by Shivnetri Kushwaha
Swami Vivekananda’s inclination towards spirituality played a strong force in keeping him attracted to the Himalayas, a place where one can find peace and satisfaction. He made several visits to Almora, a district in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand besides his long tour across the country as well as abroad. This played a significant role in his life by driving him even closer to unearthliness. The lesson that every living being was an embodiment of the divine self- a lesson imbibed by his Guru, Ramakrishna Dev, Swami Vivekananda, too, began to preach to value mankind. He, too, believed if one wished to serve God, it should rather serve mankind first. Throughout his stay in the Uttarakhand region he looked at it with different eyes. Eyes that gave an incredibly divine definition to the very region.
In a nation so beautiful laid a peaceful region crossed by the Himalayas- The Land of Gods. Whose hills and dales served as a medium to look forward to, to pass one’s life in and come onto to close the last chapter of its mortal journey. The breath of which brought a stream of sensation of the dreams of its forefathers. This land is found to be of a special significance in the lives of the greatest personalities that came. And it seems to have had inspired many other men into implementing their dreams in conditions similar to that of its own.
Beauty is a connotation for all that this Dev Bhoomi stood for- the magnanimous Himalayas, the holiest of the rivers, the incessantly colourful play of nature that represented the Universe in one little scenario. A scenario this central stretch of the Indian Himalayas was alone capable of portraying. A stretch that is now evolved into a state named Uttarakhand.
For many, the cliff faces of the Himalayas of this mountainous state escalate their adrenaline rush providing a range of adventure activities. However, to others it is its holy shrines and temples which guide them into the state enabling them to gain a spiritual insight. An insight of the underlying truth of one’s existence, Prakriti (mother nature) and Paramatma, the ultimate beloved of the soul. The one who the soul urges to seek moksh for.
Its silent caves and wilderness inhabitate meditators who see the boundless strength of the soul that is merely restricted to a defined form in the body, however, is capable of encompassing the mass cosmos. It reflects the Universe not only in the peaceful environment it surrounds one with but the same environment that permits one to gain access into its own soul, the soul which holds a whole universe within itself.
This is the land that makes one believe in the power of renunciation through the air it blows, silent yet reverberating a detachment call, that is, freedom from every never ending worldly desire and teaching one to stop looking for things that are beyond its reach. A land that links the soul to her beloved, the Creator. And a holy land that reflects a whole cosmos with the view of its dramatic terrain.