On the streets of Ashta with percussion and band new flags
Official reception at Ashta - Sehore
Inside the Siva shrine - Ashta
Sartorial elegance of a bygone era - Sehore
A packed hall at the satsang - Community Hall at Ashta
Farewell to the school children of Ashta as the padayatra moves along SH 18 to Bhopal
WOH Day 277 - the community participation is overwhelming.
Welcome at Kothri Juma Masjid - Sehore
Into Kothri village centre - Sehore
Satsang at Kothri - Sehore
Walk of Hope continued its march towards Srinagar after a break of five days. They walked from Ashta to Kothri. Many padayatris went home for a short while; some were home for the first time in 8 months. Others just rested in Indore. Every one of them was very happy the padyatra is back in action. The day was the usual - actually it can be said that the walkers have become habituated to the kind of walks these days. ‘Usual’ for them these days translates to being received every kilometre or so by many people, lots of music and fanfare, flattering attention by the locals and tremendous awareness.
The padyaatris started from the outskirts of Ashta and walked into it, passing through narrow roads. A troupe of musicians was waiting for them as they entered town and they led the procession. The walkers stopped at the Shiva Temple of Ashta and Sri M and the rest offered prayers.
There were about 500 of them walking when children from local schools joined their ranks. Members from various communities also joined in and walked.
At the Community Hall of Ashta, Sri M addressed a gathering of about 500 chirpy children.
They had covered about 6 kilometres by the time they left Ashta and it was an hour or so before they reached Kothri, and retired to their resting place.
Sri M’s address went thus:
“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
Om Shaanti, Shaanti, Shaanti.”
“I am here with you and people call me M. With respect, they call me Sri M. I call myself M because it is the first letter of the word Manushya(A human being). It is true, like Brijesh ji said, that I was born in a Muslim family. I am now a part of the Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Order or Universal Religion). I consider myself a Maanav, a human being.”
“Who is a good human being? Who is a good yogi? Who is a good Bhakta (devotee)? In The Bhagavad Gita, when Arjuna asks Lord Krishna who the greatest devotee is - please forgive my Hindi, I am from South India, from the land of Shankaracharya. Anyway, Lord Krishna says that the greatest devotee is the one who has ‘Sarva Bhuta Hite rataha - the one who has the welfare of all living beings is the greatest devotee and closest to me.’”
“With this in our minds and hearts, we started from Kanyakumari. Brijesh ji just spoke on it, I shall repeat it. He said that we started from Gandhi Statue - it is not so. We started after garlanding Swami Vivekananda’s statue. Swami Vivekananda, like us, was a parivraajaka (A wanderer). He travelled all over India, sometimes he used to travel under assumed identities with different names. This is before he went to United States. When he reached Kanyakumari, he found a big rock a distance away in the ocean. He swam across, sat there and meditated for sometime. He then had clarity and understood what he had to do.”
“We felt that it was a good place to start our padyaatra. That is why we started from there on 12th January. From Tamil Nadu, we came to Kerala, from there we came to Karnataka, then Maharashtra and Gujarat, finally we have now reached Madhya Pradesh. We entered Madhya Pradesh through Jhabua and we have now come to the Madhya (centre) of Madhya Pradesh.”
“I say to the yogis who are with me that in Nath Tradition the Kundalini Shakti (Primal energy) is worshipped. Below the Shushumna Nadi (Central channel) that runs along the middle of the spine, the Mooladhara (the root chakra) exists which is Kanyakumari. From there, we began this yaatra (Journey) and we will reach Srinagar, Srinagar is here (points towards the crown of his head) - it is the Sahasraara Chakra (the.Crown chakra). Slowly, we are heading there. Along with this outer yaatra that is going on, an inner padyaatra is going on for the padyaatris.”
“Now we have arrived here walking around 4000 kilometres. Be it rain or sun we have walked. We have walked no matter what situation it may be. We walk an average of 18 to 20 kilometres. Today, it is a little bit less. From here, we go to Uttar Pradesh, when we reach Varanasi, there is a Swachata Abhiyan program of the Ganges. From there, we will go to Delhi where there is a 12 day program. Then, there is Haryana, Punjab and, lastly, Jammu and Kashmir. We will reach Srinagar and we want to hoist the Indian flag there.”
“Our aim is to reach Srinagar in April 2016. The message of this padyaatra is Maanav Ekta (Unity of Humanity). If we, in Bhaarat, stay together,Bhaarat will become so strong that nobody from outside will be able to do anything to disturb us. This is our message. Whenever we go somewhere, we make it a point to meet school, college and university students. I meet them and I tell them to remember these things. Someone’s religion maybe different, ideas maybe different but, first and foremost, we are human beings. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Do not forget this!”
“A spark of the Supreme Being resides in the heart of every being. If that is so, then every being is a walking, moving temple of God. The worship of that Lord is through service of human beings. It is said in the Vedas, Atmano Mokshartham jagat hitaya cha - think of the welfare of the world as well as liberation of your soul.”
“I do not want to say anything more. I have set out to sow these seeds. When you sow seeds, it takes some time. Things do not happen in one day. It is our hope that these seeds I am planting in your hearts will someday grow into a great tree of Sanatana Dharma. In the shade of that tree, we - Bhaarat Vaasis - thousands upon thousands, will rest one day. When there is a breeze, the fragrance of peace and harmony will reach all directions.”
“People from all over the world will come to India to attain knowledge once again. This dream you have to carry forward. For that, you have to walk with us. I know that you cannot walk with us physically but please think that you too are walking with us. This is all.”
“Om Shaanti Shaanti, Shaanti”.