Day 301 |8 November 2015 | From Imaliya to Gotegaon | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Inside the Sri Ram Mandir - Gotegaon
  • Civic Reception at Gotegaon
  • Arya Sri Aantarmati Mataji addresses the padayaatris - Parshavnath Jain Mandir
  • Reception at the Juma Masjid - Gotegaon
  • Inside the Juma Masjid - Gotegaon
  • Sri M addressing the staff & students of Saraswati Vidyalay - Gotegaon
  • Reception at the day's starting point - Imaliya
  • Arguably the cutest namaskaroffered to Sri M in the day - Imaliya
  • The Walk powers on, along SH 22 - Village Kamti
  • WOH Day 301 - Imaliya to Gotegaon along SH 22
  • Sri M's infectious smile - Narsinghpur
  • Sri Faggan Singh Kulasthe MP joins the Walk - Gotegaon
  • An offering so sweet Sri M cannot refuse - Gotegaon
  • Reception at the Saraswati Mandir premises with the Saraswati Vidyalay student community joining in
Walk of Hope covered just 11 kilometres today from Imaliya to Gotegaon. They started off a few kilometres before Gotegaon and were at the gates of the town very soon. As has become the norm now, it took the walkers more than 6 hours to walk the distance. The day was a tour de force as far as visiting temples goes. They visited not less than 8 temples, a Masjid and a Jain Ashram.

The Journal Of Hope Archive

It is peculiar that almost all the places of worship in Gotegaon are built on the main road, which also serves as the main commercial center. On special days, it must be a sight to see people streaming in and out of different temples. The prominent places of worship Sri M and the padyaatris visited, in chronological order of visit, are Sri Ram Mandir, Srinath Jinalay, Sri Hanuman shrine, Parshvanath Jain Mandir, Juma Masjid, Saraswati Mandir and Sridev Thakur Baba Maharaj Mandir. The day was also marked by the display of participation, especially for a town as small as this. More than 1000 people participated today. Members from different communities joined Walk of Hope and were with them for a while. The main street were literally clogged and the procession brought the tiny town to a grinding halt. To top it off, hundreds of students from Saraswati Vidyalay joined in. The small school has been very kind by allowing the walkers to stay there for three nights, they have emptied out many rooms, the children must be happy for the holidays. Reaching the school, they congregated on the roof-top auditorium where Sri M addressed a gathering of about 600 school students. “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” “I first want to thank the people of Sri Dham who welcomed us, I thank them all and also my namaskaars to them. I also know that this welcome was not for me but for the Manav Ekta Yatra. This is what I understand. Because I am here today and will leave tomorrow, but Maanav Ekta will go on, this is my belief. And my salaam to all the Mussalmaan bhai (Muslim brothers) here. And just now, our Sikh brother met me here, Sasriyakaal and Waahe Guru to him before I start.” “You must have heard about this yaatra (Journey). One thing I want to say is that I am from the South, from Kerala where Adi Shankaracharya started his yaatra. Therefore if there are any mistakes in my Hindi, please forgive me. I will do as much as I can.” “So I won’t say much about the yaatra because you have seen the film and notices which you can read. All I will say is that on 12th January we started from Kanyakumari, after 4 states we entered Madhya Pradesh from Gujarat through Jabhua. Till Sri Dham we have walked 4,800 Km, whether there is sun or rain. We have not had any snow, but we will get some in Srinagar. We still have 3,200 Km to go. So, in the first week of May, we will reach Srinagar, Kashmir, this is our goal. The goal of this yaatra is to promote Maanav Ekta (Unity in humanity). Since this is a Satsang, I cannot talk only about the outer yaatra, so I also want to tell you about the inner yaatra.” “Since my childhood I was interested in faith and spiritual matters. I won’t go into the details of how and what happened, you can read that in my Autobiography. From childhood, my interest in spiritual matters grew. I was born in a Muslim family in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram means the land of Ananta Padmanabha Swami.“ “At the age of eight years, Maheshwarnath Baba ji who belongs to the Nath tradition placed His hand on my head and it completely changed my mind and way of thinking. By changed my mind I mean that I began to get more interested in spiritual matters. I began to feel that whatever is going on is not important, there is more to life than just this. So He kept his hand on my head for five minutes and said, ‘do you remember anything?’ I answered ‘I don’t remember anything’. He then said ‘in time everything will be okay’. He didn’t say anything else.” “At the age of nineteen I left home and went to the Himalayas because I felt like a bird in a cage. Just think how a bird must feel locked up in a cage. Whenever I see a bird in a cage I think it must feel like I felt. My cage was made of gold, but whether the cage is made of gold or iron, a cage is a cage. I felt I had to get out. So I ran away to the Himalayas. That is where I met Maheshwarnath Baba ji again. I stayed with Him for three and a half years. Whatever knowledge I have is by the grace of Baba ji. He then also told me to go wherever there are saints and to learn whatever I could from them. I have therefore met innumerable saints and have made the effort to gain as much knowledge as possible from them. As a result, today this is not only my belief but also my experience that in every human there is a spark of the Divine. This is my experience. It started as a belief but now is my experience. In Vedanta. it is referred to as ‘aatma’ (soul) or ‘jeevatma’, (individual soul) and Sufi saints refer to it as ‘Khuda ka Noor’ (the light of God). This spark of the all-pervading Divine is in every human being, which means that we are all walking, moving temples of God. And in these temples, aaraadhana (worship) to that ‘antaryaami’ (indweller) is not done by ‘aarti’ (waving of lamps) but by ‘seva’ or selfless service. I therefore firmly believe that the best form of worship is service.” “Swami Vivekananda said to think of anyone who is suffering as Narayan and referred to them as ‘daridra Narayana’, (Lord in the form of the poor and suffering) and considered serving them as the highest form of worship. People get diksha (initiation) and practice (sadhana), but only if the mind is pure, is practice possible. And the best action for purifying the mind is selfless service. This is my understanding. So if this spark of the all-pervading Divine is in all of us, then we are all one. We cannot be different.” “Everyone here is born from a mother’s womb, no one falls from the skies, and we all go back into this earth. So in this interim what are we if not human beings? This is why I call myself ‘M’, the letter M makes the sound ‘ma’, the first alphabet of ‘manushya’ (synonymous with human being) and ‘maanav’ (human being). I do not call myself Sri M, just M. People call me Sri M. All of you can also call yourselves M. You are also Sri M. Man or woman, both are ‘maanav’ or ‘manushya’. I am doing this padyaatra (Journey on foot) to explain this to people. This is our ancient tradition, it is nothing new. We often forget this. So my job is to make sure you don’t let this be forgotten. People in many villages we have visited tell me that people of different religions live together, in the spirit of oneness, nothing has happened, we live peacefully. This makes me very happy. But in some places, people do not live peacefully. So this message is especially for them because mankind is one, not separate. Names can be different, religions can be different, but mankind is one.” “The two elderly women who had come here to welcome me had requested me to ask the padyaatris (travellers on foot) to stand up so all of you can see them, so padyaatris please stand up so everyone can see who you are and where you have come from. They are all walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir with only one goal and one firm faith that we are doing some good work, and they walk in front and behind me. They walk in front of as well as behind me and all around me as well.” “So as I said, this is an ancient tradition of India, and I want to briefly talk about how it is referred to in the 12th chapter of The Bhagavad Gita. There are very few chapters that start with ‘Arjuna uvacha’ (Arjuna says). Many chapters begin with ‘Bhagwaan uvacha’. The 12th chapter is called Bhakti Yoga, in which Arjuna asks Krishna Bhagwaan a question – ‘according to you who is the best Yogi or Your closest devotee? What would his qualities be?” “Bhagwaan Krishna told Arjuna many things but the 3 most important qualities in a devotee are: One, ‘Samniyam indriyam graamam’ – whoever has control over their senses. Whenever you do (upvaas) or do Pooja (rituals), meditation, or do any austerities, they are all meant to help control your senses. The Muslims do a month of ‘Roza’ every year. That is also a type of fast to keep the senses under control. Yogi’s do austerities to keep their senses under control. Anyone who is successful in controlling their senses is called ‘jeetendriya’ (one who is victorious in controlling their senses). So He said that any ‘bhakt’ (devotee), any man or human who even attempts to control their senses, even if it is not 100%, it is not easy, I consider him the greatest Yogi. It is through the senses that anger grows. What happens is that the senses get involved with things outside of us and someone prevents us from doing something, we get angry. In The Bhagavad Gita it says ‘dhyayato vishayaan pumsaan….’. Bhagwaan Krishna says that whoever can keep control over ‘kaam, krodh, madh and lobh’ I consider my greatest devotee. “ “I don’t know why I am talking so much today. When someone asked me to talk I said my walk is my talk. But I like sitting and talking in Sri Dham, people are listening. “After writing the Ramcharit Manas, Tulsidas said ‘kaam, krodh, madh, lobhki, jo lo man mein sthaan, Tau lou Pandit moorkhou Tulsi ek saman’. Now how can it be said better than this?” “Bhagwaan Krishna told Arjuna that the second quality by which I consider ‘sah bhakta samey priya’ or my greatest devotee is ‘sarvatra sama buddhaya’. If we make even a little attempt in this direction then a lot of the anger that causes ‘himsa’ (violence) will stop, ‘himsa’ not only against man but animals too. Every living being has an ‘aatma’ or soul, not just humans, so himsa everywhere is the same.” “So ‘sarvatra sama buddhaya’ means anyone who has the capacity to, or at least tries to keep the mind calm in praise or criticism, happiness or sadness is called a ‘stitha prajna’. One’s mental disposition should always be balanced. Normally if anyone praises us, we get very happy. If someone criticizes us even a little, we go into depression. We lose sleep and need to take medicines to sleep, why? Because someone said we are stupid or that we don’t know anything.” “When I had gone to Ralegaon Siddhi, Anna ji asked me if I had any bad experiences. I said yes, many people say I am mad, but I did not let it bother me. He replied, good, only a mad person can do something”. “So we should not depend on appreciation or criticism. In my opinion anyone who criticizes you is doing us good because he is giving us the opportunity to examine ourselves. Learn to look at it this way. And every happiness is followed by some unhappiness. In simple words, if you make a lot of money, the income tax official is not very far behind. Therefore, if we make friends with sorrow then it cannot do us any harm. Unhappiness will become happiness. Make sorrow your friend because no one can escape it. If there is happiness, there has to be unhappiness. There is no man who has not experienced unhappiness. He might have everything, but he will be sad about something. Maybe his wife has left, or his son doesn’t listen to him, or he did not win the elections. What actually happens in sadness? Nothing. All these situations just make the mind sad.” “There are also some great devotees who accept sorrow. This is not possible by us ordinary people. It is not easy. In the story of Kunti in the Bhagawat, when Bhagwaan Krishna is leaving Dwarka after Kurukshetra, He goes to take leave of Kunti. He says he will grant any boon she wants. Kunti tells Him: I know who You are. I know you organized the war in Kurukshetra and helped us win, so please stop all this drama. But since Krishna asked her what she wanted, she tells Him to bestow her with all the sorrows in the world. Bhagwaan Krishna Himself is shocked at this because if He says ‘tathaastu’ (as you wish), then it will become reality. Kunti then explains that in happiness nobody or very few people think of God, but in grief everyone thinks of God. So in grief when I think of You, I know you will appear and give me ‘darshan’, and what better happiness than having Your ‘darshan’? So don’t worry about these two things in this world. If you are sad about something, remember that something will happen to make you happy and vice versa.” “Baba ji used to tell me ‘if somebody calls you stupid, go look in the mirror, you might really be stupid. Why do you get angry?’ This is how you must live. This is why I think of every one as my Guru, because I don’t know everything, they might. So if you learn something from them, they become your Guru. So in reality, ‘adhyaatmik anubhav’ (spiritual experience) is learnt from everyone, not taught.” “The third quality of the greatest devotee Bhagwaan Krishna tells Arjuna is ‘sarva bhoota hite’ ratah’. I consider him my greatest devotee who thinks of the welfare of every living being.” “If these 3 things can be developed in our minds, then it will automatically lead to Maanav Ekta, because everyone is like me. Everyone has some sorrow and some happiness, and everyone has a part of the Divine in them.” “Baba ji once told me to return to the plains, so I came back. Then He told me to learn whatever I could from different saints. So I went to everyone including Krishnamurthi, and I realized or experienced that religions are different but the Truth is one and every religion teaches a different path to reach that Truth. 3,000 years ago the Rig Veda claims ‘ekam sat vipra bahuda vadanti’, which means ‘there is one Truth, the wise call It by many names’. This is the tradition of Bhaarat. If man believes and goes in search of this experience, then peace and communal harmony will spread and we can all live together. If we can all live together, then in the future Bhaarat will become strong and progress. People from across the world used to come here for knowledge, and will come again. My dream is that Bhaarat will become the Spiritual Guru of the world and everyone will come. This is our thought while we walk.” “Kabir Das said ‘Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye. ‘Mujh’ does not mean ‘I’, it refers to me and mine, I did, I made. If this pride is avoided, life will be very happy. Even in situations of sadness there will be happiness. Pride is the biggest thing we need to get rid of. I tell everyone, this is very easy, it is not so difficult. If you can make yourself ‘shunya’ (zero), then the Grace of God will automatically follow, and it’s fragrance will spread to anyone who comes close. Just like when a fragrant flower blooms, bees are attracted to it.” “I don’t want to talk too much but there is a small story which was told to me by a Swamiji which I would like to share with you. Our padyaatris have heard it many times but they like to hear it again and again because it is such a nice story. A swamiji in a Lingayat Math in Karnataka told me this story. This is about pride which I was talking about.” “There was once a great sculptor who made beautiful sculptures. He was called to the temple to make a sculpture when the priest of the temple who was a palmist read his palm. He told the sculptor that he was going to die within 3 months. The sculptor asked him for a way to escape death. The priest told him it was easy and asked him to make 5-6 identical sculptures of himself. He said when the Yamdooth (The messenger of Death) comes, stand among these identical sculptures. The Yamdooth will not be able to identify you amongst the sculptures because he comes on a buffalo and is not very intelligent.” “The sculptor did as he was told. When the Yamdooth came he could not differentiate between the statues and the sculptor. Since the time of death had passed, he returned. When asked by Yamraj (The God of Death), he said that he could not identify the sculptor among the statues. Yamraj told him not to worry and said that the sculptor’s time of death would come again after 3 months. At that time, he said the sculptor will repeat this trick and told him a way of identifying the sculptor. He told the Yamdooth to go there and praise the statues about how identical and beautiful they are. The Yamdooth did this and the sculptor kept quiet for 2 minutes, then raising his hand he said ‘I made them’. Your time is up, said the Yamdooth took him. (Audience applauds) ‘I made this’ is the most dangerous thing to say. Even if you do make something, say someone else made it, you can also save yourself from income tax. If you can get rid of this pride then everything will be okay.” “People claim that himsa happens because of religion. I say himsa happens not because of religion but because of pride, in the name of religion. Religion teaches peaceful living, communal harmony, love and ‘Maanav Ekta’. So, the goal of the padayatra is to try to understand himsa and to prevent it, or if it happens then to stop it before it spreads. Once the flames spread it is difficult to control it, even with water. Since many of you are Jain, Jainism starts with the saying ‘ahimsa paramo dharma’ (Peace and non-violence is the first and greatest religion).” “Ahimsa does not mean that if someone is attacking you, you should not protect yourself. Instead of himsa, ahimsa should be in the mind. Anger prevents the mind from thinking about ahimsa. So first control your anger, trust in God, live in peace and with communal harmony.” “Begin with Maanav Ekta in your house, in your neighbourhood, and tell everyone around you about it, and sow the seeds of Maanav Ekta in every heart. I will go from here tomorrow, but keep in mind and remember the goal of one man with seventy padayaatris, we have no other goal but Maanav Ekta. We are walking in the sun and rain only for Maanav Ekta. We could also have been comfortable in our houses. I am married and a ‘grihast’ (A man with family), not a ‘sanyaasi’, I have children, but why have I left everything to walk? Just one aim, that we all learn to live together.” “First understand that you are human and second that you are a Bhaarat Waasi. (A resident of India) We eat food grown here, drink the water flowing here, breathe the air here, and after we die we will go back into this earth, therefore we are Bhaarat Waasis (Indians). Forget religion, you can belong to any religion. If you remember this, this is all I want to say to you.” “Dhanyavaad, Namaskaar, Salaam and Wahe Guru.”

One Comment

Got something to say ? Leave a Comment

  1. Kulkarni Manjusha Hrishikesh says:

    Shri gurubhyo namaha.waiting eagerly to meet guruji at madanapalli ashram.would you inform me on mail when will guruji come to the ashram?Please mail me….

Leave a Comment

Let us know your thoughts on this.