Day 222 | 21 August 2015 | Day of Rest in Surat | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Children of the Disabled Welfare Trust of India Surat welcome Sri M
  • Amazing poise of the differently-abled children - DWTI Surat
  • Sri M addresses the community of DWTI Surat
  • It was a soul-stirring experience for the padayatris to serve the children of DWTI Gujarat
  • Touching camaraderie among these luminiscent souls - DWTI Gujarat
  • Indefagtigable spirit -DWTI Surat
  • Satsang at the GD Goenka International school - Surat
  • The impressive temple complex at the Dada Bhagwan Mandir - Kamrej
  • Sri M performing aarati at the Sai Mandir attached to DWTI
The padayatra camped at Surat city today. Sri M and the walkers had a busy day with two major events. In the morning, the yatris converged at the Disabled Welfare Trust of India where the Chairperson, Padmashri Sri Kannu Bhai Tailor and members of the staff, welcomed Sri M and the padayatris who were shown around the premises.

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They offered prayers at the Sai Mandir attached to this complex. Sri M performed Arati to Sai Baba and later addressed an audience of around 500 – majority being staff and children taken care of in the trust. Lunch followed - a unique experience that touched the padayatris as they had an opportunity of serving food to the children. Sri M's address at the Disabled Welfare Trust of India went thus: “Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet Om Shaantih ShaantihShaantih 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 Om Shree Gurubhyo Namaha - Salutations to all Gurus” “Sri Kanubhai just said quite a few things about me. I would like to thank him for inviting us here. He said so many things about me but I would like to tell you that I’m truly a zero. Zero just means that there’s space here. We can add it to anything. Just like when the flute is full of mud, it cannot make music. But keep it empty and you can hear God’s sweet music from it. We call this the Bhagavat Gita.” “But when he said that I have agreed to take on the responsibility of these children, he was right. I would also like to thank Prashanth Bhai, for bringing us here and introducing us to all these people who are doing such noble work. I feel it is the biggest service one can do in this world. There is no other service like this. I thank all of you present for taking the time to come here, most of all the Padayatris and our children here.” “It feels great to meet all of you. You might wonder why I am wearing a flower behind my ear. It is because when they welcomed me and garlanded me, I took one flower and placed it behind my ear. In Kerala, when we go to a temple, we take a flower from the Prasad, and we put it here - behind our ears. The same way here, first we performed an Arati to Sai Baba, to the goddess Saraswati and to God. But the biggest Arati was the one that was performed to all of you. Because I know this from experience, that every human being, man or woman, is God incarnate. There is no difference in the two. This is my experience. It’s not theory. Not something I’ve read from a book. This really is my experience. That every human being is God in form and in every man’s heart lies a spark of the divine.” “When I see you, I feel that there are so many of us whose bodies are intact. We have eyes, ears, hands, feet and we are all right. We are all right physically, but how is the mind? Sometimes when we see you, we feel like we’re sitting in your kindness. Because while we have eyes, hands and feet, we still cannot do good to others. And what is the point in having a good body and not using it for doing good work? There is no use. If you have hands, feed a hungry man and put it to good use. Hold the hands of those who cannot walk to help them walk. That is the way to use our hands and feet. Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, use your voice that way. If someone is not ready to do this, he is not a human being at all. That is what I think.How is he a human being if all he can think about is his own food and his home? Can he be called a human being? Because even the animals do that much!” “Actually, sometimes dogs are better than us. Feed them once and they will wag their tails and stay by your side. If we stop feeding people - four days later, they will stop talking to you. This is the atmosphere in society. We have to change this. And, I feel that in this particular aspect you people are more capable of improving this situation than us. You are sitting there and when you smile, my heart is filled with joy. In spite of being so physically challenged, you are ready to do anything. This is the strength of the mind. I would like to share a small story with you by which you will know how much strength we have in our soul and our minds to do even the impossible.” “Ever since we are born, we are told this is your name, this is all you are capable of, this is how tall you are, this short etc. etc.,We are already brainwashed about these things as children, which is why we do not realize that the infinite energy exists in our hearts; we forget all about it. We forget this and spend our entire lifetime till death without realizing it. I would like to remind you that there is a spark of that all-pervading strength called God in every heart. If that door is closed, it needs to be opened. What do we do in temples? The door is closed,and then the priest comes and opens it and performs the Arati. The same way, I worship all the walking, talking temples of God. The energy that comes from this worship does not come easily to anyone. If one gets it, he is saved.” “I will recite a short story. But, before that,I would like to tell you something else. I was born into a Muslim family in Kerala. When I wasjust nine years old, I met Maheshwarnath Babaji- who is my guru. You may not have read my autobiography, which is why I am telling you this.He came to the backyard of my house and placed his hand on my head and the first thing he asked me was, ‘Do you remember anything?’ So I answered that I did not. So he said, ‘It’s okay. When the time is right, you will remember everything.’ He said this and went away. Till the age of 19, till I finished college, I was at home. But my mind had started changing slowly.After he had placed his hands on my head, I started changing.” “Changing slowly this way, I also received a lot of knowledge. I started meditating as well, although no one taught me. I would close my eyes and sit quietly; this was my meditation. And every time, I would see clouds in the sky. I would think that it is snowing somewhere in the Himalayas. Where would it snow in Kerala and where are the Himalayas? As time passed and I turned 19, I felt like I was caged in a lovely cage, made of gold. There was no dearth of anything. I am the only son, the eldest child, so there was no problem as such. But, I still felt like I was caged. Not in a room, but in a cage. No matter which material the cage is made of - steel or copper or gold - a cage is a cage. So, I thought that it had to be broken. One day, I ran away from home. I am not advising you to do this. Don’t run away from home, don’t do it!” “The problem was that I just could not stay at home. Just like the bird escapes the cage and flies away, I needed to fly.My wings were smashing against the cage. I just opened the door and flew away. And I roamed in many places and went ‘back’ to the Himalayas.I am saying I went ‘back’ because there was some link to my past life. Then in Badrinath, in Vyasa Guha, I met Babaji once again. What did he say to me? He said, ‘Oh! You’ve wandered all over and come right back’. So Isaid in reply, ‘Babaji, now that I am here, I will never leave you again’. He smiled and said, ‘We will see’. He just said, ‘we will see’. He did not say what would happen. He said ‘we will see’. I did not think much about it. I thought that I would just stay with him, where else would I go? So, we roamed around the Himalayas for three and a half years. He would lead and I would follow.” “I was, maybe around 20 or 22 years old then. Everything I experienced, whatever little I know, I have got from the time I lived with Babaji. Nothing else! Whatever I know is only from then, after that neither has it increased or decreased. It stayed constant.” “Do you know that in the Kerala, in the house that I lived in, I had everything I needed? We would be called ten times to have food and would say,' I don’t want it now, I’ll eat later '. In a situation like this, if you don’t have any money and you reached the Himalayas alone, you can imagine what one’s situation would be. It’s very difficult. If you are hungry, you do not know where and when you will get your next meal. I am talking of the time before I met Babaji. I had to face all these difficulties.” “How did I face all these challenges? Babaji taught me that the body has its limitations. It is not that those with all their body parts intact do not face any difficulties. How many kilometers can you walk? After 2 or 4 kilometers, you will have to sit. The legs hurt, you feel tired. How many days can you sit in the hot sun? Mahatma Gandhi sat for many days but how many people can sit? This is about the body. But the soul that resides in our hearts, neither does it get hungry, nor doesit get tired. It does not find anything difficult. It is always immersed in the Paramatma. And, it is in all of us. Not like it is only in me and not in you.” “So, we have to reach that state. And to reach it, Babaji told me that we first need to understand that there is one such energy inside us. First understand this. Have faith that there is an energy in us with which we can do many things; we can do even those that the body is not prepared to perform. Now someone will say that his or her hand is not working and my leg is not moving. But life is going on. I’m sure that the children sitting here will do great things in the world one day and make us proud.” “Know that this is my blessing. Just like Kanubhai said, not by myself but along with him, I have taken on your responsibility. I cannot do it alone. This is why I have come here, to tell you not to worry about your bodily problems or that you cannot do anything.There’s no such thing! In your heart resides the all pervading Paramatma, Paramanand, so that you can do anything you wish. You just need to focus your mind on it and say, ' I’ll do it and no one can stop me '.” “In India, we pray to Shakti, women have a huge role to play in this. Remember that you are as good as anybody else. Keep that in your mind.” Thus the Satsang ended. Sri M and the padayatris later visited the GD Goenka International School for another Satsang that saw about 2000 people in attendance. After the customary welcome and speeches introducing Sri M and Walk of Hope, Sri M addressed the students of the School: Om Saha Nau-Avatu | Saha Nau Bhunaktu | Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai | Tejasvi Nau-Adhiitam-Astu Maa Vidvissaavahai | Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih || Om, May God Protect us Both (the Teacher and the Student), May God Nourish us Both, May we Work Together with Energy and Vigour, May our Study be Enlightening and not give rise to Hostility, Om, Peace, Peace, Peace. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu - May the entire universe be happy” “You must be thinking, why am I beginning with a chant in Sanskrit in an English medium school? I was pleasantly surprised and delighted that I could speak English for once. Because, you will see in the video, most of the time I have to speak either in the local language in the South, or in Hindi once we have entered Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat. I must tell you that my local language - I hail from Kerala - is Malayalam. Unfortunately, I can neither read nor write Malayalam. Well, I can read very slowly but I can speak. And as far as Tamil is concerned, I can neither read nor write but I can speak. The rest of the states, since I could not speak Kannada, we managed in Hindi. Hindiis the Rashtra Bhasha; this is one language apart from English I can read and write. So, we have been doing okay. My Hindi is getting more polished day by day, I think.” “So going back to why I chanted this shloka. I am sure in your assembly,in many gatherings, this Mantra is chanted. Sometimes,I feel sad about this ancient language that has been around for 3000 or 4000 years. Well, a conservative estimate would be 3000 years, people are still fighting, and discussions are going on whether it is older or just 3000 years old. It is the root language of this country, many people know the shlokas but they do not seem to understand what is being said. It is considered a religious chant. When the fact is that in this country, in Bharat, in this culture, religion is not something like a ritual or a dogma. Temples were the center of learning. So, Sanskrit need not be considered as a religious language or the language of a particular religion. It is the language of the culture of this country. Kalidasa was a great poet. I don’t know if you know that the first Sanskrit poet who wrote an epic, was Valmiki. He is referred to as Adi Kavi, the first poet, and you know that he wrote the great epic called the Ramayana. So, it is such a beautiful language.” “The closest to Sanskrit grammar is perhaps the German grammar. People spend years trying to learn grammar.When somebody comes to me and says I want to learn Sanskrit, I say, please pick up conversational Sanskrit. This is so because the moment you give them grammar, they get fed up and go back within one year. This is what we have done in our boarding school, which is called the Peepal Grove School, near Tirupati. Peepal meaning peepal trees. Grove, G-R-O-V-E, grove not grow. We have spoken Sanskrit, so the children can put up plays. Every year, they put up skits and plays in Sanskrit. If you know any of the Indian languages, 40% of it you will understand because there is no language in India without a Sanskrit root.” “I am going to explain to you what I said just now, because it is relevant not only to the Walk of Hope, but to all places – Patshalas, Gurukulas, residential schools, and day schools. It is relevant to any situation where teachers and students come together. But before that, I must tell you, that every teacher has to be a student first. Not only when he or she is studying but throughout his or her life.Unless you live and study life, you cannot teach it to others.” “So the Mantra - Saha-nau-avatu, Saha-nau Bhunaktu, Saha Viryam Kara.. I’m sorry! I started off without thanking the trustees and the management and the staff and so on. I am very sorry, also I meant the Principal. I handle Principals very carefully because my wife happens to be one!” “I am sorry, Ma’am.” “So, Saha-nau-avatu, Saha-nau Bhunaktu, Saha Viiryam, Karavavahai…. Do you notice that there is a word that is common in all the three lines? Saha..Sahanav-avatu, Saha-nau Bhunaktu, Saha viryam karavavahai. Saha means together, both, you and I. It’s a word that indicates inclusiveness. Like the teacher and the student are included in the word. Saha-nau-avatu means, may both of us, you and I, we like to sayyou and I instead of I and you. Saha-nau-avatu - may you and I be protected. Why protected? Protected against natural catastrophes, protected against noise and destruction, protected against division.So this line means, may both of us be protected.” “Saha-nau Bhunaktu, may both of us, you and I, be nourished.Without nourishment, physical as well as of the mind, there can be no learning.” “After Saha-nau Bhunaktu, Saha Viiryam, Karavavahai – Virya is vitality. May the vitality in both of us increase. Tejasvi Nau-Adhiitam-Astu may the spiritual glow, Tejas, increase in both of us. And last, but not the least, Maa Vidvissaavahai - let us not fight with each other. You know, a discussion is different from an argument. What is being said is, let us not argue with each other. Discussion is open because most of the great teachings of the Upanishads, the Gita, all consist of dialogues. The dialogue is called a Samvad in Sanskrit. Samvad, you cannot have a samvad with just one person. There has to be two – a dialogue. It is not a monologue.” “So, this is what I started with. You might wonder, because Madam announced when she started that I was born in a Muslim family. How is this man speaking Sanskrit and trying to find a deep meaning in Sanskrit?” What is he doing? Why is he not wearing pyjamas, why is he wearing a dhoti? Many questions will spring to your mind. They should. The thing is, I look at myself as a human being first. First, a human being.Second, the citizen of this country – a proud citizen of this country. And then, comes all the rest --the name, the form. It can be Amar, Akbar,or Anthony; it does not matter. I think there was a movie like that. But, you are essentially human. We have the same human emotions, the same fears, and the same dislikes. We are jealous, sometimes we are positive, sometimes we are negative - these are all human characteristics. No matter what your religion is, what your name is, what your background is, these emotions are common to all human beings.” “Plus, every human being is born in a mother’s womb. Can you show me anybody who has fallen one day from heaven? I cannot. I do not make any false claims. And, we all die and go down into this earth– the same earth that has fed and nourished us all these days. It swallows us; it accepts us when we are dead. So, even that is very simple common sense – we are all basically one, and we are human beings. Therefore, the Manav Ekta Mission, which my friends and I have together set up, has been for years discussing this matter of Manav Ekta, the oneness of humanity. You saw what was written, 'Born human, be human, every step for humanity '. Now this, every step for humanity is where the Padayatra or the Walk comes in. We call it the Walk of Hope, because we hope that human beings will not forget that ultimately we are the same. We are human beings first and foremost and we must not allow vested interests to stop us from understanding this.” “I will give you an example. Suppose, I was born and my parents die, and I was adopted by foster parents, belonging to the Christian or Jewish or some other religion. So, I would have a Christian name, and I would grow up as a Christian.When people say Jai Shri Krishna, I would say Jesus Christ, because of the environment. Essentially, are we different? We are human beings. This is not something new. I am not speaking anything new. At least, especially inthis country, this is an ancient truth. The Rig Veda said more than 3000 years ago, Ekam Sat Viprah bahuda vadanthi. There’s only one Sat - truth – and the wise men might give it different names for various purposes. So,like Jesus says in the Bible, this is only old wine in new bottles.It is nothing very new. However, the actual translation into action of this thought maybe somewhat new, as is the case with this Walk.” “Before that, I want to tell you a story, because this will probably provoke some questions from the students. This is an ancient story, which comes from the ancient Jain texts. You know Jainism is a very old religion, as old as the Vedas. Bhagavatam mentions Rishabhadeva. What I like about the religion is the guiding principle of Jainism - Ahimsa Pramo Dharma – non-violence is the greatest of all religions; of all dharmas. Now, in an ancient Jain text, you know the Jains have a system called – Anekantavada (Multiplicity of views) as in ‘It maybe so'. The Jains, when they have a discussion, even religious discussions, they will all say, ‘Perhaps, it is so’ - the uncertainty of conclusions. We can conclude so but the conclusion may change; who knows depending upon what you learn a little later.” “There is a story to illustrate how different people, especially people with limited access to understanding, per se can see the truth in different ways. The story is about four blind men. Or three blind men, who went to find out what an elephant was. This is very interesting; this ancient Jain story comes into Sufi teachings through the great Jalaluddin Rumi, who started the order of the whirling dervishes. And, it was also the favorite story of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.” “Three blind men go to find out what anelephant is. One touches the trunk of the elephant and defines the elephant as a big rubber hose that keeps moving - those days there were no rubber hoses - a leather hose that keeps moving, and every now and then makes a sound like ' hsss'… the breathing of the elephant. The second man touches the leg of the elephant and says the elephant is like a big pillar that moves once in a while and is solid. It will probably take both his hands to encompass it, and the third touches the tail of the elephant and says that the elephant is like a brush, a large brush that swings up and down. If you’re not careful,the bristles hit your face. Soon, there developed a big fight between the three blind men as to the correct definition of the elephant. What is an elephant?” “The fight is the same as we see in our country unfortunately; it should not but it happens, sometimes ending in fisticuffs, pummeling each other saying, 'I am right, you are wrong’, 'I am right. No! you are wrong’. When a person, who could actually see, appeared and he asked what the fight about, they said, 'The elephant is this, it is this', and, 'No, he says it is this but it is not'. So the man said, 'Look, let me tell you, I am not blind, I can see it. What you are saying is right. The elephant is like a pillar, yes! What all of you are saying is right. But then the elephant is much more than any of these things put together. The elephant is more than all the parts that you described'. That is the truth of the matter. It is the same with this Supreme Reality which people call God or whatever.” “Well, the Jains and the Buddhists do not believe in any such God but they say Nirvana. That means the state of freedom. Problem isthat it can be understood from different angles and therefore, nobody need be absolutely right. Therefore, we are brothers and sisters in this inaccuracy. And therefore, it is better to settle our differences and move forward. Until we attain the status of the man who came to look at the elephant who was not blind. Till then we have to trudge along without fighting with each other. We must go forward by loving each other,understanding each other’s point of view, and discussing but not arguing.Trying to understand, not fighting; giving each other food and water,not insults and abuses and violence.” “This is the intention of this Walk. You’ will see in the movie – that people from various spectra, various political parties, various non-political organizations – they all come together to welcome us, talk to us, walk with us. This is so because they know that I do not look at the elephant as the trunk or the tail or the foot of the elephant but as a whole, as humanity, as Manav Ekta. You must also be curious why I am called M. M simply means Manav in Sanskrit. Another word is Manushya - human being. It’s also the first letter of the name I was given at birth - Mumtaz. It is also the first letter of the name that my spiritual master, Maheshwarnath Babaji, gave me when he initiated me into the Nath sampradaya, Madhukarnath. That’s also M.” “But, most important, is that M means human being, Manushya, Manav. I know that most of you know all these things, but very often - not very often, sometimes - we forget this fact, and we are pitted against each other. My function is to make people remember this fact. To constantly remind them that we are one and not let anybody misguide him or her in this matter, because prevention is better than cure. So, I am especially happy when I am invited to schools and I meet young people like you who are the future ofthis country. The seeds of oneness are sown in your hearts; you know when you sow a seed, it does not grow into a beautiful tree the next day. It takes time. It requires proper soil, you need to look after it, prune it, water it, I’m sure they are doing it in this school. We are hoping that by this Walk, the seeds of hope, of coming and living together and also strengthening this nation will sprout, flower and bloom when you grow up.” “Believe me if this nation stands united, no one can compare with this nation. It is an ancient nation; it is not something that came up yesterday. And, there was a time when people and seekers came to this country from all over the world, to learn the truth. You know the great universities of Nalanda, Takshashila and many others, unknown today.We think that to gather knowledge we have to go to Harvard and Oxford. I am dreaming of a time when India will become so great once again that people from all over the world will come here to learn the truth. This is my dream.” “So this is the Walk, and if I say this is the Walk of Hope, it is because we hope that these seeds that we sow in your young hearts will, after a few years, grow and become this beautiful tree of humanity with lovely, sweet fruits. In Gujarat, you don’t have to say sweet fruit, fruit is enough, as everything is sweet! And when the breeze blows, it will carry the fragrance of the beautiful flowers, which is the greatness of this nation to the entire world as Sadbhavana – that means living together, tolerance and peace. This is the function of the Walk. Now, to give you the statistics for a minute—we started from Kanyakumari, the confluence of the three oceans. Does anybody know which oceans meet in Kanyakumari?” “So, these are the three oceans that meet in Kanyakumari and we thought that it was very important that we start from there. It is also our land’s end. We are going towards Srinagar, Kashmir. We have already covered close to 3,400 km now and we walk every day from 5.30 in the morning, an average of 20-25 kms — sometimes less, sometimes more. Someone asked me just now what do you do in the rains? You must have seen it — we pull our raincoats on and we walk in the rain. It is actually a great joy to walk in the rain! Cover your heads or else you catch a cold.It’s nice. So come rain or sunshine, we continue to walk. We have to cover another 5000 km. So, we hope that, by April 2016 next year, we will probably reach Srinagar, if everything goes well”. “This is our intention and the response in all the places that we have been through has been, I would say, very positive. This gives us more hope that the padayatra would work and there is nobody who has said that this is a waste of time! Of course, there are a few people who said that I must be mad.” “When I went to Ralegaon Siddhi, I told Anna Hazare that some people think I am mad, he said something very interesting to me - only mad people can do something good. This means if you only stay with one plus one equals two, your mind never becomes creative.It has to go beyond. That’s good for arithmetic. So, this is the Walk. I must also proudly tell you that when we entered Gujarat, I got a call from our Prime Minister in the morning saying: Welcome, 'Gujarat mein aapka swagat hai, aap ki sehat kaisi hai?' So I am trying to say, cutting across the spectrum, people see this is a good walk. We walk to mosques, we go to madrasas, we go to churches,we go to Buddhist viharas, and we go to Jain temples.” “I would have very much wanted to go to the Parsi temple here near Vapi but I was told that we are not allowed so we stood outside. But It is allOne. The ancient fire worshiping that is seen in the Vedas - the only people who maintain it still are the Parsis.” “I have said what I had to say.Thank you very much. I thank the trustees, the Principal, the staff and, of course, you,students who have been listening to me carefully. I wish that even though you cannot walk with us, you will lend us support and be with us in your mind. May your hearts walk with us. If you do that, we will consider that this walk of ours - Walk of Hope - will certainly achieve its purpose.”

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

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

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