Sri M during his short address at St Soldier Elite Convent School - Jandiala
Sri M watering the freshly planted sapling - St Soldier Elite Convent School Jandiala
Sri M introducing Sri Mohammed Fayaz Khan - the cow-lover to the padayatris
WOH Day 448 - Jandiala Guru to Pingalwara Amritsar
The students of St Soldier Elite Convent School on GT Road Jandiala
Enjoying the hospitality of the police - Amritsar
Cooling off under a leafy shade - Amritsar
Smt Inderjeet Kaur welcomes Sri M to Pingalwara - Amritsar
Guavas for you - GT Road Amritsar
Sri M welcomed at Pingalwara
Amt inderjeet Kaur proudly leading Sri M through the institution's legacy - Pingalwara
A short satsang at Pingalwara - Amritsar
In the children's ward at Pingalwara
At the short felicitation given to Sri M at St Soldier, the compere mistakenly referred to Sri M as Sri RAM! During his address, Sri M said that his name was Sri M though he would have loved to have been Sri Ram, causing peals of laughter from the audience.
Just before commencing the walk, Sri M introduced Sri Mohammed Fayaz Khan from Raipur, Chattisgarh to the padayatris. Interestingly, 'Goraksha' is Sri Khan's motto and his aim is to open as many goshalas in the country as possible. In his address, Sri Khan made everyone utters the 'maa shabd', which means mother in many languages. He said the sound of the cow resembles it the most. In his opinion, the letter M as Sri M says signifies 'man' or 'manushya' and also the words 'maaa', mother and the lowing of the cow, he felt that those who understand this become humans. Sri Khan joined the walk and exchanged ideas with Sri M and other padayatris.
The end point of the walk today was Pingalwara, a home for people with special needs. Started informally in 1924 by Ramji Das who was to become a hero by the name Bhagat Puram Singh, this institution, captures the essence of Sikhism, Swami Vivekananda's impassioned plea for 'Daridra Narayan Seva' and also Maheswarnath Babaji's reminder to Sri M about the importance of service to mankind.
Dr Indrajeet Kaur, Mukhya Sewadar of Pingalwara in her address said, "Pingalwara's mission and Sri M's mission are One. We should always remain in high spirit and wish goodness for all. It's not enough to talk about these things, doing the work is important."
After greeting and thanking all the Sewadars at Pingalwara Sri M said, "If we hadn't done a padayatra, how would we know of a place like this? The most important aspect of a padayatra is that we can walk and go anywhere. Today, times are such that if you drive into a small village in a big car, they think that you've come to grab their land. If you go walking they consider you as their own, their hearts open up. We have gone to small villages, big towns. I still feel that the kind of openness that exists in villages even today, is not always there in big towns. Even if it exists, it's rare. Because we get involved in our work, we don't think about others. We had recently visited Sultanpur Lodhi and Ber Sahib, a place where Guru Nanak Ji had proclaimed that 'everything is yours, nothing is mine'. You probably know the story, while distributing grains to people, after 12 when he reached 13, 'terah' in Hindi which also means yours, he got stuck because he felt that nothing belonged to him, it's all yours. If you look at this closely you'll realise that it's the ultimate truth. Nothing really belongs to you anyway. We are making use of things here and there. But when there's nothing, the breath stops and your work here is done.”
“To explain to people, that the culture of this ancient country is such that the main dharma is service itself. There's nothing bigger than service. Everything else is just practices. To keep this great country together and not let it break, we've been explaining these things to people along the way. This is an 8000 Km journey of which we've already covered 3/4th the distance. We will reach Srinagar on 30th April if all goes well, if we're allowed. I think we'll do it, because more than any other support is God's support. If this exists, everything falls in place. In Punjab, if you look at any Gurudwara, you'll see what it means to do service. Langar is open all day. It's a big thing, it's not there in any other place. I'm thinking that even if it's not a big spread, when I go back, I want to start a langar for just tea and biscuits if possible - a 24 hour place.”
“Service is the biggest religion. If you want to live in Kaliyuga, just looking for Moksha isn't enough. Like the Vedas said 'Atmano Moksharth Jagat Hitaya cha'. Work for the welfare of the world along with liberation of the soul. If one doesn't do good for mankind, he can never go further on the spiritual path. This is my belief.”
“We go to places where such Seva is undertaken. I had heard about Bhagat Puran Singh but it's only when I came here that I remembered Baba Amte had mentioned this place. What you're doing here for the differently abled children, is something else. The doctor sitting here perhaps knows this, that treating normal patients is one thing and treating these kids is another. These kids sitting here, their joys and sorrows are difficult to comprehend. The one who understands them and tries to serve them, I consider them to be God. Not God-like but God, because these kids are Gods. When I return from the yatra, I'd like to spend some time here and serve these kids.”
“Before I finish I would like to say that our organization The Satsang Foundation, whose social service wing is Manav Ekta Mission, would like to help Pinglwara every year with some financial aid. I've spoken to our Secretary that we would like to help regularly and steadily. I know it might be little, but we will do as much as we can. I won't speak much because everywhere we go I say, 'my walk is my talk'. So this walk itself is my talk. There's nothing more to say."
Heart rending scenes awaited the padayatris as they visited the wards of the Pingalwara. But, the care and compassion with which the inmates were looked after, brought tears to many eyes. Such is the standard set by the founder that nothing but the best care is good enough for the inmates.
The padayatris got the first real taste of 'Punjabi lassi' and found it worth going miles to have. It was with a full heart and stomach that they left Pingalwara for the hotel.