Kainchi Dham has been the epicenter of a lot of attention since Mark Zuckerberg in a candid interview with PM revealed existence of a divine ashram which was a catalyst in making of Steve Jobs at Kainchi Dham. Mark Zuckerberg himself have stayed in this Ashram for 2 days. Along with Jobs and Zuckerberg, Google’s Larry Page and Jeffrey Skoll, co-founder of eBay, have also made the pilgrimage. Since the day Kainchi Dham temple have been the apple of the eye of many CEOs. Yes many start-up founders today are visiting this place in search of ‘what’ Steve Jobs at Kainchi Dham was able to discover.
In the book “Steve Jobs” by “Walter Isaacson”. Steve reveals that it was his friend Robert Friedland, who had gone to India the summer before, was urging him to take his own spiritual journey there. Friedland had studied in India with Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji), who had been the guru to much of the sixties hippie movement.
Steve Jobs along with his friend Daniel Kottke set out on a path to seek enlightenment in some hidden village in the Himalayas. The quest unlike the modern tourist was deeper to find something, to realize his place in the world. A dilemma that was going to haunt him for some time.
I had met a foreigner who once said to me, when I inquired to him about the low inflow of foreign tourist in India. He said “Chai (Indian Tea) is not everyone’s cup of tea”. Steve Jobs at Kainchi Dham found that the hard way. Eventually when he did made it to a village near Nainital in the foothills of the Himalayas. That was where Neem Karoli Baba lived. By the time Jobs got there, he was no longer alive, at least in the same incarnation .
Jobs rented a room with a mattress on the floor from a family who helped him recuperate by feeding him vegetarian meals. “There was a copy there of Autobiography of a Yogi in English that a previous traveler had left, and I read it several times because there was not a lot to do, and I walked around from village to village and recovered from my dysentery” . In a similar bizarre experience Jobs was picked up by a Guru who shaved his head telling him that he was ‘saving his health’.
After this Jobs stopped searching for a Guru who would lead him to enlightenment, rather focused on virtues of ascetic experience, deprivation, and simplicity. He slowly then made his way back to America with a shaven head, wearing Indian cotton clothes and a chocolate tan. This made him unrecognizable even to his own parents.
Steve latter in a letter recount about his days in India “…Coming back to America was, for me, much more of a cultural shock than going to India. The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and their intuition is far more developed than in the rest of the world”. Something had clicked, Intuition, which Jobs credits to everything he has ever achieved in his famous Stanford Speech. Soon he was to transform the world but first he had to transform himself.
People from ancient times have been coming to the Himalayas in search of truth and spirituality. The peace in the surrounding gives a way to see the chaos inside. In a world where the top companies in the west are hiring “Mindfulness Counselors” we in the east remain utterly disoriented with what the mountains have to offer apart from being a mere ‘weekend getaway’.