It was a chill Himalayan night. We sat facing each other on a large flat boulder in front of the cave. Around us, the silvery, snowclad ranges glowed in celestial light. In spite of the crackling fire we had earlier set ablaze and the thick blankets wrapped around me, I was shivering when the icy wind blew across my face. My guru presented an utter contrast to my swaddled and cocooned form; he sat there bare-bodied save for the single knee-length cotton loin-cloth tied around his waist. He had, I learnt later, mastered the yogic technique of adjusting his body temperature by the practice of what the Tibetan yogis call tumo. He appeared very comfortable on the folded woollen blanket. Sitting in padmasana (lotus posture), he looked at me with a kind and beatific smile.
“Relax,” he said. “There’s nothing to fear. Be comfortable.” I don’t know what happened then. His words acted as magic on me; my tired body, hauled all the way up the almost inaccessible peak, was miraculously revived. My aching muscles no longer ached; my blistered feet tortured me no more; even the wind seemed to stop its needle-pricks. A soothing warmth flowed from him to me and permeated my whole body. I suddenly found that I was not hungry anymore, though I hadn’t eaten for three days and had been ravenous till then. I was once again steady of body and mind; I became alert with an acuteness I never knew I had possessed before.