Day 141|1 June 2015 | Andhalgaon to Mangalwedhe | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Day 141- Once again an overcast sky shielded the walkers from extreme heat, Andhalgaon, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • Dry sugarcane thatch protects this villager's house from punishing summers, Ganeshvadi, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • Tea break and an array of inviting biscuits on display, Ganeshvadi, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • The entire pantheon of Indian Gods Goddesses find presence on many of these village walls, Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • A household which proclaims the dictum "Athithi Devo Bhava", Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • The centuries old Siva temple in bad repair, Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • Along the streets of Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • Sri M and some Padayatris cast their benign reflection on a mirror on sale, Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • Sri M offers worship at a temple at Damanji Pant Chowk, Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • Sri M being honoured with the Maharashtrian Pheta once again, as Mayor Ms Aruna Dattu looks on, Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • 11
  • Sri M during the Mangalvedha Satsang, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • Magnificent ornamentation for bullocks on sale, Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • This Vada seller demonstrates fine technique and balance, Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • Sri M places a garland on the Samadhi of Sant Chokhamela, Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • Ha Ha! Whats in a name? A hotel selling fabrics, Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • Sri M looks amused at a boy selling toy horses, Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • The walk through the streets of Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • 19.
  • Sri M garlandsthe statue of Sant Damaji Pant, Mangalvedha, Solapur, Maharashtra
  • 21
  • Walk-of-hope
With midnight showers yesterday, it was cool when they started out in the morning. The sky was a stunning spectacle—the colour of turquoise with wispy steel grey clouds. As the sun came up, the softly diffused orange mixed with the turquoise and the shift to an intense blue was breathtaking. The sun dispersed the clouds soon after but there was a cool breeze and no one felt the heat. The padayatris stopped at a farm outside Ganeshwadi for breakfast, after which the favourable weather allowed them to rapidly cover the remaining distance.

The Journal Of Hope Archive

Today’s walk was from Andhalgaon to Mangalwedhe, covering a distance of about 20 kilometers. Walking northeast on the Sangola-Mangalwedhe-Solapur road, State Highway #204 A, the padayatra crossed and reached the outskirts of Mangalwedhe around 11.00 am. Taking only five and half hours, they touched the village of Ganeshwadi before reaching their destination. Proceeding on the quiet road, they reached Mangalwedhe or Mangalwedha—a town much like Sangola with many highways passing through its centre. Called 'The Land of Saints', since Saint Damaji, Saint Kanhopatra and Saint Chokhamela are from Mangalwedha, it is also the birthplace of Shri Jayatirtha known as Teekacharya), one of the greatest saints of the Dvaita school of Vedanta. Walking through the town, they reached Sri Ram Mangal Karyalaya, their resting place. Built as an event venue, the premises had many rooms and two or three halls. After the women were accommodated in rooms, the men took up the main hall and the remaining rooms. The stay was fairly decent, the only constraint being the number of bathrooms - only four for around a hundred people. After lunch and some rest, they gathered in the heart of town at the tiny Sri Chokamela Samadhi Mandir Square. Here, Sri M offered flowers and prayers at the Samadhi. The padayatris then walked back towards the Sri Ram Mangal Karyalaya premises. The walk was a fairly short one, about two kilometers, and it took about an hour to cover the distance. On the way, they stopped at a square that featured Sant Damaji's statue. Sri M garlanded it and then he and the padayatris visited a small temple close by, built in Sant Damaji’s honour, and offered their prayers. Reaching Sri Ram Mangal Karyalaya, everyone settled in for the Satsang. There were about 150 people in attendance. The Mayor of the town, Smt. Aruna Dattu, was present along with other dignitaries. Sri M was felicitated and he then addressed the gathering: “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. 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” “Respected Nayarappa, Ms. Aruna Dattu, our friend Shri Rahul Shah, respected Pinky Patel Sahib who is a teacher, our Dr. Chandrakant Pandav, Dr. Ajai Kumar Singh, Commodore Ravindran, Smt. Tara Ajai Singh and Smt. Anita, all those who are seated in front of us, those who are from this place and those have come with the padayatra. I do not know Marathi. I will speak Hindi instead. First, I would like to say that this place, Mangalwedha, where we are right now, is the land of saints. Maharashtra is a land of saints; this place has even more saints. I have a list in my hand of the saints that have lived here. The people of this place have their blessings.” “First I will speak about Sant Damaji Pant. Sant Damaji, whose statue I garlanded, was the administrator of this district many years ago.” “There is a story about him that once there was a great drought in this area. And because of the drought, there was no food to eat. Whatever food used to come was stored in a granary near his office. An order came from the ruler of Bidar that these grains were not to be given away to people, and were instead to be stored.” “Now, people were dying. Sant Damaji was a great devotee of Vitthal of Pandharpur. He did not feel that this was a good thing. He knew that if the storeroom was opened and the grains given away, there would be punishment from the ruler. But he opened the granary anyway. He did not ask anyone, he just distributed the grains. Soon, the granary was empty.The Shah called Sant Damaji and kept him under house arrest. What happened was that Vitthal felt his devotee was suffering, so he took a staff in his hand and went to the Shah's palace. He had the Shah cup his hands. It is said that gold fell into the Shah's hands - gold enough to pay for the grains in the granary.” “At that time, when people died, they used to cremate six or seven people together. They did the same with Sant Damaji. When he died, he was cremated with a few other people. People from the village wanted to get his last remains. Someone asked, ‘How is it possible? There are the remains of many here.’ They were asked to go and look for skulls and check if any of them, on keeping them close to the ears, could be heard saying ‘Vitthala, Vitthala’. If this was heard from a skull, that would be Sant Damaji’s relics. It is said that someone searched and found a skull from which the words 'Vitthala Vitthala' were heard.” “There are many such stories associated with saints of this place. Swami Samarth of Akkalkot spent twelve years here. From here, he went to Akkalkot, where he was known as Vatavriksh Maharaj. Basavanna, the founder of the Lingayats, worked as a 'tehsildar'—an administrator—in this area. This means that many saints have lived here.” “Now, why did Damaji open the granary? Because the saints know through experience that in the heart of every being is a spark of the Supreme. When we serve another being, it is actually the service of God. In essence, through the service of another human being, God is being worshipped. It should be understood that the worship of Man is the worship of God.” “Even if death comes, there should be acceptance of it. This is the saying of saints; this is not my saying. I am associated with them but they have said all of this. In Bhagavat Gita, when Arjuna asked Lord Krishna who is the greatest devotee and the one closest to you,Lord Krishna said that the greatest devotee is the one who is Sarva bhuta hite ratah- the one who has the welfare of all beings in his heart.” “We should remember this, and this is why we have come all the way from Kanyakumari and we are going to Kashmir. You have welcomed us; I thank you for that. We have come walking - twenty to twenty five kilometers a day. It is not a big thing, the Jain Munis do not stop, and they keep on walking. Who knows how far they go. When we came from Karnataka, we encountered many of them. They told us, you are doing a good thing.” “So, like this, we have been walking and we have reached here. We hope to reach Srinagar in April of 2016. With the blessings and grace of God, this will happen. There have been sixty or seventy people with us from the start. They have left their lives and their work. When we visit a village or a city, there are more people. Why are they here? They are here because they believe that something good is being done.” “We are going from place to place and we tell people that human beings are One and not different. There can be different religions, there can be different ideologies, but we, as humans, are One. It has been said here three thousand years ago –Ekam sat, viprah bahuda vadanti - the truth is One but the wise call it by different names.” “India’s culture is such that it understands all religions are okay, anyone is free to follow whatever he pleases, but it must be understood that we are all humans first. There is no one who has fallen suddenly from the sky; everyone is born of the mother's womb. And, into this earth, all of us will go one day. Then, what is different? Name is different, the place and food are different,and that is all. To tell people this, this ancient Indian ideology, we are walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.” “Sometimes, people forget this. They forget this out of anger. Sometimes, we forget this because someone incites us, someone tells us that one is different from another. We should not forget that we are all humans and we will live together. This will be a great thing for India. The world's eyes are on India right now. For thousands of years, many great saints have come from here. You look at America - these saints have set up ashrams there. There, they understand these things. Some people from America are with me here. The world is looking. To make India strong and peaceful is our duty. For this, we are walking twenty to twenty five kilometers everyday in the hot sun.” “When we reach Srinagar, there will be many people and we will have a big gathering. You look at this one thing, people everywhere want peace. No one wants violence. If there is violence somewhere, know that religion has been corrupted. There is so much terrorism and violence. It means that religion has been corrupted.” “You look at what has been said in the Vedas,Sarve bhavantu sukhinah - Let there be peace in the whole world, no one should be made to suffer. In Jain Dharma, it has been said, Ahimsa Paramo Dharma – non-violence is the greatest religion. In Hinduism, we say after every Satsang,Om Shanti Shanti Shanti - a prayer of peace.” “When two Muslims meet, how do they greet each other? As salam aelekum - Let the peace of Allah be upon you. And what is the response, Valekum Salaam - May the same peace be upon you. When a Jew meets another Jew, they say Shalom - it means the same thing - peace. And, what happens when this is forgotten? There is violence and they fight. They forget that we are all One, that we are all human beings.” “This is my only message. I do not want to stand for any elections. If I wanted that, it would have happened a long time ago. Neither am I of any party. I belong to one party - Humanity - and anyone is welcome to join this party. Anyone from anywhere can join us. You can be from any party but if you are a human being, you can join us. This is all that we want to say to you.” “I want to say to you that if you are a devotee of God and you worship in a temple, remember that along with that worship, within every human being is a spark, a part of the Supreme Being. When the mind is purified, this spark is revealed. In different languages, it is called different things. It is called Kaivalya, it is called Moksha, it is called Nirvana. What is Nirvana? When the mind is purified, that is Nirvana.” “We will leave at 5.30 in the morning. If anyone wants to come with us, you are welcome. If you cannot walk with us the whole day, walk for half an hour, fifteen minutes, ten minutes. We will consider it a great thing for Manav Ekta. If you cannot walk even for ten minutes, then walk with us with your mind. In your homes, in your schools and colleges, in your villages and towns, think and talk about these things. When you do that, then people will remember that someone came here who said that Humanity is One. Explain this to children, that Humans are One. With this prayer, I end now.”

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

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

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