THE DEVASTATION IN THE HIMALAYAS by Sangeeta Handa
A report : Northern India has been deluged by the cataclysmic rains, wherein the cloud burst caused the rivers to flood which then ran their course through the Himalayan mountain range and annihilated villages and inhabitants in its wrath and fury. The Ab
KEDARNATH BADRINATH REGION OF INDIA!
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
A report : Northern India has been deluged by the cataclysmic rains, wherein the cloud burst caused the rivers to flood which then ran their course through the Himalayan mountain range and annihilated villages and inhabitants in its wrath and fury. The Abode of God, Kedarnath/Badrinath, Hemkund etc, have now been shut down to mankind for several years. Thousands have died and hundred thousands were stranded miserably between rocks and floods without any food and drinking water for a week and more. Children were separated from families, the crippled were force to walk for 75 kilometres to reach helicopters for rescue, and choppers were ripped apart by the furious winds of the storm. Dead bodies were strewn widely across the Himalayas, in millions, and will soon be cremated (a mass cremation is being prepared as volumes of wood/fuel are being readied for transportation, the DNA samples are being collected from each corpse, etc., etc.). And to add to all of this tragedy, now these corpses have been flung, through the power of wind and water, into the fast flowing rivers reaching the cities, so the fear of an epidemic is blowing strong. Devastation is on the rise. And, the weather forecast has prophesied yet another storm in the horizon.
Kedarnath is the Sacred Abode of Lord Shiva. Shiva is one face of the Trinity of Creator God of all that is. He is known as the Destroyer, and feared as one too. In essence He is the Alchemical Transformer element of the Trinity, which comprises of Lord Brahma (the Creator), Lord Vishnu (the Preserver), and Lord Shiva (and Destroyer). He destroys all that which has served its purpose, worn-out, and is contaminated or spoilt. Moreover, He takes the form of the destroyer when He is hugely, unforgivably, angered by negativity of the worst kind that is beyond godly tolerance. This is when He performs the Natraj Dance of Destruction. And then His wrath then knows no boundaries. All in its pathway are wholly wiped out! And this is exactly what happened in Kedarnath. And in Badrinath, the Abode of Lord Vishnu and His Twin MahaLaxshmi Ma. It must have been something huge and something very very bad to have angered both the Lords, for Them to have taken the action of complete annihilation, in one blast, through a Himalayan Tsunami!
Why did the Lords shut down their headquarters in India? No more tourists can travel there for at least a few years, as according to the present assessment of the devastation. For you to understand the reason for the cataclysm that occurred on such an epic, unrecorded scale ever, you must know why Kedarnath is called the mountain of Shiva and why the Temple is His chosen Abode on earth. For this I take you on a journey up the mountain so you can somewhat experience the climb and then comprehend truly the reasons.
In 2005, when I climbed Kedarnath, there was no other form of transport. Yes a few horses had just been made accessible by then but was a rare site to see anyone employ a horse as the climb by foot, which by itself was treacherous enough, seemed less dangerous a means. The road, which was practically no concrete road at all, was steep beyond imagination. But what made the whole journey very difficult and uncomfortable, especially for women, was the absence of toilets along the entire climb. Coupled with very few tea and water, or food stalls along the way. These were stationed at too far a distance so, one was unable to rest, if tired, unable to purchase water, if thirsty, nor find food if hungry. You may think why one couldn't carry the necessary water bottles and food in a backpack? We did carry a backpack that had a change of clothes and some water and light food but, other than this nothing extra could be carried because of the weight. Remember, the climb is of many hours and very very steep. It took me 8 hours, or more, to reach nearly the top of the mountain. Plus, the change of clothes, or extra clothing, is necessary because the weather is always so unpredictable. When I visited Kedarnath it was in the month of September and was suppose to be warm, with the sun shinning brightly upon the mountains and the rains having subsided. So I had worn a loose shirt upon leggings. Suddenly the weather changed, just when I had finished climbing only half the mountain, at first it began to rain, then the winds started whirling big time, and finally huge ice balls began striking the ground with fury untold. The temperature fell and became so cold that I started shivering with my teeth grinding against each other noisily. I was being severely pushed back by the power of the winds despite all effort to place my foot in forward motion. Gradually the winds changed direction and I found myself being flung to the other end of the path wherein lay the deadly fall, out of the mountain. This is when I became fearful of my life. Firstly, I couldn't see properly because of the pokey rain then the wind had a different purpose in mind. Furthermore, I was dying to pee so my stomach was swollen that made every effort extremely tedious. I was fully wet and shivering uncontrollably. Which only became irreversibly worse as the hailstorm struck the mountain. Now there was no way out for me but to exist in the midst of this horrifying ferocious weather anomaly, in the naked openness of the treacherous narrow path of this huge humungous mountain called Kedarnath. I couldn't see anyone beside me, behind me, or ahead of me. I felt as if I was all alone on this ever ascending Himalayan mountain range which had no visible path to walk on and, on the other side lay the lethal fall of a 11,000 feet into darkness. I kept hugging the mountain side of the climb and continued, against all odds, to crawl up slowly.
Eventually, after nearly 8 hours of this insurmountable climb under such weather tribulations, I found myself go numb. I lost at first the sense of feel in my upper body which not too gradually seeped into my legs. I actually saw myself becoming blue. I thought of Lord Shiva then, His blue skinned body, wondering if this is how one's skin turns blue. Maybe I was being immortalized! Who cares, I didn't want to live anymore! There was nothing that would make me walk another step. Before I could volunteer to lie down, my legs gave way and I collapsed ungracefully upon some wet slippery kucha ground. I actually saw my consciousness slipping out of my body. And I was happy to leave earth finally!
Moments later, which then seemed like hours to me, I felt myself being picked up and carried on some human shoulder, however against my will. I remember myself saying, "Let me go, let me go. I don't want to be rescued!" I then heard some foreign accent speak back to me, "Hey, look we have reached the top! You gave up at the curve, just before you could turn and see for yourself that you had reached!" I was truly surprised! Yes, I had given up hope of life just at the finishing line to victory. We had indeed reached Kedarnath Headquarters of Lord Shiva! I remembered the famous words of wisdom – "It is the darkest just before dawn!"
Well, the happiness was short lived. It was past twilight and we found ourselves at the steps of the only guesthouse in Kedarnath. I was reunited with some of my German pilgrims with whom I was travelling on this journey and who had arrived a couple of hours before me. Oh sure, they were all well gymed, young straddling Aryan race of handsome blokes, out on a hike! I was out-of-shape, middle aged, non-hiker urban metropolitan babe! Who cares J I did make it...didn't I? J
Got myself a room. Left my rugsack, took a smaller bag with money and requirements and left for the Temple. I literally limped to the Temple and waited till all had left and the Temple was closed for outsiders, then went to the Head Priest and placed my request to remain back and perform my separate Puja. I had to reveal the reason, all of which is very private and personal so without getting into it I can briefly say ... my purpose for being there was fulfilled. The Temple had made an exception in my case and allowed me to do what I wanted with least resistance. Notwithstanding, whatever they had objected to miraculously happened despite their objection and some witnessed the supernatural power present in all its resplendent energy. What was very embarrassing for me was when the Head Priest, who had objected to some requests, came up to me and touched my feet. I was so startled that I recoiled back a few steps at first, then lifted him, telling him to never touch anyone's feet other than the Lord's itself. What happened next humbled my consciousness forever! The Head Priest of Kedarnath said, "I have never seen, nor experienced Lord Shiva with my eyes, despite working in His Temple for 25 years!" With folded hands, in a namaste gesture, he then said, "Tonight I saw Him! With my eyes open! I am so sorry I was disallowing your extreme requests as they went against our rules. Lord Shiva stood beside you as your performed your Puja ... and, I can't stop crying!"
Back in my room it was misery unspoken! The room was ice cold, no lights, one damp dirty bed with no blankets and no fresh bedsheets other than the one foiled by the last tenant. The foreigners had carried their sleeping bags so were all cosy and warm into slumber whilst I stayed awake shivering, out of no personal choice, wrapped in some dirty hotel towels waiting for the clock to turn 4:00 am so I could begin my descent.
Back on the road I noticed a few pilgrims, including one German guy from my group, riding the horse back to the base. Actually they had the guts since the walk downwards was so steep that I don't know how the horses wouldn't have slipped, moreover especially, if you're sitting perched on top of a sliding horse whose front body is so bent over at a precarious angle.
Nonetheless, I was over-joyed that the walk down was so much easier that I started encouraging the tired and worn-out pilgrims, who were vividly struggling, by informing them of what I had heard Shivji whisper in my ears whilst climbing up, a message that had indeed saved me – "Dont worry Sangeeta I AM with you as you take every step closer to my home! I walk with each and every devotee who dares to climb up to meet me. It's your singular focus of dedication that I admire. It's your love for me that I respond to! Be fearless and just come to me! I AM here, right now, not just in my Temple!" To my astonishment and much relief, most of the climbers felt very happy and rejuvenated by the message and the spring came back into their tired stride. I happily ran down in a few hours and reached our bus.
This was my journey to Kedarnath, that you have hopefully experienced alongwith me. Perhaps you can understand better now why its not easy to visit the Home of Lord Shiva, why then so few ever went there. I now shall introduce you to Bhagwan Rajneesh's narration of this same journey to Kedarnath where he not only explains the difficult walk home but why it has been destroyed.
A manmade disaster: "It was a temple. Now it is not even a home."
Osho speaks about this temple:
In India, for centuries people have traveled on foot to Badri Kedarnath. The Himalaya is so virgin, so pure, so unpolluted by man and his stupidities. And there was a suggestion that because so many people go – and it is dangerous, the footpath is narrow and many have died and never returned – it would be better to make a road.
Now the road has been made. People don't go on foot, they travel by bus. At each stop, there is a restaurant, tea shops, vendors of all kinds of things. They have destroyed the beauty. Now Badri Kedarnath is no more the same sacred place it used to be. Because it is not the place that is sacred. It is the heart full of love – so full of love that it is even ready to die – that makes the place a sacred place.
Now going in a bus, with all the facilities available by the side of the road… one beautiful phenomenon has been corrupted. And the people who have corrupted it think they are serving God because now more people can go there. Now Badri Kedarnath is always crowded. These are not the right people. Their only qualification is that they can afford a ticket for the bus. But the people who used to go on foot were given a farewell by the whole town, because there was not much possibility of their returning. The path was dangerous, the height was dangerous, but they had heard a call, and they were ready to sacrifice their lives for it. They were brave people.
Then, in the silence and eternal peace of the Himalayan peaks, Badri Kedarnath was a totally different phenomenon. It was a temple. Now it is not even a home. It is just a house surrounded by all kinds of business people, shops. Whatever you want you can get. It has become a bazaar. Now only idiots go there, or tourists, which means the same. It used to be a spiritual pilgrimage because of its risk, because you had to put yourself aside – all the fears of death, you had to drop.
Osho, The Messiah, Vol 1, Ch 16
The message I received in my celestial communication on why Kedarnath, the House of God, has been made unavailable to mankind hence and, why did the devastation happen is – The Creator God, in Its two-part Trinity of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, has now SHUT DOWN ITS HEAD QUARTERS in India! Kedarnath and Badrinath! No tourist, no human, shall be allowed entry for several years. The lack of purity in the feelings of the visitors is the leading reason. There are no Pilgrims any more but, just as Osho said, only tourists on a sightseeing trip who wish to include Kedarnath/Badrinath into their list of all places visited on earth. It's a pick-nick spot with family and children. A cheap pick-nick. A place they bargain for everything they purchase. All is commodity buying for them, including God. They come inside and place their purchase before God in bribe for their wishes to be fulfilled. They ring the big bell on entering the Temple warning God of their arrival so He can come out and receive them. Then place the bribe before Him so He must now obey them. Well, all doesn't end there! There are the keepers of the Temple who ask for the bribe, for themselves, who deliver service according to the bribe worth. They sell services to humanity on behalf of God, as they say. All is corrupt there. People. Laws. Services. Rituals. All empty vessels that are making a big noise. All is dirty, unclean, and lack beauty, peace, and sanctity. The power of Lord Shiva has been abused and misused through magic not of the white. It is not the House of God that has been shut but a mela, a cheap funfair that has been removed. And no more can tourists visit a Shrine, a Home, a Temple of God! This was Kal Yug and Kaal Yug, a period of yestermorn and impurity, obliterated!