Day 290 | 28 October 2015 | From Poosa to Bari | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Sri M blesses a differently abled boy at Poosa - the day's starting point - Raisen
  • An uphill trek through winding roads - a sight for sore eyes - Raisen
  • 3.Joyful-despite-their-obvious-limitations,-Raisen,-MP
  • The winding, beautiful & busy Raisen
  • 5.We-need-to-light-up-their-lives,-Bari,-Raisen,-MP
  • WOH - Day 290 - a spirited walk with lots of local participation - Raisen
  • 7.Giant-trees,-dense-foliage-&--occasional-wild-animals-added-thrill-to-the-walk,-Raisen,-MP
  • Reception at Bari - Raisen
  • Town walk to the venue of reception - Bari
  • 'Vande Mataram' fills the air as the padayatris enter Bari
  • Reception at Bari - Raisen
  • Sri M addressing the gathering at Bari - raisen
Walk of Hope covered its last stretch through the reserve forest today and reached the village of Bari. Leaving behind Poosa, the padyaatra passed through few tiny hamlets—usually a cluster of no more than 10 or 15 homes—before reaching its destination.

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The walk was relatively quiet, only interspersed by the noise of passing automobiles. The walkers climbed and descended the gradual slopes of many hills with ease. The ancient forest with volcanic rock, dense shrub and giant trees is a haven for wildlife. They saw Egyptian vultures, eagles and wild jackals very close to the road. They also saw many dead cattle littered alongside the road; it was a little strange and they had not seen so many dead animals on any single day earlier. Reaching the outskirts of Bari, the yaatris came across small, terraced paddy fields along the slopes. It was a burst of color - dark, brown volcanic rock and a million shades of green. At Bari, there was a small reception. A group of drummers and musicians also joined them. They walked for about 2 kilometres into the village as more and more people joined in. Many school children also walked this short stretch. After reaching the halting place, a town square, Sri M addressed a gathering of about 500. They spent the day resting as there were no further programs during the day. Sri M’s address went thus: “I will begin with a Sanskrit ‘shloka’ (verse), because Sanskrit is not only an ancient language of ours, it represents our ‘sanskriti’ (culture) very well. You may have heard it before; it is spoken at every place. My only aim is to ensure that you understand its meaning. If you understand it, the condition of ‘Bhaarat’ will improve; all will live together with goodwill. Please do excuse me if I make mistakes while speaking in Hindi as I am from South India, though it has been fine till now.” “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” “What did I say? Children from the Sanskrit school are among us, they would have understood; have you understood what I said?‘ Sarve bhavantu sukhinah’; means ‘may all living beings in this world be happy’.” “‘Maanav Ekta’ (unity of humanity) is not a new concept; it is something which was stated 3000 years ago. I have not started anything new. We have embarked on this ‘pad yaatra’ (journey on foot) to make ‘Bhaarat’ culturally stronger.” “‘Lokaḥ samastaḥ sukhino bhavantu’, this too you would have understood. ‘All beings should be happy, they should not be miserable’; this is also the aim of ‘Maanav Ekta Yaatra’ (journey for human unity).” “That we all are ‘Maanav’ (human) is known to all religions, they don’t differ on this account. “ “First, I say ‘namaskaar’( pay obeisance),‘dhanyavaad’ (thank you); ‘salaam alaykum’ to the Muslim brethren who are sitting here; and if there is a Christian brother here ‘namaskaar’ to him too; ‘Wahe Guru’ to any Sikh brethren present. With this, I thank you for the welcome you have accorded us.” “Peace and goodwill have been emphasised in all religions. I began this talk with the Vedas. What do Muslim brothers say when they meet each other? They say ‘salaam alaykum’. What does ‘salaam’ or ‘salaamat’ mean? It means peace; it means goodwill; it means happiness. What is meant is that - may God’s happiness be with you; may God’s peace be with you. And, what do they say in return? May the same be with you too; ‘Wa-alaykum salaam’.” “What do we say after every ‘shloka’ we recite and every Veda recital that we practice; “Om shaanti, shaanti, shaantih’. Is there any difference? The difference lies in ‘aastha’ (faith) (The audience applauds). It may be mentioned, however, that ‘Om shanti, shaanti, shantih’ is 3000 years old. It is our tradition but we need not dwell too much on its antiquity; in every religion, every human must think of peace and harmony.” “The Jew natives of Jerusalem greet each other by calling out ‘shalom’ when they meet. There is no difference between‘shalom’ and ‘salaam’. But what do they do after saying ‘salaam’ and ‘shalom’? They shoot each other with guns.Our aim is to prevent such violence from taking place.” “When Maheshwar Nath Baba ji placed his hand on my head, I experienced what many Saints have enunciated – in every living being’s heart, a part of the ‘Sarva Vyapi Bhagwan’ (all-pervasive God) resides. We call it ‘aatma’; we call it ‘jeev-aatma’. Sufi saints call it ‘Khuda ka noor’ (the light of God).” “It cannot be denied that a part of the all-pervasive God resides in every living being. What does it mean? It means that every living being is a walking-moving temple; walking-moving masjid (mosque).The question arises as to how do we worship such a revered object? I believe that there is no better way of venerating this walking-moving home of the Lord than ‘Maanav Seva’ (service to humanity).” “It is for this ‘Maanav Seva’ that we have set out on this ‘pad yaatra’ (journey on foot) from Kanyakumari. I am not alone, there are many who are walking with me. They are from all parts of ‘Bhaarat’; there are a few who have come from abroad, they too are accompanying us because I believe every human desires peace and goodwill. There is none who wants violence.” “Because when violence takes place, a small fire starts and soon becomes a big conflagration and refuses to be doused, despite our best efforts. So I say that we should prevent it from happening. All should come together and live together. The slogan that ‘we are all one’ should take root in our hearts and should be become a part of our speech.” “It is precisely to achieve this that we have walked 4000 km to reach here and we need to walk another 3800 km to reach our destination. Our aim is to reach Srinagar in April, 2016 where a huge meeting is being planned in which we want to tell people to unite and sustain an ‘Akhand Bhaarat’ (United India). We humans are one and, secondly, that we ‘Bhaarat Waasis’ (citizens of India) are one (the audience applauds).” “If the conviction that we ‘Bhaarat Waasis’ are one and the message of ‘Maanav Ekta’ are firmly established in our hearts, then India will become strong, which I believe is the need of the hour so that the message of peace which has emanated from here for thousands of years, goes out once again to the rest of the world.” “It is my dream which can only be realised with your support because I cannot achieve anything alone; every ‘Bhaarat Waasi’ - be a Hindu, a Muslim or a Christian - needs to work together with others and send out the message of peace, goodwill and ‘MaanavEkta’to the rest of the world once again. That this message needs to spread to the rest of the world from ‘Bhaarat’ is our aim.” “If all of you support us, then surely this will be possible, such is my understanding. We have reached central ‘Bhaarat’, which is located in the centre like the heart is located in the human body and is ‘Bhaarat’s’ heart. From the response that we have received here, it seems that our aim will be realised as we move on.” “Just look around. All are represented here - there are Hindus, there are Musalmaans. I consider myself a ‘Maanav’. What matters the most is that we are all one. I do not want to say anything more. Walk with us. If you cannot do so physically, accompany us in your minds. If you do that, it will assure us that our aim will be fulfilled.” “There is an ancient ‘shloka’ in the Vedas; you may know of it, the children here may know of it.‘Saṃ gacchadhwaṃ saṃ vadadhwaṃ, saṃvo manaaṃsi jaanataam’.‘Saṃ gacchadhwaṃ’ means ‘let us move together’. ‘Saṃ vadadhwaṃ’ means, ‘let’s learn together’. What is to be learnt? We need to learn what ‘Maanav ekta’ (unity of humanity) is.‘Saṃvo manaaṃsi jaanataam’; meaning, ‘let us put our minds together to acquire knowledge’; there is nothing more I want to say.” “All present please join me in proclaiming ‘Bhaarat Maata ki jai’ (victory to Mother India).” The audience joins Sri M in the requested proclamation three times. “Namaskaar, pranaam and good bye.”

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