As I sit down in Ahimsa The Vegan Café today on the 22nd of December 2018 (Datta Jayanti) finishing off this article on my laptop, with Mohanji’s picture up on the wall of the Café in front of me, I can’t help but reflect on that day over seven years ago, the 4th of November 2011. On that fateful day, I was waiting anxiously at Heathrow airport terminal 3 with my 10-year-old son Vivek and a bunch of bright orange roses in my hand to meet Mohanji for the first time. Little did I know how he was to change my life and what experiences lay ahead of me! This was the start of an amazing new journey in my life. What a journey it has been so far!
Traveling to Kailash was never in my bucket list until a few years back. I had heard many experiences of various devotees and had even read the book, ‘Kailash with Mohanji’ in bits and parts. It was mesmerizing to read and hear about Kailash and the ‘Kailashis’ but nothing stirred me enough to consider my trip to Kailash; probably Shiva did not consider me eligible at that time.
As my eyes closed that night, I saw Kailash – bathed in the blue hue of the bright moonlight, with the shimmering white crown of snow. I was lying down in one of the rooms directly in front of the north face of Kailash at Dirapuk (Tibet, China) in the only guest house that the place had to offer. The day had begun as any on the Kailash parikrama trail.
Kailash! To paraphrase Star Trek, it is the final frontier, a place where few people have ever gone before. Eight billion people on the planet and yet only a chosen few are privileged to undertake this amazing pilgrimage. And this privilege comes only through grace – the grace of one’s ancestors, the grace of one’s Master, the grace of Lord Shiva, and the grace of the Guru Mandala (the Masters of the Tradition). Nothing but grace gets one an invite from Lord Shiva.
It is this grace that opens the doors to various experiences on the pilgrimage. It is this grace that keeps one alive in the harshest of environments on this pilgrimage. It is this grace that allows one to successfully complete the pilgrimage.