Have you ever seen a himalayan cave ? Imagine the excitement I would have had seeing a Sannyasi ( a Hindu religious seeker of Moksha) live in his meditation inside a Himalayan mythological cave.
It was our acclimatization day during our trek to the Kedartal on 13/10/2019. We were following the Rudragaira Base Camp trail to make us acclimatized to the Himalayas. On our way back to Gangotri, we decided to give a visit to the Pandava Cave, the story of which we had heard from many hikers. Hindu legend says that the the great Pandavas of Mahabharata meditated here before heading to Kailash.
We removed our shoes. Scented bluish smoke of the Himalayan Pine wood was coming out of the entrance door of the cave. We were indeed afraid in deciding who would enter first because Himalayan Sadhus are well known for their anger and curse. One of my friends, after accumulating his courage entered the cave first with his palms closed (traditional Indian greeting position). Some of us followed him when we could guess no sign of disturbance from the Baba.
We took his blessings. I took a picture after taking his permission. The aura of positive vibes was mesmerizing, although we could not even sit properly. The cave was full of basic survival storage – starting from the huge stacks of tree trunks to the minimum food required to live. We came to know that he has been meditating there since last twelve long years leavings his land and his family and relatives far away somewhere in India. He offered us tea, the proposal which we politely avoided but his hospitality moved us because we could see that he was struggling to survive with only few warm cloths, however there was no sign of weakness in him. He was strong and bold. This is the greatness of India, my India!
Everybody knows that roads to the Indian Char Dham Yatra(Holy journey to the Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunetri) close before the winter every year so starting from the food supply to the basic medical services, everything stops in the region. In addition, the certain presence of the Himalayan wild animals in the region such as the bear or the snow leopard makes this Gangotri area really scary in the winter. Keeping all these in mind, we could not almost believe our eyes seeing an human being meditating and surviving for ten long years in this isolated jungle just with the power of his belief in his Dharma.
The experience was incredible and mystical, a truly worth remembering event of my life.