Day 115 | 6 May 2015 | Belur to Kittur | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Where many a-tinkling-Bangle is born, Bangle -maker at work, Kittur, Belgaum, Karnataka
    1.Where-many-a-tinkling-Bangle-is-born,-Bangle-maker-at-work,-Kittur,-Belgaum,-Karnataka
  • Ceremonial welcome at Tegur, Dharwad, Karnataka
    2.Ceremoniral-welcome-at-Tegur,-Dharwad,-Karnataka
  • Good Heavens! no cops in sight,-Kittur, Belgaum, Karnataka
    3.Good-Heavens!-no-cops-in-sight,-Kittur,-Belgaum,-Karnataka
  • Another flowery welcome as WOH entered Kittur, Belgaum, Karnataka
    4.Another-flowery-welcome-as-WOH-entered-Kittur,-Belgaum,-Karnataka
  • 5.AMAL9879
  • Rajguru Sri Madivala Mahaswami receives WOH at the Kal Mutt, Kittur, Belgaum, Karnataka
    6.Rajguru-Sri-Madivala-Mahaswami-receives-WOH-at-the-Kal-Mutt,-Kittur,-Belgaum,-Karnataka
  • 7.IMG_1840
  • During an informal chat at tea break, Belur, Dharwad, Karnataka
    8.During-an-informal-chat-at-tea-break,-Belur,-Dharwad,-Karnataka
  • A rain-fed puddle reflects the rising sun & the Yatris, Belur, Dharwad, Karnataka
    9.A-rain-fed-puddle-reflects-the-rising-sun-&-the-Yatris,-Belur,-Dharwad,-Karnataka
  • The Sun breaks through the clouds and the Padayatris are full steam ahead on Day 115,-Belur, Dharwad, Karnataka
    10.The-Sun-breaks-through-the-clouds-and-the-Padayatris-are-full-steam-ahead-on-Day-115,-Belur,-Dharwad,-Karnataka
  • Villagers cheerfully line up to greet the Padayatris,-Venkatpur, Dharwad, Karnataka
    11.Villagers-cheerfully-line-up-to-greet-the-Padayatris,-Venkatpur,-Dharwad,-Karnataka
  • 'I dare you to try and grab my grapes !,-Venkatpur, Dharwad, Karnataka
    12.-I-dare-you-to-try-and-grab-my-grapes!!,-Venkatpur,-Dharwad,-Karnataka
  • One of the many faces of rural North Karnataka, Tegur, Karnataka
    13.One-of-the-many-faces-of-rural-North-Karnataka,-Tegur,-Karnataka
  • A sun-dappled mango grove for breakfast, Tegur, Belgaum, Karnataka
    14.A-sun-dappled-mango-grove-for-breakfast,-Tegur,-Belgaum,-Karnataka
The terrific lightning, hail storm and torrential rain from yesterday had left its trail everywhere—many trees were uprooted, walkways were littered and there was a feeling of dampness everywhere. The padayatris too were affected in no small measure. Not only did the storm leave their clothes all wet, it affected the power supply as well, leaving them in darkness through the night. Surprisingly enough, most people slept well, without the comforts of a fan or a mosquito repellant. The power breakdown continued well into the next day. Getting ready for the walk in the dark was a challenge but was managed pretty well. Power was restored only late in the afternoon, and even then there were frequent breakdowns in the supply.

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The padayatra left Belur early in the morning under a starlit sky. Belur, being an industrial town they encountered many trucks moving about. Since the last few days, the padayatris have been leaving well before sunrise, thus they have been witnessing different levels of sunrise every day. Yesterday’s rains had washed the roads clean but many trees along the way were in a state of disarray. They padayatris saw their own reflection in the puddles that had formed overnight! They also saw ducks enjoying a swim in one of the deeper puddles that had formed by the roadside! The yatris also saw half raw mangoes littered along the road; these must have come undone off the trees by the storm. Sri M continues to be greeted by the villagers lining up at various stops—they touch his feet and offer him whatever little money they have in their pockets as a token offering, even a 10 rupee note at times. It is such a heartening sight to witness. Breakfast today was quite special. A Satsangi organized it in his mango plantation. The grove in itself was spectacular; the mango trees heavily laden with fruits almost bowing to touch the ground that was damp and thick with leaves. The air had a nip to it, there was no outside noise, and all that one could hear, if one was silent, were the sounds from nature. The sunlight played tricks as it shimmered and filtered through the leaves. The local residents had set up a feast of ladoos, kesari bhath, vadas and farm fresh mangoes. The padayatris thoroughly enjoyed the lavish spread, eating quietly under the shade of mango trees. A large number of locals gathered to greet Sri M and the procession, some 80 or perhaps 90 of them. They gathered on the highway, greeted the procession, garlanded Sri M and walked with them to the grove. Sri M briefly interacted with them. Walking through the vast open spaces, the terrain in these areas is gradually changing. From flat lands, the walkers are now in lands that are like spectacular giant ocean waves, the inclines and declines of these are very soft and restrained. At each apex, a new vista opened up. The walk progressed quietly thus. This was refreshing after the hustle and bustle of the cities they passed through for the last few days. Close to Kittur, the walkers were treated to an unlimited supply of tender coconut water. Walk of Hope is now walking in the last district of Karnataka, Belgaum. The Yatris covered 21 kilometers in about 7 hours. The padayatra passed through villages like Venkatapura, Guledakoppa, Tegur and Dombarkoppa on their way. Kittur is a village with glass industries. The bulk of glass bangles sold throughout the state come from here. It is also a place of historical importance because of Rani Chennamma of Kittur province who rose against the against the British East India Company. The ruins of the erstwhile fort and the palace within are all that remains now. The core group of walkers is like a family now and has all the traits of a family - understanding each other’s idiosyncrasies, looking out for each other and occasionally disagreeing with each other too. The most endearing sights are those of people helping each other through the common travails. It is common to see them carrying another's backpack, picking up thorns and stones off the road, bringing water or tea and transporting bags for the elderly and women, sharing medicines, balms for pains and tips on blister treatment. These and many such little gestures help them practice the message of Oneness they are walking for, they too are slowly but surely walking the talk, albeit in small steps. There are of course bad days when everything gets a little overwhelming, when the outside temperature is extra high or when the number of people gets one too many. It is at such times that one feels the need for solitude and silence. On reaching Kittur, the Padayatra stopped at the Rajguru Samsthana Kal Matha of Kittur. Here, they were taken into a hall where Sri M was garlanded and felicitated by Rajguru Sri Madivala Mahaswami of the Math. Apart from the padayatris, there were about 50 participants from the vicinity. Sri M addressed the gathering briefly. Sri M addressed the gathering for a few minutes. “Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Niraamayaah Sarve Bhadraani Pashyantu Maa Kashcid Duhkha Bhaag Bhavet Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu” “I do not know Kannada, so I will speak in Hindi. First of all, I would like to thank Swamiji for welcoming us here.” “This padayatra is going from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. We have covered some 1800 kilometers and I think we have to walk some 5000 kilometers more to reach Srinagar. In April of 2016, with God's grace, we will reach there.” “This padayatra has two parts - the walk in itself, whereby we are walking in the hot sun everyday and there are many people with me. The message of this walk is that for anything good, something has to be sacrificed; without sacrifice, nothing good can be achieved. We are walking on the road, talking to people, and telling them that all people are One.” “This is written in the Indian Constitution but sometimes we forget it. Our religion may be different, our ideology maybe different, our faith maybe different. But our country is One. Three thousand years ago, in the Vedas, it was said Ekam sat, viprah bahuda vadanti - the truth is One but the wise call it by many names.” “But people consider themselves to be different. In a place such as this, this should not happen. Every human being is born of a mother's womb and into this earth he goes when he dies. For this given time, can he live without violence? This is our question.” “We can live without violence, together as One. That is why we are trying to walk, hand in hand, 7500 kilometers. As we have entered Karnataka, I have been reading some of Basavanna's philosophy. I do not know the Vachanas too well but I feel that Basavanna's message is what many people here know too, and our padayatra's message is very similar to that.” “We have only one message;no matter what the ideology of a person is, no matter what religion one belongs to, he is a human being. If we consider this, then India will improve greatly and this message should emanate from India to the world.It is also here that it was said, Loka samasta sukinoh bhavanti - may the whole world be happy. But, we have to start from our country. If there is God's grace, then we will reach Kashmir and we shall see if there is any effect.” “Till now, when we meet people, we feel that all people are interested in this. There is no one who is not interested but no one wants to get out and talk about it. The talk has started now, whatever happens, we will know in time. I think we are sowing seeds for the future generations and a great tree of peace will emerge forth in time. This is our only purpose and nothing else.” “The only thing we want is that if you cannot walk with us, please support us in your minds. This walk will then be a success. This is my prayer.” “Thank you.” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!” Following this, the padayatris were provided some refreshments and then transported to Belur (the previous day’s place of rest) at 12.00 noon by the Walk of Hope bus. Reaching there, they had lunch, and then spent the rest of the day at leisure. There was no evening program and Satsang scheduled today.

2 Comments

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Jai Gurudeva… Jai Kriya Babaji…

  2. Reneesh says:

    I will try my best to walk with Sri M at Kashmir.

    God Bless you all.

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