Day 434 | 20 March 2016 | From Dera Baba Santokh Singhji, Fategarh Sahib to Bassi Pathana | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Meeting with the officials of the Gurudwara Fateharh Sahib Sirhind - Punjab
  • Welcome at the Dargah of Hazrat Imam Rabbani - Sirhind
  • Inside the Dargah of hazrat Imam Rabbani Sirhind - Punjab
  • Ripe wheat fields - Sirhind Roads
  • The Moti Ram mehra Gate - Sirhind Road
  • A heritage residence - Bassi Pathanan - Punjab
  • Reception at Meherbaba Trust Bassi - Pathanan
  • 8.Signs-of-empowerment!,-Meherbaba-Trust,-Bassi-Pathanan,-Punjab
  • Sri M addressing the audience at Meherbab Trust - Bassi Pathanan
  • Sri M offering prayers at Gurudwara Fategarh Sahib - Sirhind
  • 11.The-future-of-Indian-hockey!,-Sirhind-Road,-Punjab
  • WOH Day 434 - Fategarh Sahib to Bassi pathanan - Punjab
  • 13.
  • Site of a great sacrifice - Gurudwara Fategarh Sahib
The padayatra's entry into Punjab was at a place noted for valour, sacrifice and Manav Ekta. The Fategarh Sahib, one of the 20 districts of Punjab, was the entry point. The place is named 'Fategarh' meaning 'town of victory' to celebrate the Sikh's capture of the town and fort here under leader Banda Bahadur in 1710. But the incident famously associated with Fategarh Sahib is very heart-rending. It is here that the two younger sons of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Gobind Singh, Sahibzada Fateh Singh and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh were tortured and entombed while still alive on 26 December 1704, on the orders of the Governor of Sirhind, Wazir Khan.

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The Manav Ekta demonstrated by the people of this region, especially during the period of martyrdom of the children, is astounding. Baba Moti Ram Mehra sneaked milk inside the prison where the children were held captive, at great risk to his life; Nawab Sher Muhammad Khan of Malerkotla, a relative of Wazir Khan valiantly tried to prevent the heinous crime; Todar Mal, a devotee of Guru Govind Singh gave sufficient gold coins to buy the land required for cremation of their bodies when the cruel Wazir Khan insisted on it and Sikh Chief Banda Bahadur avenged the killings by murdering Wazir Khan. The town is surrounded by four memorial gates, each in memory of these four important figures from Sikh history associated with Sirhind. Note that each of these individuals belonged to a different caste or religion, showing the harmony and brotherhood among people of those times. What a place to start this padayatra from! A very important point to remember here is that, Malerkotla - from where Sher Muhammad Khan hailed - was untouched during the religious riots which raged in these areas before and after partition days. It shows how the noble act of a single person is remembered, even during the so-called Kali Yuga we are passing through. Sri M and the padayatris attended a solemn meeting within the Gurudwara, attended by the Manager of the Gurudwara and members of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee. They were also given a warm welcome at Bassi Pathana at the Meherbaba Charitable Trust which is actively involved in empowering the downtrodden. Addressing the gathering, Sri M thanked all and said, "I am thankful to the little ones who've come in their little orange shirts who have walked with us all the way. You will definitely become great hockey players in the future, there's no doubt about it. But I would also like to add that you will also become good human beings. This yatra, you must have read in the notice, started on 12th January 2015 from Kanyakumari where there's a confluence of three oceans. We've done at least 6000 Km almost. It is a journey on foot and we will reach Kashmir in May. So this is a journey from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Total length is 7,800 Km, it might exceed that too. Our entry into Punjab, thanks to Jitendar Ji, happened in Sirhind. Such an important place! We took our blessings at Sirhind in Fategarh Sahib and started. This is a place of great sacrifice. We went down and looked at the place. I don't want to repeat the story because it is quite an emotional one for me, even after so many years. It is a place where great sacrifices have been made. I would also say that what you're doing here is also a sacrifice. Sacrifices are of different kinds. We cannot compete with the great Gurus in sacrifice but we can do our little bit here. Our yatra is also a kind of small sacrifice. Why do I say small sacrifice? People ask me, ‘You're walking 8000 Km, this is a long yatra. You're doing a great thing’. I tell them, go see in a Gurudwara, if you can see the map of Gurunanakji's walk. 500 years ago, he visited so many places. I wonder how could a person travel so much. If you go to Sri Lanka, he's gone there. If you look in Uzbekistan, Mecca, India there is no place he hasn't visited. When we compare, we feel belittled, we're doing only 8000 Km. Unfortunately, people don't walk these days, that's why it seems like a lot. One should walk on foot. It is a great thing. It is especially good for health, for the youth. When you little kids grow up, don't take a car for small jobs. Go walking.” “I meant to say that we started our yatra into Punjab from Fategarh Sahib. From there, we went to Roza Sharif - it is believed to be as important as Mecca among the Muslims. A great Wali's Dargah. We believe that the essence of every religion is 'service'. There's nothing bigger than service. What can I tell you?...Wherever you go in Punjab, any Gurudwara, you can stay there for at least 3 days. This system doesn't exist anywhere else. And Langar is open all the time. There's no bigger service than this. My Guru, Maheshwarnath Babaji, who belonged to the Nath Sampradaya, taught me one thing - that while spiritual progress is important and has its place, along with it, seva is also important. Like Swami Vivekananda used to say, 'Liberation of the soul is a good thing. But the one who doesn't think of the welfare of the world, I can guarantee that he cannot proceed in his spiritual journey'. We call this yatra, Manav Ekta Mission. Because it is impossible to find a country like India anywhere else in the world. We have too many languages. Do you know how many languages we have in India? More than 23. There are so many dialects under that and so many religions too. I believe that one's religion should come after his humanity. He needs to learn to be a human being first. There must be many people here who read the Granth. Kabir's Shabad is in the Granth. It says 'Avval Allah Noor Upaaye Kudarat Ke Sabh Bandhe'. We are all connected to each other, how can we be different? To explain this to people, we're walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, we say whatever be your religion, whatever your creed. Yesterday, the Governor attended our function in Chandigarh and said, 'The only religion is humanity. The creeds can be many'. We are waking with this religion of humanity. We must live together, we shouldn't let it break. Indian culture is such that we live together. But we must do our best to ensure it doesn't break. If someone tries to break it, we must try to explain to him that this great country shouldn't be pulled apart, it needs to be kept united. This yatra is to unite people. The work you're doing here, in fact, I also know a lot about Meher Baba as well, in whose name this trust stands. Even his attempt was to unite people.” “I would like to add that though you might not be able to walk with us up to Srinagar - if you understand that you're a human being first and then we're Indians, and we won't let this unity break - we will maintain this unity. If you understand this and think that what we're doing is useful, then I'll consider our yatra to be successful even before reaching Srinagar.” “People call me Sri M. Do you find it strange that my name is Sri M? There can be an Amar, Akhbar, Anthony, what's this Sri M? It means that most importantly, I consider myself a human being, a Manav. The first letter of Manav is M. In Sanskrit, it is Manushya. That's also M. If I'm M because I am a Manav, then you're also Manavs and therefore you're all Ms. So this isn't just my yatra, it's every human being's yatra.” “Thank you!"

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