Day 127 | 18 May 2015 | Kolhapur City Walk | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • A musical welcome to WOH in Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    1.A-musical-welcome-to-WOH-in-Kolhapur,-Maharashtra
  • A typical Marathi welcome to Sri M at Rajarampuri, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    2.-A-typical-Marathi-welcome-to-Sir-at-Rajarampuri,-Kolhapur,-Maharashtra)
  • 'We have amused spectators with balcony seats', Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    3.We-have-amused-spectators-with-balcony--seats
  • 'Did you not get the flyer?', this friendly neighbour seems to ask, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    4.Did-you-not-get-the-flyer,-this-friendly-neighbour-seems-to-ask,-Kolhapur,-Maharashtra)
  • 'Kudos guys, you are doing great', a mustachioed approval,-Kolhapur , Maharashtra
    5.Kudos-guys,-you-are-doing-great,-a-mustachioed-approval,-Kolhapur,-Maharashtra)
  • The Swamiji of the Kolhapur branch of the Muruga Mutt blesses Sri M, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    6.The-Swamiji-of-the-Kolhapur-branch-of-the-Muruga-Mutt-blesses-Sir,-Kolhapur,-Maharashtra)
  • Sri M addresses the gathering at the first public function in Maharashtra, Rajashri Saahu Hall, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    7.Sir-addresses-the-gathering-at-the-first-public-function-in-Maharashtra,-Rajashri-Saahu-Hall,-Kolhapur,-Maharashtra)
  • Sri M treads a flower-strewn path to breakfast, to the accompaniment of shehnai music, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    8.Sir-treads-a-flower-strewn-path-to-breakfast,-to-the-accompaniment-of-shehnai-music,-Kolhapur,-Maharashtra)
  • Day 127 starts off with smiles all around from Shivaji University Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    9.Day-127-starts-off-with-smiles-all-around-from-Shivaji-University,-Kolhapur,-Maharashtra)
  • '3G, man, we are talking 4G now,-Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    10.
  • 'Come on, cheer up girl, we are the Walk of Hope', Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    11.Come-on,-cheer-up-girl,-we-are-the-Walk-of-Hope
  • You cannot xerox this child's angelic innocence, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    12.You-cannot-xerox-this-child
  • Sri M coming out of the branch of the Muruga Mutt after a brief stopover, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    13.Sir-coming-out-of-the-branch-of-the-Muruga-Mutt-after-a-brief-stopover,-Kolhapur,-Maharashtra)
  • Ancient temple on the banks of the Panchaganga, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    15.Ancient-temple-on-the-banks-of-the-Panchaganga,-Kolhapur,-Maharashtra)
  • What a spread ! The Padayatri's dinner at RAVI RAI, Uchgaon, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
    16.What-a-spread!!!-the-Padayatri
  • Sumptuous lunch at the Karvir Sankaracharya Mutt, Kolhapur Maharashtra
    14.Sumptuous-lunch-at-the-Karvir-Sankaracharya-Mutt,-Kolhapur-Maharashtra-)
The Walk of Hope bus transported the padayatris to the gates of Shivaji University,later than usual, because the walk was to be a short one. The walk started at 7.00 am while it was fairly pleasant with cool breeze. The air was crisp and clear and there was dew on the grass. With no automobiles on the road, it was quiet.The city was just waking up and the hot sun was a distant reality. The University is on the edge of the city and, in about half an hour, they were in the city proper. Walking at a very slow walk through the sleeping city, they reached a Satsangi’s house by 8.00 am where breakfast was served. They were greeted by a traditional Maratha Tutari – a bugle like instrument, colourful rangoli and live shehnai music. The padayatra covered about seven kilometers in Kolhapur City today.

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The city had woken up by the time the walk was resumed and there was a flurry of activity all around. As the procession passed along, led by a troupe of Maratha drummers, people stood by and watched the padayatra. The walk was short but circuitous and they reached Yogoda Satsang Society (YSS) hall, where the society members welcomed and felicitated Sri M. YSS is a non-profit religious organization founded by Paramahansa Yogananda, widely considered the father of Yoga in the West. After a short break, the Walk was resumed to reach a branch of Chitradurga Math in Kolhapur. Here, Sri M met the pontiff of the Matha. Very soon, the Padayatra reached Shahu Smarak Bhavan, where a welcome ceremony had been organized. Shahu Smarak Bhavan is a very prominent and popular venue for arts and culture in Kolhapur. Sri M and the padayatris assembled here for a formal welcome ceremony. By the time the event started, there must have been around 400 people present in the large hall. Sri M was welcomed with much pomp and show. The dignitaries felicitated him by offering garlands and shawls and this was followed by lighting of a lamp. The list of dignitaries included Sri Shankaracharya of Karveer Shankaracharya Peeth; Sri Lakshmi Sen Maharaj, Pontiff of the Jain Temple, Kolhapur; Padmashri Pratap Singh Yadav, Owner and Chief Editor of Dainik Pudhari, a popular newspaper; and Sri Avinash Subedar – IAS, CEO, Zilla Parishad, Kolhapur and the state Walk of Hope coordinators. The address by the dignitaries was followed by a vote of thanks. Sri M, in his short four-minute speech in Hindi spoke about the reasons and purpose of the Walk of Hope. He shared with those present that when he was 22 years old, his guru Maheshwarnath Babaji, sitting by the Ganges in Uttarkashi, out of the blue told him that he would one day walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. For a long time, he said, it had been put on a hold. But three years ago, he spoke to a friend about the idea and since then things have fallen into place. The aim of Walk of Hope is to make people realize that as human beings we are One and not different. There might be different religions, faiths, and ideologies but at the core we are all One. He said that this is nothing new. Quoting the Rig Veda, he said - Ekam sat, viprah bahudaa vadanti - the truth is one, the wise know it by many names. But sometimes, we forget this, either through selfishness or because we are instigated, or for a number of other reasons. The aim of Walk of Hope, he said, is to remind people that we, as human beings, are One and that we should not forget this. The gathering was slow to disperse and, about half an hour later, the walkers were transported to the Karveer Peeth. Lunch was hosted by the Math. The Math is a branch of the Sringeri Math in Karnataka and is led by Jagadguru Shankaracharya Vidya Narasimha Bharti. The older part of the matha is more than 650 years old, and there have been additions to the original building since. People sat in neat rows with their backs to the wall, facing the centre of an open courtyard. After a long break for lunch, the yatris were ferried to Ravi Rai Cultural Centre for a much needed rest. Making its way through heavy traffic, the Walk of Hope bus reached the place of rest only by around 3.00 pm. The Yatris were once again transported close to Karveer Peeth, at 5.00 pm. They walked for half an hour, to reach the Matha, for the evening Satsang. The low-hanging space around the central courtyard was the setting for the Satsang. By the time the Satsang started at 7.00 pm, there was a gathering of more than 200 with many local people attending. Even with additional fans, it was very warm even though the courtyard had a lot of open space. But that was not of much concern as people listened to the Satsang in rapt attention. Maharashtra has its roots deep in the Bhakti culture and this is very evident with the receptions since the Walk of Hope entered the state. Sri M started his address 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.” “With the permission of Shankaracharya Maharaj, I am starting today’s Satsang. Thank you Sir, for the welcome extended to us and for allowing me to speak in your Matha. I will speak in Hindi, I do not know Marathi. I thinkit’s better that I speak in Hindi rather than in English. Does everyone understand English?” (Some people say yes, some say no). “Okay, I will speak in Hindi.” “I will not speak much on this padayatra. I have already spoken about it in the morning function and then there is information in the newspapers and in the notices. Not a lot needs to be said about this walk. All those who are not able to use automobiles, they walk; so does the cow, the lion and, here we are walking too. These days, people have forgotten to walk because of sitting too much in automobiles.So I will not say much on this subject. It should be enough to say that when we walk in the morning, please come and walk with us.” “This land of Maharashtra is such that there have been many saints here, and still are. Therefore, we will take this as a Satsang. Satsang means thinking on things such as - Who are we? Where are we sitting? Where are we going? These are very ancient questions, they are not new questions.” “We know this very well, that in this world, it does not matter what we do, and however much success we may have, there is disquiet in the minds - a feeling of emptiness. First, one thinks that let me have 1 crore rupees and then it will be alright. When he/she has that, then he thinks let me have 2 crores and then it will be all right. Like this, it goes on - 4, 5, 6 … 10 crores and soon comes the time to die. This is not a story I am telling you, it is so.In the end, they all go into the ground. In Christian burial grounds, the tombstone says ‘RIP’ - rest in peace; only the body rests in peace, the mind is still agitated. If at the time of death, one is not quiet, one can never be quiet.” “So, everyone is looking for happiness. No matter be it a Hindu or Muslim, a great man, a small man, or whosoever it is, the search is the same - for peace, for bliss, for happiness. But we see that one does not find it anywhere outside.One can never find these - peace, bliss and happiness - in the outside world. You don’t have to believe me. Just take a look at your life and the life of those around you. You will find that this circus goes on and on without end and Man, like a fool, keeps on playing a part in it.” “It has been asked thousands of years ago in the Upanishads, Who are you really? What are you doing? If one finds the answer to these questions, it will be all right. But I am not going to give you these answers right now because the answers come from within. If one finds the answers to these questions, one is saved from Samsara. Otherwise, it is not possible to be saved from this Samsara sagar.” “Man thinks that by doing this or doing that he will be happy but it never works out like that and then one day he dies. On this ‘happiness’ that is not to be found outside, a great saint from Benares, Kabir Das, has said something. He speaks of the parable of the musk deer. In the Himalayas, there is this musk deer that has a pouch under its belly and in a particular season, it produces musk. The air carries the fragrance all around and this poor deer thinks that it is from somewhere outside. Searching here and there, it even looks for the fragrance in thorny bushes and bleeds, but he does not find it. He never understands that the fragrance is coming from itself. Kabir says that such is the state of Man.” “The endless bliss, the bliss that is without a break, is called ‘Sat-Chit-Ananda’ in Vedanta. ‘Sat’ means that which is there always, ‘Asat’ means that which is there today and gonetomorrow. There are so many of us here today, how many of us will be there after a number of years? We cannot even say if one will be there tomorrow. What if one goes outside, falls, and that is it? We see this all the time. I know someone who fell asleep and never woke up again and she did not have health issues prior to this.” “So, all this is ‘Asat’. All things are like this. But, there is some truth, some ‘Sat’ in this too. It is not some substance; it is awareness - ‘Chit’. And its quality is ‘Ananda’ - bliss. Not the bliss that one has on eating an ice-cream because when the ice-cream is finished, you will have to have another one for the bliss and if you have too many, you will have stomach trouble; so that is not real Ananda.” “Now, the Gita, the saints and those who know say that this ‘Sat-Chit-Ananda’, this ‘Ananta-Ananda’ - the endless bliss - can be found by walking down the ’nivritti marg’. What we do is all ‘pravritti marg’ but when we are on this path and we do good things for others, it is called ‘nivritti marg’. Within every being there is this ‘Kasturi’ - it does not matter if he knows it or not, a human being is a walking temple. And by serving another, like Swami Vivekananda said, ‘Daridra-Narayana Seva’, one purifies one’s mind. Instead of going outside, it will turn inwards; his mind becomes introverted. It is called introversion - when the prana flows inwards rather than outwards through the senses. It happens in time and with patience”. “We see this in life, that which is young becomes old; there is no child who does not age. Please do not speak of Beings such as Sri Guru Babaji, he is not like us beings, who are made in the womb. We cannot be like ‘that’, which is something else. We are speaking about you and me. Where there is young age, there is old age. This is the truth.” “So, looking at this, when one goes inwards with the mind and finds where this fragrance is coming from, one finds that there is a small part, a spark of the divine in us. The same divine is spoken of as ‘Ishavasyam idam sarvam in the Vedas. It is only a small part because ‘It’ is covered up by the impure mind. When there is no impure mind, all that is left is ‘It’.” “When this enquiry starts, then one is said to be on the ‘nivritti marg’.No one can say how many days it will take for one to find it. That is because every person is different and comes with much karma. There are no shortcuts in this and one cannot buy Moksha. If it was like that, I would give it in five rupees, here and now. It only happens with practice, with patience, with purifying of the mind. Most of all by leaving violence and moving towards non-violence and moving towards love, the mind is purified and returns to its essence.” “First, one needs peace and quiet of mind. One cannot have peace of mind if one is too caught up in the activities of this world. If one tastes even a little bit of this quietness, one will know that this bliss is not outside. Then one lives in the world, working, but is not fully involved. Not being involved fully does not mean one will not be successful in what one does. Sometimes, one maybe fully involved and yet may not be successful. What is one to do then? Such is life!” “Gita is one of the three texts that a student or a brahmachari has to learn. Of the three, one is the Upanishads, the Brahmasutras and in between the two is Bhagavat Gita. It is so, because reading the Upanishads is not easy for everyone. There is an Upanishad that says Kene ishitam patati preshitam manah, this is from Keno Upanishad. Another one is Yat manasana manute, yenahur manomatam where the mind does not reach. All this is not that easy.” “The Brahmasutras start with Atho Bramho Jignyasa - now we will study the Brahman. Coming to Gita now, the Truths that have been given in the Brahmasutras, the Truths that have been given in the Upanishads are given in the Gita in simple language, through the medium of stories. In Maharashtra, you have Jnaneshwari - the commentary on Gita by Sant Jnaneshwar. This is a Yogic commentary. You have the original in Marathi, and you can read that.” “When Ved Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata, he opened the Gita in Bhishmaparva. There are 18 chapters in the Gita. (This is the thing today, that nobody knows Sanskrit these days; once somebody came from Agra and said that I am not able to find any work, I asked why, he said I am M.A in Sanskrit, such is the situation these days). So, it is said that if all Upanishads are cows, than the one who is milking them is none other than Gopala Nandana - Krishna. And Arjuna is the calf of the cow; this milk is enjoyed by the wise men”. “At the end of every chapter, Vyasa has written that Brahma Vidya is all-right, Upanishads are all-right, but how does one experience ‘It’? There have to be some techniques by which we can know ‘this’. Otherwise, we can read this and leave it at that. Sometimes, we may forget it. Anyway, mostly it stays in the mind. But how is one to touch it? This essence is there in Gita. You have Jnaneshwari, so read that, reading that you will know.” “Now, the most important chapter in Gita - I speak on this wherever I go for the first time, is Chapter 12, the Bhakti Yoga. Some people think that bhakti is for that person who does not know anything. Bhakti is a big thing. When the mind finds out that no matter how much we use our intellect, we cannot reach ‘it’ that way, then bhakti takes place. This para-bhakti is not for anything. Usually, when we go to a temple, what do we pray for? ‘God, please sell that property and give me that money’; this speaks only of a weakness in a human being. Whereas Parabhaktas ask God for only one thing - please reveal thyself. In Vedanta, this can be seen as a prayer for liberation or ‘moksha’. This is the greatest para-bhakti!” “Why it is that bhakti comes in the 12th chapter and not before? Why did He not say that bhakti is a very good thing at the very start? Why did He wait? One very important thing is that the first chapter is ‘Arjuna-Vishada-Yoga’; ‘vishada’ is pain or suffering or dissatisfaction or uncertainty. Not only for Arjun, it is so for all of us. Sooner or later, each and every one of us is in ‘Vishada’. This suffering is a very important thing. Unless there is pain, one does not generally think of God.” “When there is unhappiness, we do not want to face it, we are afraid of it. We want to get rid of it as fast as possible. Sometimes people go to bars and get drunk to forget it for sometime. So, this pain is a very important thing, when one suffers, then one thinks of God. Now, I am not saying that you welcome pain and make it a guest in your house.” “In Bhagavatam, there is a very nice story of Kunti’s prayer. Krishna is leaving for Dwaraka after the battle of Kurukshetra and he is taking leave of everyone. Those who were of the same age, he embraced them. Those who were his elders, he prostrated to them - can you imagine God doing namaskaram! So, he goes to Kunti and says that I am going to Dwaraka, if you want a boon of me, ask me now. Kunti has a beautiful dialogue with him. She says, stop this drama of yours, you created this battle of Kurukshetra, you won it for us, all this is your drama and so please stop it. She said that if you can give any boon, I have just one boon to ask of you. When he asked what it was, she said that let all the sufferings in this world come upon my head.” “It is not easy! Please do not go to a temple and say this! It can happen for Kunti but it is not for everyone to bear whatever suffering comes one’s way and to say that it is okay. Even Krishna was shocked and was silent for some time. He asked, ‘why this boon?’. She said that when there is suffering I will think of you and you will come and give darshana. So let many sufferings come, so that I can have as many of your darshanas, what else do I want? It is a great thing and is not easy, when even a little sadness comes, people run away from it.” “Now, this is why we have to wait till the 12th chapter for Bhakti Yoga. Till the 10th chapter, a dialogue is going on between Krishna and Arjuna. Krishna is in front, controlling the chariot. Until then Arjuna thinks of Krishna as his friend. Arjuna knows that Krishna is not exactly ordinary but still he considers Krishna as a friend. Krishna is also the driver of Arjuna’s chariot; he is the ‘Parthasarthi’. One does not say anything to the driver! Who knows ‘who’ the driver is? And if you do not know how to drive, it is better to remain quiet.” “So, such was the relationship between Krishna and Arjuna, then they were related too. In the 10th chapter, Lord Krishna suddenly changes the track and says, among the mountains, I am Meru; among the ‘achalas’, I am the Himalayas; among the Vedas, I am Sama Veda; among the munis, I am Kapila. This is what he says! Arjuna was very confused, he wondered why Krishna was saying, I am Meru, I am Himalayas and so on. Then, he starts to think that maybe something is not ordinary about Krishna, something that is beyond the grasp of the mind, otherwise how am I to understand that he is Meru. Do you understand this?” “So, his intellect starts crumbling in the 10th chapter. In 11th chapter, you all know what happens - ‘Vishwa roopa darshana’. Arjuna is thinking that I am seeing all avatars - he was seeing all possible forms of God. The certainty that he had in his mind that he knew everything was shattered. The logical mind, the one that knew 2 and 2 equals 4, it is shattered. Arjuna had said that he cannot understand what ‘This’ is but ‘This’ can be understood only through bhakti. Bhakti does not mean singing loudly. Adi Shankaracharya had said ‘Bhaja Govindam’. It does not mean just to sing. Singing is all-right but Bhakti means to keep the mind fixed on ‘That’ all the time.” “Arjuna has now found out that Krishna is not someone ordinary and is ready to accept Krishna’s answers. In the 12th chapter, he asks Krishna that some people say that the worshippers of God in his formless aspect are the greatest devotees, others say that worshippers of God with a form are the greatest devotees, who is the greatest among them? Who according to you is the greatest Yogi, the one who is closest to you? He says that he does not know who he is and is ready to accept Krishna’s answers.” “Krishna says that worship of God in his formless aspect is not easy. We are used to name and form, otherwise how do I know you? If I remember your name, I think of your form. If I see your form, I remember your name. Some people say that the form is not that important but what do they do the first thing in the morning? They look in the mirror; if the name and form of oneself is so important, then what to say of the others? They look for and count the number of white hair on their heads and remove them! So, only with name and form, do we live in this world.” “So, Krishna says that worship of God in the formless aspect is okay but it is not for everyone. We live in a world of name and form and it is much better to start with worship as such. The way may be this or that, but one thing must be understood - the worshipper should have some characteristics. Without these qualities, it does not matter what path one takes. Then Arjuna asks, what these qualities are, ‘please tell me of these’.” “In Gita, they speak only of three qualities. Krishna says that my dearest devotee or the greatest Yogi is the one who has the capacity for perfect and full control over his senses Samniyam-yendriya-graamam. In reality, anger comes from the senses. Why? Because when your senses want something and you do not get it, you become angry. And, if someone else takes it away from you, you become angry with that person. It starts from the senses, so if in a person there is control over the senses, I consider him to be my greatest devotee.” “The second quality is – Sarvatra sama buddhaya - No matter what the situation, be it hot or cold, be it happiness or sadness, be it praise or blame, the one who is in a state of equanimity in all situations and remains calm, such a person I consider to be the greatest Yogi and my dearest Bhakta. I am not saying this, it is written in the Gita, please read it. Normally, how does our life work? If someone praises us saying - you are a great person - you become very happy, you may even reach a state of ‘samadhi’. However, when someone says you are a fool, an idiot, you become so angry saying who is this person to call me an idiot. Such are our ways. When we are happy, it is okay. When we are sad, what about then? Sometimes, one thinks enough is enough and thinks of suicide, of ‘atma hatya’. Actually, that cannot be because one cannot kill the Atman; it is only the body that can be harmed.” “So, if one is balanced, it is good. This is easy if one understands that one is actually nobody. If you compare yourself to the universe, who are you? You are not even a particle. So what is the harm if someone calls you something? But there is this ego, if this ego goes, one becomes stable, and gradually becomes a ‘stitha-pragnya’. Krishna says that such a stitha-pragnya, I consider to be the greatest devotee and my dearest bhakta.” “Now, I want to tell you a small story, I heard it from a Swamiji. Since Tumkur, we have been staying in mathas. Shankaracharyas have one kind of mathas but then there are many Lingayat maths. So, we were staying in the Taralabalu matha of Sirigere. This is a very interesting story, please listen to it.” “Once, there was a very famous and skilled sculptor and he went to the temple to make some sculptures. The temple priest happened to be a great astrologer and he told the sculptor that your time is near; you only have three more weeks to live. The sculptor said, I believe you, but how will I live through this? So the priest said that you are such a great sculptor, go to your workshop, make ten or fifteen sculptures and stand between those. The yama-doota comes on a buffalo and is not that intelligent, he will come and look for you but won’t know which is the original and will go back.” “So, he went back, made a lot of images that looked like him and stood among those. The yama-doota came, looked for the sculptor and could not find him so, he went back. He went to Yama and Yama asked him where the sculptor was. The yama-doota stated his case and the Yama laughed. He said that the sculptor’s time is coming again soon and the way to get him is very easy. Go there, he would be standing in between his images without doubt, do not look for him. Go there and praise the images for 10 minutes - say how nice this sculpture is, how great that sculpture is.” “So, he went there and started praising the images. The sculptor could not stand still for more than two minutes and said, ‘I have made these”, and the yama-doota said, “let’s go”. So you see, with ego one gets stuck in a death trap. Sarvatra sama buddhaya, means to remove the ego as much as possible. “Now the third, the last and the most important quality Krishna says is- Sarva bhute hiteh ratah. He says that the greatest yogi and my dearest disciple is the one who has the welfare of all living beings in his heart. He is the one who does not think anything bad for another person, the one who thinks of the welfare of all beings, I consider him to be the greatest Yogi and my dearest devotee.” “If one keeps these three characteristics in one’smind and applies them, it is my understanding that one can live in this world and progress in the spiritual field and go towards the Atman. Everyone cannot take sanyasa, it is a very high thing and everyone is not capable of it. So living in the world, people like you and me, if we apply these principles and do some practice by the grace of the Guru, one can go into ‘nivritti marg’. So, we can reach that happiness that is within us and not outside. If it is here, it is there too; the same happiness is in every being. It can be known only through experience. You all know that Narasimha avatar ripped this” (points towards his body) “and came out. It does not mean he ripped apart the body, it means he ripped apart the ego and manifested. Humans have the unique capacity that they can experience ‘It’. I do not want to say anything more. You all are here, and Acharyaji is here, he is sitting quietly and has not said anything. I want to rest now and we will start walking again tomorrow.” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.” Sri M asked everyone to chant OM three times and sit quietly for a few minutes. People thronged to see Sri M from close quarters and it was an ordeal for the coordinators to extricate him from the assembly. Along the way, he signed many books and people interacted with him anyway. It took us some twenty minutes to cover some thirty steps. The day did not come to a close just yet; we walked another kilometer to the Dattatreya temple. Dattatreya is a deity considered to be an incarnation of the three Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, collectively known as Trimurti. In Maharashtra, Dattatreya is also known to be a significant deity of Nath Sampradaya; Shirdi Sai Baba, Akkalkot Swami Samarth and Gajanana Maharaj are said to be the three manifestations of Dattatreya in this region.” The short walk to the temple was through the older part of the city. The narrow and crisscrossing roads ran heavy with automobiles and they had to walk in a single file to get there, often stopping at intersections. Most shops were family-managed and jutted out from one or the other wall of their houses. Some were trading shops with large, old and attached storage buildings. A jungle of electric wires ran close to the second storey of each and the whole scenario seemed from another age – chaotic when viewed through eyes used to seeing better amenities in a big city. Following the visit to the temple, the Padayatris were transported back to their place of stay – Ravi Rai Cultural Centre –at around 8.30 pm where dinner awaited them. The dinner today was sponsored by a Satsangi and was a lavish affair. They had large copper vessels filled with various delicacies. After a rather leisurely dinner, the padayatris turned in for the night. Once again, they did not have to load their luggage the next morning, giving them just that extra time to avoid the rush and the queues for toilets and bathrooms. This is the fifth and the last night the yatris would be staying here. The patrons here have been very hospitable and kind to all. Today was a very full and tiring day and they fell asleep the moment they hit their makeshift pillows.

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Jai Gurudeva… Jai Maheshwarnath… Jai Kriya Babaji…Jai Sarva Santajana…

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