Day 158 | 18 June 2015 | Malshiras to Natepute | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Grand reception by school children at Natepute
  • Receptions galore at Natepute
  • Through the busy mainstreets to the day's destination, Natepute
  • Evocative imagery enroute - Natepute
  • Sri M walks the "Warkari" way to the destination, Natepute
  • Offering worship at the temple adjacent to the destination - Natepute
  • Honored with the Pheta prior to the satsang at Natepute
  • Addressing the gathering at Natepute
  • The massive crowd at the satsang, Natepute
  • WOH Day 158 - A brisk pace marks the day's walk - Malshiras
  • A group of students keenly watch the Walk - Malshiras
  • Surprisingly wide roads and urban activity greets the walkers - Malshiras
  • Sri M's desire to read the day's newspaper is answered at Mandve, Malshiras
  • 14.Goats,-cows,-oxen,-buffaloes,-all-of-the-cattle-family-in-attendance!!,-Mandve,-Malshiras,-Maharashtra
  • The Ahalyabai Holkar Chowk, Mandve, Malshiras
  • 16.Where-banyan-trees-formed-a-cosy-tunnel-for-us-to-pass-through,-Mandve,-Malshiras,-Maharashtra
  • Breakfast point - where the palkhi from Alandi to Pandharpur would rest - Mandve
  • 18.This-amazing-old-man-is-a-
  • 19.Sir-spoke-briefly-at-a-reception-just-before-destination-point,-Natepute,-Maharashtra
  • 20.The-overcast-skies-threatened-but-rain-did-not-hamper-us,-Natepute,-Maharashtra
Walk of Hope reached Natepute today, covering about 18 Kilometers. The padayatra passed through many farms before reaching its destination. The day was longdrawn and finished only late into the afternoon.

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As in the last couple of days, the yatris walked through tall sugarcane plantations and pomegranate farms. The lands are green and the skies are blue, the sun does not trouble them any more, and there are friendly rain clouds. The breeze is strong, sometimes qualifying as light wind.The walk in these stretches is very gratifying after having walked inthe hot sun in semi arid areas. Farm after farm, house after house pass by. The road being rather narrow and ill maintained, they had to walk carefully in rows of two and three. Two or three padayatri-volunteers guard the front and rear of the phalanx, they slow incoming vehicles, frantically waving at them, and blowing whistles to guide the walkers. The surroundings in these areas do not look prosperous with survival seeming to be a struggle. But in this poverty, life seems to be rich in motivation. People aspire towards a better material life but they are not at strife and seem to be united in this movement–a reminder of the padayatris on the walk, united in the face of shared struggles. In a study of contrasts, frantic urban development seems to divide man. Better living conditions are definitely required but not at a cost that it leads to conflict in society. Life in the small towns does look harsh on the surface to a person bred in the city where convenience is the key word; but there is also contentment, patience and tolerance when man lives close to Mother Nature, understanding and being one with her rhythm. The padayatris reached Natepute at the touch of noon and were greeted by close to 1200 school children, mostly from high school. They stood on one side of the road in neat lines of twos and threes, with the teachers shouting instructions at the top of their lungs, or giving them the ‘look’ now and then to keep them in order. The children were noisy and excited.There were so many of them that it took the walkers about five minutes to walk past them. The yatra was led by the school band and then followed the children, flank after flank. Walking a slow walk through the small ltown, they reached the Vithalla Temple. Here, Sri M visited the temple and offered prayers. After this, he addressed the gathering of children,teachers and a few locals. There were about 1500 people in the small,congested space. 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. Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve SantuNir-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” “First of all, my namaskars to all of you. It makes me very happy to see these young people amongst us today. These children will grow up and become citizens of the great India one day soon. I will speak in Hindi, I do not know Marathi. First of all, I will speak on the padayatra and then I will speak on some other matters.” “We started on 12thJanuary this year. This day marks the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. We started from Kanyakumari because he spent some time there thinking on his mission for India - how to work towards the welfare of India, how to uplift the people of India - he started from there. And second, Kanyakumari is the ‘sangam’, the confluence of three oceans. You all know that there is nothing beyond that point. We thought that this would be a good point to start from.” “We thought that we will walk to remind people that we are all One, sometimes people forget that. We are all humans, be it a man or awoman. For this we have started this padayatra. We have come to your town now, covering more than 2400 kilometers.This is not a rathayatra, this is a padayatra. We are walking and not travelling in vehicles. We have covered this distance and come to your town, Natepute, in this way. I am now 66 years old. There is a secret to this; I will share that with you soon. We still have to walk for another 5000 kilometers. We hope that we will reach Srinagar in April 2016. This is our aim. I am not saying mine but ours because about 60 to 70 people are walking with me from Kanyakumari. When we reach towns and cities, people join us and walk with us for some time and goback. But these 60 to 70 people have been there from the start. I have faith in them, I believe that they will walk till Srinagar with me.” “I also believe that when we reach Srinagar, there will be many more people with me. From your town, we will go to Gondawale, stay there and do some ‘Ram Naam’. After that, we will go to Alandi after visiting Pune. In Alandi, we will visit the Samadhi of Sant Dnyaneshwar, where there will be bhajan, kirtans and Satsangs, such as this one. This is a Satsang and not a speech. That is why I am sitting close to you on the floor and not on the stage. Satsang is like a dialogue, it only works when there are two of us, in front of each other.” “With this external yatra, there should be an internal yatra also. I believe that those who are walking with me will reach Srinagar outwardly. But internally, the mind should also be purified. The pain and suffering caused during the walk will purify the mind. When they return, they will come back as Yogis, I feel it to be so. If this does not happen - if the mind is not purified, then this yatra is of no use.” “What is the message of this yatra? Three thousand years ago, it was said, Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti - the truth is one but the wise call it by many names. This is nothing new. In the history of India, this is very old. Sometimes, we forget this. We forget this because of many reasons. We forget this because of anger, because of selfishness. Sometimes,people instigate and cause differences and because of that, we forget that we are one. If we live together as one, then India can be made strong; it is the best way to move forward. Please think on these things.” “Yesterday, I spoke to many teachers. I told them, share this with children. And today, there are many children in front of me. It is like a prayer come true. When you grow up and you reach your stations of life, remember that one day, in your village, came an old man walking who spoke about Manav Ekta. Keep this in your mind. Those who try to make you forget this, do not let them do so. Keep it with you.” “What I say to you is not any philosophy. It is my own experience. Because of the blessings of Maheshwarnath Babaji, I realised that the Supreme Being sits as the ‘antar-yami’ in the heart of every being.You can call it whatever you want to. Because of this, every being is a walking temple. Now, this should be in everyone’s mind. If you are helping someone who is in pain, someone who is suffering, you are helping God in human form. Swami Vivekananda called this very aptly – Daridra Narayana Seva- to serve someone who is poor is to serve Narayana himself. Please remember this. When you reach high station in life, remember this, keep this in your mind and live your lives. This is all I want to say to you.” “There is one thing more and I will conclude this. This Kali Yuga is such that here, from every direction, the influence of Maya is such that we have to go through so much suffering. You are all young; when you grow up, someone will come and say to you, come why are you sad, drink some whiskey. When I go to Punjab, I see so many young people addicted to drugs and alcohol. If there are no samskars, how will they live? They cannot live alone, man is such that he cannot live alone, and he needs society. And if there is no Satsang, eventually, there is dursang.” “It is the nature of mind to move, if the mind does not flow towards good things, it will flow towards bad things. You are from a country such as India; there are many opportunities for you to do Satsang. If you have to live in bliss, then do bhajans and kirtans. This is something that is not there in other nations. There is a bliss in bhajans and kirtans that is not to be found anywhere else; if that is found, you will need nothing else.” “The scene of drugs is huge in Punjab these days. I say to them that you are near Amritsar - near the Sar of Amrit. Go to Har Mandir Sahib and do some kirtans. Every morning, they have kirtans and bhajans, there are bhajans about devotion, there are bhajans about love. Thereis a bliss that flows from bhajans that is not to be found anywhere else. But no one goes there, why? Because the foreign influence is so much, they go outside and bring with them the worst of different cultures. There, every house has someone in a foreign land. When they come back, they bring the worst of outside cultures back home. I say to them, why don’t you take the good things from here to there? It is okay that you get the dollar, but you can also do good with it.” “So, I am 66 years old. I am only able to walk because of Maheshwarnath Babaji’s blessings and because I have been doing Yoga for the last 44years, since I was 12 years old. In Patanjali Yoga Sutras, it is called Ashtanga Yoga because it has 8 steps starting from yama, niyamas, so on and so forth. Soon, the Yoga day is coming. On that day, do these things - bhajan, kirtan, nama-japa and yoga. You should do this everyday and then see how your life will go. One does not become a sanyasi because of this. I am a ‘grihasta’ - a householder, I have a wife and two children. I did go to Himalayas and come back. You should all go to Himalaya at least once in your life if you get the chance. You will not see a more beautiful place. Babaji told me, go and do what you can, so I am here in front of you. Otherwise, I would be sitting in a cave.” “Please remember these things. The Supreme Being sits in the heart ofevery being. Tulsidas, who wrote Ramayana, said something very nice –Kaam Krodh Madh Lobh ki, jo lou mann me khan tou lou pandit murkho, Tulsi ek saman. All these are necessary but they should be kept under control. In Bhagavat Gita, Lord Krishna says the one who has ‘Sarva Bhuta hiteh ratha’ is the greatest devotee, the greatest yogi. Along with your academic qualifications, please think about this also. I know that your teachers may talk on these things. I would suggest to you that in your assembly, for five minutes every day, talk on these things. After this yatra, we will come back and visit you.” “I would now like to thank you all and conclude this. Thank you and Namaskara. Hari Om.” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.” After the Satsang, they walked to the Jain Dharmashala, a kilometer away. The Dharmashala was empty and had clearly not been used for some time, it had all the signs of an abandoned building. It was in dire need of upkeep, the floors were dirty and grimy, the toilets even dirtier. The padayatris first cleaned their living space before they settled down. There were four rooms and a large hall surrounding the courtyard. Two rooms, the women occupied. The hall and two other rooms were occupied by men. The nip in the air in the night and early morning has ensured that warm clothes that had not seen the light of day for the last couple of months are now unearthed from the bottom of their bags. With nothing else planned for the day, the exhausted padayatris rested.

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Jai Gurudeva… Jai Kriya Baabaji… Jai Maheshwaranath.. Jai Madhukaranath…Namo Sarva Santa Jana

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