Mystics of the Mountain

There would be no way to count them, but across the Himalaya mountains there are thousands upon thousands mystics. They come in all hues and traditions, from seekers who live in complete isolation in remote dwellings to those who actively work to enrich the lives of hill communities. At the same time, there are the high flying godmen who invoke the Himalaya and claim to be spiritual ambassadors to the plains and to the West. Then there are those operating in the fringes of the mystical tradition, charlatans in saffron waiting to rip off the innocent believer.

As in any other segment of humanity, among the Himalayan mystics too there are the mediocre and the brillant, the selfish and the selfless, the cheats and the true sages. For the villagers, the sadhu can either be a Shiva incarnate or a fraud, and so they are careful when a sadhu comes amidst them.

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Himal Southasian
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