The Progress of Hope - Sri M traces the padayatra's progress for the community - Rajgarh
The MP from Dhar, Smt Savitriji Thakur joins the padaytra - Rajgarh
Sri M at the official reception to the Padayatra in Dhar
During the evening village walk - Rajgarh
Floral carpets and showers rain down on the padayatris across Rajgarh
Sri M inside the Ma Bhagavati temple complex - Rajgarh
At the venue of the evening satsang - Rajgarh Dhar
Along the streets of Rajgarh to the venue of the satsang - Dhar
Walking along the Ahmedabad – Indore Highway, Walk of Hope passed through many villages - Macchaliya, Pipliya, Dungrapani,Junapani, Dharmadipada, and Dhulet. The distance covered was 19 kilometres from Bhuradabra to Rajgarh.
Villages continue being primarily agricultural and their main produce is wheat. As the yatris continue walking through hilly areas, they saw the green step farms with the crops in full flush, gently swaying to the breeze.
Rajgarh lies at the crossroads of two minor state highway systems. It is a dusty, hot and highly populated town, seemingly transitioning to more prosperity. Along the way, Sri M was ceremonially greeted at least ten times today. Each group was well prepared with flowers, showering them on Sri M and the yatris as they walked past. The groups also joined the procession. At one point today, there must have been at least 400 people walking, an unusual sight for a sparsely populated land.
Prominent local leaders and political personalities including the Member of Parliament from Dhar, Smt. Savitri Thakur, joined the padayatra and walked for some time. Along the way, they stopped at the Ma Bhagwati Devi temple. This is an ancient temple with a very deep subterranean water pond, which has now been re-constructed. The temple was a place of worship for the royalty and is now open to everyone. Sri M and the padayatris offered prayers here. A welcome reception awaited them on arrival at Rajgarh and Sri M addressed the gathering here.
Sri M greeted the dignitaries including the Member of Parliament, the Member of the Legislative Assembly, the District Collector, the police authorities and local leaders of a political party.
“I will start from a shloka which is from the Vedas. It is in Sanskrit; so do not think that it is from any foreign language. You must have heard this. With this we are doing the padayatra; it goes like this:
“Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu
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”
“This was said in the Vedas 3000 years ago. This is nothing new. No matter what we call the Supreme Being, a spark of That resides within the heart of every human being. This is not a theory. This is my personal experience. I have spent three and a half years with my guru, Maheshwarnath Babaji. When he blessed me with his hands on my head, there was some change in my mind and I had some experiences. I want to share these experiences.”
“This spark that resides in the hearts of all beings is called by many names. The Sufis call it Noor. Names can be many. On this, it is said in the Rig Veda: Ekam Sat, viprah bahuda vadanti. The religion one is born into is one’s religion, the land one is born into is one’s nation but there is no difference between different human beings. To explain this, we are doing this padayatra.”
“I know that everyone knows about human oneness. But, sometimes, we forget this. When we forget it - it does not have to be between religions alone – sometimes, it is so that two human beings sometimes forget that they are human beings, then there is violence and a lot of pain. We are saying that when there are differences, they can be sorted out through dialogue; there is no need to resort to violence. Yes, it takes some time, nothing happens in a day. As you are aware, sometimes when things are going fine and some incident happens and we are back to square one, all development is gone. Why is it that we cannot live in peace? This is our message that no matter what your religion, your idea, your belief is, you are a human being, first and foremost. With this message, we started on 12th January, 2015 form Kanyakumari.”
“Why start from Kanyakumari? It is a sangama (confluence) of three oceans - Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Also, it was the birth anniversary of the great saint, Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda, like us, walked the length and breadth of India. When he finally reached Kanyakumari, he went to what is now known as Vivekananda rock, swam across and found his life mission in meditation. When he went to America, his greatness was recognised in Chicago.”
“By reaching your village, more than 3700 kilometers have been completed. This is a padayatra, not a rathayatra. We have put our feet on the ground and covered this distance. Only when one walks does one know the people and their problems. One cannot know by giving through in a car. We come here, we talk to you, we have a cup of tea with you. If someone comes in a car, people do not talk to him, they think, anyway, he will go.”
“I will tell you something. With a lot of happiness, we have been to many villages and not in one village has a bitter word been said to us. They say that they understand what we are saying but sometimes they forget it. They say that we know about this but we have not been able to speak about it. I ask them why. I tell them to speak on these matters.”
“I have come here today, I will leave tomorrow. Please remember these things; please remember what I have said to you. Remember this - we are all born of a mother’s womb; no one has fallen from the sky, than what is all this drama for? Please stay together. There is also another reason for this. India is a nation that has welcomed everyone with open arms - Parsis came here, Muslims came here, Christians came here, Jews came here - there was no one who was turned away. Everyone was welcomed with open arms. This is a great thing about India.”
“I do not know Hindi so well; when I forget a word I use a Sanskrit word. Sanskrit is a very old language. Everything of science, you can do that in Sanskrit; even computer languages you can write in Sanskrit.
“Anyway, whosoever came to India, we welcomed them with open arms. If we stay together, then India will become very strong. I feel that the message of peace and human oneness should go from India. If it goes from here, people will listen.There used to be a time when people came to India to attain knowledge. There were great centers of learning like Nalanda and Takshashila, there were great universities of learning. Now, we go to Harvard. I dream of a time - I know there will come such a time - when once again people will come to India to attain knowledge. This is my dream. This should also be your dream.”
“Leave names behind. A boy is born in a Christian household. That boy is taken and kept in front of a Hindu household. Will they not raise the child? Will they ask of it its name? Of course, they will raise the child. If they name the child Bhaskar - what of it, so what? He is still a human being.To share this with people, I go to schools and colleges. To plant these seeds of humanity and oneness, I interact with students. When one plants a seed, a tree does not come up in a day or two, it takes some time. A time will come when this seed will become a great tree. I dream and hope that a time will come when there will be that one seed which will grow into a great tree which will shelter thousands of people. There will be many fruits and a fragrance on that tree. When the wind blows, then the fragrance of peace and harmony will be carried to all corners of the world.”
“I am not doing this for elections or any such thing. I am doing this just to share this message.”
“Please stay together. We will come back and meet you. Right now we are walking, we will reach Srinagar in April 2016. We will come back in a vehicle and meet you afterwards, we will see if anything has happened or not. I do not want to say anything else. We have to go far. Many thanks that you all came here. I especially thank the womenfolk who have come here and are sitting right in the front.”
“Thank you and Salaam.”
After lunch and rest, the walkers gathered in Rajgarh for a special evening. First of all there was a short city walk through Rajgarh. As they entered the narrow roads and by-lanes of Rajgarh, they found people lining up the streets, with buckets full of flower petals, waiting for Sri M and the padayatris. Sri M and the yatris walked through the shower of petals and reached a big pandal near the town square. There was a Satsang in which Sri M spoke on Guru Kripa (Guru’s Grace).
Satsang with Sri M,
“Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram vyāptam yena carācaram
Tatpadam darśitam yena tasmai śrī gurave namah
(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 ParabrahmaTasmai 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.”
After greeting the people present, Sri M said:
“Today I will not speak about the padayatra, I will speak about Guru kripa. Much has already been said about the padayatra, information has come in the newspapers, notices have been distributed and you have seen the video.”
“We started from Kanyakumari on 12th January and we have reached your place now. I thank you all that you welcomed us with such warmth. We have done 3700 kilometres. 4000 kilometres are still left. In April of 2016, we will reach Srinagar. It is my faith that we will reach there. I will not say much about the yatra; I also thank you that you came and walked with us on the yatra. Today, it was particularly beautiful; there were many people with us. I thank them for having walked with us.”
“I will speak on Guru Kripa (Guru’s Grace). Whatever has happened in my life has happened because of guru kripa. Kothariji spoke about the yatra, but where did the inspiration for this come? It came from my own spiritual experience. For spiritual experience, the grace of the guru is very important. Like Kothariji said, I was born in a Muslim family in Thiruvanthapuram. Thiruvanthapuram has a great temple housing the Lord Padmanabha Swami. It is named Thiru-Anantha-Puram. Thiru means ‘Sri’ in our language. So, that is how Thiruvanthapuram came about. Now it has become Trivandrum. So, I was born and had an upbringing like any other boy. But, there was one difference. When I used to look up at the clouds, I used to dream of snow-clad mountains. There are no mountains in Kerala so how could I dream of those lands? Maybe it had something to do with my past life.”
“When I was 8 or 9 years old, one day in my backyard after all fun and games had finished, when evening fell and friends had gone back, I was standing and looking up. I had this habit of standing alone and looking up at the sky - my parents used to ask me what are you looking at. In our compound, there is a jackfruit tree, it was as far as where that tent is. Someone was standing under the jackfruit tree. I thought that he must have jumped over the low compound wall. I was practical from the very beginning. I saw someone very tall standing there. That person beckoned me.”
“Now, if you are young and someone calls you, you usually run away. But, I did not go back. I walked towards him. The first thing he asked me was, do you remember anything? I said: No, I cannot remember anything. He then placed his hand on my head and said: when the time is right, everything will be okay. This interaction lasted 5 to 10 minutes. After that he said, go back. And, I went back. Because of these 10 minutes with him, because he placed his hands on my head for these 10 minutes, a revolution took place in my mind.”
“I went home and stood near the door, I looked back and saw that there was no one there. Again, I felt that he jumped the wall and went back. I wanted to tell my mother about this incident but whenever I tried telling anyone about it, I would not be able to. I was only able to speak of this incident when I had gone to the Himalayas, spent time with my guru and come back. After this, I used to wake up at 2.00 in the morning and started meditating - no one taught me how to meditate. It was only Babaji’s grace. Or, I remembered something from my past life, you can also say that.”
“I used to feel a light in my heart when I meditated. I started to lie down and meditate because they started asking me what I was doing sitting up in the middle of the night. From then onwards, whenever I needed to read anything, Vedanta, anything - it used to come into my hands just like that. This was also Babaji’s grace. When I was 19 years old, I felt that I was trapped in a cage. Look, if you have a caged bird in your home, don’t invite me. If you do, then I will release the bird from its cage. It was a golden cage but a cage is a cage, be it of gold or copper. I felt one day that I will not stay there, I have to go somewhere.”
“When I was 19 years old, I ran away. Nobody knew where I went. I wandered the Himalayas. I went to Badrinath finally. I was looking here and there, wondering where I will find a guru who will take me as a disciple. But, I did not find anyone. Yes, I did meet many people - I met sadhus who smoked hash and many other such people but I did not feel anyone was my guru. I kept on wandering. I went to Mana, the last Indian village, after which Tibet starts. When I was going there, I went to Vyas guha and no one was there. When I came back, I also went to Vyas guha and saw a light from within. There was nobody when I went but now there seemed to be somebody in the cave. As I went there, I saw that there was a dhuni in the cave. When I went in, I saw the same Babaji who I met under the jackfruit tree when I was 9 years old. He was there next to the dhuni. I went to him, and he said to me:‘wandering here and there you have come back’. I fell at his feet and said, I have found you and I will not leave you now. He said, we will see.”
“He was from the Nath tradition and his name was Maheswarnath Babaji. He used to call me Madhu. When he initiated me, he gave me the name Madhukarnath. That is why people call me Sri M. There are three reasons why people call me Sri M. The first, because the name they gave me at my birth was Mumtaz Ali. Second, because my Babaji gave me the name Madhukarnath. Third, and most important, I consider myself a Manav, a Manushya. This is how I came to be known as M. I did not like Mister M a lot, so people started calling me Sri M. When I sign, I sign as M and don’t use Sri. Sri means Lord, Srinathji is the Lord, I am just M.”
“I wandered three and a half years with my Babaji in the Himalayas. Babaji used to walk in front and I used to walk behind him. Like taking a dog for a walk. These days, the dog walks in the front and the master behind - not like that. Babaji walked in front and I behind him. I stayed there for three and a half years with Babaji’s grace. We used to have Satsangs next to the Ganges very often. It used to be just him and me. Because of that my mind was changed.”
“Like they say there is something called alchemy - a philosophers’ stone that changes lead to gold - my mind was changed. There is actually no such stuff - there is only the grace of the guru. When there is grace, then one’s heart, be it or iron, lead or brass, it is changed into gold. This gold and its light is what I want to share with everyone; for that we are on this padayatra.”
“You may come from any religion. As has been said in the Vedas, Ekam Sat, viprah bahuda vadanti, the Truth is one but the wise call it by many names. It is my experience that a spark of that Supreme Being resides in the heart of every human being and every human being is a walking, moving temple of God. Just as we go to a temple and worship the Lord there, just so the service of human beings is also the worship of Lord.”
“It is said in the Gita: Atmano Mokshartha, jagat hitaya cha, when one thinks of the welfare of humanity and the liberation of the soul, then one becomes a yogi. A yogi is not a separate being - he has one nose and two ears - there is no difference, he also eats and sleeps. But, there is difference in the heart. There is peace, there is happiness, there is the experience of Anantam Anandam. When one has such experience, then one does not take, one does not need anything from another person. Yes, one can give then.”
“When I was walking today, Madam, the collector, said to me that there is a drinking problem here. I want to tell you that we also have a type of alcoholic spirit with us. If you start drinking that, then you will change. Why does one drink alcohol? Because one is tired of the world. One works and works the whole day, comes back, and thinks that now I will be happy for some time. But he does not know what happens to the body, it is wounded from inside. We have an alcohol too, it is Bhajan, Kirtan, Dhyan, and these are also intoxicating. When one starts experiencing bliss in these, then one becomes happy.”
“A Sufi said: Aql ke Madrase se uth, Ishq ke Maikade mein aa. That bliss felt within the heart is the spark of that Supreme Being itself. For this alone, we are walking. I am not going to stand in elections or anything like that. I am reiterating what was India’s culture, what has been said here for thousands of years. This is nothing new, we are just repeating it once more. I know that people understand it; even in the smallest of villages, they understand this. When I ask them why there is violence then, they say that we forget it sometimes. Our yatra’s message is - do not forget that within your heart and in the heart of every human being is the spark of the Supreme Being. And, the service of human beings is the service of God. We are walking with this message. I have come to your village like this. I will leave tomorrow morning. Please do not forget what I have just spoken of. Whether you are a Muslim, a Hindu or a Christian, whosoever you may be, do not forget. If we stay together as one, then India will become strong. I feel that it is very important that India should become strong. That will happen only when we stay united.”
“This is my only message. I will get down now, sit and listen to Prahladji and enjoy his Satsang. He sings Kabir bhajans very well. The same thing is in his bhajans too, the first is guru’s grace and the second is Atma Shashatkar.”
“I thank you that you welcomed us here.”
“Thank you and namaskar.”
After this there was a bhajan session by the famed folk singer Prahlad Tipaniya. Prahlad Singh Tipaniya is an Indian folk singer who sings Kabir bhajans in the Malwi folk style of Madhya Pradesh. He has received several awards including the Padma Shri in 2011.
This event saw about 400 people in attendance.
Sri Prahladji asked Sri M to comment on the doha and these were his words:
“I was sitting quietly and enjoying the beautiful voice and the beautiful bhajan. How am I to break that and say something? But you have asked me to say a few words, so I have to say something. I will say one or two things. Kabir Dasji speaks on Yoga, Sadhana - it is the Truth, there is nothing else in it but Truth. He knew what guru and disciple relationship meant; he was not talking just like that. Without experience, one will not understand what this is all about.”
“One should decide one thing. If one wants to become a Sadhu, it does not mean that you change your clothes or your hairstyle. Being a sadhu means investigating the Truth. One should understand that the ego should be gotten rid of. That shunya that is there can only be witnessed when the ego is not there. When one knows that the ego is less than the dust, than one has that experience. “You see a flute in Lord Krishna’s hand. That flute has to be empty to be placed. If a flute is filled with mud, then what sound will come of it?”
“Kabir Dasji has said something about Yoga and Abhyas. He has said Nabhi ko ulat lein - this does not mean that we take it out literally and invert it. It means to withdraw one’s senses and go inwards. Yes, to live in this world, it is needed that the senses go outwards. But, sometimes, if one wants to go after the Truth, withdrawing the senses and going inwards is necessary. The yogi does not like the things everyone else does. What is light to us is darkness to them, what is darkness to us is light to them. Their mind changes.”
“That Dham where we are going, there is no electricity - but is there no light? No, there is a light there, which we cannot see with these eyes. Kabir Dasji then spoke about shushumna nadi. This is something that is spoken about only between guru and disciple. But because it has been said in a doha, I have to say something. This nadi which can - with bhakti, bhavana,kriya and pure mind - turn and, instead of energies flowing down and outwards, can have energies flow in and upwards. The experience that one has is called surat shabd, as has been said by Radha Swami. This means that the Shabd that comes from the real Surat can be heard, it is called the Anahata.”
“For any sound to be invoked, there should be two causes, as in clapping. However, this sound is without cause. This is called ek haat ki taali. When one starts hearing this sound in his meditation, then his life turns around. He understands that there is the Supreme Being within one’s heart. He soon experiences the Supreme Being within his heart. It is that Anantam Anandam that cannot be spoken about because there are no words to describe it.”
“That is all I will say for now. I am greatly enjoying your singing, please do not ask me to speak again.”