Archive for the ‘Wari 2006’ Category

About Wari 2006

July 11, 2006

Details: We started from Phaltan on 30th June 2006. Our first stop was Barad, where we stayed in tents in an isolated farm.  Then we went to Natepute, where we stayed in a school and moved to Malshiras, to stay in a community hall. On 3rd July, we reached Velapur to stay in tents on the premises of a stone factory and then moved on to Bhandishegaon to stay in tents near the village. On 5th we reached Pandharpur, the city of Vitthal. Here we stayed in tents on the premises of Vitthal temple in Manishanagar and also some of us stayed in a school nearby. On 6th July we did an Abhishek to the samadhi of Gundanath Maharaj and came back on 7th. The total distance we walked in these six days is about 110 Km. Our luggage was put on a truck and carried to the next stop every morning, so that we walked only with our water bottle and `taat-waati’ (for food) and in my case, with a tube of sun-screen lotion!

Daily Routine: We woke up at about 5.30am, had tea and finished our morning ablutions to the best of our capacity in the best place we could find (!!) and started at about 8.30am everyday. The breakfast stop would come at about 10am and we were given `Poha’ and `Uppit’ every alternate day and continued walking till about 12.30pm where lunch will be served. The lunch was a basic affair with chapatti, dal, rice and a curry and we ate to our hearts content, as we would be hungry by then. After a brief rest, we start walking again at about 2.30pm and reached the day’s stop by 5pm. Upon reaching we used to collect our bags from the truck, book some space to sleep in an available tent and relax for a while with tea. At 7.30pm, Ram kaka would start a pravachan till 8.30 (at Natepute, Anandnath, Aaisaheb and Sangeeta Akka asked me to give a pravachan, which I did). The dinner would start immediately and after that we all would go to sleep.

General Impressions: I read newspaper reports that there were close to 10lakh people in Pandharpur on 5th July. Our dindi was walking behind Dnyaneshwar Palakhi and about 5lakh people were walking with us. Now, even if one takes into account the usual exaggerations done by reporters, the number still is very large. We however, hardly felt that such a huge body people of moving. Of course, there were always scores of people wherever you look, but the usual accompanying chaos, meaningless pushing around and shouting were conspicuous by its absence. The weather remained exceptionally good, so much so that Ram Kaka said that this is the best weather in last 12 years or so. The sky was covered with monsoon clouds with cool breeze flowing from behind us (as if to push us faster towards Pandharpur!) and there were occasional showers to keep us cool. Our dindi was extremely well organized (considering the constraints) and the food seems to have a taste that cannot be properly described in words. I really enjoyed it. The mood in our dindi was very upbeat and while walking we usually sang lot of bhajans and occasionally danced to its tunes. I took part in all these activities with gusto. In fact, one of the singers was much impressed by my enthusiasm and promised that he is going to train me in singing bhajans in the next Wari! One should see this in the backdrop of my reluctance to even bathroom singing!! All in all, I had an unforgetful experience and I feel like repeating it every year.

Experiences: At the end of the day, have I become a better sadhak because of going to Wari? That is the bottom line for a sadhak, isn’t it? Personally, I can say without any doubt that I have benefited in my sadhana because of this trip. In fact, this belief is the primary reason for me to feel like repeating this trip every year. It is very difficult to  say in a quantitative way the logic behind my belief. However, here are just two of the reasons:

  1. Usually, for an urban person like me, spiritual thinking about the aim of life etc. is a novelty that most people do not indulge in. Therefore, it is very easy to feel superior just because you are spending your time in a different way than others, that too towards a supposedly higher goal of life. Going to Wari brings one’s sense of being different than rest of society to the right proportion! Even if in your local neighbourhood you are one of the few to think spiritually, in reality there are lakhs of such people. To realize it first hand is a very humbling experience. I hope to learn from this.
  2. In this Wari, everyone had brought his or her own attitude towards God. The name, form, mantras of an individual may be very different than his/her neighbours. Yet, they walk together and for the same purpose. Thus, it became very clear to me (through Swasamvedya!) that I have to walk my own path, which is intended only for me. Yet, I should move in like-minded group for my own benefit. Therefore, it also became clear to me that I, in real honesty, cannot proclaim that my path is better or worse than other’s. They cannot be compared. I can at best speak about my path and let people who hear me decide what suits them. This thought has brought a different clarity in the understanding about my own path and its relevance.

Conclusions: I would definitely recommend all of you to have the Wari experience at least once in your lifetime. Preferably when you are young and healthy. If you do so, it is bound to open your eyes in a way that nothing else can.