“Aspire to be like Mt. Fuji, with such a broad and solid foundation that the strongest earthquake cannot move you, and so tall that the greatest enterprises of common men seem insignificant from your lofty perspective. With your mind as high as Mt Fuji you can see all things clearly. And you can see all the forces that shape events; not just the things happening near to you.”
About a hundred miles away from Tokyo, in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, there is a tall mountain that parts earth and sky with unusual symmetry. It rises 3776 meters above sea level and is Japan’s tallest mountain and most iconic landmark— Fujisan to the Japanese or Mount Fuji to the rest of us.
Historically, images of the almost perfect, solitary volcano have always been the subject of paintings and a multitude of artworks that have been famously around for centuries.
But the actual sight of the mountain is quite another thing, especially when you see how regally it stands, drawing awe, veneration and a unique mysticism that appeals to the hundreds of visitors who come from all over the world. Some take it to be a stairway to Heaven, others take it as a holy ground for pilgrimage; and then, there are those for whom it has become a site for receiving revelations as they believe it to be an abode for the deities and ancestors to reside in.
And, so one April morning, a couple of months ago, I happened to be in the crowd that thronged to the foot of this majestic mountain. It was nothing short of a dream come true for me and the family, as we walked up to the view point from where we could see Mount Fuji and be enthralled by its ethereal beauty! I don’t really know if words could suffice to explain my feelings for in that moment, I felt a surge of what one could call a deeply spiritual experience, witnessing such grandeur and serenity that defied every description. Do I even need to tell you how small and insignificant we mortals felt, in comparison?
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