The ‘RathYatra’ of Sadhu Vaswani, symbolized unity of all religions and appealed compassion to all living creatures as it marched through the streets of Pune, Camp on Saturday, November 24, 2018.
In honour of Sadhu Vaswani’s 139th birthday celebrations, the ‘RathYatra,’ walked through the lanes of Pune as devotees and citizens were enthralled by the life-like portrait of Rev. Dada J. P. Vaswani seated in the Rath (a chariot of Peace) at the feet of the life-like statue of his Master, Sadhu Vaswani.
The procession started at 5pm from the Sacred Samadhi of Sadhu Vaswani with a prayer ceremony.
Miss Priya Mankani commented, “Every year, mom and I attend the Rath Yatra. This year, we miss Dada’s physical presence and his beautiful smile. We remember how he used to urge everyone to be meatless and lovingly invite all to join the langar on Nov 25th”
The procession made its way through the Sadhu Vaswani Chowk, Poona Club, Quarter Gate, Pudumjee Compound and M. G. Road.
At one of the halts, Rev. Dada J.P. Vaswani’s talk was played in which he spoke of gathering wealth of the soul, not the body. He said, “There should always be a smile on your face, love shining forth from your eyes, your hands should be busy serving some one or the other, ears absorbing the sounds of kirtan, feet drawing you towards such holy gatherings, then you will go on garnering the wealth of the soul.”
At another halt, Rev. Dada J.P. Vaswani’s recorded audio-visual, was played in which he said, “Are you aware of the atrocities perpetuated on animals day after day? You cannot even imagine with what heartlessness, animals are hung upside down in a row, and then slaughtered. Are you aware, that thousands of big and small animals, daily are made into food for man? Life is as precious to these animals and birds as it is to all of us. The time has come when this murder of birds and animals has to be stopped. It is the prime right of every living creature to breathe the breath of life. Then how can we deprive these animals and birds of this innate right? Can we bring to life a dead animal? If not, then we have no right to take away the life of a living one.”
At MG Road a lovely sound and light show was organized.
The ‘RathYatra’ halted at several spots wherein it was welcomed with banners, lights and altars with portraits of Sadhu Vaswani and Dada J.P. Vaswani paying homage to the two Masters.
The procession included decorated floats and balloons with messages like, ‘Be Strong! Be Vegetarian!’ ‘jeeyo aur jeene do’. Children and hordes of devotees singing bhajans and kirtans of ‘Dada Shyam’ added grandeur to the procession.
One of the participant said, “Dada is with us in spirit. Yes it is different this year but I know he is watching over us. We love him and want him at all times. As for the Meatless Day, it is a noble cause, a great message which needs to be spread. It’s a message of peace that has to be taken to all.”
Corporator, Shri Arvind Shinde said, “I have been a part of the rath yatra since I was a kid. Dadaji served all the people. If I were to tell in two words what this yatra means to me, its graceful and peaceful.”
The RathYatra is an annual pilgrim-procession since 1966 in the city of Pune, providing an opportunity for the denizens of Pune to pay homage to a great soul of Pune, Sadhu Vaswani, and for all of them and their homes to receive his benedictions.
The specially constructed ‘Rath’ or chariot is designed by the world-renowned Mr. Dilip Chabbria, better known as D.C. It is designed like a space-ship, representing the cyber-age and space-age.
This RathYatra left an indelible imprint on many hearts.
Quote by Sadhu T. L. Vaswani –
“If, indeed, Life is One, is not the animal, too, my brother? And am I not his keeper?”
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