The Indian subcontinent, with its vast collective of peoples and rich history, has always been one of the epicenters of humanities search for the spiritual. From before the pyramids charas was a common drug used in northern Indian regions for religious and medicinal purposes. As civilization sprouted so did in this fertile land the discovery of many modern world religions. Ashrams, gurus, and the essence of India all became essential in any world travelers search for regaining touch with the side of ourselves often forgotten in the linear and rushed west. But there is an experience I have yet to see referenced that I’m sure foreign travelers from the Beatles, to Russell Brand have attempted to keep to themselves. A pilgrimage of sorts, deeply reflective and profoundly moving. Often taking over several days the Journey involving two great cathedrals is something every traveler should, dare I say must, experience.
You can find the first cathedral on the streets. The priests letting the smells of their arches sing broken hymns. Buses and rickshaws fly by beeping horns and kicking up dust on those awaiting a spiritual touch. Their service comes during dinner, but never fear, the service is dinner. 10 or 20 rupees and through the heat of a fryer, a street-samosa or two, the pilgrimage has begun. This beginning of the pilgrimage has the opportunity to be resoundingly thought provoking if the pilgrim realizes the journey he or she has just began. But unfortunately for travelers the first cathedral within which is the tabernacle, holding the catalyst (the samosas) that allows the journey to take place, is largely discarded, or worse, forgotten.
A large part of the undermining of the first cathedral is due to the initial and continual effects the catalyst has which causes transition to the second cathedral. As the mind feels, anticipates, and predicts the vast vault of self knowledge and reflection to be found at the sanctuary the energy spills over to the rest of the body Lennon claimed cold sweats, Vasco de Gama had talked of an almost nauseous feeling and there are whispers of Alexander the Great experiencing powerful abdominal cramps. Each of these pilgrims by challenge and through challenge find themselves at the doors of the second cathedral. From here the journey is that of the explorers. The reflections made here have turned the wheels of humanity, and without fail, except in the direst of circumstances but always after much struggle, a flush is heard, and the world is changed.