Day 151 | 11 June 2015 | Pakni to Mohol| The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Cruising past Savleswar on NH 9-Solapur
    2.Cruising-past-Savleswar-on-NH-9,-Solapur,-Maharashtra)
  • Stone walls and tiles to insulate the heat - Pofil, Solapur
    3.Stone-walls-and-tiles-to-insulate-the-heat,-Pofli,-Solapur,-Maharashtra)
  • 4.Amused-and-a-bit-over-awed,-Pofli,-Solapur,-Maharashtra)
  • The long march continues - Pofil, Solapur
    5.The-long-march-continues-inexorably,-despite-a-high-level-of-mercury,-Pofli,-Solapur,-Maharashtra)
  • A Toy racing car and a painting keeps them occupied - Mohol
    6.Toy-racing-car-and-a-landscape-painting,-to-keep-this-twosome-occupied,-Mohol,-Maharashtra)
  • Teak break under the Gulmohar - Mohol
    7.Tea-break-under-the-Gulmohar-tree,-Mohol,-Maharashtra)
  • The grinding stone at work - Mohol
    8.Granite-mortar-&-pestle,-still-widely-used-in-the-country-side,-Mohol,-Maharashtra)
  • The padayatra enters Mohol taluk
    9.The-Padayatra-Express-steams-into-Mohol-Taluk,-Maharashtra)
  • Civic reception at Rajmata Chowk, Mohol
    10.Civic-reception-at-Rajmata-Chowk,-Mohol,-Maharashtra)
  • Rangoli art to receive Sri M at Mohol
    11.Delicate-Rangoli-art-to-receive-Sir-at-Mohol,-Maharashtra)
  • Saying it with a rose - Mohol
    12.Floral-welcome-at-end-point,-Mohol,-Maharashtra)
  • Ceremonial welcome at the day's destination - Mohol
    13.Ceremonial-welcome-at-Termination-point,-Mohol,-Maharashtra)
  • At the Nag Nath temple, Mohol
    14.At-the-Nag-Nath-Temple,-Mohol,-Maharashtra)
  • Gandhi topi, dhoti, T-shirt is a great combo - Pakni, Solapur
    1.Gandhi-topee,-dhoti-&-
Leaving behind Pakni, the Walk of Hope reached Mohol, walking a stretch of 20 kilometres. The padayatra touched the village of Wadwal and many small hamlets on the way. Mohol is a small roadside town, on the way to the pilgrim town of Pandharpur. It is a halting spot for travellers and also an important centre for the Nagesh community.

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During the journey, the padyatris spotted a few hamlets interspersed in the vast sugarcane farmlands. These hamlets provide a glimpse of their traditional lifestyles that have a charm of their own. There are patches of dry and arid land since there is no water source close by. The last couple of days, the omnipresent heat and the highway with automobiles buzzing past seem to be the backdrop for the padyatra. While some automobiles whiz by with barely a glance at the padayatra, some drivers slow down to curiously peer at the WOH group. The presence of these walkers, a padayatra that seems to be different from the ones the locals are familiar with, may appear odd. Nevertheless, Walk of Hope marches on taking another day ofvacant vastness in it’s stride. Breakfast was on the roadside along the way and there were breaks under lone trees in between. The yatris reached the outskirts of Mohol a few minutes past 11.00 am, where a group of 70-80 people greeted them. Many of them had brought their families, including young children. They joined the walk and stayed on till the end. There was a welcome stop at a padayatri's house where an unusual, but a very thoughtful gift was offered to the walkers- towels! They reached Sambhajirao Garad Vidyalay, a school that was their resting place for the day, after which everyone had lunch and rested. The town of Mohol hosts the Nagnath temple. Everyone visited this holy place in the evening. The Nagnath temple is one of the most important places of worship for the Nagesh community. There are sizable numbers of the Nagesh community in Mohol who live in close harmony with Muslim families. There is also a Dargah close by. Hindus and Muslims have lived here peacefully for long without any history of discord. Sri M and the padayatris offered prayers at the temple and spent some time sitting in the courtyard. The temple had a beautiful ambience in the presence of the Lord of Snakes. Sri M also met a few locals during this time. Next was the visit to the Datta temple in the village. It was also the venue for the public Satsang. Over 200 people had gathered there by the time Sri M started his Satsang. “Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram vyāptam yena carācaram Tatpadam darśitam yena tasmai śrī gurave namah (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. Lokasamastasukinohbhavantu May the entire universe be happy” “Respected Sri Pratap Singh Gayak, to whose school we went, and Joshji in whose Marathi speech there was so much Sanskrit that I understood everything. I think people who have come from Kerala must have understood at least 60% of what was said, because Marathi has lots of Sanskrit, your Marathi is very Sanskritised. I will speak in Hindi because I do not know Marathi. So, all of you who are here, Dr. Chandrakant Pandav, Dr. Ajai Kumar Singh, all my friends who are here, and the people from Mohol who have come here to listen to me, my Namaskaars and thank you.” “So, we have reached Maharashtra, walking all the way from Kanyakumari. We walked through Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and have now come to your Maharashtra. Joshiji just said that we have come to ‘this small village’. This is no accident, when we planned the route, we included all these places. We also went to cities, we have been to Kolhapur, and we will go to Pune soon. But, it is from small villages and towns that people come forward and are willing to listen. In cities, people are moving very fast, they are busy in their lives.If they are bored, they go to the cinema. But in the village it is not so, one has to work to live. And if there is a program like this, it involves everyone.” “I asked them at the school till which standard they offer education, and they said that they have post graduation courses right from nursery. Now, who will know this outside that they are running a school that has classes till college level. In this world, if there has ever been any great work, it starts from small places such as these. Now look at Abdul Kalam, the ex-president of India, he came from a village near Rameswaram. The seeds were from the village and where did the tree grow? In Delhi. And, who got the fruits? All of us.” “That is why when we made this route we decided to go through this place. And we decided to go through places like Akkalkot and Pandharpur. The seeds that we are trying to plant now were planted in those places hundreds of years ago. They have become huge trees but I feel that sometimes the trees do not bear fruits and flowers, it pains me to see it so. We thought that we will go to these places. There are 60 to 70 people with me who have been walking from Kanyakumari. We felt that we should go to places where the trees are now dry and water them. We felt that we should plant some new seeds also. These trees will flower some day.” “This padayatra has originated from my inner spiritual experience, the social aspect is secondary. Maheshwarnath Babaji, who was my Guru, told me to do this. It was my experience that in the heart of every being, there is a spark of the Supreme Being. Sometimes, it is covered. Our work is to uncover it, this is our only aim. For this, we started from Kanyakumari. We have covered more than 2300 kilometres so far. We walk 20 to 25 kilometres everyday. Sometimes, we have pain in the leg, there are blisters, and there are shoe bites. We move with all this.” “Even I have pain. This is a 1949 model; there will be wear and tear. I move slowly and carefully, it is difficult to get spare parts for such an old model. We are able to walk 25 kilometres under the hot sun. I feel that when it rains, we will be able to walk also. We are not taking a four month monsoon break. Till now with God’s grace, it either rains before or after the walk, and we are able to move. If it rains, we will walk after it rains.” “This Manav Ekta and Sarva Dharma Ekta that we are walking for are one and the same thing. If we do this together then, India will be strong. Otherwise, it will break into pieces and fall here and there. We will not let that happen. We have to live together. We have to live together as One, understanding that inside the heart of every living being there is God, the nature of Whom is bliss. If we understand this and move forward, it will be okay.” “I say this that if there are differences between you, you should sit and sort them out. No one is different. We are all born from the mother’s womb and we will one day return into this earth. So, what is the difference, really? In Solapur, I went to see an orphanage. There were children as young as 2 years, 4 years, even a few months old. I saw them lying in cradles. There is no publicity about it. I was very sad that they just leave the children there. Sometimes, they bring the children from the police station and leave them there. There are such parents who just leave their children at the orphanage. It is very sad. I felt better when I saw that that many are taking care of these children like their own. I saw a lady there who had given birth and not only did she take care of her own child, she took care of other children too. I would call this religion, and also spirituality. If this is not there, then there is no religion.” “One can speak on Upanishads or one can speak on the Vedas but if there is no compassion in the heart, it amounts to nothing. These people are simply taking care of these children. There is no publicity, there is no press, they have not applied for Nobel Prize or anything, and they are simply taking care of whoever is there. And, they are doing it on their own. I asked the ladies there, they said that they do not have any government grant because with a grant many other things also need to be taken care of.” “Maharashtra is a land of saints. Every saint has said the same thing. They all have said that compassion is needed. In Bhakti Yoga, when Arjuna asks Sri Krishna who is the greatest devotee, Krishna says, Sarva bhute hite ratah, the one who has the welfare of all beings in his heart is my greatest devotee.” “We have started this yatra with the ideal of Atmano Mokshartha Jagat Hitaya cha. The quest for liberation is fine but think of the welfare of this world also. If one does not do good to others then it is difficult to move forward. In every person, there are three gunas—tamas, rajas and sattva. Usually, one is immersed in tamoguna. If one has to move from tamo to sattva, then that can be done only through activity. We can only go to sattva through activity, through rajoguna, through karma. Rajoguna means activity, movement, to not stay at one place.” “This movement is called jagatyam. In Ishavasya Upanishad, it says Jagatyam Jagat - the world is that which moves. When one moves into sattva and rajoguna, then one thinks of the welfare of other beings, there is compassion in the heart and one does good to them. Then, the mind becomes pure and there is prevalence of sattva guna, then comes that state of gunaatita (one who goes beyond all the three gunas).That is a different matter altogether, that is in the hands of God and Guru. Till there, we can go. To explain this to others, we have set out on this padayatra.” “Here, amongst you, sits Dr. Pandav. He is one of you, he is from Mohol. He sits in AIIMS now; from Mohol to Indraprastha!” “We are coming from the Nagaraj Temple. The temple has many myths associated with it. There was once a Fakir who sat at the door of the temple and someone asked him why he was sitting there. So, he immediately said ‘I will go’ and he started walking away. Astonishingly, the temple followed him! The people then told him to continue to sit where he was previously seated. Nasaruddin Shah - not the actor - the badshah, brought him here. Even to this day, they proclaim him as Nasaruddin Shah Mahadev! Do not break these old traditions.” “I later found out that there are at least 60 such places where Hindus and Muslims live side by side and run temples and mosques together, they pray at each other’s place of worship. It has been so for many, many years. Do not let this atmosphere change. Protect this. A good man may belong to any religion. Sai Baba of Shirdi said Sab Ka Maalik Ek hai–Everybody’s Lord is One and the same. Remember that. Keep this in your heart and live your life. If you do this, then we will consider that you are walking with us to Kashmir. If anyone starts to do pure work, then we will consider that he is walking with us.” “With God’s grace, this yatra will finish in April 2016. But the inner yatra, the yatra of the heart keeps going on and on until one gets moksha. This Atmano Mokshartha Jagat Hitaya that I just told you about, is not mine, it is from the Vedas. Swami Vivekananda has said that if one lives like this, it is good for oneself, it is good for people and living like this, ultimately one will attain Moksha. I do not want to say anymore.” “This last thought came to me now. Dr. Pandav is also from here. I feel like we should open a branch of the Satsang Foundation here after this yatra. In the Sarva Dharma Kendra, we should have a place of worship of every religion, wherever one wants to go, one can go. We are making one such centre in Bangalore. And its activity should be for the welfare of people. I feel that we should open an old age home here. I see that there are many old people who are not treated well. They don’t have to stay here but a place for some activity together will be good.They will gather here in the evening and there will be some bhajans and kirtans - they will not play cards! If there are some programs on television, they will watch that. During the summers, this place will have air-conditioning. We have to create such an environment in Mohol.” “In Maharashtra, other centres will also come up in time. I have spoken to Deepak Dada about this. One centre will be at Siddheshwara Math. So, you have heard all of this. It is my appeal to you to please support us. Please walk with us for half an hour, for fifteen minutes, for one day. We feel that this message will spread if you support and join us. If you cannot physically join us, then please support us in your minds and do good work in your neighbourhood. This is all I want to say.” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.” Everyone returned to the school after the Satsang and turned in after a late dinner. A power outage followed soon and the night was spent in darkness, with no fans to provide relief from the humidity. The discomfort did not continue for too long as there were welcome showers after midnight.

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