‘There is places which you can´t take a picture of, it´s all about the energy. Rishikesh is one of these places. You take a picture of the Taj Mahal, it´s always going to be the Taj Mahal. But Rishikesh, you can not capture the energy here in a picture.’ Hari drove us back to town and was simply sharing. He´s from Rishikesh, but had moved to Canada for his wife and daughter. Eventually he returned to Rishikesh.
‘Rishikesh is a very holy place. The mountains, Ganga, the Ashrams, all the sages that have been meditating here for thousands of years. This energy you don´t find in the Taj Mahal. And also, people are relaxed here. You know in India we sit together and drink a Chai. We talk, we spend time together. There in the West, people spend time alone by themselves. The old people they sit in front of their apartment, but they don´t sit together. I can not live like this.’
The Magic of India
India has that special something that somehow escapes to be put into words. Every time you come to India there is a lesson to be learned. Every time you come to India she transforms you a little more. Every time you come to India, she shows you were you are at in your life: Your weaknesses, your strength, your hidden gifts, your courage, your connection to Source.
And as Hari said, it´s difficult to capture something that is rather a feeling, an experience or a string of synchronicities, eye opening conversations and meetings into a picture. In India, and especially in Rishikesh, I find it difficult to take good pictures, whereas in other countries I usually get a good collection of images together.
The most important moments never end up on a picture anyways. Something that deeply penetrates your heart is impossible to be captured, let alone do you remember that you have a camera or a ‘social’ life, when you are deeply absorbed in the moment.
Sometimes these crucial incidences simply stay as a feeling or a sensation. A movement of energy in the heart or a realization without words. Words can not render account to magic. It would sound profane and someone who did not share the experience would not understand anyways.
Words most of the time take the spark out of everything. Pictures most of the time show something that is picture perfect, when there was actually no energy behind.
In this day and age where everything relies on visibility, pictures about every minute of life and constant externalizing every single experience, magic is hard to be found. Magic is an inside experience.
The other day I went to see a retreat place hidden in the mountains. The owner, who lives in Delhi himself, asked me: ‘So why are you in Rishikesh? We don´t go there anymore. It´s too much business, yoga places and construction there. If you want to know India, you should go and live in Paharganj Delhi.” I´ve been to Paharganj on the way from the airport to spend a night there, to then leave for Rishikesh next morning. It stressed the hell out of me. Think living in the middle of Times Square. Rishikesh is a haven compared to Paharganj.
Rishikesh – A Place of Rishis
Rishikesh is a town nestled in the Himalayas, also called ‘The World Capital of Yoga’. The name Rishikesh derives from the root Rishi, which means sage or saint. These ancient sages, who channeled large parts of the Vedas, the oldest Sanscrit scriptures, have come here for thousands and thousands of years to meditate, connect to power spots, to be. By doing so they raised the vibration of the place, which in itself holds a lot of energy already. In Indian Astrology the name Rishikesh also means Vishnu, one of the three main Hindu Gods, who is the Preserver. Also, Rishikesh relates to the number 9 in numerology, which is the number of transformation.
The sacred river Ganga flows through the mountains on both side, which reminds me of the merging of the sacred masculine and feminine. The mountains joining from left and right like Ida and Pingala united through the sacred river in the middle, Sushumna Nadi. A constant stream of energy clearing water coming straight from the Source, Gomukh, higher up in the Himalayas.
Gomukh means ‘mouth of a cow’, the cow is a holy animal in India. Why? Because it gives milk. And milk is life. The baby when it is born is fed by the milk of the mother. The milk helps the baby to get stronger, to be able to be in this life. Before it takes anything else from mother earth into his mouth, it only takes the milk from the biological mother.
So Gomukh is providing you with the spiritual milk of Ganga to strengthen you spiritual life. In Ganga, the water level rises according to the season, sometimes there is swirls and rapids. It´s forbidden to swim as the river would take you on a ride all the way to Calcutta, but bathing is recommended, as it washes away old karma. Ganga has that energy, that prickling feeling on the skin, that leaves you utterly refreshed when you come out.
Sometimes it looks like she flows into two opposite directions, on one river bank flowing up and on the other flowing down. Sometimes one part remains calm, while the other is active. Just like feminine and masculine, a dance of opposites.
Rishikesh and the water. There is caves surrounding Rishikesh, where the water is dripping down from the top. There is waterfalls that have large amounts of water running down in the most dramatic way. There is a current underneath what Rishikesh is, that is connecting you with the right people at the right time, if you are open to receive.
There is something about Rishikesh that simply is.
There is something about Rishikesh that reminds you that you simply are.
There is something about Rishikesh that has a never ending potential that shows you your never ending potential.
There is something about Rishikesh to be explored endlessly to show you your own endlessness.
There is something about Rishikesh that is teaching you in a way no teacher could.
There is something about Rishikesh that is instant manifestation without the need to manifest.
There is something about Rishikesh that does not require more than you being here.
And yes, there is the noise, there is the dirt, there is the spiritual tourists, there is the backpackers, there is hundreds of yoga teacher training schools to make an easy $, there is rafting and ‘click a selfie ma’am’, there is poverty and riches, there is this and that. Yet Rishikesh is nor this nor that, neti neti.
Rishikesh is and will always be what you make out of it due to your own projections.
It´s your choice what you´d like to experience here.
You can tap into the invisible undercurrent that has been built up over thousands of years. Or you tap into the visible manifestation of what has been built over the last couple of years.
It´s your choice. It´s your life. It´s your playground.