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Khadag Ghat in Narmada Parikrama

Excerpts from the book of Vivek ji: Narmada Parikrama -Walking the 3,000 kilometres of sacred Riverbanks of holy Narmada

Narmada Parikrama
Vivek ji with Dr Mohan Yadav and Shri Sumer Singh Solanki

The previous day, I had the pleasure of encountering a group of spirited young individuals who, with great enthusiasm, implored me to pay a visit to their newly established sewa centre. Intrigued by their earnest request, I graciously accepted their invitation.

The young individuals who go on parikrama to help others fascinate me. It was impressive to see such young people so committed to their work and to helping others. Young people who are mindful of their duties to their communities and the nation at large, especially in the realm of social wealth generation, are an asset to any society.

I stopped for a little break as I was making my way to the place that serves the parikramavasis, and it warmed my heart to see so many young people actively engaged in community service.

As we reached our destination, Lokesh had already taken the initiative to procure and promptly serve us with a delightful assortment of morning refreshments, comprising of steaming cups of tea and delectable snacks. Note that we ran across the same angry person who had demanded, in a huff, that the younger people with me keep their distance and leave the path earlier.

Lokesh demonstrated proactive behavior by offering tea and snacks to us. I requested him to distribute the remaining refreshments among other parikramavasis present. It is noteworthy that Lokesh has likely provided services to a significant number of individuals. Upon the arrival of the aforementioned individual, it was noted that the supplies of both tea and snacks had been exhausted. Mother Narmada conducts herself in this way.

While passing through this particular area, I encountered individuals who referred to a location with an unusual name. I inquired as to the origin of such names, but they were unable to provide an explanation. From that day forward, I began to rename the places I visited in an effort to preserve the cultural and historical significance of the area. This action allowed me to feel a sense of justice in honoring the threads of the past.

One of the largest challenges for India's rivers is maintaining a clean and peaceful flow, and a robust water treatment system is essential in the river belt for this to be possible. Several places around here, including the area close to Bhilat dev, now have waste treatment plants up and running, as far as I can tell. Numerous cases have come to my attention where wastewater was cleaned with local methods and then released into the Narmada. It gives me great pleasure to report that work has begun to protect the natural flow of water in the Narmada River.

We reached Khal-bujurg tonight. I suggested to the local officials that they change the name to Khadag-Ghaat, as that is where legend has it Lord Parshuram cleaned his Khadag upon his arrival. Here, the Satak River joins the sacred Mother Narmada. The name Sataklingi ghat comes from the 60 Shivalingas that were erected here on the stone of Mother Narmada. Unfortunately, the existence of the Sardar sarovar dam means that the splendor of the spectacle will not be a permanent feature of the landscape.

I arrived at the destination of Khadag-ghaat in a timely manner. The lodging for the evening was a government-operated guest house situated alongside the Narmada River. The serene and picturesque view of the flowing river was quite captivating. I received a significant number of visits from female visitors, marking the first instance of women visiting me unaccompanied. In the majority of cases, it is a widely held belief that women anticipate the presence of their spouse or family members to accompany them on various outings or similar engagements. However, I have observed a distinct difference in this regard during my stay at Khadag ghaat. Upon my arrival at the guest house in the evening, I was promptly greeted by a group of women who had gathered to meet me. They presented me with flowers, confections, and refreshments. I thoroughly enjoyed engaging with each individual and learning about their personal narratives, including their professional responsibilities and religious endeavors both within and beyond their households. I extended an invitation to all women for Bhandara, which was a customary occurrence during our parikrama period. It's fascinating that the women wanted me to eat what they cooked, but I gently declined so that they could have tonight off to attend Puja and Arti, after which they would have shut down the kitchen and invited everyone in the family to join us, which they did.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Sumer Singh Solanki, a highly articulate and courteous politician, and member of Rajya Sabha, along with Dr. Mohan Yadav both of them decided to visit us tonight. Our interaction was enjoyable. It has been a few days since I was walking and Dr. Mohan Yadav observed that my skin tone has started to change due to the effects of the sun. I made a lighthearted comment that about how the Mother Narmada is the ultimate beautician, and we both had a good chuckle

Excerpts from the book of Vivek ji: Narmada Parikrama -Walking the 3,000 kilometres of sacred Riverbanks of holy Narmada


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