Two Pilgrim Sisters On The Narmada

Posted by Jignasha Pandya on Dec 14, 2018
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Yesterday, Swara and Trupti left home for their pilgrimage. They are walking the Narmada River, a 2,800-kilometer sacred pilgrimage route.

Just before they were leaving, all four of us, including papa, sat in our front room talking about something as trivial as which phone should they take. In a couple of minutes, there was complete silence and we all folded our hands and sat in silence.

It has been a three year long journey for Trupti and at least an year long for all of us before they set off today. Her steadfast commitment and intention manifested into many little practices at home, like reading pilgrim stories. At one point she printed out at least 10 or more copies of stories from Nipun and Guri's pilgrimage, and gave them out as gifts. It has been a process slowly silencing the collective mind and bringing that stillness needed to embark on a 2800-kilometer-long journey into the unknown.

Last three months, while preparing themselves for the physical rigour, they were consciously closing all the open loops -- be it relationships, work or service. Not a pin is out of place at home. They have worked hard to see that when they are gone not a single person is troubled because of their absence. Swara's cupboard is near empty. She has almost given everything away except for a few pairs of clothes and this giving was also a process of really finding the right match and doing it with utmost love and dignity.

I remember once Nirmal Tai (a monastic who has walked across villages of India for twelve years with Gandhi's spiritual successor, Vinoba Bhave) said that if one wants to embark on a pilgrimage like Peace Pilgrim, they have to "prepare".

You know it is time to go when things start to happen in a serendipitous way. Everything that they needed for the pilgrimage started to come. Our father met women pilgrims on his way to a village, which put his heart and mind to rest. Swara's Awakin kids wrote beautiful letters with sweet "do's and don'ts" for them to follow and much more.

Their final preparation before leaving for the Narmada was a visit to Gandhian elders at Brahma Vidhya Mandir, an ashram Vinoba had established for women many decades ago in the town of Paunar. All these elders had walked with Vinoba during his Bhoodan (land-gift) Movement. Just as we were sitting in the auto on our way to the station from Paunar, Arun dada sang 'shubh mangal ho' [may all be blessed and happy], and all the elders at Brahma Vidhya Mandir were standing there blessing us. "Shubh Mangal Ho," Arun dada shared, "there are many crocodiles in the river, you have to be careful. But if a crocodile comes by then that is also a blessing." Our hearts will stay still and warm like the mountain as the streams of water pass through it.



Yesterday, when we sat in the front room, all quiet, we all felt complete, joyful, full and ready. After all the madness of the last couple of weeks, there was a feeling of completeness. After they left the house felt still and heart felt warm. What a blessing to be a sister to these two pilgrims, whose sincerity can move mountains.

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Comments (18)

  • Vinya Sankaran Vasu wrote ...

    Dear Jignasha, your reflection moved me to tears. What a sweet journey of preparation. Sending many blessings and love to you and our darling sisters.

  • Trishna Shah wrote ...

    So much ❤️ and many blessings for the journey. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dinesh Mehta wrote ...

    Our blessings for the journey. Shubh Mangal Ho.

  • MANISH DINESHBHAI wrote ...

    Surely, God hold you in the palm of his hand..Lots of Maitry for you.. Mangal Ho..

  • SANDIP SHETA wrote ...

    “SAHAJ YATRA”
    THE PATH OF HAPPINESS

  • Birju Pandya wrote ...

    in gratitude for your cultivation supporting us all!!

  • Nilam Chauhan wrote ...

    Sending blessings to all three of you !
    And Pranam to your father for being there for you all the way in the path you have chosen 🙏
    God be with ❤️

  • Ashima wrote ...

    wishing them and you and uncle lots of love! As they walk, it is a pilgrimage for you two as well.

  • Joserra G. wrote ...

    Sending lot's of love to all family and best wishes for the journey!!! I would say run if you see a cocrodile, but if it's too late do choose love hahaha
    Proud of you dear sisters!! Thanks for adding your love and cultivation to the colective field of humani-team!
    Love!!!

  • Rahul Brown wrote ...

    May each step on the pilgrimage be a destination. May blessings flow to both of them and in turn to all those they meet on the path.

  • Jyoti wrote ...

    Shubh Mangal Ho

  • Guri Mehta wrote ...

    Thanks for sharing this Jignasha! I felt like I was there all along as they prepared. :-)

  • Trishala Parmar wrote ...

    So beautiful! Today we are so crazily running for our materialistic living and here when i log in and read again my amazing didis works for peace in the world, with stillness in hearts and smiles on their faces...they are inspiration,from whom we get alot to learn and live with such positivity! Lots and lots of love and good wishes ! So grateful :) :) Thanks Jignasha di for sharing! :)

  • Ana V Lim wrote ...

    Swara and Trupti, I pray for you on your pilgrimage. Jignasha, thank you for your inspiration.

  • Viral Mehta wrote ...

    Much love to all of you as you continue on the pilgrimage, and hold space for it back at home ... Will certainly be in solidarity with you!

  • Neelam Mandhani wrote ...

    Feels unbelievable; All prayers........
    Shubh Mangal Ho !

  • Suratvanti Ashwin wrote ...

    Moved, Proud, Grateful, Prayers, Love. Still speechless to form sentences to express my love for you sisters. <3

  • Nitul Ojha wrote ...

    Thank you for writing out this wonderfully "quiet and still " article. It just changed my perspective of "getting ready" and "preparation". I especially like what you shared about Swara's cupboard. And that emptyness. What a beautiful way to create space for the unknown to flow in.