I was traveling several months on a motorcycle when I took this picture of Sri Pada in Sri Lanka, also called Adam’s Peak. Adam, because of Adam in the Bible, but in the local language Sri Pada translates to the footprint of Buddha, and in Hinduism it is known as the mountain of Shiva’s Light.
All major religions identify with this sacred mountain, where Hermann Hesse had one of his most profound mystical experiences. It’s a 2000-meter climb to get to the top of the steep mountain, and if that doesn’t kill you, you might be lucky to see a pyramid appear in the clouds on certain days during sunrise. It’s the shadow of the mountain I photographed. Sri Pada does not seem pyramidical from the direction where we came from, and my mind couldn’t quite grasp the triangular shadow in the cloud’s appearance because it also seemed as if the sun was rising right behind the pyramid when it actually was rising in the exact opposite direction. This was a truly unforgettable moment. Some things you just can’t miss before you die because those extraordinary experiences stay with you and brand you. Nobody can take that away from you. The wisdom that comes from moments like this is really priceless.
Omananda is the author of the fascinating story Transcendental Journeys: A Visionary Quest for Freedom.