BENGALURU: ‘Walk of Hope,’ a padayatra by spiritual leader Sri M, covering a distance of 6,500 km from Kanyakumari to Kashmir by foot, reached Bengaluru city on Saturday. The walk has already traversed nearly 1,325 km from Kanyakumari, covering Tamil Nadu, Kerala and parts of Karnataka over the past 75 days.
The entourage, consisting of Sri M and his core group of around 50 people, reached Bidadi on Saturday, from where they continued to the Sarva Dharma Kendra located on Kanakapura Road, where they will set up camp till April 1. The group will stay in Bengaluru city, participating in scheduled programmes, before embarking on their journey towards North Karnataka and Maharashtra on April 10. The walk is expected to culminate by April 2016.
Speaking to Express, Sri M said the initiative has received a good response from people from different walks of life.
“I would not call myself a sadhu or a holy man. I only want to convey the message of peace, unity and oneness. Regardless of which religion, caste, culture or background we belong to, it eventually boils down to the fact that we are essentially human beings. Considering this, we must not harm or exploit other human beings. This is what we are trying to inculcate in people through this walk. The response has been overwhelming so far. We have been travelling around 20 km each day,” he said.
Sri M added that he has met a large number of people during the past 75 days, who have received him warmly. “For instance, while we were passing through the Kerala coast, we had to pass through a hamlet comprising of fisherfolk. They were happy that we had come there, as according to them, not many people visit the hamlet as it is secluded. I am a vegetarian, but they were insistent that we have a meal of fish with them, as that forms their staple diet. It was alright for me and we had a very pleasant stay there. Similarly, the response at places in Tamil Nadu was great as well,” he added.
Rama Murthy, a techie who is part of the padayatra group, told Express that he has been following Sri M and his teachings for almost two years now. “He (Sri M) is a spiritual master, who wants to spread the message of unity amongst human beings. I believe in this cause as all of us are one. Though I work in Bengaluru, I will take time off whenever I can to be part of the walk. I was in Kerala for two days last month to participate. I will join the team at a later date again,” he said.
On April 1, a religious discussion — Dialogue of Hope — will be organised at the Sarva Dharma Kendra, which will witness the participation of Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Dr Veerendra Heggade, Fr Ronnie Prabhu of the Catholic Church of Karnataka and others. On April 6, the group will congregate at Freedom Park in the city where musician Raghu Dixit is expected to perform.