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Full text of "A hermit in the Himalayas"

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the southern, shortest, safest, and least troublesome route f

After his visit to me he will return to British India, and set
again for Almora, whence he will proceed to Kailas for the tl
time. But on this occasion he will go not merely as a visitor, bu
pass a whole year as a resident of a Buddhist monastery, most p
ably the great monastery of Truphuklho (also called Jaridh
Tuthulphuk and Tsuntulphu). There he will pass his time
meditation and study. He will be the only Hindu Yogi livinj
Western Tibet, and the Tibetans have given him this permis
because they hold him in such great regard.

I realize ruefully that amongst my papers is a heavily se
envelope addressed to the Head Lama of Truphuklho Monast
containing a letter requesting him to permit me to reside there
pursue my own studies and meditations. This letter of introduc
was written by a Tibetan officer, for the monastery lies on
southern bank of the Lake Maaasrowar, and therefore under
benign gaze of Mount Kailas. But now, alas! the beautifi
rhythmic flourishing Tibetan characters of the handwriting on
envelope will remain unread by Lamaist eyes.

Pranavananda will be cut off from any direct communica
with India for nearly two-thirds of the year, for the heavy auti
snows will close the passes over the Himalayas and isolate Wes
Tibet. I express some concern as to how he will bear the terrible c
because he has never before had to endure the Tibetan winter,
he seems quite confident and optimistic.

Before we retire to sleep we both gaze at the photograph w
hangs unframed against the buff-distempered wall: Kailas, shea
in a white rime of frozen snow and ice. His eyes are filled with
and admiration and reverence. There is no doubt that Kailas m
more to him than any other place on earth, more even than his
native land.

"I have found contentment through my life of world-renuncia
and Yoga practice," he murmurs, and strokes his flowing bearc
am never unhappy. Yet once I felt a deep sadness and h<
depression—a melancholy I have never known since I gave
worldly life thirteen years ago. And that occasion was when I ha
leave the Kailas region last year and return to India before
route over the Himalayas became snowbound and impassabl
suffered its icy climate, its scarcity of food and fuel and the lac
even the most primitive comforts, but all these privations m
nothing ta-me and did not disturb my mind; it was only the agoi
parting from this wonderful place which had the power to clouc
feelings and distress my souL Oh, Kailas is most bewitching