Day 383 | 29 January 2016 | From Dharera to Guru ka Taal | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • WOH Day 383 - Dharera to Agra on NH2
  • 2.Kicking-up-a-storm!,-Buffaloes-on-the-rampage,-Chalesar,-Agra,-UP
  • Reception at Shahdara Chungi - Agra
  • A tilak for Sri M as he enters Agra -Shahdara Chungi
  • Welcome by Sri Yogesh Puri of Baba Mankameshwarnath Mutt - Agra
  • Satsang at the get-together organised by Agra Mandal Vyapar Sangthan
On a much brighter and warmer morning, the yatris left Firozabad and started their walk towards Agra on National Highway # 2.

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Nearing Agra, Sri M and the padayatris were warmly received by the Agra Mandal Vyapar Sanghatan. An elaborate function took place with stalwarts of all major religions participating. All the religious leaders lauded the effort taken by Sri M and the padayatris in fostering Manav Ekta and were unanimous that it was the need of the hour. Sri M thanked all the religious leaders who gathered to greet him and the women representatives from local organisations before starting his speech: "Namaskaar, Salaam, Sat Sri Akal, Good morning, I apologize for any mistakes in my Hindi. Since I'm from the South, my Hindi isn't very good. But I'll try my best. I'm not the only 'M' here. You must be wondering who this 'M' is and where he has come from. So, it is better I start with an introduction”. “I was born to Muslim parents in Tiruvananthapuram, Kerala. It is the town where the presiding deity is Anantha Padmanabha Swami and Tiru in Malayalam is Sri. So, together it is Tiru-Anantha-Puram. When I was a child, I met my Guru who belonged to the Nath Sampradaya (Nath sect or tradition) but no Sampradaya had a hold over him. As you progress in the spiritual field, all Sampradayas fall away. Only one religion remains, the religion of Truth. He was one such Guru who had no banners, no ashrams, he wouldn't wear any footwear even. I've seen him in Gomukh walking around wearing just a piece of cloth. His name was Maheshwarnath. I spent three and a half years with him roaming around in the Himalayas. So when Maheshwarnath Babaji initiated me into the Nath Sampradaya, he gave me the name Madhukarnath. No one has ever called me Madhu as sweetly as he used to. He was everything for me, my friend, my father, mother. When I was born, my parents called me Mumtaz Ali Khan. A hundred years ago, my family had migrated from the North to Kerala in the service of the Travancore Maharaja. Ours is the fifth generation. The first letter of Mumtaz is M and first letter in Madhukarnath is also M. But, most importantly, I like to call myself a Manushya and the first letter of Manushya is also M. Some people have added Sri out of respect. If I'm M because I'm Manav or Manushya, then each of us sitting here - guru, shishya, man, woman - is also a Manav”. “With this message we started from Kanyakumari on 12th January 2015, the place where three oceans meet. We started at a 'sangam' because it is a walk to unite and not to break. The second reason is that Swami Vivekananda meditated there and realized all that needs to be done in India by him. Also, a hundred years ago, what he did for Manav Ekta during a short life span, even a hundred people could not have done in a hundred years. From 12th January 2015 to 12th January 2016, we completed a year of the walk when in Kanpur. We've covered over 5800 KM. We have around 3000 KM to go and we hope to reach Srinagar in the first week of May. You see the gentleman sitting there, he is a retired Commodore from the Indian Navy. He used to fly sortees from INS Vikrant. He has been holding the tri-color in hand since Kanyakumari. He is our youngest walker at 80 years of age!” “We want to keep India united. From Kanyakumari to Kashmir, India is one. Religions can be many, that's okay. Many thousands of years ago, the Rig Veda said, 'Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti'. Truth is One, wise men call it by many names.” “I'll tell you a story that was made famous by Jalaluddin Rumi, a Sufi and which is also told in the Jain tradition. This story is about three blind men who went to find out what an elephant was. What happens when the blind lead the blind, like the Mundaka Upanishad said 'Andhai naiva niyamaana yath andhaaha'. Anyway, one of them touched the leg of the elephant and came out with the understanding that an elephant is like a huge pillar, with mosaic pieces stuck at the bottom and which is very thick and hard. He also understood that you could hold it with both your arms. But if you stood close for a long time, you might be trampled to death. That was his understanding of an elephant. The other blind man touched the trunk of an elephant and said an elephant is like a big rubber hose which moved constantly, sometimes making 'phus phus' sounds and it could lift you up. The third blind man explored the tail of an elephant and he said an elephant was like a broom with hard bristles which moved constantly. If you're close enough, you might get hit on the cheek. These are blind men who could not see anything. When such blind men start to lead us, we too go into darkness. This is what happened here and violence broke lose. One was sitting on top of the other, trying to strangle the other fellow's neck saying your definition is wrong and my definition is correct. While the battle was on, somebody who was not blind came there, someone who could see. Not like some of us who are blind in spite of our eyes being open. If our eyes were really open, we could see others suffer. We wouldn't be blind. Anyway, the one who could see asked them what the problem was. They told him they were trying to arrive at the definition of an elephant. He told them they were all correct and yet they were all wrong as the elephant was much bigger than their definition.” “Just like the elephant, I believe that truth cannot be defined. We go wrong when we try to limit it to one definition. We see it by our own limited vision because our senses are limited. The one who isn't blind we call a yogi, the one who sees everything. We aren't yogis so we see only through our limited senses. Manav Ekta is India's ancient culture. Jesus Christ said in the Bible, 'old wine in new bottle’. What I'm saying isn't new, it's just being served in a new bottle. We started on this yatra so we can have a dialogue with people. We have no other objective. I'm not a saint, I'm an ordinary person. If you understand what M stands for, you'll understand who a saint is. It's not just Indian Sanskriti that says these things. If you look at any religion closely, you'll find peace as its basis. There used to be a great Christian saint named St Francis of Assisi. He was walking with his disciples one day and they asked him why he didn't speak to them? So he said he'd talk at the end of the walk. When they reached the destination, he sat comfortably staring into the sky. When his students reminded him that he had promised to speak, he said, 'my walk is my talk'. So, I won't speak much because our padayatra is our message. More work, less talk." After partaking of fruits and milk offered, the padayatris left by bus to Gurudwara Guru ka Taal, their place of stay for the next few days.

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