By Meenakshi Srinath, India
I read the book Kailash with Mohanji – The Inner Kora in 2018, and it struck a deep chord. Thanks to this book, a deep desire arose to visit Kailash at least once in this lifetime, and if it could be done in the presence of Mohanji, what more could one ask for?
I placed a heartfelt and sincere intent on Lord Shiva to shower his grace and make the yatra happen if it was meant to be. As luck would have it, my right ankle had a ligament tear in January 2019, and my leg was in plaster. The doctor strictly advised against any kind of travel, let alone arduous. It was as if Shiva was testing to see if my will was strong.
I met Mohanji in April; I was still limping. My ankle was sore, and the movement in it hadn’t been restored completely. I was in a lot of pain. The fact that I am diabetic delayed the healing process all the more. When I told Mohanji about my desire to visit Kailash that year, he immediately gave a green signal saying, “Ya ya, come come.” I told him about my ankle condition, and he dismissed it, saying I would have no issues. The Guru’s nod was the only assurance I needed.
I also wanted to meet Devi Amma and take her blessings before leaving. When I mentioned the yatra, she said, “It’ll be a success. Shiva himself will hold your hands and guide you during the parikrama.” My eyes were filled with tears, and my heart with immense joy.
The first glimpse of Manasarovar and the great Mt. Kailash is still fresh in my mind. A deep sense of calm sweeps over oneself. The dip was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. The chilling water cuts through the bones and the lifetimes of baggage. Without the Guru’s grace, it’s certainly not possible for the whole lineage to be blessed thus. The lightness I experienced post the dip was immeasurable.
That night I was also blessed to witness divine beings taking a dip in the Manasarovar. It was as if hundreds of lamps were lit and sent around floating on the holy lake. I had goosebumps, and my hair stood on end as I watched with awe this divine event. The parikrama began, and I could still not believe I was on Kailash’s holy ground. My heart was filled with gratitude for everything – Kailash’s air, the lush terrain on the first day, my enthusiastic sherpa, Kimchi, and my pony, Thaotholo, for carrying me on its back.
The normally fearful me had full faith in Shiva and Mohanji that I’ll be safely carried around. There was not an iota of fear in my heart. At regular intervals, my sherpa would keep pointing in a certain direction and show me, Kailash. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t see it. I kept craning my neck in all directions but to no avail. After a couple of hours, I finally gave up and thought, “Whenever Shiva wills it, I’ll see it.”
It was around 5:45 PM when we reached the accommodation where we would stay put for the night. As I was alighting from the pony, my sherpa literally screamed in my ears, “North face! Now you see?”. When I looked, this gigantic mountain was right in front of my eyes – the north face of Kailash. There was no way I couldn’t have seen it now. It was there. I felt I could walk some more and touch it with my hands – the Kailash. I was looking at it.
I forgot all about hunger, my low sugar and the painful ankle. All my exhaustion was gone. I went down on my knees and prostrated with my entire body, heart and soul. It felt like the most natural expression. When people spoke of unconditional love, I always wondered what it felt like. Now I knew. My heart expanded, and there was nothing but love and lots of love. I slept like a baby that night.
The harsh, rocky terrain on day two starkly contrasted with the lush terrain on day one. It was also an extremely difficult one. I knew if my pony faltered even one bit, I would be resting in the laps of Kailash forever. It was the day I thought nothing was going right for me. I neither had a proper breakfast nor could I pick up my water bottle because my sherpa hurried me in the morning. The fear of low sugar kept lingering at the back of my mind. Midway, I was hungry and thirsty.
On reaching the highest point of day two, Dolma La Pass, I thanked my pony profusely for safely bringing me there. The view was stunning, and the energy was pure. While everyone was contemplating whether or not they should be climbing down towards Gauri Kund, I was gripped with the fear of having to walk down the next few miles sans my pony. It’s a steep climb down, so everyone is made to get off their respective ponies. I prayed, offered my respects to the Gauri Kund from afar and started the climb down.
If I were to recall the most difficult day of my life, this one would top the list. I was famished, thirsty, and exhausted, and my ankle was killing me. Every passer-by would hand me candies and sips of water at regular intervals but to no avail. My will was dying down, and I questioned my decision to undertake this yatra while being so hugely unfit. When I was at my lowest, I suddenly heard my husband calling out to me.
I barely crossed paths with him twice during the three days of the Parikrama. He handed over an extra bottle of water he had which was filled with fresh water from the streams flowing nearby. A sherpa kid accompanied him. That kid was full of life and enthusiasm, and the brief five-minute meeting charged me up. Shiva brought them to me when I needed them the most. One is in a group and yet alone. Kailash is an individual journey in so many ways.
Being thus pepped up, I continued walking. A little further came a spot which was so steep that I had to keep anchoring either of my foot on one spot, so the other foot could find a footing. I was now in so much pain that I began crying quite visibly. My sherpa kept encouraging me, holding onto my hands firmly. At one point, I suddenly twisted my injured ankle. I heard a loud crackle, and my heart skipped a beat. I stopped and took off my shoes to inspect the damage.
When my mind started racing, thinking of options for people to airlift me, I realized there was no pain. I was shocked to see that the pain and swelling had also vanished. I couldn’t believe my eyes and was laughing hysterically. My sherpa was perplexed. I’m certain he must have thought I was losing my mind.
Tears of pain were transformed into tears of gratitude. I have no idea what transpired within my body. All I knew was that Shiva had healed my foot just like that. A miracle had unfolded right in front of my eyes.
Day three was a breeze. On completing the parikrama, when I prostrated, my mind was blank. I was thoughtless. Tears streaming down my face, I was speechless. No words can do justice to the exhilaration I experienced. As Devi Amma said, Lord Shiva held my hands and helped me complete the parikrama. My sherpa, Kimchi, was my Lord Shiva.
I am immensely grateful to Lord Shiva, Mohanji, Devi Amma, my sherpa, my pony, my fellow yatris, my family, my ancestors and the entire universe, for this wouldn’t have been possible without their blessings. As Mohanji says, all one needs are complete unconditional surrender to Lord Shiva and the sincere chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya” on this journey. Everything else is taken care of.
|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI ||
Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 6th July 2023
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