The spiritual intensity kicked in after Haidakhan Babaji’s temple visit, and day 3 had even more intense vibrations in store.
We set off from Chiliyanaula in the morning, and had our first stop at Dunagiri temple.
Dunagiri a.k.a Dronagiri, has its origin right from Satya Yuga, and its sanctity has time and again been amplified by visits of several ascetics through the ages. This is one of the two Vaishanvi Devi Shakti peeth, and has had a history in Treta Yuga too, where Lord Hanuman carried a part of Dunagiri hill (which we know as Sanjeevani); plus Bharata, brother of Lord Rama, has also meditated in this holy place.
The tradition seems to have followed in Dwapara yuga too – with Dronacharya, Garg, Sukhdev meditating here, and Pandavas spending their time during the 14 year exile. In this Kali age too, Mahavatara Babaji had initiated Lahiri Mahashaya into Kriya Meditation at this spot.
The Vaishnavi Mata temple that we visited, is atop a small hill, and they have even laid out a beautiful set of stairs to reach the premises, with reclining benches for those who wish to rest during their climb. We can alternatively trek in the path just next to the stairs, if we prefer a nature stroll. We took the latter route, and reached the mandir. There is a small shrine for the Devi right in the centre, and the outer vastness which it embraces seems to be the perfect blend.
Contemplating by the side of the mandir was electric. There was no mind-maya-tug-of-war, or distractions of any sort. The vibrations match the profundity of the place, and one feels just right to be right there.
We took the stairs while heading down, and offered homage to the tree spot, where Mahavatara Babaji meditated. Further down, we were asked to partake the Prasad before leaving the temple gates.
We have all heard about ‘Bhikshas’ that were given in yester ages, where grihasthas (house holders) had the fortune of serving the Sanyasins (Seers). While here we were, seated in the most venerated Shakth peeth, getting served hot-hot-puri-and-aloo, at the Lord’s place.
What a role reversal? ❤ The thought helped me comprehend both the fortune and the complexity of a life in Kali Yuga: Abstinence, celibacy, renunciation none of it is expected. We don’t even have to fear the arrival of Sage Durvas, in case our hostess skills take a beating. No years of penance either. We should just be and love, for aren’t there enough demons that lurk around in this time and age.
We are as fortunate to be in the here and now, as it could have been in any yugas. As for the Almighty love, it’s always there, and on that day we tasted Mr. God’s love through the puris. ❤
Next stop: Mahavatara Babaji’s cave.
This was one other exhilarating part of the trip. We had to trek for about 3 kms or more, through a muddy, mountainous stretch. What awaited us at the other end was Babaji’s meditative spot.
With 9 to 5 desk jobs, cars and bikes for commuting, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners, there is very little that most of us do for our physique. Someone from the group jokingly commented, as to why these sages have to always be on mountain top, and why not the good old terrains. Recluse was a word that they must all have really liked. 😕
However, if you think about it, I don’t know how much ‘Ananda’ (bliss), seekers would have really got, if they could zoom right in front of these caves in their Mercedes and Volkswagen. There is definitely something romantic about ‘Prayarthnam’ (effort). Is it not?
It was arduous, tiring – no doubt, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. With my train of thoughts on these lines, Brother Sanjay shared Jaggi Vasudev’s words with me: “Almost many pilgrimages make a person stretch his physical capabilities, for when the person finally reaches the spot, he/she loses almost all/most sense of physical and mental facets, and what’s left with them is the awareness of the one underlying – the Paramatman.”
Beautiful, isn’t it?
And so we all went – up the hill – took a breather here and there – shared satsangs – contemplated on the opportunity – on Him – and reached the divine spot.
There in the darkness of the cave, we found light. ❤
What auspiciousness! What fortune!
To that great soul, lets take a moment, and offer our homage.
As you know, ours was a big group – there were elders, four of us women (or should I say ‘girls’? I am just 27 you know 😀 ), and majority of men. One of the brothers who came with us had lost his sight few years back. All through the pilgrimage, the resilience and fervour with which this brother and the elders took this up was mind blowing. Atleast we could all see what we were stepping on, where we were headed, etc – yet many of us, including my own dear husband, slipped, and here was this brother – listening to directions like – ‘left’ – ‘right’ – ‘it’s muddy there’ – ‘it’s little deep’ – ‘the rock is unstable. Keep a light footing’ – and he climbed them through rain and shine.
It was a beautiful lesson on what listening could do to our lives – how if we could be a little more intent – it would help us scale heights that we could never even dream of sighting.
Few of the elders had a really tough time trekking the hill, and what was worse, it started raining as few of us were headed down. The elders were just climbing up then, though delayed and fatigued, by the time they returned, they looked monumentally happy, giving us smiles and high fives.
What a breath-taking sight of the devotees’ love? 🙂 I was super touched. It reminds me of one of the yester Tamil hymns:
“Pallandu pallandu pallayirathandu Pala kodi noorayiram
Maalanda thinthol manivanna, nin sevadi sevvii thirukapu
adiyomodum ninnodum pirivinri ayiram pallAanu
vadivay nin vala marbinil vazhginra mangaiyum pallandu
vadivarsodhi valaththuraiyum sudarazhiyum pallandu
padaipor pukku muzhangum appanjasanniyamum pallande”
The ahzwar out of His infinite love for the lord is worried what will happen to the Lord in this time bound world, and so blesses the Lord through this mangalasasanam. The gist is – may the Lord – the relationship He has with His devotees – His conch – His consort – His sudrashan chakra live for a hundred and thousand crore years and more.
Oh! The things that we all do for love!!! 🙂 ❤
What of the God’s love you ask – who else you think helped us walk the stretch, or made sure we all had tea when we returned. 😉
Yes, this was the love that awaited us at the foot of the hill. Living inside a very dark, small hut was this beautiful lady, who had the heart of gold, and served us all tea, for absolutely nothing.
It sure was one other lesson filled day in the Himalayas.
Brother Giddy and I were once speaking about Radha and Krishna’s love. Of union in spearation, and separation in union: Here was Krishna approaching the river bed with a heavenly gait intending to charm the love of His life. Only to hear Himself call out a few minutes later the name of His beloved, “Radhe!” – the emotion that would have choked Him as He fell on His knees, melting in her effervescent, intense, unconditional love. What a moment! What ingenuity in devotion! What mastery of the art of love like the Master Himself!
This day too showed me love in all its shades! ❤
And for that I am grateful!