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Full text of "A hermit in the Himalayas"


I HAVE packed my bags and turned my eyes southward and
prepared to leave this world of mellow skies and mantled ridges,
to set forth once more, a homeless, houseless wanderer. For the
season will change, the cold increase daily, and a white rampart
of snow will heap itself seven feet high all around my house and all
but bury its exits and entrances during the late autumn and winter
months. The white flakes will fall thickly upon this familiar scene
before long and make the paths impassable. This little kingdom
will hibernate in isolated grandeur and the Himalayan heights
will once more be cut off from human access until the recurrence of
spring.                         ^

Yet one does not willingly leave this invigorating atmosphere
for the glaring light and stifling heat of the southern plains, even to
see the first white faces for a long time when I reach the edge of the
plains. I leave my mountain fastness with regret.

For it pains me to remember that I shall soon have to walk into
the society of noisy, fidgety, superficial men, whose voices will
buzz like Hies and be as meaningless to me. How shall I endure the
constant cackle of the towns, the endless unnecessary talk? The
silence of these mountains seems to have entered my bones: some
effort will be required to break it once more. Alas, it must be done.
The Oversdfs eloquent silence must yield to the intellect's babble.
But I shall always be able to turn towards the memory of my
Himalayan sojourn, which is ineffaceable, and to its divine fruit,
which is ineffable. No journey is so profitable as when it is undertaken
to find the place or the man who can yield us Truth.

The friend who has read these pages in manuscript and written
the foreword thinks that the chronicles will be incomplete if I did
not sum up somehow the message of Nature which I learned in the
mountains and the message of Himalaya's stillness to distracted
mankind. His criticism is a just one. So I add these few lines in the
hope that the power of words may convey some hints of the Wordless
Power which was and is for me the supreme atmosphere of the

Destiny, I know, sent me across the ocean to my researches;
they sent me into the solitude of the Himalayas: and the Himalayas
$iow send me back to the turmoil of the larger world I had forsaken.
The circle is now complete. These three turning points make the