Day 282 | 20 October 2015 | Nirahar Satyagraha in Bhopal | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Sri M addresses the gathering before commencing the Nirahaar Satyagraha at Tulsi Manas Pratishtan - Bhopal
  • The 3rd Niraahar Satyagraha of the Walk of Hope - Bhopal
  • Mesmerising music by the Gundecha Brothers - Tulsi Manas Pratishtan - Bhopal
  • The Mahila Dal of the Dhrupad Gurukul - Bhopal
  • Lovely music more than made up for the food we eschewed during the Satyagraha - Bhopal
  • Garlands, turban, a Fez - overwhelming Sri M with love - Bhopal
  • Rustic, rhythmic, four-piece percussion wizard - bhopal
  • An informal satsang to end the proceedings of the 3rd Niraahar Satyagraha
  • Prof PJ Kurien, Dy Chairman Rajya Sabha offering lime juice to Sri M at he end of the Niraahar Satyagraha - Bhopal
The day marked the third Nirahaar Satyagraha against Terrorism and Violence after the padyaatra began. The first and second were in Pune and Ahmedabad, respectively. The event was attended by a thousand odd people through the day, coming in batches.

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People from various communities joined Sri M and the padyaatris, leaving after spending a few hours at the venue. Many people from the minority communities attended in large numbers. Sri M spoke to the gathering a couple of times during the day. There was one very unique and spontaneous Satsang in the evening. The day also saw musical performances by many teams of artistes. The first musical performance was by the Mahila Dal of Dhrupad Gurukul, followed by the mesmerising music of the Gundecha brothers and then, by various other small groups. Each group had its own style and each brought with it its own unique, distinct and enjoyable flavour. Of course, the highlight of the musical events of the day was the bhajans by the Gundecha brothers. The Gundecha brothers have been with Sri M and the padyaatra for a few days now and it was a privilege to finally hear them perform. Umakant Gundecha and Ramakant Gundecha are leading Dagarvani dhrupad singers. They always sing together. They were awarded Padma Shri in 2012 together. They trained with Dhrupad Masters, Zia Fariddudin Dagar and his brother Zia Mohiuddin Dagar. They have worked to expand the dhrupad repertoire by incorporating texts by Hindi poets such as Tulsidas, Padmakar and Nirala. They have also set up a Dhrupad Institute outside Bhopal where they teach students from all over the world. They run a music school in the Dhrupad tradition, according to the guru shishya style of teaching that was earlier prevalent in India. The next five days, from 21st to 26th of October, are halt days. Sri M addressed the gathering at the beginning of the event, signalling the beginning of the Satyagraha. “Please chant ‘Om Shaanti, Shaanti, Shaanti’ and after that the Niraahar Satyagrahawill start. It will go on till 5.00 pm in the evening. It is against terrorism and violence. We want to share the message of peace and harmony with everyone. Whenever we go to cities, we have a Niraahar Satyagraha against terrorism and violence. So, please repeat with me and we will begin. It is Niraahar (fast) only for the body. For the mind,there are many singers coming in today. Gundecha Bandhu will also come. Please chant after me.” “Om Shaanti Shaanti Shaanti.” Later during the day, thanking Gundecha Bandhu for gracing the occasion with their performance, Sri M said: “I would like to thank Gundecha Bandhu and his team. The Dhrupad singing we just heard now was so good, it was as if Shakti (primordial energy) climbed up the Shushumna (Central channel) and the lotus opened up. The experience of the Yogi has been related so well through Dhrupad singing.” “You asked me to speak. I will do that later in the day. When this yaatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir is completed, I would like to spend some time alone somewhere. I wanted to ask you if I could do it here, if I could come to your school and become your disciple” “Thank you and Namaskaar.” During the day, Prof. P J. Kurien, the Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, joined the Nirahaar Satyagraha. He was one of the honoured guests at the flag-off ceremony on 12th January and also walked with Sri M in Kerala. Sri M addressed the gathering after greeting Prof. P J Kurien. “Professor Kurien is with us. I will now speak on Jesus Christ. Now, we are walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. In our padyaatra we have facilities, we have places to halt, food is also being provided. While we are doing this padyaatra, we are not exactly parivraajakas. I am talking about a parivraajaka who lived a thousand years ago in Jerusalem. He himself said that ‘Snakes have holes, foxes have dens but the son of man has no place to rest his head.’ This means if one is wandering about as a homeless wanderer, it is a perfect example of a parivrajaaka. One who does not have a roof over his head.” “It is very clear from the prayer in the Bible, ‘Father, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done.’ And, this person who was not bothered about his clothes, or food said a few words once which are now known as Sermon on the Mount. Some of those words are universal, they have nothing to do with time or place or religion.” “One thing, he said was ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they are called the children of God’. He did not say a Christian, Hindu, Muslim, a Jew or a Sikh. If he or she is a peacemaker, he is a child of God. He also said ‘Bless those that curse you, do good to those who hate you’. This is the complete opposite of what we usually want to do when someone curses us.” “He also said that ‘Lay treasures in your heart where no thieves will break in and steal’. This is what we were just talking about. This treasure is the spark of the Supreme Being that resides in the heart of each and every one of us. ‘Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you’ It is a Vedantic statement. Its very nature is peace, bliss and happiness. If you hold on to that, you will need nothing.” “Can you imagine someone saying, ‘Bless them that curse you’. This can come only from a person who has a pure heart.The way of the world is to bless those that bless you and catch those that curse you and beat them up.” “Our religions maybe different, our ideologies maybe different, we may come from different places but we should remember one thing - we are all human beings and we all seek peace and happiness. When the Jew says Shalom he means peace. When the Muslim says Salaam he means peace. And, what do they do? Sometimes, in this world, people do exactly the opposite of what their religion says.” “And for us, in the ancient Hindu system of thought, everything starts with ‘Om Shaanti, Shaanti, Shaanti.’ When you go to a temple and you get prasaad – it means may you have peace. If you look up the meaning of the word prasaad in Sanskrit, this is what it means - peace.” “There is nobody who does not seek it. In this, we are all the same - we all desire peace and happiness. As human beings with the same desires and same yearnings, we are One and are not different from each other.” At the end of the session, Sri M broke his fast with Prof. P. J. Kurien offering a glass of juice. The public program ended thus with a brief two line address by Sri M saying that he was happy that everybody had gathered and they had done the Niraahaar Satyagraha together as One. There was a very unique Satsang in the evening—spontaneous and for padyaatris only. However, since the recordings were not very good with lots of background noise, attempts are on to transcribe the same using better technology.

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