Day 247 | 15 September 2015 | Tuwa to Godhra | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • WOH Day 247 - Enroute to Godhra from Tuwa to Godhra
  • 2.Life-away-from-the-expressways,-a-different-proposition!!,-Tuwa,-Panchmahal,-Gujarat
  • Sri M at the interactive session with children of the Calorx Public School - Godhra
  • A liberal dose of color envelops the padayatri whites - as schools join in
  • Enthusiastic young supporters who even refused to return to their assigned spot and chose to stay with Sri M - Godhra
  • A happy family poses with Sri M enroute - Godhra
  • 7.Symbolic!!,-a-lorry-named-after-Sri-Sainath-who-epitomises-relegious-harmony,-Ahmedabad-Highway,-Godhra,-Gujarat
  • 8.A-world-of-metal,-welding-rods,-goggles-and-skill,-Godhra,-Gujarat
  • Sri M warmly received at the Masjid on the Ahmedabad Highway - Godhra
  • Sri M speaking to the TV channels during the Walk - Godhra
  • 11.Modern-friendship-at-its-best!!,-shoulder-to-shoulder-&-mobiles-in-hand!,-Ahmedabad-Highway,-Godhra,-Gujarat
  • Yet another warm reception and satsang at St Mary's School Godhra
  • Inside the St Mary's Church Godhra
  • Hearty welcome at Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha - Godhra
  • Sri M in meditation inside the Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha - Godhra
  • Sri M inside the Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha - Godhra
  • You can't find a merrier maize-seller - Godhra
  • Sri M during his address at the Methodist Church Godhra
  • Sri M watering a newly planted sapling at the Gandhi Ashram -Godhra
  • 20.Sir-during-Satsang-at-the-Gandhi--Ashram,-Godhra,-sharing-the-dais-with-the-Collector-of-Panchmahal,-Ms-P-Bharti
Walk of Hope covered 19 kilometres today—the padayatra reached Godhra city leaving behind Tuwa. Godhra came to be known internationally as the germinating point of the 2002 Gujarat riots.

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The padayatra entered Godhra to an early welcome at a local school - the Calorx Public School and an informal Q & A session between the students and Sri M. This was followed by breakfast. Students from the school, numbering about 200, joined the walk for a short distance, dressed in bright school colours of red, yellow, blue and green. The procession in front was led by small troupe of dancers who performed a captivating tribal dance. The day was a busy one with many organized welcome events. Interaction with the children of Calorx Public School: “Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih Om, May All become Happy, May All be Free from Illness. May All See what is Auspicious, May no one Suffer. Om Peace, Peace, Peace. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu - May the entire universe be happy” “Do I speak English or Hindi? Shall I speak in Hindi?” "Please don’t take this as a classroom session. This is a little informal - like I am visiting you in your house, sitting with you and eating peanuts, it’s the same way. Do not hesitate to ask any questions. Please feel free to ask." “Our journey started from Kanyakumari on 12th of January and we are walking. Otherwise, why will we call it a padayatra? Walking through four states, we have come to Gujarat and have now entered Godhra. And, I would like to share the good news with you that we have crossed the half-way point of our Walk on reaching Godhra. This is our turning point. We have now touched almost 3700 Km. You must be wondering if anybody walks a distance of 3700 Km. Nobody walks! Then why? I will tell you later. After this stretch, we have another 4000 Km to cover. From here, we will go to Madhya Pradesh. MP to UP - Uttar Pradesh, from there we will go to Delhi after we cover Mathura. From Delhi, we will go to Haryana, Punjab, through Himachal Pradesh and then on to Jammu and reach Srinagar in April 2016. Eight months from now. I don’t know how these feet will be after 8 months! But I will walk. This walk is for Manav Ekta, for Oneness of humanity. While I am walking, I would like to help people understand that we may belong to different religions, our names may be different, men or women, we are human beings first. We should not forget this.” “I am aware that all of you know this very well. But we forget it sometimes. People know that all humanity is One, mankind is One. But sometimes, it is forgotten. Our padayatra’s only objective is to ensure that you do not forget this. If anybody comes to you and says that you are different, you should say that my name may be Amar, Akbar or Anthony, this does not make us different. This is our only aim and we are walking only for this. We not only go to cities but also to villages. We talk to people.” (On a humorous note, he said) “ If there are no people, we talk to the cows. We talk and they only make a few noises in reply. So, if you have anything to ask regarding this Walk, please ask. Don’t ask too many questions, I am hungry!” Q1. Yogiji, how do we connect with you and your cause? A. This is a very good question. Please come and stand next to me. All of you are present here, this itself is the starting point. With this, I know that you are already connected with us. I know that you cannot walk with us - from here to such a far off place, leaving your school. But, please note that if you understand this well in your minds that we are all one, then you are with us. You have many classmates, right? They have different names and you identify them by name. So, what we mean by Manav Ekta is that we belong to One humanity as human beings, whatever be the religion, we are human beings. You should spread this message to the entire class. Once you go back home, talk about this to your parents, your brothers and sisters. When you grow up, this seed I am sowing in your mind will grow into a beautiful tree and lovely flowers will bloom. This is Manav Ekta. This is the way you join us. If you pray in your mind every day for the next 8 months that Sri M’s yatra should be successful, this prayer too will ensure that you are connected with us. You did not tell me your name. Student: Om. Q2. Don’t you feel tired walking all the time? A. How old are you? Eleven? How old do you think I am? I am 66 years old. I don’t feel tired. What could the secret be? I had an idea that inspired me. The idea inspired me so much that I am not bothered about anything else. In your life also, if you want to achieve something, have an idea that inspires you. Be so very passionate about it that distance, time, nothing matters. The human mind has the capacity to expand. Since I have that inspiration and I am passionate about it, I don’t care about other things. That is one thing. The other is, if you think about others and not only of yourself, you get a good supply of energy from the infinite. Third, from the age of 10, till today, without fail, half an hour, I practice yogasanas. This is one secret which you can pick up easily. Practice yoga, whether in school or anywhere. This has nothing to do with religion. It is an ancient science. This is the secret of my fitness. Not a secret anymore. It’s open. Q3. The same question is asked in Hindi A. I will repeat it in Hindi for you. When there is a good idea in the mind, then there are no thoughts about anything else. When you are hungry and you don’t get food for 3 or 4 hours, when you see food at a distance, you run so fast to get it that you don’t give a thought to whether the road is good or whether there is a good breeze. You are one-pointed and focused. The same way, I had this idea and this became my inspiration. This is not a social belief. It’s my personal experience that in every person’s heart resides a part of that all pervading Supreme Being. And I should talk about this to people. I do not think about anything else. There is nothing else. Yesterday, the Superintendent of Police said something very nice. He said - ‘Nowadays, even to buy something from the neighborhood store, we go on a scooter. We have been given legs to walk but we don’t walk.’ In the beginning, it is a little difficult. Then, we get used to it. But we do have to take care while walking in the hot sun or in the rain and in the cold. So the most important thing is to have inspiration. And this will not end till fulfilled. Q4. Pranam Yogiji. How did you get inspired to take up this noble cause? Sri M: Which class are you in? Student: 12th A. Serious question. The main inspiration has been there for several years. But the inspiration to walk, I got some years ago. The inspiration to walk is, in some way, related to my inspiration to talk to people and tell them that we are One. Then, when I thought about it, I looked back into history of ancient times, not only ancient times. There are many types of padayatra. One padayatra is usually travelling by car and walking only when photographers are present! This padayatra is not like that. There were 2 people actually walking. Even in recent times, two or three people have walked, not many people but some. One, Sri Adi Sankara. In those days, there were no planes. You had to either walk or probably go by a bullock cart. He decided to walk. He walked from Kerala where I come from and walked from the south to east, west to north. All four places he set up mathas- Centres. Those days, he went up to Badrinath and Kedarnath. If Sankara had not walked these places, we would have been a Buddhist country. I don’t know if this is good or bad. Two, another person who walked and really inspired me was Swami Vivekananda. One usual statement that he quoted from the Upanishad was Uttisthata Jagrata Prapya Varannibodhata. Before he went west to the United States, before he became a well-known person, he walked throughout India, without food, without proper clothing. Nobody knew about him at that time. Finally, he reached Kanyakumari. There he swam across the ocean and sat on a rock and meditated. Then it became clear to him as to what he has to do in his life. Therefore, inspired by Swamiji, we also decide to start the walk from Kanyakumari, from the Vivekananda rock on which he sat. Q5. My first question is what was your first reaction when you took this noble decision and second question is, do you think all the people in this country will accept this easily? A. I had no reaction at all when I decided to walk. I had decided that I would do it. I had no doubts about it. I had one doubt that is connected to the second question. I will walk definitely. But, will people join me? That doubt. Part of the doubt was also whether people would understand. Then I found that after taking this decision, people came voluntarily and said we would like to walk with you. Then it struck me that people already have a feel of what it is. And as we go along we will get the support. It is with this hope that we started the walk which is why it is called Walk of Hope. We hope that this will happen. But if it does not happen till Srinagar, we will think about what to do next. Q6. Pranam Yogiji. May I know your full name? What is M? A.Everybody is wondering what M is! I was born in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. I was given the name Mumtaz Ali Khan. I was born in a Muslim family. Now, I will tell you how it became M. By the time I reached 10th, I dropped the Khan because I felt there was no need to add a tail to the name. So I dropped it. Then, as I grew up, I started looking into spiritual matters, Vedanta and so on. I met my Guru Maheshwarnath Babaji. He did not ask me to change my name. But when he initiated me into the Nath sampradaya, he named me Madhukarnath. Officially, in my passport, my PAN number etc my original name is there. But many people don’t know what my name is. That’s not my name because Babaji named me Madhukarnath that also starts with ‘M’. So what does M signify? One, first letter of the name I was born with. Two, the name which Babaji gave me. Three, which is more important that I am a human being. What is the word for human being in Hindi, Sanskrit and all Indian languages? Maanav, Manushya. Both have M. this is the single most important reason why I call myself M. I sign only as M. I don’t add any Sri. But out of respect some people call me Sri M. That’s how it became Sri M. This is better than calling me Mr. M. Mr. M was the secret boss of James Bond. That is why people call me Sri M and I love that name. Q7. Pranam Yogishri. Are you sure Walk of Hope and Manav Ekta Mission will improve Manav Ekta in the country? A. Manav Ekta is not something uncommon in India. It is just that we forget it sometimes. We only want to tell people that they should not forget this. Do not allow anybody to come and tell you that you it is not so. This is all you need to do. You just have to reiterate that this should not be forgotten. This is why we call it Walk of Hope. The results will be known only after the padayatra. From whatever we have experienced till now, we feel it is possible. We will see what happens in the future.” “Thank you. I would love to sit and talk to you the whole but we need to proceed.” “Thank you.” The interaction with the students ended and the walk proceeded. The weather has been tricky these days. One day, it is hot and dry, the other day it is cloudy and breezy, while the nights are almost always cool. This has cost the padayatris, energy levels are low, some of them down with a viral, throat infection, or sun stroke. After breakfast, the Walk stopped at Dada Mandir for tea and snacks. The day's walk saw many more curious eyes as the walk entered Godhra Town. People stopped their daily chores to watch a long, trailing line of people in white walk past. Another distinguishing feature of Gujarat has been its cows and buffalos with their intimidating horns and long bell-like ears. Large groups of them are out grazing languorously on the side of the road till they spot the group of Walkers holding blue Walk of Hope flags that probably look like long sticks in fear of which they run in the opposite direction. The Walk stopped at two Churches and a Gurudwara with Sri M sharing the core message of oneness that he's walking for. A bunch of enthusiastic youth also joined the walk and danced to the beats of the catchy dhol just as the walk came to a close. Sri M’s address to students at St. Mary’s Church: “My Namaskaars to all of you and I would like to thank you for saying that we are doing good work. We left on this padayatra from Kanyakumari on 12th January 2015. From Tamil Nadu, we came to Kerala to Karnataka to Maharashtra and have entered Gujarat. We came to Ahmedabad and from there have reached your place, Panchmahal. Till now, we have walked around 3700 Km.” (Applause by gathering). “We have walked all the way. We still need to walk another 4000 Km up to Srinagar. We plan to reach Srinagar by April 2016. This is our objective. The rest is in God’s hands.” “We call this the Walk of Hope – Asha Yatra. What is hope – Asha? Asha is love and affection. I know that in India everybody knows that we are all One. We are all human beings though we may belong to different religions. We know but we forget sometimes. So, on this journey, we would like to sit with people and share this understanding that we should not forget that we belong to one humanity. As human beings, we will live united and we will not let any divisive forces come in between. Till now, we have had a very good response and many people are very appreciative of what we are doing and supporting us in many ways. Till now, this has been the response.” “When our walk reaches Srinagar, we will know if our hopes are fulfilled or not. But I feel, when we meet young people like you and the seeds of unity, humanity and love and affection are sown in your hearts, since you are the future citizens of the country, you will do many things. This will grow into a beautiful tree and big plants with lovely flowers and lovely fruits. And when the wind blows, the fragrance will fill the air and people from all over the world will say, ‘Ah, this is India’. Everybody loves it. Everybody wants peace. This is our message.” “Since we are in front of St. Mary’s Church, I would like to add something more. Now, I am not comparing myself with anybody, please. Many hundreds of years ago, a man walked the streets of Jerusalem, he did not go by car, he did not go by any vehicle. He walked. He did not have a house to stay nor did he know where to sleep. He himself has said – Foxes have dens, snakes of holes but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head. In India, such a person is called a parivrajaka – One who keeps moving. And what did he preach? Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them who spite you “. (Applause from audience) “This is not easy. I don’t think anybody can follow all these principles. If somebody hits you, you feel like hitting back. But the love and affection which was preached by this being, you know who, who said this hundreds of years ago in Jerusalem? Yes, Jesus Christ said this. We have the church in front of us and also with Father seated here as witness, I am telling you that we are trying to repeat this in a very small way. We will do whatever we can.” “I keep telling people that in every man’s heart, - call it heart or hriday or Qalb, resides the all pervading Supreme God or Khuda, Paigambar, as St. Paul said ‘Know ye not that you are all the children of God’ – this is God’s presence, in Sanskrit, it is called Atma, the Spirit of God, the Sufis call it Khuda ka Noor – the divine light.” Sri M, addressing the children said – “Now, will you please repeat loudly after me? We are all One.” The children say it. “Louder” and they repeat. Sri M closed the session humorously saying “Good, now, my job is done!” In the evening, the padayatris visited the Gandhi Smarak Samiti and after a formal welcome ceremony, Sri M addressed the gathering. Satsang at Gandhi Smarak Samiti “Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih Om, May All become Happy, May All be Free from Illness. May All See what is Auspicious, May no one Suffer. Om Peace, Peace, Peace. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu - May the entire universe be happy” “I would like to thank the District Collector for being here; I know how busy she is. I also thank the other office bearers, all people present here. People have come from all over, I thank our Muslim brethren seated here and my dear padayatris who are with me all through, be it sun or rain. Also to you, you sang so well about Gandhiji. I thank all of you. It is actually my privilege to be here, the place where Gandhiji held meetings where important decisions were taken regarding the country’s independence. It is really good that we came here. I thank the Gandhi Smarak Samiti wholeheartedly for inviting us here.” “The Sankskrit shloka I chanted now, please do not take it as a prayer from any religion just because it is in Sanskrit. Religious practices depend upon one’s character. If one has good qualities, one is a good follower of that religion. Sanskrit is a language which is more than 3000 years old. When translated, it means Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaha – May all be happy, may there be peace in all places, may nobody suffer; may there be no suffering at all. This is an ancient prayer from yore, more than 3000 years old. And at the end, they say, Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu – May the entire universe be happy; the entire universe, which in Arabic is known as Alam. God is not contained to any one location, He pervades every place, the entire universe. And in the Quran, He is called Rab-e-Alami, He is the Lord of the entire universe. This is what it means. I believe that there can be only one God for the entire universe. We are all born from a mother’s womb. There is nobody who is not born from a mother’s womb. Nobody drops from the skies!” “What does this mean? It only means that we are all One, and that we will go back into the earth once we die. And, between birth and death, why do we fight one another, shed blood and suffer? The song Vaishnav janato means lift that veil, help another. And when you serve another with a pure heart, without personal ego, we call that person religious. We may be different in the way we worship, this way, religions are different but humanity is One. 2000 years ago, it is cited in the Vedas – Ekam Sat, Viprah bahuda vadanti, the Truth is One, the wise call it by many names. It is not possible that Truth can be two. It is impossible. If we believe that Truth is two, then we have moved away from the Truth.” “Religion is each one’s belief and faith and should be kept personal. But we should not forget the fact that we are human beings. If there is violence in anyone’s house, why? this happens only because we forget that we are all One. And then, violence begins. When there is violence, one should not forget that there are mothers and fathers in every household, not only in mine. The same grief and sadness we experience is also experienced by others.” “So, we began this padayatra on 12th January from Kanyakumari with the message that we Indians are all one. This was Gandhiji’s message too. When Gandhiji said this, it meant that we are all one, we should live together in harmony and peace and that everyone is a human being. I read the Quran, the Gita, the Bible, the Jewish and the Buddhist scriptures. The Jain scriptures are very ancient. I read these too. But I have not seen any message portraying violence in any of these books. They only talk about peace. When somebody starts reading the Quran, the first word is Bismillah – In the name of God.” “Gandhiji’s heart too had the same love and compassion. When people have this love and compassion and live amongst us, there is an impact on us. We then question as - why we too cannot be compassionate like them. Great saints have said that a small part of that Divinity is present in every being’s heart, that divine light which is love itself is present in every heart. Love and brotherhood is spoken about in every religion. What do we close every Satsang with? Om Shanti Shanti Shanti! If instead of this, we say Salaam Salaam Salaam, there is no difference. Only the language is different. Everything else is the same. And when Jews meet, what do they greet each other with? Shalom – there is no difference between Salaam and Shalom. And what do they do after they say this, they fight! Why? We cannot go to Jerusalem to set this right. We should set this right in our homes first before we set it right outside.” “So, what I said in the beginning, character or qualities of the person is very important. In the Bhagavat Gita, Arjuna asks Lord Krishna – who would you call the greatest Yogi or do you think is the best devotee? The Lord replied – Samniyam-yendriya-graamam, One who is able to control his sense organs. Tulsidas says about the Ramayan –‘Kaam krodh madlobh ki jou lou man mein khan. Tau lou Pandit moorkhou Tulsi ek saman’ meaning‘ When a person is full of desire, greed and anger, then whether he is a pandit, a fool or Tulsi – they are all the same. This is what we need to learn. This is why the Gita says keep your sense organs under control.” “The second one is - Sarvathra Sama Buddhayaha. When situations change, our minds change and we get angry. What happens when somebody praises you? What happens when somebody shouts at you? I say that a person who insults me is better than a person who sings praises. Why? Because he shows me who I am. When a person only sings praises, nothing changes. He only sings praises when he requires something from us. If not, why will they do it? There’s an old Hindi song - Mithi Mithi baato se bachna zaraa.. I am not saying that we should invite insults. But when somebody insults me, it helps me understand. Tuliya Ninda stutir mouni - when I can maintain equanimity in situations of sorrow and joy, Krishna says I consider him the best yogi. In reality, this was how Mahatma Gandhi was. He had no personal enmity against anybody regardless of what anybody said against him. He did whatever he required to ensure that work happened. But he had nothing against anybody and no hatred for anybody. Please read the Ramayan, either Valmiki Ramayan or Tulsi Das’s Ramayan. We understand from these how our character has to be maintained.” “Thirdly, Krishna tells Arjuna in the 12th chapter of the Bhagavat Gita - Sarva Bhootha-hite' Rathaha – one who has the welfare of all beings at heart, I consider him the greatest yogi or the best of all devotees. I am not saying this. I do know that all Indians understand this very well and we also follow this. But sometimes, we forget this due to rage and anger. If we follow the teachings of our respective religions, all these happen on their own. But we should not inflict trouble on another. I am the only one speaking the truth and the other is lying, it does not work this way. Everyone follows as per their understanding.” “I would like to tell you a small story. This story is from the ancient Jain scriptures. This is a very old story. What is the most important principle amongst the Jains? Ahimsa paramo dharma. There was a very great Sufi by name Jalaluddin Rumi. People used to address him as Maulana Rumi. You may have seen the whirling dervishes – Jalaluddin Rumi was the founder of the sect. He used to refer to this story from the Jain scriptures. Another important fact is that more recently, this was Swami Vivekananda’s Guru - Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s favourite story.” “Three blind men were curious to know how an elephant looked. As they were blind, they touched different parts of the elephant to get a feel of it. One, feeling its leg, said that it was like a big pillar, the second one touched its trunk and said that it was like a pipe and that it moved making a hissing sound, the third one touched the tail and said that it was like a broom which moved. And from there, ensued a fight about what an elephant looked like. Each one felt only he was right. At that time, a man with sight came along and asked them the reason for the fight. He heard them out and said all of you are right in your own way but I am saying this with open eyes that the elephant is much more than all these. It’s qualities cannot be known partially. It is something beyond this.” “I would like to tell you that what everybody calls God is something so great that man cannot define It completely. In case he can see it, then he becomes God. No, nobody can be equal to God. Swayam bhu – we need to understand that we know only what we see. Great saints know much more than this. We cannot define God beyond this. Call him Khuda or Bhagwan, we pray that His grace brings peace and harmony for everyone. We should not forget that we are human beings and if we forget this, I tell you that we will be divided and scattered. We should live united together. If we live united, India will become strong. This is extremely important for small children. Sometimes, I feel that our generation lost the battle. When I sit alone, I wonder what have we done? I would like to sow these seeds in your heart so that when you grow up, I know you will do this work in the world. The seeds I am sowing now will grow into a big tree. And beautiful, wonderful flowers will bloom on these trees. When there is a breeze, the fragrance of these flowers will spread not only in India but across the whole world. And one day, a time will come when people from all over will come to India to attain this experience of love and compassion. This is my dream. To achieve this, you need to work towards this together as one.” “I am not walking alone. There are about 60 to 70 people walking with me. I am only sharing this thought with you so that you can think about it and learn to practice with your family, your neighbours, your state and with the whole country. If you do this, then we are on this journey together. This journey is for love, harmony and oneness of humanity, so it is everyone’s journey. I request you to mull over this message and understand it thoroughly. In case you have any doubts, there is a very good book by Gandhiji. Please read it. ‘My experiments with Truth.’ I will not talk much about it. Please remember one point. You are born in India, brought up here and you eat what is grown here. Please do not let anybody tell you that we are divided and that anybody is different. This is a very sacred land – this country, India. Do have this thought in your hearts.” “Thank you.”

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

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

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