Make Ganga Your Green Valentine Everyday
As people around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day this week with gifts of chocolate and roses, as symbols of their love and devotion, it is the perfect time, as Pujya Swamiji reminds us, year after year, to renew our commitment to our Mother Ganga and Mother Nature, which provide unconditionally to all. Children all over the world will make Valentine’s Day cards for their mothers. Pujya Swamiji inspires us that here in India, every day, not only February 14, should be an opportunity to show love and devotion to our Divine Mother. With His inspiration and green vision in mind, Sadhvi Bhagawatiji visited one of Divine Shakti Foundation’s school projects with volunteers from a large, month long Kundalini Yoga Teacher’s Training Course taking place at Parmarth Niketan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with over 200 school children.
The young students from Parmarth Vidya Mandir-Prakash Bharti School were delighted to celebrate with Sadhviji and eagerly presented and shared their love for Yoga and vedic chanting. They also took part in arts and crafts dedicated to the theme of “Make Mother Ganga and Mother Nature Your Green Valentine.”
Sadhviji recognized the best ten drawings and applauded the rest for their beautiful efforts. Touched by their pictures with messages to Save Ganga, Save Earth, Sadhvi Bhagawatiji shared, “Tragically, the current way that our Mother’s waters are treated is actually killing these very waters. Mother Ganga, as the Divine, is un-taintable, un-pollutable and un-defilable. However, Her physical form, these precious molecules of H2O which are the very life and livelihood of approximately one-third of India’s population, are polluted every day with nearly 3 billion liters of waste, including carcinogenic chemicals and raw sewage. Added to this is solid waste, such as discarded poly bags, wrappers and plastic bottles, which choke the river, sully Her shores and sicken millions who live in Her basin.”
She encouraged the children that they could be the change by continuing to share their drawings and their thoughts with their families and their communities and by ensuring that their own actions honour Nature as their divine Valentine not just one day but every day.
She also inaugurated a Biosand Water Filter at the school campus and distributed fresh fruits to the students. She shared in Hindi that just as Pujya Swamiji says, ‘Shudh Jal, Shudh Phal bahuth zaroor hai Swaasth Tan aur Swaasth Mann ke liye.” She explained that fresh fruits and clean water are necessary and vital for healthy body and mind.
She shared, “Nearly one of every three children in India suffers from malnutrition, which can be attributed to not only the lack of nutrition but also to bacteria, like E Coli, harmful chemicals and toxins in our drinking water, which prevent our bodies from being able to absorb the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. Thus lead by Pujya Swamiji’s vision and leadership, GIWA, GAP and DSF’s initiative to bring clean drinking water, improve WASH facilities and plant fruit trees in every school is one of the many solutions that can inspire and catalyze a better future for all children.”
In the evening during Ganga Aarti Pujya Swamiji shared His thoughts, “Standing on the banks of the Mother Ganga in Rishikesh, my heart is filled with gratitude to a river that has nourished my body, mind and soul throughout my entire life. She quenches our thirst, cleanses our bodies, irrigates our fields and brings divine liberation and purity to every moment of every day. She not only provides moksha and divine connection to the pious. She is also the very lifeline for some 500 million people, a mother to all who live within Her vast reach. It is time that we truly see, respect and treat Her as the head of our family, as the true, divine Mother. Yesterday when I was in Madhya Pradesh for the 4th Annual River Festival, I shared that the crisis of agricultural, industrial and domestic waste plagues all our sacred rivers. I reminded them as I remind everyone that in our Indian spiritual-cultural tradition we have always referred to our sacred rivers as “Mother;” now it’s time that we respect and uphold our Mother’s rights just as much as we would our own rights.”
Ganga’s survival is India’s survival. Ganga’s rights are our rights. Learn more at www.gangarights.org