Earth Day: Birthday For A New Consciousness
Inspired and blessed by Pujya Swamiji’s green vision and mission, Parmarth Niketan celebrated #EarthDay with Ratu Pedanda Gede Made Gunung, Balinese High Priest, and his delegation from Bali, Indonesia. Visitors from Hong Kong, Thailand, America, Dubai, United Kingdom and many other countries as well as pilgrims from various states of India joined also.
The celebrations started with symbolic and special water blessing ceremony, as a prayer and a commitment that children all around the world should have access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene facilities. Thereafter, three simultaneous Yagna’s, traditional and sacred fireside ceremonies, for peace and preservation of our Earth and our natural elements were performed followed by divine Ganga Aarti.
During the Ganga Aarti, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) and Ganga Action Parivar (GAP) representatives shared that this sacred time was especially auspicious and meaningful because the 21st April marked the most auspicious time of Akshaya Tritiya, a day celebrating wealth, prosperity and good fortune in Indian tradition, and 22nd April was Earth Day all around the world. They shared that Pujya Swamiji and Sadhviji often share that the true wealth and true treasure in our lives is our Earth/our Planet. In Indian spiritual tradition Maa Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, is not only associated with money and gold but also prosperity and wealth in the form of our clean water, our fresh air, our beautiful, oxygen giving trees, lush forests and mountains and all the natural elements which sustain and nourish life. They also shared and emphasized, that as Pujya Swamiji, often shares, ‘There can be a Plan A and Plan B but there can not be a Planet B.’ Therefore, they urged everyone that the time to protect, preserve and serve Mother Earth is now and we must begin today by committing to small steps, concrete actions we all can take to make #EveryDayEarthDay.
GIWA and GAP representatives led everyone in a pledge to go back from this sacred pilgrimage, from the banks of Mother Ganga, and plant at least one tree in memory of their green pilgrimage. As a symbol of the pledge a sacred Rudraksha tree was offered to the High Priest and Buddhist monk from Thailand on Pujya Swamiji’s behalf. The spiritual leaders were urged to take this message of improved WASH in their countries and join these vital efforts so that collectively, as Pujya Swamiji says, give birth to a new consciousness, a green consciousness. The second pledge was to stop the use of any and all plastic and reduce our individual consumption and thereby reduce our individual production of non-biodegradable waste. The great work by the Rishikesh Nagar Panchayat and the Government of Uttarakhand was also commended, especially for carrying out a very strong and successful ‘No Polythene’ campaign, ensuring all shops and businesses within the town do not carry and supply plastic bags.
To watch Pujya Swamiji’s moving Earth Day message, click here: https://youtu.be/IQZALTD64pw
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