Day 410 | 25 February 2016 | Nirahar Satyagraha in New Delhi – Day 2 | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Former CM of Delhi Smt Sheila Dixit greets Sri M - Jantar Mantar
  • Smt Sheila Dixit addresses the Satyagrahis - Jantar Mantar
  • 3.Hope-all-that-is-written-on-the-otherside-becomes-meaningful-to-them-soon!,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • Hindustani Vocal Recital by Sri Bhaven Gossain - Jantar Mantar
  • 5.The-main-pandal-where-the-Satyagrahis-sat,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • Essays written by school children that espouses peace and harmony - Jantar Mantar
  • Gavin and Ritesh perform an amazing duet piano recital - Jantar Mantar
  • Rev Bishop Mar Thomas Athanasius blesses Sri M
  • Sharat of Fever 104 FM anchors a Q & A session with Sri M
  • Noted social activist Swami Agnivesh addresses the gathering - Jantar Mantar
  • Hindustani Vocal Recital by Smt Meeta Kumar - Jantar Mantar
  • Sri M speaks to the media during the Nirahar Satyagraha
  • Satyagrahis lighting candles of hope after the Nirahar Satyagraha
  • Sri M breaks his fast as vedic chants fill the air - Jantar Mantar
Jai Singh II, the Maharaja of Jaipur built five similar observatories – located at Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi – between 1727 and 1734, all known by the name Jantar Mantar. While the purpose of building the Jantar Mantars (Tantra & Mantra) was astronomy and astrology (Jyotish), they also became major tourist attractions and significant monuments of the history of astronomy. Earlier, the most popular spot for public rallies and sit-in agitations in Delhi was the Boat Club precincts. Now, it is the area close to Jantar Mantar. Thus, the Walk of Hope Nirahar Satyagraha, against terrorism and violence, was also held in across the road from the Jantar Mantar. Also in the area were several pandals where protesters vocally expressed their sentiments throughout the day. One could also espy droves of villagers who have been brought from nearby villages to add numerical strength to these rallies, and walk past!

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Day 2 of the Satyagraha, just as Day 1, commenced with a short walk from the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib to the venue. Various dignitaries addressed the gathering. Sheila Dixit, former Chief Minister of Delhi, fondly remembered her association with Sri M. She said he would be able to spread peace all along the long and circuitous route he has chosen to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. She thanked him for spending time in Delhi and blessing the people with his presence. Sri Giriraj Singhji, MoS - Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, agreed with the sentiments expressed by Smt Sheila Dixit and lamented the lack of crowd at Jantar mantar for a function of this importance. Rahul Makin, the popular RJ of Fever 104 FM, took the stage and explained how he came into contact with Sri M. He mentioned about all the major radio stations showing willingness to broadcast Sri M's message – something they rarely do, as they are very secretive and so used to keeping things close to their chest. What followed was an interesting conversation between Sri M and Sharat of Fever 104 FM. Sri M explained the above situation saying that as Jesus mentioned, 'Blessed are those who are pure at heart'. Answering Sharat's question regarding seeking out a true Guru, he recounted one of his favourite Sufi stories. An Arab merchant, who had made his money in life, realised its futility and retired from his active life by giving away most of his wealth to his family and just keeping a bare minimum for himself. He bought a small house in an oasis and started reading up all the books he had collected over the years. He looked around for a cook and recruited a slightly-built gentleman, who was bare-chested and used to drape a towel on his shoulder. After 7 long years of intensive reading, he was getting nowhere and felt the necessity of a Guru. He checked out many but finally settled for a bearded one with the right credentials. But the Guru said that he would accept him as a student only if his Guru would permit him to do so and also the fact that his Guru had been missing for the last 7 years. When asked for a description of the lost Guru, the merchant was told that he was a short man who drapes a towel over his shoulder and also that he was an expert cook. The merchant took the Guru to his house. Lo, who opened the door? The cook opened the door and Guru fell at his feet. The Guru asked his master what he had been doing all these years. He replied that he was helping the merchant realise that he needed a Guru. He permitted his student to be the merchant's Guru and was soon on his way. Sri M said that though it was a funny Sufi story, it had many angles to it. He also explained how he interacts with the normal world by narrating one of Sri Ramakrishna's favourite stories. There was a vicious snake in a village and none would go anywhere near the snake-pit. One day, a Sanyasi was passing the village and the villagers promptly warned him about the snake. He said he would tackle the snake. As it came hissing to bite him, the Sanyasi used some Mantras to silence it. He also advised the snake to be harmless and not to bite people. The snake agreed. When the Sanyasi returned to the village after a year, he saw children play near the snake-pit. As he enquired about the snake, he was told that nobody was scared of it anymore. He called out to the snake. The snake lamented his decision to follow the Sanyasi's advice. Once they knew that the snake was harmless, children started pelting stones at it and even started twirling it in the air, breaking its back. The Sanyasi chastised the snake telling him that he only advised it not to bite, but never to not hiss. Sri M told that he hisses when required but never bites. The problem was that people close to him know that he would never bite! To Sharat's question as to how to identify a true Guru, Sri M said that one has to really seek to get a true Guru, as there is no fixed framework for a Guru. The seeker should test the Guru himself and ensure that he is equanimous under all circumstances. The problem with many is that a lot of people get unnecessarily entangled with the Guru. Sri M's example was simple yet clear. Assume that you need to go to Connaught place. You see a person who knows the way and has himself gone to CP many times. Once you ask him and he tells you the best, is it wise to follow the directions and reach CP or is it enough just to do an Arati or Pooja for the Guru? Sadly, it is what many people do. He also said that if one were really hungry for a Guru, he would definitely appear before him. Sri M fielded a few questions from the audience too. Q: Everyone is selfish, why are we sent here? A: Sukha or happiness is what everyone wants. But the question is whether it can be obtained outside. In fact, in most cases, we humans – like the Kasturi Mrig or musk deer that keep on searching for the scent all over the forest, while it is coming from right under its tail – keep searching for pleasure in the outside world. The earlier we turn inward in its search, the better. Q: As you practise Yoga, the attempt is to raise energy up. But, there are cases where it goes down as well. How do you prevent it? A: Yes, it is a definite possibility. But, you have to practise it more and more and ensure that the energy flows up and not down. Later, Reverend Bishop Thomas Mar Athanasius from Kerala spoke towards the end of the session. He expressed happiness that he had been present when the padayatra was flagged off in Kanyakumari, when it entered his village in Kerala and now in Delhi. He congratulated Sri M, the padayatris and lauded their noble mission. The Carmel Convent school choir sang a few lovely hymns. Noted political activist, Swamy Agnivesh, Sri Naba Kumar Sarania, MP from Kokrajhar, Assam, former MP and our host in Hodal, Sri Harsh Kumarji, and Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar were the other dignitaries who were present. Shabad kirtans by Smt Rupinder Kaur, Hindustani thumri recital by Sri Bhaven Gossain, a Piano recital and English songs by the talented threesome, Gavin Pereira, Ritesh & Vishal & Hindustani Vocal recital by Smt Meeta Pandit were the cultural programs, which lightened the fasting experience of the Satyagrahis. Sri M and the satyagrahis lit Candles of Hope as Vedic hymns were chanted in the background, to end the fast on Day 2.

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