Day 229 | 28 August 2015 | City walk in Vadodara | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Reception at Ideal School on Onam day - Vadodara
    1.Reception at the beginning of our walk at Ideal School on
  • WOH Day 229 - The padayatra from Ideal school to Navrachana school Sama had the participation of the community - Vadodara
  • The padayatris swell as the Walk reach Sussen Circle - Vadodara
  • Reception at the Auxilium Convent - Vadodara
  • Reception at the Auxilium Convent with the Mayor of Vadodara joining the padayatra - Vadodara
  • At Makarpur, the royal family of the erstwhile Kingdom of Baroda join in - Vadodara
  • Reception at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan Circle - Vadodara
  • 8.Children-from-Vadodara-schools-join-us-at-Bhartiya-Vidya-Bhavan-Circle,-Vadodara,-Gujarat
  • Representatives from multiple faith welcome Sri M at Mandi gate - Vadodara
  • 10.Many-notable-relegious-leaders-of-Vadodara-pose-for-a-snap-with-Sir-at-Mandi-Gate,-Vadodara,-Gujarat
  • Passing through the Chappaner gate of the walled city of Baroda - Vadodara
  • 12.
  • 13.-
  • Sri M offering prayers at the Jalaram temple - Vadodara
  • Sri M in discussion with the Swamiji of the Ramakrishna Mutt - Vadodara
  • Sri M interacts with a group of mentally challenged children who came to meet him - Vadodara
  • Students from the Navrachana schools line up to welcome the padayatra - Vadodara
  • 19.A-rare-sight!!-Girl-guides-of-the-Navrachana-school-leading-the-
  • Dandya Ras dancers lead the padayatris to Navrachana School - Sama
  • A visual treat for Malayalis on Onam Day as the school teachers attired themselves in the state's ethnic wear - Sama
  • Sri M addresses the sstudents & community of Vadodara at the Navrachna School - Sama
  • Satsang at the CC Mehta Auditorium - MS University - Vadodara
Today, Walk of Hope was in Vadodara City and there was a city walk covering 15 Kms. The day seemed to be a special one with participation from many sections of society, especially school children. Leaving early in the morning from the Ideal School, they were greeted by a group of around 50. As the day progressed, more and more locals joined in, with many notable citizens of Vadodara amongst them. Sri M and the padayatris walked from the outer, less densely populated areas to the inner, older parts of heavily populated areas. Passing along the city roads in the midst of moving traffic, they reached their destination in 6 hours with people greeting them every half an hour or so. At each stop, more and more people joined in and there were about 600 as the walk concluded.

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Today was also a day of receptions. An hour into the walk, Walk of Hope was greeted at the Auxillium Convent by a group of about 50 people who participated in the walk.The Mayor of Vadodara also joined them here. Soon after, they were again received at the Makarpur Road, here members of the royal family of the erstwhile kingdom of Baroda also joined in. They were again received at the Bhartiya Vidya Mandir half an hour later. About 150 schoolchildren joined here and walked with the padayatra. Next, Sri M was received at Mandi gate where religious leaders of various faiths greeted him and welcomed them. They joined in and walked right up to the halting point. The padayatris stopped briefly at the Jalaram temple where Sri M was received with traditional honours. Again, there was a reception awaiting them at Sri Ramakrishna Mutt. As they came close to the Navrachana School, a troupe of Dandiya Ras dancers joined in. They reached the Navrachana school soon after and were received there by students lining up the road leading to the school. At the school,teachers dressed in typical Kerala dress to mark Onam received them. Today marked the Onam festival. Onam, a festival from the rich cultural heritage of Kerala is celebrated by all communities from the state, marking the celebration of Vamana Avatara and return of King Bali. There was a lavish sadya (Kerala vegetarian feast) at the school after Sri M addressed the gathering briefly. “I would like to start by thanking the school’s trustees, the staff and the lady who just welcomed us, our padayatris, the Commissioner, our padayatris who are like my friends, and you are all like them, there is no difference. And all the students seated here, you are all my dear brothers and sisters. My greetings and salaam to all of you on this happy occasion.” “When I started from Kanyakumari, I was speaking in Tamil and in Kerala, Malayalam. From Karnataka, it has been Hindi. I feel I should go back to speaking in English before I forget the language.” “So today, I asked madam if I can speak in English and she said – sure sir, you could speak in English. The young friends who introduced me today have said everything about the yatra and me. The cat is now out of the bag. So, I don’t know what to say! They have given a brief biography, all the places that we have covered, all that have been said. But I would still like to bring to your notice - a few things, a few points about myself and about the walk. One important point to note is that when someone comes- you introduce yourself and say - What is your name. Then, you reply that this is my name - here is somebody who seems to have no name- Sri M. What does it mean? If you can find out the meaning of M – It does not Malayali eh… please…” (laughs). “If you get the word M- then you will know- what I’m doing actually. You can make out.” “You know I was born in Kerala—in Trivandrum in a Muslim family. Well, we were not originally Malayalam-speaking Muslims. We are 4th generation settlers from somewhere and came in service to the Maharajas of Travancore, as the bodyguards to the Maharajas of Travancore. We then inter-married and settled down there. Virtually, I am a Malayali now, even though we do not speak Malayalam at home. I speak and write and read; if somebody asks me – which state are you from; I always say Kerala. And I love Kerala. Beautiful place. It is called God’s own country. You see, sometimes, I call it Marx’s own country- Karl Marx. So anyway, I was born there. The name that my parents gave me when I was born was Mumtaz Ali Khan. When I reached 10th standard, I dropped the Khan.” “When I reached college, I dropped the ‘Ali’. When I finished college, I dropped everything and only M was left, which is the first letter. What does the letter M mean? M is the first letter of the word Manav- Human Being; in Sanskrit- Manushya. ‘Ma’ is the first letter. I prefer to call myself a Manav- a human being than anything else. The other reason why M has come to be is because my master Maheshwarnath Babaji initiated me into the Nath sampradaya. He gave me the name Madhukarnath. That’s also M. Therefore, I identify myself with that M. People started calling me Sri M because in India it’s nice to add a Sri to somebody’s name. So, they call Sri M because Mr. M doesn’t sound good. Anybody knows Mr M? James Bond’s secret boss... So, I prefer Sri M. that’s an introduction to myself.” “When I was 9-years-old, something happened which changed my life completely. In Trivandrum, in the backyard of my house, one evening while I was playing with my friends and they had gone home, I looked in one corner where there was a huge jack fruit tree. Under the jack fruit tree, I saw somebody standing, a very strange man. I had never seen someone with matted hair before. Very tall, bare-bodied; he just wore a cloth and he had a peculiar looking pot in his hand. It was kamandaluand I had never seen a kamandalu in my life. He gestured to me. So I went to him. The first thing he asked me was Kuch yaad aya? Do you remember anything? I said - No, I don’t remember anything. Then, he put his hand on my head and he said - When the time comes, everything would be clear. Then, he said go back and I came back home. I didn’t see him after that.” “From that day, something was happening in my head and in my heart. In the midnight, I started to meditate effortlessly. Nobody taught me any meditation. I used to lie down. I used to see a small light somewhere in this area. It would grow, grow round and round and this spread through my body. There would be a great joy… just by watching it. This was my meditation. It went on for some years. I went to school, then I went to college. This thing was going on and changes were taking place in me. I was beginning to understand that I felt suffocated and I needed freedom. By the time I turned 19, I had just finished my exams… there was this overwhelming restless feeling that I was caught up in some kind of a cage. I felt like a bird in a cage. I wanted to break the cage and fly away freely. I am a very dangerous man to take to any place where they keep birds in cages. I like to open the cages and let them out quietly because I know how it feels like to be in a cage. It was a golden cage, of course. But, a cage is a cage – iron, steel or gold. One day, I broke through. How? I just ran away from home. Don’t do anything like that. Not advised for anyone here. I did it. You don’t have to do that. Anyway, I ran away from home, went to the Himalayas. I wandered around different parts of the country and finally, reached Himalayas. There, in VyasaGuha, close to Badrinath, I met my teacher who I had met when I was 9 years old. We clicked immediately. I knew he was the man and I knew he was the one. He said ghum phirke tum vapas hamare paas agaye. So, I remained with him for three years. This is where the walk started.” “I wandered all over the Himalayas and he was always barefoot and never got into any vehicle. No transport, except walking. Even today, I know every nook and cranny in the Himalayan regions; places that tourists don’t know about, which tour organizers are not aware of. There are beautiful places in the Himalayas, which are off the beaten track of course. So I walked, I studied. In three and a half years, Babaji brought about some kind of transformation in my mind. I began to understand that ultimately everything is That, all-pervading supreme energy - you may call it God or you don’t have to call it God… it does not matter. It is said that Jains do not have a God; it does not matter. There is an all-pervading energy that manifests in plants, trees, human beings and animals. When you plant a seed and it becomes a tree, where does it come from? There is an intelligent force working out there. I understood from my own experience that this all-pervading energy, a small part of it, resides in the heart of all living beings. Therefore, all human beings are temples of god. Well, no one who can be an exception to that. In every human heart, there is part of that supreme consciousness- man or woman, black or white, Indian or non-Indian; it really does not matter. So, this is my experience.” “From then on, I have lived my life thinking of all beings as abodes of Gods; abodes of that all-pervading energy. When this happens automatically, with no effort whatsoever, you manifest love, forgiveness, peace and happiness. This becomes part of your being. You can no longer hurt or harm another being. I’ve lived like that all my life. I am married. I am not a Sanyasin - a monk. You can see that I don’t have any of the paraphernalia of a sanyasi or a monk. I am a married man. I have two children. Both of them went through difficult times because teenagers go through certain problems. So, I have gone through all that. Yet, not once have I tried to hurt or cause injury to other beings. I believe that whatever be your religious beliefs, whatever be your ideologies, whatever be the way you think… one must always remember that ultimately we are all human beings. We are all born from the wombs of mothers. Nobody falls from heaven. When we all die, we all go to the same earth. We drink the same water. You might be drinking it in a bottle but it doesn’t matter. It’s water. We eat the same food. Live in the same world. Breath the same air; let us breathe and continue our life. This is what we are. Therefore, we are human beings. This walk we are doing is to remind people not to get carried away by propaganda that says that we’re different. We’re not different. We are One. We, as human beings are One. This is what is called ManavEkta.” “When I see young people, I am hopeful that you will carry the seeds of this thought of being human beings and not let anybody persuade you to think otherwise. Do not let anyone persuade you to think that you are different. Well, you may be different in your tendencies, in your talents and so on. But, deep down, please remember that we are human beings and therefore, when somebody is hurt and violence takes place - the same amount of pain we would feel if something happened to us as would also be felt by others. Therefore, always be together as One humanity. Don’t divide. If we live together - irrespective of caste, creed, religion – if you are kind, compassionate and live together, then it’s also possible to build a strong nation. I think India has to become a strong nation. Maybe, we have started moving in the direction. But it is not enough. Only when young people like you contribute there is a possibility of building a strong nation. Why should India be a strong nation? It is so because the seeds of peace and harmony have always started from here. Gandhiji - Mahatma Gandhi - could free the nation from 100 years of British rule, notby throwing stones and burning buses, but through peaceful ways of demonstration. He demonstrated the strength of Satyagraha. He said Satyagraha or peaceful protests are not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. It is when you are fearful and insecure that you throw a stone on somebody’s car. It’s fear, not courage. Courage is when you have a stone. You know you can throw it. But you say No, and put it down. This is strength. So, these are the seeds, which I would like to sow in all the young people. Please think about it. Go home and talk about it. Talk about it with your friends and with your neighbours. If anyone comes and tries to persuade you and say that you are not the same, that you are different - tell them, no, sorry. We can discuss this matter with you but my neighbor and I are one. We will not fight. We will try to discuss. But we will certainly not fight. I am hoping that by this yatra, by this walk, we are sowing seeds that sprout into greatness, love affection and unity in this country. We have already done around 3800 km. We have another 5000 to go before we reach Srinagar.” “Before I stop, one more thing. I am 66 years old now. Except for my grey hair, I don’t think I lack any energy which you people have.” (Applause from audience) “My mind still thinks like you think. It is still open to understanding and suggestions. I have not closed my mind and said I have finished. The moment you say you know everything, you are dead. Always say, well, I know something. There may be much more to know. The walk is also an experiment for us - seeing new things, meeting new people, hearing new directions, getting new directions, and hearing new ideas. And hopefully, by the time we finish the walk, we can bring it all into one integral part of our nature.” “People ask me how I am walking at 66… because I am OK. There is nothing wrong with me. When they give me tea, they usually ask sugar dena hai? I say 2 chamach!! Diabetes nahi hai mujhe. Blood pressure is normal. There is nothing. No special thing about it except I eat moderate amount of food. I don’t overeat. I don’t starve myself. I try to get fresh air wherever possible and… important point…. from the age of 10 till today, half an hour of yoga I practice. It is probably that which sustains me. Of course, there is Babaji’s blessings. Even today, I got up at 4 am. Half an hour, I did my asanas and then got ready.” “So since you have yoga in your school, I am sure, please don’t run away from your yoga classes. I know how it is… I used to run away from my NCC parade in my school. People tried various tricks. Like putting onions in your armpits, the body heats up and then today I have fever, I’m not coming for work. But yoga I’ve never excused myself from. If you have the right teacher and if the teacher can make yoga interesting, I am sure you will all do it! I will tell you why. Sanskrit is a great language. Don’t worry about the religious connotations. Keep religion aside. As a language, it is one of the most advanced languages. But students don’t usually opt for the language because the grammar is very difficult. It’s very close to German grammar. So 1-2 years they see and then change to some other language. Now in our school, 60% of the children opt for Sanskrit as a language. Why? Because we forget the grammar! I have told the teacher to teach spoken Sanskrit. And, spoken Sanskrit is so easy to understand because we all know at least one Indian language. Now, something is very nice. I have picked up a few Gujarati words. You say Ati uttam. Ati Uttam is not Gujarati originally. They are Sanskrit words meaning ‘the best’! There are many such words. All Indian languages have such similar words. So, when you learn spoken Sanskrit, then you are able to read and write and you are not thinking too much about grammar. Later, when you want, you can study grammar. Otherwise, you can leave it. But by then, you will know Sanskrit.” “One great person, who was the President of the Ramakrishna Mission for some time, Swami Ranganathananda, went to Berlin for the first time. He went to the university and a German guy came and started speaking to him in fluent Sanskrit. So Swamiji said, ‘I can’t speak Sanskrit. Conversational Sanskrit I don’t know. Who are you?’ he asked. The German said he was the Prof of Sanskrit in Berlin University. What I’m trying to say is Sanskrit is a great language. But why did I say about that? Why did I bring in the connection with Sanskrit? Can anybody tell me why we went there? What was I saying when I went to Sanskrit? Ah… these are the things I am going around talking to people because when you know Sanskrit, you can pick up the writings of the root culture of this country. You don’t have to wait for somebody else to interpret it for you. You can read and understand yourself. So we have to go to the roots of it. There was a time, 1000 years ago maybe or 600 or 800 years ago, we had great universities here;Takshashila andNalanda. People used to come from all over the world to get knowledge from this country. What are we doing today? We’re going to Harvard, I’m hoping that…. It’s my favourite dream… that a time will come when people will once again come to this country to get knowledge. This is my dream. This Walk of Hope is one of the little things that will unite this country to live in peace and happiness and spread this happiness to the entire world. It has to start from here. In the Vedas, they’ve said, Loka samasta sukhino bhavantu. Loka means the whole world. So, a time will come when the whole world will hopefully - sometimes it looks quite a difficult dream - will hold hands and form a big circle with love and unity. It is with this hope that we’re walking. When you go home, please don’t forget this. Ten years on, please remember that someone came here and talked about such things. Let this message of peace, harmony, unity and goodwill live in your hearts forever.” “Thank you very much.” Later on, the walkers went off to the resting place after a hectic day and napped for a few hours. They gathered again at the CC Mehta Auditorium of MS University where Sri M addressed about 800 students, teachers and locals. Sri M’s address: His address went thus: “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. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu - May the entire universe be happy” “First of all, I thank each and every one here who are present, the dignitaries, as well as people like you who are in front, our padayatris. I must especially mention those who have come from Sri Ramakrishna Mission and the Parsi community here as religious heads, and dear friends. Karnataka onwards I had to speak in Hindi, I was afraid that I will forget English, I am sure I can speak in English today. So, I will speak in English if you don’t mind.” “Now, about the padayatra, you would have got a rough idea since you saw the film. You must have read the newspapers, the pamphlets and so on. I will not go too deeply into that. For every activity there has to be a foundation, there has to be a root in us, the Moola. Without the root, nothing grows. There must have been some roots in me that propelled me to take this venture, which someone the other day called a fool-hardy venture - walking from Kanyakumari to Srinagar. In fact, it is not foolhardy. When I told Anna Hazare in Ralegan Siddhi that some people call me mad because I am walking from Kanyakumari to Srinagar; he said that if you are not mad, you probably can do nothing worthy of yourself. So, here I am. I might be mad but Iam trying something.” “Now, this comes from my personal experience which came to me through the blessings of Maheshwarnath Babaji, who was - is - my Guru. I say ‘was’ because physically he is no more, I say ‘is’ because he is always there for me in my heart. It is his blessings that changed my heart and brought about an inner relation, which I have manifested in my daily life, and this padayatra is a part of that. So, I would like to, today,without going into the details of my walk go into the root of this experience, of this understanding.” “You know there is a very beautiful Upanishad called the Isha-Vasya Upanishad. It is the Upanishad of the Upanishad. It also happens to be the favourite Upanishad of Mahatma Gandhi. While it talks of the highest philosophy, the dizzy heights of philosophy, it does not shy away from activity. It says to work but do not allow the effects ofthe work to touch you.” “Isha Vasya Upanishad starts like this, it says Ishavasyam idam sarvam Yat kincha jagatyam jagat Tena tyaktena bhunjitha Ma gridhah kasya svid dhanam This means that Supreme Reality pervades here, everything in this world, this world that is movement, this world that is evolution,this world that is going from here to there; therefore let go and rejoice - after all, whose wealth is all this anyways.” “Everything that you see is a vast network and you are just a small spoke. Unfortunately, we end up thinking we are the wheel. You are just a small part, a spark that along with other sparks builds up this thing called the universe. Then you start the spiritual journey from a higher understanding. From an individual perspective, the spiritual journey starts from the understanding that nothing on this earth is actually going to give us the 100% security we seek, or the100% safety we seek, or the perfect happiness we seek.” “I am not saying that we should run away from the world.That is not possible. Even if you run away from the world and go to a cave, you might find someone coming there with a mosquito spray - this is an actual experience.You live in this world with the understanding that the 100% happiness we seek is not to be found. Since childhood, we keep on seeking and seeking. Yes, some happiness is possible but it does not last very long. I was talking with some good friends this evening about this - we seek outside but we don’t find Him. Seek and it shall be given - that does not work here in the external world. It works in the spiritual field.” “Finally, when we think that we have attained everything, something happens, something goes wrong and we go again to the incompleteness.And finally, we rest – we die. What happens after that, we don’t know. So, there is no point thinking that we will find peace, who knows if we will exist or we won’t? In Christian graveyards, they say RIP - Rest In Peace. My guru, Babaji used to say that Rise If Possible, no chance. And, everyone of us goes to that position.” “Happiness and sadness does not discriminate between rich man or poor man, white man or black man, man or woman. It is common. Therefore, we are all One. Now, regarding happiness, some people think that you are happy when you have things; some people think that you are happy when you don’t have things. I am not saying that you should run away from things. Keep in mind that it is not material things that bring about happiness. I know many people who have everything that they think is necessary for happiness, yet they are not happy. Where did it go? How?” “I want to tell you a little story. This is about a king from Punjab.He was actually the Maharaja of Patiala. Later in his life, he came to be known as Tapasviji Maharaj. He wanted to expand the territories of Patiala and in those days, you could not do any such thing without taking the permission from the Sultan of Delhi. Those days the last emperor of Delhi was Bahadur Shah Zafar. So, he came all the way from Patiala, it took a couple of days and he finally got audience. He expressed his desire to go and expand his territory. The emperor asked what he required. He said, I want an army and a general. The emperor said I want to tell you something. He asked, suppose Igive you one of my Pathan generals and I give you horses, arms, the army too - what happens if the general claims the territory? Second,he asked, do you think that more territory is going to give you more happiness?” “The emperor took him to a window and pointed to a fakir who wasdressed in rags, holding a begging bowl, looking at the sky and smiling. He said –‘look at that man’s happiness, look at his face and look at my face, look at my happiness – who do you think is more happy? Is the emperor of Delhi happier or is that fakir under the tree happier? Think about this carefully and when you have come to an understanding, come back tome and I will help you.’ The story is that he never came back. He went, instead of going back to Patiala, to Rishikesh and settled down there, nobody knewwhere he went.” “After waiting for some years, his brother took over the kingdom. Once he - the king’s brother - wanted to go to Badrinath. He and his vas tretinue went to Badrinath. They reached Rishikesh, reached Lakshman Jhoola. Someone there told them that you are going on a difficult pilgrimage, it is fraught with many dangers - even now there are many dangers - there is a great yogi staying in a cave, go and take his blessings.So, they went there and there was a tall yogi with matted hair sitting there. The then king of Patiala went to him and prostrated and said, Maharaj, please bless us so that we can go to Badrinath. The yogi put up his hand and said, tathaastu- so be it. Now, this tathaastu sound was a familiar voice. The king thought, thisis my brother’s voice. He looked at the eyes and saw those were the same eyes that were accustomed to going into the battle with a sword in hand. He said, ‘Brother, because you left, I am running the kingdom, please come back.’ The yogi said to him, ‘when you came in, what did you call me?’ The king said, maharaj. The yogi said,’I am now the maharaj of the whole universe, keep your Patiala with you.’ He had found his happiness inthe knowledge that in his heart is a spark of the divine which by nature is blissful.” “Kabir Das, the famous - I can’t say what because Kabir Das is a famous name by itself –says about this in one of his songs. I always forget the original in Hindi, probably Dr. Ajai Kumar Singh will tell us, please tell us sir.” Dr. Ajai Kumar Singh recites the doha: Kasturi kundal base, mrag dhundhat ban mahi Jyo ghat ghat ram hai, duniya dekhe nahi Sri M continues: “The thing is the Kasturi Deer which seeks fragrance all over the world -you know that in the Himalayan regions, there is the musk deer. This deer has a pouch under its belly that produces a beautiful fragrance in a particular season. The deer - both d-e-e-r and also d-e-a-r , goes looking for the fragrance all over the place, looking for this fragrance in thorny bushes, thinking that it’s coming from somewhere outside not knowing that the source of its fragrance is itself.” “Kabir says that this is the condition of human beings. He says that we do not know that source of happiness we seek outside is in the core of our being, it is our very nature.And - this is not only what Kabir said, I am saying this - great Rishis have all said it, whenever we experience happiness in this world, it is being tapped from the source, it is a little bit of that happiness being experienced. If you love an apple - I don’t love them so much – we enjoy it and we experience happiness, we think that the happiness is coming from that apple. But, the apple cannot enjoy happiness - I can enjoy it. Well, when I engage with the apple, when I bite into it, a little bit of that happiness is tapped and released from that entire source.” “We believe that when the mind becomes calm and quiet, when it can through training and through grace let go and not get caught up, it is possible to go deeper into oneself and experience this spiritual essence, which is also in everyone. It does not entail that you leave this world or go into the forest. Well, Sanyas is a great thing but it is not everyone’s cup of tea. The thing is, to reach That, Sanyasis not required. To give you an example, Sri Ramakrishna Pramahamsa was not formally a Sanyasin. Swami Vivekananda on the other hand was a Sanyasin.” “I must tell you this story. I spent some time in the Ramakrishna Mission on the instructions of my master; I had to continue my training there for some time. In that time, I was told a story by one of the then head of the Ramakrishna Mission in Dhar and he became the Trustee of the Ramakrishna Mission Headquarters. He had one habit that he had not given up and that was he used to smoke, but very discreetly. So, one day, he said that on the road, the Ramakrishna Mission Brahmacharis were all helping with some work. One man came walking through who looked completely mad, he was laughing and talking to himself, shaking his head, and looking crazy. We have a tradition of Avadhutas in this country. He came near the Brahmacharis and asked if they had a cigarette. Theysaid they did not have one, but he should ask Swamiji. He said, which Swamiji? I know of only one Swami and that is Swami Vivekananda!” “It is a difficult order, a difficult thing to attain. I think if one applies one’s mind and finds out that the happiness you seek cannot be found outside until you turn your mind inwards. In the Upanishads, this is called the Nirvritti Marg and the other is called Pravritti Marg. There are ways to combine both and live in this world. I believe that it is my function, it ismy job to inculcate this thought in peoples’ mind so that you can find true happiness.” “What happens if you find true happiness? You can distribute it freely without charging for it because it is eternally renewed. It doesn’t diminish. Other things diminish. This does not. In fact, I would say that this increases when one gives. Giving in this case is receiving.This is the ancient tradition of this country. Let go of all the small, minor silly things that we have caught hold of. When you do that, you will experience peace, you will realise that you are not this body but something else. And, what you are, everyone is. There are no exceptions in this. Therefore, everyone becomes an object of adoration to you. A great saint bows down to everyone. If you read Sri Ramakrishna’s life, you will find out that he used to bow down to everybody before they could do anything. It is said that he visited the Star Theatre, in those days the so-called respectable people never used to go to a theatre, because it was run by courtesans and such people - even though the same people probably used to go and visit them in the night. Sri Ramakrishna took the brave step of going to see Chaitanya Leela in the Star Theatre. Not only that, he touched the head of the famous actress Vinodini and said, - may you be enlightened. She never thought a holy man would even come near her.” “This comes from an inner realisation that the same spark within you is within everyone else. There is nobody outside of this. The worst man has a spark inside him. After all, the great Valmiki was a dacoit before he became a saint and wrote the Ramayana. Now, when we understand this, the mind becomes compassionate. I would not use the word compassionate, it is a little high sounding, but kind- the mind becomes kind. And, this is the root cause of all the activity. When you do this kind of activity, the most important thing is to take care that you ego does not expand and say that ‘I am doing it’ - there you go down. Babaji used to say that it does not matter what the other people think about you. But the moment you believe them,you are sunk.” “We have to be careful in this regard. The main problem that stands between happiness and us is the ego and unpleasant experiences that we had in life. Why can’t we throw this off? Let go and rejoice. Suppose, sometime in my life, you gave me a slap - nobody gave, I am just saying; I don’t mind - how long does the slap last actually? Five minutes? Ten minutes? Two hours? Half-a-day? If it was very hard, then one has to go and see the dentist, one or two days in that case? Finished and then, it is gone. The act of the slap, it is gone.” “But, has it actually gone? It will sit for twenty years inside, like a festering wound. Believe me the slap is gone. It is only the tape that is playing. It is just the tape. The slap is gone. Sometimes, the person must have died but the tape is going on and on. Is it possible to forget it? When you go to sleep, that is a mini-death. I always tell people that sleeping is the rehearsal of the final death. When one sleeps, is it possible to throw all the hurts and wounds of the past and wake up fresh? If you don’t, you will always look at people with the image which you have got through the bad experiences in the past.” “I used to meditate and everything used to be fine. But, there was one person who gave me a lot of trouble when I was young. Babaji used to say have no hatred for anyone but this man’s figure used to appear.There used to be seething anger. I told Babaji, this is not going to work. He said it is okay. He said, ‘now when you sit down to meditate,even if you are not thinking of this person, deliberately think of that person’. He said, make an image of that person and say to the image that you are God in human form who has come to teach me some lessons, I bow down before you. Believe me, on the first day, I could not do it. Second day, I could manage. Third day, it became not so difficult. Within one week, there was no image and I was happily meditating. This is a fact from my life.” “When this happens, then the state you are in is the source of all your actions. You can’t do anything that is not good, it is not possible.But, when you do that, slowly the ego begins to diminish. This ego is the biggest problem. So, you have to handle that. Now, I want to share another story about the ego which was told to me by a monk of an order called the Lingayats. In Karnataka, they have many Maths and they are called the Lingayat Maths. So, a Swamiji who was the head of a Math told me this story when we had gone there. We had a small Satsang for our padayatris and he said, I also want to join. At the end, I asked him if he wanted to say anything and he said I want to tell you a small story if you permit me. This is the story he told us. It is a very interesting story because it is so much to the point.” “He said that there was a once a great sculptor who made beautiful sculptures. One day, he had gone to the temple to make an image. The priest was supposed to be a great astrologer. He said - the sculptures are all right but within three weeks you are going to die, what are you going to do about that? The sculptor replied - that is very funny, you are a great astrologer and you said that I am going to die;can you please do something to help me? The priest then said - go back to your workshop and make many statues of yourself, it will be difficult to find out which is the original and which is the duplicate. Especially those yama-dhootas that come on buffaloes are a little weak in the head so they will not be able to find out which is real. So, go back and make many statues of yourself. This guy went back and did exactly as he was told. The yama-dhootas came, looked around and went back. They went to Yama and told him that they could not find out which of the statues was real so they had to come back. Yama said that nothing could be done now as the sculptor’s time had passed. He said, anyway, do not worry, after three months this guy’s death time is coming back, you can go again.” “The priest told the sculptor that three months from now your death approaches again. The sculptor decided to apply the same strategy again. Yama was very wise. He told his yama-dhoota. I know that making out the real from the apparent is very difficult, do this when you go there - just praise the statues - ‘Oh! How wonderful this statue is’, ‘how lifelike these eyes are’, ‘how real this nose looks’,so on and so forth. The yama-dhoota came and did as they were told. For two minutes the guy could not control himself and stepped out and said ‘I made them all’. The yama-dhoota said your time is up, come." “So,if we can take care of that, we will understand that true happiness lies within. We cannot touch that unless the mind becomes calm and is able to go within and touch that which is in essence the Supreme Being.That which the Upanishads describe as Sat-Chit-Ananda, That which always is, That which is of the nature of consciousness and the quality of which is bliss. Whenever we find happiness, it is a small expression of That.” “Whenever you are in an important position or you become famous, and people respect you, don’t think that they are doing it because of your form or because of your position; it is because of your spark - who is going to respect your dead body? They may cry and put garlands on it but they will want to get rid of it. This is the Truth. However much we like it or we don’t like it, it is the Truth. Based on this, I thought that we will go from village to village – not the big cities – of course, if they are on our way, we visit the cities too. Believe me that 70% of the population of India still lives in the villages. This movement of Oneness — Manav Ekta—has to start from there because every human being has a spark of the Divine and therefore every human being is a walking, moving temple of God.” “To convince people - this is an ancient thought, this is nothing new, to give you old wine in new bottles - we decided to go from door to door. Babaji said to me once that if people don’t come to you, go to their door; even if they slam the door, it is okay, who are you, anyway? So, we are going from door to door, place to place, mainly to remind people that you may belong to any religion, you may belong to any ideology, you may belong to any belief - it is your personal belief, you may even say that you don’t believe in God - that is fine,it is your choice, but please remember, please do not forget that you are human beings. You may have different colors, different shapes,different forms, you may be Amar, Akbar or Anthony, it does not matter- you are all human beings. To remind people, to not let people forget this fact. To tell them that do not let anyone mislead you. You may practice what you want but do not practice discrimination against another human being.” “Love them because if you love them they will love you back. It may take some time, different people have different time scales for it but it happens. Just to spread this message, I am walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. I am not affiliated to anything but whosoever thinks in the same way is affiliated to me, no matter where he comes from or what race he is from, to me he is a good human being. It is with this intention we are doing this.” “We have already done 3400 kilometers up till here. We have another 5000 kilometers to go till Srinagar. With my personal hope in my capacity to do it, I am doing this Walk of Hope. Maybe it is yoga because of which I am able to do this, it is also the blessings of my guru, Babaji.” “Let me also add that I see this nation entering a new era in its growth. It is at this point that we should stay united. If we stay united, then this moment will blossom and very soon - in a few years -we will have a nation that everyone respects and admires. And, once more we will have a nation to which people from all over the world come to attain knowledge that we have and that which we can give. As Swami Vivekananda said, the net worth of this nation is spiritual knowledge. There used to be a time when people from all over the world used to come and study at places such as Takshashila, Nalanda and many, many other forest universities of the Rishis. Today, when we seek knowledge, we go to Harvard, we go to Cambridge - I am not saying that you should not. In fact, much good has been done by people going out and understanding things.” “I am dreaming of a time when we will, once more, have Takshashilas and Nalandas and people will come tomorrow for that which is the true treasure that we have – where human beings live together, respecting their own faith and religion which is personal but not forgetting that we are human beings and citizens of this country. Being citizens of this country, this Bharat-Varsh, which appreciates love and affection and oneness of humanity, we can also loudly proclaim the message. First, we have to do it at home.” “Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu - may the whole world be at peace.” “Thank you very much.” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.”


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  1. Fantastic outreach program in Baroda , ensuring wider participation across communities. Also visually colorful.
    To Gujarat organizers hats off ..

  2. Well Dressed Beggar says:

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

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