Day 154 | 14 June 2015 | Short Walk in Pandharpur | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Sri M being adorned with the Puneri Pagadi - Pandarpur
  • Sri M garlands the Chatrapati Shivaji statue at Shivaji Chowk- Pandharpur
  • A regal head gear, tilak, golden shawl and hand cymbals - Pandharpur
  • The Varkari way to the Vittala temple - Pandharpur
  • A Festive Shivaji Chowk with the Varkaris abnd the Padayatris - Pandharpur
  • The procession to the Vittala temple - Pandharpur
  • 7.The-procession-to-the-temple,-another-view,-Pandarpur,-Maharashtra
  • Offering flowers at the Samadhi of Saint Chokhamela - Pandharpur
  • 9.The-Samadhi-of-Saint-Chokhhamela-Maharaj,-Pandarpur,-Maharashtra
  • On the top deck of the Vittala temple with Saint Namdev's idol - Pandharpur
  • A colorful blessing - Pandharpur
  • 12.Yes,-we-are-in-Maharashtra,-Pandarpur,-one-of-the-most-famous-pilgrimage-centres
  • A floral shower greets the padayatris on entering MIT Vakri - Pandharpur
  • Offering oblations at the prayer hall - MIT Vakri - Pandharpur
  • Garlanding the idol of Rukmini - MIT Vakri
  • Garlanding the idol of Tukaram Maharaj - MIT Vakri
  • Sri M joins in the lilting Varkari Bhajan - MIT Vakri
Today was to be a short day for the padayatris of Walk of Hope –they had to cover only a short of seven kilometres from the heart of Pandharpur town to MIT, Pandharpur which is located on the outskirts. However, the day turned out to be full of activity and as full as any regular walk day.

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All the yatris gathered at the Shivaji square in the wee hours of the morning, 6.00 am. Almost 500 Varkaris joined them there and stood in rows all around the square. Like a phalanx, they transfixed the yatris with their structured uniform assembly and movements in tune with their singing. They sang 'Ram Nam Hari' and many other Varkari bhajans, rhythmically clapping a pair of Kartal - two miniature cymbals tied to a string hung around the neck. Once more, as in Kolhapur, the padayatris were completely taken in by the whole spectacle - together, they chanted and moved together as one unit. Each padayatri was given a scarf with an Indian tri-colour as in Kolhapur. Sri M garlanded the statue of ChatrapatiShivaji and then started the walk. He was given the traditional Pheta, a pair of Kartal and a golden-hued shawl. It took around 40 minutes for them to cover the short one kilometre walk to Vitthoba Temple. With thousands of devotees visiting this temple every day, they expected a big crowd. But when the padyatris reached there, they were taken for a special darshan and hence they completed their darshan in a short while. Before this, Sri M garlanded and offered prayers at the Chokamela Samadhi Temple. Then, once again like the previous evening, everyone gathered in the temple courtyard and the Varkaris sang their bhajans and devotional chants. Sri M addressed the gathering for a very short while, saying that he did not want to speak much as he was overwhelmed by the intense devotion of the Varkaris, and they should not consider Walk of Hope as any different from their own padayatra, but only as an extension of their yatra. After breakfast at the Anna-chatrayala Temple, the padayatra left the temple premises for MIT, a boarding school for girls and boys. The walkers reached MIT half an hour after noon and were given a customary traditional welcome in their prayer hall. After lunch and some rest, they gathered in the large hall for the Satsang at 6.00 pm. About 180 people including local residents attended the Satsang. Sri M addressed the gathering... “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. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu May the entire universe be happy Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.” “I will speak in Hindi, I think everybody understands Hindi here. Even those, who have come from Kerala, understand Hindi. The topic of this Satsang will be - Until the time there is no change in the human heart, until that time whatever external work is done, it will be incomplete. The first and foremost thing is, if any change has to be brought into the outer world, it has to be first brought within.” “We say this that until there is no peace within and there is no experience of the bliss of the Supreme Being within, until then the work that we do will be incomplete. If there is no peace within my own home, how will there be peace outside? If the mind is not peaceful, nothing is peaceful. That is why, Swami Vivekananda quoted from the Upanishads and said, Atmano Mokshartha, jagat hitaya cha–While the welfare of the world is on, we need to think of the liberation of the Soul”. “An introduction is needed for Swami Vivekananda. Sometimes, I think that the work he accomplished in a short lifespan is what a thousand people cannot do in a thousand years, and his age was not that much, he left early.Our hair is now white and we are walking only now. I am talking about the movement he initiated. Like waves of the ocean, his movement has spread everywhere. It has spread to the most unexpected places. A person who has not studied the scriptures, how does he do ‘nishkamakarma’, I say it can be done by Swamiji’s inspiration.” “When such great beings do something, they think of the welfare of the world only. They do not think of personal gain. This is the greatest thing. When you do sadhana, think of others. Some people think that they will do whatever they want and sit for sometime in prayer and reach the Supreme. It is not so. The Yama and Niyamas have to be followed. What are these Yama and Niyamas? These are the most important steps.” “In Bhagavat Gita, Krishna speaks to Arjuna on this. He says that his dearest devotee has three qualities. You read Bhakti Yoga in the Gita. Sometimes, people ask me why is Bhakti Yoga in the 12th chapter and not in the start itself, why do we have to wait so much if everything could have been finished in the starting itself. It is so because until the 11th chapter, Arjuna is not ready to listen about Bhakti.” “The first chapter is ‘Arjuna-Vishada-Yoga’, the Yoga of Arjuna’s suffering. The capacity of thinking what is right leaves Arjuna at this time. He is on the battlefield and encounters his family members and relatives. He thinks that, even for Dharma, why should one kill his own family members? The one who is on the spiritual path faces this tribulation. When I left home at the age of 19, if I had thought that I am the only son andworried about what will happen to my parents, nothing would have happened. Everyone who takes this path faces this trial. This is not only about Arjuna but about everyone.” “When one does not face suffering, one often does not call God. That is why the first chapter is on pain and suffering. What am I to say about suffering? There are such devotees that the only thing they want is a ‘darshan’ of the Lord. Krishna says that one in a thousand thinks of me seriously, one in a thousand who think of me walks on this path and one in a thousand who actually walk reaches the goal. It is not so easy!” “For this, in this world, good work is needed. With good work, the mind is purified. One can walk on this path and for that a pure mind is needed. We are not one of those great devotees who say that whatever happens, let me reach the goal. You must know what Kunti’s prayer is in Mahabharata,. Do not ever pray like that, if He shakes the chair a little bit, you will get scared and fall. But it was different for Kunti Devi.” “After the Kurukshetra war, Krishna was leaving Dwarka and was taking leave of its inhabitants. People who were of his age, he shook their hands and embraced them. People who were older than him, he prostrated before them. Can you imagine Krishna - who is considered a full incarnation of the Supreme Being - falling at the feet of someone? In this world, if someone gets a promotion, he does not even look at the attendant. And, think of Krishna. That is why he is God. So, He went to Kunti and told her, I am leaving Dwarka, if you need any boon, now is the time to ask.” “Kunti said, Krishna please stop this drama, all this is your play - you started the war, you won it for us and now you are leaving us - this drama will not work with me, leave it. Krishna asked again, do you need any boon? She said, yes I need this boon - let all the suffering and pain in this world come onto me. Even Krishna was taken aback for a moment by this. She continued, I know well that Man is such that he takes the name of the Lord only when there is pain and suffering. So, when I go through this pain and take your name, I know that you appear, what more is there than this darshan? After thinking a bit, Lord Krishna said, tathaastu - may it be so! Only great devotees can do this, not everyone can do this.” “So, after ‘Arjuna-Vishada-Yoga’, there is Karma Yoga and Sankhya Yoga and slowly we reach Bhakti Yoga. Till the 9th chapter, Lord Krishna and Arjuna were talking like friends. Arjuna is on the chariot and Krishna is the charioteer, they also have family ties. Arjuna is listening to Him speak, he asks and Krishna replies. Till then Arjuna thinks that all is going well, all these problems I can solve with my mind. Then, suddenly comes the change- Krishna starts saying that among the Vedas, I am Sama Veda; among the mountains, I am Meru; among the Achalas, I am Himalayas; among the Munis, I am Kapila.” “Arjuna now begins think that something is not quite right about Krishna. He was Arjuna’s friend till now, who is a relative, his charioteer and suddenly he is saying all these things. He slowly begins to understand that what Krishna is saying is beyond his limited mind and understanding; he understands that he cannot understand all this with his limited mind. The structures that he had created in his mind begin to crumble. He understands that Krishna is not just Vasudev’s son Krishna but someone else. His ordinary reasoning starts to crumble. Krishna was saying was that he is all pervading – Isha vasyam idam sarvam yatkincha jagatyam jagat’ - if He is here and there and everywhere, where is there to go?” “In Chapter 11, there is the Vishwa Rupa Darshan. Arjuna sees Lord Krishna is in every being and he sees all Gods in Krishna. He understands that this is something beyond his limited understanding. With this, chapter 11 ends. Only after this understanding does the param bhakti arise. This is not the bhakti that asks for this thing or that thing. Please, that is all right too, if one does not ask God for things, then whom will he ask? It is the kind of bhakti where the only desire is to have a vision of the Lord.” “What does the Upanishads say - people think that Upanishads are something very complicated; actually, the Upanishads show that this is something beyond the understanding of the mind. In the Keno Upanishad, it says yan manasa na manute- that which the mind cannot reach. Then comes chapter 12, Bhakti Yoga. Arjuna asks him, some people say that those who worship the Lord in the formless aspect are the greatest devotees, yet others say that those who worship the Lord with form are the greatest devotees - who according to you is the greatest devotee?” “So, Krishna replies. Krishna always did everything in a nice way, He replies with a smile on His face - He says that one can worship either way according to one’s sankalpa. But understand one thing that we live in a world where name and form is very important. You can do the sankalpa to worship Me as the para-brahma, that is fine but everyone cannot do it. There are great Yogis and Rishis, they can do it but normal people cannot do it. If I call you by name, I will remember your form. If two persons’ forms are alike, then it will be very difficult for me to differentiate. Everyone lives by name and form. Some people say that it is not so, and they believe in the Para-brahma. What does he do when he wakes up in the morning? He looks in the mirror to see his face, see how much white hair he has, and so on. If his loves his own form so much, then what can be said of other forms?” “This is why Lord Krishna says that people are attached to name and form and to meditate on a form is easy. He says either way, it does not affect me but the behaviour and nature should be of a particular type; so a particular nature, character and qualities are needed. ‘There are three qualities that are required. The first quality is Sanniyamye Indriyam graamam, - the one who has control over his senses, who is not controlled by senses but has control over them, the one who uses them at will and withdraws them at will - such a Man, please I am talking about both Man and Woman - such a person I consider to be my greatest Devotee, my greatest Bhakta.” “The second quality is Sarvatrasama buddhayah.. - One who remains calm in every situation, in praise and in blame, in happiness and in sadness - such a person who remains stable, I consider to be my greatest Devotee, the greatest Yogi. Our life is such that if someone calls us great, we are on cloud nine. But, if someone says something negative of us, then we are in the dumps, we are depressed. These days, the medicine that sells the most is anti-depressants. When happiness comes, we open a bottle of Champagne and celebrate. When there is sadness, we run from it. Or we take to another spirit in the bottle. For some time, we forget our sadness but only for some time. If not this, then we do something or the other, anything, to avoid sadness - we play cards, or watch TV, or go to the cinema. I do not understand how people sit for three hours in darkness in the cinema hall. We do not want to face unhappiness. Contrast this with Kunti’s prayer now. If one fails then, one should understand why he failed. We are humans, we fail now and then. The failures should be analysed, confronted, corrected and then in time, they become stepping stones.” “The third quality is Sarva bhuta hite ratah – the one who has the welfare of all beings in his heart, the one who thinks of the welfare of all beings – that person, I consider to be the greatest Yogi, the greatest devotee. With this, if one goes on with their lives, then in time, one will attain Moksha as well as do good to the world at large. In this way, Loka Samasta sukinoh bhavantu will happen. In this way,Sarve Bhavantu sukinaha will happen. Please contemplate this.” “Which is the greatest path? We are all social beings, we live in societies. No one can live alone. Yes, there are a few who can, they are Yogis who live in forests and caves but everyone cannot be like that. Society is an important thing. If one has to move forward on the spiritual path and also do good to the world, then the most important thing is that we surround ourselves by good people. A person cannot live alone, and if Satsang is not there, he will have dursanga. Many people do sadhana but it does not work out because of the company. On this path, you have to decide which way you want to go. Go towards Satsang and leave dursang behind.” “Bhajans and Kirtans are very good; they are a good method to induce bhakti. There are bad natured people who enjoy music. I know people who have a peg of whiskey and listen to sad Sehgal songs. The mind goes towards music in times of sadness. So, bhajans and kirtans are good for this. Varkaris were singing Ram Krishna Hari, it is such a good thing. The mind is fixed. First, there is sound, then the mind goes with the sound - up and down with the beat - and finally the name alone is there. The sound of Dholak, Kartal and the Nama. There is Kriya and there are many other paths but the path of Bhakti is the easiest. If you take the name of God, in time, you will not find any other thing of much taste and you will naturally leave it.” “So, this is all I want to say.” “Namaste.” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.” There was an elaborate Aarti ritual after this to all the deities in the hall. Sri M, the padayatris and all the locals took part in it. It was followed by a late and relaxed dinner.

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Jai Gurudeva… Jai maheshwaranath… Jai Kriya Babaji… Jai Pandarinath…

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