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<-Back to WTN Archives His Holiness to Flag Off Yatra
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Friday, July 4, 2003



4. His Holiness to Flag Off Yatra


By Kelsang Rinchen,
Phayul Reporter

Dharamsala, July 4 - A Yatra (procession) called 'Sarvodaya Sadhbhavna Yatra
' will begin on July 7, a day after His Holiness the Dalai Lama's birthday
celebrations. The Yatra will commence from the Tsuklakhang courtyard and end
at Prasthan Ashram in Pathankot, a north Indian town in Punjab State.

Approximately 7 to 8 people will take part in this Yatra which will last for
about two months.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will grace the inaugural gathering at the
Tsukhlakahng at 2.30 in the afternoon of July 7. Shri L.P Sooden will
deliver the welcome message. Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche and Shri Yash Mittal,
Sanchalak, Prasthan Ashram, Pathankot will address the gathering
respectively.

A keynote address to the gathering will also be given by His Holiness the
Dalai Lama who will later in the programme flag off the Yatra.
The Yatra is in tribute to the great Indian philosopher Vinoba Bhave. The
Yatra ends on 11 September in coronation to the birthday of Acharya Vinoba
Ji.

Vinoba was born in a Brahmin family on September 11, 1895 at the village of
Gagoda in Kolaba district of Maharashtra. He was named Vinayak at birth and
was influenced by his mother Rukmini Devi, a religious woman. His younger
brother, Balkoba Shivaji, remained unmarried and adopted a life of
renunciation and service to humanity like him.

Vinoba stands as a symbol for the struggle of the good against the evil, of
spiritual against the mundane. He was a spiritual visionary, whose
spirituality had a pragmatic stance with intense concern for the deprived.
He was a brilliant scholar who could knowledge accessible to ordinary
people. He was Gandhiji's ardent follower, who could retain originality in
thinking.

As S. Radhakrishnan pointed out, "Indeed his life represents harmanious
blend of learning, spiritual perception and compassion for the lowly and the
lost." His Bhoodan (Gift of the Land) movement started on April 18, 1951, he
attracted the attention of the world. Untouched by publicity and attention,
Vinoba had continued his efforts for a just and equitable society. In fact,
his life is a saga of his commitment to nonviolent ways of bringing change,
his yearning for the highest level of spirituality and his unwavering faith
in human values and love.

Vinoba once said that science and spirituality lead to Sarvodaya (welfare of
all) while science and politics lead to destruction.

On April 18, 1951, his meeting with the villagers at Pochampalli opened a
new chapter in the history of non-violent struggle. The harijans of the
village told him that they needed 80 acres of land to make a living.
Referring to this, Vinoba asked the villagers if they could do something to
solve this problem. To everybody's surprise, Ram Chandra Reddy, a landlord,
got up and showed his willingess to give 100 acres of land. This incident,
unplanned and unheard, showed a way to solve the problem of the landless.
The Bhoodan (Gift of the Land) movement was launched.
Vinoba knew the strength of the padyatra (march on foot). He walked for 13
years throughout India. He had left Paunar on September 12, 1951 and
returned on April 10, 1964. He started his Toofanyatra (journey with the
speed of high-velocity wind), using a vehicle, in Bihar in July 1965, which
lasted for almost four years. He covered thousands of miles, addressed
thousands of meetings and mobilised the people cutting the barriers of
caste, class, language and religion. Some dacoits from the notorious Chambal
Valley (a hideout of dacoits in the northern India) surrendered themselves
to Vinoba in May 1960. For Vinoba, it was a victory of nonviolence.

He breathed his last on November 15, 1982 at this ashram.

* Kelsang Rinchen can be contacted at kalsangr@yahoo.com


Articles in this Issue:
  1. Press Statement of Shri Rabi Ray
  2. Young Tibet up in arms
  3. China bows before Indian sadhu
  4. His Holiness to Flag Off Yatra
  5. Presentation by 2 cyclists around the world for FREE TIBET



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