28 July 2012

Katha at Jo'burg

Ram katha reaches Johannesburg, South Africa.

The venue-Constitutional Hill. Originally this was a prison. M.K.Gandhi spent months in this very place behind bars,at cell no: 4
The katha was named Manas- Panchvati.

Master lovingly called it 'Gandhi Hill' and paid a homage to Mahatma Gandhi and all other men like him who dedicated their lives to create a society which was free of discrimination; where none is considered small and out caste; where all have a right to freedom.

This is the place where Nelson Mandela and others were also held for raising their voices against the injustices done on humanity.

The jail premises at Constitutional Hill

Inside view 
Cell no:4 as been preserved and converted into a museum. 
The jail has been demolished and Constitutional court built on its site.

Mahatma Gandhi's cell  no: 4 
    More pics and some more on what freedom means to me......

Sad but true facts are there to be seen.

From a handbook of a prisoner, displayed at the jail

Evidences of the cruelties are plenty

Gandhi started his work from here. This was a sort of ground work, the foundation from where his principles and ideas took roots. 
Mandela once commented:" India gave us Gandhi and we gave India Mahatma Gandhi."

Gandhi's bust; a testimonial tribute

The country is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L but excuse me for noticing the local public still trying to fight years of apartheid mentality.
Well, on second thoughts what rights do we have, with 65yrs of freedom, but still way to go, when rights of common man are concerned in our country. 
Anyway, a heart felt declaration - I'm proud to be an Indian and proud to have as a co-Indian someone like M.K.Gandhi.  

Prison Cells became Caves: 

These men and women changed the adversities to their advantage. Just like yogis and sages they converted the tough and often extreme situations and did to what they knew to be right. 

Mandela in his writings has mentioned- Gandhi did whatever work he was assigned with sincerity and dedication, in the prison.

From Gandhi to Vinobha to Aurobindo and more recently from Mandela to Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, all are apt examples. They all spend years in jail, still did not break down, instead the cells became their caves.
In one of the famous speeches of Suu kyi titled "freedom from Fear', she said".... its not power that corrupts but fear of loosing it .....!

These people did not go to remote caves to find their solitude, but used the often silent dark spaces of the jail cells to do what yogis do. In mist of all chaos, they worked to develop, to evolve and to enlighten.

Master says: Adverse conditions of life can be hindrance in luxury but not in Sadhana. 

Metaphoric view of freedom:

These men had the courage to fight and stand up for freedom. Go a step further, it can also imply freedom not only in terms of a nation against another; of man against his oppressors. But freedom from human limitations. Overcoming our negative and selfish traits and  breaking the shackles which bind the spirit to a limited, constrained existence. To let it soar up in the sky. 

Ram katha helps one in achieving this very end. Its a homage to all those and all that which helps man attain everlasting freedom, which leads to Shanti and VishRam [Peace and Rest].
Master says: the world can never satisfy all your wants, but when we surrender to the Lord all our desires are fulfilled.

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