Day 249 | 17 September 2015 | Godhra to Sant Road | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Our future is our responsibility - Kevadia, Godhra
  • WOH Day 249 - from Godhra to Sant Road
  • Shoulders that still carry the yoke of life -Kevadia
  • 4.Stunned-&-shy-as-they-faced-the-camera,-Santroad,-Panchmahal,-Gujarat
  • Students of JR Bhatia Memorial School join in - Sant Road
  • 6.Lucky-kids,-they-have-a-lion-to-guard-them!!,-Santroad,-Gujarat
  • Studentrs & faculty of JR Bhatia Memorial School greet us at Sant Road
  • Traditional welcome by students of JR Bhatia Memorial School - Sant Road
  • Satsang at JR Bhatia Memorial School -Sant Road
  • Sri M joins in the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan in Godhra
  • An impressive array of dignitaries share the dias including State Minister for Education for the satsang.
Walk of Hope left Godhra city today and reached the small town of Orwara. Returning to the daily distance average of 20 kilometres, they took about 6 hours to cover the distance, passing through the town of Kevadia before reaching their destination. Thoroughly out of the industrialised Gujarat, they are once more in the rustic areas and are delighting in the openness of their surroundings. The walk started as early as 5.00 am this morning. Having tackled the noon sun for the three days, covering distance with the early morning moon and fast fading stars was a welcome change.

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Tea and tea breaks are something the walkers have got used to over the last 9 months. Walking 20 to 25 km every day, covering close to 3700 Kms till date, walking is now habitual and comparatively easy. A pattern has formed, so have the many cups of tea that come at timely intervals starting at 4.30 am, 6.00 am, 8.00 am,10.00 am and closing at 4.00 pm. Many padayatris have their own kettle and brew their own coffee and tea, often inviting others to share. The padayatris have adapted well to the different types of tea - milk tea, strong tea and in Gujarat, sweet tea which seems to have more sugar than tea. But the tea they stumbled on at breakfast this morning came as a pleasant surprise. It was perfect with the right amount of everything, served in a highway makeshift stall. Needless to say, they drank every last drop of tea on offer before proceeding towards Sant Road. A group of about 150 students from the JR Bhatia Memorial School joined Sri M and the padayatris in the morning and walked with them for some time. The day went by, quietly and quickly, and they reached the JR Bhatia Memorial School where Sri M and the yatra wasaccorded a traditional welcome. This is the same school where Vinoda Bhave had also stopped many years ago when the school was still being built. Here, Sri M addressed the gathering of about 600. After this, theywent to their resting place and rested for some time. In the evening they gathered again in Godhra city and participated in Swach Bharat Abhiyan. They then went to Sardar Nagarkhand for the next event, where a large cohort of top state officials - including Gujarat Minister for Education, Sri B.S. Chudasama and Sri Jayadrithsinh Parmar, the Roads & Buildings Minister - were present. Sri M addressed this gathering of about 200 people following which they went back to the resting place and turned in after a long day. “Om SarvebBhavantu 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 Om Shanti, Shanti Shanti” “First of all, I would like to thank the Education Minister, Sri Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, for coming here to welcome us. I would like to thank the Roads & Buildings Minister, Sri. Jaydrathsinhji Parmar, the collector of Godhra, Ms. P. Bharati who has been with us for the last two days, the District Development Officer, Sri Waghela and our good friend, Sri Karsanbhai Patel, other dignitaries seated here and our dear padayatris who have been with me from Kanyakumari with the intention of walking to reach Kashmir. Namaskaars,Salaam and Good evening to all of you.” “I am from Kerala. I am not going to talk about that but I am only introducing myself. The language spoken at home is Urdu but my language is Malayalam. I consider Malayalam my mother tongue. I do speak Hindi and if there are any mistakes when I speak in Hindi, do forgive me. There’s no point speaking English. I think it’s better I speak in Hindi. Gujarati, I only know Kem cho and Maja Ma.” (Audience breaks into laughter). “Today is Ganesh Chaturthi. It’s a day when it is auspicious to open a new chapter. Before we start any initiative, we worship Vigneshwar and only then work starts. So this day is the day a new chapter is begun. Along with that, today is our good friend, the Prime Minister’s birthday and the Swachata program is going on. This is a very good thing and we need to have this in every place. I would also like to tell you that when we reached Sutrapad and we entered Gujarat from Maharashtra, we were having tea when a person came running saying that there’s a call from the Prime Minister. I said what happened. He said please take the call as he’s been calling from 6.30 am. I then spoke to the Prime Minister and he welcomed us to Gujarat and he enquired about my health.” (Loud applause from audience). “I said with Khuda, Bhagavan’s grace, everything is fine. In the same way, you have welcomed me here and said that you should come go Godhra after the yatra. I will definitely come." (Applause) “So, we commenced on this journey on the 12th of January - the birth anniversary of Vivekananda - from Kanyakumari because it’sa confluence of three oceans. It symbolizes confluence of India’s diverse religions and varied people. Secondly, Swami Vivekanand, like us, not much like us because we are walking with a lot of people, he walked alone in all directions of India – North, East, West and the South. Many people did not even know his name. Sometimes, he changed his name and walked - sometimes Satchidanand, sometimes Vivekanand - nobody knew his identity. Then, he went to Kanyakumari, sat on a rock there and meditated and got clarity on what his next steps were. After this, he went to America, Chicago Parliament of Religions and then people came to recognize him. This is the reason I thought this is a good place to start our journey.” “Kanyakumari is in Tamil Nadu; from Kanyakumari to Kerala, from Kerala to Karnataka, from Karnataka to Maharashtra, we came to Gujarat and now we have reached Godhra. Madhya Pradesh is not very far from Dahod. It is on the border. We have reached this point. Touching Godhra, we completed half the journey. This is the turning point. Like how this is the turning point for the journey, I feel this should be a turning point for people too. This is what I feel and my heartfelt wish. And from the time we came to Godhra, apart from the administration, we have received very good support from everybody. All our Muslim and Sikh brothers, people from the two or three temples we visited, the priest and father from the Methodist Church, everybody received us very well and said that we are doing very good work. Now, we have to go another 4000 Km to reach Srinagar. This is our aim. On this journey, as Sri Chudasmaji said, I am not standing for any elections, I am not in search of any material object.” “It has been my experience, this is not a theory but an experience. So, when I came here and met people here, I felt that unity exists in everyone’s minds. Yes, this is so. There is no doubt about it. I do not have any doubt about this! Everybody wants to live together in peace. Now, in my spiritual experience, regarding the all-pervading Supreme Being - call it Khuda or Ishwar or God, call it whatever, the names may vary- the Rig Veda, 3000 years ago said Ekam Sat, Viprah bahuda vadanti - The truth is One and the wise call it by many names. So that all-pervading energy – whether it is Khuda or Ishwar, in Urdu Khuda means that which comes on its own. In Sanskrit, it is Swayambhu. Now, a part of that Supreme being is in all of our hearts. I know it is present. This has been my experience. This is not a theory. This experience is so personal and so strong, it is not just faith, it is my experience. For this reason, I know that every human being is a walking and moving temple, a walking and moving Gurdwara, or a walking and moving mosque because this essence is in the heart; in the Hindu scriptures, it is called Atma, among the Sufis, it is called Noor – Khuda ka Noor. And in the Bible, in the New Testament, St Paul said –‘ Know you not that you are the children of the living God, the spirit of God dwells in you.’ This is what is stated in all the texts. This is the reason serving humanity is the true worship of God. We worship in temples, go to mosques and do the sizdah. But serving humanity becomes the greatest penance. All of you know this.” “Second, in India, it is not that people do not know or do not understand, this has been a tradition for thousands of years, Loka Samasta Sukinoh bhavantu - let the entire universe be happy. But sometimes we forget this. The only intention of this journey is to tell people – ‘brother, please do not forget this’. You may belong to any religion, any ideology, in our Kerala, there are people who do not even believe in God. They are Communists, I give them the same message that please don’t forget that we are human beings and that we belong to humanity. And when violence breaks out, mothers, fathers and children in our house are in the others’ houses too. They go through the same sorrow that we experience." “In the Bhagavat Gita, when Arjuna asks Krishna please tell me who is the greatest Yogi or the best devotee, Lord Krishna said many things but one point which is very important is that a Yogi is defined only by the qualities of his character. There are no other criteria. And what was the quality he spoke about – ‘Sarva bhuta hite’ ratah, the one who has the welfare of all beings at heart, I consider the greatest yogi or the best devotee.‘ Yaha bhakt same priya – I consider him the best of devotees.’ This is the message I would like to take to people and tell them that they should not forget this. All of us are born from our mothers’ wombs, nobody drops from the skies and we have to go back to this earth. In this short play that is enacted in between, why do we have to resort to violence? There is no need of a villain – a hero will suffice” (applause) . “Till now, our experience has been this – wherever we have been, be it a village or any place, they listen and say, yes, we too believe the same but this is the first time that a man is walking down the street and saying it aloud. They feel happy. They say eat with us; In Gujarat, they take the maxim Athithi Devo bhava very seriously. I may have put on at least a kg by the time we leave Gujarat. They eat and feed others the same way. I would like to thank them for this. Till now, the padayatris have not faced any issues on hospitality here.” “So, I am walking with this message. I have a request of all of you, I know it is not possible for all of you to walk with us. Please pray and invoke blessings for this task of bringing India’s people together - Manav Ekta - and that we reach Kashmir successfully.” (Audience applauds). “If we live united this way, India too will become strong. India becoming strong and resilient is a necessity because the message of peace and harmony from India should extend to the world. And, I have another dream. Once again, like the days of yore, people from all over should come to India to gain knowledge. Now, we go to Harvard. They should instead come here. This is a very big dream of mine. And whether we say Shanti, Salaam-aleikum, Good Morning or Namaskaar – when we join our hands in Namaskaar, both palms come together, meaning we live united together - whatever the language we use, we need to remember that there’s only One Supreme Being and everything belongs to Him.” “Before I conclude, I would like to tell you a small story. Once in Medina, Prophet Muhammed was sitting and talking to a group of people. A funeral procession passed them. He immediately stood up. The procession went by. People with the Prophet asked him, why did you stand up? He was only a Jew. The prophet asked – Is a Jew not a human being? This is what we need to know and understand. If we know and behave so, then all of us can live together in peace. In India, everyone can live very happily here. This is such a country. Saying this, I will conclude now once again by thanking you.” “Dhanyavaad and Salaam.”

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

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

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