Kailash – the abode of Lord Shiva and Ma Parvati in the majestic Himalayas – has been the centre of fascination for pilgrims for thousands of years. Considered holy by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains alike, it is considered the spiritual centre of Earth by many.
There are enthralling stories associated with it – some Saints believe that 500 souls reside on this mountain and only when any one soul wishes for Moksha (liberation) is another soul allowed to reside in this hallowed area.
There is another equally fascinating account that the holiest of souls gather on this mountain on 3 occasions each year – Guru Purnima, Buddha Purnima and Kartik Purnima.
Shorn of any vegetation and embedded deep under layers of snow, its grandeur and gravitas is felt by all who visit its slopes.
Of the many accounts that I have heard from friends, who have been fortunate enough to pay obeisance to Kailash and the holy lake Mansarovar, there are two experiences that I have found repeatedly coming up in conversations and at least one of whose evidence I have seen:
People who halt a night at the Kailash or rather at Lake Mansarovar have seen two lamp like lights following each other in the dark sky. These are white lights which are like dots but clearly visible to human eye and are also always in movement. Sometimes the firmament over the Lake is also illuminated by mysterious lights – people believe these lights belong to self-realized sages living at Kailash.
Splashing of Water by the Invisible Beings
Early in the morning, during Brahma muhurat, people living in tents have heard the splashing of the water of the Mansarovar. They have also heard the sounds of ornaments. As per one account, a lady stepped out of her tent and though she could see no one, she saw movement of water. There are stories that the Sapta Rishis or seven sages mentioned in Indian mythology come and bathe every morning at the Mansarovar Lake.
This is a very personal account that a friend who visited Kailash shared with me. She and her sister were waiting for their jeeps to come and pick them up for their journey back. All tents had been rolled up and luggage was being piled neatly. Generally standing and scarping the mud and pebbles below, her foot struck an object. Confused, she scratched further and then sensing that something significant was hidden below, she removed the soil with her own hands. She pulled out this linear object and to her marvel it was a paduka (ancient footwear) made of stone. Stunned, she searched feverishly for the second of the pair but it was nowhere to be found.
Then a picture came to her mind – of Shiva sitting with his one foot on the soil and second on top of the other leg. She did pranam to the paduka she had found and carried it back all the way to America thanking the benevolent Lord Shiva for giving her prasad to take home.