The Mystique of ‘M’
“How does one come across more such genuine souls?” M asked himself and others. He learned and surmised they lived on the other side of Narayan Parvat beyond Badrinath. He travelled thither. All he had with him were his kamandalu, a staff and a blanket. On his previous visit to Badri, he had wandered about a kilometre towards his present destination. But the vast territory beyond that lay unexplored.
He walked along the rough terrain, heaving himself up steep mountains and plodding wearily down, again to climb up. He must have covered some six or seven kilometres, towards the confluence of the Saraswati and the Alaknanda, called Keshav Prayag. Close to this place is a cave, about which one sannyasin had told him, si the Vyasa Guha. He found himself unable to proceed beyond the guha; a strange force seemed to deaden his feet and transfix him to the spot. First he thought the leaden weight of his legs was due to exertion, but he discovered it was not; for his whole being became suffused with an exhilarating bliss. Enough. This was the signal he knew. He walked into the cave. Inside, it was cold. Slowly he oriented himself to his surroundings. The neighbouring snowclad peaks shed an incandescent light beyond the cave. A soothing calm descended on him. Spreading the blanket on the floor of the cave, he sat in padmasana and went into a deep meditative state.