Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The importance of a pilgrimage

Fantababy's post on vaishnov devi made me think about my experiences when i took that trip.Vaishnovdevi is a great spot.I took the trip not as a religious one but as a fun trip. But i felt very refreshed after the trip. My mind kind of cleared up and i was feeling very good for a couple of weeks. i was wondering why?.

The shrine is located at the top of the hills and you have to hike it.I did the trip at the end of winter and it was damn cold .It drained me, i almost gave up. But continued for a while and then my body became numb, i didn’t feel pain anymore, my mind became mechanical, only concentrating on the next step.The fun part was crawling into the caves. The entrance to the deities is just a small hole that you have to crawl into.

There is definitely something in that air and water. Or something about hiking at that altitude, it clears your whole system. You kind of feel rejuvenated and peaceful when you come back.

There is a saying in tamil "Thirupathi sendral thiruppam nigazhum" meaning If you make a trip to thirupathi, there will be a change in your life.Thirupathi also has the same concept, you got to hike the hills.You can take it literally that if you make a visit to lord balaji/vaishnov devi and they will grant your wishes.But i think it is more on your mental and physical changes that the pilgrimage brings to you.

The fact that you hiked the hill after so much hardship gives a sense of accomplishment and increases your confidence levels. If you are on the verge of taking a big decision or starting some business etc, you would be more focused and positive after a trip like this. And saying like "go to thirupathi you will have a baby" means you will be physically more fit after a pilgrimage and your physical changes will make your body respond more (secreting more hormones etc).

The reason why certain god is supposed to be more powerful than the other could be attributed to the environment of the shrine. You feel more refreshed by that particular environment compared to others. If you are a very religious person, you will be doubly refreshed :).

It's nice that u went to vaishnodevi. Yes, I felt the same way as u did.

The beauty of Vaishnodevi hills is simply superb! The atheist in us(if exists for some reasons) quits if one visit such places!
I think the experience is different for different peoples.As far as myself.The atheist is still with me.But the trip did make me understand the deeper meanings of certain religious rituals.
Forgetting oneself during such trips hence losing ego for a while is the true step to god realization. No matter what you call yourself, a atheist, jnani or bakthi, the steps taken and the satisfaction got are appreciable. Glad you got that understanding!
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