Day 370 | 16 January 2016 | From Pukhrayan to Shahid Viren Singh College | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Addressing the students of Govt Girls Inter-College Pukhyaran
    1.Addressing-the-students-of-Govt-Girls
  • Along the roads of Pukhyaran Kanpur
    2.Along-the-roads-of-Pukhrayan,-Kanpur-Dehat,-UP
  • Receptions on the busy streets of Pukhyaran
    3.Receptions-on-the-busy-streets-of-Pukhrayan,-Kanpur-Dehat,-UP
  • Another view of Pukhyaran streets
    4.Another-view-of-Pukhrayan-streets,-Kanpur-Dehat,-UP
  • 5.A-riot-of-colours,-Pukhrayan,-Kanpur-Dehat,-UP
  • Sri Yogendra Palji MLA garlands Sri M Nagarpalika Parishad Pukhyaran
    6.Sri-Yogendra-Palji,-MLA-garlands-Sri-M,-Nagarpalika-Parishad,-Pukhrayan,-Kanpur-Dehat,-UP
  • Addressing the packed audeience at Nagarpalika Parishad
    7.Addressing-the-packed-audience-at-Nagarpalika-Parishad,-Pukhrayan,-Kanpur-Dehat,-UP
  • WOH Day 370 - Pukhyaran to Shahid Viren Singh College Kanpur
    8.WOH-Day-370,-Pukhrayan-to-Shahid-Viren-Singh-College,-Kanpur-Dehat,-UP
  • Satsang at end point - Shahid Viren Singh College Kanpur
    9.Satsang-at-end-point,-Shahid-Viren-Singh-College,-Kanpur-Dehat,-UP
The walk started on a misty morning with temperatures dropping further by a few degrees. It was so cold that even the cattle standing by the road had gunnysacks on for warmth. The first stop was at Government Girls' Inter College, Pukhrayan where the students had spent the previous day preparing a cultural dance and song program on the theme of Indian unity and oneness.

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Sri M addressed them after this, thanked all for the welcome and for turning up so early in such cold to hear him. Speaking further, he said, "I've heard it's good for the crop. We've come here and brought winter along. I have to thank God for this. I'd like to tell you a little about the yatra first. But I won't say much because our walk is our talk. Less talk more work, that's our motto." Addressing the large number of girls listening with keen interest, Sri M continued, "We are walking with the tri-colour in hand just like the song that the young girl danced to. I'm glad I've come to a girls' school. Women's empowerment is one of our objectives. Women are the strength of every household." "The objective of this Yatra is peace, unity and harmony. India is a country with different languages, and religions. You won't find this in any other country. People say when we forget our humaneness, violence breaks loose. But look at the many differences of language, religion, culture. In spite of it, we live in peace", Sri M said. To explain the need to look beyond religion, Sri M said, "We're in a school today, do you ask each other which religion your friend belongs to before befriending her? Are friendships based on a religious connect or a soul connect? That's why we visit as many schools and colleges as possible because the future is yours." Sri M then asked each of them to spread the message of peace and unity in their neighbourhood so that the yatra is successful. To explain unity in diversity, Sri M said, "In music, you need all the seven notes sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, sa to make a song. Can you sing a song with just one note, sa? It can only be sung with all the notes. Similarly, even in India, we need to live together as human beings and Indians. For years, whoever has come to India have been welcomed. Now, we're one. Everyone needs to understand this. Only then is our yatra successful and unity will prevail." Sri M unravelled the mystery behind his name and how he's a 'Manav' or a human being without any religious identity and added that, "There's no need to change your name, change your attitude instead." Before he closed his speech, he asked all the girls to repeat an oath after him, "I am an Indian. We are all one". To hear their innocent voices repeat these simple words in unison was a ray of hope for the future of India and women. The girls then formed lines with great excitement to join the walk for a short distance. The next stop was at Nagarpalika Parishad, Pukhrayan where the locals and many dignitaries had gathered in huge numbers to hear Sri M. Sri Babuji Yogendra Pal Singh, MLA assured all that there has never ever been any instance of people in and around Pukhrayan forgetting Manav Ekta and ending up fighting. He assured all support to Sri M and the Walk of Hope. The District Magistrate, Sri Kumar Ravikant Singh, IAS, said in his brief address that one got very few chances to get in touch with spiritual masters nowadays to guide us. Though many are adept at coping with worldly life, very few knew how to walk the spiritual path. Though there were many achievers in this path, they preferred to keep to themselves and hardly ever came in touch with the public. Therefore, he wanted all assembled to grab this chance to learn from such a master. Sri M spoke about his names, his original name, the one given by Sri Maheshwarnath Babaji and the one he would like to be called. He explained the objective of the Yatra and also touched on how he would like people to contribute to it. As in many places, questions from students brought the best out of him here as well. Q: Sir, please tell us about the role of spirituality in a student's life. A: Though it may be difficult to practice spiritual sadhana in an ordinary student's life, it has a definite place. If you practice simple spiritual practices like meditation, your mind gets calmer and you tend to do everything better. You will study better, face the normally daunting exams better. Q: Why is there so much intolerance in India? A: I think India is one of the most tolerant countries in the world. Yet, sometimes, people forget about our long tradition of Manav Ekta and unfortunate things happen. The Walk of Hope is a sincere effort to tell people everywhere to never to forget our oneness and never to indulge in violence. Q: Sir, what is the common thing mentioned about Ekta in all religions? A: Every religion dwells at length about oneness. The Vedas have talked about it 3000 years back, ‘Ekam sat vipra bahuda vadanti’ - truth is one, but wise men call it by many names. Mohammed Nabi, while sitting down with his followers, stood up suddenly when he saw the dead body of a Jew being carried along the road. When one of his followers questioned him as to why he stood up in respect of a Jew, he asked him whether Jews were not humans! Thus, all religions strongly advocate Ekta. The walk left the school and continued. At Shahid Viren Singh College, Auraiya - the last stop of the day - the strumming of an acoustic guitar had everyone surprised as a young college student welcomed Sri M with a contemporary song. Sri M went on to introduce himself and give the origin of his one syllable name that stands for 'Manav' besides being the first letter of the name given to him by his parents - Mumtaz Ali Khan - and the one given by his guru when he initiated him to the Nath Sampradaya - Madhukarnath. Speaking of his Guru, Sri M said, "He was a very strange man. I haven't met anyone like him. He had no banner, no institute, no ashram, he wouldn't wear shoes either, he walked barefoot. He knew the essence of Vedanta, so he considered all religions to be one. I visited Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar with him for the first time. When I wanted to learn the Sufi tradition, he took me to Ajmer and left me with a Sufi Vali or Peer for 7 months for a crash course in Sufism." He told all present that January 2016 was the anniversary of the Yatra, which started last January in Kanyakumari. He also said that he was pleased that so many students attended the grand anniversary event in Kanpur because youth are the future of this country. "When I was little, there used to be a famous Hindi song, 'Nanne Munne Bachhe Tere Mutti Mein Kya Hai?' You aren't nanne munne, (which means small children in Hindi) but the future of India is in your hands like the song says. So, if you understand our message, India will rise to greatness in the future. Then we will not have to speak about Manav Ekta because everyone will live in harmony with this understanding. That's why I prefer visiting colleges, schools and to meet children." Since the college was called Shahid Viren Singh, Sri M said, "Shahid, or sacrificing oneself is very important. If we don't sacrifice something now, India will not progress. We are walking, we have many difficulties. But we are facing it because we are convinced that it's for a good cause. You study at a Technology institute where many kinds of technologies are taught. But there is a type of technology that makes man to be man. I would request the management to introduce this human technology which teaches people to stay united and not fight because of religion. If this can be taught once a week at least for an hour, the students will become bright rays of hope for India's future." One of the students asked him a question about the purpose of his life to which Sri M said, "The purpose of my life is to do good to as many people as possible." One of the staff then asked him to explain what Manavta or Humanity means. Sri M replied, "After the yatra, I will come and take a class here. But the first point I'd like to make about humanity is that consider every man to be like you. There might be external differences but inside we're all one. Secondly, if someone does bad to you, in return we must do him good. It's difficult but if 10 people can do this our lives will transform, India will be transformed. People might abuse you, but try to speak words of love in return. If you can't do that, just keep quiet, don't fight back. If you add fire to fire, it grows. Only if you throw water, can you douse the flames. Finally, when you get angry, think that your house is on fire, nobody else's. It's your house that catches fire. We need to understand this. We are all one in India. There are so many languages, like there are so many notes in music. A 'jugalbandi', in classical music, isn't a fight. It just means that each one tries to give his best and encourages each other. We could have differences, arguments but that shouldn't turn into fights. You should do your best in exams but if someone does better than you, you shouldn't get jealous. You should try and see how you can improve. Tulsi Das Ji said, 'Kaam Krodh Madh Lobh Ki, Jo Lo Man Mein Sthan, To Lo Pandit, Murkh, Tulsi Ek Samaan', all four of these should be observed carefully.”

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