Day 428 | 14 March 2016 | Kaithal City walk | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • 1.Set-to-free-humanity-from-its-bondage!,-Karnal-Road,-Kaithal,-Haryana
  • 2.Still-a-popular-mode-of-transport!,-Kaithal,-Haryana
  • Reception on Karnal Road - Kaithal
  • WOH Day 428 - Kaithal City Walk -Kurukshetra
  • Reception at Pehowa Chowk
  • Sri M talks to the media on Kurukshetra Road
  • 7.An-ornamental-pole-with-coloured-cloth-tied-all-around!,-Kaithal,-Haryana
  • At the Pehowa Saraswati Mandir Kaithal
  • Sri M addresses the gathering at Senate Hall Kurukshetra
  • Inside the Dharohar Museum of Haryana Culture - Kurukshetra
  • Dharohar - A magnificent collection of art - culture-weapons-stamps - Kurukshetra
Today's walk was in Kaithal, which was recently rocked with riots by members of the Jat community demanding reservation. The town bore no signs of having gone through traumatic times as recently as last month. The original name of Kaithal was Kapisthal, meaning 'land of the monkey' or land of Lord Hanuman. It is believed that Lord Hanuman was born here and there is a temple dedicated to Anjana, his mother, here. Another importance is that Kaithal has the tomb of Razia Sultan, the only woman to sit on the throne of Delhi.

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The city walk was short and filled with short and sweet receptions, with the final one at HUDA Park where yatris (travellers) were given a treat of fresh juice, fruits etc. The next stop was Pehowa. It is considered a religious place of high importance and to highlight the sanctity of the place, Haryana State Government has banned sale, possession, consumption and purchase of non-vegetarian food within the town limits. Slaughtering of animals is also banned in the town through court orders. The town is considered sacred to Ahirs, Hindus and Sikhs. It is understood that, after the battle of Mahabharata, Krishna performed the last rites of those killed in battle to liberate their souls and provide them moksha. The Ma Saraswati Annapurna Bhandara Samiti in Pehowa is actively involved in poor feeding, reviving the Saraswati river and other charitable activities. The members warmly welcomed all and smothered them with tea and goodies. The evening Satsang was at the Senate hall of the Kurukshetra University. After the documentary on the padayatra (journey on foot) was shown, students of the music department sang a couple of lovely Bhajans before Sri M started his address. After chanting the invocatory shloka and thanking all present Sri M said, "We will have a simple and straightforward interaction. This isn't a lecture. Don't think that I'm lecturing you. Firstly, I'd like to thank those who sang. They have an innate talent and the music department has honed it. I do not have to go into the details of the walk as you've watched the video". Sri M then gave a few details about the walk like the distance covered, number of people walking etc. Having visited many Universities and met many students, Sri M explained why he thought it was important to meet students and said, "Manav Ekta is an old tradition in India. It's nothing new but sometimes it breaks and the reasons for it are many. However, it's given the name of communal riots, demands for something, there are different reasons. But I believe that these reasons are excuses for violence and, really if you look,closely, you'll see there are vested interests in this, because religion never asks people to kill or create problems for others. This happens in the name of religion. The same way, if you examine anything closely, you'll see it's because of some greed. As responsible citizens, we thought we should do something about it. From early times, all great people who wanted to share a message always took to walking. A lot can happen through a padayatra. Today's world is such that when you go to a village in a car, they wonder if you've come to take away their land. So when we visit them on foot, they think 'he is just like us’, even if we walk to the post office, and they say,‘Let's listen to what he has to say'. We've gone to small villages, big cities, everywhere, even villages with a population of a 100-400. In the evening, we've sat under the Peepal tree and discussed things with them. We've walked almost 6000 Km now and we've understood one thing that all Indians want to maintain peace. We remind them never to let it break because, if we do this, I assure you that in 25 years there will be no other country to compete with India. Consider this as my dream. A dream that I'm sharing with all of you." Sri M then explained how India is a unique country that sticks together despite it's diversity and said, "Look at how beautiful our country is. Even your campus. When I woke up this the morning, I saw four peacocks. There are countries where there's either only snow or desert. In our country, we have snow in the Himalayas, deserts in Rajasthan, rain and water in Kerala. We have to keep such a country together. This is our responsibility. I'm not trying to win an election, neither do I have any political affiliation. The only affiliation I have is towards people who want to keep India together. Whoever they are, whichever party they belong to, I join hands with them. I only pray that you think of this. Every college has unions, there are bound to be disagreements but I only pray that you don't resort to any violence. We just need to think about this. Because if we don't, there won't be any intelligence left. In ancient India, there was Vedanta on one side and the Charavaks on the other who never believed in it. Did they fight or live in peace? Discussion is important. There's a new term now -'Chai pe charcha'. Chai or water, discussion is important." Being at Kurukshetra, where Sri Krishna elucidated the Bhagvat Gita, Sri M shared the shloka that he considers as the essence of the Gita 'sarva bhoota hite rataha' ie: keeping the welfare of all human beings at heart. Referring to the beautiful song that was rendered at the start of the programme, Sri M said, "The music you sang had all the notes in it 'sa re ga ma pa dha ni sa'. Can you make music with just one note? It's when all come together that there's music. What's a jugalbandi? A fight? It's a friendly competition of different instruments. Citizens of India are like the different notes. If they can come together they will make beautiful music. We'll call that The Bhagavad Gita. Gita is not read, it's sung. This music must be remembered. Whoever tells you that we are different, tell them you're open to discuss it but we're all one." Finally, Sri M introduced himself and explained why he prefers being called M, as M stands for Manushya. In reply to a question asked by the audience, Sri M said, "Maheshwarnath Babaji took Samadhi in 1983. So, he isn't there physically. But a Guru like him who gives everything to his disciple with such love and affection is very hard to forget. He isn't there physically but I think he still lives in my heart." In reply to the next question asked by the audience he said, "Buddhism follows 'shoonyavad', but the practical training in Buddhism involves yamas and niyamas. In Vedanta, what is called Purnatha is called Shoonyata in Buddhism. Shoonyata doesn't mean that there's nothing. If there's nothing, what's the point of doing Sadhana for so many years? If there's nothing and Shoonyata means being unconscious, it can be achieved by being hit on the head. But that's not so. It requires a lot of preparation. Shoonyata means Zero but ask a mathematician and he'll tell you that zero isn't valueless. If you keep 1 and keep adding zeros to it, it's value keeps increasing. This is also my experience that shoonyata and poornata are different names for the same thing. The Buddhist teachings say that the entire world has sprung from shoonyata and it'll go back into shoonyata. Vedanta says 'Om poornamadah poornamidam poornaat poornamudachyate, Poornasya poornamaadaya poornamevaavashishyate.' Everything comes from fullness. Fullness is what remains. Nothing can be deducted or added to it. Like Einstein said, 'Energy can neither be created nor destroyed'. Gautama Buddha used the term shoonyata because there was no other word he could use to describe it. Words fail to express it. Look at Keno Upanishad that says ‘Yadvaacha anabhyuditam...’ What cannot be described by words, we consider Brahman. If there's nothing, then there's no need for any moral preparation. Shoonyata and Nirvana are such states where the mind becomes completely purified. The conflicting thoughts stop. That's why one goes into the essence. And, it cannot be described because of which compassion, love and affection keeps increasing. Gautama Buddha has said a lot about compassion. If you want another proof for this, when Adi Shankaracharya reached Varanasi with his Vedanta teachings, the Buddhist teachings were already there in Varanasi. On one side, there were the orthodox who preached Karma Kanda. Shankaracharya, like it's written in Viveka Choodamani, said that Viveka and Vairagya are essential and (if they are not there) there's no point of all this spirituality. Spirituality is important but we need to move beyond it. Viveka means discrimination, thinking. When he started spreading the Upanishadic teachings, the Karma Kanda people who were Brahmins, said a surprising thing, they called him a Buddhist in disguise. They called Shankaracharya ‘Praschanna Boudhika’ which means, they thought he was coming to destroy their Vedic knowledge, that's why they called him a Buddhist in disguise. It just means that the teachings were so identical that they could easily label it thus. In ten minutes, it's difficult to discuss about Shoonyata and Poornata. But consider what I've said as the starting point or food for thought." After Satsang, Sri M and the padayatris visited Dharohar, a museum of Haryanvi culture. The exhibits have been so very nicely prepared, preserved and documented that Dharohar could be a model for similar efforts in other states.

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