Day 106 | 27 April 2015 | Kamadod to Chattra | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Splash of water to beat the summer heat, Ranebennur, Haveri
  • We have an impish supporter in Vanita as she holds aloft the WOH flag, Chattra, Haveri
  • Floral greetings from the people of Ranebennur, Haveri
    1.Floral-greetings-from-the-people-of-Ranebennur -Haveri,-Karnataka
  • 'We are blessed!', Ranebennur, Haveri
  • 3.
  • Traditional welcome to Sri M at Ranebennur, Haveri
  • Things started getting 'bullish' as WOH resumed the Padayatra after breakfast at Ranebennur, Haveri
  • Ruminating over tea at a wayside restaurant, Renebennur, Haveri
  • Peek-a-boo, an unusual scene at a furniture shop, Haveri
  • Sri M making a point humorously, as is his wont, Kamadod, Haveri
  • Many arm hemselves with umbrellas as the summer sun turns on the heat on Day 106, near Chattra, Haveri
  • Traditional construction that has withstood the test of time, Chattra, Haveri
  • Anganvadi children are both happy & curious as they watch the padayatra pass by, Chattra, Haveri
The start to the day was a bit disquieting with news of a few walkers losing their mobileheadphones and shoes from their dormitories. However, the mood soon turned with them congregating and setting off at the usual 5.30 am. Just a little after sunrise, a villager was waiting to greet the group on the outskirts of Ranebennur. He welcomed each walker with a smile and a 'swagatha, swagatha' meaning ‘Welcome’. Many such heartwarming meetings see the walkers through long stretches of highway roads. Villagers keep stopping Sri M to take his blessings, touch his feet, garland him or just to give anything they have to offer - a hundred rupees, a fifty rupees, ten rupees, a packet of biscuits or even a couple of bananas.

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Since Chitradurga, the land has been arid except for stretches where the river flows. They passed quite a few settlements, unlike the stretch between Chitradurga and Bangalore, which was not densely populated. Passing through relatively small agricultural villages like Devaragudda and Kakol, the walkers noted the changing cultural landscape. A group of people greeted Sri M at Devaragudde and paid their respects. Devaragudda is an interesting place and has a hill top temple that draws many people from nearby places. Devaragudda, literally 'the sacred hill belonging to the Almighty’, has a temple of Lord Mailaralingeshwara - also known as Malatesha and Khandoba. Within the temple premises, one can also see a number of men with peculiar clothing. They are called Gorappas. These Gorappas are typically dressed in black colored gowns made of sheep wool with religious symbols set on them. These men wear turbans on their heads , carry tridents and other religious mascots along with them. They are considered to be the messengers (dhootas) of the Lord. Breakfast was early before 7.30 am. The Kattimani family of Ranebennur sponsored today’s breakfast, soon after they crossed Devaragudda. Everyone tucked in a sumptuous breakfast of crisp vadas and deliciously soft idlies. If Kerala outdid itself in its spread of sadyas, Karnataka has aced it in refreshment breaks. Every three kms, a small Matador van is parked under a tree, packed with tea and biscuits for the first stop, juice for the next, buttermilk for yet another and watermelon pieces for the halting point. It is something to look forward for all those walking for hours under the hot sun for the very first time in their lives. Walking on, the yatris crossed Ranebennur, an important town of this region, with the Tungabhadra touching the southern border. A primarily agriculturally centered city, it’s economy is based on trading as well as labour intensive farming. Cotton, corn and jowar are well suited to the semi-arid climate of this region. Coconut, brinjal, maize, betel leaves, and tomatoes are the other crops grown here. Much of the agricultural output is dependent on the southwest monsoon and hence gets challenging at times. Ranebennuris home to some industries given its central location in the state and proximity to the industrial hub of old Dharwad district. Walking through Ranebennur was a challenging task and the plight of the streets they walked through was sad. There were more pigs than dogs and a constant buzz of houseflies followed everywhere one went. The roads were dusty and littered with refuse. The padayatra also passed the Ranebennur Blackbuck Sanctuary. This Blackbuck Sanctuary protects endangered blackbucks. The area is covered mainly by scrub forest and eucalyptus plantations, and is also inhabited by the highly endangered great Indian bustard and wolves. However, the great Indian bustard has not been sighted in the sanctuary since around 2002 and may be locally extinct. Blackbucks are plentiful with a count of more than 6000 in the 2005 census. Agricultural fields surround the sanctuary. The last few days, the walkers have been walking around 17 kilometers per day and were at the halting point around 11 am before the sun reached its zenith. Today’s walk however, stretched 23 kilometers and they found it difficult in the increasingly blistering heat.The temperature touched 36 degrees at its peak. The landscape is also growing progressively arid and dry with dried up cornfields, thorny shrubs and shorter shrubby trees. Walking thus, they reached the outskirts of Chattra and took the Walk of Hope bus back to the Rainbow Residential School. In the evening, they were transported to Sai Mandir in Ranebennur, which was the venue for the Satsang. Today’s satsang was an unplanned one and was organized just in time, respecting the wishes of the local community and providing them an opportunity to interact with Sri M. Sri M spent time in the temple porch and interacted informally with the local people and the padayatris and blessed them. His Satsang was after the Aarthi in the SaiMandir. Sri M started with the now customary opening universal prayers - “Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāramvyāptamyenacarācaram| Tatpadamdarśitam yenta asmaiśrīguravenamah|| (Which) pervades the entire unbroken form of the circle (of creation), moving and unmoving. To that beautiful and benevolent Guru through whom that state was revealed (to me), salutations. Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheshwara Gurur Sakshat Parabrahma Tasmai Shree Guruvey Namaha The Guru is Brahma(The creator), Lord Vishnu (The preserver, and Lord Shiva (the destroyer) To that very Guru I bow, for He is the Supreme Being, right before my eyes. Loka samasta sukhinoh bhavantu – May the entire universe be happy.” He continued: “Now that I am here in Sai Baba Mandir today, I shall not speak in English, I shall speak in Hindi. Also because, I do not know Kannada really well. So, I will speak in Hindi. Sitting here in Sai Baba Mandir, what am I to say to you? He was a strange type of person about whom much cannot be said. I am sure many of you have read Sai Charitra Katha, and you may know what he is. But what he was really like, nobody knew. If anyone really found out what he was really, than he would know what God was like.” “It cannot be like this. We cannot know God just like that using our mind. With love and devotion, one can purify his mind. In that purified mind, when one sees a glimpse of the Supreme, one says, 'ah! I have got it'. If one gets that small glimpse, the mind naturally gets quiet, life gets quieter and simpler and the world also gets quieter.” “To change people and the world, more beings like Sai Baba are needed. He never left Shirdi, he spent his life there, that was his place. He used to go to Shirdi's borders and come back. Once he went to the border when Shivanada Maharaj was visiting; later, Sai Baba went to leave him, taking his hand, to the border of Shirdi. Sitting there in Shirdi, he has done much work from one place. From one place, sitting at first under the Neem tree, then at the Chaavdi, he has done much work and the best work he did was to say 'sab ka maalik ek hai' - the Lord of all beings is one.” “You must already know this, you must have read it - The Lord of all beings is one, all are the children of the lord and there is no difference. Many people thought that Shirdi Sai Baba was a Muslim fakir, others thought he was a Yogi, yet others thought he was a Devata. Nobody actually knew what he was. People like that are very much needed in India at a time like this.” “The work that I am doing is what has been given to me by MaheshwarnathBabaji; I am not doing it. I don't think I am doing anything; Maheshwarnath Babaji is doing all this work. I am just like a car being driven here and there. The kind of work Sai Baba did sitting in Shirdi, we do not have that kind of capacity; to sit at one place and work from there. That is why we are going here and there, coming at your door and doing this work.” “What work? To tell you that the Lord of all is only One. Whatever religion you belong to, whatever ideology you may have, you must understand one thing, you must not forget this - that we all are one. Everyone who is sitting here and who is not sitting here is born from a mother’s womb. There is no one who is not born of a mother’s womb. Every man and every woman, every boy and girl is born of a mother’s womb and there is so much pain for the mother. If I was taken away when I was born and was raised in a different home, they would have given me a different name.” “Through this Manav Ekta Mission's padayatra, we want to tell people to not forget this. Let your religions be different, let your faiths be different, let your ideologies be different. The greatest religion is to know that we are all one. We have no other aim but this. For this, we have been wandering in the hot sun. These people know me for many years and have great faith in me. They think that I am doing something, it is for the good and based on this faith they are wandering with me.” “Within the heart of every being, there is the spirit and this is a part of the great Supreme. There is a small bit of the Supreme in every being in the form of the Atman, we call this the‘AntarYami’ which in the heart of everyone. Be it man or woman, a human being is a walking temple. That is why, when you serve another human, you serve God himself. Like one worships God in a temple, such too is the worship when one serves another human being. And this temple is not made of concrete.” “What Sai Baba spoke of is no different from all this. He said, 'sab ka maalik ek hai' - the Lord of all beings is one. He told people not to steal, not to lie, not to harm another, to do as much as one can for another. Where is the difference? The same can also be found in Basavanna's vachanas - don't lie, don't kill, don't harm another, think yourself to be the smallest.” “You must have heard of Mira Bai—the great Krishna Bhakta from Rajasthan. Once she went to Benares to meet the great Ramanandji. Ramanandji was a brahmachari and he never used to meet women. He sat inside an enclosure and only men could go into that enclosure and meet him. Women could not go in. So, Mira Bai said that I want to meet Ramanandji and she was told it was not to be. She asked for a piece of paper and wrote something down on it. She said, give it to Ramanandji and if he meets me, it is okay. She had written, 'As per my understanding, in this universe, there is only one Man and that is the Supreme, it is Krishna. All others are women for me'. When Ramanandji read it, he said, call this lady in. So, no one is really great. One whose mind is purified, who is not violent towards others, who is peaceful, who loves everyone, the Supreme reveals himself in his heart and he derives so much joy out of it.” “When one becomes like this, one wants to share this joy. This is our only aim here. We are going about wanting to share this joy. Sharing thus, we have reached here. Having walked 1600 kilometers, we are here. Our legs are not fine but we are here. We are continuing because we think that the body is here today, gone tomorrow but before it goes, it must do some good work”. “There is still 5000 kilometers or more to go. In April of 2016, with God's grace - with what the Muslims say, 'Insha Allah', we will reach Srinagar. It is getting hotter and many people are not here. Many have fallen ill, some have fever, some are sick but I am here. It is Babaji'sgrace, it is God's grace. They too will be okay. Like this, we will reach Srinagar.” “We are walking with the hope that what we are doing will bring about some change in the hearts of men. I do not have much to say but this, ‘you pray every day to Babaji in this temple, bring into your lives his teachings too’. To pray is good; establish Babaji in your hearts too. If Babaji is inside, if he is watching over you, how will you commit a wrong? Think of it like this, that there is God within your heart and is observing your every action; live your lives with Shradha and Saburi - with faith and patience. If you do this, you will become good, your neighbour will become good and India will also become good.” “Not only this, the world too will becomegood. The Vedas say Loka samasta sukhino bhavantu- it talks of the welfare of all living beings. Think like this and live. I do not want to say any more, we are sitting in His 'darbaar'.” “If you cannot walk with us, please walk with your hearts. Please think that a good work is being done. If it is possible, walk with us for 10 minutes, or one day, or half a day, even 5 minutes. In Rig Veda, there is a shloka- Sangachhadhwam samvadadhwam samvo manaansi jaanataam… Meaning ‘to walk together, to study together, with our minds put together, may we understand’. With this prayer, I conclude my talk.” “For two minutes, we will sit in prayer for Nepal. What happened there is horrible and so many lives have been lost. What would be the state of Pasupathinatha, we don't know as yet. They are our neighbours and for their pain, we will sit quietly and pray whatever good is possible, let that be.” After this, the walkers were taken back to the halting place of the previous night, The Rainbow Public School. They retired after dinner.

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Jai Gurudeva …. Jai Kriya Babaji…

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