There was a time in my life, when things weren’t going very well. I desperately needed a break from the environment. It was December. In Delhi, it is the beginning of winter. So, I was wondering where I could go to escape people. Eureka! I decided to hike up to mount Triund hill: a 4 hours hike from Dharamsala. It was a perfect idea as that was the time of snow and anyone would rarely choose to go to such a place and expose themselves to severe climate.

Paining by Sumakshi Singh, renowned Kriyaban artist from Ananda Gurgaon

(Painting by Sumakshi Singh, a renowned artist from Ananda Gurgaon, sumakshi.com)

As I started the climb, I realized I was alone. What joy! I continued. Majestic beauty of the mountains kept me going without much effort. As soon as I reached Triund, I noticed that a chowkidar (caretaker) of a semi-constructed guest house was still there. I was sort of relieved to see him as I could spend the night under a roof and not worry about putting up a tent in snow. I was very well prepared for the cold climate so I put on many extra layers and was enjoying the solitude. Finally, I thought, “Here I am”!

Not even 10 minutes later, I heard a lot of ruckus. Young loud voices! I couldn’t believe my ears. Soon the voices become louder and closer. In frustration I looked out of the window. To my greatest dismay, a group of youngsters, entirely unprepared for the severe weather had arrived. The chowkidar had no choice but give them shelter and not only that, but make sure that they stay warm the night. The entire night, there was singing and chatting and the solace I had hoped for was lost even in the remotest possible place.

In one of his songs, Swamiji writes: “Wind on a hill sounds lonely if you are sad, free if you are free, cheerful if you are glad”. Isn’t it true. If the heart is not at rest, nothing outside seems to matter, everything around seems to get tainted. And no amount of outward travel can help, the taint still remains. The wind remains lonely! The remotest possible place remains noisy!

Many years later, I found myself in company of a saint who used to live at the foothills. He used to take a walk every afternoon and this walk was very much talked about in his evening satsangs. Everyone but me seemed to have been to that walkway. So I

decided to find that walkway. I tried for many hours but I just couldn’t locate absolutely any of the places they used to talk about. That evening, I mentioned to him about my failed search. He looked at me, smiled, and said, “Don’t worry about the outward path, Go inside! Go for Antar Yatra!”.

In that same song, Swami writes:
“It’s in your heart, the songs of joy resound, you will hear but echoes in the world around”.

If you ask the wind “why are you lonely”, she asks you back “why are you?” If you ask the mountains why they are noisy, they ask you back the same. And if you ask the flowers why they are happy, they in turn smile and reflect the same question back to you. These lines from Swamiji are a great invitation, an invitation to see the world from within. To see the reflection of our inner reality in outward manifestation and let the outward reflection remind us to find its resonance within!

16 Comments

  1. Pls email me d retreat progm in pune ashram… Are there any what’s app msg regarding the same… I mean where upcoming progm are updated in advance.
    Thank you very much
    Jai Guru
    Regards jagriti

  2. It has always been a joy to read spiritual journeys and this one brought back joy to me.
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Wonderful blog. Thank you.

    This next weekend we are going to hike near Lake Tahoe at Spooner Lake where there are miles and miles of brilliantly yellow colored aspen trees on both sides of the trail.

    I was a bit disappointed to see that the weather will be cold and possibility of snow. Instead of disappointment, I will take warm clothes like you did, and be joyful at whatever weather we encounter.

  4. Dear Amit Purohit,
    thank you for sharing your hiking experience…it’s true that we do not depend on circumstances. Still the mountains surely can help us to find our own centre back.Your article is beautiful.Thank you !
    Now I also read your article “Swami’s walkway”
    If you would love to keep walking with Swami: Have a look in the RayaYogaBook page 438 and 439.
    Here Swamiji shares how he walked in Nature after Meditation. His way to do it and the inner attitude.It is lovely.
    We followed his example step by step,taking about 5 minutes for each of the parts and then read his inspiring conclusion together.We do it with smal groups.People are deeply touched and receive a personal message from God through Nature,as Swami encouraged.
    Have a look. I feel you would love to do and share it.I also remember walking with Swami. And now to follow his footsteps on this way is beautiful.You will see.
    With joy , in Master’s Love, Sabine Ananda Assisi

  5. Dear Amit
    Truly beautiful blog and absolutely true. Thank you dear friend. Joy to you always.

  6. It was a beautiful experience shared by AMIT. Thanks. I would appreciate, if I receive more such forwards.

  7. Indeed, great words of wisdom. I believe you are talking about meditation, and achieving the LIGHT AND SOUND CURRENT/NAM/ SHABD …All mean the same thing.

  8. Hello Dear Amit, God and Guru’s blessings never cease to leave me in a state of: awe, wonder, gratitude, humility and profound love! After a day of non-stop activity, I was feeling my energy reach a low point, the same low point that I felt 6 days ago after another day full of non-stop activity. 6 days ago, I was preparing for our family vacation in the Swiss Alps and today was all of the preparation to get us back home. In the very moment that I decided to take a break, I received a link to your post in my inbox.
    In reading your article, I am instantaneously transported back to the experience that I lived this last Sunday… When I arrived to the mountains my energy on empty, my family gave me the permission to stay at the apartment rather than to join them on the hike we planned into the high alps with an overnight stay in the unmanned mountain hut.
    And even though I knew I was giving into my body and mind who were telling me that I was far too tired to join them, it was a relief all the same to be left at home in silence!
    And then, a phone call that I received changed everything and gave me the inspiration that I needed to listen to my heart and soul, which OF COURSE wanted to spend this precious moment in time with my family.
    So, I rallied knowing that I could catch up to them before sunset.
    As Swamiji reminds us, when he talks about that long-lost friend calling us after a long and exhausting day, asking us to go out to dinner, that our energy can shift in a split second. This was truly the experience that I had.
    In making the decision to join the others, I forgot myself and found a state of pure inner joy!
    Wanting to make sure that I was following the right path, I asked some hikers making their way down the mountain if they had seen a man, two children and a dog, they had, I was following the right path! About 20 minutes before the mountain pass, my family was just in sight! About 10 minutes before they were set to arrive, the children started Yodelling to hear their own echo and were dumbstruck to hear someone Yodel back! They were even more amazed to realize that the reply they received came from me! The children’s delight was a great gift to receive and so had been the hours of silent climbing to reach them at that point.
    The whole way up, I had invited the Master’s and Swamiji to be present with me, I needed their strength and support to carry me through. No one could believe, least of all myself that I completed in 2 hours, what had taken them 3. Walking down the following day, I myself was dumbfounded to realize just how steep of a journey that it had been! The day before, I had felt that there was no great effort in what I was doing, like I was floated up the mountain!
    In receiving your post, I am left with a profound sense of gratitude and an awe in realizing God’s grace. It is a great blessing to have the Master’s and the Ananda spiritual family with us through all space and time and to realize just how ‘inner’ connected we are. Thank-you, Amit, for posting your experience, for sharing with us about your outward journey and the reminder that the real journey home is the inward one! I am uplifted! Jai Guru!

  9. Amit,
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful post. Good heavens, it was just what I needed to hear. I’ve been experiencing many quote small challenges, but so many in a row that I’ve been allowing myself to feel very beleaguered. My mind is filled with small noisy children who are poorly prepared for cold. Thanks for the reminder — to watch and shift my awareness. All your old buddies in Palo Alto say hi — much, much love…
    Karen

  10. Thank you, friend, for the satsang and the simple, profound reminder — which I am grateful for and very much needed at this moment. (from the mountains in southwest Colorado, I send blessings!!)

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