Day 397 | 12 February 2016 |From Srinagar Toll to Agra Chowk, Palwal | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Walking past relics of a glorious past - NH2 Palwal
  • Reception near the Sorout shelters - Palwal
  • It's breakfast time - Sorout shelters - Palwal
  • 4.Bejewelled-and-with-impressive-armoury!,-a-Palwal-bull,-Haryana
  • 5.Striking-turban-&-horns,-Palwal,-Haryana
  • WOH Day 397 - Srinagar Toll to Agra Chowk - Palwal
  • Sri M speaking to National TV - KMP Chouraha - NH2
  • 10.Unique-style-and-instruments!,-Palwal,-Haryana
  • Reception by DAV Public School - Lions Club - Palwal
  • 9.(Blessing-a-comely-bride!,-Group-wedding-by-Lions-Club,-Palwal,-Haryana)
The day's walk on the highway leading to Delhi ended at DAV Public School, which included a brief stop for breakfast and tea. A community wedding organized by Lions Club, featuring Inter-caste and inter-religious marriages was in progress at the school. The Walk has come across such weddings earlier as well. It is a grand gesture whereby eligible young boys and girls are able to get married and the essential expenditure connected with it are met.

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The whole exercise evokes mixed emotions. One is that many among the girls getting married look under age. But, the other side of the story is that, given the background from which many of them come from, it is highly likely that some of them would be forced into prostitution. Then, the exercise acquires a noble colour. Also, the bare essentials to start off a married life like, cot, trunk, bicycle, etc, are given as presents. A lasting solution would take a lot more time. The beti bachao, beti padhao programs should deeply take root, many girls should study and become employable. Then, most couples desirous of getting married would be educated enough not to splurge on wasteful expenditure on marriages, obviating the need for support except in rare cases. Sri M heartily took part in the function, blessing the young couples before leaving. Many walkers are bringing their small kids along to accompany them at least for a few days. The children cheerily trot along, at least a couple of kilometers at a stretch. The tired hop into vehicles which accompany the yatra. It is too much to expect them to understand the significance of the walk, but they are all enjoying tremendously, eating different types of food, taken care of by many uncles and aunts and even getting some time with Sri M. The Satsang in the evening was held at Punjabi Dharamshala. It started with Bhajans rendered by by Ms Chanda Goon Sarkar and party. Sri M's Satsang followed. “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 thank you for the music that we started today's programme with. Today, I will speak about two yatras, one that we're doing on foot and another which is the internal journey that's either happening or needs to happen, I'm not sure. Everyone asks me, 'how did this yatra start? what is the main reason behind this yatra? and why I'm walking like a mad man from Kanyakumari to Kashmir?’. I want to tell you that when I underwent my internal yatra, I understood that a human being, man or woman, is a part of the all-pervading divine. This is my experience, not just my belief. I know from my experience that a spark of the all-pervading divine resides in all hearts, which means that every living being including you and me, are living temples of God.” “There's a poem by Bulleh Shah: 'Beshak Mandir Masjid todo.Bulleh Shah ve kehta. Par pyaar bhara dil kabhi na todo... Is dil mein dilbar rehta'. Why is that? Because God resides in every heart. The biggest, temple, the biggest mosque, the biggest church is the body of a human being. The best way to offer worship to this God is not by doing an aarti, like the one performed at a temple. At Gurudwara they read a Path, at a mosque they read Namaz, but worshipping these living temples of God is best done through service. Like Swami Vivekananda said, 'Manav Seva, Bhagavat seva hai', there's nothing bigger one can do.” As a little boy, I lived and studied under a great Yogi for many years. The padayatris know this already but there could be a few people who don't know, those who haven't read my autobiography. I'm repeating it for them. At the age of eight, Maheshwarnath Babaji who belongs to the Nath Sampradaya, the Gorakh Sampradaya, put his hand on my head. Ever since, there's been a change in my thinking. I've always been in search of this ever present, all-pervading truth. I went to the Himalayas at the age of 19 in search of a Guru. Finally, near Badrinarayan, at Vyasa Guha, I met Maheshwarnath Babaji. After that, for three and a half years, I spent time with Babaji walking around the Himalayas. All that he taught me is all I have. It has neither increased nor decreased. He taught me about the Nath Sampradaya and also how to do my Sadhana. He took me to Sufi Mursheeds, Christian fathers, Buddhist teachers and everywhere I found one thing in common, that we are looking for the same God, a spark of which resides in our own heart. Once I experienced this truth in my own heart, I felt a great joy in my heart. It can be called a never ending fountain of joy. It increased to such a point that I felt like it needs to be shared with others. It couldn't be kept inside anymore so I thought it's better to share it. I'm now 67, my physical age. The God that resides in me, it doesn't age. Looking at the condition of the world, for the past two to three years, I felt like it's time to share this experience with others, teach it to them, speak to them about it because it saddens us to see people fighting over religion, caste, creed”. “There's no other nation like India in the world with more than 25 languages, several religions, several traditions and yet we consider ourselves to be Indians. If you ask someone who he is, he'll tell you his name and then he'll say, he's an Indian. Manav Ekta is part of our ancient culture. But it's sad to see this unity break sometimes. Because when it breaks, it affects everyone. It starts a big fire that cannot be doused with water. This happens because people only focus on their differences. We could belong to different religions, traditions and faiths but we are one. There's no human being on earth who hasn't come from a mother's womb. When we die, we go back into the soil. In this short period between birth and death, why can't we live in peace and harmony? When violence breaks, people say it is because of religion. I say it's not because of religion, it's just given the name of religion. If you look closely, you'll see it's because of some vested interest. So, we thought we should talk to people to never let this occur in the first place. It is like we are looking for a cure for a disease. I don't think this disease can be cured with medicines. But what if we never let the disease happen in the first place, then there's no need for medicines. I thought about this for years and felt that if we don't do this now, it might be too late. It is only when my legs are in working condition that I can do it. That's why we decided to walk from Kanyakumari to Srinagar with this message that we are one, we are human beings and peace and harmony are the need of the hour in this country.” “I also believe that this message of peace, harmony and unity need to go from this country to the rest of the world. It is not going to come from anywhere else in the world. I consider India to be the spiritual Guru of the world. We can import many things from outside, including Western education, especially with Internet we're all connected. But spirituality is one thing that can't come from anywhere else. That's why we can live in peace most of the time. But if we want 100% peace and harmony, we need to understand one thing clearly, that there's a spark of the divine in each of us that makes us one.” “There's a story in the Jain tradition which was adapted by Jalaluddin Rumi who's a Sufi. It is a very old story. Three blind men went to see an elephant. One held its leg and said an elephant is like a pillar, the other held its tail and said an elephant is like a broom, the third held its trunk and said an elephant is like a rubber hose that occasionally makes the sound 'phus phus'. A fight ensued between them like it often does among people. It became a huge fight, where they started beating up each other. Just then a man arrived there who wasn't blind. Unfortunately, we aren't blind but we still can't see. If I'm blind and you follow me, what will happen to you? This is written beautifully in the Mundaka Upanishad, if I'm blind and I lead you it's like,’Andhenaiva nīyamānā yathāndhāḥ.’, blind leading the blind. The man who reached there wasn't blind. Saints, Sadhus, Spiritual Gurus are such that even if their eyes are closed there's another eye that's open. It can't be operated and opened. It doesn't work like that. So, he came there and asked them what the reason behind the fight was. They replied that each one thinks the elephant is either like a pillar, a broom or a rubber hose. He said stop the fight and listen to him. ‘What you're saying is true but all three of you are wrong’. Like they were talking about the elephant, when you try to describe God, you can only understand up to your capacity. But the elephant is much bigger than that. If we close our eyes and see it, we can only see one side of it. Rishis and Munis, they can see the bigger picture. In schools, kids have jigsaw puzzles, if you break a piece from it you won't know what it is. But the one who has seen it completed, knows where the pieces fit because they have inspected each piece closely, not just the entire picture. It's difficult for a human being to see the whole picture. But if a saint tells you that it's difficult to grasp this with your senses, it's beyond the reach of your senses, then you should listen to them. Only when the mind opens up, you'll see. What does one do till then? Till then we are limited by our senses.” “The elephant story owes its origin to the Jain Dharm which is three thousand years old. The Rig Veda is even older and it says, 'Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti' – the truth is one and the wise call it by different names. We can only know as much as we understand. God is one but everyone understands up to their capacities. If someone were to understand everything and get access to the power of God without having purified their mind, then he would become like Ravana. There's an inbuilt safety valve so normally it's difficult to access it. It's like atomic energy which has the power to explode the entire world at the touch of a button and there's an idiot sitting there with the knowledge of how to control the button. That's why, to reach it you need to purify your mind. Only by purifying one's mind can you reach there. The one whose mind is purified, it can be anyone, he could belong to any religion, his name could be anything, he could belong to any tradition. So keep your mind pure, only then can it happen. We are doing this yatra to share this message with everyone.” “In The Bhagavad Gita,12th chapter, the Bhakti Yoga, Arjuna asks Bhagavan Krishna, who according to him is the greatest Yogi, Disciple or student. Bhagavan Krishna says how he worships me isn't important, whose qualities are good, the one who wants to live properly, and the one who doesn't think about himself alone, who thinks of others, he is the biggest Yogi. Bhagavan Krishna also states three qualities for an ideal Yogi to Arjuna: 'Samyam indriya gramam', the one who can keep his senses under control. You see most of the problems happen because of anger. Anger comes because of the senses. When we don't get what we want, whatever or whoever comes in the way, you get angry with them. Anger affects your mind and unsettles it. So the one who can control his senses or is trying to control his senses is ideal.” “The second quality is 'Sarvatra Samabudhaya', the one who can maintain his equanimity in any situation. In praise and in insult, in happiness and sadness, he's a good human being. That's what Bhagavan Krishna says. Look at our own lives. If someone praises us we're happy, if someone insults us we are sad and that increases our blood pressure. The truth is, someone's praise or insult doesn't do anything to us. If someone says – we went to a wedding and this person didn't talk to us – isn't it good you could get some time for yourself? We build our image in such a way that even if a tiny pin pokes it, we go into depression. The highest selling medicine at medical shops these days are depression tablets. They don't know the internal joy, they are dependent on external things. When there's happiness, sadness must also exist somewhere. It's impossible that there's no sadness. But we fear sadness and hold on to happiness. Scared if we'll find it again or not, we hold on to it. Babaji used to tell me, if someone calls you a fool, go look in the mirror, you're probably a fool. So what? If someone understands this and learns to keep his mind calm under every situation, he's a good human being.” “The third is 'Sarva Bhoota Hite Rataha', the one who has the welfare of all beings in his heart, is considered a good Yogi, a great human being. I consider this the essence of Hindu Dharma. Serve others, consider every living being as a temple of God. Swami Vivekananda said, 'Daridra Narayan seva', the one who's in difficulty is also 'Narayan'. With this message we've been walking from Kanyakumari since 12th January 2015, when the yatra started. We started from Kanyakumari because it's the meeting point of three important oceans. We thought that a yatra that aims to unite people must start from there. The second reason is that 12th January is Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary. A hundred years ago, the amount of work he did for Manav Ekta, a thousand people wouldn't have been able to do for a thousand years. On the way, we go into every Temple, Mosque, and Gurudwara. If they tell us not to enter, we wouldn't go but no one has said anything yet. That's why we believe that our yatra will definitely succeed.” “Haryana is the 8th state. We completed a year when we reached Kanpur in UP. We still have around 2,200 Km to cover. We've completed 5,800 Km. We're walking on foot. I'm not alone. There are people who've left their jobs, their homes and are walking. I ask them to call home sometimes or when they go back they might not be allowed in. We have people from every Indian state and from outside India. We hope to reach Hazrat Bal in Srinagar on the 1st of May. So this is the yatra that we're doing from Kanyakumari to Kashmir where I explain these things to people.” “The other Yatra is the internal journey. There are many difficulties that occur while travelling. Sometimes one's legs hurt, sometimes there's no good food, sometimes one has to sleep at different places. But they make sure I'm not inconvenienced. They put me up at a different place. If there's no other place, even in a hotel room. When one faces these challenges and one feels sad, I call them tests. We shouldn't stop there, we should move on ahead. This is a sort of internal yatra. I hope that when we reach Srinagar, maybe our minds will get more purified as we keep walking. I'm hoping that maybe even if we are troubled we won't get angry. Such a time might come. Even now it's like that but occasionally somethings happen. Now we've reached Palwal. Today we had a grand welcome and yesterday at Hodal we had a grand welcome. I go for every Satsang. In some places, we have thousands of people, in some we have just five people. Numbers aren't my concern. Even if this message reaches one person, like Swami Vivekananda said, 'Give me five people who think like me and I'll transform the world'. I don't know what will happen to us. That's why this is a Asha Yatra. Though I do believe that times have changed, people are thinking. We make it a point to visit schools and colleges. I'm sure these are the people who will make India great in the future and make it progress. The seeds we are sowing today will become a huge tree one day and we can sit under its shade. It will be a beautiful garden with all kinds of flowers. When the wind blows, it’s beautiful scent will be carried across the world and India will become the spiritual Guru of the world once again. It's my dream that one day people will come to India to learn this ancient wisdom. That's all I wanted to share with you.” “Thank you!”

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