Deep in the heart of the Himalayas, beyond Gaumukha, is the mountain called Hemkunt (not to be confused this with Hemkunt Sahib). After leaving the source of the Ganga, the Pandavas along with Rishi Lomesh, reached this divine mountain. Here, Yudhisthira beheld many strange and wonderful sights. There was constant breeze, it rained continuously, and there was the constant sound of ‘Aum’ but not another person in sight. Sacrificial fires lit up on their own at dawn and dusk. Yudhisthira asked the rishi about these wonderful sights.
The rishi replied, “The name of this place is Rishabhakut and many years ago a rishi called Rishabh performed difficult tapas here for thousands of years. The rishi was a very angry person and when some passing travellers disturbed his meditation he got very angry. He told the mountain Hemkunt that if anybody was to even utter a word in this area, the mountain should shower that person with stones. He also called on the wind to blow in the area without any sound and if any living creature tried to make a sound, the wind should stop him with a strong gust.”
Further he added, “Another reason why you do not see anyone in this place is because once the gods once came to have a dip in the Nanda River which flows at the foot of the mountain. When the people living nearby heard that the Gods had come, they came in large numbers to worship them. Indra, the king of the Gods, did not want people to see them as they bathed in the river, so he put another mountain to obstruct the river and Hemkunt. With this access to the river and the place called Rishabhakut became nearly impossible.”
The rishi Lomesh went on to tell Yudhisthira that only those who performed heavy tapas are able to see and come to this mountain. He said that even then devas and rishis lived there and asked Yudhisthira and his brothers to bathe in the river to purify themselves.
Here, by using the geographical description of a place in the Himalayas, the Rishi Vyasa has left the keys to the ‘silent area’. In our right mid-brain lies a small area called the silent area. Yogis call this as the Bindu chakra or the highest achievement of Yoga. Here lives Rishi Rishabh, meaning a bull, the symbol for sex energy. When the yogi is able to penetrate this area, he hears the sound that no one is producing and he feels the wind devoid of sound. Here, there is constant grace and fires light on its own without anyone’s presence.
All of us have this area of total silence within us. It is on the mountain Hemkunt, which means gold, a symbol of consciousness. Once our consciousness rises to this peak, we come back to bathe in the river Nanda, or the river of rejoicing.