The next morning was like a horror movie. We woke up around 5am to the prison-like sounds of loud whistling and rough male voices shouting ‘Get up, get up!’. For a moment I thought I had regressed into some nightmarish WW2 holocaust scenario. It was cold and wet outside, mud, noise, crowd and chaos everywhere. With trembling hands and wobbly legs, gasping for breath, I somehow forced myself to go down the stairs and answer the call of nature (wherever I could find the right spot for it), and then brush my teeth using the last remnants of warm water that our sherpas (Nepalase caretakers who were assisting us most lovingly throughout the yatra) provided us with.
It was then that I heard the beautiful sound of arati to Shiva – I looked up towards the balcony and saw Mohanji, Panditji and several yatris looking at Kailash and doing the arati with incense sticks. At that moment, I looked at the glorious Kailash before me, while my ego was drowning in the pool of helplessness, taking all the doership and trash with it. I started crying profusely, praying to Kailash/Shiva/Mohanji from the bottom of my heart to take me out of this misery, to allow me to break the walls of illusion, to melt in surrender. I cried and cried, allowing myself to go through the experience. I noticed that all the sherpas around me were pretty much staring at me, but couldn’t care less (now that I think about it, that must have been quite a pathetic site – a white girl with a toothbrush in her hand, smudged make-up and cap with ears and face of a goat, crying like a baby and staring at Kailash! :-)) There was no shame. How could one not stand naked before Shiva – there is no other way. We emerged from that consciousness naked and we can dissolve back into it only if naked, only after dropping all our masks. As Mohanji said, “Kailash is Shiva, the state that you are coming from, but forgot as you lived. Be Shiva and you will merge with Kailash spontaneously. Shiva and Kailash are ONE.” This was the moment when I truly felt the surrender… – the subtle inner wall was broken.
By the time I composed myself, gulped some breakfast, chose the right clothes and packed my back pack, most of the other yatris had already started the trek. I hurried in order to catch up with them and tried walking, but after 10 meters or so understood it wouldn’t be happening. I sat on the pony and kept quiet – whether I did the yatra by foot or on pony, it didn’t really matter. What was far more important was that even though weak physically, I now started to feel connected spiritually – mantras and prayers deep from the heart kept flowing. I spent the entire ride on the pony towards and up the steep Dolma Pass in a meditative state. At one point I totally lost the concept of time and can’t even recollect certain parts of the journey. I just remember that I felt immense love and gratitude towards the pony that carried my weight up the Dolma La and kept caressing him. At one point, the image of surreal emerald-like Gauri Kund, the lake that, as the legend says, Lord Shiva created for Goddess Parvati to bathe in, appeared in my inner vision. Immense desire to go to Gauri Kund suddenly filled my heart. I knew that, no matter what, I just had to go there! The pull was very strong.
Touched by Divine – the purity of Gauri Kund
Once we reached the top of the hill, I got off the pony and soon came across Mohanji. My joy knew no bounds upon seeing the familiar glossy eyes full of love, the eyes that my soul had connected with through lifetimes. Deep gratitude overwhelmed me. I knew he was watching on me, on all of us, and that the inner transformation was all due to his Grace. When I told him that I would like to go to Gauri Kund, his smile and gentle nod was all the confirmation I needed. I walked a bit further until my eyes could finally behold the majestic Gauri Kund, also known as the Lake of Compassion, in its full glory – it was even more beautiful than what I had seen on the photos!
I then noticed the big sharp stones and steep decline that led to the lake. Mohanji explained just how ‘strategically’ Gauri Kund was located – right after the extremely tough to climb Dolma Pass, when most could not even think of another climb. He also said that most of the time Gauri Kund is covered with clouds to hide it from the undeserving seekers and that the stones around the lake are often wet and slippery to further deter unwanted visitors. Indeed, had there been even a drizzle, wet and slippery stones would have been too big of an obstacle. But that day the sun was shining and I felt the path to Gauri Kund was open. In my heart, I felt I was invited… I decided to wait for Sumit for I knew that he said earlier he would like to go to Gauri Kund. I walked for only a couple of meters and already felt breathless. For a moment a hint of fear came that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but it wasn’t even nearly as strong as my desire to go. At that moment I made up my mind that I would go to Gauri Kund even if I died there – and I meant it!
Sumit and Hein arrived soon, bowed to Mohanji and off we went down the steep path across the many stones towards sublime Gauri Kund. Rajesh from UK joined us as well, along with one of the sherpas. Great excitement overwhelmed me and my legs surprised me with their sudden speed and strength – it was as if they walked on their own.
When we reached the lake, I was surprised to see Panditji already seated there silently and comfortably, with all the pooja paraphernalia, Mohanji’s eye card, trishul and Shiva linga, all lovingly laid out in front of the majestic Gauri Kund. That site brought great joy to my heart.
The moment when I touched and tasted the water of Gauri Kund will remain forever etched in my mind and heart. It was like a long awaited flower that finally bloomed from my energy blueprint. I have never felt such a sensation – this water carried the secret codes far beyond this plane of existence. Its purity was indescribable, its sparkle divine, its taste sublime – the purest mountain spring would bow to it in awe. While washing my face with this water and placing some of it on my crown chakra and third eye, I felt nothing but pure bliss as I witnessed the thirst for intense purification, thirst that was beyond this lifetime, now being quenched…
I looked up and on the mountain that was facing Gauri Kund I suddenly saw many faces of sages, mainly with long beards and expressions of profound depth. More than seeing, it was the inner sensation of utmost sanctity and purity that overwhelmed me. This lake and this moment in time did not feel like anything on planet Earth…
More than the beauty of nature, it was the vibration of purity of Goddess Parvati that created a deep ‘click’ within me – this is the aspect of Divine that resonates most deeply with my being. She performed unimaginable penance in order to reach Lord Shiva – hunger, heat, cold, nothing could deter her. Out of her pure heart and deep compassion she pleaded him to share his wisdom with humanity. She was humanity’s bridge to Lord Shiva, whose energy and presence was too powerful to be accessed by humanity. As our sweet Rima Yadav said during one of our conversations, “Even in our family life, when children cannot approach a strict and authoritative father, they always go through the mother.”
I recalled the scene from Guru Gita that I enjoyed listening on You Tube many a times till now, the grand historical moment of eternal beauty embedded in the collective subconscious of humanity, the moment when Goddess Parvati bowed to mighty Shiva and addressed him with the following words:
“Om. Salutations O God, Lord of the Lords, Higher than the Highest, Teacher of the Universe,
O Benevolent one, O Great God, initiate me into the knowledge of the Guru.
O Lord! By which path can an embodied being become one with Brahman, the Absolute Reality?
Have compassion on me, O Lord! I bow to your feet.”
And then Shiva answered, with words brimming with immense depth and Love:
O Goddess, you are My very Self.
I speak out of My love for you.
This question, which is a boon to uplift the world,
Has not been asked before by anyone.
This knowledge is difficult to obtain in all the three worlds.
Listen, I will reveal it to you.
The Absolute is not different from the Guru.
This is the Truth, this is the Truth, O Beautiful One.
The ancient scriptures, religious books, texts of ancient legends, historical accounts,
and other writings; […]
Without knowing the Guru principle, people who engage in these are fools.
The Guru is not different from the conscious Self.
This is true, this is true, there is no doubt.
Therefore, a wise one should indeed make an effort to attain the Guru. […]
He by whose light the true knowledge arises is known as ‘Guru’.
The Guru who reveals THAT […] who illuminates like the flame of the lamp,
The Guru whose feet are the visible form of the imperishable – one should meditate
on that all-pervasive, eternal Guru.”
(To listen to the ancient Guru Gita (with English subtitles), chanted with utmost devotion in the most beautiful voice of Kumuda, please click here)
While all of this was happening in my inner space, Mohanji stood at the top overlooking all of us who had descended down to the Gauri Kund.
I felt his presence and my heart melted as my mind acknowledged the miracle of everything that is happening in my life, of all the unimaginable blessings… Indeed, the blessing of a physical presence of a Guru in the life of one who yearns for Liberation is truly the greatest blessing one can be granted in a lifetime.
In the midst of my bliss and a beautiful Lingam pooja conducted by Panditji, Sumit approached me with the most loving request – with endless devotion, he held the Prasad from Vaishno Devi temple in his hands and asked me to offer it to Goddess Parvati. He really touched my heart – what a beautiful gesture and what an honor to make that offering from one aspect of Mother Divine to another. All of us present prayed together. I prayed for the purity and selflessness of Mother Divine to become so deeply established in our hearts that nothing can ever taint it… The truth of the grand words “The Power of Purity” resonated in my being. We discussed later how it is indeed no coincidence that the first meditation that Mohanji received from the higher consciousness was not called The Power of Faith/Love/Surrender etc., but exactly the Power of Purity. When purity is enthroned in our heart, in our being, that is all that is required. We just need to maintain it and not allow any trash to enter inside. Divine will do the rest…
The climb and the moment of transformation
When it was time to part from the Gauri Kund and the climb up the big stones started, I realized just how big of a challenge this was. Descending was fairly easy, but the climb was far from easy. After every couple of steps, I would have to stop and gasp for air in desperation. My breathing was long and loud, resembling that of a lung cancer patient on a deathbed. It was extremely tough to do this, but I did not mind – it was worth it. With the loving help of Hein and the sherpa, I just went through the experience – totally empty, so filled with gratitude. This was, in a way, my penance in honor of the Mother and I was happy to do it. At one moment, I could feel a sort of a drizzle. It was not rain, but hail – very small pieces of ice suddenly started falling from the sky. I remembered Mohanji who always says how auspicious it is to experience rain after doing any pooja or offering to Divine. This beautiful hail meant that Goddess Parvati accepted our offering! My heart expanded instantly. After the next pause to catch the breath, I started climbing and suddenly realized that something had changed – as if touched by a magic wand, the hypoxia was removed from my system! I couldn’t believe it – I could climb without any problem! What a miracle, what a blessing!
Sheer excitement overwhelmed me – I climbed the rest of the way with a big big smile, and then blissfully continued the rest of the yatra by foot. (It was interesting to note from Monja’s experience sharing that the same hail had the opposite effect on her and was the moment when she felt that the challenge of climbing the Dolma Pass was too much to bear – indeed, all of us had walked the same path but had totally unique experiences, as per the divine drama created by Shiva for the purpose of our cleansing and elevation).
At that moment I suddenly remembered a scene from our visit to Buddhanilkantha Temple in Nepal, with the most fascinating 5m long statue of Lord Vishnu: as we admired its beauty and observed how the expressions on the face of lying Vishnu would change depending from the angle from which one would approach/observe it, there was one more observation that really left us in awe. The statue was being reflected in the water almost 180 degrees below itself!
We tried applying our reasoning while observing this sheer miracle, but logical mind had no explanation how the face of Lord Vishnu could be reflected in the water below itself. It was only after Gauri Kund that I understood the subtle ‘Divine mirror’ message of this experience, a beautiful intro to the ‘mirror called Kailash’ experience that would follow. A physical mirror can only reflect back to us our perishable physical image – no mirror can be compared to the mirror of Divine…
After Gauri Kund, I continued the yatra with great joy and lightness.
I totally confused the man who owned the pony assigned to me. He approached me several times to ask whether I needed a pony, and I would always bow with a big smile and say ‘No thank you’. Even if he spoke English, how could I possibly tell him: “I have been kissed by Divine. No further assistance needed.” Can one ever find the right words for such experiences? Can anything come close to the experience of direct Divine intervention in one’s life? These magical moments of immense blessing go straight into the soul’s eternal treasure vault. They are reminders of the most revered inner Truth: “I am always loved for Love is what I truly Am.”
With eternal Love and Gratitude,