Re-Living Vacations Series: Tarun who visited Monks

Next day, I left for Dharamshala, I had never been to this place before but I always wanted to go to this place. Dharamshala is home of Dalai Lama and I thought of visiting the Dalai Lama temple that very day. The montessary is 9 kms away from Dharamshala at McLeodGanj. I took a bus from Dharamshala to McLeodGanj. It was a small bus but full of Lamas and I was an odd man out among them. The road to McLeodGanj is a steep drive of 9 kms and the place is much cooler than Dharamshala. I reached McLeodGanj in half an hour. The place is not very big, its just a small place and most of it is covered with market and hotels. I got myself a nice hotel. The place looks more foreign than India as there are a lot of people from Tibet settled here and a lot of foreigners visit this place. Though the people here are very warm hearted, all the people in shops treat you like a guest and have a lot of stories to tell you. Though not many can speak hindi or english. I visited montessary after a very good lunch. The place was very vibrant lamas sharing there knowledge in a very loud procession, where they do this exercise in pairs. It was very intriguing to see them. The temple was very quiet and was spotted with various very meaningful messages.

I started talking to a nun at the montessary, I could not understand the language she spoke but somehow I was able to understand what she was telling me. She taught me the "Om Mani Padma Hmm" mantra and how to chant it. She also taught me the significance of the Mani chakras and how to rotate them. I was amazing how we two were able to communicate even without understanding the language, I was able to tell her that I was coming form Mumbai and I really like this place. I spent some time in the temple and looking at the lamas was a very intriguing experience, I wanted to speak some of them but I did not want to disturb them as they were busy in their processions.

Next I visited the Sacred Dal Lake, its a small lake surrounded by these long deonar trees and it makes this place a very beautiful one. I noticed that the place was dotted with a lot of colurful clothes hanging almost everywhere. The walk around the lake was a great experience, it was very quiet and I was able to give my thoughts a lot of time. I sat at a place around the lake and was gazing at the water, the place was so quiet, so serene so beautiful and so natural, so clean. There was something about the people settled here, they were so much contended with life. They were not rich, were living with limited means and life there is seriously not that easy but these guys have something in them as if they know the real meaning of life or they have some wealth in those hills that we are missing here in plains. I had a long chat with a bunch of monks at the lake and they seemed to have all the answers in life, they seemed to have discovered the true meaning of life. Meeting with them was a beautiful experience and a deeply enriching too.

There is a story that says that initially Gods and humans were living together in hills and one day due to some sin of humans Gods asked them to shift to plains. Still the Gods are living up in hills and one can visit them. I don't about the authenticity of the story but the people in hills have a divine calm on their faces. I don't know if there is do up in the hills but the people up there are really Godly.

The Monks.

The Sacred Dal Lake, a small but a very quiet and beautiful place.

The best message from Buddha.

Tarun Chandel
Life, Learning and Technology
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