Rishikesh, India: Body and Soul




Thats it. I decided at last.

Having a last fleeting glance at the items  on the bed , I felt fresh and new.

One pair of clothes ,a travel pouch , a towel , a pair of slippers , a novel , a notepad and a shining blue pen. For the next fifteen days , I was about to live with these bare minimum needs . It was not entirely like an animal in a jungle , but it gave me a vicarious feeling of that slice of freedom , which we human beings rarely come to know .

Everything comes with a price tag . How true. This journey did not happen by chance , as nothing ever happens by chance. It took me almost two years , after slogging at a job which pays me enough to survive in a big city , moving from the office back to my small apartment , having breakfast , lunch and dinner all alone for all these two years , when I look back today , how my days were all the same. No single day stands out alone , whispering in my ears , hey I was your day , It was on this day that you felt alive. There is a worst feeling than loneliness. And it is being dead while you are still alive. Have you ever noticed animals in a zoo. I felt like those animals trapped in confined areas with limited access to the outside world . It is neither sadness nor pain , it is a state where there is a complete lack of any sort of emotion. I read motivational books , made freinds , but nothing helped me out to bring back my enthu and zeal towards the life .

Somebody said ………our heart has many wells , some deep , some shallow , but not every rain can fill some wells …….what I needed was a heavy rain so that my soul could be drenched in the shower of some sort of enlightenment……I needed something extraordinary …….out of this world experience.

Parmarth Niketan Ashram Arti in RishikeshWith those lines of thoughts , I left for Rishikesh , a small town in the northern state of Uttrakhand , Gateways to the Himalayas , world capital of yoga and a place where Beatles found inspiration. My own reason of going there was none of the above , rather I wanted to see the magnificent beauty of snow capped Himalayas and spiritual power of river Ganges.

On the train from Haridwar to Rishikesh , I was awestruck by the courage of a young sadhu . His eyes gleaming with pride when he spoke those words : ‘ Seven years ago, I left my home and came to Varanasi without a single penny in my pocket . I told my parents that I am not interested in the materialistic world and want to lead a spiritual life .They blessed me and I am right here in front of you. ‘

‘What are you looking for ‘I asked.


Well , I was certainly not looking for salvation , but neither was I sure of what I wanted from that place at that point of my life. When you travel , you easily find the companion inside you , which is otherwise burried in some corner , not ready to come out on the surface and loneliness gradually becomes solitude. The healing power of nature is far ahead than all the medical innovations by man.

The next halt of this road was Parmarth Niketan ashram , the largest ashram in Rishikesh , having over 1000 rooms with the modern amenities and allure of yoga and meditation . The price starts with Rs 300 for a single room per person. The whole region is vegetarian by law . Alcohol or smoking is not allowed .

First Day –

Usually a day starts with getting up as early as 4 am in the morning , taking the bath in the hot running tap water and then heading for morning yoga classes , followed by maha arti at triveni ghat and having breakfast in the silence . The vastness of the rooms provided with bare furniture imparts them a peaceful aura. I was more inclined towards mediation , a journey within the self. When west has looked outwards ,India has always looked inside to find the solutions of some of our biggest problems.

P1220411My first step started with a simple breathing exercise , inhaling , exhaling , just to observe the flow of air inside and outside. No mantras , no chants , only breathing patiently.

INHALE , EXHALE , RELAX…………..INHALE , EXHALE , RELAX……..BREATHE…..JUST BREATHE…………………the cycle continues.

Days which followed afterwards –

Slowly and slowly , what I found out on the successive days , was that the world within me was getting larger with each passing day. While just concentrating on my breathing patterns , I entered into a world of immense peace and happiness. And this world is immense , huge and out of my reach . And there was so much to explore .

Gradually I took less time to reach the meditative state , once I closed my eyes , I was in another world . My inner self would wander and cover great distances unknown to me . My eyes would feel the saffron light as if directly coming from the sun , I would find myself flying in the outer space and all around me there were planets , stars , moons and suns moving with great energy. Suddenly my small room was like a floating ship in the sea of void space filled with cosmic energy . I saw the images of animals running towards me , I felt as if there was a rabbit sittting near by me . Elephants , snakes , ducks , birds , horses. I felt their presence around me. As if different sort of creatures were entering into my room through the window , I felt a flying horse with a wing , then a mermaid , then a large flock of small people walking on the floor of my room. It was completely magical . And after this experience only , I was able connect to the magic of Harry Potter series , that all of that can be felt by a human being.

A Sadhu who had been practicing meditation for many years once said to me unaware of the power of those words that ”Each of our thought is a frequency and it carries immense power , if you know how to control your thoughts and you can focus them in a direction , you will acquire a state , which is both powerful and magical . Freedom is in being , in being alive , being close to yourself. We human beings can achieve this state only by two ways , one is love and the other one is the path of spirituality , where your only desire is to know YOU , to be close to YOURSELF ‘

In that serene valley resting in the lap of Himalayas , I dived deep into the depth of my SOUL , feeling light as a butterfly and mighty as those silent mountains standing tall as everything around them changed over all those years.

After coming back form Rishikesh , I made it sure to practice meditation on each day . Nothing really bothers me now . Problems don’t irritate me . I am more calm and relax . The mind has reached a state of peacefulness . I am at peace with my own self . I enjoy each day as it comes , try to gain as much as I can .When I go to bed , I am entirely spent and enter into a deep sleep so that when I wake up on the next day , I am born again into a NEW day of a NEW World.

 About the Author: I am Dipti Sharma from India. I love reading , travelling and writing . Connect me on Facebook.


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