Om Namah Shivaya!!
This is an experience shared by Vishal Sagar, the elder brother of Sri Shivananda. The incident occurred during the recent Shrikhand Mahadev trek in July 2018.
The Shrikhand Mahadev peak is considered one of the abodes of Lord Shiva and opens up for pilgrimage in the month of July. The peak is at an elevation of 5227 metres(17150 ft) and is generally considered one of the toughest treks in the Kullu district. (Source – wikipedia)
Shrikhand Mahadev mountain trekking is one of the holiest treks among the all of the Kailash Yatras. During the annual trek this year to the mountain, about 6 devotees accompanied Sri Shivananda, among them his elder brother Vishal . Vishal is his constant companion, accompanying him in all these treks. Sri Shivananda had taken a unique pledge this year, to walk barefooted from the base camp to the peak, a trek of 37 kms through rocks and glaciers in the Himalayas, climbing up from the base camp. This is no easy feat – a bare-footed walk, without shoes, protection through slippery Himalayan glaciers, snow, ice , rivers, hard, vertical, rough rocks, crevasses – difficult for even an experienced trekker. Only a Yogi or a person with higher capabilities can even attempt this!
The members reached the peak and after having a Darshan of the Shrikhand Mahadev rock( the rock is the Shiva Lingam form), and majestic beautiful views of the serene Himalayan mountains all around, Shivananda blesses all devotees who accompany him, by applying tilak on the forehead. This time after the darshan, what Vishal brother and others noticed was a transformation in Sri Shivananda – His hair got spun into a Jata or knot, became stiff and matted, and turned brown in colour (like Lord Shiva’s matted hair). Sri Shivananda was glowing and the energies emanating from Him were so strong that people around Him started crying unknowingly as they experienced the divine energies. This was a unique, thrilling experience to everyone around.
After a while, they started the descent through the mountains, a descent that takes about one and a half days to reach the base camp, the Jata and glowing energies in Shivananda remained through this time and only after they reached the base camp about his hair returned to normal , as we normally see. Vishal brother says it is an unique encounter of experiencing Shiva himself and each time he talks about this, he still experiences the same thrilling energy!
Om Namah Shivaya