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Sunday, 5 July 2015

Born Muslim, trained in Hindu scriptures, this yogi is going places

He neither reads the namaz, nor offers prayers. But he can recite texts from the Holy Quran as well as the Bhagwad Gita with equal ease.

I am neither a Muslim nor a Hindu, I’m just a human being, says Sri M, a spiritual leader, philosopher and educationist who is on a padyatra, Walk of Hope, during which he will cover 7,500 km and 11 Indian states in one-and-a-half year under the aegis of Manav Ekta Mission.
Starting from Kanyakumari on January 12, Sri M, who believes no religion is bigger than humanity, says he has already covered over 2,500 km so far. Covering 25 km daily, a core group of 70 core people reached Pune on July 1. The padyatris halted at various places like German Bakery, Sadhu Vaswani Chowk, Synagogue Church and Poona College and interacted with people.
I aim to see a united and an inclusive India at the end of the walk, says the 66-year-old.
Sri M, whose original name is Mumtaz Ali, was born in Thiruvananthapuram in an educated Muslim family. His father was a PWD contractor. Since a very young age, he was interested in thoughts and philosophy. “I noticed that some people had narrow mindsets. This set me thinking,” he says.
He had heard from his neighbours that in the Himalayas, one may find yogis full of spiritual knowledge. At 19, he left for the Himalayas. After wandering for days, he met Maheshwarnath Babaji, who became his guru and trained him in the Vedas, Upanishads, meditation and kriya yoga. “After three-and-a-half years, he asked me to go home, get married and lead a normal life,” says Sri M, who later got married to a Brahmin girl with whom he has two children.
Stressing that he has neither converted his religion, nor changed his name, Sri M says, “All my documents, such as passport, bank accounts, carry my original name Mumtaz Ali. My guru gave me the name Madhukar Nath. Since both the names and even Manav (human) start with ‘M’ , I chose to be called M. Out of love and respect, some people call me Sri M.”
Sri M is usually seen wearing a kurta-pyjama or a t-shirt and track pants, sometimes even jeans. He says he carries two cellphones, spends time reading news on his iPad and even indulges in singing old Hindi songs sometimes.

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