Sunday, November 11, 2007
Mountain of Meeting
The journey of the soul is through a landscape that has various features. This is not just the external landscape, but is an inner world, that resembles the outer world. Pilgrimage is a path taken by those who are searching for a Holy Place in the landscape. The heros of the Mahabharata, who were called the Pandava brothers, were forced to go into exile for fourteen years. During this time they wandered in the wilderness, and went in search of holy places, where sages had settled down in Ashram retreats. This part of the Epic is known as “Thirtha yatra”, that is the pilgrimage in search of Thirthas, which means springs, or sources of water. Very often a spring, or source of water, is associated with the primal holy place. It was at such a site that they met the mysterious sage Markandeya, who told them the story concerning Savithri, daughter of the Sun.
But in contrast to the magic pool that is found in the forest, is the Holy Mountain. The mountain, in Indian poetry is often associated with the meeting of lovers. It is the meeting of earth and sky. It is from the heights of the mountain that the stream pours down to give life to the earth
The image is composed on a triangle, with its base firmly on the ground, and its apex pointing up to the sky like a pyramid. This upward pointing triangle symbolizes the Covenant that binds together heaven and earth. To the right of the Mountain form we see the sign of the letter AUM in Sanskrit. This is like fire. This primal sound, which represents the Divine in creation, can also be understood as the tree of life, or Burning Bush, in which the voice of God was heard by Moses as he pastured his flock of sheep near the holy mount Horeb.