Day 113 | 4 May 2015 | Day of Rest in Dharwad | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Sri M joining hands with the movement to protect the Ulavi Reserve Forest, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Dr Nagabhushana Swamy releases the 10th reprint of the Kannada version of Sri M's autobiography, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • One of the many receptions on the way-during the City Walk in Dharwad,-Karnataka
  • Padyayatris took over the Dharwad roads in the afternoon of Day 113 of the WOH, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Sri M sports a 'Gandhi Topee' as he and MLA Sri Arvind Bellad lead the City walk in Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Sri M being showered with flower petals on arrival at the Ulavi Temple, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Sri M entering the Ulavi Chennabasaveswara Temple, Dharwad, Karnataka
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  • Sri M being received at the Ulavi Chennabasaveswara Temple, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Rosy welcome to all Padayatris at Ulavi Chennabasaveswara temple, Dharwad, Karnataka
Today was a very unhurried and relaxed day for the padayatris. The only event of the day was in the evening so they rested the whole day. Most of them took out time for themselves. Rest days are good days to do laundry and other personal tasks also. The hostel, where they were staying, had laundry services and the laundry man must have made a small fortune today, in spite of him charging only Rs.30 per bucket. Many padayatris enjoyed the luxury of having the washing being done for them.The hostel had sprawling green fields and open spaces, which was again very enjoyable. The hospital canteen also became the favourite haunt for many. It may sound a bit morbid and bizarre to go into the hospital just to eat at the canteen, but it was so. The canteen food was good and the padayatris tend to follow the trail of good food when possible.

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The day was marked as Buddha Purnima. Purnima means the full moon day in Sanskrit. It commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada or southern tradition. In Nepal, which is considered to be the birthplace of Buddha, it is celebrated on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month of the Hindu calendar. On this occasion, the devout Buddhists are expected to assemble in their temples before dawn for the ceremonial hoisting of the Buddhist flag. Here they sing hymns in praise of the holy triple gems:the Buddha, the Dharma (his teachings) and the Sangha (his disciples). The padayatris left for Ulavi Chenna Basaweshvara Temple in the Walk of Hope bus at 4.30 pm and reached there in half an hour. Sri M sported a Gandhi cap for the walk. Here, a group of about hundred and fifty people greeted them and each yatri was offered a rose by the volunteers. Sri M was given a traditional welcome and was showered with flower petals. They then visited the temple. From here, they walked about 2 kilometers to Kala Bhavan. At around 6.00 pm, they reached Kala Bhavan, 'the house of arts', which is a centre for learning performing arts in Dharwad. It is built along international standards and has a seating capacity of 1500. Here, the auditorium had at least 800 to 900 people and more people kept streaming in slowly. By the time the function started, there must have been over a thousand people. Uday Kulkarni, the tabla maestro and group commenced the programme with a highly acclaimed music performance. The performance lasted almost one hour and the group presented many different pieces, each of which drew applause from the elated crowd. Uday Kulkarni is part of the Gurukul Foundation, an organization in Dharwad that nurtures musicians and has been carrying forward the traditional styles of music for many years. Following this music performance, Sri M and all the dignitaries planted a 'Ashwatha Vriksha' – a peepal tree. Professor O.L Nagabhushana, the chief guest of the day is perhaps one of the best-known contemporary Kannada translators. He has translated many English works into Kannada language and many Kannada works into English. He holds the distinguished position of being a professor of the English language as well as the Kannada language. He has translated the greats like Leo Tolstoy and his War and Peace, Pablo Neruda and Rilke among others. He has also translated many works of Jiddu Krishnamuthy into Kannada. Some of his other works include translations of Vachanas and Mukundur Swami's works into English. He addressed the gathering briefly and released the 10th reprint of the Kannada translation of Sri M's Autobiography. Sri M, in his hour long Satsang, addressed the gathering thus, “Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram vyāptam yena carācaram| Tatpadam darśitam yena tasmai śrī gurave namah|| (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.” “I am very happy that we have Professor O.L Nagabhushana as our chief guest. Sri Arvind Bellad is also with us; we have developed a good friendship during the last couple of days; thank you, Sir for being here. Then we have Dr. Niranjan and Smt. Padamalata from SDM Institutions. We had a lovely time yesterday; thank you so much for looking after our yatris too. In addition, thanks to my good friends, Dr. Ajai Kumar Singh and Sri Achuta Rao, and other dignitaries who are in front of me and also who are hiding behind the speakers and dear friends.” “Unfortunately, I can understand Kannada but cannot speak it too well. You must excuse me for that. I thought I would have somebody to translate; the person who translated my book was supposed to be here, but she seems to have disappeared. So, I will talk in English if you don’t mind.” “About the Walk of Hope, there is nothing much to be said. It is there in the pamphlets, it is in the newspapers. So I am sure most of you have read and understood why we are walking. So, there is a reason why this is taking place, a genesis. Professor Nagabhushana put it acccurately that there is an outer walk and an inner walk. For me, the genesis of this walk starts with an inner experience. I am not doing it to become famous or to join a political party or any such thing. All these things I have thought about and discarded long ago.” “I am walking because there is an inner urge to translate what is inside me into action, it is as simple as that. And this inner experience comes from what my Babaji told me and from what I have learnt from him. Once upon a time, many, many years ago, when we were sitting on the banks of Ganges in Uttarkashi, Babaji said to me, ‘You will have to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir’. It was such a bombshell because he never talked about these things.” “So I said, Babaji, normally you talk about Upanishads or you say that let’s go from this cave to that cave, now you are saying that I have to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. I said to Babaji that I am not going to do this. One must understand that a true guru, a true teacher gives a lot of space for dissent. He asked me why? I said that it is not my nature to be in public and to walk in public; it is my nature to be in solitude.” “Then he reminded me that, many years ago, when he had asked me what I thought of myself in regard to him, I had said ‘I am your dog’. Then, he said, it is better that you do what I say. He also reminded me that when I had said I was his dog, he had told me not to shake my tail too much - ‘dum jyada mat hilana’. I always remember that.” “I was reading a little book of Mukundur Swamiji translated by Professor Nagabhushana. I wish I could have read the original. He was a simple person who lived in a village, I don’t remember the exact place, but it was somewhere near Chitradurga. One day, he was persuaded to give a talk to a gathering, so he talked and then it became dark. He came to know that it was dark, only when a lamp was lit. He was so absorbed and people were so absorbed. So, when someone lit a lamp and brought it, he realized it was dark. He slapped his right thigh and said, ‘you are talking too much, that’s enough’. Saying so, he ran off. People like that are very few, it’s a rare thing. People ran after him but that is a different story.” “Nowadays, we have come to understand during this Walk that when you run, people catch your feet so you avoid running and tumbling. I have tumbled only once. So, I decided not to wag my tail too much. But his dictate ‘you should walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir’, was in my mind for many years. Not only that, he also said that ‘many people will walk with you’. I am talking about the time when I was 22 years old. Now, I am 66. So, few years ago, I felt that I had done some of the many things that Babaji had asked me to do; most of the things I have done, not all”. “One of the things which he said, and I did, was to write my autobiography. Before the autobiography came out, I was living very peacefully in Madanapalle. Few people used to come, I used to cook for them and there was no guesthouse. Many people are still there who have enjoyed my dal and rice. Then came the autobiography. Babaji had said, ‘write it’, so I had to do it at some point. Once the autobiography was out, then this circus started. I do not know now if I am the director of the circus or the performing clown. I am in the middle of it. So, this is what happened.” “So, before this walk started, I was thinking how to do it, when to do it, delaying it, and postponing it as much as possible. Then, the children grew up and they became capable of looking after themselves. Then I said to myself that if I don’t walk now, at 66, I wouldn’t be able to do it at all. This idea that I should do it in a couple of years came into my mind then; I discussed it and then dropped it. Then again, the idea came into my mind. And I told this to a very good friend of mine -I don’t want to name him because he doesn’t want me to – he wants to be anonymous. He did not ask me what, when, how; he said ‘count me in, whatever happens’.” “Within three years, a number of people came, especially the young - one can’t do anything without the young. Even if your body is old, the heart should be young otherwise you can’t do anything. But the physically active people came and said, ‘Don’t worry Sir, we will organize this’. Now, to organize something like this is challenging, but still they did it. Why I am saying this is because I am not much of an organizer. I can inspire people but I cannot organize; it is not my cup of tea. Some of the young people who are very good at organizing came forward and what followed is the result. On 12th January 2015, Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary, we started from Kanyakumari. We have covered some 1800 kilometers now and we have to do maybe 5000 kilometers more to reach Srinagar. And you are looking at us, me and the walkers, we are none the worse for it, we are fine, thank you. Initially, there were blisters but all that are gone and we are walking steadily now.” “This is possible only because of the blessings of great beings, especially my Guru, Maheshwarnath Babaji. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for me to do it. And believe me, where ever we go, there has been a very good response from people. I believe that every human being actually wants that people should live together butdue to various circumstances they are busy with other things. They are not able to express it in public but since I am a jobless man- I count myself as one of the jobless millions - I decided to do this job.” “On this walk, people tell me that they agree with me that nobody wants to fight, that they want to live together. They tell me that‘somebody has to say it and you are saying it and walking, we are with you’. This is very encouraging. It is not as if everything is lost. The seeds of humanity are still in our hearts, especially in this country, which for hundreds and thousands of years has welcomed people from all over the world without discrimination. Look at our history. This is Bharat.” “When our Rishis talked about happiness, they did not talk about happiness of a few or happiness of a community. They said Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, sarve bhavantu niraamaya. Let everybody be happy. They also said Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu. It would be wonderful if this message was to go from this country because this country is known for its unity.” “Unity starts from the understanding that basically we are all sparks of the divine. If you can think of divinity as a huge fire, we are like sparks coming out of it –which is our individual consciousness. This is an experience of the Rishis, which we can also experience if we have the blessings of the teacher and we are ready to go and not give up in the face of obstacles. Then, one will surely progress towards it. I don’t think that only some people are destined to find the truth, it’s not true. Of course, you need to put in effort; there is no doubt about that.” “So, for me, the experience is that we are all sparks of the Supreme, that deep down there is a consciousness that is pure and sacred and therefore, every human being - every living being - is a walking temple of God. We can build outer temples with rock and mortar. These are living temples that breathe, that love, that shake hands with us - here are the real temples. Therefore, the service of humanity is the greatest worship that one can do.” “And, don’t think that if you want to be spiritual, you just close your eyes and become spiritual. The cat closes his eyes thinking that the whole world is in darkness. The world is not in darkness, it is only the cat who believes it is in darkness. In Tamil, there is a saying - If the cat closes its eyes, will the whole world become dark? So, if you close your eyes, will you directly go to the truth? No, because your eyes are closed but the mind is moving. And, the only way to calm and tranquillize the mind is through good work.” “When Swami Vivekananda started the Ramakrishna Mission, he said that everyone there is not going to meditate 24 hours a day, so do some good work. When you do some good work, you purify your mind, and then the base for sitting down and meditating is created. Otherwise, one would be lost in theories, one will read this and that and will think that he or she knows about the Truth. Unlearning is the most important part in finding out the Truth.” “No words can actually describe it. The Keno Upanishad says, yadvAchAn abhyuditaM ena vAgbhyudyate tadEva brahma tvaM viddhinedaM yadidam upAsate That which cannot be expressed through speech, and [on the contrary] by which speech is expressed, you realize that alone is known as Brahman, not this that people worship. This is a frightening statement, ‘nothing that you worship here but That which words cannot describe’. Love is something that words cannot describe. ‘Love’, ‘Pyaar’, ‘Prem’, these are the words that we use to express something, which is inexpressible. And, when there is love and affection, there is no business of give and take. If I love for the reason that I will get something, what kind of love is that? When a mother loves a child, the mother expects nothing from the child, it is just love.” “Therefore, what I am trying to say is to consider the welfare of all beings as the Gita declares –Sarva Bhuta hite ratah and to worship the divine in all the living creatures that you see. But don’t forget human beings too in that, I know people who feed sugar to ants but don’t care about human beings. Human beings are the most developed of the animals. So when it is said that serve God in all beings, please include human beings in that.” “If we live a life like that, it is possible to meditate. It is also possible to move forward in spiritual directions. There are people who have taken many initiations and say they can’t meditate. Why, because their outer life is not lead in such a way as to meditate. You can’t say that I will murder and then I will meditate for half an hour and reach, this is not possible. There are people who lie 24 hours a day and want to reach the Absolute Truth. Is that possible? No!” “So, Yamas and Niyamas, the daily routines, are most important. Also, think of the others before you think of yourself. We started from Kanyakumari, theland’s end that is called Zero Point. So, I told my friends that let us start as zeroes, we don’t know if we will succeed but that should not stop us from making an honest effort to find the truth and unless your cup is empty, how can you understand anything?” “There is a Zen story about a man who went to see a monk. You know Zen? It has become fashionable now because it has been imported from Japan. In Malayalam we have a saying, the jasmine from your own garden does not smell that good. If it is Zen, it is much more interesting because it has come from Japan - made in Japan. That is big. Anyway!” “Zen Buddhism started with a Bodhidharma who carried a particular form of meditation to China and stayed there. When the meditation reached China, it became ‘chan’ because the Chinese cannot say ‘dhyan’ in Chinese, and when it went to Japan from there, it became ‘Zen’. This is Zen.” “One person, a very learned professor, who had studied everything he could think of, went to meet the Zen master and told him, ‘I have come from afar, please teach me Zen or teach me how to attain Satori’, which is like samadhi. The master said, first have some tea. The Professor thought, ‘I have come to him for Zen and he says, have some tea’. When these Zen teachers say something, one has to follow that, since they were famous for giving you a shot if you didn’t do so. Like some of our Avadhutas. So he kept quiet.” “The master made tea and started pouring. These Japanese have rituals for everything; there is the small table, a tablecloth, a special cup and so on. The cup became full but the master continued to pour and the tea was dripping down onto the tablecloth. After a while the professor shouted, ‘Sir, the tea is overflowing’. The Zen master told the professor, ‘Your cup is overflowing too, how can I give you Zen then?’ You understand? Space is required to learn something and for that the ego has to be removed.” Kabir said: "Jihi ghat prem na sanchare, So ghat jaanmsaan. Jaisehaal lohaar ki, saans let binu praan" It means, the bellows of a blacksmith also breathe but they have no Prana inside. But can this help find the truth? In which case all machines that breathe up and down should be able to find the truth. Is that possible? Not possible. If one could find the truth by just sitting and breathing up and down, it would have been so easy to find the truth. You have to purify the mind. First, the pretence that one knows has to go, we have to become zero. Then, we can approach the Shunya, the same that Basavanna called Shunya. When we say Shunya, it is not ‘nothing’, it is ‘nothing’ of this physical world.” “Unfortunately, we are taught to define from childhood. See how this is connected to the daily life. We define everything - he is a Muslim, he is a Christian. This defining has to cease. These are the outer manifestations. The outer and the inner definitions, they all have to go before we discover That which cannot be defined.” “Today is Buddhapurnima. Buddha defined That as Shunyata. I have had many discussions with many senior Buddhist monks on this. Shunyata is nothing but the final extinguishing of the desires, of selfishness and nothing else. What remains? That which cannot be defined! Om puranamadah purnamidam purnaat purnamudachyate, Purnasya purnamaadaaya purnamevaava shishyate That which is complete here and That which is complete there. To know this, we have to have space. Now, before I wind up, I want to tell you two stories. Once four visually challenged men went about feeling and trying to describean elephant. One touches the feet and describes that the elephant is like a pillar, the second man feels the trunk and explains that it is in the shape of a hosepipe, the third one touches the tail and explains that it is a stick with bristles, and the fourth person feels the ears and describes them as fans. They start fighting amongst themselves claiming that their personal version of the elephant, as sensed by them, is indeed the right one. Noticing their agitation, a passerby with clear sight enquiring on the reason for their fight, laughed and explained that while each one was correct in their way, they had missed completely ‘the whole’, the elephant in its entirety. He said that varied religions were also like this. Each one sees only one perspective and concludes the truth from that whereas the essence was vast and infinite.” “If we do not put humanity into small brackets, we can live together as One humanity, this is my belief. For this, I believe that I must free myself first; if I do not do that, how can I free anything outside? If my mind does not change, what can I preach to the outside world? It would be hypocrisy to do that. So, this is to be remembered - that we are all One in essence.” “We are all born from a mother’s womb. Only a mother knows how much pain there is. A father does not know it. Every child is born from the womb. Is there anyone who has fallen from the sky one day? After that, you may become Anthony or Rasheed or Hari. And after all that, where do we go? Into the same earth we go! So, therefore, in this short period called life, can we live without hurting each other, without killing each other, without uttering lies, without stealing others properties, without hating other, without letting anger take hold of you?” “Anger - when it comes, is like setting fire to one’s own house, nothing happens to the neighbour’s house. And, also we should live considering ourselves to be the lowest of the low; which we are. Considering the Universe, we are specks of dust. All these things that I have said, these are not my own, they are from the Vachanas. People who have read the Vachanas would know.” “All great beings, all great philosophers, all great saints have realized this. But, sometimes, everyone forgets this. When that happens, some mad fellow comes, walking in the hot sun, behaving madly and making everyone remember. Someone said that the temperature is going to increase; it is already forty-two degrees in Maharashtra. We have to do it, somebody has to bear the cross, let us bear the cross.” “Before we wind up, let me tell you one more story because I had said I would narrate two. Now this is a very interesting story, which I like so much that I keep on telling it everywhere. This story I picked up from the head of Sirigere Matha, the Swamiji of the Taralabalu Math, when we were staying there. We intended to have a Satsang for the padayatris. Somebody told me that Swamiji was also coming. When he came, he insisted on sitting down in the audience but we convinced him to sit next to me. When the Satsang was finished, I asked him if he had anything to say, and he told us a story. Everyone was there. It is a very interesting story and it kind of hits the nail on the head. Once upon a time, there was a sculptor who used to make beautiful sculptures. One day, he went to a temple to make a sculpture. The priest of the temple was a great astrologer and he said, the sculptures are all right, but within one month, you are going to die so what are you going to do about it? The sculptor said, ‘I don't know what to do about it, can you tell me what to do?’ The astrologer said, ‘You are such a good sculptor, go to your workshop and mak idols in your own likeness so that when the yamadhoota comes (he is not that smart since he rides a buffalo), he won't know which one is the real one; you stand in the middle and the yamadhoota won't know which one’. So it happened. The yamadhoota came and looked around, but all idols looked the same. So, he went back confused”. “Yama asked him where the sculptor was and the yamadhoota said,’I could not find him, they all looked the same’. Yama said ‘What a fool you are; anyway, after a month his time will come again, and you bring him then. The yamadhoota asked him how. Yama said, ‘You go there and look at all the idols, don't try to find out which one is him. Just praise the idols’. So the yama-doota went there said ‘Oh! What a beautiful sculpture! I wonder who made them’. The sculptor could not control himself and he said,’ I made them all.’ The yamadhoota said ‘Your time is up. Lets go!’” “This is the problem. If we can get out of this ego, we are free, even death cannot touch us. Though it is only a story, please keep it in mind. As Prof. Nagabhushana said, all of you here, even if you are not walking with us, please put your hearts into our walk. Please walk with us in your mind. I feel that human beings recognize that this is a good thing that is being done. If you can’t physically walk, walk with us in your minds. And if you can walk, even if you walk for ten minutes, or one day, or half an hour, it would be a wonderful thing to do.” “Any work can be accomplished only when people come together. The old Rig Vedic shloka – Sangacchadvam, Samvadadhvam, Samvo manamsi janatam - With our minds put together, we can understand; With our minds put together we can learn; By walking together, we can learn. So, this is my opinion. If you can walk with us, please walk with us as much as you can. If you cannot walk with us, please pray for us and walk with us in our minds because it is meant for all of us and not for any small section of humanity. Please have differences in opinions and please have dialogues. Please have different ideologies, belong to different religions like different flowers in a garden - there is no one flower in a garden, there are many flowers. When the breeze blows through it, we get the fragrance of all the flowers. This is my appeal. Tomorrow, we start the Walk at 5.30 a.m.” “Thank you very much!” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti” As the Satsang finished, a large crowd gathered to shake Sri M's hand or to simply meet him. Once again, as was yesterday, a tight cordon had to be formed around him and it took five minutes to walk twenty steps to the exit. Following the Satsang, all the Yatris got into the Walk of Hope bus and left for SDM Medical College Hostel. They reached there by 9.00 pm, had dinner at 9.30 pm and turned in for the night at 10.00 pm – quite late by their standards.


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  1. Very Inspiring speech by Sri. M. I hope I can meet him in Pune in July.

  2. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Namo Kriya Babaji, Namo Maheshwaranath, Namo Sarva Santa Jana.

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