A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS
those spiritual supermen whom they call the Rishees, who today
are supposed to dwell there in invisible etheric bodies. Yes, one of
them has brought me hither. It may even be that this unimaginably
beautiful and secluded spot is his very dwelling-place. Enchantment
creeps upon me.
It is a fact that the broad mountains of this kingdom of Tehri
are holy precincts. The Hindus believe that these Himalayan shrines,
set in the colossus among mountain ranges, are even more sacro-
sanct than their holy cities of Benares, Puri and Nasik. Shiva and
Krishna and all the other deities have moved here, and something
of the spell which they exerted on former men lives on.
Here then is my entrancing brown and emerald mountain
sanctuary. And there, among the massed leaves, my waiting,
topaz-coloured prayer-rug! Twice a day, at the favoured times of
dawn and dusk, I shall climb its steep face with the aid of my stick,
and then settle down to learn how a man might arrive at the art of
being still and, perchance, even ultimately know God.
Himalaya shall be my novitiate for heaven, and in these grand
solitudes I may piepare myself for the sublimer solitude of God.