The destination of this trip was the source of the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers, which are believed to be holy places for Hindus and Buddhists.
There were nine people on our trip including Thai, Burmese, Indians, and Germans. The differences between races and beliefs did not matter to us. We united for a common destination.
The Hindi prayer of Dr. Mani or Uncle Mani signified the beginning of the journey and the unity. The twelve days from now, we were about to encounter many difficulties. Therefore, Uncle Mani reminded us to help and understand one another. Beyond everything was unity.
The main vehicle for this trip was a van the body of which was like a four-wheel car in Thailand. However, this van seemed to be designed for a short journey. This caused the first night of the trip to be full of suffering (I got a fever) together with fear.
I did not know whether it was my luck or not that I had to sit beside the driver. I felt I can appreciate the beauty of nature more than others. Unfortunately, in the early morning our driver had exhausted his energy. His eyes closed constantly. At that time my heart was in my mouth as I saw the driver close his eyes for quite long.
However, after two days of travel we reached Hanumanchart city. It was the starting point of our trekking trip to the Yamuna River.
While I was walking, I met a number of people together and greeted them in Hindi. It was raining throughout the journey. It made me feel cold like never before. Though my body was full of sweat as soon as I stopped a walking, I felt the coldness. I felt that the coldness had spread throughout my body. The last distance urged me to imagine various things, a warm bed, a saddled horse, or even a huge elephant that could pull me to my destination. This may be psycho mechanism to escaping suffering. Whenever I face a tough time, I always think of various means of convenience.
Before coming down from the temple, we paid homage to the river by throwing grain and flowers into the fountain then being anointed with red spot on the forehead. As soon as we finished the ceremony I heard another holy sound “hundred fifty.” First, I thought it was a magic spell for ending the ceremony. However, when I saw somebody’s hands were extended to me I thought it was one of the procedures of worship. Fortunately, Mr. Moo bargained the price down to three people for one hundred rupees. This may be said to be a costly holiness that is up for bargain.
After the journey to Yamunotri we stopped at a small town named “Uttaragasi.” This town was suitable for taking a rest. Over there, we had time to promenade along the river, visit the market and worship at the ancient Hindu temple. The oil lamp in this temple impressed me. The Hindu monk told us that the light of this lamp has never been extinguished for about five hundred and fifty years.
I stared at the light, observing the belief that “the continuation of faithfulness is the path of history. People continue to refill the fuel of the lamp year after year, generation after generation. These people are the river of the passage of time and the creation of history.” When I saw a number of people flowed into the this temple, I strongly believed that the light in this lamp would continue to be lit longer than the period of my lifetime.
After the group had recharged its energy, next day we started our journey to “Ganggotri”, the door to the Ganga River. On the way, we had to stop for a while because of a huge stone the size of a young elephant was lying across the road. I was one of the people who went to see that huge stone. I myself knew well that I was not a superman. I could only look at that stone and walk past it to go to find breakfast to maintain life. As soon as the Indian soldier’s jeep ran pass the tea stall there were the weapon’s sound everywhere. After sometime, our driver pressed a horn for signing that everything was ready.
When we reached “Ganggotri” we rented a room in one guest house for keeping an unnecessary luggage. Unluckily, Perter, a German guy, got a fever since we came down from Yamuna. We had to wait for him to recover at the hill.
The journey from the Ganggotri to Khomukh (Upstream of the Ganga River) is nineteen kilometers. For us it needs two days to reach there (not in a hurry). Because of landslide in the morning, we decided to take a rest at ninth kilometer, which was the small pit stop.
During my journey today I recalled the memories in the past. Memory made me cry. I could not remember when was the last time that I cried and for what. This time I came to touch the weakness of my soul. Each step on the soil seemed to increase my weakness.
Until now, I am in Himalaya, my legs are about to lead my body to Gauggo. However, my heart was felt the other things. The feeling of insecurity caused my soul deep into the imagination. The soft sound of my mother can be heard form within my soul. The image of home is just like the far reaching love. Various relationship worries and various stories that had happened in my life were recalled. For a little while, I totally forgot where I was and where is my destination. Until the tear came out from the eyes, I soon awaked. Moreover, I cannot stop the tear that poured to the ground of Himalaya.
Although, Himalaya is full of chill snow, the invisible power had created the warm and strength in my soul to open the eyes and welcomed the dawn.
I started walking to the upstream of the Ganga River with the blooming soul together with the clear sky. The sorrow had disappeared like the cloud, which is not visible today. Beyond me was not the blue sky. In front of the eyes is the mountain covering with snow. The image that I came across have became the representative image of the happiness in my thought.
We left our luggage at the fourteenth kilometer, the last pit stop of the traveler. We took a rest here and recharged the power to lead us to our destination in Khomukh. Though we did not carry our luggage along with us, the destination of the last five kilometers seemed to be very far. I saw Khomukh since I just started walking, but the more I walk was the farther the destination is.
Now the huge snow that looked like the stone was lying in front of me. No matter how vast the Khomukh is each single means the loss. The sacrifice of Khomukh that melt itself to be the source of the Ganga River. This may be either because of the faithfulness or for letting the others know their abilities.
In the fresh air, now I can touch the Ganga River from within. Both the Ganga that flowed in front of me and those that calmly flowed within my soul.
แม้จะรู้สึกว่าการเดินทางครั้งนั้น ผมเป็นผู้ที่อ่อนแอที่สุดในกลุ่ม ทั้งด้านร่างกาย และจิตใจ การเดินไปร้องให้ไปตอนขึ้นภูเขา แสดงให้เห็นถึงความเปราะบางเป็นอย่างต่อแรงกดดันหลายอย่างในขณะนั้น
หิมาลัยได้มอบคำสอนให้ผมมากมาย ทั้งรู้ตัวและไม่รู้ตัว บางครั้งก็ระลึกได้หลังจากผ่านไปหลายปี
ณ.วันที่ต้นแม่น้ำคงคาทั้งสายปรากฏต่อสายตาผม คงคาทั้งสายได้ไหลอย่างสงบในจิตใจ นี่อาจจะเป็นแค่มายาภาวะหนึ่ง ความสงบที่แม้ไม่จีรังยั่งยืนเท่าไรในห้วงรู้สึกนึกคิดนั้น กลับเป็นเสี้ยวนาทีที่เย็นสงบ จนจิตยังร้องโหยหาในกาลต่อมา เนื่องจากไม่นานหลังจากนั้น คงคาที่เคยสงบ ก็กลับพัดพาอย่างบ้าคลั่ง