Day 242 | 10 September 2015 | Khanij to Wadhvale | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Devi devotees on their way to Khanij from Vastral
  • WOH Day 242 - onward to Khanij
  • This makeshift kitchen is buzzing with activity - Parishat Farm
  • On the bridge over the Galteshwar river - Dakor
  • Greetings from the District Collector of Kheda - Gujarat
  • 6.Children-of-all-ages,-the-ask-is-to-provide-food,-education-and-opportunities-to-all--of-them!,-Khanij,-Gujarat)
  • Sri M with the students of the Blind school at Wadhvale
  • Cultural program prior to the satsang at the Nirma Institute of Management
  • Satsang at the impressive auditorium of the Nirma Institute of Management
  • Sri M, delighted to be interacting with the young thinkers at the Nirma Institute of Management
The walk continued on the highway in the humidity, dust and grime. It was a challenge covering the distance of 18 Kms due to the heat– from the sun and the passing automobiles. They did come across some greenery today but that was too brief a respite. It really is pleasant when there are trees and open green lands but those are still a few days away. The walkers have come across many small rivulets and tributaries of the greater rivers that are somewhat dry. Most of them only have a trickle of water. The land right next to the river is pock-marked with animal footprints. The sparse body of water is a drinking spot for cattle and wild animals. Unfortunately, sometimes there is water flowing with a lot of trash in it. As the setting changes and they move through small towns and villages, they begin to see slices of rural life once again.

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They passed the small town of Dakor before reaching Wadhvale. Along the way, the District Collector of Kheda welcomed Sri M and the padayatra. At Wadhvale, they stopped briefly at a school for the visually challenged. Here, Sri M interacted with the children. The school authorities had also organised refreshments for the walkers. The walk finished soon after this and they reached their resting place. They continue staying at Rani Shakti Bhavan in Ahmedabad because there is very little habitation in the areas they walked through today. This is the last day of stay here. In the evening, they went to the Nirma University for the evening Satsang. Nirma University is the oldest private university in the state of Gujarat and offers a wide range of programmes through its constituent institutes. The university is outside Ahmadabad city and has a beautiful campus. The university was ranked 19th in the India Today 2015 Ranking of Engineering Colleges. There were three beautiful dance and music performances by the students and that initiated the program. The Satsang that followed these performances was attended by about 800 students of the University. The topic for the Satsang was ‘Leadership’ and Sri M’s talk created a major impact on the students. A teacher, in the closing address, said that never had the hall full of students been so quiet and focused. After this address, dinner was served in the university grounds. The address at Nirma University by Sri M went thus: “Om SahaNau-Avatu | Saha NaunBhunaktu | Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai | Tejasvi Nau-Adhiitam-Astu Maa Vidvissaavahai | Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih || Om, May God Protect us Both (the Teacher and the Student), May God Nourish us Both, May we Work Together with Energy and Vigour, May our Study be Enlightening and not give rise to Hostility, Om, Peace, Peace, Peace. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu - May the entire universe be happy Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti” “My Namaskars to all of you, and Salaam. I would like to thank Karsanbhai Patel especially for having invited us to your institute and I see that you are walking with us in the hot sun for the last three days. Distinguished guests seated here, students and staff, my dear padayatris, ladies and gentlemen, I will speak in English today. We are in a management institute. I do not know Gujarati so well, I know Khem Cho and Maja ma. Since we have come to Gujarat, Maja ma is going on.” “So, I started with a shloka from an ancient Sanskrit text. I am sure you have heard it many times. I wonder if you have reflected on it. I am sure many of you know Sanskrit. Unfortunately things are not quite right. A man came to me in Andhra Pradesh and said to me, I need to find a job. I asked him why. He said that he was a Sanskrit pandit and could not find a job. That is the state of Sanskrit today. Of course, we found him a job, he is teaching Sanskrit at our school now. I don’t expect people to understand the chant. It is good to start now. My advice is learn conversational Sanskrit, do not go into grammar. Swami Vivekananda tried learning Sanskrit grammar for 25 years. And, at the end of 25 years, he said, I think for this life, this is enough.” “So, the shloka means. I will chant again. Om Saha Nau-Avatu, Saha Nau Bhunaktu, Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai, Please note -Saha appears everywhere. Tejasvi Nau-Adhiitam-Astu Maa Vidvissaavahai, Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Since we are in a management institute, I am sure you will be leaders of society. To be a leader first, one has to be a follower. I went to the office of my good friend, Dr. Ajai Kumar Singh, ex-DGP, Karnataka when he was the Director General of Police - Recruitment and Training and saw a board there. I was quite amused. It said, ‘lead, follow or get lost’.” “To be a leader, you first have to follow. To be a teacher,you first have to learn. If you cannot be a student, how can you learn? If I may add, a good teacher is a student for his whole life. Unfortunately in the spiritual field, nowadays, there are more Gurus than disciples. Once, someone went to a Guru and said - I want to be your disciple, what do I have to do? The Guru said: you have to get up in the morning at 4.30, clean the Kutir, bring water, cut wood - you know - so on and so forth. The student said, this is a tall order, how do I become a Guru – you just sit and bless everybody. This is the problem.” “So, Saha is such an important word in this. Sahana Bhavatu means may both you and I be protected. Protected from what? Protected from physical harm, protected from distractions so that I can fix my mind and study, protected from thinking that I know everything. All these protections are required - not only for me but also for you. You see how much importance is given to the student as well as the teacher. If you really want to teach, then you should live your life transparently, you should not say one thing and do another.The students - the young people - are very sharp. They smell and pick up hypocrisy like nobody else. When that happens, they quickly find out and there will be no respect for anything one says. So, learning - this is a joint venture between a student and teacher. Of course, there is respect towards the teacher because he knows a little bit more than you. There is no question about that.” “The second sentence, Saha Nau Bhunaktu, May both of us be nourished. Nourished physically, nourished mentally, nourished spiritually. Physical nourishment, we know. Physically, we all are nourished easily. In Gujarat, you don’t have to ask. We also have to be mentally nourished which prepares us for a spiritual journey; not only for me but also for you.” “Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai - May the virya - vitality in both of us increase. That’s why, even to understand spiritual matters, it is good to go when your vitality is intact and not when everything is over. In the Upanishads, you will see it is mentioned that the student goes to the Rishi with fuel in hand – fuel in hand is symbolically said. Carrying fuel in your hand – a lit stick. Actually, it means that you are going to the teacher when you have full fuel in yourself; vitality is still there and there is nothing left to burn.” “Tejasvi Nau-Adhiitam-Astu - May the tejas in both of us increase. Tejas means when one touches the core of spiritual matters, there is a certain tejas generated, a certain glow that comes. It happens even otherwise - havn’t you seen sometimes - suddenly the clouds move and you see the morning sun in all its glory. You look at it and you can’t look at the sun, but you can see it & it’s so beautiful.. just then, turn & look at the other person’s face, you will see a glow. That’s tejas. Tejasvi Nau-Adhiitam-Astu, may the tejas increase.” “And the last one is - Maa Vid Vissaavahai – Let us not fight with each other; let’s not quarrel with each other. A dialogue is different from an argument. An argument takes place when I am sure that I am right and the other person is sure when he or she is right; and there is a clash. That is called an argument. A dialogue, on the other hand, is when both sit together and try to sort the problem; and find out what is right; what is true. This is called a dialogue. And dialogue is what is called Samvada. It cannot be a monologue; it has to be dialogue too. So, Maa Vid Vissaavahai – let us settle our differences; sit down and then discuss them. A great man I knew used to say that even the spiritual teaching should be like two good friends sitting together in a park, on a bench together, and the sun is setting; let us look at this problem together. So, if this is understood, then the enquiry into the truth - now there might be an absolute truth - but believe me, there may be many relative truths that you may come across in this journey in life. You can’t solve all of them together. You solve them one by one.” “Now, in the context of the Walk which we are doing, the details have already been talked about and you saw the film, So, I don’t have to go into that. I have just this to say that it comes out of a deep urge which is part of my spiritual experience personally - that all souls, all human beings are essentially divine. And the whole of spiritual life is to manifest this divinity either through work,or through worship or devotion or through service to mankind which, of course, is the best. These are not my words. These are the words of Swami Vivekananda – who, when somebody asked him what is the essence of pure Vedanta, said – ‘Every soul is potentially divine, to manifest this divinity either through work or through worship or through devotion or through knowledge; specially work that helps others is the essence of Vedanta.’ Now, here you see the example of a leader and leadership. I will give you another example. Sorry, I was talking about the walk - Swami Vivekananda is my favourite subject - so I go off. This walk which started at Kanyakumari is basically to remind people - to not let them forget that essentially we are human beings. We all have the same emotions– the name may be Amar, Akbar or Anthony - that does not matter. We are still human beings and we should understand this fact and discuss this with people. We not only go to cities. We go to small villages where people come together, gather around us, sit with us, have a cup of tea and talk, this is how it is. So, when we started on this journey, believe me many people thought I was crazy. Why I am saying this is because to move to anything that is important to which you are dedicated is not to listen to public opinion but to move forward. In fact, many people said, this is a crazy idea; you can’t walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir; that too at 66. It’s impossible. Look, it’s possible. Ok we will try, if it’s not possible, we will go back. I have no ego problems there. But believe me, we have done 3600 Km now. All the way from Kanyakumari from Tamil Nadu to Kerala to Karnataka to Maharashtra and now we are in Gujarat. When we reach Godhra, we have only done half the walk. Now, we go into MP and so on and, by April 2016, we hope to reach Srinagar, if everthing goes well. I know it’s a marathon walk. But am not proud about myself but am proud of the people who are walking with me - the padayattris who trust me, who have faith in me. Nothing else. Many of them have left their jobs, and homes. I have to tell them sometimes, ‘Please go back and spend some time at home and come back again.’ This is an energy that is built up. When you are doing something that you love to do, when you are dedicatedly doing it, this energy comes. You must sacrifice some things.” “I must tell you this. When I told Anna Hazare that I’m doing this and people think I’m mad, he said, "Pagal hi kuch kar sakta hai". Somebody has to be a little bit mad to do it. You know why? Because when you start doing something new - I’m telling you this also for your leadership and management and so on - when you start doing something which has not been attempted before, people look and always say, ‘It’s not possible, this is not possible. Don’t believe them! Try it out. Have faith. Faith is not blind belief. Faith means you have a hypothesis and you say ‘I have a hypothesis and I’m going to do 1, 2 and 3 to prove it. If I prove it, I will accept it. If not, I won’t.’ You have the Pythagoras theorem. That is a hypothesis. You can’t start research or you can’t construct a geometrical shape without a hypothesis. So, consider faith as a hypothesis. So, for hundreds and thousands of years, all these people may not be all telling lies or be wrong. There must be something. Now, there is another proof that all minds are linked and is one. If one person in the room coughs, then all of them in the room start coughing. There is no physical connection. Again if one starts yawning… please don’t!” (Audience break into laughter) “But another proof that we are One! Mind unconsciously imitates the action of another. Therefore, it’s our aim to get people to imitate good things. Let all the minds reflect the same thought. It means we should live together in this country. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Don’t let anybody persuade you to say ‘I’m different’. This is a responsibility for the young. Wherever we go, wherever we see people, we go to schools and so on. I want to plant the seeds of human unity in young hearts because you are the hope, future hope of this country. If we plant the seeds, I’m sure - as you grow up and take on various responsibilities in this great country - you will keep this country knit together instead of breaking it into fractions. Then it brings peace, goodwill and unity among human beings. If you can do it here, you can also do it outside. Experiments should always start at home. That’s what I feel. First, with myself. I should know what peace and happiness is. Then, I can teach other people and make them happy. First, I must look after my home. Then I can look after my neighbour, then I look after my country.” “There is an ancient Yogic dictum Loka samasta sukhino bhavantu. May the whole world live in happiness. This is nothing new. It’s very old. No religion which has spiritual roots has said anything to the contrary. So we should remember this is what the aim of this life is and this is what is the aim of The Walk of Hope - to get humanity together, to make them live together. We are hoping that when we reach Kashmir, we have planted enough seeds - especially in the young – and, at some point, they will sprout and become large trees under the shade of which thousands of people can sit. And they will bear fruits and flowers will blossom on these trees. When the wind blows, lovely fragrance of Oneness, Peace and Sadbhavana- which is the ancient heritage of this country - will spread to everybody and even around the world. This is the aim of this walk.” “This is not anything new. It’s actually like Jesus Christ said ‘Old wine in new bottles’. This is a new way of putting what is already known. If we go back to the Gita, there is one chapter where Arjuna is given more importance than Krishna when it starts.; most of the chapters start with Sri Bhagavan uvacha - the Lord says. But the 12th chapter says Arjuna uvacha. Arjuna said. This is specifically meant for the student. There, the role of Krishna is a teacher and Arjuna is a student. In that, among other things, Arjuna asks Krishna ‘Can you define to me, who do you think is a leader? Who do you think is the greatest of yogis? Who do you think is a bhakta who is closest to you?’ Beautifully, Krishna says, it doesn’t matter how he worships or how much he worships the Lord. I wouldn’t mind even if you don’t worship - this is my opinion, not from the Gita! But qualities are important. 1, 2, 3 gunas - the qualities a person should possess to qualify as a great yogi or a great devotee closest to Krishna. What are those?” “First, Samniyam-yendriya-graamam - someone who is able to keep his own senses under control. Unfortunately, in today’s world, people think it’s a virtue to let go off your senses. There is no harm in using your senses. But it has to be under your control. Don’t let your senses run away with your mind. Rather, let the mind dictate what the senses have to do. It’s a safe thing. You will not miss anything in life. I assure you. Samniyam-yendriya-graamam, indriya, anger and all the accompanying disasters that come after it have its roots in this sense organs. So have a balance. That’s what it means.” “The second qualification is Sarvartra Sama Buddhaya. Gita itself says tuliya ninda stutir mauni, Sitoshna Sukha Dukheshu- “which means learn the art, learn the capacity, develop the capacity of being able to remain calm, balanced and quiet in the midst of all circumstances no matter what happens. They are sterling qualities if you really want to become leaders and really want to move forward in life. Do not depend on what the public says. Have your conviction and move forward.” “Tuliya ninda stutir mouni means that a great mouni or a yogi considers praise and blame as equal. In fact,he gives more importance to blame than to praise. Because you can praise people and keep praising me and normally I will think that I’m a great man and so on. It may or may not be true. Most of life goes on through flattery. One step ahead of praise is flattery. In fact, it is better that somebody criticises you so that you know your weaknesses. You know your faults, somebody is pointing it out. My guru Maheshwarnath Babaji told me that if somebody calls me a moorkh, a fool, what would have happened suppose you don’t know Hindi. Suppose I say fool to somebody doesn’t know English, what would have happened? Nothing. It’s because I know English that I understand I’m foolish. Babaji used to say if somebody calls you a fool, go and look into the mirror. You might actually be a fool, how do you know? There’s nothing to be offended about. Also, it makes you more constructive and makes you look at what you’re doing. Little bit praise is good because it keeps you encouraged and moving and so on. If it gets very sweet - you know Lata Mangeshkar’s song Meeti Meeti Baton Se Bachana Zara. So, if one is praised or one is insulted or one is blamed, you don’t change from your decision, stay there and move forward.” “The third quality according to the Gita is Sarva Bhuta Hite Rataha - one who has the welfare of all living beings in his heart, who refuses to cause harm to anybody, who has concern for all living beings. Sarva Bhuta, all living beings. Hite Rataha - one who has the Hita of all living beings, goodness of all living beings. Such a person according to Krishna is a great yogi and a great devotee. Now this is also applicable to us, many ways because most of us get lost in this. The thing is first spend some time trying to figure out what is your call, give it time, don’t be in a hurry, don’t jump into it. Once you have done that, fix your attention on it no matter what somebody says, march forward.” “The Upanishad has a beautiful Shloka, Uthishta Jagrata Varan Nibhodhata - which means wake up, stand up, move forward and stop not till your goal is reached. It was Swami Vivekananda’s favourite statement. Since we are talking about Swami Vivekananda, may I also say, that he had another favourite quote from the Upanishad, which was Atmano Mokshartha, jagat hitaya cha means look for the freedom of the soul, but also keep the welfare of the world in your hearts. These have to go together. And true spiritual leaders, I’m not talking about myself, are those who care more for others than for themselves. I think that’s how all leaders should be but I don’t want to comment on anything else.” “Think of others more than you think of yourself. If you think of others more than yourself, believe me, everything falls into place, even for you. I want to tell you a story of Guru Nanak, his life. Beyond Jalandhar, if you go further up, there is a place where he used to live before he became well known. He travelled all over the world in those days, can you imagine. That’s another thing we are also doing that in some way, we are not going all over the world but only in India. This man walked all over the world. There’s a story of how he went to Mecca and Medina and places like Turkey. So while living there, he was then serving the Nawab of the place, he was a store keeper and his job was to measure grains and give it to the people. So he used to measure it, note it. He started doing that and till he reached number 12, he was fine.” “In Hindi and in Punjabi, it is Barah. Barah Tak Theek The, Terah was next, somebody went and reported to the Nawab that your store keeper has gone completely crazy because he is continuing to give, he is not stopping. And he keeps saying Tera Tera and he’s stuck with Tera he is not going to Chowdhah. Because when he heard the word Terah, it suddenly struck him that everything is yours, not mine. Tera, you understand, that Tera is the concept which we have to follow. I think we have to change the concept of management from the roots, change the idea of leadership from its roots. It should be for others rather than yourself. That sacrifice is required. We have so many examples of people who you see are in such adverse circumstances that you’ll never believe that they would have come to the positions they are in now or they have achieved at one time . I will give you an example.” “My good friend has passed away now, unfortunately. But his wish when we went to see him in Delhi was that I want to come back to your school and spend some time. Dr. Abdul Kalam. Look at his life. The man read his books under the light of the street lamp in Rameswaram. He didn’t go even to some elite school, he was in the village school. What happened afterwards? In fact, he headed the DRDO for many years. He was a man who invented the missiles, not invented but made India capable of producing them. I am not saying about war and peace right now. Apparently, it’s necessary to defend your country, right? “ “Then, we have the example of Swami Vivekananda.And before him, his Guru, the great Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It’s a unique life. I think you should read it. Don’t consider it even as religious reading or scripture. Just read it as if you’re exploring the life of a great being and how he was. There are a few examples. First, Ramakrishna Pramahamsa - because you cannot talk of Vivekananda without talking about Ramakrishna. In England, Swami Vivekananda was asked to say something about his Guru. For a long time he was silent, he was thinking what to say about his Guru who was an unlettered priest of the Kali temple. Then he said, a speck of dust from those blessed feet could have created a thousand Vivekanandas. That’s exactly what he said. And, here was this poor village priest who was doing puja in the Kali temple and talking in simple language to whoever came. In fact, there’s another interesting thing to this”. “When he was sent to school in his village in Kamarpukor, after a few months or so, he decided that he will not attend school. He said, this school where you’re taught only how to make money is not mine and left the school. And then, life was a school for him. He opened his eyes and looked at the world. In fact, his first spiritual experience had nothing to do with any spiritual Sadhana or anything of that kind. At the age of 8, he was walking on the paddy field on a bund, eating something from a small bag which he had hung around his neck, walking carefee, and he suddenly looked up and there he saw the black clouds and white cranes flying. The contrast affected his sensitive mind so much that he simply shouted ‘ah!’ and fell down. He was in an ecstatic spiritual state for over an hour or so. When he woke up, he said I don’t know what happened to me but it was so great and beautiful. Now this man who later on became the guru of Swami Vivekananda, who became world famous, there are some very interesting facts about him. One is that when he started on his spiritual journey, people also dismissed him as a mad man. But his wife was living, Sharada Devi was living in a small village in Jayaram Batti.” “People used to go and tell her regularly why have you married this crazy guy? He’s mad. Day and night, he’s awake saying let me have a Darshan of the mother and he’s sweeping the steps of the temple with his head. Why did you marry such a man? What I’m trying to say is that if you want to do something new, generally people will not understand, they will dismiss you. And then the simplicity of it is that he had no ego of any kind. In fact, one of the incidents was that he, in his younger days, had worshiped a small girl as the Devi to bring about the understanding that God pervades everything. So, his nephew Hriday, who was living with him, decided to imitate him. Those days, the caste systems were very strong. And the place where Sri Ramakrishna lived, the temple was owned by a fisherwoman who was also a queen called Rani Rasmani. She was the head of the fishing community.” “In fact, she could not get anyone to come and do puja in the temple. He agreed to go, he was a Brahmin, a Chatterji, a Chatopadhyaya. So, Ramakrishna’s nephew decided that he would also worship a young girl as the Devi. So Mathur Babu, who was the son in law of the Rani, he had a small daughter. So, one day, when she came running out into the compound, Hriday went and performed a puja - some worship, some Sindoor and some arati. Mathur Babu got very worried, because those days the caste system was so strong. His thoughts were - I’m not a Brahmin, I am from the fisherman community and my daughter is being worshipped by an orthodox Brahmin, what will happen to us? Disaster is going to strike us and such things. So, he got very angry and said all you fellows get out of here. Ramakrishna was sitting in his room and Hriday came and said - Mathur Babu has asked all of you to get out of here.” “So, he picked up his bags and he was going. So Ramakrishna said -Oh, did he say that, then I am also coming with you. So, he also rolled up his little mat and - he had one belonging with him that was dear to him, a small bag in which he carried clove and spices - he took that and he said I am coming. Mathur was standing on the terrace of his palace. He was looking down and he was happy when he saw Hriday and other people going. He suddenly saw sri Ramakrishna also going. Mathur was the only man who called him Baba, he came running down and said – Baba, why are you going? I didn’t ask you to leave. So, he said - no but Hriday said you told us to leave. Yes, but I didn’t mean you. You didn’t? Okay, he said and went back.” “What would we do normally? No! we are not going back. You asked. What does it mean? He was not concerned with that false sense of ego without which I think one can move forward and expand in this life. Usually, it is the ego that helps us. But it should be a good ego. You can’t live without an ego. You need an ego even to do anything - meaning your sense of being yourself. But let it not be scattered and let it not be wounded by what others say and others do. If you stay that way, tremendous energy is gained. Mind is not distracted, so energy is not lost. People can say many things, so what? For that you can actually take a lesson from the politicians. You can say whatever you want and they will continue doing. I’m not saying we should be like that. So, you see how Sri Ramakrishna was such a great man that educated people used to sit before him and he always taught in simple village stories - great truths that cannot be understood so easily. Because he first taught his disciples to understand that one cannot start learning anything until you say ‘I don’t know.’ It’s a rarity to hear someone say – ‘I don’t know’; it is very rare. If you know, then you cannot learn.” “You know what I mean? I want to tell you a small Zen story. There was a great professor, who was an expert in all religions and philosophies. He went to a Zen master - you know what a Zen Master is, I’m sure you know that it’s the Japanese system of Buddhism - at least that much you know. But does anybody know where it originated? Zen? I’m sure some of you must be knowing. You know there was a south Indian Buddhist monk from Tamil Nadu called Bodhi Dharma. Bodhi Dharma perfected a certain kind of Buddhist teaching which laid great stress on meditation. So he called it Dhyana Buddhism and he travelled to China. In the Chinese language, you actually cannot say the word dhyan. You can only say chan. Now this Chan Buddhism took root in China. And then, when it went to Japan, they have a guttural language and Chan became Zen. This is the root of Zen.” “Unfortunately, if you say I am teaching Zen, you will get more people coming because it is imported. If you say I’m doing Dhyana, its an old word and doesn’t appeal so much. In Malayalam, the place where I come from, we have a saying which means the jasmine that grows in your own garden doesn’t smell as good as the neighbour’s. So, this man went to a Zen teacher and said - Sir please teach me Zen. Teach me how to attain satori. Now satori is the Zen word used for Samadhi. So the master says sit down, have some tea. The man said I’m asking him a sublime question full of wisdom and he’s talking about mundane things. He decided to listen to him because Zen masters are famous for suddenly going mad.He thought if I say No, he might beat me up or something - like the avadhootas. So, he sat down. The master prepared the tea and brought it. You know the Japanese do everything in a ceremony. A nice little table with a table cloth on it, put a cup on it, and then he took tea and poured. So, the man was watching. After some time, the cup became full but the Zen master continued to pour tea. So what happens when you pour tea in a cup, it starts overflowing. So it flowed down the table cloth and it was going down. And, after a while, the professor shouted - Sir the cup is overflowing. The Zen master turned to him and said - your cup is overflowing, how can I give you Zen? Understood? So, to learn is to set aside all the concepts that you had till now and then start learning. It’s very important” . “Now,since we’re on the subject, I must give you another example quite familiar to you in Gujarat. We were talking about the Zen master making tea for the professor. There was someone who was making tea and he’s now the Prime Minister. Which elite school did he go, tell me? Where did he go? Forget other things, let’s just look at this fact that the man with humble beginnings reached the greatest position in the country. We have the freedom to do that. That’s exactly what I am trying to say. Get what I’m trying to say? Go forward. So, before I end this talk, I want to tell you another little story which illustrated how sometimes ego can be a deterrent rather than an expansive factor. This is a very nice story. All the padayatris have heard it many times. I am sure they’ll enjoy it again. I think it’s in the telling that’s more important that the actual story.” “This, I heard from a Hindu Monk who belongs to a order called Lingayat. There are many in Karnataka. So, I went to one of their Mutts. We were staying there for two nights. We found it so good that we stayed for an extra night there and he was very happy about it.He is much older than me and, he wears a turban and so on and so forth. Looking at him, you wouldn’t say he’s a man who has gone to Vienna and done his post graduation and PhD in religious studies and so on and so forth. So, when we had a Satsang, he decided to come for the Satsang. When I say we, I mean the Padayatris and I. I was a little worried. We were having a private Satsang. Sometimes, we talk about various things including how to keep toilets clean. We have a mobile toilet with us. So, I was worried what will this Swamiji think. Anyways, he came and sat down there. So, we had a Satsang and at the end of it, I asked him Swamiji do you want to say a few words and he said, If you let me, I will say a few words. I said okay. It’s a beautiful story I keep thinking about it. So, there was a great sculptor. He had mastered the art of sculpture. And, one day, he was invited to a temple to make an image of a deity. But the priest of the temple was a great astrologer who could predict what was going to happen.” “I personally wonder if anybody can see. But anyway!The priest said, you are going to die in 3 months. So this man said - you have to find a remedy for it. Very easy to say you’re going to die but is there a remedy, how to get out of it. So he said - ah, there is a remedy. What is that? You’re such a good sculptor, so go back to your workshop right now and start making 5 or 6 duplicate sculptures of yourself, same size, same everything. The priest said - you know what will happen, the day you’re about to die, Yama will send his emissaries, his yama-dhootas. They will come on a buffalo. They are a little weak in the head. So, when they come, they will not be able to make out if you stand in the midst of the statues, which is duplicate and which is real. Very simple. So, he got 5-6 of his own images ready and, stood in the middle.” “The yama-dhoots came, looked around and they couldn’t find out which is the original and which is the duplicate. So they went back. You know once the time is past, they can’t do anything so they went back. So they went and reported to Yama - Yamadev not M. Somebody might think they reported to M! So Yama Dev said - in another 3 months, this fellow’s time will to die will come again, this time you have to succeed, you can’t leave him. So they asked - how can we do it. Yama said - he will adopt the same technique. He will stand in the middle so you can’t find him. All you have to do is go there and say what a wonderful sculpture; you cannot make out if its real or if its duplicate. Look at the nose, it’s so beautifully done; look at the hair, it looks so real and so on. Just keep praising, don’t do anything else. So the yam-dhoots went and did the same thing. For two or three minutes, the sculptor kept quiet. When they said even the hair looks so real, he said, oh I made it. So the yam-dhoots said, now come, let’s go.” “I am never tired of repeating this story because you can make something beautiful and finally lose it because you become so egoistic about it. Ah, I did it. When I say ‘I did it’, if anybody else does the same thing better, you get angry. So think of all these matters which we have discussed. When you go back, please do have an ego but let it be more to do good than only to look after yourself. Since we’re going on this walk and all of you cannot walk with us, I would plead with you to support this walk - with your minds, with your hearts. I know that mind power can be very powerful. Give your thoughts to this and say we are also with you. We want human beings to live together, and Manav Ekta Mission to make the world in which you’re going live in the future, a more liveable place with more trees, and more greenery, and that we stay together and not fall into pieces” “So, I want you to say with me that you’re with us in this Manav Ekta Mission. Just say with me - We Are With You to Unite Human Beings and Make this Country Strong and Peaceful.” “Thank you very much.” “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.”

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