The coolness of fall approaches Uttarakhand and the holy hills of the Indian Himalayas. I write from Rishikesh, sitting by the banks of holy Ganga River. As I write, I watch with gratitude Her waters which have bathed my body, my soul, and my spirit for these past five weeks. Along its bank, Hinduism and Yoga speak louder than words here, louder than chants, louder than mantras and songs of devotion and kirtan: the soul of this place conveys the secret language of love for God, which flows through my heart as the waters of Ganga flow down these sacred hills and mountains.
This month I have met babas, I have stayed in ashrams, I have studied yoga, I have witnessed festivals and talked to swamis singing hymns and performing rites to gods. I have been in silence and I have shouted mantras, I have read books and I have heard music on chakras, I have explored the minds of monks and nuns wearing orange. I have seen sunsets and felt the breeze of Ganga, I have played drums and cymbals, I have thrown herbs and wood on fire religious ceremonies. I have walked by the Beatles’ ashram, I have read books on great Indian yogis. I have lived experiences so profound that words capture only the surface, like saying OM without understanding its meaning.
Rishikesh, thank you for letting me learn from your millenary spiritual heritage and history. May time and India preserve the sacredness of your grounds, of your temples, of your forests, your ashrams, your yoga, and all beyond what words can describe.