Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trip to holy pilgrimage: Shikharji

24th July
This post was written when i was travelling in Delhi Mumbai Rajdhani but due to non availability of internet in train, i am posting it today.


It is my consecutively 4th day in train. The journey had taken place in 4 trains along with other vehicles and I have covered more than 5000 kilometers.  Indian railways really become my friend and source of inspiration. I like the way they move forward in a strong and steady way passing through numerous villages, endless sight scenes, lakes and rivers, crashing like some very powerful object. I too feel powerful while travelling in railways.

This time we had made a plan of Shikharji, a holy pilgrimage of Jains. The program was well planned this time. We were 6 friends. The journey started on 21st when we boarded the Purshottam express destined for Puri in Orissa but our destination was Parasnath station in Jharkand and it was about 17 hour journey. I was travelling in this train with other 3 and the rest 2 had boarded the Delhi Howrah Rajdhani just 5 hours before. We reached around 6 pm on 22nd  at Parasnath. The view was very beautiful after Gaya and we have passed our time at doors of train. From here, we hired a taxi to Madhuban. After meeting the other two, we visited the few local temples according to the availability of time.

Taken somewhere between Gaya and Parasnath
Comparing it with Vaishnodevi, a hindu pilgrimage, Parasnath is like jammu (Nearest Railway Station), madhuban is like kathara from where the journey begins on foot on a hill.  We slept early that night as we planned to start our yatra or Vandana(Journey) at 3 am next day. It was total 31 kilometers and full of steep slope. Before sleeping, other friends also discussed lot of anecdotes of  Robin jain and Shikharji. He had already celebrated his silver jubilee of yatra and was now targeting for half century. He is quite a religious and philosophical  person. Four people have visited Shikharji many times before and the two including me were new comers.

Lto R.Me, Lale, Shubham, Prateek, Robin,  Just Before commencing Shikharji Yatra in our room

The time came, we started our journey. It was completely dark and as there were no lights we were using our torch except Robin who disdained torch. The area was so silent that it numbed my ears which were not used to this deep silence. In just 10 minutes, we all were perspiring and breathing hard except our Guru called robin. It was raining and we all were wet. I was shivering and it was really a tuff to ascend in wet clothes but there is something pure mysterious sacred in the air and the wind was blowing so fast and make our sweat and stress away every time. Now, I get why robin asked to wear the cotton kurta pajama because it soaked the water and sweat well.

Lale, Prateek, Me and Robin. Somewhere near Gandharva nala
First we reached Gautam Swami Tonk by foots. Here there were 3 routes, one is going to other 4 tonks which were quite tuff  including Chandrah Prabhu, other was going to Jal temple for those who want to skip some part of journey and the last one was going to Pasrshavnathtemple. We followed the right route documented for an ideal worshipper and seeker. From gautam Buddha tonk,  we went to chandraprabhu tonk route and came back here from the route that was going towards jal temple. Then we followed the Parshanath temple route. The route to Chandrah Prabhu was really arduous and the slope was very steep. In very short distance, we have to ascend significant height. But as the visibility was poor, so we were not able to look at the temple from below and as a result, I found the ascent like all others. May be the mental strength matters more. Poor visibility helps us to maintained our mental courage.


One of the many Landscapes while trekking
Although incomparable , still I find this place more scenic and blessed as compared to most of the other hill stations, I have visited in my life. I think the reason in these days most of the hill stations are commercialized and we never get a feel of living and travelling in hills. We just go there and visit some of the scenic points like love point, suicide point, mall road that can be found in most of the hill stations. The best thing about this place is that it is not commercialized at all. 

This place reminds me of the quote by Lao tzu “Nature doe not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Robin was the 1st person to reach everywhere and me and Prateek were the last two. As soon as we enter in the temple, Robin started a bhajan or mantra. At one of the temple, prateek asked robin to let him breathe for a moment after entering into the temple and before reciting a mantra. Hahaha. We all were laughing including robin except prateek jain who was struggling hard for a breath. But robin is one of those who never listen  to anybody. He again started doing the same. But I must say he has added the life into the yatra, He was the ‘jaan’(Life) of our group, biggest motivator. Prateek jain was making me sure that I will complete it without any problem and was adjusting his pace based on my pace. Shubham was struggling with himself. We all travelled in group. Not many people were there on the hill that day as­­­ the weather was not ladies and children friendly. Some said that there were not more than 50 persons on the hill.

 I contemplated about the life in cities and in these places. Nature is such a wonderful thing. Robin and me like old times shared some of the beautiful philosophies. I am so much satisfied and happy to be a part of this journey. Mountains also have a hidden message, Going up is not easy while going down just takes a moments and is easy. And yes, while going down you should be extra careful if you want to survive. Which means we should accept failures as a part of life. I am sure there would be infinite hidden messages in hills which we decipher according to our talent and knowledge. 


After visiting the last temple of Parshavnath, we had refreshments. Food never tasted so good and tiredness never seemed so sweet, we feel ourselves connected to divine. Believe me, there is some hidden energy or power transfer takes place between us and divine which gives us the energy and courage. It is believed about this place that out of  24,20 of the Tirthankaras (teachers of the Jains) attained Moksha (Nirvana) from this place.


Stairway to god
While coming down, the route was very tough and walking naked foots is quite arduous but that hidden energy transfer made it possible. During the last 5,6 kilometers, we were so tired that we are not able to walk straight. If you walk like these in cities you will easily get admission under physically handicapped Quota without producing any certificate. If any of us stand still for a photograph, legs start shivering as they were not used to so much work. Robin and Prateek kept repeating that only 1 km. is left for long time to motivate all others. This made me frustrate many times, every time I asked them they replied only 1 kilometer is left now. 


At around 3, we completed Yatra. We were so happy and contented. Like it happens in exam time, irrespective of the sleepless nights before exams, we always celebrate the day our exam finishes because the happiness eats up our tiredness and diverts our mind.

This was taken when our Shikharji Yatra was just about to complete.
At Madhuban, we had sattvik food.The area was Naxali effected and we have not spotted a single policamen in whole area. When I asked one of tea stall where are all the policemen. He replied to me, here everybody is policemen so there is no need of police here. This is hidden statement and if comprehended can bring the many secrets between the connection between local people and Naxalities. Local population was whole heartedly supporting the naxalities. I am not saying it whether they are right or wrong. They are doing what they like based on their pursuits, pleasures and convictions. From Madhuban, this time we preferred Bus and reached Parasnath at around 6pm. At platform, we spend some quality time on a platform. Platform was nicely built and was decorated with the posters and paintings of Temples. It was very clean. Finally at 9, we boarded our Delhi Howrah Rajdhani and with this our journey came to an end.


Thank you god for inviting me and to all my friends, the messengers.

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9 comments:

Mayank Jain said...

Mind Blowing .....Yrr

Rachit Aggarwal said...

Thanks Mayank urf Lale.

Manoj Nolkha said...

nice live experience Rachit.
Surely I would take care of things that you mentioned.

Rachit Aggarwal said...

Thanks Manoj.

Glad to know it is helping you.

theblogger said...

shikharji teerth said...

Nice to know your experience ,you also submit your experience here
http://shikharjiteerth.in/share-experience/

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Anonymous said...

It is a very nice experience shared by you and it would definitely motivate the pilgrimage who would read this

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