"We think we're going to make a trip, but soon it's the trip that makes you, or undoes you," Nicolas Bouvier.The Indian universe is made up of beliefs and devotion. When today's action determines tomorrow's life, the notion of time changes. India and its castes, the will of Karma, the power of destiny. This vision "explodes", makes the Western soul startle, often lost in a material world. The omnipresent force of the sacred, disturbing, opens the unknown door of the divine. "The East to orientate oneself", according to Henri Michaux, because India sometimes acts as a beacon. Coming from the great consumer societies where the spiritual dimension of life tends to fade away or to take a back seat, many find themselves or lose themselves in the esoteric vision of the Indian universe. A shock that will certainly leave no one indifferent. For it is a softer and harder world, where sacred cows will never be crazy, where vegetarian food fills the plates. All visitors who arrive in India for the first time are first lost, without any reference to an elsewhere that exceeds them. The change of scenery is total: the strange caste system, the sacred cows, the venerated cobras, the mysticism of the sadhus, the rickshaws that fizzle, the thousand facets of Hinduism that defy our understanding and so many other things, this journey is like a dream. Dreaming with open eyes is undeniably something to make you want to leave the shore, to sail gently adrift. India allows you to put things into perspective, think for a minute that you are living so that your next life will be better and you will understand.
Magnificent landscapes :
At the foot of the Himalayas, in the heart of the mountains, in the hollow of the cliffs, on the banks of rivers, at the top of the hills, on the bed of the plains, Mother India sings.The North of the country is the refuge of nature lovers, it is the soul of India. The trees, wrapped in flowers in May, bear abundant fruit in September. Water, such a sacred element, is also there; the Manali Valley is reflected in its brilliance. Eldorado is located at high altitude, in a rocky landscape surrounded by snow-covered peaks. The features of the faces are drawn by the cold, the pleated eyes open with curiosity on the unknown. Everywhere the prayer wheels turn and the flags let the prayers fly with the wind.At the top, the Indus River is the cradle of an ancient civilization. Travellers from all walks of life are attracted by these lunar landscapes. And on the road from Leh to Manali, the second highest accessible road in the world, everyone is caught in a whirlwind of pure beauty.Around Leh, the capital of Ladakh, the gompa welcome more or less young Buddhist monks, who strive to respect secular principles. Here life is punctuated by the sound of gongs. The visitor is charmed. In Leh, thin streams of clear water flow through the city, a labyrinth of alleyways the quadrille and the flat roofs complete this postcard setting. In this place, which is conducive to meditation, you don't want anything, you already have everything.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette