After all, pilgrimage is for softening the heart, widening the
outlook, expanding the circle of sympathy; not for collecting
curios or pictures or Prasaadham packets or idols and images. It is
more a matter for the Nethra (eye) than for the Paathra (vessel). Pilgrimages
should be as silent as the eyelids dropping on the eye. Why should people
wag their tongues and shout and wrangle when they are God-ward bound?
Truly, all Kshethras (places of pilgrimage) and all Yaathras (pilgrimages)
are in yourself. You are ever on a pilgrimage, though you might not
have taken a step forward towards Badhri or Kaashi. Do not feel sad
that you did not get the Abhisheka Theertha (holy water used for consecrating
the idol) from Gangothri, which was used for the Nethra Lingam. I can
see that all of you are desirous of getting it ever since you heard
from others about the event at Badri. I shall get you the Gangothri
Theertham here itself and give you, do not worry.
People may say that pilgrimages are a waste of time and
money; but let Me tell you that it is the best way of spending time
and money, provided one has real devotion. Bhakthi is no sign of weakness;
it is a sign of courage, of wisdom, of discrimination; it alone can
give Soukhyam and Shaanthi (happiness and peace). Every one has one
day or other to fall in line with you, for every one is terribly anxious
to get these two. They try, in their ignorance or excitement, various
other remedies, but this remedy alone can cure them.
Discourse, Prashanthi Nilayam, 4 July 1961