|The Swamijis perform the morning yagna facing Kailash, Chiu Gompa|
The chanting in Sanskrit, the early morning air, the clear waters of Manas, the constant look-out for Kailash that is currently under a cloud cover, the spiritual strength that made them natural leaders - all worldly worries and concerns gone, I had this epiphany on why people decide on sanyas - renunciation. It was a cold morning, and my right hand clutching the camcorder in mid-air for an hour, was frozen by the time the yajna ended.
|I had to get the camera out of my stiff frozen right hand with my left hand at the end of the morning yagna, Chiu Gompa|
|Kailash emerging from behind the cloud cover after the yajna|
After lunch, we left for Darchen, an hour away. There was a huge hall with numerous beds where all the men would stay. And there was a building that had a set of rooms with five beds each, where all the women would stay. The room had electricity, the lights worked but the electric plugs had no juice so I could not charge my camera equipment. The restroom was an enclosed set of two holes in the ground at the outer edge of the guesthouse compound. The place stank so much that people were discussing whether they should be scouting for an open place outside the compound - which is frankly not an option for me.
Swarn came in to the rooms to announce that the sky was clear, so we needed to leave right away to go see Ashtapada - the south face of Kailash.
|Crossing the river bed to reach Ashtapada|
|Stunning view of Ashtapada, check out the OM in front and the trinetra on the left|
|The presence of Kal Bhairav at Ashtapada|
|Trinetra, the two eyes and the invward contemplative eye of Shiva, on the south-west face of Kailash|
In front of the south face of Kailash, is the Nandi mountain seen to the right in the picture below.
|Kailash and Nandi|
|Swamiji in front of Ashtapada|
|KV Rao at Ashtapada|
|Gopikrishna-ji at Ashtapada|
All doubts, worries, fears are now behind me, and there is an excitement for tomorrow - the first day of the trek around Kailash.
Aum Namah Shivaaya!!