Day 390 | 5 February 2016 | From Jai Gurudev Ashram, Mathura to Maheswari Sadan, Vrindavan | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Reception at Mahila Ashray Sadan - Vrindavan
  • Rasleela by inmates- Mahila Ashray Sadan
  • Satsang at Mahila Ashray Sadan
  • Sumptuous lunch - Mahila Ashray Sadan
  • Satsang at Chitrakoot Masani Chouraha - Mathura
  • 6.Where-chillums-take-shape!,-Sabzi-mandi,-Mathura,-UP
  • The birth place of Lord Krishna - Govindpura
  • WOH Day 390 - Jai Gurudev Ashram to Vrindavan
  • The padayatra crosses Sri Agrasen Chowk
  • Sri M in prayer at Gayatri Tapobhoomi-Mathura
  • Reception at Gayatri Tapobhoomi - Mathura
  • School children join the walk - Masani Tiraha - Mathura
  • A warm welcome at Krishnapuram - Mathura
  • Sri M lauds a tableau on Manav Ekta - Krishnapuram
  • Satsang at Krishnapuram - Mathura
  • 17.A-little-Gopiika-skips-along,-Vrindavan,-UP
  • The ISKCON Bhajan Mandali leads the way - Gram Panchayat Vrindavan
  • Arriving at Mahila Ashray Sadan - Vrindavan
After the reception at the Vrindavan Gram Panchayat, the padaytra was led by an ISKCON Bhajan Mandali right up to the end of the walk at Mahila Ashray Sadan. Vrindavan has the dubious distinction of being called the 'city of widows' as well. This institution is one of the many which takes care of the widows who have none to support them. The inmates warmly greeted and welcomed the yatris and treated them to tea and sweets.

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There was a 'ras leela' dance performance by inmates which was touching to say the least. In his brief address, Sri M reassured the inmates that they were lucky to be in Vrindavan where Sri Radha & Sri Krishna are forever present to take care of them whereas many 'normal people' did not have the eyes to see them. The Satsang at Chitrakoot, Masani Chouraha SDM started with bhajans by blind musicians from a blind school in Mathura. After the bhajans, Sri M addressed the audience. “Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah SarveSantu Nir-Aamayaah Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu MaaKashcid-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 Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih - Om Peace, Peace, Peace” “Jai Shri Radhey, Radhey Radhey... Today I'm not going to talk about the padayatra because this is a satsang. But the padayatra is also a type of satsang. I thank the City Magistrate, other officials, and the yatris who've come with us. My Hindi isn't as good as the City Magistrate's since I'm from Kerala. However, I'll try my best. This yatra is of two kinds. One is the external journey where we started from Kanyakumari on 12th January, 2015. We have been walking for 5600 Km, we still have close to 3000 Km to go till we reach Srinagar in the 1st week of May. This is the external yatra. Along with this is the internal yatra. This internal yatra cannot be done on a jet plane. There is an old song by Mukesh, ‘Sajan re jhoot mat bolo, khuda ke paas jaana hai, na haati hai na ghoda hai, yahan to paidal hi jaana hai’, (Friend, please don’t lie, you need to approach the Lord only on foot, there is no elephant or horse to take you to Him). Because one has to walk, you have to tread slowly. There's no express route to go there. If someone tells you that there's an express route, run away. They are lying, there's no such thing, except maybe bhakti. But bhakti (devotion) isn't easy. To explain what bhakti is, there's nothing better than the 12th Chapter of The Bhagavad Gita. I would like to say a little about this. We are in Brij Bhoomi where Krishna used to live. And I believe that though our eyes are open, we cannot see much. The one whose eyes are really open, can see Krishna here in Brij Bhoomi, even today. Even though we can see we keep our eyes closed. Perhaps those who are blind, who can't see the outside world, can see God. You did Bhajan here with such feeling. If this Bhakti and Bhav (expression) isn't there, no matter what you do, it won't feel right. Someone asked me if he could attain Moksha by doing Kriya yoga for 10 hours everyday. I told him, the blacksmith's bellows are also at work the whole day. Like Kabir Das Ji said, 'Ja dhad prem na sanchari, so dhad jaan smashaan jaise khaal lohaar ki, saans leth bin praan'. Without Bhakti and bhav, there's no point breathing in and out. In the 12th Chapter Bhagavan Krishna or Ved Vyas has described the qualities of a Bhakta. You must already know that The Bhagavad Gita is the essence of the Upanishads. It is written in the Dhyan Shlokas, 'Sarvo Upanishado Gaavo' - if all Upanishads are like cows, 'Dugdha Gopala Nandana' - Gopala or Krishna is the one who milks the cow, 'Partho Vatsaha' - Arjuna is the calf, 'Sudhir Bhokta' - the Rishis and the Munis enjoy it, 'Dugdhaam Gitamritam Mahaam' - the milk from the Gita is like nectar'. There are 18 Chapters in the Gita but you can't jump chapters. You have to read through it slowly. Those who play golf will understand that one can't skip to the 18th hole, one needs to go through it, one after the other. The 12th Chapter in The Gita is Bhakti Yoga. People ask me sometimes that if the 12th Chapter is so important, why does it come late in the Gita? Why isn't it the first chapter? The biggest reason is that, the first chapter as you know is called 'Arjuna Vishada Yoga', which means Arjuna's indecision. We are all Arjunas because just when we think everything is okay, it changes. That is when the journey begins, when we wonder if there's something other than this. Till the 9th Chapter, there are easy dialogues between Arjuna and Krishna. They are friends, Krishna is his charioteer. That is why the driver is important. Their dialogue is on friendly terms. In the 10th Chapter, suddenly the record changes. Bhagavan starts saying, 'Among the hills I'm Meru, among the mountain ranges I'm Himachal, among the Vedas I'm Sama veda, among the munis, I'm Kapila. Arjuna begins to wonder what's happening because up to now, the conversations were easy and comfortable. Now this person sitting in front of me, who is my brother-in-law, my close friend, is suddenly saying such incomprehensible things. How is it possible? This is the first time his mind begins to change and he starts to wonder who this person sitting in front of him is. So in the 10th Chapter, when he sees the Vishwarupa Darshana (The Universal Cosmic appearance) Arjuna's logic is shaken when he understands that everything is one. If Arjuna were to have a permanent Vishwarupa Darshana, Gita would end there. But when he sees it only for a short period, he realises that the house he has built on logic has collapsed. What next? Everything he has constructed through his indriyas, senses, is broken. That's when Bhakti Yoga begins in the 12th Chapter. Each of us arrives at this understanding in different stages of our life. This doesn't happen immediately. It happens after many years. For some people, it starts at a young age. In the Gita, there are very few chapters that begin with 'Arjuna Uvaacha', most chapters begin with 'Bhagavan Uvaacha'. The 12th Chapter starts with 'Arjuna Uvaacha', that's why I say the 12th Chapter is for us because we're all Arjunas. Arjuna asks, 'there are Rishi, Munis who worship God as formless and there are others who worship God in form. Which of these is better? The one who worships God with form or without? Most of us identify God in form. Even amongst us we identify people by their name. We think of the name and the form comes to mind. So most of us live with name and form. The first thing we do when we wake up is look at ourselves in the mirror, adjust our hair, isn't it? Name and form are important to us. Without name and form, how do I even identify you? There are great Yogis who can worship God without form but for the common man, it's easier to have a name and form. So Krishna says you can worship God anyway you like. One could be a Maha Yogi or a Maha Bhakt, but the most important thing is to look at their qualities only then can you know if they are really Maha Yogis or Maha Bhakts. I'm not saying this, The Bhagavad Gita says so. The first of the three qualities is, 'Samyniyam indriya graamam', the one who can keep his senses under his control or the one who attempts to keep it under control, I consider to be the biggest yogi. Look at it closely, most of our problems are because our senses are not in our control. The mind runs behind the senses. A yogi's mind is under his control. Anger, etc., happens because of the senses. The Bhagavad Gita explains how anger can bring one's ruin, it says, 'dhyayato vishayan pumsah', when the mind is entangled in issues, 'sangas tesupajayate sangat sanjayate kamah', it turns into desires, 'kamaat krodhobhijayate' and desire gives rise to anger. How does this happen? Suppose, I desire something, and you come in the way of it, I get angry with you. See we spend our entire life like this. When we get angry, we can't even think straight. Anger is a type of madness. Anger gives rise to sanmoha, one can't think straight. Sometimes, the watchman slaps the boss in rage, because he forgets who he is, where he is. Sanmoha leads to Budhinaasha (destruction of the intellect).'Krodhat-bhavati sanmohah. Sanmohat-smriti-vibhramah. Smriti- bhramshad- buddhi-nashobuddhi-nashat-pranashyati'. Tulsidas Ji said, 'Kaam Krodh Madh Lobh Ki, Jo Lo Man Mein Sthan, To Lo Pandit, Murkh, Tulsi Ek Saman', this is very important. So, if this quality exists or one is trying to control his senses, such a person Bhagavan says is close to him. Second is 'Sarvatra samabudhaya' which means, whatever the situation – in happiness or sadness, in heat or cold, in praise or in insult – the one who can keep his mind calm in all situations. For instance, if someone tells you that you are God, everyday, for a hundred days, then on the hundred and first day you'll wake up thinking you are God. When someone praises us we are elated, when someone ridicules us we go into depression. We live in between excitement and depression. When we went to Ralegansiddhi, Anna Ji asked me if someone has made any negative comment about the yatra? I said 'yes'. Someone asked me what will come out of a mad man walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir? So Anna Ji said 'only a mad man can do something'. Babaji used to tell me, if someone calls you a fool, why get angry? Look in the mirror you might be a fool. But we aren't like that, we get easily affected by what people say about us. I believe that ridicule is better than praise. You must have heard that song by Lata Mangeshkar, 'Meeti Meeti Baaton Se Bachna Zara'. Ridicule brings out all our negative qualities. Praise doesn't do anything. If someone is praising you too much, beware there must be some reason behind it. If someone lives like this, they become Yogis or Munis. Our lives are such that we run behind happiness and run away from pain. But we forget that we think of God and pray to him only when we are sad. 'Sukh mein sumiran kare na koi', no one remembers God in happiness. We prefer holding on to the lollipops. Only if we throw them away will we see reality. I'll tell you a story about this. We are in Vrindavan, so it's apt to tell a story from the Bhagavatam. Bhagavan Krishna returns to Dwaraka after the battle of Kurukshetra to say goodbye to everyone. So he hugs his equals and he does pranams to those who are older than him. See Bhagvan Krishna who is considered a 'Poorna avatar' does namaskar to people! In office, if we're even one grade above the peon we shout at him. So he goes to Kunti who is the matriarch of the family and says, 'I'm going to Dwaraka, so if you have something to tell me, please do so. And if you want to ask for a boon, ask now'. Kunti asks him to stop all this drama and says, 'I know you planned the Kurukshetra battle and made us win. Now since you've promised to grant me a boon, I have one to ask. May all the sorrows in the world come upon me.' Krishna is shocked. Please don't imitate her and ask for this boon, even if one sorrow comes, you'll start running away. She tells him, 'It is only in sorrow that I'll think of you. But one thing I'm sure of is that when I call you, you'll definitely come. So the sorrow keeps coming and I'll keep getting your darshan, what more do I need?' Most of us run away from sorrow. Bhagavan calls people like Kunti his Bhaktas. It's not very easy. 'Sarvatra Sama Budhaya', equanimity is one step away from Moksha. Our politicians can learn something from this. They must continue working despite what's written about them in the papers. The third rule Bhagavan says is 'Sarva Bhoota Hite Rataha', which means the one who has the welfare of all beings in his heart is considered to be the yogi closest to him. People tell me they want 'parama satya', (Ultimate Truth) so I tell them that 'parama satya' doesn't come in a package. If I lie 24 hours a day, then how can I look for the ultimate truth. Firstly, we need to look at our lives then we can look for truth. It cannot be found in books. And if you want to experience God, firstly you need to break your ego. We are so full of ourselves that there is no place for God's grace. We need to be empty. If the vessel isn't empty, how will God enter? The Bhagavad Gita is a 'gita', it's a song.When Krishna plays the flute, how does the beautiful sound come? Because the flute is empty. If it was full of muck, no sound would come. When a man's heart empties up, he isn't interested in the world anymore. When we started this yatra from Kanyakumari, people wondered what will happen. So I told them that 'I'm walking with God's grace and my Guru's orders. I'm not worried about how it will work out'. Now we've reached Vrindavan. Those who make up their minds shouldn't turn back. Those who've walked with me must have noticed, I look ahead and keep walking. It's God's grace that we've made it this far. Differences occur in our padayatra as well. The Delhi team thinks they will do it better than Bombay, the Karnataka team thinks they should do better than Kerala. This has to change or else there's no use. We will walk till Kashmir and go back home and our mind will remain the same. We have to change this first. I'd like to tell you another story about ego that a Swamiji from a Lingayat Mutt in Karnataka told us. It has been a while since I narrated it. It has been a while since the padayatris heard it. We were having a private satsang one evening and he said he wanted to join us. Since he's older than me I had to agree. So, after Satsang, I asked him if he would like to say something and he shared this lovely story. Once there lived a very talented sculptor, who made such good sculptures that one couldn't tell the difference between the original and duplicate. If he made a sculpture of you, one wouldn't know if it is original or fake. So, one day, he had to go to a temple to make some idols. The priest there was also an astrologer. He told him that his death was near, that he would die in three months. He also gave him a remedy. He asked him to go to his workshop and get to work immediately, since he had just three months left. He asked him to make sculptures identical to himself and stand in between them. Thus when the 'yamdhooth' comes, who is a little weak in the head, he would not be able to tell the fake from the original when you stood in between them. So he agreed and made identical sculptures and stood in between them. When 'yamdhooth' came as predicted, he couldn't differentiate. The time passed and he went away. So Yamraj asked him what happened. Yamdhoot promptly narrated the incident how he couldn't tell the original from fake and had to leave empty handed. Yamraj told him not to worry as his time for death would come again in a few months but this time, he asked him to try something new. The sculptor repeated the same trick this time again. But as instructed by Yamraj this time, the yamdhoot sang praises about the beauty of the scupltures and wondered aloud 'who is the sculptor of these masterpieces?' The sculptor unable to keep quiet any longer, answered, 'I made it'. Yamdhoot took him along. If we can conquer this 'I', we can even escape death. This might be a story but it's true. So we must live with love for everyone, fearless in sorrow, keeping God alive in one's heart, and do bhajan, kirtans every day, like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. If we can remove this 'I', only God exists. There's no need of any technique in this. We must follow yama, niyamas in our life. God wants you much more than you yearn for him but we keep all the doors closed. Open them. Besides being a yatra for peace, harmony and unity, I would say this is also a yatra to purify one's own mind. Try and see the God that resides in all hearts, serve this God through service, not by arati. Like Swami Vivekananda said, 'Atmano Mokshartha Jagat Hitayacha', seek Moksha for the soul and welfare of the world. Beyond this, you don't need to do anything else. Even if someone reads Vedanta, in the end he realises that there's no use of it. What do the Upanishads say, 'yan manasa na manute, yenahur mano matam', which means where even the mind cannot reach, that's God. If even the mind cannot reach it, what can? The heart can. Remember this message of love in your hearts and with God's grace, we are taking one step at a time, we will slowly reach Srinagar. For us, Srinagar is the Sahasrara Chakra, which is where God dwells. That's all I wanted to say. This was a Satsang, it wasn't about the yatra. Thank you! Namaskar.” The residents of Krishnapuram once again spread the red carpet for the padayatris, hosting dinner for them. After they had been fortified with many delicious dishes and cream & dry fruit laden milk, the yatris were presented with 'pearl malas'. They were politely requested to let their hair down and dance to the chant of 'Radhey Radhey', to which all willingly acceded. It was a fun evening like none before on the padayatra. The 'Vrindavan effect' had well and truly set in!

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