Chris De Bié - Storia Theurgica - The Hippie trail -
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Storia Theurgica
The Hippie trail


- _1. The escape
- _2. Gate to Asia
- _3. Persia
- _4. Afghanistan
- _5. Pakistan
- _6. India
- _7. Nepal
- _8. Back to Europe
6. India

Amritsar - Haridwar - Rishikesh - Manikaran - Pushkar
Bombay - Goa - Hampi - Dharamsala - Gorakhpur


After successfully passing the 'sniffing-test' at the guarded gate I took a look at this 'Temple of Happiness'. Bhagwan was holding a lecture so I treated myself to a bowl of fruit salad; the 5 Rupees I paid for this would have provided me with two meals outside the Ashram! And after watching and listening for a while I no longer had the desire to wait for the coming instructions by 'The Blessed'. Everybody walked around proudly wearing the traditional insignia of Sannyasins – orange clothes and Malas – plus the names they had bought. A Sannyasi (or Saddhu) is a mendicant as a rule, one who renounces all worldly goods and thus is greatly respected; thus most Hindus felt the going-ons in Poona disrespectful to their religion. Now I understood my new friend. In Goa he had warned me of Datura and fake friends and in Hampi he warned me of this 'Guru'. I did not want him to take advantage of me and left after a few hours this place blessed with money and proceeded to the Buddhas on the 'Roof of the World' .

The journey continued by train and went via Bombay to Delhi, then continued by bus through the Himalayan foothills until I finally reached Dharamsala. Dharamsala lies 1300 meters above sea level; the journey then proceeded to McLeod Ganj, whose altitude is higher by 600 m. This is where the Dalai Lama went into exile, where his residency was erected, and surrounded by his monks and faithful companions a small Tibetan village was created here. In this place I spent many weeks meditating and hiking.

I enjoyed the solitude in this majestic landscape and one of my hikes led me to Triund. Triund was a 3 to 4 hour distance away from Mc Leod Ganj on an altitude of 3350 meters. From here the snow covered mountains were visible and apparently close enough to touch. A chai shop by the river was the hightest point I reached, a favourite destination also for monks. Here I met with a group of Israelis who were complaining about the "high" price of coke. The discussion was about a mere few Paisas, an amount that was more than justified. Drinks were transported 1450 meters higher on the narrow and steep path. Something which of course had its price. Negative vibes at a place so full of positive energy! I left this scene and remembered Jack Kerouac's “Dharma Bums” and the adventures of Japhy Ryder and Ray Smith in California's Sierra Nevada.


River with monk
Photo by Lichtfaktor

How they danced and hopped down the Matterhorn. Once you lose your inhibitions it is easy to just take a plunge. I read the book on Ibiza in 1972 and was fascinated by their Haikus, and in turn created the following:

Buddha altar near
River runs down the mountain
Finally release


Dhauladhar I

I would have loved to climb higher but my budget did not permit me to buy the necessary equipment. My sleeping bag was definitely not adequate for this altitude and my shoes were also not proper for this type of hike. Also I would have had to join a group because such icy adventures should not be undertaken alone.
  Ardian Fu


Dhauladhar II

I sat down on the edge of the small plateau, looked over Mc Leod Ganj down to Dharamsala.


View over McLeod Ganj to Dharamsala
Photos by Ardian Fu

At the 'small Tibet' with his shanties, monasteries and prayer wheels.


Photo by Hans Grimm - 1975
  Hans Grimm


  Peter Engelhardt


Prayer wheels



Photos by Peter Engelhardt - 1979

In the following weeks I was going to attend several ceremonies here, watch the debating monks and their dancing which was accompanied by the sound of horns, feeling drawn to the Philosophy of Buddhism and Tibet's culture.


Debating monks



Dancing monks



Horn-blowing monks
Photos by Lichtfaktor

It was only several years later however, that I was initiated into Buddhism; more about this at the end of my story. My visa was expiring and I had to leave India, after half a year full of moments of joy and extraordinary experiences. Thus, I was on my way to Nepal.


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© by Chris De Bié admin: 17.03.2019