March 21-23, Bhucho Mandi. Punjab is considered to be a place mainly for Sikhs and Sikhism, however as a matter of fact, all the religions and religious persons are respected in Punjab more than any other place. People of Punjab not only respect sadhus and saints from all the religions and traditions but serve them with food and other necessities generously. It is a popular saying that a sadhu can never go hungry or unattended in Punjab. Nevertheless, it is not just blind faith but the people here are well aware of spiritual values and real purpose of human life and accordingly seek spiritual guidance from saints. In old times, there used to be at least one hermitage in every village where villagers used to host wandering sadhus and take good care of them. To reciprocate this kindness and hospitality, sadhus used to teach them scriptures and provide tips for living a healthy and happy life. This teaching included Vedanta, Geeta, Gurubani and much more. However, this tradition is gradually fading away.
Bhucho Mandi is a town near Bathinda where learned saints have been sharing their knowledge for many years. Local Panchayati Shiv Mandir has a huge hall (Geeta Bhawan) dedicated solely for this purpose. However, for last few years, no learned sadhu visited there and so, devotees of the temple formed a study circle to keep themselves inspired and focused. Still, they felt a grave need of direct teaching. Recently, they visited Malke Ashram for the inauguration of Sri-Yantra temple and since then, they had been requesting to conduct a study course back at their temple. Finally, Swami Suryendu Puri Ji managed to spend three days there. He discussed the basic philosophy of Vedanta and gave a comparison of it with different religions and traditions. Most importantly, he gave practical tips to live this philosophy in day to day life. He explained to them that human body has five sheaths: blissful, intellectual, mental, pranic and physical. Unless, intellectual understanding or mental aspiration is brought down to physical level, peace cannot be attained. Prana or breath is the link that connects the sheaths with physical, so, by controlling our breath, we can easily control our mind and intellect too. Accordingly, Swami Ji taught them various breathing exercises and meditation techniques.
It was a rare opportunity for the devotees there and hence they exploited it to full extent. Right from early morning to late in night, apart from common gatherings, devotees kept coming with their personal inquiries.