By Erik DeMario
India inspires births in people. We were told about the experience; we were taught the experience, but only through the experience itself can we truly grasp a broadened perspective on life. It feels distant to be in a place where there is no such thing as a bad view. The tall, snow capped mountains of the Himalayas could never be hidden from the people of Agora. The undeniably strong current and bitterly cold temperature of the Ganges River was also undeniably holy. It empowers me just as it inspires the mute baba by the river to take a vow of twelve years of silence.
Rishikesh, the capital of yoga, served as an inspiration to find peace within myself. The city is chaos; silence is nonexistent. Children begged for money, the streets were covered in dirt, and skilled drivers honked at any minor disturbance. Yet, somehow, residents of Rishikesh tune out the chaos and participate in the peaceful practice of yoga. Never have I been on such journeys where it was easy to disregard physical pain from a gruesome trail and instead focus all senses on the many beauties of the surrounding geography and culture.
Amongst the unfathomable beauties found in India, the sense of solitude from the Himalayas stands out to me the most. It allows time for meditation and the gradual recognition that we are experiencing something that is bigger than ourselves. This inspiration confirms a belief that we are spiritual beings living in a physical world. Despite the filthiness of the cities and the lack of modern technology, the people of Rishikesh and Agora never fail to stay in a positive mindset. Never again will I let emotions rise over my intellect. Worldly experiences create a birth of awe, a birth of spiritual revitalization, and an abundance of countless births that change perspectives.