NCERT Textbook - The Summit Within Notes | Study English Class 8 - Class 8

Class 8: NCERT Textbook - The Summit Within Notes | Study English Class 8 - Class 8

The document NCERT Textbook - The Summit Within Notes | Study English Class 8 - Class 8 is a part of the Class 8 Course English Class 8.
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 Page 1


Before you read
Major H.P.S. Ahluwalia was a member of the first
successful Indian expedition to Mount Everest in 1965.
How did he feel when he stood on the highest point in
the world? Let us hear his story in his words —
climbing the summit and, then, the more difficult task
of climbing the summit within.
Of all the emotions which surged through me as I stood
on the summit of Everest, looking over miles of
panorama below us, the dominant one I think was
humility. The physical in me seemed to say, ‘Thank
God, it’s all over!” However, instead of being jubilant,
there was a tinge of sadness. Was it because I had already
done the ‘ultimate’ in climbing and there would be
nothing higher to climb and all roads hereafter would
lead down?
By climbing the summit of Everest you are
overwhelmed by a deep sense of joy and thankfulness.
It is a joy which lasts a lifetime. The experience changes
you completely. The man who has been to the mountains
is never the same again.
As I look back at life after climbing Everest I cannot
help remarking about the other summit — the summit
of the mind — no less formidable and no easier to climb.
surged:
arose
suddenly and
intensely
panorama:
view of a wide
area
jubilant:
very happy
because of
success
tinge:
trace/shade
2019-2020
Page 2


Before you read
Major H.P.S. Ahluwalia was a member of the first
successful Indian expedition to Mount Everest in 1965.
How did he feel when he stood on the highest point in
the world? Let us hear his story in his words —
climbing the summit and, then, the more difficult task
of climbing the summit within.
Of all the emotions which surged through me as I stood
on the summit of Everest, looking over miles of
panorama below us, the dominant one I think was
humility. The physical in me seemed to say, ‘Thank
God, it’s all over!” However, instead of being jubilant,
there was a tinge of sadness. Was it because I had already
done the ‘ultimate’ in climbing and there would be
nothing higher to climb and all roads hereafter would
lead down?
By climbing the summit of Everest you are
overwhelmed by a deep sense of joy and thankfulness.
It is a joy which lasts a lifetime. The experience changes
you completely. The man who has been to the mountains
is never the same again.
As I look back at life after climbing Everest I cannot
help remarking about the other summit — the summit
of the mind — no less formidable and no easier to climb.
surged:
arose
suddenly and
intensely
panorama:
view of a wide
area
jubilant:
very happy
because of
success
tinge:
trace/shade
2019-2020
Honeydew 76 76 76 76 76
Even when getting down from the summit, once the
physical exhaustion had gone, I began asking myself
the question why I had climbed Everest. Why did the
act of reaching the summit have such a hold on my
imagination? It was already a thing of the past,
something done yesterday. With every passing day, it
would become more remote. And then what would
remain? Would my memories fade slowly away?
All these thoughts led me to question myself as
to why people climb mountains. It is not easy to
answer the question. The simplest answer would
be, as others have said, “Because it is there.” It
presents great difficulties. Man takes delight in
overcoming obstacles. The obstacles in climbing a
mountain are physical. A climb to a summit means
endurance, persistence and will power. The
demonstration of these physical qualities is no doubt
exhilarating, as it was for me also.
I have a more personal answer to the question. From
my childhood I have been attracted by mountains. I
had been miserable, lost, when away from mountains,
in the plains. Mountains are nature at its best. Their
beauty and majesty pose a great challenge, and like
many, I believe that mountains are a means of
communion with God.
Once having granted this, the question remains: Why
Everest? Because it is the highest, the mightiest and
has defied many previous attempts. It takes the last
ounce of one’s energy. It is a brutal struggle with rock
and ice. Once taken up, it cannot be given up halfway
even when one’s life is at stake. The passage back is as
difficult as the passage onwards. And then, when the
summit is climbed, there is the exhilaration, the joy of
having done something, the sense of a battle fought
and won. There is a feeling of victory and of happiness.
Glimpsing a peak in the distance, I get transported
to another world. I experience a change within myself
exhaustion:
fatigue;
tiredness
exhilarating:
very exciting
communion:
state or feeling
of close rela-
tionship
defied:
frustrated;
resisted
2019-2020
Page 3


Before you read
Major H.P.S. Ahluwalia was a member of the first
successful Indian expedition to Mount Everest in 1965.
How did he feel when he stood on the highest point in
the world? Let us hear his story in his words —
climbing the summit and, then, the more difficult task
of climbing the summit within.
Of all the emotions which surged through me as I stood
on the summit of Everest, looking over miles of
panorama below us, the dominant one I think was
humility. The physical in me seemed to say, ‘Thank
God, it’s all over!” However, instead of being jubilant,
there was a tinge of sadness. Was it because I had already
done the ‘ultimate’ in climbing and there would be
nothing higher to climb and all roads hereafter would
lead down?
By climbing the summit of Everest you are
overwhelmed by a deep sense of joy and thankfulness.
It is a joy which lasts a lifetime. The experience changes
you completely. The man who has been to the mountains
is never the same again.
As I look back at life after climbing Everest I cannot
help remarking about the other summit — the summit
of the mind — no less formidable and no easier to climb.
surged:
arose
suddenly and
intensely
panorama:
view of a wide
area
jubilant:
very happy
because of
success
tinge:
trace/shade
2019-2020
Honeydew 76 76 76 76 76
Even when getting down from the summit, once the
physical exhaustion had gone, I began asking myself
the question why I had climbed Everest. Why did the
act of reaching the summit have such a hold on my
imagination? It was already a thing of the past,
something done yesterday. With every passing day, it
would become more remote. And then what would
remain? Would my memories fade slowly away?
All these thoughts led me to question myself as
to why people climb mountains. It is not easy to
answer the question. The simplest answer would
be, as others have said, “Because it is there.” It
presents great difficulties. Man takes delight in
overcoming obstacles. The obstacles in climbing a
mountain are physical. A climb to a summit means
endurance, persistence and will power. The
demonstration of these physical qualities is no doubt
exhilarating, as it was for me also.
I have a more personal answer to the question. From
my childhood I have been attracted by mountains. I
had been miserable, lost, when away from mountains,
in the plains. Mountains are nature at its best. Their
beauty and majesty pose a great challenge, and like
many, I believe that mountains are a means of
communion with God.
Once having granted this, the question remains: Why
Everest? Because it is the highest, the mightiest and
has defied many previous attempts. It takes the last
ounce of one’s energy. It is a brutal struggle with rock
and ice. Once taken up, it cannot be given up halfway
even when one’s life is at stake. The passage back is as
difficult as the passage onwards. And then, when the
summit is climbed, there is the exhilaration, the joy of
having done something, the sense of a battle fought
and won. There is a feeling of victory and of happiness.
Glimpsing a peak in the distance, I get transported
to another world. I experience a change within myself
exhaustion:
fatigue;
tiredness
exhilarating:
very exciting
communion:
state or feeling
of close rela-
tionship
defied:
frustrated;
resisted
2019-2020
The Summit Within 77 77 77 77 77
which can only be called mystical. By its beauty,
aloofness, might, ruggedness, and the difficulties
encountered on the way , the peak draws me to it — as
Everest did. It is a challenge that is difficult to resist.
Looking back I find that I have not
yet fully explained why I climbed
Everest. It is like answering a question
why you breathe. Why do you help your
neighbour? Why do you want to do good
acts? There is no final answer possible.
And then there is the fact that Everest
is not just a physical climb. The man who
has been to the mountain-top becomes
conscious in a special manner of his own
smallness in this large universe.
The physical conquest of a mountain
is only one part of the achievement.
There is more to it than that. It is
followed by a sense of fulfilment. There
is the satisfaction of a deep urge to rise
above one’s surroundings. It is the
eternal love for adventure in man. The experience is not
merely physical. It is emotional. It is spiritual.
Consider a typical climb, towards the summit on the
last heights. You are sharing a rope with another
climber. Y ou firm in. He cuts the steps in the hard ice.
Then he belays and you inch your way up. The climb is
grim. You strain every nerve as you take every step.
Famous climbers have left records of the help given by
others. They have also recorded how they needed just
that help. Else they might have given up. Breathing is
difficult. Y ou curse yourself for having let yourself in for
this. You wonder why you ever undertook the ascent.
There are moments when you feel like going back. It
would be sheer relief to go down, instead of up. But
almost at once you snap out of that mood. There is
something in you that does not let you give up the
mystical:
spiritual
ascent:
climb
firm in:
make yourself
firm
belays:
fixes a rope
2019-2020
Page 4


Before you read
Major H.P.S. Ahluwalia was a member of the first
successful Indian expedition to Mount Everest in 1965.
How did he feel when he stood on the highest point in
the world? Let us hear his story in his words —
climbing the summit and, then, the more difficult task
of climbing the summit within.
Of all the emotions which surged through me as I stood
on the summit of Everest, looking over miles of
panorama below us, the dominant one I think was
humility. The physical in me seemed to say, ‘Thank
God, it’s all over!” However, instead of being jubilant,
there was a tinge of sadness. Was it because I had already
done the ‘ultimate’ in climbing and there would be
nothing higher to climb and all roads hereafter would
lead down?
By climbing the summit of Everest you are
overwhelmed by a deep sense of joy and thankfulness.
It is a joy which lasts a lifetime. The experience changes
you completely. The man who has been to the mountains
is never the same again.
As I look back at life after climbing Everest I cannot
help remarking about the other summit — the summit
of the mind — no less formidable and no easier to climb.
surged:
arose
suddenly and
intensely
panorama:
view of a wide
area
jubilant:
very happy
because of
success
tinge:
trace/shade
2019-2020
Honeydew 76 76 76 76 76
Even when getting down from the summit, once the
physical exhaustion had gone, I began asking myself
the question why I had climbed Everest. Why did the
act of reaching the summit have such a hold on my
imagination? It was already a thing of the past,
something done yesterday. With every passing day, it
would become more remote. And then what would
remain? Would my memories fade slowly away?
All these thoughts led me to question myself as
to why people climb mountains. It is not easy to
answer the question. The simplest answer would
be, as others have said, “Because it is there.” It
presents great difficulties. Man takes delight in
overcoming obstacles. The obstacles in climbing a
mountain are physical. A climb to a summit means
endurance, persistence and will power. The
demonstration of these physical qualities is no doubt
exhilarating, as it was for me also.
I have a more personal answer to the question. From
my childhood I have been attracted by mountains. I
had been miserable, lost, when away from mountains,
in the plains. Mountains are nature at its best. Their
beauty and majesty pose a great challenge, and like
many, I believe that mountains are a means of
communion with God.
Once having granted this, the question remains: Why
Everest? Because it is the highest, the mightiest and
has defied many previous attempts. It takes the last
ounce of one’s energy. It is a brutal struggle with rock
and ice. Once taken up, it cannot be given up halfway
even when one’s life is at stake. The passage back is as
difficult as the passage onwards. And then, when the
summit is climbed, there is the exhilaration, the joy of
having done something, the sense of a battle fought
and won. There is a feeling of victory and of happiness.
Glimpsing a peak in the distance, I get transported
to another world. I experience a change within myself
exhaustion:
fatigue;
tiredness
exhilarating:
very exciting
communion:
state or feeling
of close rela-
tionship
defied:
frustrated;
resisted
2019-2020
The Summit Within 77 77 77 77 77
which can only be called mystical. By its beauty,
aloofness, might, ruggedness, and the difficulties
encountered on the way , the peak draws me to it — as
Everest did. It is a challenge that is difficult to resist.
Looking back I find that I have not
yet fully explained why I climbed
Everest. It is like answering a question
why you breathe. Why do you help your
neighbour? Why do you want to do good
acts? There is no final answer possible.
And then there is the fact that Everest
is not just a physical climb. The man who
has been to the mountain-top becomes
conscious in a special manner of his own
smallness in this large universe.
The physical conquest of a mountain
is only one part of the achievement.
There is more to it than that. It is
followed by a sense of fulfilment. There
is the satisfaction of a deep urge to rise
above one’s surroundings. It is the
eternal love for adventure in man. The experience is not
merely physical. It is emotional. It is spiritual.
Consider a typical climb, towards the summit on the
last heights. You are sharing a rope with another
climber. Y ou firm in. He cuts the steps in the hard ice.
Then he belays and you inch your way up. The climb is
grim. You strain every nerve as you take every step.
Famous climbers have left records of the help given by
others. They have also recorded how they needed just
that help. Else they might have given up. Breathing is
difficult. Y ou curse yourself for having let yourself in for
this. You wonder why you ever undertook the ascent.
There are moments when you feel like going back. It
would be sheer relief to go down, instead of up. But
almost at once you snap out of that mood. There is
something in you that does not let you give up the
mystical:
spiritual
ascent:
climb
firm in:
make yourself
firm
belays:
fixes a rope
2019-2020
Honeydew 78 78 78 78 78
struggle. And you go on. Y our companion keeps up with
you. Just another fifty feet. Or a hundred, maybe. Y ou
ask yourself: Is there no end? You look at your
companion and he looks at you. You draw inspiration
from each other . And then, without first being aware of
it, you are at the summit.
Looking round from the summit you tell yourself
that it was worthwhile. Other silvery peaks appear
through the clouds. If you are lucky the sun may be on
them. The surrounding peaks look like a jewelled
necklace around the neck of your summit. Below, you
see vast valleys sloping into the distance. It is an
ennobling, enriching experience to just look down from
the summit of a mountain. You bow down and make
your obeisance to whichever God you worship.
I left on Everest a picture of Guru Nanak. Rawat left
a picture of Goddess Durga. Phu Dorji left a relic of the
Buddha. Edmund Hillary had buried a cross under a
cairn (a heap of rocks and stones) in the snow. These
are not symbols of conquest but of reverence.
The experience of having
climbed to the summit
changes you completely .
There is another summit.
It is within yourself. It is in
your own mind. Each man
carries within himself his
own mountain peak. He
must climb it to reach to a
fuller knowledge of himself.
It is fearful, and unscalable.
It cannot be climbed by
anyone else. You yourself
have to do it. The physical
act of climbing to the
summit of a mountain
The author and Phu-Dorji on the
summit of Mount Everest
make your
obeisance:
show your
obedience or
submission
2019-2020
Page 5


Before you read
Major H.P.S. Ahluwalia was a member of the first
successful Indian expedition to Mount Everest in 1965.
How did he feel when he stood on the highest point in
the world? Let us hear his story in his words —
climbing the summit and, then, the more difficult task
of climbing the summit within.
Of all the emotions which surged through me as I stood
on the summit of Everest, looking over miles of
panorama below us, the dominant one I think was
humility. The physical in me seemed to say, ‘Thank
God, it’s all over!” However, instead of being jubilant,
there was a tinge of sadness. Was it because I had already
done the ‘ultimate’ in climbing and there would be
nothing higher to climb and all roads hereafter would
lead down?
By climbing the summit of Everest you are
overwhelmed by a deep sense of joy and thankfulness.
It is a joy which lasts a lifetime. The experience changes
you completely. The man who has been to the mountains
is never the same again.
As I look back at life after climbing Everest I cannot
help remarking about the other summit — the summit
of the mind — no less formidable and no easier to climb.
surged:
arose
suddenly and
intensely
panorama:
view of a wide
area
jubilant:
very happy
because of
success
tinge:
trace/shade
2019-2020
Honeydew 76 76 76 76 76
Even when getting down from the summit, once the
physical exhaustion had gone, I began asking myself
the question why I had climbed Everest. Why did the
act of reaching the summit have such a hold on my
imagination? It was already a thing of the past,
something done yesterday. With every passing day, it
would become more remote. And then what would
remain? Would my memories fade slowly away?
All these thoughts led me to question myself as
to why people climb mountains. It is not easy to
answer the question. The simplest answer would
be, as others have said, “Because it is there.” It
presents great difficulties. Man takes delight in
overcoming obstacles. The obstacles in climbing a
mountain are physical. A climb to a summit means
endurance, persistence and will power. The
demonstration of these physical qualities is no doubt
exhilarating, as it was for me also.
I have a more personal answer to the question. From
my childhood I have been attracted by mountains. I
had been miserable, lost, when away from mountains,
in the plains. Mountains are nature at its best. Their
beauty and majesty pose a great challenge, and like
many, I believe that mountains are a means of
communion with God.
Once having granted this, the question remains: Why
Everest? Because it is the highest, the mightiest and
has defied many previous attempts. It takes the last
ounce of one’s energy. It is a brutal struggle with rock
and ice. Once taken up, it cannot be given up halfway
even when one’s life is at stake. The passage back is as
difficult as the passage onwards. And then, when the
summit is climbed, there is the exhilaration, the joy of
having done something, the sense of a battle fought
and won. There is a feeling of victory and of happiness.
Glimpsing a peak in the distance, I get transported
to another world. I experience a change within myself
exhaustion:
fatigue;
tiredness
exhilarating:
very exciting
communion:
state or feeling
of close rela-
tionship
defied:
frustrated;
resisted
2019-2020
The Summit Within 77 77 77 77 77
which can only be called mystical. By its beauty,
aloofness, might, ruggedness, and the difficulties
encountered on the way , the peak draws me to it — as
Everest did. It is a challenge that is difficult to resist.
Looking back I find that I have not
yet fully explained why I climbed
Everest. It is like answering a question
why you breathe. Why do you help your
neighbour? Why do you want to do good
acts? There is no final answer possible.
And then there is the fact that Everest
is not just a physical climb. The man who
has been to the mountain-top becomes
conscious in a special manner of his own
smallness in this large universe.
The physical conquest of a mountain
is only one part of the achievement.
There is more to it than that. It is
followed by a sense of fulfilment. There
is the satisfaction of a deep urge to rise
above one’s surroundings. It is the
eternal love for adventure in man. The experience is not
merely physical. It is emotional. It is spiritual.
Consider a typical climb, towards the summit on the
last heights. You are sharing a rope with another
climber. Y ou firm in. He cuts the steps in the hard ice.
Then he belays and you inch your way up. The climb is
grim. You strain every nerve as you take every step.
Famous climbers have left records of the help given by
others. They have also recorded how they needed just
that help. Else they might have given up. Breathing is
difficult. Y ou curse yourself for having let yourself in for
this. You wonder why you ever undertook the ascent.
There are moments when you feel like going back. It
would be sheer relief to go down, instead of up. But
almost at once you snap out of that mood. There is
something in you that does not let you give up the
mystical:
spiritual
ascent:
climb
firm in:
make yourself
firm
belays:
fixes a rope
2019-2020
Honeydew 78 78 78 78 78
struggle. And you go on. Y our companion keeps up with
you. Just another fifty feet. Or a hundred, maybe. Y ou
ask yourself: Is there no end? You look at your
companion and he looks at you. You draw inspiration
from each other . And then, without first being aware of
it, you are at the summit.
Looking round from the summit you tell yourself
that it was worthwhile. Other silvery peaks appear
through the clouds. If you are lucky the sun may be on
them. The surrounding peaks look like a jewelled
necklace around the neck of your summit. Below, you
see vast valleys sloping into the distance. It is an
ennobling, enriching experience to just look down from
the summit of a mountain. You bow down and make
your obeisance to whichever God you worship.
I left on Everest a picture of Guru Nanak. Rawat left
a picture of Goddess Durga. Phu Dorji left a relic of the
Buddha. Edmund Hillary had buried a cross under a
cairn (a heap of rocks and stones) in the snow. These
are not symbols of conquest but of reverence.
The experience of having
climbed to the summit
changes you completely .
There is another summit.
It is within yourself. It is in
your own mind. Each man
carries within himself his
own mountain peak. He
must climb it to reach to a
fuller knowledge of himself.
It is fearful, and unscalable.
It cannot be climbed by
anyone else. You yourself
have to do it. The physical
act of climbing to the
summit of a mountain
The author and Phu-Dorji on the
summit of Mount Everest
make your
obeisance:
show your
obedience or
submission
2019-2020
The Summit Within 79 79 79 79 79
outside is akin to the act of climbing the mountain
within. The effects of both the climbs are the same.
Whether the mountain you climb is physical or
emotional and spiritual, the climb will certainly change
you. It teaches you much about the world and about
yourself.
I venture to think that my experience as an Everester
has provided me with the inspiration to face life’s ordeals
resolutely. Climbing the mountain was a worthwhile
experience. The conquest of the internal summit is
equally worthwhile. The internal summits are, perhaps,
higher than Everest.
H.P .S. AHLUWALIA
Comprehension Check
1. Standing on Everest, the writer was
(i) overjoyed.
(ii) very sad.
(iii) jubilant and sad.
Choose the right item.
2. The emotion that gripped him was one of
(i) victory over hurdles.
(ii) humility and a sense of smallness.
(iii) greatness and self importance.
(iv) joy of discovery.
Choose the right item.
3. “The summit of the mind” refers to
(i) great intellectual achievements.
(ii) the process of maturing mentally and spiritually.
(iii) overcoming personal ambition for common welfare.
(iv) living in the world of thought and imagination.
(v) the triumph of mind over worldly pleasures for a noble cause.
(vi) a fuller knowledge of oneself.
Mark the item(s) not relevant.
ordeals:
painful
experiences
resolutely:
with
determination
or firmness
2019-2020
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