Day 297 | 4 November 2015 | From Karapgaon to Kareli | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Sri M addresses the gathering of Kareli public staff of its sugar mill - Narsinghpur
  • Ancient and awe-inspiring Shiv Mandir - Karapgav
  • Inside the Sri Hanuman Shrine - Karapgav
  • 'They won't let us start on an empty tank' - Karapgav
  • Reception at Batesara-Narsinghpur
  • A great session of lilting folk music - Batesara
  • A uniqe experience as Sri M and each of the padaytris plant a sapling each - Kareli Sugar Mill
  • Tiny tots who waited in the hot sun to receive us - Narsinghpur
  • Sri M performing Ararti at the Shiv Mandir - Kareli
  • ' I need your blessings too' - a touching interaction - Kareli
  • The power salute of the Scouts & Guides of Kareli's schools
  • Sri M in solemn prayer inside the madina Masjid - Narsingwada
  • Grand receptions galore enroute - Kareli
  • Our Muslim brethren welcomed Sri M at the Jama Masjid Kareli
  • Sri M performing Arati at the Sri Hanuman Mandir - Kareli
Walk of Hope left Karapgaon and reached Kareli on the outskirts of Narsinghpur, covering a distance of about 15 km, today. Leaving a few kilometres just before Kareli, the padyaatris (travellers on foot) reached the town at around 9 in the morning. Rest of the day was spent in exploring the town, visiting shrines and meeting groups from different communities. This region is the sugar belt of India and one could see innumerable sugar farms, sugarcane factories and cottage industries spread across the region. The Kareli Sugar Mill Association members took care of the Walk of Hope padyaatris at Kareli. Sri M interacted and addressed the factory owners and staff members of one sugar processing unit. They walked with them for a few hours. Sri M and the padyaatris also planted saplings in the factory premises.

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Reaching Kareli town, they were received at many places. Walking through the narrow streets people thronged to catch a glimpse of Sri M and the walkers. Groups of as many as fifty to hundred people received them and joined the walk. Participation from school students has been the highlight of Walk of Hope. Today was no different. Students from many local schools lined the streets and showered the path with flowers as Sri M walked past and also joined the walk for a few kilometres. School bands led the walk into the town of Kareli. People from local villages also participated in the walk. Once again there were many folk singers, of the same style as yesterday. The stories they shared through their music were different though, each village having it’s own unique theme set to a similar style of music. These lands are dotted with ancient and new temples and the walkers have been visiting quite a few this last week. Today they visited an ancient Shiv Mandir at Karapgav, whose origins are not known, the priest claimed it to be 2000 years old. They also visited the Sri Hanuman shrine of Karapgav, Shiv Mandir of Kareli, Madina Masjid of Narsingwada, Sri Ram Mandir of Kareli, Digambar Jain Mandir of Kareli, Jama Masjid of Kareli and Sri Hanuman Mandir of Kareli. Members from various communities - Hindus, Muslims, Jains - joined them at different places and became a part of Walk of Hope. The walk concluded at half past noon and they then retired to their resting places. Sri M’s address at Kareli Sugar Mill Association: 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 “‘Namaskaar’ to all the respected personalities on the dais and ‘Namaskaar’ to all those sitting in front and to all the ‘padyaatris’ who have walked with me from the beginning of the ‘padyaatra’ (Journey on foot) from Kanyakumari, I do ‘Namaskaar’ to them at least ten times each day because from 12th January, which was the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, they have accompanied me on this walk.” “Although there are many who join us wherever we go, a permanent group of 60 to 70 padyaatris has been with me constantly; to them I have to do ‘Namaskaar’. We are walking whether it rains or it is hot… and I think in Kashmir there will be snow too. We have already walked about 4800 km till here and about 3200 km remain to be covered for us to reach Kashmir in April or May of 2016, that is our aim.” “I want to beg your forgiveness for any mistakes that I may make when speaking in Hindi as I am from South India.” “What is the aim of this ‘yatraa’? (Journey) The aim of this ‘yatraa’ is ‘Maanav Ekta’ (unity of humanity) which is not at all a new concept, neither am I enunciating a new philosophy, it is our ‘Bhaarat’s’ ancient cultural heritage (Sanskriti). It should not be necessary to repeat it but, it appears to me and a few others that sometimes we forget about ‘Maanav Ekta’ for various reasons. What these reasons are, it is difficult to say, but the fact remains that we forget.” “We have passed through small villages and we have been to large cities where when we meet people we do not enquire about their religion. We ask if they are ‘Maanav’ (human), yes they say. We ask if they are ‘Bhaarat waasis’ (residents of India), they again answer in the affirmative, that is all we need to know.” “These two are the only elements that we need to determine; first that we are ‘Maanav’ (human) as we are all creations of one God and second, are born of a mother’s womb; none has fallen from the skies and in the end we all will return to this very earth. Between our birth and death what is the need for violence?” “The ancient Jain religion which is part of the ‘Sanaatan Dharma’ (eternal religion)… I don’t believe it to be any different from it, began with the concept of ‘ahimsa paramo dharma’ (non-violence is the ultimate duty). More than physical violence, we need to shun mental violence that is why I say that first our minds should be peaceful; and if our minds are peaceful then we will manifest only peace and will not be able to indulge in violence.” “This peace exists in every human’s heart. It is my belief and experience that a small fragment of the omnipresent ‘Ishwar’ (God) is present in every human heart. You cannot say that it is not so, as I have experienced His presence. For this reason, every ‘Maanav’ is a temple on the move; and if it is true, how do we worship the deity within? It is with ‘Seva’ (selfless service).” “So the ‘Seva Bhaav’ (attitude of selfless service) which is a very ancient cultural tradition (sanskriti) of ours… Swami Vivekananda said, ‘atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha’ (work for the salvation of our individual self and for the well-being of all on earth). One should work simultaneously for the welfare of the world and for one’s salvation.” “So this is what we try to explain to all whom we meet. In villages, people gather under the ‘peepal’ tree (sacred fig-tree) and we tell them that ‘Maanavta’ is the greatest of religions, there is no religion greater than it and we need to maintain peace and goodwill.” “First we are humans and then we are citizens of ‘Bhaarat’; we partake of ‘Bhaarat’s’ produce; we drink its waters; we breathe the air that flows over it so we should never forget that we are ‘Bhaarat waasis’. If we do not forget these two aspects then day by day ‘Bhaarat’ will not only progress but will also gain in strength and power”. “And why is it necessary for a robust ‘Bhaarat’ to emerge? Because the message of peace, goodwill and ‘Maanav Ekta’ will spread to the rest of the world from here; it is not going to be the other way. So my only message to you all is that we should live together harmoniously and strengthen the land on which we live.” “In the very near future when peoples of the world will come to us to gain knowledge and learn about goodwill and peace as was in ancient times, we will be the Guru to the world; not me, I am talking about ‘Bhaarat’.” “This is my aim and wherever we go, we share it with all and are now sharing it with you. Our welcome by the sugar factory was as sweet as the sugar they produce. I thank all of you and ‘namaskaar’ (the audience applauds); and after saying ‘Wahe Guru’ to the Sikh brother whom I see sitting here and saying my ‘salaam’ to the Muslim brothers here, I end this discourse, thank you.” (applause from the audience). The padyaatris gathered again in the evening where Sri M addressed the gathering of about 500 people. “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 and salaam. This, our padyaatra (Journey on foot) began at Kanyakumari on 12th January. I would like to mention that I am from the South and if there are any mistakes in my Hindi, please do forgive me.” “So, we have reached Madhya Pradesh after having traversed 4 or 5 states. Kanyakumari is in Tamil Nadu, from there we came to Kerala, Kerala to Karnataka, Karnataka to Maharashtra, Maharastra to Gujarat. We entered Madhya Pradesh through Jhabua. We have walked about 4800 Km now and we still need to cover more than 3200 Km. Every day, we walk about 18 to 20 Km. Now, our intent is to reach Srinagar in May 2016. How many more months do we have? Now, it is October, no, November. We still have another 6 or 7 months before we reach our destination.” “The objective of this yaatra (journey) is Maanav Ekta (Unity in Humanity). Maanav Ekta, our religions may be different, our ideologies may vary; in our Kerala state, there are people who do not believe in God, we have people like this too; it is true that Adi Shankaracharya is from Kerala but there are Communists in Kerala who do not have faith in an entity called God. Despite this, whatever be our faith, we are all Maanav (human). How are we human? Because we are all born from a mother’s womb and we go back to the earth, so we can only be human, there are no two ways.” “So, whatever be our names or religions, we are all human beings. So, with the message of Maanavta (humanity) and with renewed faith in Maanavta, we walk so that this is not forgotten. I would like to spread this message to everyone and share it with all so that one should not forget that basically, we are all human.” (Referring to the microphone system. “Looks like when I increase my volume, this too gets enhanced”. “So for this, what is necessary?” (Referring to some late entrants) “Please come in and close the door (repeats it) ‘Oh Ok, there’s a wire, there, all right. It’s not a problem”. (Making light of the situation) “So it happens in Maanav Ekta, there’s a lot of noise but we need to live together in harmony. This is our objective and this is the reason we are walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.” “One thing I would like to tell you is that Maanav Ekta is my experience and faith. It is not that I have read some written theory, No, it’s not that way. This has been my experience and it is my faith.” “In my childhood, I had gone away to the Himalayas at the age of 19. My Guru, Baba ji, Maheshwarnath Baba ji, placed his hand on my head. With this, my heart, my mind and my do you say it?. My heart, my soul and my body changed so extensively..I am speaking Hindi spoken in the Navy. I am trying to say that within my heart, there was a new understanding through which I understood that the omniscient divine, a part of it, is in every person’s heart.” “So, if every man has the essence of the supreme being in his heart, we call it Aatma, Jeevaatma; in the language of the Sufis, it is called Noor – Khuda Ka Noor, if this is present in our hearts, then every person, without any doubt is a walking moving temple. A walking, moving temple because that essence of Bhagwaan (God) which is within us is the Lord Himself. God dwells within us and so we are unquestionably walking moving temples.” “So how does the worship in this temple happen? It would not be through aarati?” (Waving of lamps as part of ritualistic worship) “This happens only in a temple. The aarati in this temple, where the divine resides in the body, is through Seva. Selfless service is the greatest service. There is no service which is more superior than service to mankind. Swami Vivekanand ji, whose birth anniversary was on 12th January, the day we started from Kanyakumari on the yaatra, says it very well - Atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha. Search for liberation and the world’s welfare, if both these can go hand in hand, then the whole world will be blissful. Joy will bear fruits everywhere.” “We are walking with this message. We go everywhere, to a village, to a city, every place. I meet people and I tell them, keep your religion to yourself but have this trust that we are all fragments of That Bhagwaan (the Divine) and Bhagwaan is in our hearts as an indweller. This is why we should be together as humanity is One. We need to live with this understanding. I tell this to everybody and nobody, till now has questioned this.” “In my view, in Bhaarat’s culture which is a very ancient one, everybody knows about Maanav Ekta. Then, why are we on this padyaatra? Because, sometimes, we tend to forget this. And when we forget, the suffering is huge. We suffer, others too suffer and Bhaarat also suffers. So, if we go with this faith that all humanity is one and we all work towards this unity, then Bhaarat is bound to become very strong. And in my belief, making Bhaarat strong is absolutely necessary. Why? Because, Bhaarat’s ethos is such that we have welcomed people coming here from various parts of the world, with open arms. We have not told anyone – You are not allowed here. Those who have arrived have now become Bhaarat waasis (Indians). Now, we cannot differentiate as ‘they’ and ‘us’ because we are all one – we are Maanav. We need to draw from this strength of one humanity. And from Bhaarat, the message of peace, goodwill and harmony will spread across the whole world. This is my faith. This is what we are attempting (through the walk).” “Once, when I was sitting on the banks of Uttarkashi with Baba ji, he told me - If you meditate in a cave for 10 or 20 years, 10 hours every day and you come out and cannot hear the cry of a hungry child from a small hut, then the saadhana you did for 20 years is a sheer waste. This is what he said and it created a deep impact in my heart. This is what I would like to share with others. So, whatever be the extent of the ritualistic worship or intensive meditation you do, whatever be the acts of ibaadat (devotion to the Lord) you do, in case you do not have compassion or love, then all your saadhana is a waste. We do saadhana so that we can get closer to God. But if we are able to see God in the human being sitting right opposite you, then it becomes very easy and there’s no hurry and no anxiety. So, love them, serve them and live in harmony with them. This is Maanav Ekta. This is all I say to people wherever I go.” “It is not that this is only from our Sanaatan dharm (eternal order). This is stated in every religion. When Muslim brethren meet amongst themselves, they say ‘Salaam’. What does ‘salaam’ mean? It means – Let God’s peace shower upon you. ‘Salaam Aleikum’ – which means, May the Lord’s peace be showered upon all of us. And what is the greeting in return? Let the same peace shower on you too. What do we say either before or after the Satsang? ‘Om Shaanti, Shaanti, Shaanti’. So, ‘Shaanti’ and ‘Salaam’ are the same though it is in different languages. In Jerusalem, Jews say ‘Shalom’. There is no difference in ‘Salaam’ and ‘Shalom’. From here, it is ‘Salaam’ and from the other side, it is ‘Shalom’. And then what do they do? They throw bombs.” “I feel this should change. This should not continue. What is being said (about peace) should be believed in. Have faith and with that, whatever one work does or duties one performs should also change in a way that everyone is seen through the eyes of love and compassion. There are many people here who belong to the Jain religion. I had been to the Jain temple here. Jainism is one of Bhaarat’s old and ancient faith. At the very start, it proclaims Ahimso paramo dharma. The greatest religion is non-violence.” “This violence, the external violence is something different. When there is a law and order problem, then the police has to resort to some violence, true. But in reality, this ‘Ahimsa’ is the peace one finds in the heart. That is the greatest ‘Ahimsa’. If one can keep the mind calm and peaceful, then he or she becomes ‘Ahimsa Sheelan’, one can be in concord with non-violence. If this happens, then one can live harmoniously with others. It is not that one tries for peace and harmony in others while there is no peace in one’s own mind. Peace has to dwell in one’s own heart first. Peace has to be in my mind, peace and harmony in my house first and then in my neighbour’s. If there is no peace in my own house, I go to my neighbour and tell them to live peacefully, who will listen? First, we have to set ourselves right. This is why I am telling you, that while in the Vedas it is said – ‘Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu’, we need to have this serenity in Bhaarat first. We will look at the world later,’ “’Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu’. If there’s a state of peace in Bhaarat, if we live together in Maanav Ekta, then everything else will fall in place. This is what I feel. This is what I am sharing with people. I know that you cannot walk with us. We have been walking thousands of kilometres. But if you remain with us in your minds, then I will consider the padyaatra to be moving. And if you remain with us in your minds, then I have the faith that this padyaatra would be successful. So, I appeal to you, to be with us on this Yaatra and make it a success.” “How can you stay connected with us? By keeping peace and harmony and the theme of Maanav Ekta alive in your and locality, in your homes and neighbourhood. I will be here today and leave tomorrow but please ensure that you do not forget this. You should spread the message that someone had come here (to talk about this).” “Some people feel that this man is mad, walking 8000 Km. The people who are sitting around me are all walking with me. They have come from different parts of Bhaarat. They have walked more than 4000 Km already. I would like to tell you that we have people from the age of 17 to the age of 80 walking with us. How are they walking? They are walking with this faith. It is not just faith in me. That’s not the only thing. They are walking with the faith that when a person does some good work and they do it with trust and confidence in their hearts, then it’s definitely going to be accomplished. This is the belief they are walking with.” “So, if you are not able to walk with us, please remain with us (through your hearts and minds). People ask me – ‘you are already 66 years old, how are you walking? Where is the energy coming from? How are you doing this?’ There are people half my age also walking. Many a time, they come to me and say: Sir ji, I am drained out of all energy, please place your hand on my head. Where is it coming from, how is it happening? This is only because my mind has become very peaceful. When one’s mind has violence or is disturbed, then that mind has a lot of worries or disturbances. When there are many worries, the Tejas (lustre) which is inside gets wasted away. When the mind is calm, the energy is not wasted and we can utilize it for many things.” “I would like to narrate something before I end this. Just suppose that we are standing by a road, on a footpath and a man is walking by – a very old man. His clothes are torn and he looks like he will collapse after taking four steps, a very weak looking man. Now, suddenly a car comes at great speed and hitting on the brakes stops just close to this man. I am telling you that the man jumps so fast that may perhaps have broken all records of a long jump! Why? Because he had to survive! He did not have the time to ponder – Oh I am old, my clothes are torn, I have not eaten for four days, how will I get out of the way? He did not have these thoughts. So instead, to save himself if he stood there thinking, he would not have been able to do it. He heard the noise, the car came close and he just jumped. He escaped!” “The meaning of this is we belittle ourselves with our thoughts. I think and I say to myself, ‘I will not be able to do this. This is not for me. I am such a small person, how can I do this? I am an Aam Aadmi (ordinary person)’, I am not talking about the ‘Aam Aadmi Party’, my belief is that there are no ordinary people, each one is remarkable. There’s no person who is not. If a part of Bhagwaan dwells within, then no man can be trivial.” “So, when the old man leaped out of the way, he did not have sufficient time to think. All the worries and tendencies of the mind had ended at that split second. Doctors will say that there was a rush of adrenaline in the blood and so he leaped. But that also needs to be switched on. Who turned on the switch?” “In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, at the very beginning, it is stated ‘Yogas chittha vritti nirodha’ – Yoga means to end the tendencies of the mind. What is the nature of the mind? Thoughts - ‘This is not possible, I will not be able to do this’.” “The meaning of Chitta vritthi (nature of the mind) is – have you experienced the mind being pure and calm at any point or time in your life? It keeps moving, keeps hopping around like a monkey; here to there, there to here, I am sitting here for a minute and the mind travels all over the world and returns. Now, the meaning of Yog is that at any given point of time, when you are in a place, whatever be the disturbance in any of the four directions, if you can hold the mind focussed or single-pointed, then that is Yog. If we have this Yog within us, then Shaanti is also with us, the mind is calm and all our energy is in our hands. And whatever work we want to do, we will be able to succeed.” “Swami Vivekanand said from the Kathopanishad - Uttisthata Jagrata Prapya Barannibodhata – Wake up, Be aware.. how do they say it?” (A padyaatri prompts him) “He’s saying it better than me. He’s also from the South. Awake, Arise, stop not till you reach your goal. This is what he said. This is also our goal, to bring people together. I would also like to tell you - Uttisthata Jagrata Prapya Barannibodhata. Don’t stand up now! Be seated. I am speaking from my heart. You must be listening to Mann ki Baat!” (Referring to the Prime Minister’s radio program)” This is my ‘Mann ki Baat’.” “I would not like to say anything more. Also, whatever I am saying is also not very audible to you all.” “Now, I would like 2 or 3 people from our Yaatra to talk to you all. You will get an idea about their experiences, there are a few who speak Hindi too. I will call them here. This will be another dialogue.” “So, the seeds of Maanav Ekta I am sowing, please keep it alive, in every village and in every place, nurture it. The seed will not grow into a tree overnight. It will take some time. When the time comes, this seed will become a very big tree and all Bhaarat waasis will sit under it’s cool shade. When the breeze blows, a very sweet-smelling breeze, this aroma will extend to the whole world. This is my dream. With all of us united, it is possible.” “Namaskaar” “Om Shaanti, Shaanti, Shaanti.” Sri M then invited a few padyaatris to talk about their experiences and the Satsang ended.

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