Pilgrimage by Sally Peden


The deity waits in the cave temple 12,000 feet
high in the Himalayas.
A black mound stone idol
dressed with brilliant yellow, golden orange flowers.

For his darshan they travel on foot, donkey, bus or cart
for miles and miles and miles,
climbing hill after hill, mountains terraced with green rice paddies,
lush gushing streams to wade and drink.

The multicolored cotton saris pulled across the women’s faces,
hiding from foreigners in taxis.

Tattered clothed children, scarlet bandanna-wrapped heads, wide grins, open palms.
“Baksheesh! Baksheesh!” they cry, gathering around
begging for coins from rich Americans.

Always climbing upwards, upwards, with white, gleaming snowy peaks in sight,
leading them to the dwelling place of gods,
chanting His thousand names,
to gain holiness that resides within the cave of Being
they come for Self-illumination. It is the tradition.

For hours, endless hours
we drive up the winding mountain roads
rocky with breath-clogging dust.

“A pilgrim bus slid on the curve
and went over the cliff last week,” our driver says.
“Thirty were killed.”

“And you heard last year 200 pilgrims
were trapped in the pass to Kailash?
Strange summer storm, the snow hit suddenly.”

“They froze to death,” he said,
shrugging thin shoulders wrapped in his ragged shirt.
“It’s the way of karma.” He sighs, a toothless smile.

—Sally “Sali” Peden


(Also see: Timeless Journey and To Jyotir Math by Sally Peden)

Tags: , , ,

4 Responses to “Pilgrimage by Sally Peden”

  1. New film shows David Lynch retracing Maharishi’s footsteps from North to South India and the start of the TM movement | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] interest may be: Timeless Journey, Pilgrimage, and To Jyotir Math, by Sally […]


  2. Life in Love with You - Enlightenment is Sexy Says:

    […] special relationship he’d shared with Sali. Over steaming bowls of ginger-filled vegetable brew, he would read me her poetry, talk about his feelings of absolute devotion to her, and how she had transformed his soul with her […]


  3. Sally describes her journey “To Jyotir Math” with Maharishi and scientists who met to tell the Shankaracharya about the dawning of a new age | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] articles & poems: Transcendental Meditation, consciousness & enlightenment « Pilgrimage by Sally Peden My Son’s Sensei: A Tanka about my son’s Aikido teacher […]


  4. Timeless Journey (Traveling with Maharishi) | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] see: Pilgrimage and To Jyotir Math by Sally […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: