Saturday, 9 November 2013

Kedarnath – the spiritual treasure - one more opportunity to be in his fold

Experts from my discovery channel interview (edited)

Question : now you are survivor of the huge disaster? Do u feel god has saved you?

Me : I may die tomorrow or after ten years does that mean god has let me down at that time.  

Question: Huge disaster and death happened at kedar? Do you want to go again even after witnessing the disaster?

Me: Daily lot of accidents happening in highways , does that mean should we close all traffic ? have people stopped using their vehicles ? 

Kedarnath , for ages beyond history , ever since Himalayas formed in the  geography ,the place and its sacredness described in our culture. For many many centuries the place is accessible only for ascetics, even in them only for few got the opportunity to be in his fold for few moments because of so many tests one has to go on the way to reach his abode.

Adisankara - the man who visited the kedarnath in 7th century even before present day transport mode was not there

Sadhguru always says kedar is a place which will pull the every spiritual seeker towards it . The scriptures describes the place as, the abode of Shiva. In our culture and tradition, the family has been taught, how one should prepare and go to such places . They always seen with high reverence and perceived the journey as sacred yatra, not as a tour to enjoy holidays.

And just the process of yatra, the expectation of unexpected things in the process, the devotion and faith got thru religious teachings makes one to experience the surrender and trust, moves him from belief to experiential process.

May be I think, even if one approaches this point of GPRS by whichever way , still the journey and the dimension of yatra gives him/her something beyond their understanding .

Because in this terrain condition, in this altitude, even physically one to make it, even for just because of his interest of tourism or ecological , still it also has all kinds of factors to play a role for spiritual possibilities.

May be he/she may not aware of what they got it , how to preserve it but still they can’t miss the impact , even beyond the life and death.

My first dharshan

Now looking back myself, I wonder how I asked such question, what is there in Himalayas? When he given me a choice to choose to come with first dhyan yatra with sadhguru in 1996.

I was a person who does not know except few towns in tamilnadu. The only city is in my experience and exposure is Trichy. Not even travelled much to the state capital Chennai. The few places who I visited also only for purpose of cricket , never for tourism purpose or spiritual aspects.

The question is with me at that time ,  due to my understanding I thought what a place can offer just by going there that too just for a short time in his/her life. But that trip given me so much beyond my understanding though I could not understand anything , even now.

Especially the boundary of kedarnath, which normally considered from guptakasi , I felt a strong difference between any other place that I visited. Surprisingly I got another opportunity to visit this sacred boundary again in july 2001 , in the rainy season with very few people , shown me different face to me this time .

But my logic still had the question,  if it is true that the place has something to offer to individual being for such great possibilities and experience and put them in the process of transformation from within, I always wonder why the people who living there not all, why not all , why at least few has not got the same kind of transformation within themselves. 

But this also gave me to understand it is not just place, it mainly depends  on how one prepares  and involves in the process by applying the tools of devotion. Above all Without the grace of Guru and the great beings and without the blessings of divine no such possibility for anyone no matter how much ever whatever he/she does to experience.

We could see in many people that years of experience is just vapours when a doubt arises in a mind. Similarly years of faith and trust becomes doubtful in no time when a situation arises.

As the saint manivasaga says in his thiruvasagam (சிவனவன் என்சிந்தையுள் நின்ற அதனால் அவனருளால் அவன் தாள் வணங்கி) – “sivanavan yen sindhaiyul vandhu nindra adhanal avan arulal avan thazh vanangi” – which means because of the grace of shiva , a thought poped up in my mind , which followed by my action of bowing down at his lotus feet by his grace .  what a wonderful saying

Here in this culture, in the name of sadhana , as  tools of devotion have created  and offered to us by our rishi muni’s and siddha’s  . The tools not only  preparing the mind and body but also becoming tools of reception for what is been there in the place by getting connected.

sabarimala yatra

The path of devotion is so powerful and simple , like forest fire it catches a human so effortless. I always wonder on simple’s people’s love and devotion though I could see the unawareness, ignorance, madness of love in it. Many times it’s a struggle for me and my logic on those moments. But still I could not resist myself to bow down to them.

At the same time yes as sadhguru says , it gives a complacence. Many time even in my personnel experience I could not figure it out , whether I move forward or backward until someone points out my mistake.

Also I found it is their faith and belief gives them lot of strength to deal various complexities of daily life. Though I have not gone anywhere beyond our Indian boundary, even within the boundary not much, still I can guarantee 100 percent , what this tradition and culture gives to humans is nowhere , no country gives to their people.  

Though the science has reached many mile stones in various fields still it is not come nearer to the mystery of human beings. But our sages and siddhas has not only offered solutions but also created the device so that anyone can explore himself in these highest and subtle dimensions.

Difference of Time and Travel mode

In ancient days the travel mode is huge challenging task, either mostly by walk or by bullek-carts. Also only two kind of people who travelled across other than kings, either for spreading their business or for learning. Even in learning mostly to find their guru’s , to find their person to guide them in spiritual path.

The latter kind only travelled to sacred places as yatra either before meeting a guru or after meeting him with his guidence, to prepare their body, energy and receptivity.

These places and the process of yatra, not only helped them to break their bondage's and limitations or blocks in their energy system in order to receive the higher dimensions of life but also offered them many subtle dimensions. society around them also get benefited when they started to share.

This made hindu sanyasi’s live only on road , in the parivarjaka life, as wondering monks. By the impact of these people , many others also started their pilgrimage. The process gives an opportunity for one to live in the lap of grace.  I got an opportunity to live like this for an period of nearly an year , during which period I also got another chance to dharshan kedarnath by his instruction.

When sanyasi’s and brahmacharies  got this kind of process , on the other hand the family people got the opportunity to travel to various sacred places in the name of  12 jyothirlinga yatra, 51 sakthi sthal yatra , 108 vaishnav sthal .

Though travel mode has become so comfort in these days and gave opportunity for many many to visit these extreme ends , other factors such as economy and finding right time in their life process is still difficult.

Amarnath yatra

Eventhough people does not know the science and tools of the process , still atleast few moments unknowingly getting the glimpse of the essence of the process . 

But at the same time , the advancement of mobile technology and their usage among people , is huge distraction for the sacred process . Though physically one goes thru the same process , most of the time either they connected with their family and friends or business contacts and keep discussing the same old issues and stories, which keeps them to live in their minds.

Otherwise during the trip , they keep discussing their own stories and versions among themselves . So it is very rare to see people who undertake yatra, as it was taken by their elders in the past. Because of these distractions , the sacred process is just becoming like an ordinary tour and does not have strong impact as it was.

On the other hand , in the name of improving the tourism , huge doors has been opened without any proper system or guidance make the people just value for money than the process and persons.

Apart from this even in today’s life situations have offered useful technologies , still one get an opportunity  to travel in northern part of country, especially to the Himalayas only after 40+ and by the time many of them have BP/sugar etc. Also due to extreme vehicle usage in the plains many of them even forget they have given legs to walk.

The present scenario

In such scenario one coming to kedarnath , in such altitude to walk 14 km with their luggage , for many of them it is more than Hercules task in their life.

But The technology advancement in travel mode, especially the recent development of helicopter services, as they claim as spiritual solace, gave lot of elder citizens to visit the shrine even after they themselves formally given up the idea. At the same time it also has adverse effect in various dimensions since every kind of man starts to travel, that too for different purposes for this kind of spiritual places.

Especially after the june flood in the recent days many documentaries and self claimed scholars and environmentalists are started writing different columns without have any idea about either culture of land and started to question the beautiful process of wonderful religion by just seeing from one dimension of either environment or economy aspects.

They started asking why one has to travel to kedarnath? Why not people can go to other places? They forget the every place and person is a unique dimension of life. Will they design and maintain every room in the house in same way? Even the smallest aspect , which we call as house has million dimensions in various proportions.

Without understanding any aspect of life , simply by the knowledge of books and the degrees they got , just trying to find answers. And complicating the informations they getting , by their own interpretations , and presenting it in distorted way.

But their bravery will not allow themselves to raise such question in any religion. Some of them even arguing to stop the age old process and yatra for the reason of environmental issues instead of demanding the government to use the technology and offer the real development without corruption.

For all of them I must ask few questions. Are these environmentalists fighting against selling of materials in plastics, which are thrown away across river banks, roadsides after usage over across every village side of the country  ?

Is it process for higher dimension or subject for politics to woo vote?

The yatra or pilgrimage is exist in every religion. But the pseudo secularism speaking people for their political gains trapping innocent people and asking questions only about hindu culture which prefunded in the valley of river sindhu and not dare to raise the same with other one’s.  

The process of questioning these aspects either by himself (atma vichara) or by debate (vadha, pradhivadha, samvadha ) all existed in this culture. Atma vichara means one question himself by deepening his own observation to find the truth and subtle aspects in to it. When two people can debate it can happen , both the people can discuss the subject for the benefit of those who listen , in this case both will be in equal calibre (samvadha) or they can take the role of opposite poles to question and explain the aspects (vadha, pradhivadha).

When the same is been happening between two , in which one know  it in depth and live in experience , the other is beginner of the process or one who is in the process it become the transmission of Guru and shishya. Since this process is only brings receptivity to receive , this aspect is so alive not only in spiritual process but also applied in other fields. The one who is giver is revered as guru and the receiver is seen as disciple. 

Only In this culture People have been taught, as a culture to choose and follow their own wish of god. since from childhood one is been taught these dimensions in the name of their kula devatha, girama devatha and ishta devatha ( family god, village god and the person can choose his own god depending on his interest and choice).  

One can raise his own questions and choose the path that suits for his logic and faith. Even one can live without any faith. The freedom has been given for each and every one. Each one respected for their difference. No one compelled anyone with his/her faith. Even the criticizer of the faith and the path has been seen as a supportive tool for one’s faith and path.

Even today one can see these things in a family. But inspite of their difference they all live together, worship together in rituals for their family deity or village deity. Similarly the aspect of yatra also knowingly or unknowingly followed by individuals and groups.

I still remember , even 20, 25 yrs ago,  if one starts his pilgrimage for sabari mala, before they leave the house for the journey , every kind of last rituals has been done to him. And in their home , their people will light a Aganda Deepam, and make sure they worship the lamp both morning and evening. Till his return they will make sure the lamp keep burning.

It is the faith, that light should guide him in his journey from darkness to light , a process of transformation from ignorance to enlightment. Also the light, the element of fire will give the warmthness in the cold, shows the way when he lost in the forest. Everyway light is the source of life.

That’s why they started the day always with surya namaskar, an invocation of light in their life.

Economy based life – the man made disaster

All the understanding and science behind the rituals slowly getting evaporated in the process of building our economy especially vote bank politics has started to rule.  when the land has been for ages and ages under invader’s rule still it is not happened.

They never questioned any of these process that prevailed in various parts, even today many foreigners coming here to imbibe these wonderful aspects from this land.

But When the man just calculating in terms of economy he/she lost the experience of life ,because in every way his own calculation is taking first priority than the purpose of what he/she earns.

They also never asked why people go yatra’s ? Instead we see they themselves supported to build temples , to allot lands for maintenance of temples , acknowledged the sages and saints.

They themselves went pilgrimage either for huj or Jerusalem which is considered sacred in their religion. Never neither them nor any one asked question why only those places are sacred? instead respected and supported. 

But the modern facebook man , self claimed authors and research scholars, with their distorted knowledge that gathered here and there from google search engine…… only seeking how to get his mileage either as document producer or novel seller doing propaganda to such theories is the real man making disaster .

bodies burned in kedarnath

Though I could observe and witness all these, still my exposure and depth is very very minimum in this dimension. This is the fact. But still I feel previlaged when I look back myself, for many not even getting one time opportunity to come to kedarnath, me getting this opportunity of dharshaning the place ………….

The last 3 months

Though this time, I had got an opportunity to live in Himalayas for longer period , though I had visited kedar few more times since sep 2012, after rescued from june flood next visit to kedar , even as a thought is so remote.

On the other hand whatever I witnessed keep dragging me in various directions in my thoughts. Though I could understand the scale of needs and my capabilities still I could not help myself without thinking what I can do.

Now I feel in the name of improving or offering the best I not accepted the life around me as it is. But it took some time till some one points out , whatever we talk , whichever we talk it is just same in different way.

At the same time I could not miss or ignore whatever be the situation that I encountered in past 3 months. One hand it had lot of things for me to keep engage and improve , work for. Other hand nothing I know what I can do next morning.

But the treading in the path and time ,slowly unveiled life by itself , according to my level of understanding. Some how the urge to go to kedar is once again popped up and much more strong in me , once the pooja’s has been started in the temple on 11th sep 2013.

When I go back to guptakasi after 3 months , I have not felt any difference till I am nearing to Srinagar. I could imagine the status of rehabilitation works when I see the mud came in the flood waters still kept the buildings in his fold.

The roads between rudhraprayag and kund ,which is 7km before guptakasi is just a witness of evidence for how that moment passed in the planet and here in this part of land.

the river widened his kingdom by taking the road space

the new mud road going - 500 mt low to old one

When I cross augusthyamuni , I sincerely felt that as if the government is just urging to open the kedar yatra due to political games since it has decided not to allow anyone else to support the task of rehabilitation process.

The vehicle just gone down nearly 50 ft , just in river bed and again claimbing up after nearly 500 to 600 mts distance. This is the reality at many places . Especially when claimbing up , that too in the sloppy mud , one can observe his imagination process very clearly and without any effort.

Atlast after many postpones the newspapers and media carrying the message of government about the opening of kedarnath yatra on 5th oct 2013. Though they claim in media , it is enough just to register (that means one has to give his details at the offices and points and should go) but in reality they made it as permission getting process.

That too if u don’t have id card you will not be given permission. Even in amaranth yatra , I have been heard that sadhu’s who are coming for yatra , they themselves get the details and give a photo id card to manage the security reasons. But here that formality also not followed, leave about me , few sadhu’s who took kedar as their shelter not allowed to go just because they not had any address .

I had encountered same kind of situation , after I come in rescue operation, after I escaped for life by not even looking back for my materials , after the flood waters decided not to leave any minuscule , none of any government authorities , whether it is uttarakhand or tamilnadu or central government not able to help me and keep asking for my id card.

Though I silently imbibed their ignorance and humanless attitude , I could not able to see it as act of god , just saw as it is such uncare for life around you. Not even the basic sense of intelligence , how we can ask for an id card or pan card or some document from whom who came from a place which was affected in such disaster , which was spoken by whole media .

So this time it is not new to me to see how much they think. But at the same time my logic still not able to accept and keep pulling me to join in some forum to bring the change. This is biggest hurdle for me , doing something for social that too when I myself don’t have either strength for it or support behind.

Walking in new path

Though I planned many schedules to go to kedar but still somehow some thing I felt as hurdle and keep postponing for some reason. The main thing though I wish and long for to go to kedar , the local people’s threaten me not to go as the new route is not possible for me to make it.

Also mainly somehow I did not felt to take the first step for the yatra so kept postpone. When I see the post of tilak soni , who is from uttarkashi I also thought of joining with his team but I totally forget because of not a single thought about dates and days.

But accidently in one fine morning I met two people who has the background of kerala. When they told about tilak, only then I came to know that it is his team of people.  At last in few minutes I also joined with their team.

The trek highly demanded lot and highly reminded many many people. At many places the top soil reminded the essence of people who lived in this earth.

The spex frame, the lone sandex , the abandoned helicopter, the cooking utensils that left by shop keepers , the sound of the mandagini , the silence of the zone everything speaks lot to me .

when I reached the bhimbali camp it was evening 6 pm. The trek route from sonprayag to gaurikund on the new older route – I can’t call this as route . it is just newly made on muddy slop created by landslides. If one has not walk careful or if even a small stone threats you by moving , we will fall ourself in the down just in fear.

But for one who exposed Himalayas this is so natural. One thing that both geologiest and mythology of hindu system accepted that Himalayas is still not yet grown up as mountain.  It is common saying that only because of its  bondage with truth or dharma it withstands.

At the same time It was given me a good feeling that I still walked 12 km distance in 6 hours after so many months. But the shiva has not kept me in same feeling for long. The police on duty not accepted my id and permission copy. Nothing big reason its just I could not travel as I planned earlier so the date is the issue.

Without any single thought of expectation about next day went to bed. In the dark, before the sun spread its light started the day , by preparing myself mentally to go return . But the police in charge surprisingly given permission to proceed.

The busy rambara is nowhere except the sound of water. Atlast the flood given the opportunity for the government and district administration to change the iron bridge for the first time . I must thank for the flood atleast for this . since 1996 I was travelling in this trek path .

Another thing there is no government appointed beggers anywhere in the path who can ask for money for their duty to be done in the name of shiva or yatra.

The widened path was become like single man walking path. An temporary bridge at the lowest level , which can’t withstand for the next rainy season has been made to cross the river just before rambada to go to the other side of mountain for the new path made.

The new path till reaching limcholi reminded me the trekkers in the ashram.  Somewhere the mind jumbed with the thought people like swami acheleshwara , who love adventure will like these kind and the kedar trek is  now be a feast to these people than pilgrims. But for a devotee it is always not a matter to discuss.

from the point we cross to the opposite mountain , till we reach the top most camp in helipad area , the trek is simply reminding me velliangiri . the small space to walk, the steps , the usage of knees it is just like keep walking 3rd hill and 4th hill of velliangiri mountains in western ghats.

i sincerely felt as if this time the steep climbing , the nature of path , just gave the experience of feeling continuously trekking in velliangiri for 3 time distance.  though there is not a single shop for u to relax for tea , many places have opportunity for next year shops will bloom. And to woo the votes and to satisfy the locals the district administration and the government will definitely open the doors for this.

At few places I can guarantee you , one can’t trek to kedar in the rainy season due to the streams. After reaching the top, at the limpcholi , had a tea and registered with the police before claimbing down to move further.

But at the same time, i have to acknowledge the district administration for the arrangements in the camp. In the bhimbali the government itself running the kitchen. Both in the limcholi and in upper camp , the gayathri parivar was handed over to run the kitchen.

Now at the last phase huge demanding and challenging trek unfolded. Though it is just for few hours it is not so easy for anyone. On the right side there were people working to create a new route ,if that can be get connected the trek at this point will be little easy.
me with memories , standing in the place where i stood in water nearly for an hour

By the noon I reached the camp site at the helipad area , 2 km before the kedarnath temple. After 3 months atlast he decided to bless me with his presence. The mind is full of memories.
Stood sometime in the place where I stood in water nearly for an hour. spend the day in the grave yard where shiva chooses to live. The current status brought too many things within me. ( project kedar – see another post)

The sampoorna arathi in the evening too much for me. The presence of  chandragiri swami , bharath seva sangh’s swami jagadheeshanandha , the samithi people parasuram, tiwari all lived in thoughts.

At the end of arathi , the pradhan pujari blessed me with shiva’s garland. Both of us in flood of memories for each other to share.

after the sampoorna arathi with pradhan poojari -outside the temple
The project kedar(document preparation) made me not to go again for Samadhi pooja . But that is not important. I can get his appointment even in next year. But when his place is not clean , it will not bother him. He can live in smashana but many will fear to come.

Shiva will not happy if he not seen his devotees. They may do foolish things. But their devotion to him is unquestionable, no matter what they do? Or how they do?. Because their presence will make him more happy. So we should make the way for that.

I did what I felt.

This gave me his presence again in the banks of river. Not only his presence , his powerful absence also has something for me . I would like to see a day where going for kedarnath or being in kedarnath should be a pleasant and precious experience for every one.

And he will make sure that every one will get it that.

but it is in our hands to keep the yatra alive, not for religious sentiments but for the precious culture of land. May be we may not understand many things that exists in a culture but we don't have right to claim whatever we not able to understand does not exist or wrong

one who understand his freedom and trust on what he/she is believe will naturally respect others also .

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