Day 225 | 24 August 2015 | Ankleshwar to Bharuch | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • WOH Day 225 - The Walk is on the move from Ankleshwar to Bharuch
  • 2.Pilgrims-of-itinerant-salesmen!,-the-kids-are-fast-asleep-though!,-Ankhleswar,-Gujarat
  • Crossing the many who were carrying the waters of Narmada for abhishek to Somnath - Billimoria
    3.Today we crosseed many who were carrying the waters of Narmada for Abhishek to Somnath, Billimora
  • Spanking new roads welcome the padayatras enroute - Ankleshwar
  • The priest prepares his lovely garlands - Bharuch
  • The authorities open up the Heritage Golden Bridge for the Walk to cross the mighty Narmada - Bharuch
  • Reception after crossing the Narmada - Bharuch
  • Reception at Swami Narayan Mandir - Zadeshwar
  • Sri M offering prayers inside the Swami Narayan Mandir - Zadeshwar
  • Sri M coming out of the Swami Narayan temple after darshan
  • Sri M performing Dhara inside the Swaminama
  • District Collector Sri Vikrant Pandey addresses the gathering during satsang at JP Arts Science College - Bharuch
  • Sri M's satsang at the JP Arts Science College Auditorium - Bharuch
Walk of Hope covered 18 kilometers today from Ankleshwar to Bharuch. Starting once more in near darkness at dawn, the walk continued on the well maintained, Surat-Ahmedabad highway though the highly industrialised areas.

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The Golden Bridge, opened on the 16th May 1881, was specially opened for Walk of Hope to cross the mighty Narmada River. As they crossed the river, the town of Bharuchbegan revealing itself. Sri M was accorded a devotional welcome by a group of people from Bharuch. The yatra proceeded onwards to the Swaminarayan Mandir, Zadeshwar and the temple priests greeted Walk of Hope there. After Sri M and the padayatris offered prayers at the temple, they rested at the temple and after this, they moved onwards to the yatri-nivas. The evening saw them at JP Arts & Science College for the Satsang. District Collector Sri Vikrant Pandey joined them and, like yesterday, Sri M was given a topic to speak on. The topic was ‘Deeper Aspects of Hinduism’. The hour-long talk held the audience in rapt attention as Sri M, in very simple terms, spoke on many aspects of Hinduism. There were about 500 people in attendance here. His address went thus: “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. Sarve Jana Sukhinoh Bhavantu-May all people be happy” “Respected Collector Saab, Dr. Vikrant Pandey, the Principal of JP Arts and Science College, all residents of Bharuch and all our dear padayatris who have been walking and who will be walking with me for the rest of the journey, Brothers and sisters, I don’t know Gujarati but I speak good English. But I have been told that I need to speak in Hindi; in case there are mistakes in my diction, when I have a little trouble finding the right word, I will use a few English words. This is all right. I do speak good Malayalam but you would not understand it. I have learnt my mother tongue and I also know some Sanskrit” “Today’s subject is ‘ Deeper Aspects of Hinduism’. I have been told that I should speak on this matter. Before this, I would like to say a few words about the padayatra but I will talk about this at the end. This padayatra that is our Karma Yog, this padayatra, my Vedantic experience and the connection with people, I will talk about each aspect before I complete my talk. But, first, let us look at the subject. I would like to tell you that the term ‘Hinduism’ which is used in current parlance is not a religion from a single book, a single rishi or a prophet. We cannot even call Hinduism a religion. This is a culture. Conservatively, 3000 years ago - I use the word conservative from a historian’s perspective. My belief is that this is ancient. This is a culture that is like many rivers flowing and what we call the Hindu system of thought or Sanatan Dharm is like an ocean. Whether you are a Sufi or a Christian or you practice Hindu rituals, they are all like rivers flowing into this vast ocean.” “The Bhagavat Gita has 18 chapters, where each chapter addresses each yog. Arjun Vishad Yog, SankhyaYog, Karma Yog, Bhakti Yog, Gyan Yog, Sanyas Yog so and so forth. So all these, in my view, all of them have only one goal. All the rishis in India had this one thought – that there are many paths towards the Truth. It is only one but has many paths and ways to reach it. Even in the Rig Veda it is said: Ekam Sat Vipra bahuda vadanti -The Truth is One but the Wise call this by many names. If you want to make a child happy, you need to give it a toy. If you give a Bible or a Bhagavat Gita, it will not work. Step by step, slowly holding his hand, you will need to lead him. Later, you will need to give toys like Science, Philosophy. So, the approach has to be as per the levels or stages of different people. This is the understanding or knowledge in Hinduism; the essence of Sanatan Dharm. And, this has the deepest teaching of Vedanta.” “I am going to talk a little about Vedanta and a little about Yog. If we go to a temple, we ring the bell, we chant and worship with flowers and so on. All this is fine. All these are to take our minds towards God. It is not God Himself. The Bhagawat says that man needs to live in society and living alone by himself is very difficult. Such people who can live on their own are rishis;for such people, living alone is fine. But, usually we need to live in society. So, we think on the same lines that all other people in society think. If people living around us are of one type, we will also become the same. So, for this, Satsang is very important. If we do not have Satsang, it will automatically become Dursang. To change this Dursang, we require Satsang, we need worship and rituals, bhajans. All these things are required. But why do we do this? This is only to help us realize that what we are searching for is adhyatmik or spiritual. I am saying this because I do all the things I talk about. It is not talk alone. From the time Maheshwarnath Babaji placed his hands on my head, this understanding dawned on me. Based on the foundation of this experience, I have lived my life. So, in Vedanta, why is this called Vedanta? It is the end of the Vedas. So, it is the end.” “You may already know that in the Vedas, we have the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda – four of them. Please do not think that they are the property of any one religion. This is for entire mankind. It is for humanity. This is not for any one section. So, when we read the Rig Veda, Sam Veda, Atharva Veda, we call this the Samhita. After each Samhita, there is the Brahmana. The Brahmanas have the ‘how to do’ – the rituals of worship, the yagnas to be performed, the karmas. This is what they teach us. If you go beyond the Brahmanas, you will find the Aranyakas. The Aranyakas mean that one needs to search for the Truth by going into the forests. People living in the forests study this. This does not mean that they have run away from society and are staying here. It is not that. Many busy executives who work in Corporates or Companies work for 6 to 7 months and then go on a holiday or a picnic. Where do they go? Where the air is fresh, where there is no pollution, in the hills, by the riverside. They go to a river side and stay for a few days. This makes the mind and the body peaceful. And, both our mental and physical health will rejuvenate. The same way, when one completes their active duties in life, one proceeds to the forests – Vaanprastha. One goes to the forest and lives there and contemplates.” “So, first we have the Samhitas, then the Brahmanas and then the Aranyaka. When you go one step ahead of the Aranyakas, you will find the Upanishads. The Upanishads are at the end of the four, in the last section. This is also why it is called the Vedanta. So, you will find the essence of the Vedas in the Upanishads. There are many Upanishads. Of this, there are 11 principal Upanishads – the important Upanishads. Why are they considered important? That’s so because most commentaries are written on these Upaniashads. From Adi Shankara to Madhwacharya, all of them have written commentaries. These 11 Upanishads have the essence of the Vedanta. Many people read the Upanishads. But we need to know the background and have the foundation. We are Indians and this is the essence from our source – the roots. We need to know this. The word Upanishad has three words – Upa,Ni, and Shad.” “The word Upa means near, close by. In those days,Rishis used to make their disciples sit close to them and make them understand the subject. This is also the reason why it was called ‘the secret knowledge’. So, Upa means sitting close by. There is no use with just the body sitting close. Upa means to bring your mind and attention closer. Your mind and my mind – that is when the Rishi’s and the disciple’s minds come together, then the disciple understands the teaching of the Upanishads easily. Sometimes, there is no need even to speak a sentence. In English, it is called ‘rapport’. When the Guru and the disciple’s minds come very close, as one and in the same vibration, then without even a word, the Truth is known. The reality is that we will not be able to find words for describing the experience. This is That – because it is infinite, we will not be able to describe it in our finite language. This is what is said in the Upanishads. Vacha Anabhyditam. We will not be able to describe it through words. The rishis say - so, how will we teach this? They say – Vacha Anabhyditam, yena vag bhyudyate, tadeva brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam upasate meaning‘That which is the Truth cannot be expressed through words or speech’.” “I will tell you a small story, when Adi Shankaracharya was on one of his journeys on foot in Karnataka, a young boy’s parents came to him and said – our son who is now 8 years old has not said a word till now. Looks like he’s dumb. You are a great yogi; can you please come and bless him? He may speak with your blessing. Saying this, they took Shankaracharya to the boy. He saw a young boy sitting in a corner and asked him why he was not speaking. The first words the boy uttered were – What do I say? What do I talk about as I am not able to say anything about the Truth. So, whatever words I speak will sound untrue, this is why I remain silent. Shankarayacharya named him Hastamalaka. Hasta meaning hand and Amalaka meaning the fruit – Amla”. (Gooseberry) “Hastamalaka – one who has grasped the Truth of Vedanta like having an Amla in his hand. He named him thus and took him to Sringeri as his successor. Hastamalaka – meaning when one goes very close to the Truth, when both come together as One, then the essence of the Upanishads comes to be known and understood. This is experienced. So, this is Upa. The meaning of Upavas means going closer. When one does not eat, that is also Upavas. This is done so that one can go close to the Truth, Upa-vas.” “Now, we have the last word. You may ask me what happened to the word in between. I will talk about that later. Shad – the meaning of this word is - to Sit, to settle down. You are all seated here, even if one person gets up,I know that his interest is not there and he is leaving. So, sitting down means both body and mind has to sit down. The mind should not wander hither and thither – it should remain steady. This is the meaning of sitting down. – to settle. To sit in one place in silence and not think about anything else is the meaning of shad. The second meaning is – In Shankaracharya’s commentary, the other meaning given is shaking, churning. Through Manthan or churning, many things come out. Only when they come out, we see them in front of us. Nothing happens when it is under cover. Only when it is seen, can we deal with them. This churning of the mind, I will give you an example of this. We go about life doing many things. We think we have now come to a stage where we have achieved everything, I have been promoted, I have a good wife and children, a car, a house, everything! While we are settled this way, something happens which shakes us up. Oh, Why did this happen? I thought everything was fine.Whatever happens at that time is Manthan. In 99% of the cases, this manthan happens only through sorrow. When life goes on and one is happy, nobody is worried about anything. Only when unhappiness comes, then we go through this churning. Then, one sits and starts thinking; where do we keep our feet now? When there is confusion in the mind, when there is insecurity, we call this vishaad. And the first chapter in the Bhagavat Gita is Arjuna Vishada Yoga. In this way, we are all like Arjun. We are also in sorrow sometimes. It starts from there. Chapter 1 – So this is Shad.” “Now the word in between – Ni. What is Ni? Ni is the word that connects and joins the words Upa and shad. The word neeche in Hindi comes from this word Ni. The word Ni means – when the rishi and the disciple sit together to study the meaning of Vedanta, the one who is learning, sits down. Whenever you need to take something, even if it is something material, when you need to pour from one vessel to another, the one which it has to be poured into, it has to be kept below, in a lower position. This one also has to be empty. If not, how will it be filled? I will tell you another small story.” “There was a famous Zen Master – you know about Zen, nowadays it is the fashion. When there are flowers in our own garden, we do not enjoy the aroma from this. We like it better from another garden. So, everybody runs to Zen - we are fascinated with anything foreign. Actually, what is now known as Zen, came from Bodhi Dharma who is from Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. Bodhi Dharma took meditation from here to China to the Buddhist monks. In Chinese, Dhyan became chan. When Chan went to Japan, it became Zen. This is their language. This is the secret behind Zen. This spiritual technique went from Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The Professor went to this very well known Zen master to learn. So, once he went to him when he was alone and said: Till now I have not had the experience of Satori. Please teach me Satori. Satori means Samadhi or Kaivalya or The Ultimate Truth. Please help me experience this. The Master said: You sit down; I will make some tea. The Professor sat quietly. These Zen Masters are like our Avadhoots. They say things, which we need to listen with quiet attention. Sometimes,we get some good beatings too! So, he sat quietly. The Master made tea and brought a small table. In Japan, everything is done in a very ritualistic manner with a lot of drama. So, the Master kept the table, covered it with a cloth, kept the cup on the table and started pouring the tea. The Professor was watching while the Master kept pouring. Even when the cup was full, still he poured. Then, the cup started overflowing, and the tea fell seeping into the tablecloth. After a while, the professor said, Sir, the teacup is full. Then the Master said, your cup is full so how will you I give you Satori. If I pour from here, it will only fall out. So, the word Ni means that when somebody takes something, he needs to have space. When they sit in front saying I have studied this, I have studied that, I know everything, then nothing will go in.” “I would like to tell you one more thing; the Upanishads have been in India for around 2000 or 3000 years but nobody from outside the country knew that something like this existed here. Do you know Aurangazeb’s elder brother, DaraS hikoh, whom Aurangazeb killed in order to become the emperor? Dara Shikoh was a devout person. His ishta devata was Bhaktishree. He was killed because of this. He was also a very devout Sufi. I feel if Dara Shikoh had become the Emperor instead of Aurangazeb, then history would have been very different. If you go to the other side of Kashmir, there is a place called Pari Mahal. Dara Shikoh got about 50 to 60 Pandits together and got the principal Upanishads translated into Arabic. This was the first Persian translation. So, they were translated into Arabic and Persian. When the Persian translation reached Greece; in those times, Persian was a very advanced language. A Greek by name Duperron translated these into Greek and named it ‘Upanishak’. Then they understood that this deep treasure of knowledge was in India. Till then they thought that they only weave cloth, what is there? This was how it was seen.” “The Principal Upanishads have the Mandukya, Mundaka, Isha, Keno, Katha and others. I do not have the time, so I will talk about the smallest of all Upanishads and close this session. The Upanishad is named Mandukya. It has only 12 shlokas or cantos. There are no directions written in this Upanishad – follow this or do that, go to this temple or do not go, follow or do not follow this religion and so on. Nothing like this is said. The text only says that everybody’s node is consciousness. It just says this. The universal sound ‘OM’ is explained here. We usually chant OM with A, U and M together. And A- Bramha, U – Vishnu and M – Maheswara – Creation, Preservation and Destruction. All these three together is OM.” “Mandukya Upanishad explains this differently. A means the waking state, we are all awake, we are not sleeping! U is dream consciousness. This too is common to most people – Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew – all wake up and all sleep. This is common to all mankind. So, we have three, waking state, dream state and deep sleep where there are no dreams. But there is one more… A is waking state, U is dream state and M – Deep sleep. When we chant OM, if we have to chant again, we will have to open our mouths again. By Om we mean, that everything is closed, meaning – deep sleep. There are no dreams too – that kind of sleep. The text says that when we chant OM, the ardha matra - the humming sound at the end is Turiya – the state of Turiya. If the first three are not there, then it is the state of Turiya. The Rishis in the Upanishads say that those who are looking or searching for the spiritual state, they need to go beyond the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep and then when they reach Turiya, they understand. So the 12 shlokas discuss these three states of consciousness. This has such deep philosophy that Adi Shankara’s Guru Gaudapad has written a commentary of 3000 paragraphs. And Shankara has written a 1000 paragraphs. Because whatever is here are for entire mankind. Every one wakes up, has dreams and goes into deep sleep. There is no Turiya. So, what is Turiya? This is the subject matter in the Mandukya Upanishad.” “You would have heard of King Janaka, the Rajarishi. His Guru was Yagnavalkya who is mentioned as a gnani in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Once, King Janaka had a dream in which he was a beggar. His clothes were torn; he did not have anything to eat, he was wandering around with a bowl in his hands. This was his dream. He woke up with a start only to realize that he was sleeping in his palace and he is the King. So, this thought occurred to him – in reality, am I a beggar or a king? Because when we dream, we do not know at that time that it is a dream. It seems very real. When we wake up, we realize that it is a dream. Just imagine that a tiger is chasing us in a dream and we are running; when we wake up, we are panting and sweating! It takes time for the palpitations to reduce.” “Why? This is the subject of the Mandukya Upanishad. When we dream, it is very real. From here, we go to the next setting, then that becomes a dream. So, he understood that if his dream gets extended, then he turns into a beggar. Then, he realized - what I now think is reality, will this also become a dream? He discussed this with his Guru when he arrived. He asked him if he could explain which was the dream and which was the reality? Yagnavalkya replied – In the dream state, the waking state is maya (that which does not exist) and in the waking state, the dream state does not exist. In deep sleep, there is nothing – we do not know whether we exist or not. This is why we rest well in deep sleep. In this state, I don’t know if I exist. If ‘I ‘ am not there, where is the problem? Only if ‘I’ am there, you are there. If I am only not there, where will you take my vehicle and go? I don’t know anything in this state. This is why I feel so rested, since there are no contradictions or troubles. So he said, when you are in deep sleep, you don’t even know whether you exist or not, so everything is equal – whether you are a king or a person working on the road, for both it is the same. There is no difference. So, when we wake up, then we say – how well I slept. This means that when one is asleep, when he is experiencing and enjoying it, one did not know about it. When you wake up, you realize that there was happiness in that. So, there was something in there that was enjoying it. But then, he did not know it at that time.” “So, Rishi Yagnavalkya explained that whether you are in the waking state, dream state or in deep sleep, there is a witness in all three states. A witness is watching all the three states. The witness is present in the waking state, the witness is there in the dream state and also in the deep sleep state. But it is not known at that time. We know only when we wake up that there was this happiness in deep sleep. This witness present in all the three states is not impacted, nothing happens to this witness. If we are able to experience this, it is called Turiya. When all the states are known, then we call this Moksh – liberation. This is what is taught. There are only 12 stanzas in the Mandukya but we can have a Satsang for 4 or 5 days on this. In the limited time we had, I have just given you an example of the deeper aspects of Hinduism like the Mandukya Upanishad.” "In the Kathopanishad, a boy named Nachiket dies and goes to Yamraj and asks him to teach him what happens after death. Does a man end after death? Or does something remain. Please tell me." “In the dialogues of Keno Upanishad, it starts with ‘Who am I’. Keno means ‘Who’. Keneshitam patati preshitammanah. Kena pranah prathama preti yuktah Keneshitam vachami mam vadanti chakshuh Shrotram ka u devo yunakti” “When I see, who is actually seeing? When I am hearing, who is actually listening? Who am I? What is my real identity? Because I keep changing - I am different in childhood, youth and in old age. Is it only this or is there something more? So, all these matters are in the Upanishad and the Bhagavad Gita. The Upanishads dwell deeper on this. The Brahmasutras are even deeper. But the Bhagavat Gita provides the essence in simple language in 18 chapters. The Shanti mantra says: Sarva upanishado gavo – if all the Upanishads are the cows, dugdha gopala nandana - and Krishna is the one milking them, partho vatsah, then Arjuna is the calf, calves jump and frisk around.. sukhib hogtah, then the contented and intelligent ones derive happiness from this. Dugdham geetam amritam mahaan- they enjoy the milk from the Gita. The essence of the Upanishads is explained in simple language in the Gita. I will not talk about the 18 chapters of the Gita. Please read the Gita for half an hour. There are many things in it. Whatever we just spoke about is expressed with great simplicity in the Gita. And, the chapters talk about the various paths to Yoga very well. It has the essence of the Upanishads and very practical guidance is provided there. After every chapter, Ved Vyas says Srimad Bhagavad Gita Upanishad Sookte - these are the Upanishads. What do they teach – Brahma Vidya, about the Truth, and Yoga Shastra, the way or the path through which you can reach the Truth.It is through Sri Krishna Arjuna Samvaade, meaning‘through the dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna’.” “I spoke about this only so that you can read this further, think and contemplate on this. This Oneness has to be experienced. Only through experience, you will realize that the Truth is One and if that all pervading Truth is every being’s heart, then all of us are One. Is this not so? So, we are all One and we have that ‘indweller’ in our hearts. We are all walking and moving temples. Then what can we do to these temples? We can serve them. This is a very difficult task but service is our responsibility. So, through this padayatra, we are doing this. We go with the message - whatever be your name, your colour, whichever place you are from, you are human first. This is why we are One. Indians understand this very well. So our objective is that we talk about this while we are walking and this has been my experience.Please listen. It is good for you and good for others too. Our country too becomes strong. It is important that we make India strong. Why? India is a treasure house of spirituality. At one time, people used to come here from all over to attain this knowledge. My dream is that - one day, it will become so again when people from all over the world come here to gain this knowledge.” “We have made a beginning with this attempt. One man cannot do this. Many padayatris are walking with us. If you are not able to walk with us, I request you to walk with us with your minds and hearts. If all of you think about this, then we will reach Kashmir successfully. And the reason we have started this, it is only because Babaji asked me to do this. Otherwise, I am a person who loves to live in solitude. I do not meet many people. I do not want to say anything more. Thank you for listening to me patiently.” “Namaskar.”


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  1. the fragrance keeps spreading … Paranams Walkers / Sir .. Om Sri Grurbhyo Namah

  2. Well Dressed Beggar says:

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

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