Sitting beside the River Ganga, I like to watch, with awe, the continuous flow of this holy river that kisses the banks of the adjoining town of Rishikesh. I have often traveled to this Hindu-dominated, spiritual town, which is located at the base of the largest mountain range in the world i.e. the Himalayas. The place seems to have transcended time, and I try to merge with the eternity every time I gaze at the river water flowing incessantly, crossing the rocks that try to impede the continuous flow of water. Sometimes, the stream is powerful enough to jump over these natural hurdles, while at other times, it takes the less rigid course. I find nature has a lesson for me, and this teaching occurs simply by observation and analysis. I wouldn’t get these practical lessons in a tense, smoke-friendly management setting, but I imbibe these priceless lessons in a relaxed, serene environment in Rishikesh.
I am not an expert at doing yoga or meditation though I have tried several times and achieved partial success in realizing my inner peace. This place, which is considered as a holy place and the Mecca of spirituality, makes me forget my superficial existence as I endeavor, without any kind of coercion, to attain my natural state of spiritual existence. It is here I realized that I have a material body inside which lives the metaphysical spirit somewhere in the brain and in the middle of the forehead. What a joy it was for me to realize that heart is only a physical organ having the sole function of pumping blood in the human body. It was in my deep state of thinking here that I found the way to experience bliss through my own mind – something that I was afraid of – all my life.
The pleasant voice of the river stream resonates in my ears and seems to tickle me. The white froth – emerging by the impact of river water against stubborn rocks – seems to awe me. The swinging bridge known as the Ram Jhoola seems to invite me to enjoy the gently swing on it. I am no more bothered when a starving street dog comes in front of me, tries to catch my attention and sits next to me like a friendly companion. I am no more annoyed by these disturbances here. Perhaps it is the magic of the holy mantras recited by sages in the spiritual ashrams.
I call it, truly, a democratic place where man, animals, vegetation, river, and mountains live in harmony. As I walk on the street, there a couple of cows and buffalos marching freely on the narrow road – having ashrams on one side and the river bank on the other side. There is a clear mutual understanding between all living souls here, and nobody feels threatened, if the common public space is used slightly more by another fellow being.
If you were to see non-violence being practiced in reality, then you would see it here at Rishikesh. All restaurants serve only vegetarian food, and that means – no eggs either. If you were to witness simplicity of human character, then you would observe it in the sages living inside the ashrams at Rishikesh. Since I realized my innate spirit, happiness, love, peace, and contentment in Rishikesh, I know how it feels to surrender completely to time because my spirit is timeless; it is past, present, and future. As I look at the blue sky above me, I see a host of sparrows flying freely – without any bondage to space and time. I also let my spirit cross the mind and realize its natural freedom, which was gifted to me by the creator, but it got entangled in the material world. I am able to realize my true identity every time I hug and unite with nature in Rishikesh.
About the Author: Sandeep Sinha has traveled 17 countries in Asia, Europe and North America over the past 21 years. He loves writing on travel, spirituality and poetry.
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