Day 279 | 17 October 2015 | From Fanda to Chirayu Medical College, Bhopal | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • WOH Day 279 - Phanda to Chirayu Hospital along along SH18 - Bhopal
    1.WOH-Day-279,-Phanda-to-Chirayu-Hospital-along-SH18,-Bhopal,-MP
  • 2.Along-the-vast-stretches-of-land,-Madhya-Bharat,-the-heart-of-India!!,-Bhopal,-MP
  • Reception at Kharkhedi Bhopal
    3.Reception-at-Kharkhedi,-Bhopal,-MP
  • The Disha Deep Public School Band dished out a rousing fare - Khajuri
    4.The-Disha-Deep-Public-School-Band-dished-out-a-rousing-fare!!,-Khajuri,-Bhopal,-MP
  • Addressing the Disha Deep Public School - Khajuri
    5.Addressing-the-future-of-MP,-nay-India!,-Disha-Deep-Public-School,-Khajuri,-Bhopal,-MP
  • 6.The-Sun-pleasantly-filtering-through!!,-ideal-walking-conditions,-SH18,-Bhopal,-MP
  • At the Hanuman Mandir - Kolukhedi
    7.At-the-Hanuman-Mandir,-Kolukhedi,-Bhopal,-MP
  • A short satsang inside the Hanuman Mandir - Kolukhedi
    8.Short-Satsang-inside-the-Hanuman-Mandir,-Kolukhedi,-Bhopal,-MP
  • A birthday treat - on SH 18 Bhopal
    9.Sir-got-lucky!,-Or-did-the-girl-get-lucky!,-Birthday-treat-on-SH18,-Bhopal,-MP
  • At the Navradeswar Mahadev Mandir - Bhauri Jod
    10.At-the-Navradeswar-Mahadev-Mandir,--Bhauri-Jod,-Bhopal,-MP
  • Hearty welcome at Chirayu Medical College Bhopal
    11.Hearty-welcome-at-Chirayu-Medical-College,-Bhopal,-MP
  • Soul-stirring Bhajans at Chirayu Medical College Auditorium - Bhopal
    12.Soul-stirring-Bhajans-at-Chirayu-Medical-College-Auditorium,-Bhopal
  • Satsang at the hitech Chirayu Medical College Auditorium - Bhopal
    13.Satsang-at-the-hitech-Chirayu-Medical-College-Auditorium,-Bhopal,-MP
Starting from Fanda village, Walk of Hope reached the outskirts of Bhopal, and halted finally at the Chirayu Medical College. They walked on highway #18 – passing farming villages of Kharkhedi, Khajurai, Kolukhedi and Bhaurai Jod – before reaching the college. The villages are a strange mix of antiquity and modernity. Some of the scenes looked straight out of fantasy while some seem to be contemporary. The houses are old and the people are in traditional attire, untouched by what seems to be ‘trendy’. Vendors selling vegetables in push carts and people carrying sacks of wheat and supplies on cycles are a common sight. All this while the younger generation gets around on a swanky motorbike, wearing stylish sun glasses and clothes. India is changing in fast and strange ways!

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Today, like yesterday and the day before that, was a day of many receptions. Sri M was welcomed at every town, and every village. Small groups of men and women received him and the padyaatris greeted him and walked with all of them for some time. There were hundred and fifty people when they started and by the time they hit the peak, there must have been at least 400. About 200 children from Disha Deep Public School of Khajurai joined them and walked for a few kilometres. The walkers went to their school where Sri M addressed a gathering of children, teachers and locals. “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 Om Shaanti, Shaanti, Shaanti.” “My namaskaars to all of you, to the School Secretary and to you most of all because you are the future citizens of India. As Sahib said, we started on 12th January from Kanyakumari. We - I am not alone, there are many people who are walking with me - are walking. There are 60 to 70 people with me. At other times, more people come. Sometimes there are 100, 500, even a thousand. But, 60 to 70 people are always there and it is the core group. They are from all states of India, some are from outside India too. If you see there are some foreigners also. It is because every year I go to USA and England and we have Satsangs there in English. I think I am the first person who has done the Bhagwat Saptah in English. When I went there, I told them that we have a padayaatra of Maanav Ekta (Journey on foot for One Humanity) and some of them have come. More will come, they are trying to get their visa these days. We have covered 4000 kilometres till now. Still, 3500 kilometres are left. When we reach Srinagar, if God’s grace is there, then we will unfurl the flag of India there. In April 2016 we will reach Srinagar.” “I just want to tell you this, I don’t want to talk a lot. Bhaarat’s culture and tradition is such that this message we are carrying is nothing new. 3000 years ago, it has been said in the Rig Veda :Ekam Sat viprah bahudaa vadanti (the Truth is one and the wise know it by many names). This was said 3000 years ago - we are all one. It maybe that we have different ideas, we come from different religions or we may have different beliefs, but we are all human beings. It does not matter if one’s name is Amar or Akbar or Anthony.” “We must live with the understanding that this is our nation. I know that you all know these things but sometimes you forget these things. The aim of this yaatra is to not let people forget this thing. If someone tells you you are different, you have to tell them that we are all one. You know what happens when there is violence. When there is violence, all progress stops and we have to start from square one. I am sowing these seeds in the heart of people. I feel that, in a few years, these seeds will become great trees and they will provide cool shade to many people. When the wind blows, the fragrance of oneness will spread in all directions. The whole world will see this.” “I have a dream that, in a few years, a time will come when people from all over the world will come to India to attain knowledge. I am leaving after planting these seeds in your heart. Remember that we are Bhaarat vaasis (residents of India) and, if we stay together, then no one can do anything to us. Remember that someone called Sri M came here and said these things.” “Will you repeat ‘Bhaarat Maata Ki Jai” three times with me?” The air is filled with the resounding chant. “Thank you. Namaaskar.” They soon reached Chirayu Medical College on the outskirts of Bhopal. After some lunch and rest, they gathered at the college auditorium for the evening Satsang. A group of well-known and highly respected musicians sang bhajans for a while before Sri M’s Satsang. The hour-long Satsang saw about 600 people in attendance. A special dinner was hosted by the college, the Yaatris turned in late after a very full day and an even fuller stomach. Sri M’s Satsang at Chirayu Medical College Auditorium went thus: “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” “First of all, my Namaskaars to all of you and Salaam and Wahe Guru and good evening. Before the Satsang starts, there is a request that I sing a bhajan. But, Gundecha Bandhu is with us, how can I sing a bhajan? And before I came on stage, they sang a bhajan. How can I sing then? But it is a request and I have to sing before I start.” (Sri M sings the bhajan - ‘Man Ek Baar Hari Bol’) “Thank you for listening!” “I will speak in Hindi. In Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh till now, I have spoken in Hindi only. But this is a college and I feel I can speak in English. I have to keep speaking English now and then, so that I do not forget it. I am sure it is okay. The Director said to me that you can speak in English. First, a little bit about the yaatra, a little bit about me and then I will try and put it all together.” “This yaatra started on 12th January in Kanyakumari, is expected to cover 8000 kilometres, and we are supposed to reach Srinagar in April 2016. This is our schedule. We have covered 4000 kilometres. This is a padyaatra, we are not driving. Everyday we cover around 18 to 20 Km –sometimes it is a little bit less, sometimes it is more. Now, we have reached Madhya Bhaarat. We have reached close to the capital of the state. We have another 4000 kilometres to cover and we hope - this is Walk of Hope, so we hope - to reach Srinagar.” “For those who are on the walk, this is also a spiritual journey. This is not just a walk, this walk is through villages and cities, and this is also a spiritual journey. With us, there are 60 to 70 people who form the core group who have started from Kanyakumari and continue to walk with us. Some are also from outside India – people who have settled outside and people of different nationalities.” “Whenever we have a private Satsang - which have become few and far between these days - we get a complaint that we do not have the kind of intimate programs that we used to have earlier because of these public Satsangs. Well, I enjoyed those Satsangs. I always tell them, please consider that this is a spiritual journey we have started from Kanyakumari. The place is called Kanyakumari because there is a devata (Goddess) there. The devata is called Kanyakumari and there is a temple there dedicated to her.” “Since I belong to Nath Sampradaaya (Nath Tradition), our spiritual journey is to start awareness from the Mooladhara (the root chakra) - which is considered to be the beginning and is presided over by Shakti (Primordial Energy)- then to walk over this narrow path called Shushumna (Central Channel) -which is in the spinal cord - and reach Srinagar, which is the Sahasraara Chakra. If this inner journey does not take place, and still if this outer journey is completed, I would consider this walk to be a failure. But, we are trying our best.” “However, the reason why I started from Kanyakumari is that it is a Sangam, a coming together of three oceans. Can anybody tell me which oceans? (People answer) Well, everybody knows. They are - the Indian ocean, the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. They meet together in Kanyakumari. We thought that it was the right place to start the journey because this is all about Maanav Ekta – the coming together of different thoughts, different ideologies and remaining as human beings. So, this is the reason we started from Kanyakumari.” “The other reason being that today if you look towards the ocean, you see a statue of Vivekananda there. At the time when Vivekanand actually came to Kanyakumari after having walked the length and breadth of India - he travelled North, South, East and West, he travelled throughout his spiritual life, he was an eternal parivraajaka (wandererer) until he settled down – when he came to Kanyakumari there was no building on the rock, it was just a bare rock sitting in the ocean. So, he came there and swam across the sea - this is something that is characteristically possible for Swami Vivekananda to do; we would wait for a boat, he swam across - he sat there and meditated for a long time before he became aware about what was to be done. The entire plan manifested in his mind on that rock. So, he set to work.” “I think before me - I am nothing compared to him - he was a champion of Maanav Ekta. When somebody asked Swami Vivekananda what is the essence of The Gita, what is the essence of Vedanta, he said in English (because he was abroad at that time): ‘Every soul is potentially divine; to manifest that divinity either through worship, or through work, or devotion, or sacrifice is the essence of Vedanta and the essence of the Spiritual Philosophy of this country. Everything else is subsidiary.’” “So, we started from there. There was a big event, many dignitaries had come, many people had come. We went to the Vivekananda rock - of course, we did not swim, we took the boat. We garlanded his statue and we started this journey on 12th January which also happens to be his birth anniversary. From there, we proceeded to Kerala where I was born and brought up. Well, I won’t say brought up - I lived there until the age of 19 and then I broke free. I consider myself a Bhaarat Vaasi now. From there, we went to Karnataka, then to Maharashtra, Gujarat and now we have reached Madhya Pradesh. From here, we propose to go to UP, touching Varanasi. We were planning to go through Rajasthan but we have had to cut Rajasthan because a friend of mine asked me, how can you not go to Kashi?” “From there, to Delhi through Mathura and Vrindavan. From there, we will proceed to Punjab, we certainly have to bow down - as they say in hindi, Matha Tekna Padega, Harmandir Sahib Jana Padega; from there, we go to Jammu and then to Srinagar. In April 2016, we will reach Srinagar. Any one of you is welcome to join the walk at any point of time, but, only during the holidays and not at any other time. Now, this is the walk. Let me introduce myself a little bit so you understand the journey.” “Well, I was born in Trivandrum. Trivandrum is an anglicised version of Thiruvananthapuram. Thiruvananthapuram means the land of Ananta Padmanabha Swami - Maha Vishnu (The Supreme Lord) is resting in a lying posture on the Adishesha (That which always remains). He is known as Padmanabha because there is a lotus growing from his Nabhi (navel) on which Brahma (God of Creation sits, according to the Shastras (Scriptures). I was born there in a well-to-do Muslim family. We don’t speak Malayalam at home because we were settlers from the North who had come there in the service of the Maharaja of Travancore.” “I was a normal child like any other child except that I had this strange feeling whenever I looked at the sky that the clouds were snow capped mountains - where do you get snow in the south? It was something that was in my mind. Maybe it was something from the past, who knows? Well, I know but you don’t know. I believe that things have to be explored rather than believed in. And then, something happened during that part of my life that completely overhauled my thinking process and made me turn in a direction, which to others - especially my family members - was a big shock.” “At the age of 9, when I was playing in a garden in the backyard of the house, far away under the jackfruit tree, I saw someone very strange standing there. Strange because I had never seen anyone like that before. The upper part of his body was bare. He was just wearing a white cloth which came down to his knee. And, he had a kamandalu (traditional water pot) in his hand, which I had never seen before and thought was some kind of a water bottle. And, he had matted hair. It was probably the first time I had seen anybody with matted hair tied up so high. I was looking at him -fascinated, stunned - wondering who this was. I was thinking to myself, did he jump over the compound wall and enter?” “And then, he gestured, he beckoned to go towards him. You know, if you are young and you are in the backyard of your house when it is evening and someone, a strange looking stranger calls you, you bolt. But, for some strange reason, I found myself walking towards him. When I was close to him, he said to me, did you remember anything. I said, no, I do not remember anything. Then he placed his hand on my head - I want to tell you something, I will be 66 this 6th November and the warmth of that hand still has not gone. Then he said, when the time comes, things will be all right.” “He then told me to go back. So, I started walking back. I reached home. I wanted to tell my mother but something strange happened, I could not tell her. Whenever I wanted to tell anyone about this, I could not. It was as if my tongue got stuck and I could not speak. For many, many years I did not tell anyone. Strange things started happening. In the night, around midnight, I used to wake up and fix my attention on a sensation in my navel. And, from then on, I had many beautiful experiences. I do not want to go into details.” “By the time I finished my college and reached the age of 19, I started feeling that I was in a cage. I wanted to break free. Of course, it was a golden cage - I had everything I wanted, that way there were no problems. But a cage is a cage, be it made of gold or of iron. I felt like a bird trapped inside a cage unable to flap my wings. This was also the sensation I had when I was at school and when I looked outside the window and saw birds flying around happily. I could not hold on any longer when the sensation, the desire to break free from the cage, was too powerful.” “Please, do not do any such thing. This is not an advice to the youngsters. The result was good in the end but I can’t guarantee the same results to everyone if you bolt from home. It is a difficult life when you go out - you are wandering and you are penniless. But then, there is something you are searching for. When it is like that, then all obstacles and difficulties will not be so difficult to go through. I reached Badrinath. I won’t go through all the details. I have written an autobiography which is called ‘Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi’s Autobiography’, which is translated into most Indian languages, of course Hindi too. I won’t go through all the details, they are interesting details but I won’t go through them now.” “I ran into Babaji - the same person whom I had met when I was 9 years old. The first thing he said to me was,‘Ghoom phir ke vaapas aa gaye’- wandering here and there you have finally returned. I then said to him, Ab aapke pair ko nahi chodenge’ - I will not leave your feet now. He smiled and replied ‘dekha jayega’ (We will see). I spent three and a half years with him in the Himalayas. I found that to be an ideal life - to live in the Himalayas, to spend time in spiritual meditation, to enjoy the beauty of the spirit, lovely Ganga water was available everywhere, fresh air and food was available at the ashrams - it was not a problem. What more could one want? I wanted to live like that. I told him now and then, ‘Babaji main to aise hi din bitaaunga, kahin nahi jaaunga‘- I will live like this, I will not go anywhere.” “Then, one day he dropped a bomb - please, not a physical bomb, in fact one of his lessons was how to disintegrate a bomb and not how to make one! I was looking at him, sitting quietly on the banks of Ganga when he said: Now you will have to go back. I said, go back where? He said, go back from where you came, go back to the plains, go back home, your mother is waiting for you. I said - Babaji you knew all along, why did you not say anything before? He said ‘because your work lies somewhere else.’ You know what I did? I am sure many of you youngsters would have done the same. I said, no, I am not going anywhere. I put my foot down.” “Then he said, many years ago I had asked you what you consider yourself to be in relation to me. What did you say? I said to him, ‘Babaji, I had told you I am your dog, you walk in front and I walk behind you’. Not these modern dogs, they are in front and the master has to run behind them - you can see one if you go out in the morning. My son goes for a walk with his dog and I always think of this. We also used to have HMV - the old gramophone records, and the dog was listening - it was called His Master’s Voice, HMV. I was in the same state. In fact, we used to have a puzzle in school, we used to ask the dog that sits there, is it a male or a female? Well, it is a male because it is His Master’s Voice.” “Babaji asked me what he had said at that time. I had repeated what he had said - do not wag your tail too much. Babaji told me not to wag my tail, and told me: what I say to you, do that, go back! So I said: okay, I will go back.” “Babaji also told me that if you meditate for thirty years in a cave - twenty four hours a day – and you cannot heed the cry of hunger in your neighbour’s hut, then your thirty years of meditation has gone waste. The first thing, I think, that happens is that a yogi does not develop a stone heart. His or her heart becomes soft, kind and compassionate and feels every pain that is around. This is why Swami Vivekananda, when he started Ramakrishna Mission, said that people who do not have enough - consider them Narayanas (The Lord) and because they do not have enough, consider them to be Daridra Narayanas (The needy Lord in human form).” “When Swami Vivekananda was wandering across India - you know he became well known only when he came back to India from the States - he met an old friend in Maharashtra who told him that a very good friend of his had passed away. Swamiji started crying - he cried loudly and with tears. His host asked him, ‘Swamiji, what is this? I thought you had become a sanyaasi, (a renunciate) without attachments. Why are you crying?’ Swamiji said, ‘Do you think I did tapasya (meditation) for so many years so that my heart becomes stone? He continued, ‘I did tapasya so that my heart may become sensitive and I can feel the pain of others. He said, ‘Do you think I am crying for myself? I am crying for the wife and kids of the man who died.’” “By staying and moving with a Guru like that, I understood through my own experience that a small spark of that all-pervading Supreme Reality rests in the heart of all living beings. There is no living being who does not have it - be it a man or a woman. We are all moving, walking temples of God because of the antaryaami (The indweller) we carry around with us everyday in our hearts. The only way we can worship this God is through Seva (service to humanity), we cannot do aarti (Waving of lights). Yes, you can do aarti of the deity in a temple. But, for the deity in a human being’s heart, the way to worship that is through seva.” “Babaji had said to me that I have to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. I felt that, if I don’t walk now, I will never be able to do it. I am already 66 years old. So, we started this walk. The aim of this walk is Maanav Ekta. This is nothing new for India. We know that we are all one. My aim for this walk is to keep people, to let people not forget this fact - you may have different religions, different ideologies, different ideas, you may even be an atheist (in Kerala we have many) but you are all human beings. If you keep this in mind, then you can unite this country. I think we are moving towards a stronger India. If you can put your minds together - irrespective of your ideologies, personal belief - no one can do anything against us. Not only that, we will expand and become a beautiful country. Not limited to this - just watch - people will come from all over the world to understand the wisdom of this ancient land. This is the aim of this walk.” “So, if you all cannot walk with us, be with us in your hearts and minds so that this journey of ours becomes successful. This is my request to all of you youngsters. It is very important that the young people understand this. Maybe, after many years, this will grow into a beautiful tree. And, under this beautiful tree, thousands and thousands of people will find shade and rest. The fragrance of the fruits and flowers of this tree will flow towards all nations when the wind blows. This is the aim of this walk. I do not want to engage you any more than this. We can’t have a practical session on meditation right now. So, I wind up this session right now.” “Thank you.” “Om Shaanti, Shaanti, Shaanti.” “Can you, with me, say Bharat Mata Ki Jai?” Everyone repeated Bhaarat Mata Ki Jai three times and the Satsang ended with these resounding words.

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