Where do we go from here?

Badrinath has physical magnificence, which is compelling.   It also has a spiritual vibration that can power transformation.   It is as if Badri is invested with the vibrations of all the innumerable saints, sages, and siddhas who have done their penance there and who there attained the highest states of consciousness.

Also too there is an easy Silence that I had not experienced in any place else.  There were no intrusive thought forms, interruptions or disruptions in my mind, when I sat for meditation.  Being alone in the midst of the nature around Badrinath made it quite easy to turn inside myself.   I moved inward as I had trekked, slowly and with difficulty and at my own pace and seeking the strength and solace of a  Presence greater than myself.

The true benefit of pilgrimage is that it starts  subtle changes in the physical, mental and spiritual being.  Sometimes change is so subtle you can’t really put your finger on it. And sometimes there is nothing subtle about it – you and your life changes dramatically.    And thanks to  change being constant, regardless of how intuitive you think you are, you can never accurately predict how life will turn out.

Being at Santopanth granted me the time to recognize and accept the weaknesses and shortcomings of my personality and know also the power of my individuality and the importance of expressing it.   Throughout the whole of the pilgrimage to Santopanth I had become aware of my own resistances and aversions, which were causing disharmony in my body and in my life.  I became aware of the imperfections in my nature and in the life I was living.  I had done deep work on myself. It is not that I had grand and glorious transformational meditations with Siddhas and Goddesses.  But this trip had helped me to visualize the possibilities of  living a divine life that was simple, kind, whole, and self aware.  I felt more attuned with my self and connected to my own shakti.

I would be going back down the mountain now and I was ready.  I didn’t regret not having more time nor did I feel an urgency to get back home.

The weather was turning cold and snow was coming. As I walked out of my room to go for breakfast I looked out at Neelakanth Peak.  The top of the mountain was completely hidden by clouds. I was concerned for Govindan, Walter, Bobby and group.  There was snow there, much more than that which we had seen.  I prayed they would have rich experiences in Santopath but return soon to Badrinath safe and sound.

I met Randy and Devananda at the little tea stall across from the Dev Lok. They were sitting with the intriguing Sadhu dressed in black, from the night before. His Western devotee was not there.  Randy introduced me to him. He lived in a Cottage in Rishikesh and invited us all to visit him.  Again I had the feeling of familiarity with him.  He was very friendly and had a wonderful voice, but I felt him, more than heard what he said.  Randy asked if he could take a photo of the two of us.  He smiled broadly and we stood together for the photo.  It is still today, one of my favorite photos. I  do not know why. I have not seen him since.

We wanted to stay a day longer to make certain that our friends got back safely, but we had only a few days to get back to New Delhi for our flight home.  And today the weather was fine for travel. Who knew what the next few days would bring.  Traveling in the Himalayas is always an issue. You never underestimate the importance of a day without rain and clear roads. We arranged for a car to take us all the way to Rishikesh, if possible. You never know how far you will be able to get.

We went to the Temple one last time. Devanada and Randy bathed in the Tapt Kund.  I just cupped the water with my hands.   The hot spring water is scalding in the mornings.  I cut some of my hair and tucked it into the bricks and motar as I sat waiting for them to finish their bath.

Badrinath is a place to which I  return,  time and time again.    We still felt pulled in two directions, to stay or to go, even as the gate open allowing the cars to leave from Badrinath.

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