International Mother Earth Day Celebrated
Ganga Action Parivar celebrated a very special International Mother Earth Day Celebrations this spring, under the divine inspiration of Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, GAP’s Founder. As part of the day’s activities Pujya Swamiji inspired local schools and colleges to encourage each student to engage in green actions, such as planting and watering trees, environmental drawing competitions as well as slogan writing/ awareness raising campaigns. Ganga Action Parivar volunteers helped the schools plan and execute these fun and creative activities.
During the commencement of a week-long Bhagawat Katha at Parmarth Niketan, led by Pujya Shri Mridul Krishan Shastriji of Vrindavan, Pujya Swamiji said: “It is time that we come together to not only worship the Creator but also serve and preserve His Creation. Today on the occasion of International Mother Earth Day, let us pledge to protect Mother Earth and Her sacred rivers that nourish and sustain all of life. Let us make a commitment to work together with our 4T’s: time, talent, technology and tenacity to bring the sacred Rivers Yamuna and Ganga, beloved to Lord Krishna, to life again.” Pujya Shri Shastriji shared: “As Pujya Swamiji has suggested, just like Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), let us also have a Kathakar Social Responsibility (KSR). I think its a great idea! I pledge to take this with me and encourage more and more Kathakars to spread this vital green message through their Kathas, so that we can collectively preserve and protect our sacred natural, cultural and spiritual heritage for our coming generations.” Sadhvi Bhagawatiji added: “Our divine rishis, saints and sages have always revered Mother Nature as the Divine Feminine. Thus, it is so fitting that the United Nations has declared this day as not just Earth Day but Mother Earth Day! The Earth is our Mother, giving and giving life and sustenance to us. However, today we are facing a major crisis in Mother Nature — our water bodies, trees, mountains and soil are being destroyed and decimated. It is time that we go back to these teachings of our ancient sages who taught us to worship Nature and bring these teachings back into practice. Most importantly, it is time that the divine feminine -or Shakti- in the form of our young girls and women be empowered and encouraged to lead this green mission to protect and preserve Shakti and Prakriti, upon which Creation depends.” Also taking part in the activities was Bagus Mantra, the leader of the Songs of Dharma musical group from Bali. He said, “in Bali we call Mother Earth, Ibu Perthiwi, and it is so beautiful that this stems from the Sanskrit roots of Prithvi. The land, culture, language and spirituality of India, especially originating from the Himalayas on the banks of Mother Ganga, have connected all of humanity to Mother Nature. Therefore this movement that Pujya Swamiji is leading to protect and preserve the environment is really one that belongs to all. It calls for all of us from every corner of the Earth to come together as one world family- Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam- to protect our most precious heritage.”
In the afternoon, pilgrims and seekers from all across the world joined together for a special world water blessing ceremony in which holy waters of Mother Ganga were offered to the globe, with Vedic mantras for peace in the world and with prayers that all of our brothers and sisters everywhere may have access to safe and sufficient water for drinking, cooking, bathing, irrigation and the earning of livelihoods. In the evening, the Songs of Dharma group performed divine songs, dances and recited mantras to Mother Earth and Mother Ganga. The evening concluded with a collective prayer to stay connected to Mother Earth, to practice an “attitude of gratitude” for Her bounties and gifts, and to serve in preserving and protecting Her for this and future generations.