Companions in Solitude-2: Entrance into the deeps of the HimalayasThe moral of this story was acutely experienced by me while negotiating that narrow path. There were a number of other pilgrims traveling with me. All the way we had been talking and laughing when the path was smooth and safe, but no sooner did we reach this narrow footpath, than all the conversations ceased and everybody became pensively and attentively silent. Nobody thought of one’s home or of any other subject. Mind and soul were fully concentrated on only one thing - keep the next step at the proper place. With one hand we were trying to clutch at the mountain wall, though there was hardly anything to clutch at. The only solace in doing so was that it might help maintain the body balance in case it tended to tilt towards precipice falling down to the bed of the Ganga. This distance of about 1.5 miles was passed with great difficulty. The heart was kept throbbing violently throughout. We learnt a great practical lesson today. How careful we have to be in order to protect our lives from getting sniffed out.
The tortuous and dangerous patch of the trail was at last over; but its memory brings forth a train of thoughts. If we always remember that death could pounce upon us any moment, we may not indulge in chasing illusory pleasures. The journey of life is like the just concluded journey of today, which called for the need of keeping every step consciously, cautiously and correctly. If a single step was taken wrongly or carelessly, it might mean our straying away from the true aim of life and falling down to abysmal depths of inconscience. If life is dear to us, in order to make it worthwhile, it is necessary that we are ever alert and conscious every step of the path. Life is full of responsibilities like that of the travelers walking along the narrow path alongside the edge of the Ganga. Only after negotiating it successfully, can we have hope of reaching our cherished goal of self-fulfillment. The path of duty is narrow like the footpath described above. Carelessness will make you slip and fall into a bottomless pit of darkness, thus depriving of the chance of achieving the true aim of life in this incarnation. Clutching to the wall of righteousness will help maintain the balance and help minimize the fear of leaning toward the edge of the abysmal depths. In difficult times this wall is our solace and support.