Bhaav Yatra update: at Maharashtra
Upon reaching Maharashtra I am hosted at a place that resembles Safai vidyalaya. Here’s a family who has dedicated their lives in area of environment and sanitation.
Shri Shrikant Naverkar runs a place by the name of Nirmal gram. They organize sanitation training programs and also engaged in organic farming. Following their father’s footsteps they live Gandhian values of simplicity, discipline and service to others. Before evening meal the entire family gathers for an all religion prayer followed by a reading from Vinoba ji’s book. This is their daily routine since past couple of decades. Shrikant ji’s sister Neelu Tai who has stayed for a long time at Vinobaji’s Ashram at Pavnar, shared the story of her father Bhausaheb, who participated in Bhoodan movement and wished to dedicate his life to sanitation. He had an option of taking up a pensionable job and supporting his family, instead he chose to serve people and so he was offered land by govt. to create a sanitation centre. For this work of sanitation he gave away his most dear art form known as scissor cutting, Bhau Saheb was an artist of cutting paper to create beautiful designs, some of his designs are so intricate that you wonder whether it is paper cutting. He passed away before he could set up sanitation space so NeeluTai and Shrikantji decided to surrender to their father’s dream and built Nirmal gram brick by brick as they had nothing in all literal sense except that piece of land. Upon asking what made them surrender so easily to such a herculean task she replied that it was a deep inner calling and so they never gave mind a chance to meddle with it. Staying and praying with them offered much solace and clarity to follow heart’s path.
The next week was spent at Igatpuri in serving a Vipassana course. For the first time it felt that serving was much tougher than sitting a course. You are tested for your balance of mind every passing hour. From a peaceful service week I drive into the hustle bustle of Mumbai and find myself amongst lovely MBL community there. Serendipitously some chains of events take place and I am in front of a lady named Ushaben who teaches how to use spinning wheel at schools! Teacher who teaches spinning wheel in Mumbai..my mind was just trying to place it rightJ As we interacted she immediately connected me with an old Gandhian who stayed very close by and it was decided that I will meet him the following day. Next day we went to Daniel Dada’s home. He came across as a very gentle and loving soul who has dedicated his life to Jagat Maitri-universal friendship and his home is known as a Maitri centre. He went to explain that it all started when Vinobaji was engaged in Bhoodan movement there would be a constant flow of people from all over the world coming to understand and be a part of his walking pilgrimage. So Vinobaji asked Daniel dada to open a Friendship space at Mumbai where he would host anyone flying in and orient them in the movement before they join Vinoba ji. He has been holding this space for more than two decades now. He further connected me with two of his friends who I was to meet at Pune.
As he learnt about MBL he urged that youth should commit to serving a cause and in doing that the inner journey is strengthened.
Attended a lovely Awakin evening with Deven and a community he has built. Some known and a lot of unknown people came and became friends. Before leaving for Pune I got a chance to visit Yogeshbhai’s centre and he shared his inspiring journey of walk he had just completed. More was shared through silence then words and we parted with a blessing in our hearts.