Day 131 | 22 May 2015 | Nimshirgaon to Nrusinhawadi | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • A truly blessed Kirana shop, Kondhigre, Maharashtra
  • One of the many interactions with people on Day 131, Kolhapur Sangli Road,-Maharashtra
  • Sri M in prayer inside the Sri Siddhivinayak Mandir, Jaisinghpur, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • Sri M during Satsang with the impressive Siddhivinayak temple in the background, Jaisinghpur, Maharashtra
  • Can't get fresher cucumbers than these, Jaisinghpur, Maharashtra
  • Do we see glimpse of a raw talent here, Jaisinghpur, Maharashtra
  • 'A colourful brood', Shirol, Maharashtra
  • Sri M garlanding the statue of Sri Patil Maharaj, before Satsang, Narsingwadi, Maharashtra
  • Satsang at the Mandir dedicated to Sri Patil Maharaj, Narsingwadi, Maharashtra
  • 10.The-evening-Satsang-with-the-statue-of-Sri-Patil-Maharaj-in-the-background,-Narsingwadi,-Maharashtra)
  • Sri M performing Arathi to the statue of Sri Patil Maharaj, Narsingwadi, Maharashtra
  • Coming out of the Siddhivinayak Mandir, Jaisinghpur, Maharashtra
  • Bearded & moustachioed, they make an awesome sight under the Banyan tree, Shirol
  • The elegantly carved Vittal Mandir, Shirol, Maharashtra
  • Psst.., master at work, Shirol, Maharashtra
  • Sri M enjoying a rare moment of solitude on the banks of Krishna river, Narsingwadi, Maharashtra
  • 17.Watching-the-boat-ferry-with-his-Man-Friday-
  • Bathing beauties both, with a makeshift float for safety! Narsingwadi, Maharashtra
  • Sri M visiting the ancient temple on the banks of Krishna at Narsingwadi, Maharashtra
Starting off from Nimshirgaon before the light of day, the padayatris proceeded slowly on the narrow two-laned road. For quite a while, they did not come across any people and the walk proceeded in gentle quietude.

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Around 6.00 am, about 20 people from a group called ‘Good Morning’ greeted Sri M and joined in. They accompanied them till the breakfast point. They had another short break at a small temple on the wayside. On either side of the route are fields of lush green with plantations of all varieties- sugarcane, maize, vegetables and flowers. Walking in silence on this road under a clear sky, they reached outskirts of Jaysingpur around 8.00 am and were greeted by a relatively large gathering of around 70 people at a Siddhivinayak temple. This not very old temple has a unique architecture, itis a beautiful and cavernous elliptical structure built on a raised platform housing the deity. Sri M and a few others spent some time in prayer here. After this, everyone congregated on the lawns in the temple premises. The gathering must have been around 180 strong. Sri M addressed the gathering briefly. “We are walking from January 12, 2015 and we have covered 2200 kms till here. There are 5000 more kilometers to go before we reach Srinagar in April 2016. With God's grace, we will reach there. I will not say much because, while walking, there are not many words.” “Someone said, my walk is my talk. We also think like that. I want to tell you, that our aim, our message is of Manav Ekta. Like you have constructed this beautiful temple, in the same way, God has made many beautiful temples, these are you and me and every human being.” “We consider every human being, be it a man or a woman, to be a temple. It is good to construct temples but in the heart of a human being dwells a spark of the Supreme, known as the 'Antaryami'. Just as we construct temples, we also have to take care of ourselves and others”. “It does not matter if we are man or a woman; if we belong to this religion or to that religion; if we have this or that ideology; if we are fair or dark, we are all human beings. If there is the spark of the Supreme, we cannot be different.” “With this message we are moving forward. Please do not let anyone forget that we are all human beings. If we can come together in this initiative, India will become very strong. This message has to go from this country because this philosophy has been practiced here.” “It is said in the Rig Veda, Ekam sat, viprah bahuda vadanti - The Truth is one but the wise call it by different names. I just want to say that we should bring back the former glory of this country. What is needed right now is that we live together now as human beings. It does not matter who we are, we are human beings first.” “Just to spread this message, we are walking in the hot sun everyday. And if God's grace is there, we will reach there. We are in front of Ganesha Temple and this is a beautiful morning, I will read something from the Taittiriya Upanishad and bring this Satsang to a close.” “Om Sham No Mitrah Sham Varunnah Sham No Bhavatv-Aryamaa Sham No Indro Brhaspatih Sham No Vissnnur-Urukramah Om, May Mitra be Propitious with Us, May Varuna be Propitious with Us, May the Honourable Aryama be Propitious with Us, May Indra and Brihaspati be Propitious with Us, May Vishnu with Long Strides be Propitious with Us,” Om Shanti Shanti Shanti”. After the ten-minute Satsang that concluded with a beautiful Sanskrit chant, breakfast was served. This was organised and managed by local hosts and the padayatris had their fill. The break was quite protracted and when they resumed the walk, the sun was already high in the skies and the temperature soared up. The skies were an azure blue with nary a cloud in sight. They had to cover the rest of the distance in the hot sun. Touching villages like Umadi, Kallamawadi and Shirol, Walk of Hope traveled through roads and landscapes that seemed to be from a different time zone. They passed by many a quaint home built with mud and stone, simple and old-fashioned. They came across many bullock carts with the bulls’ horns painted in varying bright colors. Each turn bought with it a new previously unseen spectacle, a tiny island of village life where there was a large farm with a home, some animals, two or three small children in colourful attire running about and a few stacks of hay. Variety and exclusivity seemed to be the order of the day here when it came to the structures of the homes - every few hundred metersthey came across one which looked different from the other! The yatris also touched Jaysingpur, which is historically significant. Named after Raja Jaysing, father of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur, Jaysingpur is also one of it’s kind as all the roads here meet at a 90 degree angle, as reportedly designed by Shahu Maharaj. After covering a distance of 19 kilometers today, Walk of Hope reached Nrusinhawadi by 12.00 noon. The last stretch was especially taxing. The holy place of Nrusinhawadi is also known as Narsobachiwadi and NarasimhaWadi – the abode of Narasimha and is a pilgrimage point for Datta devotees and is built at the confluence point of the rivers Krishna and Panchganga. Swami Narasimha Saraswati, an avatar of Dattatreya, stayed here for about 12 years. What was once a forest is now a pilgrimage centre drawing thousands of devotees. The yatris were then taken to Yatri Nivas and were assigned to a large hall. Men and women were accommodated in separate halls close by. The amenities are basic but in a place as busy as this, they are grateful they have accommodation. After lunch, the padayatris rested for some time and gathered again in the samadhi of Patil Maharaj for the evening Satsang. The event drew many people and there were about 200 people in the small hall and outsidewatching and listening through the window bars. Sri M began his address thus “Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram vyāptam yena carācaram Tatpadam darśitam yena tasmai śr īguravenamah (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. Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih Om, May All become Happy, May All be Free from Illness. May All See what is Auspicious, May no one Suffer. Om Peace, Peace, Peace. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu May the entire universe be happy” “Many people here do not know where we are, what this place is. There are many among us who do not know about it. So, one must first understand that, in Datta tradition, this is the most important place. The padukas of Swami NarasimhaSaraswati, who was considered the second avatar of Dattatreya in this Kali Yuga, are here but his samadhi is not here. This place where we are right now is the samadhi of Patil Maharaj. I have come here before”. “It is said, Swami Narasimha Saraswati was here in 1340 or so. I think Dattatreya tradition started in Pitapuram. Pitapuram is in Andhra Pradesh, it must be in Telangana State now, I think. It is the place of Sri Pada Vallabh. Swami Narasimha Saraswati was no ordinary man; he was considered an avatar of Dattatreya. When he came here, he was a sanyasi of the Dashanami order. He was a dandi swami. When he came here, this was a forest with many wild animals, including lions and tigers. He came here and spent 12 years.” “Slowly, people found out that some great being is here. He never went out for bhiksha (alms) and people wondered what he had for food and so on. Later on, they found out that some Yoginis gave him bhiksha. So he was here for 12 years and, after this time he went to Ganagapur. Before he left this place, he left his padukas behind and he assigned charge of their worship to a Brahmin family. They worried how it would be done because it was a dense jungle at that time. Swami Narasimha Saraswati assured them, asking them to stay there and carry on with the worship. The story is long. After some time, he left.” “After staying for twenty years at Ganagapur, it is said that he went to Kadali Vanam near Sri Sailam. His samadhi is not there in Sri Sailam, so no one knows where it is. Sometimes, it happens this waythat they just disappear. This is a good way to disappear - keep talking and suddenly disappear one day.” “So, after that, many people started coming here. There were many leelas - many plays - of Swami Narasimha Saraswati, so people started coming. Now this is such a big centre that when there is a festival, there is no place to even stand. You saw that yesterday. Yesterday was a Thursday (Guruvaar), this is a very important day for the worship of guru”. “Now we say Swami Narasimha Saraswati was an avatar of Dattatreya. Now, who is Dattatreya, many people do not know. In Maharashtra, everyone may know it. Dattatreya means Atreya of Datta. Sometimes we pray to Brahma, sometimes we pray to Vishnu, sometimes we pray to Shiva. Dattatreya is a deity considered to be an incarnation of these three together - He is three-in-one. Brahma is usually not worshipped, and there is a Brahma temple in only one place, Pushkar. Any worship you offer, he can accept.” “He is the head of Avadhutas, their Commander-In-Chief. If you ever see his picture, you will see that he has a trident, a conch, a discus, a rudraksha and a kamandalu. These are the symbols of an avadhuta. And, there is a song of the avadhuta. It is called Avadhuta Gita, it is also called Bhikshu Gita. This is the guide on the way of life of an avadhuta.” “In this Gita, Dattatreya says that he had 24 gurus. He considered everything to be a guru. He considered even the honeybeeas a guru; the honeybee that gathers honey when it is not raining for when it rains one cannot go out. This means that anyone who wants to be a Yogi, let alone an Avadhuta, must be ready to accept everyone as a teacher. One cannot say from where a Guru comes, in what form and how he works. Do not consider that an avadhuta is a mad person, one may not even recognise an avadhuta. Gulawani Maharaj was like this. There are many avadhutas who live like kings and no one knows. There are avadhutas that roam around also. Nobody knows from where an avadhuta may appear.” “So, having 24 gurus means that one should accept everyone and everything as a teacher. And it is so because everyone has a spark of the Divine within him. When one understands this, when one knows this, then one will understand the meaning of param-guru, sat-guru. What does the word ‘Digambara’ mean? Digambara does not mean one who does not wear clothes. Swami Narasimha Saraswati was not naked, he wore clothes. And yet it is said ‘Digambara Digambara Shripad Vallabh Digambara’.” “‘Dig’ means the four cardinal directions - North, South, East, West. Digambara means someone who has reached such a high state that he does not need the clothes of this world in the regular sense of the word. He is surrounded by ‘What is’ in all four directions; he wears them and lives. Consider Dattatreya as the Lord or consider him as an avadhuta. Whatever there is in the four directions, those are his clothes.” “Why do we wear clothes? We - our bodies - are within the clothes. Like this, our body is worn by our soul. I see you here in front of me; I see you with your glasses, with your clothes, with your watch and call you so-and-so. Nowif you remove your clothes here and go, we cannot call you so-and-so, can we? You are the one who wears the clothes. Just like that souls ‘wear’ the body and till that is there we salute the person. When the soul goes, what do we do? We say take the body quickly (to cremate or to bury it).” “It is a different thing for Yogis because before Samadhi, they know. Samadhi means that they know they are not the bodies. And they know this experientially, not belief, but experience. When the Yogis go, it is a willed death. This is what a jeeva samadhi is. They know that their work is finished here and it is time to go from here. So they willfully leave their bodies.” “There is a lot of difference between an ordinary man dying and a yogi dying. The ordinary man does not die in peace, he wants to hold onto so many things and not go. He thinks if I go, what will happen to my bed, what will happen to my clothes, my properties, my wife, my children. That is how they think. When one is liberated from these clutches, then they go easy.” “It is like going from this room to the next. If one goes out of the door, climbs down some steps and goes into that room over there, what difference does it make? Death is like that. After Sri Ramakrishna took Samadhi, this happened. In India, especially in Bengal, when the husband dies and the wife becomes a widow, she breaks her bangles and does not put sindoor anymore and does not wear jewellery anymore. This happens after three days of death. So, after Sri Ramakrishna died, after one day he appeared in the dream of Sri Sarada Devi and told her, do not break your bangles, I am right here, I have not gone anywhere, I have just gone from one room to the other. So she did not break her bangles, if you see her pictures, she is wearing them.” “No one really ever goes anywhere. One who knows this by experience and not by theory alone is an avadhuta. An avadhuta is where he is, he is not attached to that place, and he can leave it whenever he wants to. He may live with his family whenever he wants, he can leave. No one can trap him in a cage. If he lives in the world, he will have many problems. That is why avadhutas do not often come out and live in hiding.” “What kind of problems? Suppose there is an avadhuta and everywhere he looks, he sees only a single Atman. But in the world one has to see different people differently. He wants to deal with everyone equally but this is not possible in the world. Some people are near, some are far. Here, there are four or five people, who if I don’t talk to regularly, they would think what has happened? They think that why is he not talking to me? Am I not close to him? Everyone is equally close, they don’t understand this. So, this is for the ones who are very close, the drama has to be kept up with them. (Many people laugh). Please, I am saying the correct thing. If I am saying something wrong, forgive me.” “They say that he does not love me anymore. If I sit near the river, quietly and they ask from the distance, may I come and sit next to you. My dear friend, the river is flowing, there is quiet, there is peace and bliss. If they are not told yes, they will think that there is no love towards them. It is not so. There is love. There is love towards everything. There is love towards the river. There is love towards the dogs that are there. There are four or five dogs that are roaming about there.” “Dogs are considered as the vehicle of the avadhuta. It is so because if you feed the dog once, he will remember and be grateful. If you feed a person and do not feed him the second day, he will be angry. That is why avadhutas consider dogs as a vehicle. Please remember that if you are sitting somewhere in the night and you see a strange dog you have not seen before, it may not be a dog, it may be a mahayogi in the form of a dog. There are many dogs around avadhutas. Why? Because by being a mahayogi and being known, people flock towards the yogi and do not leave his legs.” “So they roam around as dogs. If it were possible, I would also roam around like this because then no one will come close. If anyone comes close, a dog can growl. This is the situation.” “We can never know or understand an avadhuta or a mahayogi. Sometimes, they have been given some work and in doing that work, they reveal themselves. If they want, they can shut it down but they don’t. No one knows who he is, where he is, where he sits. That is why it is best to salute everyone. Who knows when one may get a beating from them? Please understand that it is a beating that comes out of love and works for you. Out of love, they act.” “I will tell you a story now, it is a Sufi story. There was once a man who was born in a poor family. So being born in a poor family, he wanted to be rich. He also wanted to progress on the spiritual path. Over time, the desire for riches was more than the desire for spiritual progress. In time, he altogether stopped his spiritual practices. When he was 50 or so, he became very rich and he had everything. Then he felt that I can buy anything with money but I cannot buy happiness or peace. So he decided to give away his money and live away from society somewhere far away.” “He wanted to take all his books, study them and practice. So thinking this, he sold his factory and gave away all his riches. Everyone is ready to accept money so he gave away all his money easily. Some of it he kept for himself and built a hut near the jungle. He had been rich for so many years and he had so many servants that he did not even know how to make tea. So, he was looking for someone. Someone came from a village and said, I can cook very well, I am ready to come with you and I will be very quiet.” “The cook made food and the rich man studied. So went seven years. He soon felt that because of the situation he was in, he needed a guru. He stepped out of his hut and looked all around the forest. He did meet many people but he did not believe that thesewere his gurus. He finally saw someone who had a beard, who had a white cloth on his head and wore a green cloth. He felt that this person might be his guru so he went to him, did namaskaras and said, make me your disciple because I am in search of a Guru.” “In turn, the person with the beard asked him, why do you consider me to be your guru, is it because I have a beard, or is it because I have a green cloth. He said that I would make you a disciple but the thing is that without my Guru’s permission, I cannot accept you as a disciple. The man said, please ask your Guru and accept me as a disciple. The man with the beard said that his problem was that his guru was missing for the last seven or eight years and he did not know where he was, he hae gone away somewhere. The man then said that he will help in the search so he could become a disciple quickly.” “Then, the man with the beard described his guru saying that he wears a waist cloth and does not wear a shirt, he wears a towel across his shoulder and is thin and not a very tall man. The person who was looking for the Guru immediately said - Will you come to my hut. When they reached there and the cook came out, the bearded man prostrated to him and asked him – ‘Where did you go? I was looking for you for seven long years’. The cook said ‘I was with this fellow.’ His disciple said, ‘ How is that he is still looking for a Guru?’ The cook replied, ‘ Look, it is like this, it took me seven years to make him realize that one needs a guru. You accept him as a disciple, I have work somewhere else.’ Saying so, he left.” “This is the story I had wanted to tell you. A maha-yogi, where does he come from, where does he go, one does not know. Therefore, I tell you, be good to your watchman, to your driver, who knows who he is. I am telling you the truth. I do pranams to my driver daily! The state of the avadhuta is such that, through experience, he feels that the whole world is filled with the Supreme, there is nowhere where He is not. It is said in the Puranas by Prahladh that in every place, in every ’anu’ - atom, there is the Supreme.” “This whirling world is called ‘jagatyam’ because it is the one that moves. It does not stay static at one place. So, the one that is the all-pervading Supreme is there in you and is there in me also. If one finds this out by experience, one can be called an avadhuta. It is not necessary that one has matted hair. Swami Narasimha Saraswati was from the Dasnami tradition and was a dandi swami. Whatever they had to do to maintain their tradition, they did all of it. But he was the greatest avadhuta and was considered an avatar of Dattatreya. So it is like this.” “To those who do not know, this is for them. When he disappeared in Kadalivanam near Sri Sailam, after many years, Akkalkot Maharaj - Swami Samarth reached Akkalkot. He is considered to be an avatar of Dattatreya also because no one knows where he came and where he went. But there is his samadhi. So the Datta traditions and my Natha traditions have very deep links here.” “The place we are at is very important. For once today, please do not play cricket or listen to music, go to the banks of Krishna River and spend the night in meditation. The mind will be cleansed and one can find peace. This is very important for sadhakas. I say that spend time here in meditation. There is also the samadhi of Vasudeva Saraswati, go there and spend some time. I went there and tried to sit, two or three people came and got me to move.” “Thank you!” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti” After the Satsang, there was an elaborate thirty-minute Aartiof Shri Patil Maharaj. Sri M participated in this and performed the Aarti. Some people went off in search of a quiet spot by the Krishna River, while some others went in search for food before turning in for the night.

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

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

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