Day 215 | 14 August 2015 | Vapi to Pardi | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Big brother is watching - Vapi
  • Chai time at the teastalls - Vapi
  • Crossing over the Kolak River - Vapi
  • School children line up to cheer the padayatris - Vapi
  • Multi-course S Indian breakfast at Paras Pumps Pvt Ltd - Bagwada
  • Sri M felicitated at Paras Pumps Pvt Ltd - Bagwada
  • 7.He-is-right-on-his-job-as-we-filed-past-his-shop-floor,-Paras-Pumps,-Bagwada,-Valsad,-Gujarat
  • Mounds of iron castings - Paras Pumps Pvt Ltd
  • A brief burst of torrential downpour - Bagwada
  • Ceremonial welcome at Pardi
  • Vedic chants at the reception - Pardi
  • Sri M applying tilak to Brahmarshi Satwalekar's statue-Pardi
  • 13.Sir-addressing-an-audience-comprising-students-of-Swadhyay-Mandal,-citizens-of-Pardi-&-Padayatris,-Valsad,-Gujarat
The walk from Vapi to Pardi was on the very well built and well maintained NH8. Large container trucks, small trucks, vans and lorries zipped past. The rains in between made them walk tentatively on the high traffic route.

The Journal Of Hope Archive

Good police support, with one escort vehicle at the tail end and one at the front, maintained a constant watch on incoming vehicles and directed them to other lanes. Their efforts were invaluable yet quiet, allowing the yatris to walk with a complete sense of safety. The escort group changes from district to district, normally lasting a few days, and usually, they have many questions! Vapi district, spread over a vast area, is a great center of industry and has the presence of many giants. Slowly, as the forest reserve was left behind after Sutrapada, the industrial belt grew and factories became ubiquitous. For breakfast, the yatris stopped at a Satsangi's factory in Bagwada. They rested for awhile in a cavernous hall of immense proportions after a lavish three course feast, hardly the kind of breakfast they are accustomed to! They reached Pardi around 11 am where they were greeted by a group of 120 people including 80 students of the Swadhyay Mandal who were chanting Vedic hymns. The yatris reached their luxurious resting place - everybody had air-conditioning, soft beds and even rain showers! They gathered again at the Swadhyay Mandal, a Sanskrit school, at 5.30 pm where Sri M garlanded the statue of Bhramashri Satwalekar, a past scholar of renown. He then addressed the gathering, including students of the school. Sri M’s address: “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. Brahmaanandam Parama-Sukhadam Kevalam Jnaana-Muurtim Dvandva-Atiitam Gagana-Sadrsham Tat-Tvam-Asy[i]-Aadi-Lakssyam | Ekam Nityam Vimalam-Acalam Sarva-Dhii Saakssi-Bhuutam Bhaava-Atiitam Tri-Gunna-Rahitam Sad Gurum-Tam Namaami (Salutations to the Satguru) Who is the Bliss of Brahman, Who is the Bestower of Supreme Joy, Who is the Absolute, Who is the Embodiment of Knowledge, Who is Beyond Duality, Who is Boundless and Infinite Like the Sky, Who is Indicated by Maha Vakyas Like Tat-Tvam-Asi (That-Thou-Art). Who is One without the Second, Who is Eternal, Who is Stainless and Pure, Who is Immovable, Who is the Witness of the Intelligence of All Beings, Who is Beyond the States of the Mind, Who is Free from the Three Gunas; Salutations to that Satguru. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu - May the entire universe be happy” “I had heard about Swadhyay Mandal but I am here with you for the first time. I thank Swami Hariprasadji, Dr. Thoser who is the trustee, Sri Jawaharlal Desai who is the president, Sri Sharad Desai and the principal of this school who is sitting behind me, the bhramachari who just spoke, all of you - what do you call students here? (…’Rishi Kumar’…replied some of the students) - Rishi Kumars who are seated in front of me, the dignitaries and those who are walking with me.” “You have seen the film about the padayatra. My Sanskrit is okay, it is not good enough to give lectures in Sanskrit. I have decided not to speak in English here and I do not know Gujrati. So, I will speak in Hindi. You would have seen in the film that we are going from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. We started on 12th January from Kanyakumari. 12th January because it is the birth anniversary of that great person, Swami Vivekananda. We also felt that there was no better place to start the padayatra as Kanyakumari is the confluence of three oceans.” “My good friend Kanta Prasad Mishra who is a singer of the Benares gharana brought Ganga water. We mixed that water in the confluence and we started our yatra from that point. Kanyakumari is in Tamil Nadu, we went to Kerala from there. Kerala is my birth place. The Ananta Padmanabha Swami Temple is there, where the Lord is sleeping on Adishesha. A lotus emanates from the Lord’s navel and on it sits Brahma. This is what is in the temple, this is why He is called Padmanabha Swami. You must be aware that Kerala was also the birth place of Adi Shankaracharya. From Kerala we went to Karnataka. From Karnataka we reached Maharashtra.” “Maharashtra is the land of saints. There was the great saint Jnaneshwar, there was Tukaram, Namdev - so many people there that one can go on, the list is long. From there we have come to your Gujarat. I want to tell you something that makes me happy. When we came to Sutrapada from Peth, our dear Prime Minister called us and welcomed us to Gujarat, and he asked me how my health was.” There was loud cheering when he said this … [Note: Traditionally, the method of cheering is to raise one hand with all the fingers spread out and say loudly ‘oho’! Many people doing this was a sight to behold. Here, at this school, the students cheered Sri M] (Sri M to a padayatri) “Oh you have also learnt how to cheer! It is good. This is how one is cheered traditionally, this is nothing new.” “So, we have reached your place, Pardi. We have covered more than 3300 Kilometres. We do an average of 18 to 20 kilometres, these days our average is 20 kilometres. We still have to do 5000 more kilometres. Our aim is to reach Srinagar in April, 2016. With God’s grace it will happen. This is what we feel.” “Why are we doing this yatra?” “We are doing this yatra because India’s culture is a very ancient one. Many things have been said as a part of this culture. This is the place of Rishis and Munis. 3000 years ago it was said in the Vedas Ekam Sat, viprah bahuda vadanti - the Truth is One but the wise call it by many names. So, our culture is very rich and accepts every religion, it does not reject any religion. In such a great nation, this truth is sometimes forgotten.” “If you look at the Sanatana Dharma - The Eternal Religion, there is Dvaita (duality), there is Advaita (non-duality), and so on. The interpretation of Shankaracharya is of Advaita. That of Ramajunacharya is Visihita Advaita. And then, Madhvacharya's interpretation is of Dvaita; if you see any picture of his, he is seen seated with two fingers like this”. (Sri M makes a symbol of two with his right hand, folding all the fingers except the index and the middle fingers). “There are many between them, such as Vallabhacharya and so on. This means that in our Sanatana Dharma, there are many streams. All these rivers end in the ocean. This is how it is India, all religions are accepted.” “As soon as one is born in this land, one knows that we are all one. To symbolise this we are walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.” “There was once an age when people from all over the world came here to attain knowledge. Now, we go to places like Harvard. Yes, one attains knowledge when one goes to Harvard - we are not here to talk about that. I am happy that you are taught Sanskrit, Dharma and associated knowledge. India is in dire need of people like you. When you grow up and go out into the world as citizens of India then you will come to know about this culture.” “They say that there are problems in India because there is too much of religion. It is not so. There are problems because people do not know their religion well enough. To understand our religion, Sanskrit is needed. We have a school and we have named it Peepal Grove School. It is a boarding school, it is not a day school. We have named it Peepal Grove because there are many Peepal trees on the school campus. If you come and have a look at our school, there is a full time yoga teacher there. Also, we have a Sanskrit teacher from Tirupati school (there is an ancient Sanskrit school in Tirupati). It is a great language, I am happy that children of your age are learning this language. This will have a great effect in the future, this is my feeling.” “I will speak a few things from The Bhagavat Gita. I thank you for this Hindi translation you have given me of The Gita.” “My Guru, Maheswarnath Babaji was from the Nath Tradition. I was actually born in a Muslim family. If you have read my autobiography then you will know that from a young age, my mind was drawn towards the Vedas and the Shastras. You will ask, how could this be? Understand this, that what we call living, we think it to be from birth until death - this we call life; but it is not so, before this so called ‘life’, there are many lifetimes and after this life, there are many lifetimes.” “There were such samskars in this atma that the mind went towards those subjects. When I was 9 years old, Babaji kept his hands on my head for ten minutes only. At the age of 19 I left home and was out for many years. I wandered in the Himalayas, I was a parivrajaka, I ate what I was given, I stayed here and there and the water of Ganges is pure, this is how I wandered. I reached Vyasa Guha like this. Babaji asked me when I finally met him there, ‘Ghoom Phir Ke Wapas Pahunch Gaye’ - wandering here and there you have finally reached. I told him, ‘Now that I am here, I will not leave you’. He laughed and said ‘Dekha Jayega’ - we will see. He knew that I would have to go back after so yemears. Because of him, I am here with you, there is no other reason. What he has given me, I talk of it everywhere I go.” “The Bhagavat Gita is from Mahabharata and there are 18 chapters in it. Why is it called Gita? Please think. It is called Gita because it is sung. Bhagavat Gita is called so because it is the song of the Lord. There are things that cannot be expressed in language. There are things that can only be expressed through poetry. When Krishna speaks of his mahima, he says that among Vedas I am Sama Veda; among mountains I am Meru; among achalas I am Himachala; among Munis I am Kapila.” “Why Sama Veda? Because in India, Sama Veda is the origin of all music. And also, it is sung and not read. Understand that Gita is also like that. Gita is a song, it is sung. It is the song of Lord Krishna which reveals the Truth. In the Dhyana shloka it is said - you must have studied it – Sarvopanishado Gavo Dgdha Gopalanandana... Upanishads are the highest in our shastras. If all the Upanishads were cows and Krishna was a cow-herd, the one who milks the cows other than Arjuna would be a calf. Su-dhir Bhokta - - the wise drink deep of it. They drink of this amrit, of this Gita. They reach such a state where they are not afraid of anything. In Gita there is everything.” “Brahmasutra is something that cannot be read by everyone, it is a deeply philosophical treatise. Something that begins with Athatho Brahma Jignyasa, how can someone study That? If you look at Gita, every chapter ends with Iti Srimad Bhagavat…. That means, that what is written in the Upanishads is expressed in simplified form.” “Just by listening one cannot reach That, it is only accessible through practice and by walking the spiritual path. Look at how the flute is. The flute is empty. Only when a flute is empty can it be played. What is meant by this emptiness is that there is no ego. When there is no ego there can be music. Ego is the greatest hurdle that does not let one approach the Lord. It is a barrier.” “I will tell you a small story. This story was told to me by a swamiji of a Lingayat Math and I liked it very much. We had a satsang for the padayatris and he also joined us, we told him that this is only for padayatris but he was adamant. Afterwards I asked him if he wanted to say anything and this is the story he shared with us.” “There was once a great sculptor who was called by a temple priest for some work in the temple. The priest asked him to create a statue for the temple. The priest also happened to be a very good astrologer. He told the sculptor, ‘You are going to die in a month.’ The sculptor said, ‘That is fine, can anything be done - show me a way to defeat death’.” “The priest said, ‘Go to your workshop and create replicas of yourself and stand between the statues. When your time comes, the yama doota (the messenger of death) that comes on a buffalo and lacks intelligence will not be able to make out which one is alive and which is not’. So, he went back and created ten to fifteen statues of himself. When the time came he stood amongst them. The yama doota came and searched for the sculptor but could not find him so he went back, because the time for death is fixed and once that time is over, one is no longer in danger.” “The yama doota went to Yama (God of Death) and told him what had happened. Yama said, ‘His time is to come once again after two months. He has won and he will repeat what he did the last time. When you go there and stand in front of the statues, just sing praises - look at the statues and say how good this statue is, how lifelike this nose is, how clear these eyes are, so on and so forth. Just do this’.” “The time came, the sculptor did the same thing and stood amongst the statues. The yama doota arrived and did as he was told. He started praising the statues - this sculptor is the greatest sculptor, this statue is so beautiful, these eyes are so lifelike, who could create such a statue, etc.” “The sculptor could remain silent for only five minutes, after that he shouted out, ‘I made these’. The yama doota replied, ‘Come let’s go’. So, this is it. If there is no ego, only good work will happen and one will attain moksha also.” “So, I said that there are 18 chapters. The first chapter is Arjuna-Vishada Yoga. It is not the Vishada of Arjuna only. It is the Vishada of everyone who reads it, everyone is an Arjuna. When one is in pain, when one is in despair then one asks, ‘Is there anything more to life?’ It is only then that one reaches out to the Lord.” “You must all be aware of Kunti’s prayer. The story goes that after the battle of Kurukshetra had been won and Krishna was going back to Dwaraka, he was saying goodbye to everybody. Can you imagine that - someone who is considered a poorna avatara - a full manifestation of divinity is saying goodbye. His elders he prostrated to - can you imagine God doing pranams? His equals, he hugged them. He then went to Kunti and said, ‘I am going to Dwaraka, if you have any wish for anything, ask me now, I grant you a boon’.” “There is a beautiful dialogue. She said, ‘Look, there is no need for this drama. Don’t try to fool me, I know who you are. You started the war and you won it for us. I know you so don’t fool me anymore. It is enough.’ Krishna said, ‘Do you have any wish?’. She said, ‘Yes, I have a wish, grant it to me.’ She said – any of us here, please don’t ask for this - Kunti said to Krishna, ‘Bring all the sorrows of the world on my head.’” “Even Krishna was surprised. He asked why she was wishing for something like this. She responded, ‘It is only when we are in sorrow do we think of the Lord. There are those who also call on the Lord when there is happiness but they are very few. And I know that when I call on you, you will appear so I will have your darshan, the suffering that you bring to me, that is not such a big thing because I will have what is most important to me - your darshan. I may seem to be asking for suffering but actually I am asking for happiness.’ Krishna replied Tatha Aastu - so be it.” “So, in the first chapter, Arjuna is in confusion - he does not know how to act. It is from there that the Gita starts. It goes on like this. Till the ninth chapter Arjuna and Lord Krishna are speaking like friends, they are friends and are related, Krishna is also Arjuna’s charioteer. In chapter ten what happens? Lord Krishna starts speaking of his mahimas - Among Vedas I am Sama Veda…. Arjuna wonders what has happened to Krishna, with whom he was speaking as a friend just now. For the first time Arjuna’s intelligence is questioned, it is wounded. In the next chapter comes Lord Krishna’s Vishvaroopa. It is then that Arjuna finds out that what is in front of him is something beyond his comprehension.” “The one who is intelligent understands soon, that what we are looking for, be it Truth or God, it is beyond the intellect. It can only be caught through devotion. It cannot be had by book knowledge. The mind should be pure and there should be devotion. Only when Arjuna understands that he cannot understand it, does something happen.” “In Bhakti yoga, chapter twelve - it is the only chapter that starts with Arjuna uvaacha, ‘Arjuna spoke this’ - starts with Arjuna asking Lord Krishna, who is your greatest devotee, the one who is closest to you, is it the one who worships the Lord with form or the Lord without form? Whatever you say, I am ready to believe, he says.” “Lord Krishna says that only great Rishis and Munis can understand the Lord in his formless aspect. It is not possible for normal people - if you look at a normal person, he lives by name and form, if you say a name a form arises in his mind and if he sees a form a name arises in his mind. There are people who say that they believe in the formless aspect but the first thing they do when they wake up in the morning is that they look in the mirror. Such people cannot worship the Lord in his formless aspect. Yes, there are some Rishis and Munis who worship the Lord in his formless aspect. He says that, more than the mode of worship, I look at the qualities of devotees.” “Lord Krishna says three things. One is Samyiyam Indriya gramam… - the one who keeps his senses under control. Second, Sarvatra Sama buddhaya… - the one who remains calm in any situation; be it praise or blame, hot or cold, be there happiness or sadness, if one’s mind remains calm, if one has equanimity in any situation, such a yogi is my dearest devotee. And third, Sarva Bhuta hiteh ratah… - the one who has the welfare of all beings in his heart, is my dearest devotee.” “This according to me is the greatest message of Gita. With this message we have been walking from Kanyakumari. If it is successful, it is okay. If it is not successful, then what can we do? This yatra is Asha Yatra. Looking at the response we have had till now, we feel that something good will happen. Before I end I want to say, do not consider this a lecture, consider this a satsang. In the future you will do good. I know that you cannot walk with us but support us in your minds and hearts. When you pray, pray for us, pray for the success of this padayatra - that is enough. I end with this.” “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.” “Hari Om Tatsat” “Namaskaar” Following his address, the yatris returned to the resting place and retired for the day.

One Comment

Got something to say ? Leave a Comment

  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Jai Gurudeva.. Jai Kriya Babaji… Jai Maheshwaranath… Jai Madukaranath

Leave a Comment

Let us know your thoughts on this.