Kailash: The Pure Light of Existence
In the sacred scriptures of India there is a story. In this story the three aspects of the Divine play important roles. These aspects are: Brahma – creation; Vishnu – preservation and Shiva – dissolution. These aspects are depicted in many stories, but one stands out above the rest. One day Brahma and Vishnu were arguing over who was the most important. “I must be”, stated Brahma, “for without me there would be no creation”. “But without me”, countered Vishnu, “creation would not carry on.” Suddenly there appeared a great column of light. From the column, a voice was heard, “Whosoever can reach the end of this pillar of light, is the most important.”
Brahma travelled upwards on his swan, Vishnu travelled downwards on his eagle. Each was gone for millennia. When they finally returned, Brahma brought a flower, which he claimed to have taken from the top of the pillar. Vishnu returned with nothing, stating that he could not reach the bottom of the pillar. Then the voice was heard again, “Brahma, you are a liar. The flower you took as it was floating downwards. Vishnu is the winner of the contest.”
This pillar of light is located at Kailash, and is the centre of the planet, the axis mundi
The pillar of light is considered in stories to be Shiva – pure consciousness, which is what is left when everything else falls away. This pillar of light is located at Kailash, and is the centre of the planet, the axis mundi described in the ancient scriptures.
Close by Kailash are twin lakes: Manasarovar and Rakshashtal. These lakes are said to be the embodiments of the polarity that exists within us. We have egoic tendency (Rakshashtal), which separates and the wisdom that connects us (Manasarovar). These two waters arise from Kailash, which is a pure consciousness, the unity within the polarity.
When we journey to Kailash, we begin to see all the aspects of ourselves from a different perspective, the perspective of the silent witness that is Kailash, accepting all and embracing all as expressions of consciousness. The axis mundi is the centre of the earth, around which spins all the manifestation present on the planet. It is the unmoving, unshakable pillar of the world, a pillar of light, consciousness itself.
When we reach Kailash, there is a transformative process, where we see ourselves as consciousness sees us, not as limited and full of tendencies, but as a clear light of divinity
Within us, we have our own axis mundi. When we reach Kailash, there is a transformative process, where we see ourselves as consciousness sees us, not as limited and full of tendencies, but as a clear light of divinity. We begin to accept our own polarity, yet are not engaged with it, just as Kailash stands aloof from the two lakes, but is the source of their being. That is the potential of a pilgrimage to Kailash – to realise that we can no longer continue to be caught up in the polarity that is a product of ignorance, but can become the silent, still, conscious witness to the play of creation (Brahma and Vishnu). We come face to face with our own being, which is light itself.
Written by Satyavan
Explore the boundaries between the mundane and the mystical on a pilgrimage to Kailash. Click here for more information or to book your place on this, the most holy of pilgrimages.