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The Mirror Called Kailash – Part 2

Written by: Biba Mohan

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.

Our amazing sherpas

With our amazing sherpas – photo taken at the end of the yatra

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.

Up the Dolma Pass

Up the Dolma Pass

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!

Pristine Mansarover, high res

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.

Panditji at Mansarover

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…

Biba at Mansarover, prayer

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.”

shiva-parvati

Shiva and Parvati – image sourced from the net

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 visit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqcF2dsY1mM  )

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.

Mohanji in the forest

The consciousness that leads us on the path – against all the odds…

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…Gauri Kund climb

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).

Hug pic

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!

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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.

A

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,

Biba

Biba and Tibetan girl

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Kailash – The Power of His Grace

 By Vijay Ramanaidoo

Vijay Ramanaidoo

When I first heard about the trip to Kailash with Mohanji, I had no intention of going as this year was to be a significant birthday milestone for my wife, it was also our 20th wedding anniversary and my daughter would be turning 18 around the same period. I thought that it would not be fair for me to go to Kailash alone when the whole family could have a holiday together. However, my wife thought differently. She strongly encouraged me to make the journey as she understood the spiritual significance of this pilgrimage, that it was an opportunity of a lifetime (that may not come again) and that the pilgrimage would benefit generations of our family.

 

Kailash

In the end, nine of us travelled from the UK, including Swami Govinda who has been living at the Skanda Vale ashram in Wales for the past 20 years. The circumstances of how he came to travel with us was very unusual. In late May 2014 I went to the ashram to participate in a sponsored walk to raise money for their hospice. I went to the ashram a day before the walk and met one of the ashram residents. When I told him that I was going to Kailash he mentioned to me that Swami Govinda had always wanted to go to Kailash. We joked that Swami would have to travel in astral form from one of the temples as it was unlikely that he would ever get the chance in this lifetime! As I walked up the hill to go to the temple of the divine Mother Kali, I met Swami Govinda. When I told him that I was going to Kailash he mentioned that he too would like to go one day. Again I thought to myself how could he go – he is a Swami who has been living in Skanda Vale for the last 20 years. Later, as I sat in the temple in front of the divine mother Kali’s form, the thought came to me that perhaps Swami could come with us and we could help with the arrangements. However the closing date was in February 2014 and it was now May 2014! The next day, after the sponsored walk, we made enquiries with Sumit in India to check if there was any space available for Swami. Sumit responded by saying that there is one place left! After getting permission from Swami Brahmananda (head of the ashram) arrangements were made for Swami to travel with us. Swami Govinda later informed me that before hearing of the offer to travel with us, on the morning of the sponsored walk, he actually had a dream that he was travelling to Kailash with a group of people! He also informed me that his Guru (Guru Subramanium, the founder of Skanda Vale) had often spoken of his desire to travel to mount Kailash but did not get to do so before his passing. However he mentioned to Swami Govinda that should he ever get the chance to go to Kailash he should go! It was an incredible blessing for Swami Govinda to travel with us and his presence enriched the whole group.

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Leading up to the pilgrimage, I had many work pressures and was also co-ordinating some building work at home. Therefore I could not prepare adequately either spiritually or physically for the trip. However, having read the book ‘Kailash with Mohanji’ I realised that the main requirement was grace and this was my only hope of successfully completing this pilgrimage.
A few days before the trip I had a dream that I was travelling with a group of people on a journey when a strange looking man came up to me. His features were half man and half monkey. He spent some time talking to me, however I have no recollection of what he said. As he was leaving, I felt that I should give him something. I looked in my pocket and found a slightly squashed laddu. As it was the only thing I had on me I offered this to him. He took it and left silently. This dream gave me hope that the grace and blessings of Lord Hanuman was with me and our group.
Grace was evident in smoothly overcoming the many difficulties we faced such as obtaining permits to get into China (while other groups stayed behind, still waiting for the permits) and getting helicopter transport for 100 people (including Sherpas) to fly over the massive landslide which destroyed the road to Tibet.
On our first day in Mansarovar, many of us were feeling ill due to altitude sickness, not helped by reduced acclimatization time due to the delays in obtaining the permit and delays caused by the landslide. I was not sure I would be able to take a dip in the cold waters of Mansarovar because I was not feeling well. However, as Mohanji stepped into the water I decided to follow. We performed Abhishek on Mohanji with Mansarovar water and when I took my first dip in this divine lake I touched Mohanji’s feet under water and felt his hand on my back. What a blessing! The first dip in Mansarovar sanctified by the opportunity to touch the Guru’s feet! This gave me the energy and the strength to take 27 dips in total. The dips were done for self, family, friends, colleagues, Gurus, Sai family, the world, the Universe, the whole of creation and everything that is and everything that is not!

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That night we had the amazing opportunity to witness celestial beings paying homage to Shiva by taking a dip in Mansarovar. They appeared in light form like multi-coloured stars hovering over the lake, moving this way and that, dipping and disappearing. This was an astonishing experience.
The next day we participated in the divine Homa beside Mansarovar and we had the beautiful opportunity to chant the Rudram (special prayers to Shiva) and had another chance for a dip in Mansarovar.
The day before the parikrama I was still not feeling well with dizziness, vomiting, headache and nausea despite the best efforts of Deepali and Andre. When we were asked whether we wanted to take a porter, pony or both, I was persuaded to hire both as I could hardly walk 60 metres let alone 60 kilometres.
On the day of the Parikrama we were allocated our ponies and porter and I thought that I should get Mohanji’s blessings before starting. I touched Mohanji’s feet and he said ‘you will do well’. With this blessing I decided to walk with Mohanji for a while. I started walking and followed in the footsteps of the guru. As I walked, the pony and porter went ahead without me. Therefore I carried on walking with Mohanji while he pointed out the faces of Kailash, the caves and other points of interest. About 6 hours later I found that with His grace I had walked the whole of the first day!

Mohanji on Kailash parikrama 2014
That evening I again was not feeling well and wondered how I could make it the next day. In the morning Mohanji called me to the balcony and we did Arathi to the West face of Kailash. I again touched his feet for blessings before starting my walk. I sent the porter and pony ahead and decided to walk again. I walked on and on and on. Slowly but surely upwards, inching towards the top of the Dolma La pass (5700 metres high).

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Signpost at Dolma La Pass

With every few steps I had to stop and catch my breath. The air is so thin that it’s not possible to get sufficient oxygen without resting every few steps. I realised that I was short of food and water as the porter and pony had gone ahead with my rucksack. Like an angel Namrata suddenly appeared on her pony. She saw me resting on a rock and insisted I take some of her water, some sweets and a huge bag of dates. I did not want to deprive her of her water and food so initially refused but she was insistent showing me the other goods she had on her! This helped me a lot. After an exhausting climb I reached the highest point and saw Mohanji. I immediately touched his feet and gave thanks. When Sumit and Hein arrived, Mohanji asked the three of us with Biba to go down to Gauri Khund for a puja conducted by Panditji. He asked me to be very careful as the path down and back up was difficult. On the way down I fell twice but eventually made it down. The five of us performed the puja and made our offerrings. Mohanji had asked me to offer something from the UK. As I sat, I realised I had brought nothing to offer. All the offerings for the puja had been provided by Sumit. I looked through my pockets and there was nothing. I then realised that I was wearing an emerald on a chain. The colour of the emerald mirrored the colour of the water. It seemed to be an appropriate offering. An emerald to adorn the home of divine Mother Durga! I took the emerald from the chain, made a sincere prayer and offered it into the depths of the Gauri Khund. I prayed for permission to take a rock from the Gauri khund with me and I took some Gauri Khund water to offer to those back in the UK. While making my way up I fell again, knocked a small boulder that slowly rolled down, knocking Panditji’s Lingam into the Gauri Khund! I watched horrified but saw panditji swiftly dip his arm into the water to retrieve the lingam! It appeared as if the lingam wanted to be immersed in the Gauri Khund water.

Lingam Puja at Gauri Khund

Lingam Puja at Gauri Khund

After climbing back up from the Gauri Khund I walked across the glacier, down the mountain and on and on for what seemed an eternity. The pony remained unused. About 13 hours after starting the second day I made it to the guest house where Mohanji was waiting. I again touched his feet with immense love and gratitude.
The third day was a relatively short walk of about two hours. The pony and porter were sent away again and I continued to walk. I felt enormous energy, I could feel the energy around me, swirling around my face and body. I overtook people on ponies and marched on until the end point of the parikrama. I fell at the feet of Mohanji and offered my love and gratitude. It was only by his compassion and grace that I managed to complete this. We took lots of pictures, everyone was in a celebratory mood, we had completed the parikrama – this year was special. One parikrama is equivalent to 12. I was elated at the achievement and could not believe that I had managed to walk the whole journey.

The unused horse!

The unused horse!

As we went onto the coach, nausea, headache and extreme fatigue overtook me and I literally collapsed into a seat on the coach. It was as if I was given the divine energy and grace to complete the parikrama and now it was over the energy and grace was taken away leaving me feeling the same way that I had been feeling before the parikrama!
On the coach journey back, despite the exhaustion I reflected on this incredible journey. I looked up at the sky in front of me and saw a perfect and beautiful image of Shiva’s face in a cloud formation! The eyes were almond shaped and perfect. There was the nose, the mouth, the ears and the head, all perfectly formed. The pilgrimage was completed with the most wonderful darshan of Lord Shiva. All by the power of His grace!

Only with His grace!

Only with His grace!

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The Mirror Called Kailash – Part 1

Written by Biba Mohan

There is no greater teacher than one’s own experience. Especially when it comes to spiritual progress, theoretical knowledge is useful in satisfying the intellect, but lasting transformation cannot happen without one’s direct experience.

Pic 1

Experience of Kailash yatra can never be fully explained in words, but this humble attempt will hopefully be used as an inspiration for those who read about it to strive to reach “the crown chakra of Mother Earth” and achieve their own experience of the mighty Kailash one day.

M and B at Mansarover - fb

The greatest blessing of our colorful group of 84 was that we could experience Kailash in the physical presence of Mohanji. When dealing with matters that are beyond the mind, only those who have mastered the mind can provide precious guidance in the right moment, the moment when transformation either happens or doesn’t.

Pic 2 - M and Kailash
Mohanji has prepared us mentally that journey to Kailash will be tough and a true test of our faith and surrender. He said that during Kailash yatra “Grace is more essential than oxygen.” However, mind could not quite grasp the true meaning of those words until the great teacher Experience appeared.
The experience of the first day of Yatra taught me the following: the energy of Kailash, just like the consciousness of a Master, is like a mirror – when approached with ego, expectations, concepts and doubts, it will reflect back to us just how small and fragile we are. But when we truly surrender, empty ourselves and with utmost humility allow ourselves to simply experience/feel Kailash beyond any of our existing concepts, it is then that we can behold Kailash in its grandeur and allow its energy to work on us deeply. As Mohanji said “Nobody leaves Kailash empty handed.” But the depth of the experience depends on our receptivity and eligibility…
Another crucial question is – am I ready to face the mirror?

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Before proceeding with my own “mirror facing experience” during the 3 days of trekking, I can’t but mention the most sublime, most unexpected blessings received at the lake Mansarover, the grand cleanser of negativities beyond this lifetime, the lake in which celestial beings bathe every day.

The surreal Mansarover

The surreal Mansarover


The magical M – of Mansarover, Miracle, Mastery of Mind, Mohanji…

I must admit that I was dreading the experience of Mansarover. We were in Himalayas, in our winter jackets with several layers of clothing below – it’s not all that easy to believe that we can just blissfully enter the ice cold water and take 9 or more dips in it, without any consequences to our health. During the long bus ride on the way to Mansarover, my mind kept bombarding me with the fearful thoughts like “If I get the ovary inflammation due to that ice cold water, the whole yatra is gone for a toss. Is it really worth the risk?” At one point I got tired of these thoughts and decided to share the same with Mohanji. He immediately reassured me that I will be just fine. He said there is no way I could miss this opportunity of a lifetime – the cleansing at Mansarover lake is too powerful, it penetrates and removes the negativities of many lifetimes.
When we reached Mansarover, its surreal beauty, its surreal beauty left us in awe. While admiring its azure green shades and divine sparkles of sun reflection on the water I suddenly saw a strong flash coming from the clouds. It was just like somebody flashed with the photo camera a couple of meters away from my face – except that this was coming from the clouds far away. I kept looking intently through the window of our bus but could not see anything after that strong flash. I wondered what that was. A couple of minutes later, Spomenka shared with me the photos she clicked with her mobile and pointed at 2 balls of light that were visible on a dozen of photos, all in different locations (in the clouds, near the Mansarover water, near one house, etc.) I was totally amazed – this was it! The celestial beings made their presence known to us in the most unexpected way. I was getting more and more excited about our Mansarover dip!

Pic 5 - Celestial beings at Mansarover...

Celestial beings at Mansarover

When we reached the beach and the bus door opened, my joy was spoiled by many mosquitoes of huge size (at least 3 times bigger than the usual ones) that surrounded us all of a sudden. I kept waving with my hands in distress until one of the tour organizers said with a smile “Nothing to worry, these are vegetarian mosquitoes. They don’t bite.” I was not sure whether he was joking or not, but soon realized that they were indeed not biting us. “Vegetarian mosquitoes” – how amazing was that?! I laughed and said this must be some good karma due to being vegetarian :-).
The overall feel on the beach was surprisingly great. The weather was perfect (22ºC), totally sunny and pleasant, and all of us rushed to remove the clothes and enter the water. I soon came to notice that most people had their bikinis or whatever was the choice of clothing on them already, so they were ready for the dip in no time. I was yet to change my clothes and had to wait for one of the two small tents allocated for the ladies, which took time.

Kailash was at first not visible from the clouds and then, as if in Divine theater, we saw only the base of it getting revealed beneath the white clouds, with unmistakable small ‘m’ clearly written all over it.

Small 'm' at Mansarover

Small ‘m’ at Mansarover

What a beautiful welcome for Mohanji and all of us! After some time, the clouds parted and our joy knew no bounds as we beheld both, Mansarover and Kailash with our physical eyes.
I finally got to change my clothes, took a deep breath and entered Mansarover – the cold water was strangely energizing and the feeling of diving into it and then looking at Kailash between each dip was truly grand. After doing 9 dips and enjoying the view of Kailash some more, I had the desire to perform abhishek of Mohanji with Mansarover water.

Pic 7 - M at Mansarover

I looked to my left and saw him turning towards the shore at that same moment. Since he entered the water much before me, he was just about to leave. I ran in his direction and shouted “Wait for me, wait for me!” Sumit and Spomenka also shouted “Biba is coming!” Some strange excitement overwhelmed me and my heart was beating like crazy! I briefly saw Mohanji’s eyes and understood immediately that he was in an expanded state – the expression in his almost red eyes was very Shaivic, very powerful. My heart melted as I did the abhishek and then suddenly ‘bham!’ – a totally unexpected blow which almost knocked me off. Mohanji poured water on my head but energetically it felt like a mighty slap, as if the water thundered on me high up from a mountain. I was squatting in the water and barely managed to fold my palms when ‘bham!’- another ‘hit’ came, so strong that it felt like it literally peeled a layer from my body/system. There was no time to think, pray, breathe, or even remotely try to understand what was happening. With eyes full of water and tears, I looked at Kailash in the distance, and then ‘bham!’, another hit and another layer peeled off. I cried and laughed at the same time, in total delirium, in total gratitude. The next thing I recall is Mohanji leaving the lake supported by Sumit and one more person and me exiting the water as well.

Mansarover, baptism by Mohanji

Mansarover, baptism by Mohanji

I still did not fully ‘digest’ this experience nor do I know how to name it. Baptism by Shiva? Astral operation in the lake Mansarover by the mighty surgeon Shiva? Whatever it was, I am forever grateful to Mohanji, to Shiva, for granting me the blessing I could not have even prayed for because I never knew it was possible…

After we reached our accommodation next to the lake Mansarover, I came to know that Sumit clicked a couple of photos with his mobile while I was undergoing this experience. My heart skipped a beat when I browsed through the photos and noticed Shiva’s third eye on my forehead, as if deeply engraved. I just kept looking at it, totally speechless… Om Namah Shivaaye!

 Shiva's third eye on my forehead

Shiva’s third eye on my forehead


Celestial beings

That night I could not fall asleep – out of sheer excitement over this experience and the overall feeling of being totally energized. A couple of us agreed that we would wake up at 3am and go to the wall that separates our accommodation from the Mansarover beach in order to see whether any of the celestial beings would come to take a bath in the lake. It was not clear whether that was 3am Chinese, Nepalese or Indian time, so in the end myself and Ami ended up going to the wall 2h before the others came. It was so beautiful and auspicious to stand there in pin drop silence. Cold wind was blowing, but we didn’t mind – the lake looked truly magical. Ami sang a Violet flame prayer most beautifully and our hearts were filled with love. In less than a couple of minutes we saw a light similar to that of a star on the sky – it just appeared in the middle of the lake, as if floating on the water. Our jaws dropped! It moved a bit to the left, then to the right, then went under the water (took a dip), then surfaced again, changed color to pinkish, then to red – it was magical, to say the least. We stood there for more than an hour and saw at least a dozen of them. As we were just about to leave, another light appeared but far brighter than the others. It was floating on the water and moving towards us. It looked like two twinkling stars on top of each other. I became breathless as I clearly felt it/them connecting energetically to my heart chakra. The sensation was incredibly beautiful. At that point two hours have already passed it and I was eager to share this experience with others who wanted to have the experience. Our little group gathered soon and we went to the wall again. At this point more people were waking up and some were using their flash lights. The sacred silence was broken and celestial beings would not come/reveal themselves. We stood there for 30 min. or so but nothing happened. Slightly disappointed, we decided to go back to our rooms. Monja and I stayed a bit longer, but since celestial beings were not to be seen we started walking towards our accommodation. As we walked, I felt the sensation on the back of the heart chakra. I turned around and there it was, the celestial being with strong almost fluorescent light shining from the middle of the lake. We stood at the same spot and looked at it in awe. I opened my heart chakra in deepest gratitude, embracing its blessings…

Pic 13 - M and white cap and specs
The next day we saw something even more amusing – Mohanji’s face (semi profile) on Mount Kailash, but this time with sunglasses and a white cap which he wore many times during the yatra.

I laughed and asked Mohanji “How come you are wearing the sunglasses?” He smiled and said: “Shiva is pulling a prank. He has a good sense of humor.” All this and our yatra did not even start! :-)

Kailash

Mohanji’s face on Kailash


Churning time

It is only natural that we compare ourselves to others and derive logical conclusions. When the trekking started, I recall somebody telling me “Oh, lucky you – you practice Yoga and pranayama, so yatra must be much easier for you.” I looked around and saw so many people elder to me, and/or people whose bodies conveyed sedentary lifestyle, and in view of many years of Yoga practice plus my preparation in the gym, my mind accepted this comment as true. Oh, the subtle traps of ego. Little did I know how soon these concepts and logical conclusions would be shattered to pieces in the mighty Shaivic energies of Kailash…

I started the 3 days of trekking (the actual Kailash yatra) in the height of restlessness. I was told that morning that weather could be very cold and thus added many layers of clothing onto my body. However, by the time we were to start the trek, the sun was blazing and I starting sweating a lot while waiting for the allocation of ponies and porters to be over. I was given a piece of paper with the name of the owner of the pony and was told to make sure I don’t lose it. Before I knew it, Mohanji and the rest of our team started walking and I was still not able to identify the pony allocated to me (which I intended to use only in case I fall sick/weak and cannot continue the yatra on foot). I requested some of the Tibetan porters to read out to me the name written on this piece of paper, but none of them could read the handwriting with which it was written – I was stuck! Sumit told me not to worry –the man who owns the pony will surely search for me as this is their livelihood. I thus started walking, even though I felt quite unsettled. Under the scorching sun I soon removed my heavy jacket and tied it around my waist. Then I removed my winter scarf and tied it around my waist. The next was my black sweater – it too found its place around my waist. I felt so heavy with all this clothing hanging from my waist, plus the two walking sticks that I didn’t feel like using, water bottle, snacks – it all felt like a lot of luggage as the lack of oxygen started to make me feel increasingly weak. On top of it all, this inexplicable frustration and restlessness kept building within me – in fact, I never felt this restless in my whole life! I pretty much felt like a helpless child lost in a crowded market place. Other yatris kept passing me by, either on ponies or by foot, and I felt that I was the slowest and most miserable of them all. I could not recognize myself – I have faced far greater challenges in my life, but my inner state was never this bad. Then one of our sweet yatris Akshay came with a big umbrella and offered me most lovingly to share its blessed shade with him. That felt so great and I was very grateful. My morale was boosted a bit and soon everything seemed to be falling into place – the owner of the pony appeared and I was able to offload on him my heavy jacket and whatever else I could. That was such a relief! It was as if I had to be reminded of how important it is to “Travel light through life, drop the unnecessary luggage”.

Still, I was feeling quite breathless and clearly lacked the stamina. This took me by surprise. I was quite happy that from the beginning of the trip my body was coping with the hypoxia (high altitude sickness) so well while many of our yatris were vomiting and falling sick. Another instance of sumptuous feeding of the ego, coupled with the wrong assumption that the same trend would continue till the end of the yatra.
The straight path slowly turned into our first bigger hill. Due to hypoxia, what would have been a normal climb in the usual conditions, became a great struggle for breath after every couple of steps. I tried all breathing and concentration techniques known to me, but still could not keep the pace without stopping to catch the breath. My confidence was shattered and I felt totally miserable. After somehow climbing the first hill I had to admit to myself that I could no longer cope. With a heavy heart, I decided to use a pony. At that point, hypoxia already overwhelmed my system and the very act of climbing onto a pony made me gasp for breath. The scenery around me was stunning, but I could not enjoy any of it as all my energy was spent on maintaining the balance on the pony and ensuring I take a sip of water frequently enough to avoid dehydration that makes hypoxia even worse.

By the time we reached our destination, Derapuk camp, with the stunning view of the North Face of Kailash, I could not wait to crash into a bed.

Pic 15 - M, Biba and big M on Kailash, North face

It was freezing cold, there were no toilet facilities, mud, chaos, noise – difficult to say what was worse, my inner state or my surrounding… It was ironic – the mighty Kailash that I dreamed of seeing for years was now right before my eyes, but I could not bring myself to even utter a prayer – I was just so miserable at all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, as disconnected as I could be from my Higher Self, Mohanji, Kailash, Divine…. I felt like finding a hole and hiding in it… When I entered the room in which Mohanji was seated with several other yatris, I witnessed with a blank expression on my face how they were overflowing with devotion, gratitude and joy, laughing and sharing beautiful experiences, massaging his feet, soaking in love – Dhriti managed to walk to the point at which one could touch Kailash and came back with a big radiant smile. Others shared their own experiences… That made me even more miserable – I had nothing, absolutely nothing to share, zero ‘bhaav’ (feeling/flavor of genuine devotion), and I would never try to fake it. I felt totally numb, disconnected and miserable.

At one point Mohanji looked me straight in the eyes and said “You are in the illusion of doership, that is why you are going through this. You think you can do the yatra relying on your physical strength and stamina, that you are the doer. When you lose the bhaav, you lose the grace – simple.” This comment crushed the last inner wall that kept me composed – I knew that what Mohanji said was absolutely true and admitted to myself that I totally lacked surrender. I could not understand how this could happen to me though. I waited and prayed for years to come to Kailash and now that I reached I felt nothing! I was agonized. To a person on a spiritual path, there is no greater pain than spiritual numbness, the feeling of being disconnected from one’s Guru/Higher Self/Divine. After Mohanji uttered those words so bluntly, I had to agree – it was not about the hypoxia, the pony that was not to be found, or any other silly reason. This was all about me and my ‘doership’, my lack of surrender, while Kailash was right in front of my face! I had a bit of a warm herbal tea and disappeared into my room eager to sleep and rest from this agonizing turmoil, hoping that somehow sleep would make it all better.

(to be continued..)

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Tears of Joy

By Monja Wolf

1

Experiences. The search and waiting for them and the excitement when they happen, I assume. Because I never have experiences. I never have visions. I never “see” or “smell” anything extraordinary. I can only assume. But what I do have and what I do feel is love. Pure, unconditional and unlimited love, always pouring down on me, guiding me and taking care of me.

My journey seems to embark deeper and deeper and unfolds only one certainty. A certainty that is too big, too vast, too grand to ever be expressed in our simple words. A certainty that can only be felt and lived. It is the mystery and magic of love, of feeling loved and of loving.

And whenever I grasp a glimpse of this certainty, whenever this wave of love immerses me, tears of joy roll down my cheeks. And these tears of joy are truly the most precious gift I was ever given. It is these tears of joy that push me further, assure me, love me and awaken me.

2

Tears there were many on my journey to Kailash. They kept flowing. Formed by a strange mix of pain, love and gratitude. The darshans and experiences that seem to lurk around every corner in this blessed land, I acknowledge from afar. They encourage to ask “Why am I here?”. They assert me “I am hereout of love. For I deeply long to be united and dissolve with what I love!”.

But wait. Dissolve in what, in whom? In the God ahead of me, behind me or perhaps inside me?I look ahead,I see Kailash. I look back, I see Mohanji. I am beautifully torn and seem to start a dance. I walk. I stop. I return. I walk ahead again. I am in ecstasy on this first day of parikrama.

3

But the mission to complete soon painfully takes over. From the second day onwards a meticulous effort to set one foot in front of the other begins. For months my only goal for this trip was to walk on foot. I deeply wanted to pay my full tribute to Shiva. I had played all possible scenarios in my mind. I was ready to sacrifice whatever it may be, suffer in whatever way it takes as long as I walk, if barefoot, sick or on one leg.I was prepared, I thought. I did sports all my life, from marathons to triathlons. Running, yoga, meditation and chanting was all part of my regime. I had no doubts about reaching. He said I will. I was confident and had full faith in Mohanji’s blessings and guidance. However the big question was how many tests will be placed along the way.

From this second day onwards everything is a blur, an expanded state of being. After hours of walking I finally see Dolma Pass’ flags wavingin the wind in the distance. It feels mighty, heavy, scary. I sit down one last time to mentally prepare and reassure myself just before we ascend to its peak. I know I only have one mission: I must reach. I try to surrender. I ask for surrender. I want to pass on this mighty task to Mohanji, to Sai Baba. I long for Shiva’s grace.

4 Mohanji

I find myself in the repetitive circle of taking a few steps, sitting down, grasping for air, looking up, yearning to see the top coming closer and taking a few steps again. Reaching Dolma Pass seems like an eternity. One new hill pops up around the corner after the others. All I know is that I must keep walking. Tibetans pass us and seeing our struggle hand out herbs and local cigarettes. We are a group of four. Knowing they are next to me, comforts me. But just as we are getting closer to the top, rain and hail starts pouring down. Yes hail! I am surrounded by darkness and heaviness. Perhaps the end of the world comes close to describing the scene and how I felt. I know Mohanji hears every single thought of mine. I know he is with me. But perhaps I have not yet fully surrendered? Shiva must be angry I wonder?And still all I know is that I must keep walking. I must reach. Finally, at last I see flags all around me.

5

I don’t have the energy to look or stop or be joyful. I just want to pass the top and sit down on the other side. The exact moment we have passed Dolma Pass the sun comes out again. The rain stops. I turn to my friend and utter “I have never done something so difficult in my life” and I cry like a little girl. I like to believe I am tough. I love challenges. I love proper exercise. I usually don’t cry. But I have never experienced anything like that. The rest of the parikrama and remaining hours of walking continue to take all my energy. I hope to see our guestrooms one curve after the other, hour after hour. It just never seems to end. All I want is to reach the end.

6

In the evening I finally peacefully sink into my bed. This second day of parikrama turned out to be the most difficult and most painful day of my life. What has happened and still is happening, I don’t really know. Yet, a few days before the parikrama Mohanji suggested a pony may be a good idea due to my altitude sickness. I determinedly replied “Even if I will die, I will walk on foot”. Now I wonder if perhaps I did die? Perhaps I left something behind, up there in Dolma Pass, something too big for me to comprehend. Whatever it was, the pain seems irrelevant now. An event from the past.The feeling of struggle has been replaced and filled with a deep connection, steadiness and clarity. I feel showered with blessings. In fact I long to return and send my wish out the universe: Kailash, we shall meet again!

7

Looking back on this journey, looking back in life, I can only wonder. I wonder about perfectly timed events and countless worldly pleasures I am showered with. They leave me puzzled. They leave me in awe. Do they matter in my life? They don’t. But perhaps what they teach me is to have the audacity to see all miracles, seemingly unimportant miracles in our every day life that express again and again his never ending love. Then I have a grin on my face, think of his smirking face and say “Thank you. Well played Mohanji”. God loves fun!

8 Mohanji

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How I Walked the Whole Kailash Parikrama

By Biljana Vozarevic

Bilja V profile pic 1

Some people may think that I went to Kailash to take photos in front of the mountain, which I did :)

Bilja pred Kajlasom

but yatra is much more than that. It is the pilgrimage to go within and all the circumstances help you to connect to the deepest in yourself. To be uplifted, and to be transformed.
When I came back, a lady doctor at a routine control for infectious diseases for people coming from the high-risk countries such as Nepal, asked me, “Did you have a good time?” “Yes, I did have a good time,” I said, which is a big euphemism for what I went through these days. I had a challenge. I had an opportunity. I had tests. I had situations which invoked the triumph of pure spirit. The experience was really epic for me.
Some time before the trip, when Mohanji was asked how to be eligible for Kailash, he said, “Eligibility for Kailas pilgrimage? If you have faith bigger and taller than Mount Kailas, if your conviction is wider than the dimensions of Manasarovar, if you have zero pretensions, if your surrender to the Lord is absolute, there are no further eligibility criteria. Grace is all you need and faith is the key to ensure grace. This journey is tough. It will test your mettle, your faith, your conviction and commitment to the path of liberation. This is the ultimate pilgrimage! Hence, grace is inevitable, more essential than oxygen. When you face adversities with faith and surrender, the journey will be smooth and enjoyable. When you approach it with expectations and doubts, you will only encounter problems and difficulties. We can decide to go to Kailas. But, unless the Lord permits, we cannot make it. Hence, faith, conviction, silence, prayers, surrender and observation are essential. Kailas has to be experienced, felt, witnessed, and not “seen”. Kailas represents the ultimate aspiration of mankind. Kailas is the ultimate destination. Kailas is Shiva, the state that you are coming from, but forgot as you lived. Shiva is the state that mankind aspires for. This is a journey to the state of our aspiration. This is a journey to the state of Shiva, the consciousness of Shiva, the supreme consciousness. Do not take this trip to “see”. Take this trip to be aware, to feel, to melt. Prepare yourself by increasing your conviction and determination to weather any storms and obstacles. Detach yourself from expectations. Surrender to Shiva and request His support. Be Shiva and you will merge with Kailas spontaneously. Shiva and Kailas are ONE. Silence… Peace… Silence… Peace.. Silence… Peace…”
Before the trip I had several obstacles preventing me from even thinking about it. Mohanji removed them. One of the obstacles was my knee problem where doctor forbade me running or hiking. As a long distance runner it was very difficult for me. But in the end it turned out that I could go to Kailash… It is true that I did per forty sun salutations 4-5 days per week, and 360° meditation every day for a month before the trip. I also chanted Om namah shivaya, as Mohanji says it is a walking stick for this pilgrimage. Yet I knew that only grace would take me there smoothly, without obstacles.

Mohanji in front of Kailash

Photo credits: Zoran Stefanovski

At the hotel in Katmandu I talked briefly to Mohanji and he said, “ You can walk. You have that energy. You may take a porter or pony, but you don’t need it.” THAT gave me the courage to decide not to take either a porter or pony. I was going to be my pony and sherpa. I was going to carry my rucksack myself all the way! When it was time to hire a porter or pony, several people asked me twice, because it was strange and too risky. They said, “Parikrama is tough. You don’t know what could happen along the way. It is full of unpredictability and uncertainty. Take it just in case.” The advice was reasonable, logical and out of good will. But I said no. I was determined, not because of stubborn wish to prove myself. I completely trusted Mohanji’s words. I knew God is potent. God is powerful. He is also merciful and I strongly believed he would allow it. I wanted to celebrate God with my walk. Mohanji was giving me energy. It was enough to surrender.
Mohanji told us, “My task was to bring you to Manasarovar. From Manasarovar onwards is up to your karma. Good luck I’m with you.” And he wished us a successful parikrama. We were there as we were attracted to that huge shiva lingam, high energy place, abode of Shiva himself. Nobody can go there unless Shiva calls. And nobody leaves empty-handed. But to gain anything one must be empty first.

Aarti to Kailash. Photo credits: Monja Wolf

Aarti to Kailash. Photo credits: Monja Wolf

We did preparations on Manasarovar, chanted various chants for cleansing the mind, we participated in Homa ritual which additionally cleansed us. Mohanji took a lot of karmas on himself. Many people do not know how demanding it is for his body. And we became even lighter. We put some seeds and gi into the fire, focusing our mind on removing obstacles. We also did aarti to Kailash, facing it. We could also wish blessings for our family. It all continued for hours and for our own benefit. We were in a kind of half-trance. Mohanji distributed to each of us two rudraksha malas which had been dipped in Manasarovar and blessed by him. I was deeply touched by this gesture. We were also given three silver pieces, a trishul, a snake and a four-petal flower or a four-leaf clover. We threw that into Manasarovar lake as an offering to Kailash. All the time we paid attention not to turn our back to Kailash.
In the evening, we were called to room 25 for prasad. I knew it was important to use every chance for accepting good wishes or blessings, and though my apetite was low, I went. Surprisingly, I saw Pandiji who was tying a red or yellow thread on our wrist. I was surprisingly touched by this gesture, happy and grateful for this honest, heart-felt support and wishing good luck from his heart. He has the power to bless. He’s a priest from Katmandu, Nepal and he came to Manasarovar for a few days, hosting the pooja ritual there and after that, coming along with us for Kailash parikrama..

I knew that on parikrama what will take us is grace. Keeping the attitude of surrender and trusting that god is merciful, we set off on that once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Yama Dwar

Yama Dwar

Day 1. Parikrama started at Yama Dwar. It is a place also called The Gate of Immortality. The idea is to tell your mind that you are leaving your past behind you completely. There are many prayer flags there and some people also leave a piece of clothes there, symbolically detaching from things, past and everything that is transitory and what is not a person o being itself. We walked around Yama Dwar three times and then went through it and rang the bell inside. On coming out, I immerged uplifted with this ceremony which served like a kick-start for parikrama. Reactivation for new life ahead :)
This first day was warm with sunshine, we carried winter jackets as we were prepared for cold or even hostile weather. But it was hot, fortunately I wore a T-shirt so I carried two jackets in hands. Day was such a gift, like a kiss from divine. It motherly nurtured us along the way. The air was dry and I sipped water to keep hydrated. The terrain was more or less plain so it was like a mild preparation for what awaited us the next day. I met Pandiji and he gave me an apple wedge which was in that walk particularly refreshing and nourishing. We also saw an animal that I had never seen before. It was something between a squirrel and a monkey… We continued at his pace till the end.

Processed by: Helicon Filter;
Day 2. The second day we started early, at about 7 o’clock I picked my rucksack and went. It was chilly and fresh and very pleasant for walking. At first it was dry, but later it rained several times, as if the weather was doing abishekam to us blessing us, so even during these showers it was still very friendly :). The first part of the track was uphill, along with narrow track and later it was covered with stones the size of melons and watermelons. I was grateful for good hiking shoes keeping my ankles stable. Even for ponies it was difficult to climb. They struggled with the stones carrying people or bags on their backs. I counted and synchronised my breaths and steps – one, two – inhale – one, two – exhale. Then as my heart rate increased I changed to one step – inhale, one step – exhale. As I was approaching the peak i.e. Dolma La Pass, my heart rate started beating even faster, so I inserted 10-20 second breaks. I went 10-20 steps then I made 10-20 second break then again… In that way I kept my walking steady. At that most difficult part, a Tibetan lady offered me a candy. I don’t usually eat candies but at that moment I felt very grateful to her for such act of kindness, as the candy was well lubricating the throat in dry air. It melted in my mouth and breathing was easier and added necessary energy.
Suddenly I felt somebody pushing me from behind. Was it a pony? Well several times it was a pony, lol, but this time it was pushing me forward. Some unknown man from Tibet or at least he looked like a Tibetan, started pushing me from behind holding his hand at the bottom of the rucksack so I (we) speeded up. It lasted a few minutes. It was like a surge of pace and again grace. If he had asked me to help me to carry my bag, I would have flatly refused with “No, thank you.” But this man didn’t even ask! Lol. No coincidences. I thanked him and continued.

Bilja at Dolma La PassAt Dolma La Pass, a lady started singing… I felt triumphant, though I was aware that there was still a long way to go. Then soon at the beautiful, turquoise Gauri Kund lake I met Mohanji and hugged him. I’ll always remember that hug. I was out of this world to share that moment with him. I joined the group and we continued carefully downwards together. After that we had a short break at a tent where some of us took refreshments or hot meal and we continued 12 km along the plain track. That latest part I was mostly on my own.
Day 3. The third part of parikrama consisted of 8km walk and after taking pictures with the sense of achievement, the rest of the way we went by bus.
Finished. Ultimate pilgrimage done. It is what happened on the outside. What happened inside I cannot explain. This year is the year of horse according to the Chinese calendar and parikrama is equal to 12 parikramas other years. So each step did 12 times more cleansing and churning. With Mohanji’s grace, we used this once-in-a-lifetime chance well. I did what I though I couldn’t. The thought that it’s beyond my possibilities lost its authority, and THAT was liberating. Besides that, I live with new, fresh, deeper tranquility now.

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Holy Dip in Manasarovar Lake

By Biljana Vozarevic

Bilja V profile pic 1

From Nyalam we went to Manasarovar lake. We were supposed to spend two days in Nyalam, 1st day to have rest and acclimatise and 2nd day to go for a walk to do some physical exercise at that high altitude, 3900 m. But because of the landslide we were delayed one day and after one day of acclimatisation we decided to spend more time at Manasarovar.
We were still on the bus and our Tibetan guide Tashi said that it was cloudy so we could see Manasarovar, but would not be able to see Kailash. If we were lucky had had good karma, we may be able to see Kailash the next day. After ten minutes, dr Deepali pointed through the window, “Look! Kailash!” “What a grace!” The whole bus cheered. It was still cold and we were in winter clothes and jackets on the bus.

Manasarovar and Kailash 1
Several years ago there was not even a road to Manasarovar. Now we travelled on a smooth road, which was really a luxury comparing to the past. There was also a welcoming hall, obviously prepared for visitors of Manasarovar, with a huge poster of Kailash with tips about the sacredness of all this place. At least you cannot do the toilet in the lake. It would be lovely if this practice is introduced for any lake, to revive such deep respect for water. Water memorises everything, emotions, messages, love, sacred or pious feelings, gratitude. That itself feels it with holiness as well.
Manasarovar is at 4590 m altitude and is considered one of the highest freshwater lakes on the Earth. It is 940 km away from Lhasa. To the west of it there is Lake Rakshastal, also called the lake of darkness or sadness; to the north is Mount Kailash. The word Manasarovar comes from sanscrit “manas”= mind and “sarovar”= lake. It means that this lake first appeared in the mind of the creator Brahman and then it manifested on the Earth.

Mohanji at Manasarovar
At a certain place which was good to go into the lake, we got off the bus and the weather started to get warmer and warmer. The sun shined and I felt as if I was on a real summer beach. We took off our winter clothes and put on something to cover ourselves before taking a dip. Barefooted I was stepping on the pleasantly warm sand, following Mohanji, trying to be close, thirsty of his blessings and proximity during these special moments.

Photo courtesy: Zoran Stefanovski

Mohanji before taking a dip in the Manasarovar Lake.  Photo courtesy: Zoran Stefanovski

Mohanji steadily entered into the water, concentrated, fully committed, in altered consciousness state he had the first dip. He was surrounded by his disciples, we took a dip after him.

Mohanji taking a dip in the Manasarovar Lake

Then in our own rhythm, one by one more dips came along. Water was shallow about 80cm, so we crouched, stretched arms forward, leaned on them like in a push-up to dip the whole head and then get up. Is the number important, I thought, at least 3 I heard, well I felt I could start and forget myself dipping… The water was cold but it was pretty much tolerable, especially when you move. When you stop, if you have thin skin like I do, you’ll start shivering. Then I went to my spine and body awareness reduced. There was only breathing, the spine, and Mohanji and sunshine all over, with Kailash at the horizon. Awareness, not emotions, Mohanji used to advise before the trip…
My throat started choking, I was trembling, my eyes swelled with tears and I felt them rolling down my face. I am not sentimental person. It was not because of some aesthetic or romantic high either. It was because of some all encompassing high-intense, above all compassionate energy. Yes, I felt such compassion that I could almost float on water. So tender, loving, gentle, accepting, so pure, oh God… that must be the nature of the source itself!!! Mohanji radiated compassion and the whole universe responded with compassion! Pious attitude settled by itself. My breath was steady, body was quivering randomly, my mind was composed, crying and shaking my whole being was letting all negativities vanish… I melted into that moment…

Mohanji taking a dip in the Manasarovar lake 2014
We splashed and sprinkled water on Mohanji and he splashed and sprinkled water on us. We were doing abishekam. I caught his look and felt compassion itself came for me when I most needed it. It seems I anchored that experience, as even now when I remember this, I start feeling the amplified soul connection accompanied with tears of blissful gratitude. I immersed myself in front of Him and found and touched His feet under the water. I did it spontaneously. I did it in full surrender. Yet I believe even without the urge for this gesture, He would know the extent and intensity of my devotion. He said, ”This is a very auspicious day and time for Manasarovar dip. We didn’t plan it exactly, but with grace it turned out to be so.” What can a man which more than be guided by grace beyond terrestrial plans?
Poetry comes from the heart, intelligent man feels and understands this…

Mansarovar poem - To Mohanji by Bilja Vozarevic

Mohanji taking a dip in Manasarovar lake 2014 1

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My Kailash Experience

By Hein Adamson

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.

Kailash 1
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.

Mohanji
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.

Mohanji 1

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.

Kailash with Mohanji 2014
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.

Mohanji at Dolma La Pass 2014 (1)

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.

Lake near Dolma La Pass - Gaurikund

Gauri Kund Lake

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.

Kailash with Mohanji 2014 (2)

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?”

Mohanji 2

Photo courtesy: Monja Wolf

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.

Love

Hein

 Kailash

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