Day 223 | 22 August 2015 | Kamrej to Palod Kim | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • 1.Any-buyers-for-pigeonholes-in-this-lot!!,-Kamrej,-Surat,-Gujarat)
  • A tempting sight at the breaking of dawn enroute - Kamrej
  • Sri M being received by the President of the Surat Zilla Panchayat - Navi
  • WOH Day 223 - Students of Vidya Mangal Pathsala line up to greet the Walk - Pardi
  • Sri M addressing the community at Vidya Mangal Pathsala - Navi Paradi
  • 6.
  • Reception at Pipodra village - Surat
  • This cowherd strikes a magnificent pose - Pipodra
  • A hot cuppa of desi chai - Pipodra
  • Powerlines, TV cables, clotheslines vie for supremacy in the 8th biggest city in India - Surat
  • Along the flower-streewn path to Carewell English School - Surat
  • Sri M in satsang at the Carewell English School - Surat
  • Reception at the Om Anand Group of Industries - Surat
Walk of Hope took an inordinately long time to cover 17 Kms from Kamrej to Palod Kim in Surat district—the reason being there were many welcome receptions and at least four halts. Today’s Walk continued on the Surat-Ahmedabad highway and the receptions were planned very close to the highway.

The Journal Of Hope Archive

One finds industries and factories of immense proportions in the middle of vast farmlands on both sides of the road. Long chimneys spew black smoke into the blue skies, light glimmers on steel facades, black stinking polluted water flows in rivulets across these lands, high tension wires hum as they walked underneath and piles of junk litter open spaces. Despite the artificial clutter, the walkers also noticed how life found a way to thrive - trees, plants and shrubs flourishing in what seemed to be wasteland. Butterflies of so many colours fluttered around and birds chirped. They could see cows grazing and farmers in their lands. Cars zipped past with closed windows and air conditioning turned on high – people inside untouched by the squalor around!! Yet, the deathly pallor of the land due to the intense industrialization seemed to be highlighted! Again, it raised the question of ‘development’at the cost of everything else. Today was a clear day. They walked on the highway with the unrelenting heat blasting in from all sides. Only the number of stops helped them recoup without stress. The padayatra’s first stop was at Navi Pardi with the President of the Surat Zilla Panchayat welcoming them. They walked onwards to Vidya Mangal Pathsala where children had lined up to welcome Sri M and the walkers – showering flowers on them as they went past. They settled down in the auditorium and Sri M addressed the children and all present,who numbered around 600. “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” “First of all, I would like to thank the trustees for our welcomehere. My namaskars to all the people who are present here; my namaskars to all the little brothers and little sisters who are the students of this school.” “I do not know Gujarati so I will speak English. Should I speak inHindi or English?” (There is a loud ‘Hindi’ in response) “Ok, so I will speak in Hindi.After I introduce myself and speak a little on the padayatra, I will speak to you all.” “First of all, who is the music teacher of this school?” (A person stands up) “Your students played and sang very well, well done! I really enjoyed listening to them. I was a little tired when I came here but after listening to them my tiredness has gone, so well have they sung.” “We started this padayatra from Kanyakumari. Before speaking about it, I will introduce myself. I was born in Trivandrum, the capitalof Kerala, in a Muslim family. When I was 9 years old, the person who was to be my Guru in the future came wandering to our village and our meeting lasted for ten minutes. This incident is written in my autobiography, it was written in English and has now been translatedinto Gujarati, Marathi and so on. I will send two Gujarati and two English copies to your library. The details are there, I am going to tell you a few things.” “So, when I was about this young, 8 or 9 years old”, (points to a student in the front row) “How old are you?” (The student replies - 15) “15? 15!! I thought you were much younger.” (Laughter from the audience) “When I was 8 or 9 years old and was playing in the compound of my house, I saw someone under the jackfruit tree at the far end of the compound.The person was tall and had matted hair, he had a kamandalu in his hand - I did not know what a kamandalu was back then, he had something- he beckoned me towards him. When I went to him, he kept his right hand on my head. He then asked me if I remember anything. I told him,I could remember nothing. He said, when the time comes, everything would be all right. He then told me to go back home. When I went back and turned around, I saw nobody there. This does not mean this was a vision.There was a small gate at the back, he must have left from that gate.” “After that, I stayed home and my meditation started on its own. People at home would ask me what I was doing when I would sit. So, I started meditating lying down. I had many experiences but I will not share them here, there is not enough time. Our padayatris must be hungry.” “When I was 19 years old, I felt that I was trapped in a cage. It was a golden cage; I had everything I could ever want. But a cage is a cage, be it made of iron or of gold. So, one day I ran away –you please do not do this. I am just sharing my story – and after wandering here and there, I reached VyasGuha near Badrinath. I met my Guru there. His name was Maheshwarnath and he was from the Nath Tradition. I stayed with himfor three and a half years. When he first saw me, he said, ‘Wandering here and there, you have finally come back’, I told him, ‘Babaji I have found you now, I will not leave you.’ Laughing, he said, ‘We will see’.” “After that, I stayed with him for three and a half years. Whenever I go with someone, I tell him or her where what is, where the caves are, where the temples are. I have wandered in the Himalayas for many years and know where everything is. I wandered like a parivrajaka. Babaji never used to stay at one place for more than three days. I used to follow him. I used to follow him like a dog follows its master. After these three and a half years, he told me to go back. I came back and lived the life of a common man – I married, I took on a job, I had kids who are married now. I told him that I want to share with others what Ihad learnt. When the time comes, he said, you will teach.” “So, this is my life.” “Babaji said one or two things and I will tell you about these things.He said that if you meditate in a cave for 30 years, whenyou leave that cave and you do not hear the cry of a hungry child, then your meditation has gone to waste. Because love, compassion and thewelfare of other beings - this should be in every yogi’s heart. We do not do sadhana so that the heart becomes stone. We do sadhana so that there is peace, harmony and love in one’s heart. Love is the most important sign. If that is not there, then know that there is something wrong in your sadhana.” “The second thing he said was that that one day I will walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. I told him that I do not want to do that. I am someone who loves to live in solitude. I did not want to do that. He told me that what he says, I will do. He reminded me of an incident where he had asked me what I felt I was to him. I told him that I was his dog.He had then replied saying, you maybe a dog but do not wag your tail so much.So, he told me not to wag my tail too much. This was in 1984.” “Since then, many years have passed but I did not have enough courage to do something like this. I am now 66 years old - I am talking about my body’s age, not the mind’s age, I can still play cricket with you. The body’s age is 66 years old. I felt that if this were not done now, this would never be done. I had done everything Babaji had said but this.Two or three years ago, I started thinking about this and many people volunteered and associated themselves with the padayatra.” “We started on 12thJanuary, the birth anniversary of SwamiVivekananda, the great saint who wandered north, south, east and west on foot when he was still unknown.He used to wander like a parivrajaka when he was very young.We started from Swami Vivekananda rock - this is the rock where he sat and meditated. Now,there is a huge Swami Vivekananda Kendra there. There he found out what he had to do. After garlanding his statue, we started from there.” “Kanyakumari is in Tamil Nadu. From there, we reached Kerala. Then,we reached Karnataka and on to Maharashtra. From there, we reached your Gujarat. We have come walking. As I stand in front of you, we have done close to 3400 km. This is a padayatra and not a rath yatra. There are many of us walking from Kanyakumari. We walk average of 20 to 25 kilometers a day.For the last few days, it hasonly been 18 to 20.This will go up soon.” “We still have to do 5000 kms. From here, we will go to Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Kashmir. We will reach Srinagar in April 2016. This is our aim. What is the message we are walking with? We walk in the sun, we walk in the rain - we walk with raincoats and umbrellas, we will walk when it will be cold in Varanasi. What is it that we are walking for?” “3000 years or 4000 years ago, it has been said that we are all One. This is what we have lived by. It has been said in the Rig Veda Ekam Sat Viprah bahuda vadanti - the Truth is One and the wise call it by many names. I know that everyone in India knows this. You may have any religion, you may have any faith, you may have any ideology - but remember that you are all human beings first, everything else is secondary. We all know this yet we forget this because of many reasons.” “And, when we forget it, there is violence. The same mother, father, brothers and sisters who are there in one’s home, they are also there in the other homes. The pain that is felt here is also felt there.Sometimes, we forget this out of anger, sometimes out of greed. We forget this due to many reasons.” “When I go from place to place, this is what I tell them. I tell them that you are one and you are all human beings first. M does not mean my name alone, it means that I am a Manav - a human being. With respect people call me Sri M. When I sign, I do not sign as Sri M, I sign as M.” “Do not forget that we are born of a mother’s womb and we will go into the ground when this is over; so in this short life, why is all this drama required? Can we not live with peace, with harmony and with love? If we are able to do that, then there will be peace and there will be happiness. If we are able to do that, then India will become very strong - do you not see how things are these days? The message of peace and harmony has to go from India. If we have to strengthen India, we have to live together as One. With this message, we are walking from one end of India to the other.” “As we go along, we go to many schools. Why? Because I feel that my generation has not really succeeded. India is in your hands. I want you to remember this that when and if someone comes to you and says to you that you are different - say to them that it is not so, we are all One and we will live as One.” “It is very important that these seeds are planted in the hearts of the young. For this, wherever we go, we go to schools and colleges and talk to students there.” “I have a dream for India. There used to be an age when people from all over the world came to India to attain knowledge. I have a dream – I know – that an age is to come soon when it will be so again, that people from all over the world will come to India to attain knowledge once more.” “This dream is in your hands. I wanted to plant these seeds and that has been done. Remember that someone like this came to you and spoke on these things, that one may have any religion or faith or ideology,but one is a human being first. This is Walk of Hope. What will happen will happen. All my hopes are pinned on you. These seeds will one day grow into great trees and will bear flowers and fruits, and the fragrance of peace and harmony will spread all over India and the world.” “I do not want to say anything more. Please think about these things. When you go back home, speak and discuss these things with your parents, friends and neighbours.” “Thank you and Namaskar.” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti”. Breakfast was served in the school grounds. Then, they continued onwards. At Pipodra village, they were again welcomed. There were two or three smaller groups who greeted them on the way and joined the padayatra. Continuing, they arrived at Carewell English School in Surat and Sri M again addressed the gathering here. There were around 200 people present here. His address: “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. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu - May the entire universe be happy” “First let me introduce myself. People call me M. With respect, they call me Sri M. M means Manav, Manushya. I think, and my life is such, that we are all human beings - we may have different faiths, different ideologies, different religions - these are all personal things, but do not forget that we are all human beings. Is there anyone here who was not born of a mother’s womb? One day, we will rest under this ground when this is over. In this duration, what is all this fuss about?” “Suppose, I had no parents after the age of 2 and someone adopted me. What if they named me Antony? I say that be it Amar or Antonyor Akbar, remember that you are all human beings. I want to tell you -especially you students because you are the future of India. You are the future citizens of India. I want to plant this seed in your heart; do not let anyone forget that we are all human beings and becauseof this we are all One.” “Sometimes, we forget this. Do you know what happens when we forget- you know what happens - there is violence, people kill each other.Someone who was our neighbour today suddenly becomes our enemy. So,remember that we are all human beings first.” “This is needed right now and if we live like this, then India will be strong. If a strong India emerges, then no one can do anything. That is why it is my dream and I know it well that it will be fulfilled one day.” “To make people understand that we are all human beings, we are on this padayatra. Otherwise, why will someone walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir? I am not alone; there are many people who are walking with me. We are walking with the faith that some good work is being done. We also walked today, till now we have done 16 kilometers today. I am 66 years old, the body is 66 years old, my mind is very much like yours, it is still very young.” “That is because my Guru, Maheshwarnath Babaji placed his hand over my hand and my mind changed. A spark of the Supreme Being resides in the heart of every being - this is not a theory, this is my personal experience. Because of this, each and every one of us is a moving temple of God. In Sanskrit, this spark is called the Jiva-atma; in the language of a Sufi, this is called Khuda Ka Noor. Just as we pray in a temple, the service of human beings is the worship of God that resides within every human being. So that this is not forgotten, we have set out on this padayatra. Yes,there is pain and suffering but we face them with happiness. You are all young, I want to say to you that to do any good, any great work, one must face difficulties.” “Look at Mahatma Gandhi. For a hundred years, the Britishers ruled India and he made them leave through non- violence. He used to fast for this. At the same time, he did not have any hatred towards them in his heart. He said that this is our country, so leave. He never said that they are evil or bad people. This is a great thing. It is a great thing because there was peace in his mind and heart.” “I know that you will do great things when you grow up - I can see itin your faces - you will do great things. Remember that you will have to face difficulties; if there are difficulties, face them and move onwards. It is said in Kathopanishad – this was one of Swami Vivekananda’s favourite saying – Utthista Jagrata….- arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached. Keep this in your mind. Chal Chalein Kadam Milakar - do not forget this.” “With this objective, we started on 12th January. Why 12th January? It is the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. From there, we have walked close to 3400 km. My hair is white and I have walked 3400 km. There are many who have walked this distance. Your hair is black; you can walk double of what we have done. From here, we will go to Madhya Pradesh, then Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and finally, Jammu and Srinagar. It is our aim that in April 2016, we will reach Srinagar. With God’s grace, I feel that we will reach there.I feel that the effect of this yatra will stay with people as seeds in their hearts and if not today, then tomorrow, these seeds will grow into great trees, and this tree will bear fruits and flowers. When there is a breeze, the fragrance of peace and harmony will spread all over India and the world.” “What I said just now - I will leave now - please remember them. I thank you.” “Our Prime Minister is from your state. When we entered Gujarat, he called us and welcomed us to Gujarat and asked me how my health was. I told him that I was doing well. We are very close to Surat, we have not come very far. There is that saying Surat ma janam, Kashi ma maran. People feed us very well here. After coming to Gujarat, my weight increased by a kilo in four or five days. I want to thank all of you. They take Athiti Devo Bhava literally. I want to thank you all. I want to thank the Principal, the staff, the trustees,and all of you.” “Please remember the things I spoke about and think about them. Something or the other from this will be of use in your life. With this, I conclude this now.” “Namaskaar and Salaam.” Sri M and the walkers left for the last stop and welcome at Om Anand Group of Industries. Here, Sri M planted a sapling and performed Aarti at the temple. They visited the goshala on the premises. Following this, there was a short Satsang with about 250 people present. Sri M spoke: “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 GururDevo Maheshwara Gurur Sakshat ParabrahmaTasmai 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 “When I came here, I thought that I will do the Aarti and run away but they told me there will be a Satsang now. You already know about the padayatra. We are walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. I am not alone;there are many of us. And anyway, I do not feel that I am alone, there is me and there is God. It is the same situation with you but you do not understand that yet. We started on 12th January. From Kanyakumari, we have covered close to 3400 kilometers and we have come till here. We still have to do 5000 kilometers. We have come walking; this is a padayatra, this is not a ratha yatra.” “I will tell you why we are walking in very simple language. In Bhagavat Gita, there are 18 chapters. Chapter 12 is Bhakti Yoga. Arjuna asks Lord Krishna who his closest and dearest devotee is. Lord Krishna saysthat a devotee may consider the Lord to be with form or without form.There are great Rishis and Munis who can pray to the Supreme in its formless aspect. There are others who approach the Supreme as Krishna,Rama and so on. He says that all this is okay, but I consider that yogi to be my greatest devotee who has these three qualities.” “The first one is Samyiyam Indriyam gramam- the one who has control over his senses is my greatest devotee and closest to me. Then he says, the second quality is, Sarvatra Sama Buddhyaya - be it heat or cold, pleasure or pain, happiness or sadness, the one who’s mind is equanimous is my greatest devotee and closest to me. Normally, it is not so. If someone praises us we are happy, but if someone criticises us, then there is depression. Tulya-ninda-stutir mauni santusto yena kena citani ketah sthira-matir bhaktiman me priyo narah.- the mauni is such to whom praise and blame are equal. For everyone, in happiness the mind is stable but in sadness the mind is not stable. Dukh Mein Simran Sab Kare, Sukh Mein Kare Na Koye Jo Sukh Mein Simran Kare, Tau Dukh Kahe Ko Hoye. Happiness comes - welcome it, have tea with it and let it be on its way. Pain and suffering comes - welcome it, have tea with it and let it be on its way. Such a one is my greatest devotee and closest tome, says Lord Krishna.” “And thirdly, Sarva Bhuta hiteh rataha - the one who thinks of the welfare of all beings, who has love and compassion for all beings, such a yogi is my greatest devotee and closest to me. Such a devotee - with these three qualities - is the dearest to Me.” “It is my experience that a spark of the Supreme Being resides in theheart of all beings. If that is so, then every human being is a moving temple of God. Just as we pray in a temple and take darshan, just so the service is the worship of the Supreme Lord. For this, to share this message with everyone, we are walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. You may come from any religion, faith or ideology, but you are first and foremost a human being. This is why people call me M. For this, we are on this padayatra.” “After having entered Gujarat and spending a few days here, I have gained a few kilos. They take Athiti Devo Bhava seriously. You have all taken care of us very well. I thank you.” “Do not forget this that somebody came to you and said there is the Supreme Lord in your heart, who said to you that we are all One, who said to you that bow down to everyone and serve everyone. If you remember this, then India will be strong. If we stay together, then no one can do anything to us.” “This is all I wanted to say to you.If you all will sing together with me, I would like to sing a Bhajan with you. Will you?” (A resounding yes echoed in the hall) “Okay then.” Almost everyone joined in singing the beautiful bhajan Man Ek Bar Hari Bol with Sri M. Finally, the long day was coming to a close and they left for their final destination for the day, Palod Kim. Reaching there, they had lunch and collapsed into bed and snoozed off into the evening. The yatris feel that it’s the rich Gujarati food that keeps them going on such long days. Physical fatigue does take over sometimes, though they are very happy that the purpose of Walk of Hope is being fulfilled through reaching out to so many people. Today was a fulfilling day as Sri M and the yatris met at least 2500 people during their walk.

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

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

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