6th August 2017
Sadhguru: Manasarovar was putting on tantalizing colours and patterns as if attempting to hold us back. The two nights at the very edge of the lake were eventful to say the least. Many moods of Manasarovar and varied levels of nightly activity of a phenomenon that cannot be named.
Drive to the one-street wonder Darchen, which is beginning to bustle with commercial activity as the number of Chinese visitors begins to outnumber the Indian pilgrim traffic. Some believe that the word 'Darchen' is a mispronunciation of Darshan, as this is a place from which you can get a grand Darshan of Kailash. Driving further on to Chuku Gompa, the monastery from where the trek to Diraphuk camp begins. As all across Tibet, year on year everything seems to be improving in massive leaps of infrastructure, this one place seems to deteriorate.
Due to the usual confusion – that the locals seem to enjoy – of pack animals and personal porters, we start the trek at half past noon. Bit late, as beyond 3pm there's good chance of precipitation and not a pleasure trekking in cold rain; winds are inevitable though.
Myself and a small group that walked with me made the trek to Diraphuk in three hours flat. This is the best time we have ever done. Thanks to Tilicho lake for sitting high up in the mountains at the base of Annapurna 1. Some of the harshest terrain that needs to be navigated and the altitude seems to have made the entire group fit to handle this trek without much effort, though the temperatures take a toll. All reach Diraphuk just before the rains begin.
It does not matter how many times one has seen Kailash, tears inevitably flow.
5th August 2017
Sadhguru: After a brief sathsang with participants in a contraption that goes as a dining tent, an amazingly sumptuous meal considering the torrential rains and the temperature where it feels like you are coagulating in all the exposed parts of the body. As everyone had risen at 3 in the morning to catch the flight to Ali, then the drive and rain naturally made all go to bed before 10pm.
The esoteric drama picked up momentum by 2:30am and kept most of us awake except those who were completely knocked out by exhaustion. One can only wonder about the phenomenon that occurs in the Manasarovar vicinity. It would be stupid to make quick conclusions as to the nature of this beyond spectacular phenomenon that manifests with clockwork precision. Those who are Roswell-ian will jump to the inevitable "humanoids upon their more advanced flying machines" or UFOs. Those who are of remotely Indian origin will bow to the Divine nature of this phenomenon.
In all this the most important aspect is for humans to come to terms with the limitations of our perception and in turn our understanding. When Adiyogi expounded the many mysteries of creation and its source, he implied "All that one wonders about has already in some form come into awareness. True ignorance is about that which you cannot even wonder about". Mysticism is not about that which you wonder about, it is about that which you cannot even wonder about. I've been thinking of building a dream team that would simply function as an extension of My Self -- Beyond Body and Mind. With such an empowerment, we could explore these Beings or Humanoids or God or Creatures or whatever else they are. But this will mean a certain commitment of life and risk of popping out of your body. If I personally involve myself, it may take me away from what we have endeavored to do in the world. If I involve people it will have many social, disciplinary and other ramifications that could become messy. In the process of consecrating Dhyanalinga and a few other forms, though glorious in their manifestations and fabulous experience for countless people, the controversies of methods employed are still going on. To be Modern, in my understanding and experience, is to become Profane. In the name of civilization we are creating a constipation of human consciousness. Hope this life will allow me time and room to explore and expose the most fantastic of happenings at least to those who are willing to look beyond the wall of normality.
This morning the entire group, after an intense process, went for a dip in Manasarovar – freezing, and as if that was not enough, it was pouring rain. This is not a cleansing nor is it some sort of baptism. It is best that such experiences are left as experiences rather than making conclusions. Frozen in Body, invigorated in Spirit, all are eager and ready for Kailash.
4th August 2017
Sadhguru: Lhasa city is racing towards becoming a metropolis. The Lhasa that I saw 13 years ago and the Lhasa of today are worlds apart. The level and the pace at which infrastructure is developing is remarkable. Hotels are all full, businesses are bursting and the streets packed with a mix of locals and liberal dose of tourists.
We left the last of flushing toilets in Lhasa and flew to an isolated habitation called Ali. You would be surprised that there is a well equipped airport here. The drive from Ali to Manasarovar is ethereal to say the least. Tibetan plateau is a unique landscape, this is the largest plateau on the Earth and the most enchanting.
A bright sun lit day sitting at the edge of Blessed Manasarovar, all is well.
As I am driving a 4x4 SUV, managed to reach the remote spot but the rest of the group is yet to catch up.
Good Kailash Darshan for all the Isha groups, without incident. Nearly 10% of the Kailash Yatris for the year come from Isha and it's quite a logistical challenge. Our group leaders and Volunteers have done a truly commendable job given the remote and harsh terrain.
Looking forward to mingle with Kailash.
31st July 2017
Sadhguru: Helicopter evacuation from Tilicho Base Camp to Humde Airport happened at a furious pace of 2 choppers trying to beat the overhanging cloud mass. On their way up the flying machines were held up at Saame due to low hanging clouds and kept all guessing whether we will make it or not for another day. First landing happened around 9 am, hanging at the edge of the cliff - tail hanging out, loading up the baggage and 3 people per flight was achieved in less than 90 seconds. Quick back and forth flights managed to get all the 55 to Humde airstrip and then on to Pokhra and Kathmandu. The flight from Tilicho to Kathmandu through the Manang Valley and our spectacular Saame gorge is a dream.
This beautiful country and the gentle people are hugely blessed by nature, hope it gets some determined and visionary administration to make the best of this nature's country.
It is nice to be back in a room that has a bed, bathroom and toilet that flushes. How our bodies and minds get used to daily comforts and take them for granted.
As I scan the news on the television I see the war battered Syria and what people are going through and how we humans still do not know how to settle issues in a civilized manner. What a farce this entire boogie of civilization has been. On closer look most supposedly great civilizations have been a crime of the worst sorts. This makes raising of Human Consciousness the most important thing to be done on the planet. It is the human being that needs up-gradation not the machines and technologies.
A day’s break and on to Lhasa and Kailash.
30th July 2017
Tilicho Base Camp
Sadhguru: Mountains are a test not only of your stamina, agility and skill but also of your patience. A full day we have been waiting for the helicopter pick up but overcast skies and some rain prevent rotary winged magic to manifest. No climate to fly helicopters. The not so attractive and dangerously challenging landslide segment is not a prospect that we are looking forward to trek and negotiate once again. But if tomorrow happens to be another overcast sky day, shall be forced to go through a path only fit for mountain goats. One half of the group has already reached Pokhra and the temperatures here have dropped to bone piercing windchill. But our blessed Swami is churning out mouth watering Bisibelebath (a rice, lentil and vegetable magic). Being born in Mysore I know the sorcery of Bisibelebath and the spell it can cast upon those who are innocent of such culinary evil.
Looking forward to hear the chuk-chuk-chuk of the chopper first thing in the morning. Otherwise have to brace ourselves to negotiating treacherous terrain of 70 degree slopes, barely over a foot wide in rain and poor visibility. Danger just about always sets up a tingle in me. Himalayas offers plenty of that. This night many may hear the mirage of chuk-chuk-chuk.
29th July 2017
Tilicho Base Camp
Sadhguru: One group of young and very fit leave early for a trek to Tilicho lake touching 5035mts at one pass. This group will make it back by this evening. Another that would not be able to make the two way trek is camping at Tilicho lake. As there is only space to pitch tents for 30 people, the rest were transported to Manang by helicopter considering good weather.
Being here in the valley surrounded by mountains, particularly Annapurna, the magnificent peak is a breathtakingly spectacular sight with its multiple glacial arms reaching down to the lower reaches of this camp. Each one of these glaciers transforming into milk white streams of pure exuberant flows. Even minor movement of these glaciers produces gut shaking sounds as if from another time. My unschooled self has no vocabulary to capture this most incredible space and moment. I don't believe either Kalidasa or Keats could do justice to this place.
28th July 2017
Khangsar to Tilicho Base Camp
Sadhguru: At Khangsar camp Swami's industry brought forth soft idlis that would put many Chennai restaurants to shame, since then of course have evaporated, considering knee breaking, lung bursting up slopes taking us from 3700mts to 4300mts in a matter of a 2-3 mile climb. Except three ladies killing the mules, rest are in an incredible state of inspiration in this not so kind terrain.
Sighting Annapurna 1 peak has been the highlight of the day. Lunch stop on a flowery slope. There are still some treacherous landslide areas to be negotiated before we rest at Tilicho base camp.
27th July 2017
Sadhguru: This, what you call 'myself', is something that you have built. Whether the edifice is beautiful or ugly, it doesn't matter. The problem is you are carrying a ton of bricks. Whether the weight that you are carrying is a ton of gold, or a ton of bricks, weight is weight, isn't it? It will only crush you.
The personality that you have built is a collage of things that you have gathered from outside. It never was you. Never will be you. But right now, you believe it is you. That is the problem. And that is why you should wear out what you call 'myself'.
27th July 2017
Sadhguru: The most visible manifestations of geomechanics are the mountains. How the planet had behaved in these millions of years in one way is recorded in the way the mountains are formed. So a mountain is a kind of a gauge of all the things the planet has done... if not entirely to a large extent. Mountains mean a transformed space -- a geologically transformed space. So it is not a coincidence that human beings who look for transformation always came to the mountains. And here we are!
25th July 2017
Braga - Manang Valley
Sadhguru: The helicopter ride, dodging heavy monsoon clouds through the Himalayan terrain, is killing sweet. Most incredible and beautiful terrain that one can lay eyes upon.
Brand new Bell 407 with latest avionics that is comparable to jet crafts was eye opening and getting flying lust up. Just as I was nurturing my flying lust, down below the spectacular Manang valley gets narrower---river gushes on and a most exciting road twists and turns in a most seductive way. And my motorcycling lust that I've kept in check for a while looms large in my heart making me a bit chokey. Those years that I spent riding in the remotest roads upon the Western Ghats in Southern India, those endless loops of road that I rode taking myself into the innards of those wonderful ranges. Determined to be purposeless and never determining the destination, the pure joy of being enveloped by terrain. All that stoked in me, now planning a Motorcycle ride in these Himalayan crevasses. Yes, I am very much thinking of genuinely making this in the coming year. Best do a hard ride of this sort before my bones start crumbling. I have a wild enough heart for the wild ride, just got to get the flesh ready.
Here Braga (11451 ft ASL), with heavily overcast skies and a strong drizzle, I hear the last of the helicopters coming in to land. I salute these Nepali pilots as most pilots would not fly a chopper in these conditions. In my tent with pitter patter of rain, enveloped by mountains on all sides. All should know this exhilaration, all should experience the transformative folds of these graceful mountains. Mountains are a manifestation of Geomechanics, an expression of Earth's transformation. No wonder those who seek transformation seek mountains.