By Hein Adamson
My journey to Kailash began many months before commencement of the physical journey. Essentially I had begun to disconnect from the divine consciousness as manifested and available to me in the form of Mohanji. Or more accurately I had allowed my mind to think that disconnection had taken place. The feeling of being disconnected was the worst thing I had ever experienced. Many times I thought I couldn’t handle the whole thing any longer without feeling my Guru’s presence. When you feel as though you are away from the divine, the soul hunger that lead you there in the first place gets replaced by a longing for the Master’s physical proximity, then when that does not satisfy either, you feel really lost. I can tell you honestly that the fear of death is nothing compared to the fear that you will not feel your Guru’s consciousness again, that you might live the rest of your life and miss him, add to that the fact that you know it would all have been your own doing…
So this is the challenge I faced before going to Kailash. I did not have the means to go on this trip, nor was there any hope that I would somehow be able to meet the requirements in time to go. If I was to go, it would be entirely on Mohanji’s grace and love and when he told me that I would be going (about 6 months beforehand) I had no doubt about it, since Mohanji always delivers exactly what he says he will and more. There were many occasions where it was the thought of going to Kailash and the barely guessed at grace and compassion that would make this possible for me, that kept me from collapsing and giving up altogether.
About a week before my scheduled departure I was told to apply for an Indian visa, since I would be going there after the trip. I made the application. It usually takes a minimum of 5 working days to process, which would have been absolutely just in time for the flight over. It came through in 2 days. This was, of course, Mohanji working with his usual flare and style. I imagined a scenario wherein he said: “I do my job.” That is exactly what he said when I saw him.
Much nearer the time, with about 3 or 4 days left to go I started to feel lighter than I had in months, I decided on some level not to let the usual boring negativities bring me down any more, I felt not quite empty, but far less burdened than I had since I had last seen Mohanji I began to feel optimistic and hopeful. One thing I learned here is that feeling low and far away from the source can become a habit very easily and the next thing you know you are heavy for no good reason at all.
The internal shift continued, I could neither place nor define what was happening, but I knew that the feeling was different from what it had been before and that was good enough for me. By the time I arrived in Kathmandu and saw Mohanji , I was determined not to let this chance go by un-used, since it might very well be my last. I could not take my eyes off of Mohanji, and took every opportunity to stare into his eyes whenever I could. I was on the edge and wobbling, but I was home, after what felt like an interminable stretch of time. Slowly I began to feel more stable and readier for what may lie ahead.
The next day the journey proper began, I watched for every opportunity to serve Mohanji, to assist where I could and lend a hand. His personal needs were for the most part well taken care of by Sumit and Dhritiman so there was little for me to do in that sense. Then slowly I began to realise that if I wanted to serve Mohanji on this trip, I would have to serve all those who had come along and would have to regard them as Mohanji himself. It was also a powerful lesson, in love, in humility and most importantly in unity in duality.
The dip Mansarovar Lake was the next land-mark recollection for me. When we got into the lake Mohanji became very intense and silent, a small group gathered around him drawn like helpless iron filings to an inescapable magnet. He threw water on each of us in turn and I knew an intense cleansing and grace was falling on us. I got my long time wish of being baptised by him. Afterwards, when it was time for lunch, Mohanji offered his food in prayer to Kailash before eating and when he completed the ritual he had tears streaming from his eyes. I was astonished; he usually seems so stoic and detached, so huge that the usual experiences are like small ripples in the ocean of his consciousness. I wondered in amazement what he had seen or felt that could draw a tear from his eye.
Later when I asked him about it he could not even remember. So here were two powerful lessons: the first being that even an enlightened master still feels and experiences things in a human way, albeit at a depth and intensity that we cannot guess at. The second lesson is that he never sticks to or clings to any experience, no matter how beautiful or how painful, he flows and moves with time and retains only what is needed.
From this point on the amenities became ever less comfortable and ever more challenging. The luxury elements began to decrease, giving way to need and necessity. We learned to appreciate simple luxuries like warm water, a clean toilet and a hot cup of tea in the morning. We had to be present, to be flexible and to be grateful, or else not be aware of all grace and divinity which was pouring on us at every moment.
The day before we departed from Mansarovar for Kailash we had a few hours free, I went to Sumit and asked him what was on the agenda for the rest of the day, he looked at me and said laconically: “Nothing is on the agenda, just feel the presence of Kailash with Mohanji.” I climbed to the top of a nearby hill to get a good view of the Mountain which was fully and clearly visible at the time, the view of Kailash was crisp and beautiful through a gap in the clouds. Climbing up I had my first taste of exertion at high altitude (4590m above sea level). What my body went through on that small assent was eloquent proof and confirmation that I would not be the one to complete this journey, it would be Mohanji through and through, only through his grace and the strength he would give could it be done, I simultaneously realised that he would definitely deliver and give us all exactly the endurance, strength and will that was needed. At the top I sat facing Kailash and tried to be as empty as possible and feel it’s presence and power. I felt an immense stillness within and got the distinct impression that there was no difference between Kailash and Mohanji. A simple confirmation of my path, of my Guru and of grace.
The actual circumambulation of Kailash happened so quickly that I really only recall flashes. The first day was a good intro to what lay ahead, a comparatively easy walk to the first overnight stop which looked onto the north face of Kailash. At one point when I looked at the Kailash I saw a face in which I could distinguish the features of either Mohanji or Hanumanji, or both, I could not tell the difference, when we stopped at the rest stop on the way for a cup of tea Mohanji indicated that I should feel his legs and arms. His muscles felt like rock or metal and emanated incredible vitality and power, his body had become the body of Hanuman!
Day two, we were warned, would be the hardest of the three day trek. It would be the longest stretch that we’d have to cover and we would be crossing the Dolma La Pass which sits at a height of 5648 m above sea level after a steep and difficult climb.
It would prove to be a watershed day for me. In the morning Mohanji told me that my job for the day was to look after Sumit who had fallen ill the night before. There were I think many levels and layers to this instruction. In many ways I had been envious of Sumit and the close relationship he has with Mohanji, but during our walk together, I got to know him a little, and realised that he was absolutely dedicated to Mohanji and his mission, that for him, there was nothing outside of Mohanji, total devotion, surrender and love. It was at that moment that I felt my kinship with and love for him, my envy had been exorcised. I also realised that if I truly loved Mohanji, or anyone for that matter, I would be happy for them if they had someone around who could helpout and take some of the burden off their shoulders. It was also yet another potent example of serving Mohanji in everyone, of loving unconditionally and of being grateful for every little thing that happens in life and every lesson that the Guru teaches and through any and all methods, means and channels. At the top of Dolma La Pass I looked down at one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen: Gauri Kund. The bathing place of Shiva’s consort Parvat and the place where she did her many-year- long and intense penance to gain Shiva as her husband.
About five of us climbed down the very steep and rocky embankment the water’s edge, where we made offerings and drank a few sips of the purest, cleanest, most refreshing water I had ever tasted. The energy was extremely light and quite playful.
The rest of the trip blurred by in a sequence of images and sensations. Day three was an easy walk to the finish followed by a bus ride which slowly but surely brought us back, mile by mile to “real life”. As we journeyed home via various waypoints and rest-stops I realised that life would never be what it was before. Just as there had been life before and after Mohanji, there would be life before and after Kailash. Essentially what you come away with is silence. Deep, oceanic, pregnant silence. The feeling that grace and divinity had touched you in a way that you may never fully understand. I walked away from the whole thing with an immense and quiet gratitude. I felt more connected with my Guru and my path, with divinity and with myself. I gained little but lost much of what weighed me down. I lost fear, I lost despair, I lost regret and I lost baggage.
Thank you to everyone who made this possible for me. Thank you to Mohanji, for your unconditional and relentless love.
According to Mohanji, Kailash is “The seat and abode of Shiva, the ultimate journey that any man can take, whence no one returns empty handed.”
I cannot write about Kailash without writing about Mohanji. To me, Kailash, Mohanji and Shiva are one. A singular consciousness that is so vast, so infinite, that it cannot but be all pervasive and all encompassing. The question is not: “What is Kailash?” The question is: “What is not Kailash?” The answer of course is that there is no place that is not Kailash, there is nothing that is not Shiva, there is no one that is not Mohanji. You are Mohanji, you are That. There is, further than this, no other truth to realise, no other lesson to learn. There is nothing to think about or contemplate on and nothing else to do, there is only stillness, you can only be.
The journey to Kailash, the baths in Lake Mansarovar, the miles walked and any pains suffered all amount to this one simple truth. A mere glimpse of which leaves you profoundly transformed forever and likely shaken to the core. You have to ask yourself: “Am I ready for the silence? Am I ready for the ecstasy?”
It all sounds so grand and majestic, but my own experience was, in many ways quite plain, I had no visions and no divine visitations that I am aware of. The lessons and messages that I received were simple, direct and down to earth. They were confirmations rather than revelations and nothing that Mohanji had not already told me before. The experience, however, was invaluable! It is said that getting top Kailash and completing the circumambulation is not easy but I disagree, it is totally effortless, provided you take not an ounce of ownership. The ease of the journey is proportionate to the degree of surrender and of faith, Guru does everything for you, everything is delivered. It is so at Kailash and it is so in life. The only indispensable prerequisite is grace!! I had not the means to go on this trip, and I had made no preparations by way of exercise or training to gear myself physically. My entire experience, right from the get go was made possible, encouraged and sustained by Mohanji’s grace. If I stayed in his consciousness I had boundless energy and endurance, if I moved out of his consciousness I would immediately become breathless and tired, this was one small and tangible lesson in faith and surrender.
In these and other ways, Kailash is a platform for evolution, purification and exhaustion of karma, a place which grants the highest blessings of peace and silence. A microcosm of a vast, multi-life, multidimensional existence which begins and ends in Shiva; which is consciousness and which is Kailash and which is Mohanji.
I pray that I will be able to give back a fraction of what I have been given.