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Full text of "A hermit in the Himalayas"

/v   «£.«.MIT   IN   THE   HIMALAYAS

imagine me to be! Afraid of the rain which he bears so bravely and so
indifferently!

But for most of the hours the weather makes amends. The rain
stops suddenly and a welcome rift of dryness returns. The mists roll
away mysteriously, evaporating as quickly as tobacco clouds blown
vigorously from a pipe, and a joyous interlude of sunshine comes
back. The grey-skinned lizards creep out of crevices in the rocks in
order to enjoy the bright beams. Their glass-like eyes look very aged
and very wicked. Once again Himalaya raises its stately and stub-
born head. In the clarified atmosphere, the sun shines along the
entire array of the sparkling snowline, the sky is an attractive deep
turquoise blue, and a pleasant warmth is diffused outdoors.

Better > anyway, than being a dejected toiler in the plains, suffering
the spring heats.

And then I take up my stick and steal back penitently to the
deserted sanctuary, make my weak apologies to the frowning
deodar, and spread out the fawn-coloured square of waterproof
ground-sheet once again under a calm firmament.

The powerful flight of an eagle overhead reminds me suddenly
of those Tibetan teachers who say to their pupils, "Just as an eagle
carries off a single sheep out of the flock, so should you carry off a
single thought out of the multitudes that present themselves, and
concentrate on that."

Butterflies come flitting up out of the forest and alight on the
solitary wild flowers, and the peace which enfolds the scene is broken
only by the jubilant song of happy birds, cageless and free as they
are, which take up the diurnal praise of Himalaya and its forests.
My deodar nods momentarily in a light breeze with the grave
dignity becoming to a sexagenarian. The speckled crest and saffron
neck of a hoopoe bird cross my line of vision.

And in that glad restoration of Nature which makes Himalaya
such a constant splendour I discover a diviner footing for my body
and a diviner ministration to my mind, for as I sit and let my
thoughts melt imperceptibly into the silence the Overself touches
me and begins to draw me inside. Then it throws its holy mantle
over my blemishes, and I know not what has become of them.

So all men must disengage themselves from the claims of
personality.

My servant comes to me with the plaint that the smashing of my

wrist-watch has deprived him of an essential feature of civilized life

—knowing what is the time! In consequence he does not know when

to start preparing my meals and has to guess his way, with the result

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