Ekatmata Yagya Yatra
- First Ekatmata Yatra
- News Comments published in News Papers regarding the Yatra
- Second Ekatmata Yatra
The Ekatmata Yajna Yatra organised by the Vishva Hindu Parishad in the Yugabda 5085 (Vikram Samvat 2040 i.e. 1983 a.d.) succeeded in achieving its aims and objects beyond its normal expectations. Prior to the beginning of the Yatra, various political parties blindly imitating the western ideologies and the anti-Hindu elements had gone to the serious extent of accusing the Yatra of being anti-national in its intent. But the resounding success with which it was consummated and the innate unity and integrity of the country proved the hollowness of the claim by those so-called patriotic, secular leadership and the patent anti-Hindu elements. The manner in which the Yatra begun in perfect peace; passed along their routes in comprehensive co-operation of the Bharatiya masses and concluded with a spirit of nationalism needs to be written in golden letters in the annals of Bharat. This Yatra proved beyond an iota of doubt that Hinclutva is just anotller name of the Rashtriyatva (nationalism).
Aim of the Yatra
The principal objective of the Ekatmata Yajna Yatra was to strive for awakening among all the creeds and sects of Hindu society a spirit of national purpose and national integrity by reÂestablishing the noble and benedictory sense of unity, integrity and brotherhood; by spreading among them affinity,equality and cordiality; by eradicating the evil customs, practices, superstitions and harmful habits from amongst them; and finally by presenting a universally acceptable ideal before them.
The then President of the Parishad Maharana Shri. Bhagwat Singh of Mewad and General Secretary Shri. Harmohan Lal had introduced all the concerned individuals and institutions about the aims and objects of this Yatra by writing a personal letter to them. With a view to ward off the unnecessary campaign of tirade against the Yatra by the politicians and anti-Hindu elements to serve their selfish vested interests, Shri. Bhagwat Sing and Shri. Harmohan Lal, Shri. Ashok Singhal, Pujya Swami Chinmayanand, Pujya Swami Vijayanand, Pujya Swami Bhumanand, Shri. Sadajivat Lal and other office-bearers of the central and state level Vishva Hindu Parishad undertook a whirl wind tour of the country and addressed over 150 press-meets, press-conferences and other meetings; and issued press-statements etc. for proclaiming the aims and objects of the proposed Yatra again and again. All kinds of individuals and institutions engaged in Dharmic, social and cultural activities were contacted with a view to enlist their active involvement in the Yatra.
Over 300 Upa-Rathas with a huge Kalash of Ganga and an idol of Bharat Mata installed therein travelled in all the states of the country during the course of this Ekatmata Yajna Yatra for over 1000 days jointly. Although every province took out several main Yatras and a number of Upa-Yatras of their own, the three Principal Yatras viz.  Pashupati Rath from Kathmandu to Rameshwaram,  Mahadeo Rath frorn Haridwar to Kannyakumari and  Kapil Rath from Gangasagar in the east to Somnath in the west were really mammoth ones. Their brief details are as follows:
 Pashupati Rath (Kathmandu to Rameshwaram) :
It was named after Lord Pashupatinath of Kathmandu. It traversed more than 5,500 kms of distance. It was the largest in comparisian with all other Rathas. It covered a longer distance than other two principal Yatras by 1,500 kms. That’s why this Rath started its journey from Kathmandu on 28 October 1983, 18 days earlier than other Rathas. The special feature of this Yatra was that H. E. Nepal Naresh Maharajadhiraj Virendra Vir Vikram Shah Deo and Maharani Aishwarya Rajalaxmi both had kept Nirjal Vrat (fasting without drinking even water) before performing the Pujan of the Ganga Kalash on 28th. After traversing the scheduled route through various provinces, Pashupati Rath entered Andhra Pradesh on 02 December 1983 as its last leg of journey. It travelled the state for 9 days covering over 1,300 Kms of distance, it entered Tirupati on 11 December 1983. No doubt, it was received warmly in all over the province; but the reception it received in various cities and towns of the state was simply marvellous and unprecedented indeed. This Rath reached its destination Rameshwaram on 18 December 1983. On the same day, the Abhishekam (ablution) was performed to Lord Ashutosh Shiva of Rameshwaram (Tamilnadu).
 Mahadeo Rath (Haridwar to Kannyakumari):
This second Rath was named as “Mahadeo Rath”. This Rath started its journey on the auspicious occasion of Devotthan Ekadashi (16 November 1983) with the uprorious invocation of ‘Ganga Maiyya’ by thousands of devotees and to the accompaniment of ringing of bells, cymbals and beating of drums. The ritual of Jal Sambharan was ceremoniously completed with the water from Brahma Kunda in the Kalash installed in this Rath on 15 November 1983 itself.
Prior to commencement of Yatra, a Yajna was performed at “Har ki Poudi” followed by a special Arati in the evening. Sadhus of various Akhadas, Dharmacharyas and Sannyasis were present on this occasion. Prominent among the dignitaries present on the occasion were the then President of the Parishad Maharana Shri. Bhagwat Sing of Mewad, General Secretary Shri: Harmohan Lal, Joint General Secretary Shri. Ashok Singhal, Sarkaryavah of the R.S.S. Shri. Rajendra Sing, former Mayor of Delhi Shri. Hansraj Gupta, Shri. Badriprasad Toshniwal. Inspite of wall-poster protests were undertaken by the Congress (I) just on the earlier day, an Ex-Minister of Congress Cabinet in Uttar Pradesh Shri. Dau Dayal Khanna was specially present on this occasion.
“Mahadeo Rath” reached Adilabad (Andhra Pradesh on 03 December 1983 after criss-crossing various provinces like Hariyana, Rajasthan, Madhya, Pradesh, Vidarbha and Maharashtra. Here Muslims and Christians also joined their Hindu brethren in welcoming the Rath. A mammoth receptioon was accorded to the Rath when it reached Tadpatri (Andhra Pradesh) on 8 December 1983 at night. Over 50,000 men and women hailing from hundreds of surrounding villages prerformed the Puja of Bharat Mata and Ganga Mata. Senior Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamkoti Peeth Pujya Jayendra Saraswati Maharaj and Junior Shankaracharya Swami Shankaranand were specially present on this occasion. They minutely observed the “Mahadeo Rath”, and the idol of Bharat Mata and Ganga Kalash installed therein; and approved the format of the Yatras and mode of rituals.
While blessing the Yatra on this occasion, Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati said, “Our scriptures have visualised divinity in our mother, father and teacher as seen from the saying, “Matrudevo Bhava, Pitrudevo Bhava, Acharyadevo Bhava” (May the mother, the father and the teacher be our gods).Similarly the woman worships her husband by saying “Patidevo Bhava” (May the husband be god). The status of Ganga Mata is much higher than that of all these. It is our firm faith that mere recitation of her name ensures riddance from all types of sins and a dip in her waters earns us immeasurable merit. It is the holiest of the holy rivers of Bharat.”
“It is our ancient tradition that we collect the sand-dust from Shri. Rameshwaram and offer it at the sacred confluence of three holy rivers at Prayag. Today we are very fortunate enough that Mother Ganga herself has come all the way here to bless us and grace us. As the Lord descends on this earth in a human form to dispel the miseries of his devotees; similarly the Mother Ganga has come down in village after village to give us her Darshan, and to remove the miseries of our Hindu society. Bharat Mata and Ganga Mata both are the epitomes of secularism.”
“This campaign undertaken by the VHP for the propagation of Hindu Dharma is a welcome change as compared with the ancient system, as also it is in keeping with the modern era. Adi Shankaracharya also had undertaken Yatra in similar way for the rejuvenation of Hindu Dharma. Because, every human being, whatever may be his greatness, is incomplete and hence fallible. According to Hindu Dharma,only god is perfect and flawless. We surely consider Shriram, Shrikrishna and Ganga Mata as the veritable incarnations of God.” After thus blessing, the Swamiji appealed to the whole of Hindu society to make their lives meaningful and fulfilled by extending wholeÂhearted co-operation to this programme.
After criss-crossing various cities and towns, the last of which was Hindupur in Andhra Pradesh, and thereafter several parts of Karnataka province, the Rath proceeded towards Kannyakumari on10 December 1983. It passed through several places in the neighbourhood of Kannyakumari and then reached the boundaries of that district in the evening of 18 December 1983. Before it reached Kannyakumari proper, the Rath was received at seven places in the district. All those programmes were extremely successful. On 19 December 1983, the Rath left Radhakrishnapuram and reached Ganapatipuram. The next halt of the Rath was Nagercoil. It reached Suchindram from Nagercoil. This Suchindram visit proved to be a tragically memorable event in the history of entire Yatra. Because, the then Organising Secretary Shri. K. Satyanarayana, who was entrusted with the responsibility as the Convener of this Yatra, collapsed there after his public speech due to severe heart attack. It was a most shocking, tragic and untimely demise. This offering in the Rashtra Yajna proved to be most agonising for the Parishad.
On 20 December 1983, as a ‘Purnahuti’ of this Ekatmata Yajna, a special Abhishek was made to Mother Bhagawati Amba in the Kannyakumari temple with the waters in the Kalash that included Ganga Jal and waters from various holy rivers of Bharat as also from the Manas Sarovar.
(3) Kapil Rath (Gangasagar to Somanath):
The Kapil Rath began from West Bengal amid the recitation of Veda Mantras in the benign presence of the Sadhu-Sants and several prominent personalities. the Kalash was filled with the holy water at Gangasagar Tirth in front of the Ashram of Kapil Muni and released. After completing the religious rituals, the Kalash was brought to Kachuberia through a Rikshaw. Thereafter it was taken to Karkadweep through a boat; followed by a night-long Sankirtan there. The Kalash was sent to Diamond Harbour on 16 November 1983. Then the Yatra Rath reached Kolkata after passing through Amtola and Garuipur. Before flagging off the Rath, a mammoth public meeting was held there. Besides the Buddhist Bhikhkhu Pujya Bhante Jnanajagat, several Sants were present in the public meeting. This Yatra was concluded after offering of the Ganga Kalash for Abhishek of Lord Shiva in Somnath Temple by President of VHP Maharana Bhagawat Sing of Mewad.
It is an undisputable fact that rejuvenation of the sense of national honour is a very strong medium of awakening emotional integration of the masses. The instant Ekatmata Yajna Yatra has provided a liveliest example of this fact. The aim of this Yatra was to awaken a spirit of faith and devotion towards Bharat Mata and Ganga Mata by creating a sense of integration in the minds of the Bharatiyas. There were three main Yatras and hundreds of Upa-Yatras, as per the original plans of the programme.There were two fully equipped automatic Rathas in the forefront of every Yatra. In one of them, there used to be a huge, tastefully decorated image of Bharat Mata, and in the other two huge brass Kalashas — one containing Ganga Jal from Gangotri and the other containing waters of all the holy rivers in Bharat.
These Yatras used to cover an average distance of about 100 Kms per day. At a distance of about 25 Kms or so, there used to a Padav (short halt) for programme of about 2 hours for the local public, wherein the people from the surrounding villages and cities used to participate. They used to bring waters from the local rivers or Tirthas and pour the same in the second Kalash on the Rath and take some Jal from it for the Abhishek of their local Gods and Goddeses; and also for local public distribution at their respective places. When these Yatras reached their respective destinations viz. Rameshwaram, Kannya-kumari and Somnath, the pitchers contained holy waters from sacred places including 4 Dhamas, 12 Jyotirlingas, 52 Shakti Peethas. Manas Sarovar, Nanak Sagar, Hem Kund, a whole host of hundreds of holy rivers, lakes, wells, Pushkarinis etc.
All the Yatras together covered mor’e than 50,000 Kms of distance. The programmes of these Yatras were arranged in such a way that they touched all the Development Blocks of all provinces in the country.
The skies over the entire country spread from Himalayas to Hindu Mahasagar reverberated with the sky-rending slogans of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, “Ganga Mata Ki Jai”, “Hindu Dharma Ki Jai” etc.
Ekatmala Yajna was in fact a supreme Yajna in its truly Vedic sense. All the men and women, young and old alike, not only from this country but also from the foreign countries had thronged for the Darshan-Pujan-Archan of Bharat Mala and holier than the holiest Ganga Mata by forgetting their social, Dharmic and cultural differences. It was a programme confined initially to one country; but it turned out to be a multi-country programme. Nepal despatched the main Yatra named “Pashupati Rath” to “Rame-shwaram” with the holy Gangajal from their country after performing Abhishek to Lord Pashupatinath. Of the three main Rathas, this had travelled the longest distance nonÂstop for 50 days. The Burmese delegation joined the Yatra of Kapil Rath at Kolkata with Kalash containing water of their river “Irawati” By joining the Yatra, the Upa-Yatra from Bhutan proved that the cultural soul of Nepal, Bhutan, Brahmadesh including Bharat is one, in spite of the fact that their political boundaries are different. If the former Minister of Mauritius Shri. Dayanand Vasantrai had come to Delhi with the water from “Ramsar” in Mauritius; Shri. Goswami Giridharilal arrived from Pakistan with the water of “Katasraj” there. Waters of all the holy places of Hindu pilgrimages right from Manas Sarowar; and also from the nooks and corners of Bangladesh was a very special feature of this Yatra.
The Yatra was successful in Assam, Bengal, Bihar and Utkal. provinces beyond our expectations. All segments of the masses, may they be Vanavasis or Girivasis; Communists or Congressis, as Hindus they all ensured their full involvement in the Yatra. By extending hearty co-operation to the Yatra in several places, the Muslims and Christians proved that culturally and nationally they too are Hindus only, whatever might be their modes of prayers and worship. That was the reason why Shri. Habibullah, the then Minister of State in Orissa was overwhelmed on seeing the Rath with Bharal Mala and Ganga Mala at Koraput; he offered Rs.51/ – and reverentially bowed before the twin Mothers. The services rendered by the Sirajuddin Service Committee in Bihar are indeed memorable! The Muslim brethren at Prayag also did not lag behind. They paid their respects to the Rath by offering “chaddar” to it. Eight Muslim college girls enthusiastically participated in puja and Arati held in Mumbai. The sturdiest analysis of a Christian Prof. Dr. Mathew of Kerala, “Panths may be many, but our Dharma is one” cannot be forgotten.
A national English weekly “India Today” reported that by joining in the puja of Bharatmata and Gangamata, a Thakurani born in high caste and a Mehatarani of the so-called low caste gave a fitting reply to the politicians, that these differences are the result of politics alone; otherwise, Dharmic teaching always has still been, “the devotee of god becomes one of god’s own”.
A member of scavenger community performed the Puja in Pandharkona. Yet another member of backward community carried the pitcher containing Ganga Jal on his head at Rameshwaram. The Dy. Chief Minister of Manipur was the Chief Guest in a local programme. Officers of the grade of Dy. lnspector General of Police, Deputy Commissioner etc. presided over the functions at several places. Both male and female police forces were posted to take care of the Yatra in Orissa. A battalion of Rajput Regiment gave a “guard of honour” to the Yatra in Fatehgarh.
The Dy. commissioner of Kachar district in Assam opposed the Yatra and issued orders to stop the Yatra even by using the police force. But the Police Protection Force politely declined to oblige the Dy. Commissioner. Thereafter the matter was amicably settled with the deft handling of the tense situation by the Home Secretary and the Dy. Commissioner had to give in by sanctioning permission to the Yatra.
The Rath was withheld at a level crossing of the Railways near Jamshedpur in Bihar (now in Jharkhand) untill all the passengers of the train completed their Puja there itself. As though Lord Hanuman himself had accompanied for having the Darshan of the twin Mothers and to make the Yatra successful in Bihar, a huge monkey accompanied the Yatra for over 8-10 Kms jumping from one tree to another, plucked flowers from those trees and threw them on the Rathas. One of the conveners stretched his hand towards it with the Prasad on his palm, and lo! the monkey came, took Prasad and vanished from the scene, not to be seen again.
Curfew was clamped in the Baharaich town of Uttar Pradesh. The D. M. slackened the curfew for 6 hours. An impressive and effective programme followed, after making necessary publicity of the Yatra; so much so, that D. M. accompanied by his wife came forward to offer Puja to Bharatmata and Gangamata personally.
The sight witnessed in Nagpur on 29 Nov 1983 was indeed unprecedented. All the roads were leading to Nagpur on that day. Just a day earlier, the artiste couple, who had moulded the idol of Bharatmata with the dexterity of Vishvakarma; together with the brass pitcher-maker brothers from Jagadhari were honoured at the benign hands of Pujaniya Sarsanghachalak Shri. Balasaheb Deoras.
The Yatra was scheduled to visit only one place in the Karnataka province viz. “Dharmasthal”, the venue of second provincial Sammelan. Dharmasthal is a living symbol of religious harmony and integration. Because, the main temple of this place is the abode of Lord Shiva. The priest belongs to Vaishnava cult. And all the affairs are managed by a Jain in his capacity as the Dharmadarshi. This integral approach is the way of life; nay. the very life breath of Hinduism. Such examples are very rare else where in the world.
The priest, who performing Abhishek to Lord Shiva at Somnath Temple, offered Rs.1001/-.
While on one hand, the then President of Vishva Hindu Parishad Maharana Bhagwat Sing of Mewad was struggling hard to make the Yatra a grand success; and on the other, full blessings and co-operation was forthcoming from the Jagadguru Shankaracharya Pujya Shantanand Maharaj, Pujya Swami Chinmayanand Maharaj, Jagadguru Shakaracharya of the Kanchi Kamkoti Peeth, Jain Munis, Bouddh Bhikhkhus, Sikh Sants, Kabir Panthis, Mahants, Mandaleshwars and Sadhu-Sanyasis. On one side, the poor, the miserable, the down-trodden were associated with the Yatra; and on the other, the industrial houses were also trying to contribute their mite in this Maha-Yajna. It was a Yajna, wherein all and sundry had joined to make it successful.
One more thing needs a special mention in respect of this Yatra i.e. the top-brass of Vishva Hindu Parishad viz. the then Secretary General Shri. Harmohan Lal, Joint General Secretary Shri. Ashok Singhal and Office Secretary of the Parishad had called on the H. E. President of Bharat Shri. Gyani Zail Sing and briefed him about the aims and objects of the Yatra and furnished him with the details of the Yatra routes along with their maps.
Ekatmata Yatra that enlightened the entire Bharat right from Himalayas to Kannyakumari, was not an idea of any one individual. It was a collective expression of the Sanskars traditionally passed on through the public psyche of this country for ages. It was a rewarding result of collective cogitation and action for successful implementation and an appropriate culmination of such a mammoth and unprecedented planning. It wasâ€¢a genuine and positive response of collective joy and enthusiasm on the part of entire countrymen in the form of their unfathomable love, affection, unparalled co-operation, unbound affinity. Unprecedented welcome and great honour were showered on this Yatra virtually from every nook and corner of the sky; from the holy waters of all the sacred rivers, lakes, oceans and Tirthas; and from every speck of dust of this holy land. It was proved from this Yatra that the spirit of unity and integrity that was there in the hoary past, is throbbing throughout the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari; and Parashuram Kund to Dwaraka even till this day. The inhabitants of all the areas are like the flowers stringed together in the form of a garland around the neck of Mother Bharati. “Bharatmata is our mother; we all are her progeny” This idea of the yore that inspired us and kept our hearts bonded together over all these millennia, is equally strong, inspiring and life-sustaining even today. It is clear that the emotional integration cherished and nourished by our ancient Rishi-Munis, Sants, social thinkers and ideologues is flourishing eternally even today on it’s own ancient basis.
First Ekatmata Yatra at a Glance (Statistics)
No. of Main Yatra: 3
No. of Upa- Yatras (including One-Dayers) 312
Total Number of Night Halts of all the Yatras 974
Total Number of Programmes during the Yatras 4,323
Total Number of Kalashas brought for Pujan 77,440
Number of Places whence Kalashas were brought 38,526
i)Total No. of Districts and Mahanagaras 534
(ii) No. of Dists / Mahanagaras Contacted 531
Prakhand-wise Participation :
(i) Total No. of Prakhandas 5,129
(ii) No. of Prakhandas Contacted 4,432
(i) Total No. of Villages / Bastis 5,64,342
(ii) No. of Villages / Bastis Contacted 1,84,592
Total Number of Kilo Meters Travelled by the Yatras 85,874
Number of Individuals Participated in the Yatras 7,28,05,520
Number of Workers Involved in the Yatra Work:
(i) Men 1,37,447
(ii) Women 18,850
Percentage of Men and Women Participating :
(i) Men 51%
(ii) Women 49%
News Items/Comments published in News Papers regarding the Yatra
The manner in and the quantum of and the level at which the Yatra was received by the people all over the country made it crystal clear that not only the intellengentia and the common populace, but the media world too was extremely impressed by this event. Certain news items and comments, published at that time in the prominent News Papers are given here below:
“Indian Express” (19 November 1983)
“The Yatra was like a small stream at Haridwar in the morning of Wednesday. But later in the day, when this 3000 Km Yatra began, this very stream assumed the form of a mighty river. Ganga packed in 1.5 million small bottles was reaching every house in the country. With a view to raise funds, the bottle was exchanged for Rs.11/- each.”
“Statesman” (20 November 1983)
As this Ekatmata Yajna Yatra is moving along all the imÂ portant highways and roads along with the holy Gangaja/ and the idol of Bharatmata and as it is being welcomed and worshipped by the masses from place to place with immense joy, devotion and enthusiasm; the real import of the enterprise becomes clearer and clearer with every passing day.
“India Today” (16-30 November 1983)
The beautiful and sturdy Thakurs and their wives are standing together with dark hued scavenger women in a long stream all along the road that leads to Kathmandu via Nepalese valleys, not for worshipping any god, but an 8-feet tall brass pitcher. It contains 400 liters of Gangajal collected near the Gangotri (source of Ganga) in the Himalayas. Whether the plywood dome is meant for the lion-riding Goddess standing with a lion? No, she is not any known Goddess; she is Bharat Mata. Now that the Ekatmata Yajna is happening. It is born out of unprecedented consensus arrived at after a mutual discussions by the top leaders of 85 sects and creeds of about 55 crore Hindus in India in the month of May last.”
“When the workers of Vishva Hindu Parishad challenged those who stopped an Upa-Yatra at a public square on the main road under the shadow of the churches in the christian dominated Lungleyie of Mizoram, the Hindu brotherhood of the plains became extremely happy. Yet another Upa-Yatra began from Imphal in Manipur and one more from the holy temple at Parashuram Kund at extreme eastern end in Teju (Arunachal Pradesh). One Upa-Yatra coming along the beautiful valleys and mountain ranges and proceeding towards Ludhiana was stopped because of land slide on the roads in Laddakh. The Kalash was sent to Shrinagar through aeroplane. Thereon the Yatra began afresh.”
These religious Yatras passed mostly through sensitive areas. One Yatra group halted at 16 places in Punjab already afflicted with the worst type of terrorism and it attracted unÂexpectedly huge crowd at Golbag in Amritsar. The Golbag is not far away from the Golden Temple, the fortress of the terrorists then.“
“One Yatra group started from the terror-stricken Mangaldoi District of Assam. It was here alone, the Nelly massacre had taken place in the beginning of this year only. One mare Yatra troupe reached Udhampur after passing through the serpentine roads of Hindu localities ‘of Havvakdal and the tunnel of Banihal, where there is a Hindu village this side and a Muslim village on the other …. The Yatra group coming from Manas Sarovar passed through the whirling streets of Muradabad, where the cammunal tension prevails constantly ….. “
“Hindu” Madras (27 October 1983)
The doubts expressed by the central leadership of Congress (I) and the left parties that communal tensions might get ignited proved wrong ….. It was a unique experience especialIy for Uttar Pradesh wetted by holy Ganga and dotted with maximum temples. Communal tensions are deepening by every passing year and the religious leaders least bothered to bring about integration in the majority community. This Yatra provided a common platform for all”
“The Week” (18-24 December 1983)
The heart of the nation is jumping with joy. Because, Nagpur became a holy city, may be for just one day. The city of oranges was bedecked with the “Torans (buntings) and Welcome Arches” and thousands and thousands of people thronged along both sides of streets, standing in anxious wait for the wellÂ equipped Rathas and soul-purifying Gangajal. The entire route upto the Yashwant Stadium was dottedwith the garlands of “Zendu” flowers. A carpet of wet flowers was laid on the entire length of the route to drive away scorching noon heat of Nagpur. The people scrambled for the “Zendu” flowers being distributed from a cycle rikshaw. The people took the flowers sanctified by the holy touch of the Yatra, to their homes as a memento to be preserved at their homes for long.
The sight of all the three main Rathas on the Yashwant Stadium was at once attractive and exciting. The unfathomable crowd rubbing shoulder to shoulders was attempting to have a collective gleams of all the three Rathas simultaneously. Such a Darshan happens to be an achievement of one’s life. The mentality of the crowd was spiritual as also national.
“Organiser” (11 December 1983)
The entire north-eastern region comprising of seven sister states had the vision of spiritual awakening and an experience of integration with the rest of the country through the medium of Ekatmata Yajna Yatra. It is estimated, about 2 million people were associated with the Yatra at various levels between 24 October and 5 November. The Dy. Chief Minister Shri. Tompak Sing spoke with a voice choked with emotions in a public meeting arranged in reception of “Govind Rath” at Imphal. “What’s the shame or impropriety in calling oneself a Hindu? It is not communalism to observe one’s own religion and to feel proud about it.” He further said, “If our Chief Minister Rishang Keshing can become a good Christian by reading Bible, going to the church and participating in his religious rituals; then how can anyone accuse me of communalism, if I too faithfully observe my Dharma, read the Gita and worship Govindji, and participate in religious functions like this?” Shri. Ramanand, Gram-Pradhan elected on the CPM ticket, welcomed Shri. Riyang and Shri. Upastha hailing from Tirthmukh, the holy pilgrim centre of Tripura tribals. He personally performed the Pujan of the holy waters and did BhajanÂ Kirtan the whole night.
“The workers of Akhil Assam Students Union (AASU) were seen taking very active and enthusiastic part in the Rath Yatras at various places like Tejpur, Mangaldoi, Nalbadi etc. The three Rathas (Upa- Yatras of Assam Prant) reached Gowhati on 31 Oct. They were given a rousing welcome at the outskirts of the city. A massive pandal was erected there for the Darshan of these Rathas. These Rathas joined “Kapil Rath” at Jamshedpur. Gurudwara at Gowhati arranged for the recitations of Granth Sahab on this occasion … “
“Not a single untoward incident of communal tention took place anywhere along the routes of these Rathas, even after they had passed through several tension-prone areas like Mizoram, Nagaland, Shila plains of Lakhimpur district, the notorious Nelli of Navgaon district surrounded by the Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators and Khadpetia that has earned the notoriety for the fightings between Assamese and Bengalis.”
A crowd of more than 10,000 public including young school children waited for three long hours for the Rath in Shillong.
Under the comprehensive schematic of the Second Ekatmata Yatra – Yugabda 5097, ten main Yatras from ten very important places of pilgrimages; 135 Upa-Yatras from other different significant and sacred places; and 1,581 Laghu-Yatras were taken out. They together covered a distance of 15,25,000 Kilo-Meters throughout the country. In all 43,817 Dharma Sabhas and Shriram Khichri programmes as a symbol of social harmony were held during the Yatra. A total of 9,39,00,000 people participated in various programmes like Dharma Sabhas, Shriram Khichri, receptions, processions and Pujans etc. Several Sants, who were rather shy or hesitant to come out of their Mutts-Ashrams earlier to work for the society, came out openly to do the social work. Folders, brochures, booklets etc. were distributed in millions to enlighten the society about the prevailing circumstances in the country.
Through the medium of the Second Ekatmata Yatra, the Vishva Hindu Parishad could simultaneously nourish all those points of Hindu Honour and faith that keep the unity and integrity of our country, Dharma and society in tact all these years, on the strength of which we have been able to repeatedly rise from our decline again and again. There could possibly be no Bharatiya, who would not be too anxious and curious to have a Darshan; do Pujan-Archan-Vandan of Bharat Mata, Ganga Mata and Gow-Mata, when they all were coming on their own virtually to the door-step of almost every house-hold in the country in the form of this Ekatmata Yatra, since every Hindu always hankerd after to have even a speck of dustof this sacred soil; for drop of holy Ganga Jal, which has every power to purify and sanctify the body, mind and home; and aspires to swim across this ocean of material existence in a bid to reach the higher, brighter, spiritual world merely by a simple touch of the sacred cow and the dust of this soil.
The minds of all became pure on reaching the pictures of Bharat Mata and Gow Mata together with the dust from these holy cities and the Ganga Jal; mutual antagonism and hatred vanished and the atmosphere inside the home and outside began to reverberate with the integrity, nationality and sanctity. The imperative need for the collective cogitation about the unity and integrity of the Hindus was felt by the millions and millions of public at large more acutely, especially in the atmosphere of destruction and devastation pervading all over the country. Because, they were confident that all the petty all-permeating differences and distinctions would ultimately merge with the larger identity of Hindutva and be done away with once for all.
Very comprehensive public awakening took place in all the nook and corners of the country on account of this Yatra. The whole-hearted participation and co-operation from the Sants and Dharmacharyas; as also the public at large enlisted by this programme at various places all over the country are an affirmative certification that the Vishva Hindu parishad has in fact raised itself a rung higher in its objective of establishing the unity, integrity and stability of the Hindu Dharma, Samaj and Sanskriti.
|Yatra||Total Programme Places||Yatra Day||Receiption Places||Distance Covered (KMs)||Participating Saints||Provinces covered by the Yatra|
|Pashupatinath||42||–||150||3,597||500||Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha|
|Haridwar||59||17||75||2,159||425||Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, M.P., Vidarbha|
|Amritsar||70||–||125||3,762||400||Punjab, Himachal, Rajasthan|
|Mahavirji||84||22||105||3,061||325||Rajasthan, M.P., Vidarbha|
|Somnath||–||18||–||–||–||Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra|
|Rameshwar||142||29||–||4,087||–||Tamil Nadu,Andhra, Vidarbha|
|Gangasagar||66||17||95||2,434||60||Bengal, Bihar, Utkal, M.P.|
|Jagannath Puri||100||24||55||2,428||65||Utkal, M.P., Vidarbha|
Glimpses of Concluding Function of the Ekatmata Yatras at Ramtek
On reaching the Yatras after setting out from different places in the country, the enthusiasm, zeal and devotion of the vast masses of public, devotees, citizens and workers of Vishva Hindu Parishad and Bajarang Dal while according a hearty reception to these Yatras did not recede even by an iota despite inclement weather and heavy rains arranged by the Lord Indra.
In spite of heavy down pour of the rains and mighty wind, the workers of the Parishad and Bajarant Dal literally thousands in number stuck to their positions taken by them right at noon of the day.
A Havan was arranged in the Garh Mandir from 09.00 a.m. to 03.00 p.m.Havan was performed by Krishna Shastri under the guidance of his father Govind Shastri Arvikar. Shripad Telang, Shriram Karande, Shri. Anand Dhavadgaonkar, Shri. Balaji Kulkarni, Shri. Ashok Goswami were among the Brahmins performing the Havan.
The Yatras that had started in the well-decorated Rathas from different places in the country like Rameshwaram, Ganga Sagar, Mahavirji, Amritsar, Kannyakumari, Haridwar, Somnath, Pashupati (Kathamandu) and Jagannathpuri reached Ramtek city with about 40,000 popultion amidst un precedented security between 05.20 p.m. and 08.00 p.m.
There was a Mega-Sangam of these Yatras on the 7 acres of City Council Grounds of Ramtek. It was perhaps the first such occasion in the history of Ramtek, when the top most Sants and Dharmacharyas as also social leaders has come to Ramtek together in such a huge number.The entire programme was accomplished in the most unprecedented, unimaginable and unparalled way with such a glory, grandeur and magnificence.
Reception of the Ektmata yatra on Deeksha Bhumi
After the Concluding Function of the Second Ekatmata Yatra at Ramtek, as various Rathas like Somnath, Mahavirji, Ganga Sagar, Pashupatinath etc. of the Ekatmata Yatra collectively reached the Deeksha Bhumi alongwith the well-decorated idols of Ganga Mata, Gow Mata and Bharat Mata and thousands of Sadhu-Sants and public; the entire atmosphere began to throb with the sky-rending slogans like “Dr. Ambedkar Jindabad”, “Bhagwan Buddha Jindabad”, “Jai Shriram”, “Santon Ki Jai Ho” etc. The whole area began experiencing total identity with Shriram. While welcoming the Yatras on behalf of the Dr. Ambedkar Smarak Samiti, the Sants-Mahants were felicited.
On this occasion, the Sants and dignitaries seated on the dais included Jagadguru Shankaracharya Pujya Swami Vasudevanand, Jagadguru Madhwacharya Swami Vishwesh Tirth, Shri. Ashok Sinhal, Deputy Chief Minister Shri. Gopinath Mundhe, Minister Shri. Nitin Gadkari, Swami Chinmayanand, Ex-MP Shri. Banwari lal Purohit, Dinanath Sharma, Manik Da etc. All placed garlands to the idols of Lord Buddha and Dr. Ambedkar. The programme began by paying obeisance to Lord Buddha at the site of the Asthi Kalash of Dr. Ambedkar.