Day 461| 16 April 2016 | Pathankot City Walk | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Sri M greets the leader of the Monks of the Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat-Dee Pee Residency-Pathankot Punjab
    1.Sri-M-greets-the-leader-of-the-Monks-of-the-Palpung-Sherabling-Monastic-Seat,-Dee-Pee-Residency,-Pathankot,-Punjab
  • WOH day 461 - Golden Enclave to Avalon Girls School - Pathankot
    2.WOH-Day-461,-Golden-Enclave-to-Avalon-Girls
  • The Walk proceeds along the main street of Model Town Pathankot
    3.The-walk-proceeds-along-the-main-street-of-Model-town,-Pathankot,-Punjab
  • In front of the Dargah Sharif Baba Pr Mahalji - Model Town Pathankot
    4.In-front-of-Dargah-Sharif-Baba-Pir-Mahalji,-Model-Town,-Pathankot
  • 5.The-confidence-that-comes-out-of-having-a-well-stocked-shop!,-Dhangu-Road,-Pathankot,-Punjab
  • Inside Saturn's abode ! - Shanidev Mandir Pathankot
    6.Inside-Saturn
  • Reception at City Hospital - Pathankot
    7.Reception-at-City-Hospital,-Pathankot,-Punjab
  • Inside the serene setting of Christ Church - Pathankot
    8.Inside-the-serene-setting-of-Christ-Church,-Pathankot,-Punjab
  • Sri M being welcomed in Christ Church
    9.Sri-M-being-welcomed-in-Christ-Church,-Pathankot,-Punjab
  • Narrating his experiences at the Vatican - Christ Church - Pathankot
    10.Narrating-his-experiences-at-the-Vatican!,-Christ-Church,-Pathankot,-Punjab
  • Sri M addresses the staff & students at Avalon Girls School - Pathankot
    11.Sri-M-addresses-the-students-&-staff-at-Avalon-Girls
About 200 Buddhist monks of the Palpung Sherabling Monastic seat joined the Walk of Hope today. His Holiness Tai Situpa Rinpoche who graced the flag off function of the Walk of hope in Kanyakumari and who also attended WoH events in New Delhi is the Head of this monastery. The monks had travelled from Bir, Himachal Pradesh in three buses and arrived at Dee Pee Residency after a five hour journey. They are all life long students of Buddhist studies. The leader of the group was Lobsang Tashi.

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The monks walked the entire stretch of the walk of 8 km today, from Golden Enclave, Model Town, Pathankot to Avalon Girls' Senior Secondary school, from 7.30 am to 11.30 am, attending felicitations and events at City Hospital, Jaswal Hospital, Christ Church and Avalon Girls' Senior Secondary School. Speaking at the Church, Sri M said, "Father just prayed for us. We have also set out on our journey on the orders of my Guru so that peace, harmony and unity are maintained in the world. But before the world, we need to look at our own house and set things right here, which is why we are walking in India. With this as our objective, we set out from Kanyakumari, we have walked over 7,000 Km. We have many people walking with us. When we reach Srinagar we would have completed 7,500 Km. We visit temples, mosques, gurudwaras, we go everywhere because we consider all human beings as One. I thank Sherabling Tai Situ Rimpoche for sending his monks who have come all the way to walk with us.” “In connection with this, I'd also like to tell you that I took a 3-day break from the padayatra to go to Rome. Cardinal Alencheri from Kerala had suggested that I meet the Pope and he had already spoken to him. I got a 6-minute meeting with Pope. A father who was with me translated everything I said to him into Italian. After hearing everything, the Pope said, 'I know'. I asked him to bless our yatra, so he put his hand on my head and asked me to convey it to others. Before that, when there was a general audience, the Pope spoke in Italian, it was translated in English for me. Like Father just said, it's important to think of others. Even The Bhagavad Gita describes the best yogi as the one who keeps the welfare of all in his heart, 'Sarva Bhoota Hite Rataha'. This isn't anything new for Christianity.” “The Pope read out two things that were very nice. He said, 'Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future'. I liked that a lot because every human being has his weaknesses. It's only by facing these, does one become a saint. And those who are weak have the potential to become saints. He also said that Jesus came for the sinners as well as the suffering. Those who are okay, God is there for them. But when he was having bread with anti-social elements, some people asked him why he was doing this. Jesus said in reply that he's come for them. This is a big message to not see anyone as a sinner. The one who's a saint, know that there must have been some weakness in him that he has overcome. Becoming a saint might be a tall order but to start with, think of others, do good to others, don't let people fight. Try to maintain peace and harmony. Jesus Christ also said, 'Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God'. It's there in the Bible. This is the message that we are walking with. I thank you for having us here in this Church." At Avalon Girls' school, Sri M said, "My Namaskaar, Salaam, Sat Sri Akal and Good Morning to all. I thank the Principal Ma'am, Staff and Students of this school for welcoming us here.” “On 12th January 2015 we started the walk and today we're at your school which I am told is 114 years old. We have walked around 7000 Km to get here. We will reach Srinagar in April end or first week of May. That's the schedule as of now. We have a core group of 60 to 70 walkers with us. And wherever we go, people join us. There's never a day when we have had less than 200 people walking with us. Sometimes thousands of people join us. The objective of this walk is Manav Ekta which means first, we are all human beings. I don't think there's any human being who isn't born from a mother's womb. When we die, because sooner or later we all have to go, we go back into the Earth, either into a smashaan or a kabristaan. During this small drama between birth and death, why can't we live in peace, harmony and unity? This is what we ask everyone. Why is it so hard to maintain peace and harmony. Manav Ekta is part of India's ancient tradition and culture, 3000 years ago, the Rig Vedas proclaimed, 'Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti' - The Truth is One and the wise prophets call it by different names.” “When we say Christian, I would say it is the Christian virtues of forgiveness, love, compassion, everyone can practise these. His name can be Akbar but he could be practising Christian virtues. That's what we believe. It's not connected with any religion. Whoever does good to others is the best human being whatever be his name, Amar, Akbar or Anthony. We are walking with this message of Manav Ekta from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. We visit schools and colleges in particular because we believe that the future of this country lies in the hands of the youth. Our generation might have gone wrong but we won't let it happen again. We talk to children and explain that whatever be your religion, creed, etc., don't forget that anything is possible through love and non-violence. There's no need for violence.” “Because we live in a democracy there are bound to be differences of opinion. We live in a democracy and not in a dictatorship. Free thinking is our right and if there are differences of opinion, they can be solved through dialogue. The dialogue needn't always happen over tea, it can be over tea, milk or whatever but the dialogue is what is important. That's why I tell kids never to allow anyone to influence them in a wrong way. In school, don't you all sit together on a bench in spite of belonging to different religions? We want to sow these seeds of peace, harmony and unity in the hearts of the young. Of course, it will take time for these seeds to sprout. If we sow seeds today, they don't sprout in a day. It's the responsibility of the teachers and acharyas to nurture these seeds. If they are nurtured, they will definitely grow into beautiful trees under whose shade we can all sit and enjoy. Peace, harmony and unity isn't just for India, it's for the entire world. Even the Vedas say, 'Loka Samastha Sukhinoh Bhavantu'.” “Someone asked me where I am going, so I told them that I was just going back home. We must understand that India is our home and we need to ensure that it's peaceful. If we can do that then peace and harmony will spread across the world. Because we believe that India is the spiritual Guru to the world. Explaining these things to people, we've come this far. We are confident that any situation can be solved through dialogue. So we invite people to have a dialogue, sit together and discuss things over a cup of tea. Understand this and share this message in your school, at home and in your neighbourhood." In the evening Sri M along with a few padayatris visited India-Pakistan border at Symbal Chowk on the request of the local MLA. One has to drive past three Border Security Force (BSF) posts to arrive at this point. Compared to Wagah border, this is much more quiet but a highly sensitive area in the light of recent incidents in Pathankot. A small contingency of BSF guards man this post in their bunkers and watch towers. A shrine dedicated to a Muslim Peer is also found on the same premises. Sri M interacted with the guards, visited the shrine and paid his respects to the guard who lost his life trying to protect the border under attack from Pakistan. The border is marked by a long electric fence, dividing glistening golden wheat fields. We were told that farmers who have their land across the border have to sign into a register before going across. To watch these people living bravely in this area, going about their day, working in the fields, bathing their buffaloes, was an eye-opener for those who live in relatively more safer areas. The visit was followed by an interaction with the villagers and local officials of Bamiyal village. Sri M in his address said, "We had never imagined that we would go this close to Pakistan. I would like to thank you once again for taking us there. Every Indian should see this to know people live in the border area, what they do for a living and how they survive. You say, 'I am an Indian' so fearlessly and with such great pride in spite of the danger that is bound to exist in these areas. And that you choose to stay here, not choosing to leave for any reason is in itself a great thing.” “This yatra started on 12th January 2015 from Kanyakumari. It's called zero point because beyond that there's no land, it's all sea. Swami Vivekananda completed his yatra at this point and went to the United States and England. He spent a lot of time in meditation there, even today you willl find a Vivekananda Kendra there. We have reached our second zero point here. Beyond this is Pakistan. So we are extremely happy to be here and we will tell people who we meet that our MLA ma’am got us to this distant village and the BSF cooperated with us so we could visit the border." Sri M then shared his message of the need for peace and added, "There might be a possibility of some influence from the other side, because this is the border, but we must try and maintain the high status of our country. In fact the future of this country is in your hands. Because if you are not here at the border, protecting us, they can come right up to Delhi." The last evening in Pathankot also saw bitter sweet moments when Sri M complimented and rewarded the catering staff and the drivers who made life for the padayatris, very comfortable. Sri M said that they would continue to be part of the family of padayatris, though the walk was getting over in a fortnight. Earlier, Ms Tara Kini and young Ishan of Sunaad entertained everyone with some lively singing as they waited for Sri M to arrive.

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