I am on the top of another hill for maybe 100th sunrise of my life. I can see the hazy Himalayas in front of me. There is a blanket of clouds in the foothills and valleys of those majestic peaks. The caretakers of the rice terraces below me are walking carefully on the steps to start their normal day. Cocks have started crowing, dogs barking, and goats bleating at a distance.
I can’t make a choice as to which side of the hill I should fix my gaze at. The sun rays have started to illuminate the icy mountain tops but their master is yet to appear from behind the hills. I am waiting to see the naked and rustic beauty of the valleys but I guess it’s still too cold for them to take the blanket off.
There is something about being alone in the Himalayas. You are alone but you are not. There is divine peace in the air which keeps you a company. As there is some more time to come for the sun to appear, I close my eyes and start singing. My own voice sounds melodious even though it’s shaky because of the cold and the winds. It’s me but it’s not me.
After a while, I open my eyes. The mountains are still hazy, the blanket of clouds still on, but the sun seems to be almost hitting the ridge of the hill. I take a deep breath and pray sun to give me a part of his golden energy. As I breathe out, I see a glimpse of the red ball and within next few seconds, the sun is out. As the sun comes out, I start feeling the increased activity in the village below. The sounds of vehicles, the chatter of people, and a general sense of a new day tries to break my peace but they are too far to me than the mountains and the sun inside me.
Alas, the valleys don’t strip off the cloud cover, the mountains don’t shed the hazy filter. I don’t mind, because I have seen the universe within me, by being alone in the Himalayas 🙂
aham nirvikalpo nirakara rupo
vibhut vatcha sarvatra sarvendriyanam
na cha sangatham naiva muktir na meyaha
chidananda rupah shivo’ham shivo’ham
I am devoid of duality, my form is formlessness,
I exist everywhere, pervading all senses,
I am neither attached, neither free nor captive,
I am the form of consciousness and bliss,
I am the eternal Shiva
—The last verse of Nirvana Shatakam by Adi Shankaracharya