The Iron pillar of Delhi
Type of Spiritual Experience
The Iron Pillar located in Delhi, India, is a 7 m (23 ft) column in the Qutb complex, notable for the rust-resistant composition of the metals used in its construction.
The pillar has attracted the attention of archaeologists and metallurgists and has been called "a testament to the skill of ancient Indian blacksmiths" because of its high resistance to corrosion. The corrosion resistance results from an even layer of crystalline iron hydrogen phosphate forming on the high phosphorus content iron, which serves to protect it from the effects of the local Delhi climate.
The pillar carries a number of inscriptions and graffiti of different dates which have not been studied systematically despite the pillar's prominent location and easy access. The oldest inscription on the pillar is in Sanskrit, written in Gupta-period Brahmi script. The dating of the inscription is supported by the nature of the script and the Sanskrit poetics, both of which reflect the conventions of Gupta times.
It is said to read as follows:
He, on whose arm fame was inscribed by the sword, when, in battle in the Vanga countries (Bengal), he kneaded (and turned) back with (his) breast the enemies who, uniting together, came against (him);-he, by whom, having crossed in warfare the seven mouths of the (river) Sindhu, the Vahlikas were conquered;-he, by the breezes of whose prowess the southern ocean is even still perfumed;-
What the guide books do not tell you however, but a guide will – especially if like ours he was a poet – is that if you place your back against the pillar and clasp your hands and stay long enough you will be ‘transported to the gods’ as my guide put it. And indeed, if my experience is anything to go by - you are
A description of the experience