Thirteenth day – Second day of Kailash Parikrama
( Trek from Dehrapuk to Zong Zerbu, Crossing of Dolma pass - 25 Km)
( Trek from Dehrapuk to Zong Zerbu, Crossing of Dolma pass - 25 Km)
Lord in His usual self
Dolma pass is the highest as well as the toughest part of the whole journey at an altitude of 19000 ft and the slope from Deraphuk is also steep. It is better to cross Dolma pass within morning 9’O clock because otherwise the weather can turn inimical. Dolama is prone to blizzards so normally we leave early in the morning so we got up around 4’O clock in the morning completed the morning chores our cooks also prepared light breakfast and we were ready for the trek. The spectacular sight dawned before us , yes the sun’s rays just started illuminating the snake hood of the Lord to crimson red and slowly as sun started moving up the red color fully covered the whole face of the Lord. Suddenly the red color turned to Golden yellow and the face shined like pure Gold and we all stood there still as if we are in a trance. It is very difficult to describe that ethereal experience only one has to experience that divine experience. We thought the Lord with the lady on the left part was so much kind to us that he gave this wonderful experience to all of us. Never to miss this opportunity we captured these beautiful moments in our digital cameras and video cameras.
Happy with the ethereal experience we started the difficult part of the yatra and we ambled along the steep climb slowly and steadily chanting the holy five syllables and calling the Mother Parvati to guide us to Her abode safely. . The cold was biting and the climb was also tough, we had darshan of the eastern extension of Mount Kailash and slowly ascended the mountain, it has to be a slow and steady climb as the conditions are highly unfavorable, it is here that Yama Lord of death, evaluates the individual who crosses Dolma Pass, this whole land starting from Yamadwar is considered the domain of Yama. As we approach the summit the trek also becomes tough but when we utter the holy five syllables softly, as it is very difficult to loudly chant the Mantra, the Lord and Mother carry you to the summit. There would have been many accidents in this stretch so we all treaded very carefully with utmost caution.
As you approach the summit you can see a lot of clothing strewn on the whole area, these are the clothing left by the yatris who crossed the Dolma Pass. The significance of leaving some thing which you love most implies that you are rising spiritually, as one rises spiritually he should develop the habit of non attachment , like the cucumber fruit which leaves the mother plant when it becomes ripe and the water which rolls over the lotus leaves without wetting it, one has to live in this material world without desires dedicating their life only to the Lord in a neutral and unattached way. But most of the pilgrims think that they have to leave something here and leave the clothes here.
After an arduous climb we all reached the acme of the whole yatra, the toughest part was over and everybody was relieved and at the same time everybody was ecstatic that no body got any problem. We were at Devi Parvat the Holy abode of Mother Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva. Dolma is Tara Devi to Buddhists and Mother Parvati to Hindus. A stone here is considered to be Tara the guardian deity. So we can see flags all over the place. We prostrated before Mother and prayed to Her by chanting Her Lalitha Shasranamam (Thousand names). Mr Mudgal has brought the Holy Ganges water with him and he anointed Mother with that water. Bokre couple had brought a small copper havan kund and we did a small havan and prayed to the welfare all the yatris and the whole mankind at the holy feet of the Mother the most gracious and the most beautiful of three worlds. The weather was very good here at Dolma Pass also normally yatris cannot stay more than 5 minutes bur due to the infinite compassion of Mother and Lord the weather was extremely good and sun was shining and we prayed to Mother for about 15 minutes by Her grace. Our guide Mr.David who was very helpful and guided us well congratulated all of us for successfully crossing the Dolma pass.
There is one form of Lord Shiva which is called Ardha Narishwara meaning half man half woman in that the left part belongs to Mother Parvati. This thing is exactly replicated in Mount Kailash also. The Devi parvat is located on the left side. Dolma Pass is also called Shiv-sakthi Sthal, before moving to Kailash Lord Shiva is believed to have done penance here. When we left Dolma pass we witnessed the Gauri Kund, the bathing Ghat of Mother Parvati, the sight as really enchanting the emerald waters of the lake reflected the white snow of the Mount Kailash. Gauri Kund is situated down below and the sides are steep so we were advised not to descend to Gauri Kund, so most of us paid 5 yuans for collection of Holy water from Gauri Kund to our porters. The water of Gauri Kund is supposed to have medicinal properties and even it can cure cancer. Mr Mudgal and Mr Joshi ventured to go down they descended carefully among falling stones and had holy bath in Gauri Kund and returned safely and all of us continued our circumambulation of Holy Kailash.
As we had been forewarned not to use the pony for this 7 KM descent from Dolma pass as the descent is very steep and is not safe for pony ride we avoided the pony and started our journey downwards. Slowly we descended the slope with the full satisfaction of having had the fine darshan of Lord and Mother, profusely thanking them for the mercy of having chosen us for their darshan and giving a fine darshan also. The slope was also laden with lot of boulders and we descended slowly in between having the darshan of the east and northern of the Lord and reached the base of Dolma pass. We witnessed crows at these altitudes also. After reaching there all of us sat in prayer and thanked the Lord and par took our snacks, after an arduous and momentous climb and descent the snack tasted like divine nectar. After some rest we continued out parikrama to Zang Zherbu camp and in between we crossed some glaciers and mountain streams. Now we were on the other side of the Kailash’s guard mountain and Kailsh was not visible to us. When we trekked in the holy path in which thousand’s of faithful have trekked we felt that we felt very happy. The hymn of Jagat Guru Adi Sankara in Soundarya Lahari came to my mind, in that Adi Sankara pleads to Mother, Oh Bagavathy! Let the words come out of my mouth be the praise about you, all my actions be service to you, let my walk be your circumambulation, the food I take be the Maha Neivaethyam to you the things which give pleasure to me be the pooja to you. The steps we were taking was really circumambulation of the Lord and Mother who saves us and bestows us with all the blessings. We felt that we have attained the aim of this birth and had the good fortune of the Lord and Mother. I am not able fully put in word the emotions in which we did the circumambulation of Holy Kailash.
We met the Mumbai photographer and his team of German tourists in this stretch. After passing through glaciers, some of our yatris out of joy rolled in the snow, we reached the Zong Zerbhu camp and had a nice rest fully content that we had a good day that day. We were told by Mr Mudgal that they slept last year on the floor but there were cots in half of the rooms this year. The camp was situated on the shores of Zong Chu river and as usual there is also a Gompa near the camp. We took a well deserved rest that night. That the second day of parikrama and the most toughest day passed off peacefully and without any incident for our group.
The thirteenth day was the day of Shivasakthi Darshan. By the grace of the Lord and Mother we crossed Dolma Pass the toughest day of the journey without any problem.