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My Trek Through Uttarkhand
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My Trek Through Uttarkhand
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Introduction

Nowhere does man express himself as honestly as he does in a diary. And the diary of a spiritual aspirant is bound to contain basic truths which will throw light on the dark recesses of our own personalities.

The matter for this book is in print for the first time, and dates back to the year 1948. More than thirty years ago, a young sadhaka traveled barefoot throughout Uttarkhand on a rare pilgrimage of discovery. At the end of each long, tiring day, he meticulously entered his thought and experiences in two small, cloth-bound books. Often going without food, sleeping wherever he put down his bundle for the night, lashed by the cold, northern winds, he established a deep and lasting communion with nature. His pen becomes dipped in sheer poetry as he describes the Himalayan splendour around him. His grumblings too, are always edged with characteristic tongue0in-cheek humour, with never a trace of bitterness. The narrative is interestingly interspersed with his own sketches of the routes, villages or temples along way. This young sadhaka was Swami Chinmayananda.

This account, which was written originally in pencil is, surprisingly, still in a reasonably good condition. It was given to me by Miss Damayanthi in Bombay last year. And so to her we owe a debt of gratitude for having so carefully preserved it. When it was decided to print this book, we wanted someone to make authentic illustrations for it. Madhav Naik's nimble fingers took inspiration from some old photographs of Swamiji and have helped make the book alive and vivid.

Pilgrimages can be a great spiritual sadhana to beginners because as an individual, when you watch the world around you moving perhaps in the company of others, people known and unknown to you, you acclimatize yourself to your environments. Yet through the performance of all your natural day-to-day activities, you are compelled to maintain consistently, one ennobling, enthralling, devoted idea of reaching the altar of the Lord. This becomes a powerful practice, to maintain continuous remembrance of the Lord in and through the drab and dreary daily routines.

According to Vedanta, "going on a pilgrimage" (teertha-yatra), is considered to be the lowest path (adhamdham) as compared to other programmes and techniques of self-unfoldment. This is only with reference to the higher and subtler paths which can be walked only by those who have achieved inner purification and therefore invoked in their mind and intellect equipment, its inherent powers of contemplation.

Yatra is a very powerful means of self-purification, and if the pilgrim has eyes and ears to watch and experience the beauty and majesty of nature, then his capacity to contemplate explodes within himself and he reaches hitherto unknown depths. When we thus consider all the pilgrim centres of the world, the Char Dham (Jamnotri, Gangotri, Kedar, and Badri), must undoubtedly be declared as the most spectacular. The snow-peaks peeping now and then over the shoulders of pine covered mountain slopes, the thunderous melody sung in a hundred tunes by the gushing waters of Mother Ganges, endless varieties of nodding flowers, the glorious sunrises and sunsets, the low sky pined with twinkling stars, the misty mornings and glowing dusks-this is Nature at her best, at all times, all along the route.

Shortly before taking sannyas, I once visited these four dhams . Prompted perhaps by my journalistic vasanas, , I scribbled notes on what I felt and saw, quite possibly with the intention of enlarging upon them later. I don't exactly remember how these notes came to such an abrupt stop. Maybe the note-book finished and the writer at that time could not afford to buy another book. Or maybe then he had got over his samskara and had learnt the art of engaging himself in more serious spiritual self-application. I don't remember. It has stopped where it has stopped.

From where this was unearthed I do not know. It had completely slipped out of my mind and hands, and I saw it again only when it was brought out by some mischievous, inquisitive peeping toms! They must have surely felt a great satisfaction in the vision they got by peeping into me through this tiny keyhole. In retrospect, I cannot say that I did not enjoy reading the material for this book!.

For a really exhaustive and more interesting travelogue covering this very same area, one should read Sri Guruji Tapovan Maharaj's Wanderings in the Himalayas. The present book reflects only the exciting, superficial enthusiasm of a blind young man who heard in the beauty a peace that he tasted as colourful!

I congratulate the grahastha who retrieved this book from the trash-can preserved it so lovingly, and by the time she got tired of hanging on to it, a brahmacharini collected it from her. It finally came into the hands of the Delhi Yagna Committee, who, I suspect, not knowing what to publish in their Souvenir, decided to use this material! This in short, is the genesis of the book.

 

Sample Pages


My Trek Through Uttarkhand

Item Code:
IDJ703
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2011
ISBN:
9788175973749
Language:
English
Size:
8.5" X 5.5"
Pages:
84
Other Details:
weight of the book is 135 gm
Price:
$7.00
Discounted:
$5.60   Shipping Free
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$1.40 (20%)
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Introduction

Nowhere does man express himself as honestly as he does in a diary. And the diary of a spiritual aspirant is bound to contain basic truths which will throw light on the dark recesses of our own personalities.

The matter for this book is in print for the first time, and dates back to the year 1948. More than thirty years ago, a young sadhaka traveled barefoot throughout Uttarkhand on a rare pilgrimage of discovery. At the end of each long, tiring day, he meticulously entered his thought and experiences in two small, cloth-bound books. Often going without food, sleeping wherever he put down his bundle for the night, lashed by the cold, northern winds, he established a deep and lasting communion with nature. His pen becomes dipped in sheer poetry as he describes the Himalayan splendour around him. His grumblings too, are always edged with characteristic tongue0in-cheek humour, with never a trace of bitterness. The narrative is interestingly interspersed with his own sketches of the routes, villages or temples along way. This young sadhaka was Swami Chinmayananda.

This account, which was written originally in pencil is, surprisingly, still in a reasonably good condition. It was given to me by Miss Damayanthi in Bombay last year. And so to her we owe a debt of gratitude for having so carefully preserved it. When it was decided to print this book, we wanted someone to make authentic illustrations for it. Madhav Naik's nimble fingers took inspiration from some old photographs of Swamiji and have helped make the book alive and vivid.

Pilgrimages can be a great spiritual sadhana to beginners because as an individual, when you watch the world around you moving perhaps in the company of others, people known and unknown to you, you acclimatize yourself to your environments. Yet through the performance of all your natural day-to-day activities, you are compelled to maintain consistently, one ennobling, enthralling, devoted idea of reaching the altar of the Lord. This becomes a powerful practice, to maintain continuous remembrance of the Lord in and through the drab and dreary daily routines.

According to Vedanta, "going on a pilgrimage" (teertha-yatra), is considered to be the lowest path (adhamdham) as compared to other programmes and techniques of self-unfoldment. This is only with reference to the higher and subtler paths which can be walked only by those who have achieved inner purification and therefore invoked in their mind and intellect equipment, its inherent powers of contemplation.

Yatra is a very powerful means of self-purification, and if the pilgrim has eyes and ears to watch and experience the beauty and majesty of nature, then his capacity to contemplate explodes within himself and he reaches hitherto unknown depths. When we thus consider all the pilgrim centres of the world, the Char Dham (Jamnotri, Gangotri, Kedar, and Badri), must undoubtedly be declared as the most spectacular. The snow-peaks peeping now and then over the shoulders of pine covered mountain slopes, the thunderous melody sung in a hundred tunes by the gushing waters of Mother Ganges, endless varieties of nodding flowers, the glorious sunrises and sunsets, the low sky pined with twinkling stars, the misty mornings and glowing dusks-this is Nature at her best, at all times, all along the route.

Shortly before taking sannyas, I once visited these four dhams . Prompted perhaps by my journalistic vasanas, , I scribbled notes on what I felt and saw, quite possibly with the intention of enlarging upon them later. I don't exactly remember how these notes came to such an abrupt stop. Maybe the note-book finished and the writer at that time could not afford to buy another book. Or maybe then he had got over his samskara and had learnt the art of engaging himself in more serious spiritual self-application. I don't remember. It has stopped where it has stopped.

From where this was unearthed I do not know. It had completely slipped out of my mind and hands, and I saw it again only when it was brought out by some mischievous, inquisitive peeping toms! They must have surely felt a great satisfaction in the vision they got by peeping into me through this tiny keyhole. In retrospect, I cannot say that I did not enjoy reading the material for this book!.

For a really exhaustive and more interesting travelogue covering this very same area, one should read Sri Guruji Tapovan Maharaj's Wanderings in the Himalayas. The present book reflects only the exciting, superficial enthusiasm of a blind young man who heard in the beauty a peace that he tasted as colourful!

I congratulate the grahastha who retrieved this book from the trash-can preserved it so lovingly, and by the time she got tired of hanging on to it, a brahmacharini collected it from her. It finally came into the hands of the Delhi Yagna Committee, who, I suspect, not knowing what to publish in their Souvenir, decided to use this material! This in short, is the genesis of the book.

 

Sample Pages


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