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Full text of "A hermit in the Himalayas"

CHAPTER TEN

Another Visit by a Yogi—His Adventurous Journey from Kashmir to Mount

Kailas—His Wanderings in Western Tibet—How his Master Limd Naked

Amid the Snow—Explanations of the Feat.

I WATCH the winding trail of rock-ledge cut along the mountain-
side until t£e late afternoon light reveals a tall orange-robed figure
turning a hairpin bend and moving quickly in my direction. I await
him patiently upon'the verandah of my bungalow, for it is the figure
of an expected visitor.

Two days ago a letter came from him, bringing with it the'
pleasant and surprising announcement that he would divert his
route and spend a few days with me,

He is the Yogi Pranavananda.

He is also the man-with whom I had planned to go to Tibet on
pilgrimage to Mount Kailas. He had been very disappointed at my
failure to obtain governmental permission for my journey. When he
realized that the Government's refusal was final, he decided to make
the journey alone. For him entry was free and unbarred, because
the Tibetans permit THindu holy men to visit Kailas as pilgrims,
although they are not allowed to stay there for any length of time.

He crosses the stony patch of ground upon which the bungalow
has been built, and we look at each other. I raise my upturned palms
and close them in salutation, bowing slightly. He does the same.

His stature is commanding, his eyes large and gleaming, his face
heavily bearded, while his hair hangs in long thick waves down to
his shoulders. He is well wrapped in several folds of long, thick
orange-dyed robes, over which he wears a loose fawn-coloured
waterproof coat.

The Yogi takes a proffered seat. His grave face looks very
impressive. We talk for two hours and then retire for meditation.
After that I have my supper. Pranavananda eats no evening meal but
drinks some goat milk and takes a little fruit.

We sit up late, for there is much we have to discuss.

My companion loves Mount Kailas and Lake Manasrowar. A
photograph which he once took of that sacred region has hung in my
room since my arrival. He has been there twice; first in 1928, when
he took the western and longest route, from Kashmir and through
Gartok and then back to Kashmir: and again in 1935, when he took
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