Day 108 | 29 April 2015 | Haveri to Bankapura | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

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  • 'Impish glee' - children-salute the Padayatra on Day 108, Haveri
  • The boys who demanded the flyers -Haveri, Karnataka
  • Garlanding Basavanna's statue at NImmathi-Kendra on Day 108, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Moustachioed elder of Bankapur, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Simple life at Bankapur on Day 108, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Gods, Goddesses and a family in a vintage house of Bankapur on Day 108, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Taking a break to watch the Padayatra walk across-on Day 108, Haveri, Karnataka
  • A farmer busy at work manuring the field near Varadahalli-on Day 08, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Sri Sadashivaswamy-of Hukkeri Mutt joins the Padayatra on Day 108, Haveri, Karnataka
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  • Marching between unruly shrubs and cotton fields, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Temperature crosses 36 degrees on Day 108,-Haveri, Karnataka
  • Many more milestones to reach'-Day 108, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Being received by the people of Bankapur on Day 108, Haveri, Karnataka
The day started early with coffee being served by 4.30 am for the walkers as they had to be transported to the starting point, Hukkeri Math. They left Haveri before the sun rose at 5.30 am and walked towards Bankapura, a distance of 24 kilometers.

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The walkers continued on National Highway # 4, the Bangalore – Pune highway.They were walking through Haveri, the eighth district of the total ten to be covered in Karnataka. The padayatra touched Varadahalli and Tevaramellihalli, before reaching Bankapura. The young pontiff of the Math, Sri Sadasiva Mahaswamiji, joined Sri M and walked nearly two and a half hours, chatting with him about everything from the weather to Basavanna's vachanas. He left at breakfast promising to rejoin the walk soon. The walk passed through mostly vast open tracts of farmland with very few people in sight. The black soil found in this region is ideal for growing cotton, red chillies, maize, and sugarcane. With the cotton crop just having been harvested, wisps of white cotton were seen caught up in the shrubs, trees and bushes, incongruously looking like snow flakes in the blinding sun . It's a regular sight to see farmers ploughing their fields in preparation for the next crop, taking short breaks to watch the Walk passing by or posing to be photographed. Neem trees and wild Tulsi grow in plenty on the sides of the service road that runs parallel to the highway. This is the second day that the padayatris have walked more than 20 kilometers. Walking 20 plus kilometers in the scorching sun is really draining and blinding. Eight or ten padayatris had to rest and have not been walking for the second consecutive day today. But the walk goes on! Today, the expected distance of 24 kilometers extended to 26 kilometers, at the requestof the locals, who took the group right through the village of Bankapura, past quaint shops and old houses that were older than many of the people there, to the temple complex, where they were served rasam rice, curd rice and ussali (Bhaji made from pulses). The simple and delicious lunch made up for the extra two kilometers they had to walk. The village of Bankapura is distinct in how the Hindus and Muslims live together in perfect harmony. The local residents organized the lunch. Reception in these areas has been very warm. A group of farmers stopped the walkers today a little after breakfast and invited Sri M for some juice. The men chatted with Sri M while the women enquired about the Walk from the women padayatris. The police continue to host a refreshment point or two. Villagers in Bankapura were to host the padayatris today but could not, for reasons of logistics. On reaching Bankapura, Sri M garlanded a bust of Basavanna. After lunch, the padayatris were transported back to the lodges in Haveri. After a quick nap, they were taken back to Bankapura for the evening satsang. With the looming threat of rain, Sri M spoke briefly. He 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.” Sri M continued: “Namaskaara and Salaam to all the people of Bankapura. Today, I will not speak in English, instead I will speak in Hindi. Unfortunately, I cannot speak in Kannada. I understand Kannada but I cannot speak. I will also not speak a lot because our satsang is our walk; we will not need a lot of words. Also, it is going to rain and due to our satsang the rain should not stop, it is very hot and the people here need rains. After satsang, when people go home, there might be rains.” “We are walking from Kanyakumari and people ask me sometimes, have I become mad that I am walking like this? Well, I am not walking alone, there are many people who are walking with me and they have faith in me. They believe that you can be of any religion or believe in any ideology, it is a personal thing, but one should not forget that one is a human being.” “Every human being is born from the mother’s womb and every human being ultimately goes into the earth after death; there is no difference. In India, 3000 years ago, the Vedas said Ekam Sat. Vipraah bahuda vadanti - the truth is one, the wise call it by many names. Sometimes, we forget this. We forget this in anger or in selfishness or through outside influence.” “In every human being, the soul has no religion, no ideology; it is not a man or a woman. The Atman does not have any sex difference. In every heart sits this Atman, call this Atman, Allah or God or Parabrahma. The Atman inside us is a small fragment of the Supreme Being. When the mind is purified, this is understood.” “If one understands this, then he sees the Supreme in every being. What happens after this? Every human being becomes a moving God. If there are 100 people here, there are 100 temples. In every temple, there is a small fragment of the Paramashiva (the Supreme Lord). What does one do to a temple? Does one break it or worship it? Even a child just now said, “Worship it.” “This is our only purpose, to remind you that you are all One. If anyone says otherwise, please do not believe him. We have no other agenda, no political goals; our only aim is this. In India, what the Rishis thought thousands of years ago should not be forgotten. They thought that when the mind is purified, it can go near God.And what kinds of action can one do to purify the mind? One can serve others.” “I say this to the leaders of today, you become a leader, it is a good thing, but you should serve. To think, I have become so and so, I have become a big man, this is dangerous. We are all One and no one is big. Why? Because everyone is born and no one knows when the heart would stop beating. When one serves, the other is happy. Even at the expense of one's self, one should try to make others happy.” “The saints, no matter who it is, have said the same thing. As I am walking in Karnataka, I have been going to many Shaivite Maths, and therefore, I am learning. When I went in the Taralabalu Math, the Swamiji there gave me a copy of Vachanas translated into English. The book is old and falling apart but I am carrying it with me and reading it everyday. What is said in the Upanishads, what is said in the Vedas, what is said by the Sufis, what is said bythe Jesus Christ, all of this is reflected here in the Vachanas. I read a little everyday – four Vachanas, and I am really enjoying it.” “All religions say the same thing but sometimes we forget this. We forget this in anger or in self-interest, closing our eyes. We should keep our eyes open and think on these things.It has been said everywhere that one should speak the truth. I once met a sadhu in an ashram who told me that he was involved in propagating the truth. He used to lie from morning till evening; I witnessed it because I was there in the ashram for five days. How could he ever spread the truth? The first thing is that, in your daily life, speak the truth. By not speaking the truth, one walks on the way of untruth. Speaking the truth is a great thing. It is said that if for 12 years one does not utter a lie, and if he speak a lie by mistake after that, it will become true. This is not my statement, this was said by the great Sufi saint Khwaja of Ajmer. When you tell the truth, people will believe in you. If you lie, they will believe you at first but once they know the truth, they will not have faith in you.” “Second, I read in the Vachanas that one should not harm others. There is also a very old saying i.e., do not be violent towards others and live as simple a life as possible. It is also said, do not be angry with anyone. It is said when anger comes, it is like fire that burns down your house first. What happens to the neighbour’s house? Nothing happens! The next, very important thing is that one should think of oneself as very small”. “It is by Maheswarnath Babaji’s grace that I am doing this. One should think that it is the grace of God that one succeeds in anything. Four people get into the same field and only one succeeds. Why? It is only the work of God. But there is no one to understand this, there is no one to accept this. One should understand that one is very small.” “Look at this universe, man is not even a speck of dust, and what does he consider himself? He thinks of himself to be very big. If this is corrected, one will understand why Atman, or Shiva, or God is Shunya. Not the little shunya but that Shunya which is everything. When one becomes Shunya, one will understand what God is, otherwise nothing can be understood. Why? Because when one is filled with so many things, with the ego, what more can be put in, where is the space for growth?” “It is simple, but people are doing the complete opposite. If someone goes ‘this way’, people say he is a mad person. But, all great ones have said the same thing, that the ego should be removed, that all are One and should live as One. We are here to remind people that and we have no other agenda. In April of 2016, we will reach Srinagar if it's by God's grace. If this is understood by itself, one’s ego is banished.” “One can even avoid death if one is rid of ego; only the body is affected by death and not the Atman. Once someone told me a story, hearing it the yatris became very happy. Once, there was a very famous sculptor. He had a roaring business. An astrologer came to him to place an order, after coming to know he was an astrologer, the sculptor could not resist and stretched his hand for a reading. The astrologer said, I am sorry to tell you that in one month you are going to die. The sculptor was perplexed, he asked the astrologer, is there any way to get over this hurdle. The astrologer said, it is easy, you create replicas of your own self, these should look very similar to you. You create some ten or fifteen and you stand between those statues. The Yamadoota that comes on a buffalo is an idiot, when he comes he will go back without finding you.” “So, all day and night, the sculptor started preparing his own statues. On the fiftieth day, the Yamadoota came and was confused. He looked around but could not find the sculptor. He was confused and went back. The sculptor went to the astrologer and thanked him saying, I will complete your order without payment. Meanwhile the Yamadoota went to Yama and Yama asked him, why did you not bring me the sculptor? The Yamadoota told him why. Yama laughed, called him closer and whispered in his ear what to do the next time”. “The astrologer warned the sculptor that the Yamadoota will come again in fifteen days and if you do the same thing, you will live. The sculptor was confident since he had passed the first time. He made a few more statues and when Yamadoota came, he went and stood among the statues. The Yamadoota did not go around looking for the sculptor. He went to the first statue, looked at it and admiringly asked, ‘Who is the sculptor who made such a beautiful statue?’. The sculptor forgot to be silent and blurted,‘I have made it’. The Yamadoota said, ‘I have been looking for you, come’. Saying that, he took him away. This is the ego.” “If one is rid of ego, only That remains. In Vedanta, it is said, Tat TvamAsi - You are That. Just like that when one chants Om Namah Shivaya - the panchakshari, its inner meaning is Shivohum - the inner essence inside me is not different from Shivam. It is the same but very minute. When one begins to see this inside everyone, there will be peace”. “Everyone wants peace, there is no one who does not want peace.When a Muslim meets a Muslim, he says 'Salaam'. After any worship, it is said 'Om shanti shanty shanti'. When a Jew meets a Jew, he says 'Shalom'. All of this means peace. To my Muslim brothers, please think of this - whenever a prayer starts in the Quran, it starts with Rehman-ul-rahim - what is this? The formless God is known as Rehman, the one who is kind.” “I read in the Vachanas the other day, that if one has no kindness, what is one praying for? In Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna that the greatest yogi is who has Sarva Bhuta hite ratah - one who has the welfare of all beings in his heart. This should be taught to children from the school days itself. The old people who are sitting here told me that they teach everything here, but no one tells them about kindness. There are many teachers and head masters here. To them I would say, please tell children that we are all human beings and we can all live together with love and kindness.” “This message has to go out from India because everyone has been received with open arms in India for thousands of years. The Christians, the Jews, the Muslims, the Parsis, they all have come here. Do not forget this, no matter what. I just have to say this. Whenever you pray, when you pray to your ishtalinga, see that linga in the hearts of others. Pray that the linga is never broken. There is an old sher (saying in Urdu) – Beshak mandir, masjid todo; pyar bhara dil kabhi na todo, because the heart that is full of love is a temple.” “You can have any religion, you can have any ideology. Every day for ten minutes, please think of this. When you do so, you will be filled with joy and kindness. I will not say anymore because it is about to rain soon, water is needed here. I feel that whatever I have to say, I have said it. Also, I feel that my walk is my talk. I am also inviting all of you to walk with us; please walk with us for how much ever time possible, five minutes, ten minutes, one day. There is much work left; do the yatra in the mind - clean the mind and walk towards the inner Kailash, the way is very narrow. Please pray for us so that everything will work out for our Walk.” “Namaskaara.” “Om Shanti ShantiShanti.” After the Satsang, the padayatris were taken back to the lodge.

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