Day 107 | 28 April 2015 | Chattra to Haveri | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Sri M at dawn, during a short break after Chattra, Haveri
  • A cartload of dry cotton shrub, Motebennur, Haveri
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  • The sun breaks free from the clouds as the Padayatra leaves Chattra behind on Day107, Haveri
  • Coconut palms nod in approval as the Padayatra streams past, Motebennur, Haveri
  • Hay stacks en-route to Haveri, Karnataka
  • 'Monarch-of-all-he-surveys',-prim scarecrow in a brinjal planation, Haveri
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  • Sri Sadasivaswamy of Hukkeri- Mutt receives Sri M as the Walk enters Haveri, Karnataka
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  • Loud and clear drums usher WOH to Haveri town, Karnataka
  • A multi-hued welcome for WOH as it enters Haveri town, Karnataka
  • 'Who all are these white-clad people',-the little boy seems to ask,-Haveri, Karnataka
  • This boy subjects WOH to 'Intense scrutiny', peering over the brochure, Haveri, Karnataka
The Walk of Hope left Chattra at 5.30 am and covered 23 kilometers in five and a half hours to reach Hukkeri Math, Haveri, at around 11.30 am. The padayatra passed through Motebennur, Gudenahalli, Kadamanahalli, Nelogal and Totadayallapur before reaching Haveri. All but Motebennurare small agricultural villages; Motebennur is the largest village in Haveri district, as it is at the crossroads of two major highways.

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Haveri is a town deriving its name from the Kannada words 'havu' and 'keri', meaning place of snakes. Also famous for its cardamom garlands, it is said that Haveri had around 1000 maths in the ancient times. Haveri is also famous for marketing Byadagi red chillies (a variety of chilli grown in these areas known for its distinct spice and colour). People of this belt have a distinct sense of style; the men wear dhotis and sport an earring, while the women look lovely in traditional Dharwad cotton sarees. They also speak a dialect known as Dharwad Kannada, which sounds nothing like the Kannada in the southern parts. The group has been halting for two consecutive nights at one location to ensure decent accommodation. So, the bus, which travels along with the walkers, is being utilized to the maximum in these areas. These halts are a welcome break for the walkers who would otherwise be required to wake up earlier to pack all their belongings every day and move to the next location. Insect life is extremely active with flying cockroaches in the ladies dorm and rats in the men's dorm and the walkers. The walkers have now got quite accustomed to adapting to the insect life from bed bugs to bees, lizards and other critters in the lodging houses. The walk in itself was quite uneventful until they reached Haveri. Breakfast was in a cotton field at around 8 a.m. Reaching Haveri, they were welcomed by a group of about 60 to 70 people and were led by a troupe of drummers. Sri Sadasiva Mahaswamiji, the seer from the Hukkeri Math also joined Sri M and walked with him for about an hour. Hukkeri Math, again a Veerashaiva Math, has rendered varied and commendable service for many decades. Along with spiritual education, the Math has taken many steps to render service; it provides education to the rural masses, grains to the underprivileged, irrespective of their denomination. Reaching Hukkeri Math, Sri M spent some time in prayers. From Hukkeri Math, the padayatris were transported to two separate lodges about 4 or 5 kilometers away and were assigned rooms. The stay was quite comfortable and the padayatris stayed here for two days. In the evening, at around 5.00 pm, they were transported back to the Hukkeri Math for Satsang.The Satsang was attended by Sri Sadasiva Mahaswamiji, Sri Guddaleeshwar Swamiji and the young Swami, Siddalinga Swamiji. Sri M addressed the gathering thus “Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram vyāptam yena carācaram| Tatpadam darśitam yena tasmai śrī guravenamah|| (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.” “Today, I will speak in Hindi because theyhave requested me to speak in Hindi. Also, I do not speak Kannada, I can understand it only.” “When I see young people like him (pointing to a young sanyasi) wearing orange robes, I am reminded of Swami Vivekananda. Hevsaid there will come an age when young people will do good work for their country and for their countryman. But this has started even earlier; it had started from the time of Basavanna andAllama Prabhu.” “When Swami Vivekananda traveled these areas, he looked at these Maths and learnt from these and started the Ramakrishna Order. When he went to the west and saw the Churches, he also took inspiration from there. When I see the Ramakrishna mission now, I think the work there is going on just fine.” “Now, I am not a sanyasi, I am a grihasta. I have two children and I have a wife. In this world, both sanyasis and grihastas are needed; if there are no grihastas, who will support sanyasis. If you think of it, Basavanna was also a grihasta. I am not comparing, I am just stating it as it is, I am very small.” “On this padayatra from Kanyakumari to Srinagar, I will not say much because there is much information in the movie we just saw, and in the notices too. Then, Swamiji also spoke very well about the padayatra. We will walk about 7500 kilometres from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and complete it in the April of 2016.” “This is not my padayatra. There are many people walking with me. They are walking in the hot sun and are facing many difficulties. They have faith in me. How did this all happen? The root of this goes back to many years ago. Once, I was sitting on the banks of Ganga with Maheshwarnath Babaji; I used to call him Babaji, and Babaji said that one day I will have to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.” “I told him that I will walk, only if he would come with me. Babaji said that he won’t be there then, and I will have to walk on my own. I questioned him, why? I am here wandering in the Himalayas, why do I have to go from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. He reminded me of the incident where he had asked me, who I was to him and I had said I am your dog. I felt this because he used to speak and I used to look at him and listen to him, I also used to follow him around wherever he went, this had gone on for two and a half years.” “Without Guru’s grace, Moksha is not possible; leave alone Moksha, spiritual joy is not possible. If I am sitting here today, it is because of Babaji. Otherwise, there is nothing else here; this nothingness is not about the big Shunya but the little shunya, the zero that does not mean anything.” “So, when I said I am your dog, he said, don’t wag your tail too much. I said, ‘Aadesh’. In Natha sampradaya, when the Guru says something, you are supposed to say ‘Aadesh’. He said that this would happen. Babaji attained Samadhi in the eighties.” “He also said that many people would walk with me. Now, I don’t like the idea of walking with many people. I can stay alone easily. You won’t believe me, I am not the one to mix freely in society, I want to stay away and stay in solitude. But this was Babaji’s direction for me, so I am here trying to complete it.” “Three years ago, I thought that if his will is not done now, it won’t be done; the body cannot walk if it gets too old. So, one day I was sitting with a friend - he calls himself a disciple, I call him a friend - I was sitting with this friend and told him I wanted to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. He did not ask why or how, he said that he would walk with me, whatever happens he would walk.” “In these three years, many have come forth and have said, ‘I will walk with you’. I have not asked anybody, they have come of themselves. They are also free to leave anytime; they have come, they can go too, it is okay. But, this whole yatra is going on in their faith that it is for a good cause.And I am walking, having faith in Babaji and Parameshwar.” “This is the external yatra for everyone. More important is the inner yatra. If we go to Srinagar and come back and do not take this internal Yatra, this Walk would have been in vain. We have undertaken this yatra as a Yajna, as a tapasya. When we reach Srinagar – the Sahasraara chakra in Natha sampradaya is called Srinagar and the Ajna Chakrais called Varanasi. If, by the time we reach Srinagar, we have reached the heart chakra, that in itself would be great.” “As we walk, there are many troubles. Today, the security guard who has been walking with us fell down. For the next few days, we will be his guards. Life is such, anything can happen. That is why we are walking with faith in God.” “This inner journey is the main journey. Kabir has said that whoever it is, wherever he may go, whatever he may do, he is actually seeking happiness. There is not one who is not seeking happiness. Like the musk deer which, in a particular season emanates beautiful fragrance and goes around seeking the source of it in many places, we too go around seeking happiness that springs from within, whose source is the ‘Antaryami’ sitting inside the heart.” “I speak of this to the padayatris often, that joy and happiness is in devotion, it is in the Ishta devata, it is in prana - it is in all these three. If anyone realises this, the padayatra will be successful not only from outside but from within too. From the time of Rishis till now, everyone has said these two or three things.If there is a spiritual pursuit, there should be these things. In chapter twelve of Bhakti Yoga, Arjuna asks Krishna, who is that devotee who is closest to your heart. Krishna says, that devotee who has complete control over his senses, that devotee who is calm in all situations. In praise, everyone feels happy but when there is any criticism there is sadness. These won’t matter if one knows that nothing can be added or taken away from the Atman, it is joy itself. There should be peace and tranquility within which is unaffected by any external influences. What doesn’t move is ’sthavara’, what moves is ‘jangama’. Think, reflect on these things.” “That devotee who has the welfare of all beings in his heart, such a devotee is closest to Krishna’s heart. As we entered Karnataka, since we started the yatra, we have been going to Lingayat Maths;we have been to many Maths. The Jagadguru has given me a translation and I have started reading the Vachanas. What is written there is the same as what is in the Bhagavat Gita - do not kill, do not harm another, do not lie, do not covet, think of yourself as the smallest, and do not commit violence.” “Forgetting these simple instructions, people do elaborate ritualistic worship. If you want to worship, you can also worship God within your heart. I know that the Lingayats also carry with them a linga. That is okay. Sometimes, you can install it within your heart and pray to that. That is also very good, there is no need to give the responsibility to a priest.” “So, to remind people of all these things, we are doing this yatra. We should not forget that we are all humans. We are humans because everyone is born of the mother’s womb. Is there anyone who has not come from a mother’s womb? The pain that is there in bringing you to life, only a mother can understand. So, all men have come from their mothers and when they die, they will go in the same earth.” “Sometimes, it so happens that we forget this, through anger, through violence. Our aim is to not let people forget this. Our ideologies may be different, our religions may be different but we are all One; we should not forget this. We are here, only to remind people of this Oneness.” “We are not converting anybody. I am from the Nath Sampradaya. I am not saying that everyone should become a Nath. The real meaning, the essence of the Nath Sampradaya is that there is One Nath and we are all his.” “Yesterday, I was telling someone, once Mirabai went to Benares to meet the great Ramananda Swamiji. Ramananda Swamiji never met women, he met only men. Mirabai went and tried to meet him and was told it was not possible. So, she asked for a piece of paper and wrote on it that there is only one man and that is Krishna, all others are women, according to her. When Ramananda Swamiji saw this, he said, call Mirabai in.” “There is no difference between a Man and Woman. The only difference is in the body, the differences are outward, in the soul they are the same. This is women’s empowerment; it is not that women go out with guns in hand. The women’s empowerment is in knowing that in spirit Men and Women are one. And women should be given more importance because none other can play the role of a mother.” “To remind people of all this, we have undertaken this padayatra. I would like to say to you that if you cannot walk, it is okay, but keep us in your mind, support us that way, pray that I may accomplish the will of Maheswarnath Babaji. To the Swamiji, I would like to say that keep us in your prayers.” “India is such a place that for thousands of years, it sees everyone as One. Veda says Sarve bhavantu sukinaha…and Loka samasta sukino bhavanti. Swamiji said just now that in spiritual matters India was a world teacher and that time has gone; now we go out for things. There will be an age again, when people will come from all over, for spiritual knowledge. This is also an aim for the yatra.” “I say to all of you, I request, that please walk with us, and if you can’t walk, keep us in your mind and thoughts. Walk with us for ten minutes, one day, half a day, even five minutes and come together with Manav Ekta Mission, all of us will greatly benefit from that.” “Thank you one and all!” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti. Hari Om Tat Sat.”

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