy rains to bow down in front of the divine Buddhist monastery located in the mountains. And in the efforts and in the sighs of satisfaction of my companions (sahayatri) at the end of every day of parikrama.

Shiva has always been around me, but I have been blind due to the duties, challenges, and entanglements of the materialistic world. A parikrama like this was needed to open the eyes. What did I ask from the Kailash?… well… one more of such parikrama while my body is capable.

And I owe this one to Mohanji and the Ganas of Shiva – Mohanji Acharyas, volunteers and the Sherpas!

Om Namah Shivay! Jai Mohanji!

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Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 5th November 2023


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