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The pasts in our present

This piece has appeared in the May issue of Terrascape

A quest for those mountains where a true seeker of truth can find solace and solitude – and a lesson in geology

I had grown up being told, as were most children who grew up in the times when I did, about great spiritual seekers, sanyasis, sufis and such like who had chosen to seek truth and to give up everything that tied them to the mundane concerns and attachments of this world. The stories of all these seekers of truth invariably ended with many of them finding what they sought in the mountains.

The mountains they visited were not the mundane, run-of-the-mill mountains, that ordinary mortals like us visit. They went in search of mountains that gave meaning to words like desolate, forsaken, remote, impassive, distant and words that created similar impressions. It was mountains such as these that the gods had chosen as their abodes, it were these that invited the seeker of truth within their folds. The seekers immersed themselves completely in the contemplation of the unknown and the unknowable, and emerged years later wiser and all-knowing.

As I and other children of my age grew up, we were drawn away from the spiritual and into the thick of the knowledge of the ‘this worldly’. We studied the secular sciences and gradually came to acquire a totally different understanding of  the mountains.


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