Kailash Journal: Pilgrimage into the Himalayas

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9780932040251: Kailash Journal: Pilgrimage into the Himalayas
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Kailash Journal is the true story of a rare physical experience and an even rarer spiritual one. This is a narrative written in Sri Swami Satchidananda's own words and illustrated with photographs he took during his pilgrimage to Holy Mount Kailash in Tibet”an eight-hundred-mile journey, on foot, to an altitude of 19,000 feet. Within the heart of this thrilling travelogue, however, lies another story: the quest for direct knowledge of God and the result of that quest.

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About the Author:

His Holiness Sri Swami Satchidananda is one of the most revered Yoga Masters of our time. A much-loved teacher, well known for his combination of practical wisdom and spiritual insight, he gave his life to the service of humanity, demonstrating by his own example the means of finding abiding peace. His message of peace, both individual and universal, has been heard worldwide. Each year, he receives hundreds of invitations to speak at conferences, colleges, medical groups, and houses of worship around the globe. Among his many books and booklets are Integral Yoga Hatha, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Beyond Words, and The Living Gita.

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the following is taken from Chapter 10 of Kailash Journal: Pilgrimage into The Himalayas.

We now faced the Gangapaani Valley, a frozen plain about half a mile across. As we entered the valley we were amazed to see a tent in the distance. Assuming this to be the camp of another group of pilgrims like ourselves, we hurried in that direction. When we reached the tent we were surprised to find instead that it was a tea kiosk set up only the night before by Pratap Singh and his son Gushall Singh.

It was a small tent, eight feet by eight feet at the base, and Pratap Singh made room for us by stepping out into the snow. All of us squeezed in and drank the tea he had made. It is not possible to put into words the sacrifice that Pratap Singh made by offering us his tent. There was a slight drizzle of rain outside and the wind was merciless. In a short time we pleaded that he also come inside. Fifteen of us huddled together in that miniature tent. Pratap Singh's saddle and provisions took up a quarter of the space, and there was also a fire. Still, to us this was a palace. There were no flaps to cover the open end of the tent and we suffered from pangs of cold in spite of the fire. Some of us were soon afflicted with headache from the lack of oxygen as well. The pills we had with us brought some relief. All of us were overcome by heavy fatigue and our bodies demanded sleep. I looked around the tent. Lying down was impossible; there was barely enough room to sit! Heads rolled to one side or the other as the pilgrims dozed off in whatever position they found themselves. Some leaned against the baggage beside them. Others slept upright, as if seated in meditation. I was sitting on a boulder which served as a base for one edge of the tent. Pratap Singh's baggage and saddle had been used to fill the opening between the tent and the rock; nevertheless, the cold wind beat through, numbing my buttocks. I rested my head between my legs and immersed myself in thoughts of the Lord.

Thus we prepared to spend the night, in a tent pitched on frozen snow, in a valley surrounded by snow-covered mountains, at an elevation of 18,500 feet, with rain beating down incessantly. There was no ventilation, and the fire used to make the tea smoked continuously. Those inside woke often, and drank the salted tea each time they woke.

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