Day 129 | 20 May 2015 | Kolhapur to Atigre | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Sri M gazes at the Golden Orb in the morning, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • The Tarabai Statue adorning the Chowk from where the walk on Day 129 commenced.
  • Saying it with flowers, at the reception at Atigre, the halting point of the day, Maharashtra
  • 'A mini Lagan' in the making!!, Sangli Road, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • Wall-art echoing the Walk's sentiments, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • All the 'Panchabhuthas' in attendance, Sangli Road, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • Yummy Misal Pav & sweet for breakfast!!, Shiroli, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • We march past the portion of Sangli Road where Marble showrooms abound, Shiroli, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • 9.Mounds-and-mounds-of-Molasses,-as-natural-as-you-can-get,-Sangli-Road,-Kolhapur,-Maharashtra)
  • The ubiquitous villager and his colourful turban, Sangli Road, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • Traditional welcome at Atigre, Maharashtra
  • Satsang in the premises of the-Hanuman Mandir, Atigre, Maharashtra
  • It was a job, keeping to one side and letting historic MSRTC buses zoom past, Sangli Road, Maharashtra
  • Master weaver at work!, the weaver bird and nest, Sangli Road Maharashtra
  • 'Thanks for lending a hand kiddo', mom seems to say, Sangli Road, Maharashtra
  • Inside the 450-year old Hanuman Mandir, Atigre Maharashtra
Walk of Hope travelled from Kolhapur city to Atigre and covered 20 kilometers today. The padayatra passed through Herle and Male, two small villages on the way, before reaching Atigre. Today’s Padayatra was 7 hours long; starting at 5.30 am, the padayatris reached the destination a little after 12 noon.

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The walkers assembled at Tara Rani Chowk – the statue of the Queen forming a magical silhouette against the dark skies. They walked through the empty city roads in the early hours and they hardly came across any people along the way. The morning was quiet and breezy and the rising sun formed a scenic orange orb in the eastern sky. Once outside the city, the Padayatra proceeded along the State Highway. The Highway was not as well maintained as the National Highway that was the route few days ago; it was under construction at some places, thus making the walk a challenge.As the day progressed, temperatures rose to a good 35 degrees centigrade. Of course, the yatris are still to experience peak summer in Maharashtra as it is expected to touch 40 to 43 degrees in the next couple of weeks. Many locals played host and the first one was at 6.50 am where they had a short break and a tea. Breakfast was again at a local host’s stone warehouse where they were served the regional favourite – Misal Pav A few breaks later, most of them organized in the open while one was at a native host’s hotel, they reached Atigre just after 12 noon. Sugarcane continues to be the major crop in this belt. The area looks green with the crops extending as far as the eye can see. A few trees here and there complete the landscape but there are hardly any trees providing shade to a weary traveler. Many of the local population in Atigre are from the Varkari tradition. On reaching Atigre, the Padayatra was greeted by a gathering of local residents, who garlanded Sri M and led him and the yatris to the local Hanuman temple complex. The Hanuman temple here is said to have been built by Swami Samarth Ramdas Swami. Here, Sri M addressed the gathering very briefly. “Om Saha Nau-AvatuSaha Nau Bhunaktu Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai TejasviNau-Adhiitam-Astu Maa Vidvissaavahai Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu… Sri Ram Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram” “I am with you now.We have been walking from Kanyakumari and have covered some 2200 kilometers to reach your holy place. I did not know about this place before. It’s only once we reached here did we realize that this is an ancient place and this Hanuman Mandir was built by Swami Ramdas. I just found out that Sri Ram came here during his exile into the forest.” “When I was in the city, Sarpanchji came up and told me about this place, and I felt that we have to come here. When we started walking in Kolhapur yesterday, I think there were at least 400 to 500 Varkaris.Now, there are 5000 kilometers left. We will reach Srinagar in April of 2016 with God's grace. I do not think that anything is possible without God's grace. This Walk is an outward manifestation of my inner spiritual experience; neither am I standing for elections nor am I starting a political party.” “All people are good, there is no one who is bad but, now and then, they go off the path. My experience is that the all-pervasive Supreme Being is present in every being as a small spark in the heart.No matter who it is, be it a man or a woman, he is a walking temple. Those who don’t wish to break the temple will not harm another human being. This temple is built with brick and concrete whereas, a human being is a walking temple; in both places, sits the Lord.” “You must have seen a picture where Hanuman pierces his chest to show Lord Rama within. Keep Rama in your hearts, live your lives well; speak the truth, do not commit acts of violence in any way and consider yourself the lowest of the low.If someone follows these principles, he will automatically be One with all and with everything. Sometimes due to anger, sometimes due to violence, we forget that we are human beings.” “We only have one aim; we are walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to tell people that we are all human beings. If anyone tells you otherwise, do not believe him or her. If you remember this, there will be no discord between anyone.” “We are also going to Pandharpur and to Alandi. This Maharashtra is a land of saints. You don't have to listen to me, listen to Sant Jnaneshwar, listen to Sant Tukaram and you will have clarity on how to live your life.” “I want to thank you since you gave me the occasion to come here and talk to you. You have welcomed us with so much warmth and love. We will leave this place soon; tomorrow, we will leave at 5.30 in the morning to walk again under the hot sun.” “In the end, I pray that if you cannot walk with us; please pray for the Padayatra in your hearts. We can live together, I have come to tell you only this. Please remember this after I go and do not forget it.” “Remember that next time when you do aarti, you are doing aarti of not only the Lord sitting in front of you but also of the Lord sitting in your heart.” “Tulsidas in his Ramayana wrote 'Kaamkrodh mad lobh ki jou lou man mein khan, Tau lou Pandit moorkhou Tulsi ek saman' - as long there is lust, anger, likes and dislikes in the mind of anyone, there is no difference between an idiot and a learned one. Please think of this.” “Please remember that we all are One and the Lord sits in everyone's heart. I do not want to say anything more because I have been walking since the morning, I have to rest a little bit; this model is from 1949 and it is getting old.” “Thank you!” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!” The residents of Atigre welcomed the padayatris with much warmth, into their homes and offered them refreshments. A small battalion of people carrying vessels served the refreshments. Following this, we were transported in the Walk of Hope bus to Hansabai Makdum English School of Nimshirgaon, which is about 20 kilometers away. Lunch was served as soon as the padayatris arrived here. The school is located in a vast, open, arid and wind-swept land, with very few trees. The road is quite far away from the school, so one cannot hear the passing vehicles but they can be seen. One can only imagine the delight of the padayatris to have discovered a swimming pool on the premises of the school after having walked in the scorching heat. The school authorities, very kindly, allowed the padayatris to use this facility, a luxury for which the Padayatris were grateful. They waited patiently for 4.00 pm, when the doors to the pool were thrown open and they could jump into it. Most of them came out of it only after being called for dinner, at 7.00 pm. There was an informal celebration of apadayatri's 30th birthday, loved for his ever-cheerful disposition and a quick sense of humour. With this celebration, the padayatris retired for the day.


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  1. Ann Shannon says:

    I look forward each day to reading a message from you. Thank you for sharing with us on the web — it is a rich way of sharing the journey with you inwardly.

  2. Ann Shannon says:

    I hope some devotee is writing down (or taping) all of those intimate, one-on-one reflections and teachings that share with those who are walking with you each day…and that one day they can be shared with the world as a book.

  3. Well Dressed Beggar says:

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

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