“To see the greatness of a mountain, one must keep one’s distance, to understand its form, one must move around it; to experience its moods, one must see it at sunrise and sunset, at noon and at midnight, in sun and in rain, in snow and in storm, in summer and in winter and in all the other seasons. He who can see the mountain like this comes near to the life of a mountain, a life that is as intense and varied as that of a human being.” (Lama Anagrika Govinda, The Way of the White Clouds)
prayer wheels, for the modern monk on the go
mountains on mountains 🏔 - here's another view of Gurla Mandhata standing watch over the turquoise Lake Manasarovar
"According to the folks of Ngari region, only a man entirely free of sin could climb Kailash. And he wouldn't have to actually scale the sheer walls of ice to do it – he'd just turn himself into a bird and fly to the summit.”
"if i'd asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses"
the majestic Gurla Mandhata mountain, with its 6 ridges, sits just south of Lake Manasarovar
before starting the 3-day trek around Kailash, pilgrims first walk through the gates known as Yama Dwar, or the Gates of the Lord of Death. Yama is the deity who brings mortal souls to their onward journey. symbolically, the Kailash region is likened to the divine world, separate from Earth. to enter this region, one must abandon the mortal self and hence pass through the Yama Dwar.
"According to legend, immortal Shiva lives atop Kailash where he spends his time practicing yogic austerities, making joyous love with his divine consort, Parvati, and smoking ganja, the sacred herb known in the west as marijuana. Hindus do not interpret Shiva's behaviors as contradictory however, but rather see in him a deity who has wisely integrated the extremes of human nature and thus transcended attachment to any particular, and limited, way of being."
"Manasarovar is the pearl of all the lakes of the world. Hoary with age when the Vedas were written... Oh! what a wonderful lake it was! I have no words to describe it." - Sven Hedin, Swedish geographer