Towards the close of His transcendence into the subtle, Yugrishi often asked His disciples to read through mere 75 pages of His book of life. He allegorized each of the 75 years of His life as one page and His entire life as an open textbook on spiritually inspired living. Each page of His life book reflected each year of His life that He dedicated towards fulfilling His Master’s guidance. In these pages, Yugrishi travelled far and wide in the realm of divine as well as on the Terra Firma. In His conversations and talks, Yugrishi indicated the various benefits of travelling, taken with a purpose of set intention. Yugrishi always hinted on travelling to be an instructional medium aiding in the expansion of a receptive consciousness. To this end, He heightened the sanyas ashram towards the end of life as that of a parivrajak, the wanderer who travels without the baggage of attachment – open to the world, one with all, belonging to all, possessing none!

To tune in with this sentiment, Team DIYA, Mumbai regularly embarks on study tours to relate closely with Yugrishi’s precepts and inspirations. These tours are designed around Gurudev’s references in His spiritual journey. The team tries to traverse the path, where Yugrishi had tread at some point of time, or has mentioned its significance. Team DIYA usually goes on these tours post any grand AWGP event of a global scale. For example, this year of 2018, team DIYA went on to their tour after the colossal Nagpur Yug Srujeta event.

This is a detailed report on 2018 Team DIYA tour which was replete with experiences of divine service and mellow moments which are percolating as inspired actions today from the team members who journeyed together. There were 12 DIYANs on a 5 day study tour.

The tour took place post the Nagpur Yug Srijeta convocation.

28 January: Team DIYA reached Chandrapur Shaktipeeth and basked in the family affection of loving parijans. The team stayed overnight in the Shaktipeeth.


Day 1

29 January : This was the start of a super memorable trip. The DIYANs embarked for Hemalkasa. Hemalkasa is a village in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, belonging to Madia Gond community. Hemalkasa is where the famous Magsaysay Award-winner couple Dr. Prakash Baba Amte and his wife Dr. Mandakini Amte manage the Lok Biradari Prakalp project.

Lok Biradari Prakalp (LBP) is a social project of the Maharogi Sewa Samiti, Warora involving a hospital, a school and an animal orphanage. It was started on 23 December 1973, by Baba Amte for integrated development of Madia Gond tribals.

Here the DIYANs met Aniket Amte, Dr. Prakash and Dr. Mandakini’s son who looks after the tribal schools and the education of tribal children along with his wife Samiksha. The team was given a warm welcome and a guided tour of the ashram.

DIYA gifted the Lok Biradari Prakalp the sadvakya boards under project Drishtikon, Yugrishi’s books, Yugsahitya folder, Table calenders and a Gayatri-chant device.

Suddenly, it was time to call off the day! The day had sped past within the blink of an eye. Now it was shut eye time. The tired and happy team trudged back to the waiting arms of mother Gayatri at Chandrapur Shaktipeeth. There were four more inspiring, action filled days ahead to dream about.


Day 2

Team DIYA, Mumbai sped through the morning of 30th January, their day 2 of the itinerary to reach Anandvan, the hallowed precincts where Yugrishi walked through years ago!

Anandvan is a cooperative village carved out from barren, hostile land by leprosy survivors, differently-abled, orphans and the destitutes. Around 2500 of such people, once rejected by society, are now socially independent, live off the land, and have set the world standard for rehabilitation and have coordinated some of the most daring social and ecological programs in India.

Yugrishi too has mentioned his visit to Anandvan and the impressions He gathered thence.

Team DIYA was greeted with loving warmth by Dr. Bharti Amte, daughter in law of Baba Amte and wife of Shri Vikas Amte, Baba’s second son. Those visiting Anandvan, can realise the greatness of Dr Bharti Amte, who has been working ceaselessly as the in charge of the various projects for the last 38 years. She has always maintained a low profile and has been treating and catering to the needs of over 2,500 patients and other people working for her projects. Her simplicity, sincerity and dedication about her work touch every heart.

Team DIYA too was struck with the melody within her sincerity when she recounted her engagement with Shantikunj and Yugrishi. Team DIYA shared an insightful discussion on Gayatri with the truly enlightened soul  that Dr. Bharti Amte is. The team felt their hearts full when Dr. Bharti gracefully accepted their gifts of the Yug Sahitya folder, table calendar, Yugrishi’s sahitya, mantra device along with Project Drishtikon sadvakya boards. It was a tremendously moving feeling to share a part of Yugrishi’s abundance at the very same place, where He had walked along, many years back.

The benevolent Dr. Amte also explained the encompassing nature of Anandvan. There are people of all capacities working here. The majority of them are differently abled. Yet all are accorded to grow at their own pace. No one is pestered to increase their capability to perform. All are evolving at their personal level.

Day 2 too wound up with the DIYANs realizing the fathomless depth of Baba’s vision where he maintained, “Work builds, charity destroys.”

Anandvan to Nagpur with more DIYA reunions!

Team DIYA Mumbai was delighted to be with one more of their lit ilk, DIYA Ashwini Kumar Gawande- Flying Officer, Indian Air Force. DIYA Ashwini is as much at home in the vaults of heaven as he is on the ground, sculpting his dream of creating a new, resplendent India to the tune of Yugrishi’s vision. To realize this dream Ashwin works closely with Sachin and Bhagyashree Deshpande. The DIYANs swiftly touched base with Sachin and his wife Bhagyashree Deshpande too.

Sachin Deshpande is a social entrepreneur and introduces himself as a farmer. He breaks the stereotype convention of what an Indian farmer looks like. His twitter bio is painfully brief and does not reveal in the least, the depth of empathy and compassion he exudes for his fellow countrymen and nation. Sachin is a former IT professional and he focuses on the less taken track of spiritual and professional farming.

Sachin and Bhagyashree, along with Shri Prakash Gandhi and his son-in-law and few more dedicated souls are running an agro-centric school Abhyudaya Global Village School at Saoner. The school is a first of its kind in India. Sachin aims to revolutionize the education landscape in rural India with pen and tractor.

With Ashwini Gawande, Sachin and Bhagyashree Deshpande, Team DIYA spent that chilly January evening at Abhyudaya Global School, around a bonfire lit up with the fire of vision and will together.


Day 3

The DIYANS are always lit up to follow Yugrishi’s path by their constant endeavors to serve the larger cause. DIYA Ashwini too nests a dream within his heart. Ashwin has been working on his project related to environment and rural management. It was a joyous moment for all, when everyone congregated to flag off Ashwin’s project with Yugrishi’s subtle presence, through a brief bhoomi poojan on 11 acres of land.

Team DIYA headed back to Abhyudaya school, and looked around the bright surroundings.

DIYA Suchita Shetty recounts the wonderful 30 minute session conducted by DIYANs Shraddha and Vijay Patle during the morning assembly. There was pragya yog, pranayams and meditation. Team DIYA shared Yugrishi’s abundance here too with Project Drishtikon sadvakyas, the mantra device, yug sahitya folder and a pledge to sponsor the education of one child for one year. This gesture on part of DIYA was warmly welcomed by Bhagyashree.

The day was still on, and the DIYANs were flying to hold on to the last vestiges of the setting sun, before they settled down for the night.

The team moved on to Devlapur to visit Gau Vigyan Anusandhan kendra, founded by Sunil Jaisingh.

DIYAs have a natural reverence for cows, not only because they hold the authority of divinity, but more so because cows are intricately linked to Yugrishi’s divine sadhanas, where, for 24 years, he subsisted on the grains sieved out from the cow droppings and the thin buttermilk made from cow’s milk. In today’s scheme of things, it is almost surreal!

It does not come as a surprise then, when we see Yugrishi’s name gracing the Panchgavya research page of the Gau Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra’s website.

Reflecting on this stream of thought, the DIYAs were keen to explore the scientific aspect of cow- rearing and the researches being done. The DIYAs chose this center as GoVigyan Anusandhan Kendra is dedicated to creating awareness about Indian Cow and resurrect the self-sustaining indigeneous way of farming.

The dynamic Mumbai DIYAs are compelled to cover more ground by every passing hour!

Their next stop was Kanha National Park. This trip was planned as a reflection on Gurudev’s Himalyan sojourns, especially on His penned book, Sunsan ke Sahchar. In this book, He recounts the events and episodes encountered by Him during His solitary sadhana duration at the Himalyas.

Following the Kanha tour, team DIYA moved to Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh.

“Team visited Baiyer Shaktipeeth and then  left to visit Balaghat Shaktipeeth where there was a meet ‘AtmiyataVistaarSangoshti’ organized especially for like-minded people, paarijans to cling and work together. The meet had philanthropists, social activists and prayers for Ad.Vireshwarji on his birthday. Among the various dignateries present were Shri Rameshbhai Rathore, President Gujarati Samaj Balaghat,Shri Kiranbhai Trivedi, Eminent Businessman & Social Worker Balaghat,Shri Trilok Kochar President SVJ Hospital, Eng Divakar Singhji Sardar Patel Group of Educational Education, Balaghat,Shri Ajay Soni,Vice President Badminton Association Balaghat,Smt Krishna Mishraji, Eminent Social Worker Balaghat,Smt Meena Ben Chawda ,Women’s Incharge Madhya Pradesh Gujarati Samaj, Balaghat.Shaktipeeth.Shri Mahesh Khajanchiji & Dr Charudutt Joshiji were instrumental for this Sangoshti

The message, story and the sutras by Guruji shared by Team DIYA which won each one’s hearts and got people closer by heart and minds.

The next in the route was DIYA Vijay Patle’s native residence at Balaghat where the team had another nature trails in the fields. Then came the last step at GondiaShaktipeeth which was inaugurated by Guruji  in 1981. The meet had a warm welcome for the team, an address by Team DIYA for the volunteers of AWGP Gondia chapter. The message touched the hearts and motivated to continue the Thought Revolution work by taking up any one of the projects like Project Spandan, Organ donation and many more. Team DIYA Plans to conduct one youth  Antarnaad in April.

Team boarded Vidarbha Express from Gondia on 3rd Feb’18 and reached Mumbai on 4th Feb’18 Sunday Morning.

The entire trip was possible due to meticulous planning by DIYA Ashwinikumar Gawande, seamless execution by Vijay Patle. Gratitude to both these youth pillars of DIYA Mumbai. It was difficult to get back to the mundane routine but fortunately these moments were captured by the photographers Rajesh Shetty and Adv.Gayatri who didn’t miss a single moment from their lens.

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