A Kailash Participant Shares their Experience
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra was a journey of a lifetime for me.
Everyday now when I look back into what happened and how it all happened, it all seems more and more unreal to me and yet it is so true that it is a part of me forever. After the Yatra was over, in the last sathsang Sadhguru told us that a pilgrimage is not an achievement but one must lose something in it. I kept thinking about it for very long and realized I really did loose my heart in Tibet in those mountains somewhere. That view of Kailash and the feel of being there is so alive in me that I can almost feel it every time I close my eyes and think of it. It makes me very happy to feel that Kailash will stay in my heart forever but a strange heartache of being away from it is also there. Altogether I really haven’t understood what happened to me there but I do know that something definitely has changed in me forever. What it is I may never understand.
I did not plan to go for this Yatra, it just happened to me somehow. In the 5 day Sathsang in US center when Sadhguru announced the Yatra, I really had no plans to go. But I came back from the center and one day just out of curiosity opened the e-brochure just to see what it was all about. As soon as the PDF document opened and I saw the first picture of Sadhguru standing on the bank of a river looking at the mountains, I was mesmerized. I kept staring at the mountains and they seemed to draw me towards them, I felt that the picture was alive and I was there in that landscape. That moment I decided I was going to the Yatra. I didn’t have enough vacation nor much finances for it but I had a strange urge to go. In fact my passport had expired and the renewal didn’t come even till the registration deadline. But Sangu and Maa Gambhiri allowed me to deposit my renewed passport late and that made it happen for me.
Even then it did not seep into me that I was really going to go, it was a big step for me in every way. But something in me refused to take a step back after the day I saw that e-brochure. Finally the day arrived when I had to go to New Delhi. I had tears in my eyes, and I was till then not sure why I was going. Well, I reached Kathmandu and when I saw Sadhguru the first night at dinner all my worries melted. That was the start of an amazing journey for me.
After reaching Tibet we were on road for several days. I was extremely happy to be outdoors. For someone like me who grew up in cities and had never been much under an open sky, all this was very new. To eat under the stars in torchlight, to sleep in tents and going to toilet in open, everything was just opening some layer of resistance in me. I had some altitude sickness, cold, sore throat and some fever (for few days) but I managed well through it with tons of medicines. The medicine pouch I had packed really came in handy. I probably popped more medicine in one week than I do in an entire year, yet everything was beautiful. I had never seen this much untouched beauty before in my entire life. Everyday we would ride the land cruisers to go to another location. I would wait to get in the SUV, to peep outside the window the whole time. Besides being with Sadhguru, traveling in the Land cruiser was the best time for me. While looking outside the window of our SUV, I didn’t realize when I fell in love with those mountains in Tibet.
Then came the day when we reached Mansarovar. The lake seemed very quiet to me, as if it was hiding tons of secrets within. It was not a normal silence; it was a silence that was speaking something out loud, only to be deciphered by someone. I felt butterflies in my stomach, I felt like something was emptying from within me. Something was getting out, some void in me was happening. It was strange feeling, I really haven’t understood what it was till date. I could not sleep well during the night, I had a sudden burst of energy in me, and the left side of my body was shaking while I was lying in my sleeping bag in the tent.
Next morning when after the process Sadhguru asked us to take a dip in the lake, I felt the water was freezing cold, yet I was determined to take a dip. I tried to take a full dip but it didn’t happen, I tried 2-3 times but all in vain, as soon as I would bend my knees my breath would almost stop. Then I looked at Kailash and in my heart this thought came – God I have come from very far for this, please let me take just one dip and I will leave. Immediately after this I took one plunge and got out and walked to the shore. Later in the day somebody told me that the dip had to be done 3 times to mean something. So I went back again to take another dip, this time I took 3 dips and several partial dips on the name of my entire family and friends. All along this I had the empty feeling inside me which I couldn’t figure out what it was.
The next day we reached the base of Kailash from where we had to start hiking up to the mountain to our camp. I don’t know what happened but as soon as I stepped out of the car I had tears rolling down my cheek, and they kept flowing, as if something was just melting inside. When we started hiking I still had tears in my eyes and eventually after 4-5 hours when I saw the full view of Kailash for the first time, I sat and cried for a while. It felt like homecoming. A homecoming that was full of joy as well as sadness which I didn’t understand. Kailash was amazing; it was our good fortune to be so close to it. I wanted to be there longer and just sit in front of it and look at it. Everything inside had stopped there, all worries all thoughts in my mind that usually never stop, it was as if I could just be there forever and never come back. I don’t want to sound greedy but I still wish we had spent an extra day there. I still don’t think I saw the mountain enough with all the other activities that were going on. Anyways I am very glad that I got to be there with Sadhguru – which made all the difference.
I will always remember Tibet for I lost my heart in those mountains, Mansarovar for the silence that is so uncanny, for Kailash from where I never wanted to return and most importantly for Sadhguru whom I felt held my hand and walked in those mountains every step of the way. Those days I spent with him are my most cherished memories and I would remember them forever till I die.
Coming back has been very hard on me. A part of me feels happy that Kailash is a part of my life forever but another part is always sad that I am away from it. I would love to go back there again someday – of course with Sadhguru.
This journey was magical, for love is unbounded.
I will return one day, wait for me O’ mountain.
– Kailash Participant