Pujya Swamiji’s 65th Green Birthday Celebrations
Pujya Swamiji’s Green Birthday celebrations started with sacred Vedic chanting filling the morning air as the Ekdasa Rudra Homa was performed on the holy banks of Mother Ganga by rishikanya (female Gurukul students). Pujya Sant Shri Ramesh Bhai Ozaji (Bhaishri), Pujya Swami Maheshwaranandaji, Pujya Swami Vedvigyanandji, Ven Bhikkhu Sanghasenaji, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji and so many other revered saints and dignitaries joined Pujya Swamiji to wish Him a blessed and divine, green birthday.
A beautiful interfaith breakfast followed.
Thereafter, Pujya Swamiji welcomed the Hon’ble Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, Shri Narendra Singh Tomarji to the Virpur Khurd village to declare it Open Defecation Free (ODF) and announce working together with the local community to make the village a Ganga Gram, with effective solid waste, liquid waste management as well as other provisions such as rainwater harvesting, eco-crematoriums, green plantations and so much more.
At the village, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance’s interfaith delegation consisting of Chief Jathedar of the Golden Temple Giani Gurbachan Singhji, Mufti Nasihur Rahmanji, Venerable Lama Lobzangji, Ven Bhikkhu Sanghasenaji, and Kuldeep Singh Bhogalji joined Pujya Swamiji and the Hon’ble Minister in planting the first of 65 trees in honour of Pujya Swamiji’s 65th birthday. They also fed cows who are being taken care of by Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh). Under Pujya Swamiji’s leadership Parmarth brings these cows off the street into the cow shelter to graze freely and have healthy feed without ingesting tons of plastic strewn on the streets.
They delegation arrived to back to Parmarth Niketan for a special event, being broadcast live in 162 countries, to share messages and pledges of environmental conservation, Swachh Bharat and Clean Ganga. Shri Akshay Routji, representing the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Swachh Bharat Mission, shared the commitments and achievements of the Ministry towards these goals in the past few years.
The Hon’ble Minister gave an inspiring speech honouring Pujya Swamiji’s life and His tireless service and sharing, “Pujya Swamiji’s tireless efforts are truly a testament of Faith in Action and when faith comes into action then there can be nothing but solutions. On behalf of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji and the Government of India, I wish Him a very happy birthday. I am also glad that with Pujya Swamiji’s and Pujya Swami Ramdevji’s blessings, under Shri Trivendra Singh Rawatji’s able leadership, the state of Uttarakhand can truly be a Swachh, Sundar and Swasth Uttarakhand (Clean, Beautiful and Healthy Uttarakhand).”
Said Pujya Ramesh Bhai Ozaji, “Often we are the problem, we create the pollution, hence the time has come to be the solution. The solution starts with us and it starts now! Pujya Swamiji’s life, His teachings and His example shows us how we each can be the solution, serving tirelessly for the welfare of all.”
Said Pujya Swami Karshni Gurusharananandji, “It makes me so pleased to be here today when we celebrate and honour Pujya Swamiji’s life. It is beautiful being here today surrounded by people from every faith tradition and every walk of life wishing our Pujya Muniji a long and healthy life ahead so that He may continue to be of more service. This is a living testament to His life, His message and His divine example.”
Said renowned Bollywood actress, dancer and now MP, Smt. Dreamgirl Hema Malini, “Because I am an artist I pledge to use my art and my talent to spread this message of environmental preservation! I look forward to working together with PujyaSwamiji to clean and green both the River Ganga and River Yamuna.”
Said Bollywood star Vivek Anand Oberoi, “I maybe be known as an action hero but I truly believe in real life, Pujya Swamiji is the real hero in action. All of his acts are heroic! He is a great source of inspiration and action and I am certain that with His blessings and love we can continue to serve for the well being of all.”
Said Pujya Baba Ramdevji, “Pujya Swamiji’s heart is filled with love and compassion and hence He sees only one Creator in all of creation. He sees only oneness, co-existence, cleanliness, love, harmony and compassion in every particle of existence. Pujya Swamiji’s birthday is really an opportunity to re-affirm our lives for environmental preservation and to lead a life in the service of all.”
A plethora of diverse and revered faith leaders spoke eloquently and with great love during the event sharing their deep appreciation and respect for Pujya Swamiji’s divine vision and leadership. They showered flowers upon Pujya Swamiji with prayers that He may continue to blossom and thrive and touch all of humanity, and also as a symbol of the fact that His life is like a flower – giving and giving to all with no discrimination, no hesitation, no expectation and no vacation.
Pujya Swami Ramdevji led a beautiful sankalp (pledge), getting everyone to rise up on their feet with their hands raised to take this divine opportunity to pledge and commit to at least one action they would take to lead cleaner and greener lives. All of the eminent speakers shared their messages over the course of two sessions, one around noon and another session in the afternoon. The mega event concluded with a massive Ganga Aarti, bringing everyone together in divine chanting, singing and dancing, as one global family, united by the bond of love and oneness.