Kachara Mukt Bharat: Independence Day Celebrated at Parmarth
Pujya Swamiji calls for a Kachara Mukt Bharat (Pollution Free India) and urges us to pick up a Jhanda (flag) in one hand and Jharu (broom) in another and work to create, maintain and sustain a Clean India for all. Pujya Swamiji’s blessings and presence turned India’s 69th Independence Day into one with a clean, green and serene message for all, on the holy banks of Mother Ganga in Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh).
The special Independence Day celebrations started early in the morning with the traditional flag hoisting ceremony in which rishikumars of the Parmarth Gurukul joined Pujya Mahamandeleshwarji, Pujya Swamiji and other revered saints.
The ceremony included a beautiful song sung by Sadhvi Abha Saraswatiji, commemorating the jawans and soldiers who laid their lives to serve the nation. Parmarth Rishikumars gave short speeches, inspired by Pujya Swamiji’s divine example, which emphasised the ancient, precious heritage of India and urged all of us to preserve this sacred spiritual cultureand traditions of our great nation.
Pujya Swamiji’s message and blessings were read by Shri Ram Mahesh Mishraji, as Pujya Swamiji observes silence daily from 10pm to 10am. Pujya Swamiji’s message reminded us that India had attained freedom from British Rule many years ago, but there is still much work we need to do to make India a country that reflects the dream of its founding fathers. Foremost amongst these actions is to rid it from pollution, from the tremendous filth on our streets to the trash on our roads, from the open defecation to the massive sewage waste contamination of our sacred rivers. Pujya Swamiji urged us to reflect on our actions and take this occasion not only to hoist the flag but hoist ourselves to serve the nation, to not only speak about the glories of our nation as some distant reality but to apply them to our current reality. He inspired the simple slogan for ‘Kachara Mukt Bharat’ to be the pledge for this Independence Day. He urged us to not only pick up a Jhanda (flag) in one hand but also a Jharu (broom) in another and work to create, maintain and sustain a Clean India for all. He also welcomed everyone to a cleanup programme just after the ceremony to bring these messages into action.
Pujya Mahamandeleshwarji shared Pujya Swamiji’s concerns and inspired people to go back to their roots where our ancient tradition, the spiritual-cultural practices of India have always expounded cleanliness and hygiene. So where have we gone wrong? He encouraged each individual to reflect on their duty to their nation, where they may not have to give their lives like those brave soldiers but they would certainly have to sacrifice and offer their polluting thoughts and actions to keep Maa Bharat clean, green and serene,so that our children can be proud of their nation just as we feel proud by listening to the tremendous sacrifice of our nation’s forefathers and the vision of our very vigilant and diligent, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji.
After the ceremony, there was a massive clean-up programme covering the Neelkanth route in the Rajaji National Park just behind Parmarth Niketan in which all Parmarth Rishikumars, pilgrims and yatris joined, hand in hand, to celebrate the day with green action. Tons of plastic and trash were collected, which were left behind by Kanwardias (pilgrims from the recent monsoon festival- Kanwad Mela, which this year alone saw over 6 million people in just 10 days).