Coming Home After 5 Months With Narmada

Posted by Gopal Garg on May 4, 2020

Dear MBL Family and Friends,

This email will bring lots of joy and smile on your face :)

You will be happy to know that we are back home in Hyderabad, fresh and energetic from a wonderful 5 months walking pilgrimage on the banks of holy river Narmada. The best part of the whole pilgrimage was we could do it as a family (along with my wife Arti and 9yrs old daughter Ojasvi). Arti and I had apprehensions on whether Ojasvi can walk so much and could face the adversities and challenges of the journey. That’s where the first lesson starts on - surrendering to the serendipity.

All your wishes, blessings, love, grace of God and above all inspiration from Swara, Trupti and preparations by Drishti has made this yatra possible. Being at Bhumika’s home en-route in Bharuch along with her parents and bhuaji was the best part.

More than a journey, it was - a quest, a seeking, a calling. As I unfold - sharing a few movements from our journey.

My daughter Ojasvi says “we were invited to Nature's celebration”, the entire journey was so much - of nature, with nature and in nature that you feel your being. We walked across valleys, mountains, crossing multiple rivers, farms, forests, villages, muddy roads or no roads and without an itinerary was just perfect.

Arti’s everyday phrase was “Let's see what’s the emergence today and will accept it as a present from the divine” as each day is uncertain with the place of our stay, it was either a temple, ashram, family in a village hosting us or an open tent shade.

For me “It's the best gift you can give yourself”. With so much love and service from each person we met, beauty in each place we visited, purity in the saints we met/stayed with. Our heart is filled with so much gratitude.

As we reflect, the time was perfect for me and Arti, as we believed @40 we have lived half of our life and for the next half this interval (like in a movie) was important :) For Ojasvi going and growing through this journey at such a tender age was just the perfect gift from Nature :) :)

Surrendering to the living divine energy, keeping faith in the emergence, with hope and courage, we have just lived each movement of this journey. Stretching limits beyond the self made us realise that there is a larger order and we are just a part of that enchantment. Beyond anything it's our togetherness as a family which was magical in the face of adversity.

Few points always rings in our heads - seems simple but means a lot during our walk:

  • What is the depth of this river: There are many small rivers which we cross on foot/small boat, these rivers merge into the main river Narmada. Whenever it comes to crossing a river by foot, the most difficult thing is to know the depth. Also, out of nowhere someone will come to hold our hand and help us cross. Relating to life, I could recall many such instances where an MBL family was that helping hand and depth of the problem didn't bothered then :)
  • In the villages, never ask for the distance in Kms as even for 5kms the answer is 1km as a standard, ask for how much time it will take and multiply it by 3 as we can’t match their speed :)
  • Crossing a Jungle: Making sure we don’t miss the indications or direction flags. Missing one means you will not get the next indicator as you have taken a wrong route :(
  • There can be anybody and anyone unexpectedly there for us to help or support or just smiling at us with a big heart. Someone will just force us to eat beyond our capacity because he/she is not yet satisfied with feeding, so how come our belly is full, someone will offer us with all that they have in their pocket, which can be Rs.5 coin, because we may need that the most the same day or during the journey. It’s like the universe saying “you are not alone”.

Prayers, Practices, Pleasures and Pains were all very much part of our yatra. As one of the saints told us, “look beyond your pains, count on the blessings for being on this path”. Prayers have fueled us to walk through the 3400kms during these beautiful 133 days which have become the most wonderful times of our lives. We began the yatra on 27th November 2019 and completed on 07th April 2020.

Sending lots of love and metta from Hyderabad. Yes! Sharing one of our photo when we completed the yatra @Omkareshwarji (A Temple town in Madhya Pradesh from where we began the yatra in November 2019).


Posted by Gopal Garg on May 4, 2020 | permalink

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  • Nipun Mehta wrote ...

    What a blessing to hear of this, Gopal. You are looking like a solid baba. :) Whenever the time feels ripe, we would love to hear from all three of you about your pilgrimage ...

  • Suchitra Shenoy wrote ...

    Ojas, You are really the star of this story. :)
    Gopal and Arti -- Hard to believe you are back, doesn't seem that long ago when we wished you luck on the start of the journey. :)

  • Hari Varma wrote ...

    Gopal, Arti and Ojaswi. The smiles says it all. So happy to see you back. This is the beginning of the slew of stories you all have to share with us. This is awesome

  • mohan nishtala wrote ...

    What an unbelievable story of the trio,who are forever very humble and have completed an arduous journey (in my opinion). You are an inspiration in the silent march of your journey towards your inner discovery. Would like to have a detailed blog encrypted with your experiences and learning. My first reaction on seeing your photo...Vinobha Bhave @40.