The search for Himalayan Shilajit
In previous posts, I have shared with you what started my passion for finding the elusive high-grade Indian Shilajit and bringing it to western markets. Today, I will share more about exactly how I finally found pure Shilajit.
Motorcycles and monks in the Himalayas![/caption] In search of the legendary Shilajit I had heard so much about, I traveled for a total of six months throughout the Himalayas by motorcycle, foot, and sometimes pushing the motorcycle! My friend and spiritual mentor, Bikkhu Siribodhi, a Buddhist monk from the Royal Thai Temple in Bodh Gaya, traveled with me so that he could learn more about the Buddhism practiced in these remote areas. It was a harrowing trip. In many of the areas we visited we needed to get special permission and permits from the military. Having a monk with me certainly helped as the military and everyone we met treated him with reverence and respect. We passed over some of the highest mountain passes in the world reaching altitudes above 18,000 feet above sea level. We met amazing people and experienced the wonderful cultures of the indigenous Himalayan people. We saw some of the most beautiful landscapes and scenery on earth. We also experienced many hardships including engine problems, terrible roads, freezing cold, snow storms, and sand storms.
Over one pass the weather changed without warning and we were suddenly driving with zero visibility in a snow storm! I honestly feared for our lives. The cold was so bitter that I had to stop every couple of minutes to warm my hands on the engine of the motorcycle to avoid frostbite. I knew that if our motorcycle broke down, which it had done several times in the past, we would certainly perish. I'm not too proud to admit that I cried and cursed as my mind filled with terror and thoughts of my family getting the news that I had met my demise in an icy mountain grave. As I tried to navigate slowly through the dark, cold, and blinding snow, I could hear the monk gently chanting. We never spoke until finally, and miraculously, we descended into the valley and reached a small village where we were able to warm ourselves by a fire and drink what was probably the most delicious chai I had ever tasted. I asked Siribodhi, “What were you chanting?”. He calmly replied that he was chanting a special sutra that he was told to chant when he was preparing for death. I was very relieved that his chants had proved to be unnecessary!
It was shortly after this that I found hope at discovering a source of high grade Himalayan Shilajit medicine. An elderly woman told us about a traditional doctor who had a supply of very good quality Shilajit in a village nearby. She said she had been taking it for years and it kept her strong and relieved her joint pain. We visited the doctor and he welcomed us into his home. He gave us some purified Shilajit to sample and it was very potent. I immediately felt a sensation of vibrations flowing throughout every cell in my body. I asked him about the quality and then he pulled out a gold and reddish colored rock from a metal box. Throughout the rock I could see black Shilajit glistening in the light. This was the rare and legendary type of Indian Shilajit I had heard so much about! I asked if he could sell me some. He said he could, but only a little, and that if I wanted more I would have to visit his brother who collected this quality of Shilajit high in the mountains. “Where can I find him?” I asked. “He's only about a four hour walk from here,” the doctor replied. The next day we started what turned out to be a very grueling and slow six hour hike high into the mountains for search of the elusive Himalayan Shilajit.