The Journal Of Hope Archive
The CM of Delhi welcomes the Walk of Hope
The last stop of the day was Mother's International School, run by the Aurobindo Ashram. Sri M addressed school children under the statue of 'Sri Aurobindo'. The padayatris had the privilege of having lunch at the clean and efficiently run dining room of the Ashram. The evening program was at IIT Delhi, one of the premier centres of learning in the country. As is the case with world's top universities, students here also get to attend high quality cultural programs as well, greatly aiding their overall development.
Transcript of the Chief Minister's Speech
We heartily welcome Sri M, his team and the entire public to Delhi. You have taken the task of promoting peace, communal harmony, in this country and is praiseworthy. You are doing such hard work and your journey is from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and is truly historic event and in the coming days people are going to remember this. I have heard that this yatra has received excellent support from the areas that it has been through. I promise and reassure you that the Delhi Government will extend all the support required for this journey. Whatever kind of help you would be needing, I assure you that Delhi Government and my party will extend the same and support it. Today in the country, there are various types of divisive forces. There are attempts to divide the people; they say this is Hindu and it is a religion and hence it’s different; these people belong to a religion, those people belong to another religion, hence they both are different. This person belongs to one party and that person belongs to another party, they are different. In the past of couple of days there has been a new kind of division, he is patriotic, the other is antinational, they are different. So, there are various attempts to divide people on various precepts. In times like this, this walk is very relevant. I want to request one thing, this politics is dividing people, but politics has the capacity to unite as well. Our country’s politics is democratic. The people rule. The day people refuse this divisive politics, the parties will have to change their approach to politics. So, we have to awaken the people of this country. When in the last elections, Aam Aadmi Party got 66 out of 70 seats, it was like a miracle. All the walls fell, people from all the religions voted, getting rid of the religious walls. All of them came together to vote. Similarly, this walk of hope of Sri M and his team, if the people stand together and say we refuse to get divided, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christians, we all are one, people belonging to this religion and that religion, we are all one, we won’t be divided, then all these political parties will lay down and change their political approaches to united people. I am in a little hurry, as I had requested time from the Honorable President, and he has sent word to meet urgently, or else I would have spent an hour or two at this event. I need to meet him discuss certain incidents which have occurred recently. I apologize that I have to leave early. It is really a joyous event being hosted in the Bhagwan Mahaveer’s premises. This is a very relevant event to be hosted here. From Delhi Government side and my party’s side, I extend all the support for this Walk and thank you so much.
Sri M's Speech at the Walk of Hope welcome event in Delhi
On seeing the schedule for the evening programme, the one question on everyone's mind was who was this Manav Ekta Band performing that evening! It came as a pleasant surprise to know that the trigger to form the band came from Sri M when a radio listener called Fever FM one day saying, "I too want to do something for Manav Ekta. I want to form a band and sing for Manav Ekta". So this one day old band performed their first show this evening and sang a rock version of Hanuman Chalisa! The Fusion band of IIT Delhi had set the ball rolling with their opening salvo. After the Manav Ekta Band concluded, Sri M spoke thus: “First, it was nice to hear the IIT fusion music, because fusion is also something we are attempting to do. I would also like to thank the Manav Ekta Band. I am glad to hear how it came about through the radio. I have never before heard a pop rendering of Hanuman Chalisa. Now, the essence of religion and spirituality was there in the songs sung by the Manav Ekta Band. It is a nice name. I would like to say to you that whatever help you require to carry on, I pledge to support you through The Satsang Foundation. The essence of this walk also, is what the great Narsinh Mehta sang, as the Manav Ekta Band sang just now, ‘Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye Je Peed Paraaye Jaane Re, Par Dukkhe upkaar kare toye Man abhiman na anne re.’ This means that the essence of all religions, said Narsinh Mehta, the great saint of Gujarat, is to take the troubles of others on oneself and to help in whichever way possible and yet not feel the ego of having helped. Whosoever does this in their daily life is also walking the Walk of Hope. A lot has been said about the walk, and you already know what is happening. We started the walk on 12th of January from Kanyakumari. We have covered about 6000 Km. There are still about 2000 more kilometres to go before we reach Srinagar in Kashmir. I don’t have to say much. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “My walk is my talk”. The music of Manav Ekta Band, I hope, will be with us as we reach Srinagar. When we come back, I hope, we hope to meet them again. I hope they have more songs to support this movement. Let's say that Manav Ekta Mission is not different from Manav Ekta Band which is doing the walk. Thank you very much.” Following this, he delivered a talk on ‘Science and Spirituality’, the topic of the day. “Asato mā sadgamaya Tamasomā jyotir gamaya Mrityormāamritam gamaya Oṁ śhaanti śhaanti śhaantiḥi The topic today - I love to have Satsangs without any topic but today they have given me a topic - ‘Science and Spirituality’. At the outset, when we look at it, it would appear that these are contradictory topics - Science on one hand and spirituality on the other. I refuse to accept that. I believe that spirituality - real spirituality - which is a search of something that cannot be comprehended by our senses is actually a continuation of science. When you work in a laboratory in the material sciences, I would call it the outer science. When you go into the inner - when you look at and peel the mind layer by layer and go to the core, that is the inner science. What I am going to do is to talk about the spiritual journey and leave it to you to decide if it is scientific or not. First of all, from ancient times, originating from this country, there has been the great science of Yoga. It is not the ‘art’ of Yoga. Any human being, whatever his or her beliefs, believes in something. Now, there is no human being who has no beliefs. Even the one who considers himself or herself to be an atheist believes in something. Swami Vivekananda used to say that the person who has not touched God is an atheist. These are two sides of the same coin. If you say that you are an atheist, that is also a belief. So we start from a hypothesis, a premise, then we journey from there. If we start the journey by saying, well I don’t believe - that is not enquiry. You are already closed, how can you enquire? This belief is,therefore, a hypothesis. Better a positive hypothesis than a negative hypothesis. When you have the Pythagoras theorem, you start with a hypothesis. What is the hypothesis?I have to get this right because I am in the IIT. Correct me if I am wrong, the square of the base plus the square of the altitude equals the square of the hypotenuse. When you have a hypothesis you don’t know if it works. How do you find out that it is actually true? By constructing the picture - you draw the triangle, you take measurements and then find out if the theory is correct. In spiritual teachings you start with the premise that – because for thousands of years sages in this land and elsewhere have talked about It – there is something which is universal, which is the essence of consciousness, which cannot be caught by the senses. Let us go into this carefully. Please do not think of this as a Satsang. Think of this as if I am in your classroom and having a talk. Now, in our day to day life, we hear this very commonly. We say that ‘I lead a rational life’, ‘I lead a logical life’, ’my reason says that life is like this’, and we live like that. We have what we say is a rational blueprint for life and we live based on it, which is fine, everyone has it. I would like to point out that all our designs, our frameworks, our blueprints, that which we call our convictions are based on the experiences we get from this world through our five senses. Is there anyone here who has more than five senses? These senses are what the Vedanta calls the ‘Panch Indriyas’, which are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting - some of us spend our entire life in these senses - taste in food, taste in clothes and taste in - you know what. And, then we have touch. These are the only five senses which we possess at the moment. Maybe, after many years, we may have more senses as we evolve. But, right now, we have only these five senses. When we say that we make our own rational hypothesis, it simply means that based on the information, based on the inputs, based on the data that these five senses can provide, we have created our blueprint. I am saying and, surely you'll agree with me, that all these five sensory organs are limited at best and, sometimes, completely misleading at the worst. Therefore any intellectual blueprint that I create based on these inputs will be limited at best and could be completely illusory. I’ll give you an example. Let’s take eyes. You know that eyes are our most important organs. Visual impact is the most important impact for the human being. When you see something, you see if you like the shape, the colour, and so on. When you wake up in the morning, what happens first? You open your eyes - then you say I am awake. And yet see how imperfect sight is - I can see you till a certain point beyond which I cannot see you. It does not mean that you do not exist. My eyes, my optical instruments, are not powerful enough to see you. Everyday, you see the sun rise and everyday the sun sets. Even a high school child will tell you it is not so. The sun neither rises nor sets. I am asking this important question - is this instrument, which we call sight, reliable enough to give us accurate information on which we can form a reliable framework. Again, you see this floor before you. Looking at it, we think that there is no activity going on there. If you look closely at it with a microscope, you will see hundreds of activities going on there. This cloth which we think to be solid, through which we think that nothing can penetrate, thousands of microscopic life forms can pass through the fibres of this cloth as if they were passing through the entrance of a fort. What I am trying to say is that if the instrument of perception which is sight is so unreliable, what about others? Based on that, any logical construct that we make is bound to be imperfect, like the sun rising and setting. Take hearing, when a bell rings, we hear it only for sometime and then we do not. Believe me that the sound never dies, the sound goes on and on. In Nada Shastra, it is called the ‘Ardhamatra’, that dot above the Om. It symbolises sound which is unending. Nobody knows how far it goes. You can’t hear it, I can’t hear it. The instruments of hearing can detect only a certain level of vibration. There is something called the dog whistle which the dogs can hear but we cannot. It is like that because the dogs have their ears tuned to that frequency but we do not. So, how will it be with other senses? The question is, if the instruments of perception are not reliable, sometimes even misleading, any framework, any blueprint, any system which we form based on these data - will it not be limited also? Think carefully. Since ancient times, all great spiritual teachers, not only in this land but in all lands and in all places – in Egypt, in Mexico, in ancient North America, in Africa, in India, which I consider to be perhaps the oldest of all – all the great teachers discovered something. Those whom you call a ‘rishi’ - you will be happy to know that the ‘rishis’ of the olden times were not sanyasis, they lived with families, they were married, sometimes they even had two wives. They were scientists who explored and studied these things. I believe that the ancient rishis discovered tremendous things - things that are even more tremendous than what Einstein discovered. They said that, while it is true that your five senses are limited in their perception and therefore any framework that you make based on these senses will also be limited, there are other instruments of perception in the human system - please note - there are other instruments of perception in the human system which are generally, in most people, not active. If one is able to activate these instruments of perception, then one is able to enter a world quite different from this world of limited sensory data. Symbolically, it is represented in the Maha-yogi Shiva. People sometimes ask me, what is Shiva meditating upon? He is God. You always see him in this posture, in Siddhasana. If one looks at the symbols - the eyes are closed that means that the sensory perception which is limited is shut for a while and the third eye is open. Please do not think that you can open the third eye by hitting a nail in your forehead. What the third eye means is that certain centres of perception, which are not normally activated in most people, have been activated in certain individuals through following a step by step procedure. Now, when these are activated, then one enters a world of many dimensions. When this happens, it is good to have the direction of a teacher because the worlds are so multidimensional that you might go completely crazy. Now, I want to discuss this matter in the context of one of the centres. You know that we have a system in all human bodies – which is the ductless gland. There is another name for this system - the endocrine gland. It starts from the pituitary gland in the brain, there is the thyroid gland, the adrenal gland and so on. We won’t go into the detail of everything, because it's the yogic science. There is one which is very important. There is a small little gland - like a green chilli shape, but smaller - in the mid-brain slightly behind and above the pituitary, which is called the pineal gland. It is very interesting. Till a few years ago, it was considered a vestige organ, like the appendix. It was simply there, an organ without any function. And, few years ago, biologists suddenly discovered that this organ plays a great role in the sleep cycles, in what is known as the circadian rhythm. When you lie down to sleep in the dark, it produces what is known as melatonin in your bloodstream and that plays a role in sleep. The scientists said it was useless, then they themselves said it is useful. That's how science is. It grows from not knowing to knowing, which is why anybody who says I know everything - either in spiritual or in material sciences - is not going to discover everything. You should first say I don't know, before we start. When you go abroad and come back, you experience what is called a jet lag. That is because your circadian rhythm has been affected because of time change. What do we do? We pop a pill and everything is normal. Believe me that it is not a good thing to do, we must allow time to heal. But we are so busy that we pop a tablet and keep running. What's happening? We are interfering with the pineal gland. Why I brought up the pineal gland was that much before anyone even discovered the gland, Swami Vivekananda spoke of the pineal gland. One can find it somewhere in the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, perhaps to deal with Raja Yoga - the science of contemplation. He said that there is a small organ in the middle of the brain which he likened to the stem of the ‘Sahasrara’, he said that when this organ is activated - this organ which is usually dormant in most people - then one progresses from material understanding to something more subtle and greater. How could Swami Vivekananda discover this a hundred years ago when it has only been fifty or sixty years ago when the scientists - the so-called scientists - discovered that there is such-and-such a function of this gland? According to Vedanta, also a science, everyone - man, woman, dark, fair - is much more than what we normally perceive. Mandukya Upanishad, which is the smallest of the Upanishads, deals with the states of consciousness. These states are common to all. There is the waking state, this present state (humourously) - I hope we are all in a waking state. The second state is the dream state. The third state is the ‘Shusupti’, the state of deep sleep. The fourth is mentioned as ‘Turiya’. Now, waking state, the ‘Jagrati’ state, everybody knows, means awake. The second state, which is called Swapna-avasta, the dream state. This state too is very common to all of us. The dream state is also called Tejasa because even though your eyes are closed, they are illumined. Dreams are always illumined. When you are actually dreaming, nobody thinks it is a dream. When you wake up, it is a dream. There is the rare case when you know in the middle of a dream. Usually, you only know it is a dream when you wake up. One dreams of a tiger pursuing and wake up with the heart beating fast as if it happened in the waking state. The third state, called the ‘Shushupti’, is also common to us all. This state of deep, dreamless sleep is also common to us all. In this state, neither do we know that we exist, neither do we know that the world exists. There is no outer cognition, there is no inner cognition. Yet, when we wake up, there is something that knows that there has been deep sleep. We say - ‘I slept well last night’. Sleep, therefore is a very important state of consciousness. Now, think of this - the pineal gland is connected to the sleep cycle. The Rishis have gone a step further and have said that the gland is also connected to the next state, the state know as Turiya. Now, Turiya is something that we cannot define. Turiya is the awareness we have even in deep state. This state is also considered to be the witness of all three states and yet not any of these states. What this state is, how this is connected to certain organs of the body, it’s systems, how one moves from the ordinary world of the senses into a fresh world with a fresh set of sensory organs, that is the science and the system of Yoga. I’ll give you one example, there are many such in the system. Sometimes, even without the practice of step-by-step Yoga, at certain moments of time the great infinite world presents itself to us. It could be when you go up to the terrace just like that and look at the moon, the night is dark, the sky cloudless, there is not a sound nearby and you are so absorbed in this looking that there is no ‘you’. The problem is that it lasts for a fraction of a moment. The mind comes in between and starts comparing it to the moon it saw in 1999. Then, I look at the image of the moon through the looking-glass, the image of 1999. If someone can just look but these are signs or clues that there is perhaps something other than all of this. Another example is that of love. How does one explain love? In this world, this world of logic, if we love something we expect something in return. If there is true love, there is nothing expected in return. A mother loves her child. Does she expect anything in return? You may say that it is a blood relation, but is love not there? What expectation is there? This happens to most people when one gives without expecting anything back. Such a love is an opening into the other world - a world where everything is one - where, if everything is one, who is to take, and from whom? Everything is seen as complete - that which the Vedas say as 'puranam adah purnam idam purnaat purnam udachyate, Purnasya purnamaadaaya purnam evaavashishyate'. And then, the ordinary, so-called, biological, hormonal love, even that is beyond ration. One comes from a rich family and the other is not. In the heat of love they give up everything for each other - what is that? Where is logic in that? In terms of this world it would be a loss. When two young people stand at the bus stand and look at each other - they are not talking, they are just looking at each other - what happens then? There is a movie, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ (the audience laughs). If we cannot even explain even this little thing which is physical and emotional, how can we really define that which is beyond the senses. Can it be found? Yes! By following the ways and means through which senses can be calmed down and deliberately cease to function – temporarily, of course. Then the other senses we spoke of before begin to function. Then the real spiritual journey starts. The journey from the earth to water to fire to air to space to ‘akash’ begins then - which means the journey from the gross to the subtle. This spiritual journey, I would say therefore, is no less than any scientific experiment. Please keep in mind that you need a good instructor. To do any experiment in any lab, you don’t go in without an instructor. You need an instructor otherwise you may burn your hand in acid. This is what I leave you with. I am sure you understand what I am saying. The step to go into it has to be individual. I do not believe that there is a simple formulae for everyone. The path for everyone is different, which can be found by constant contact with the teacher. Before I conclude the talk, I want to show you one more link between the science and the spiritual. You know the science of the breath, it is used a great deal in opening up the inner centres of perception. You all know about breathing - I think all of us are breathing right now. Breathing is so important. We can live without food for some time, we can live without water for some time, but we cannot live without breath for even a few minutes - maybe Yogis can - but you can't. It is so important yet we do not look at it. We do not pay any attention to it. From the time we are born to the time we die, we go on breathing automatically. In Gujarati, they say ‘Off ho gaya’, or in Malayalam they say ‘Puncture aayo’ which means the air is gone. We do not give any attention to breath. If you could learn to give attention to your breath, then you will go nearer to That which ‘switches’ it on when you are in the womb and ‘switches’ it off when you are dead. There is a great link. The science of Pranayama, which was formulated by the Rishis was done in a very scientific manner. When the mind is agitated, look closely at your breath. You will find that your breathing is very erratic. When your mind is calm, when you are listening to beautiful music or you are doing something that you really love, close your eyes and look at your breath. The Rishis said, ‘If the breath is affected by the mind, it is possible to affect the mind by changing the breath’. The state of mind can be altered by altering breathing. The entire science of pranayama came about like this. You will find that it is very soft and quiet. Since it is not proper to just talk of theory and leave, I’ll give you something which all of you can try, atleast a peppermint to suck on. I would suggest that the easiest way to calm your mind - please, I am not talking about becoming mindless, one does not practice sadhana to become mindless, if you want to become mindless take a crowbar and give your head a nice little hit, we are not talking about thoughtlessness. We are talking about refined, subtle witness, the essence of consciousness. This is a simple experiment. This is roughly what they teach in Vipasanna. I won't go into details because they might have a trademark. I might be sued! Anyway, just sit and close your eyes and watch your breath. Sit steady and just look at your breath. Don’t control your breath, don’t do anything. When breath goes in, give attention. When breath goes out, give attention. Do it for a few minutes. A time will come when you feel like giving a deep sigh. Then continue watching, you will see your breath becomes very slow, your mind becomes very calm. Once you reach that state, you will experience a certain bliss. Once you taste it, you'll love to do it again. This is no secret. Don't worry I'm not going to collect money at the end of the programme. Thank you very much!”
Transcript of Sri M's Speech
I do not want to talk much as I am aware that the chief minister won’t be with us for long. I would like to firstly thank our Chief Minister, Sri Aravind Kejriwal, who made time to attend this event today. Also to Shri Vinod Jain, who is the trustee of this Shant Sthal and Dr. Indu Jain who welcomed all of us and showed us the statue of Thirthankar Bhagwan Mahaveer, located on the top, I thank you too. You welcomed the walk of hope and the walkers here. We also have Sri. Somnath Bharatiji, who is the MLA here of the Delhi Government, Sri Naresh Yadavji, and Shri Ajay Dutt, I thank all of them for having participated in this program. I apologize if I have left some names out. As you all are with us, I would like to say that, this is the walk for uniting humanity. We do not desire anything, except in a country where there are more than 22 languages, many religions, many sects, we Indians are one. We understand this, but sometimes these bonds are broken. Our efforts are to prevent these bonds from breaking. Because, when these bonds break, there erupts fire, which is inextinguishable. The main objective of this journey is to avoid this from happening in Toto. We are sowing these seeds in the heart of people that you understand that you are human first. Everyone takes birth from the mother’s womb. No one drops from above and ultimately rest in the ground, hence we are all one, we are all humans and we are residents of Bharath. People from many backgrounds, reside in India, no one is on the top or no one is in the bottom, we are all equal and we are all one. To spread this message of oneness of humanity, peace, and goodwill, we have traversed 5900 km from Kanyakumari and we have to travel another 2000 km, with a goal of reaching Shrinagar before the first week of May. I humbly request you to support this walk as much as possible from your end. This walk is for everyone. The divisive forces that we see in front of our eyes sometimes, we try to see that this doesn’t happen again, because prevention is better than cure. Let this disease not affect us. The major responsibility of this lies in the hands of our children, because in the future they are going to make Bharath beautiful again, where people will reside in peace and harbor goodwill. I do not wish to comment on what happened in JNU. I just with that peace prevails there also. Thank you and Namaskar.
----------------------------------------Full Event Coverage A few questions and answers followed. The questions and answers went thus, Q. Good evening, Sir! My question is - the subject of the talk today is science and spirituality. But you have been walking from Kanyakumari and now you have reached New Delhi. You have been seeing people, all kinds of people. My question is what have your experiences been? How do you feel? A. This question is not relevant to the topic at hand but you have asked a question and I will answer it. We have come from Kanyakumari and we are going to reach Kashmir. We have faced many kinds of situations, we have walked through many lands, we have visited many, many places, we have interacted with thousands of people, we have faced many situations, we have faced different kinds of weather and I see a common thread among all this, which is - we are all human beings. There are innumerable ideologies and so many religions. It all boils down to one thing, this is what I would tell you if you would ask me, my conclusion after seeing all this is that there is a common thread which is that we are all human beings. We all have our own fears, we have our own angers, our favourites, in this we are all human beings. Take for instance - fear. I am not afraid of anything at this moment but consider that I am afraid of something. The object of our fear maybe different. I maybe afraid of my wife - I am joking, of course! And, you maybe afraid of a dog standing on the street. But fear, as a human quality, is there in both of us. Like that there is anger, there is love, so on and so forth. To me, it looks like this - it seems to me that there is but one mind manifesting in all these different centres. It is a common mind. For the purpose of existence, it is acting through different centres. This journey we are on, this Walk of Hope, is not only a physical journey but is also a spiritual journey. As I walk, this is what I see, that finally we are all human beings. Therefore, the motto of the walk is ‘Born Human, Be Human, Every step for Humanity’. Thank you! Q. Sir, Namaste! Spiritual literature talks about divine music, celestial music. Can you please speak on it. A. Spiritual literature talks about divine music - actually there is no divine or non-divine music. All music is divine. Let’s take Indian classical music, there are Svara Sthanas. You start with Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa (He sings the notes). The lower sound Sa - that is supposed to activate the lower most part of the system where the consciousness generally settles down for most people. Like that there are seven stages or Sthanas. If you know how to manipulate, how to bring about the vibration through music, then that is one way to take one to higher dimensions. Having said that, sometimes in other spheres, sometimes you hear sounds. The other states are sometimes called spheres. The great singers, through singing, can reach those spheres. This is why when great singers like Bhimsen Joshi sings, you don’t know what happens but something happens inside which cuts across barriers and goes into higher levels. This science of using music is called Nada Yoga, the Yoga of Sound. In fact, in higher levels of consciousness, the Yogi can hear the Nada inside. Thank you!
----------------------------------------The Kalakunj Repertory with lead dancer Richa Jain presented a Kathak performance showcasing spirituality and dance in Sufi and Sanskrit. The group stole everyone's hearts with electrifying 'chakkars', sculpturesque freezes and nimble footwork. Richa sang along as she danced, making her one of the few who can do that difficult combo. Sri M in his congratulatory remark, mentioned that just as musicians used music as a medium to progress spiritually, Richa's was a case where she used dance instead.