SOME of India’s leading spiritual saints took part in a nineday “Green Katha” which concluded last Sunday (21). Pujya Morari Bapuji led the katha at His Holiness (HH) Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (HH Pujya Muniji)’s Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, north India.
Among those attending were Pujya Gurusharanandji Maharaj of Vrindavan, Pujya Sant Shri Rameshbhai Oza (Bhaishri), Pujya Swami Ramdevji, Pujya Dr Pranav Pandyaji, Pujya Brahmacharya Brahmaswarupjiji of Jai Ram Ashram, Pujya Acharya Balkrishanji, and political leaders including the governor of Uttarakhand, Krishna Kant Palji and Uttarakhand’s ministers of water, education, agriculture and urban development.
HH Pujya Muniji presented Pujya Morari Bapuji a Tulsi (holy basil) plant as a symbol of Bapu’s love for Goswami Tulsidasji, the revered author of the epic Ramcharitmanas/ Ramayan.
Pilgrims and others who took part in the Green Katha were reminded to preserve and protect their natural resources as well as their sacred water bodies, plant and care for at least nine trees in honour of the nineday katha on festivals, holidays, birthdays and special occasions; reduce the use of plastics and to stop littering their surrounding environment as well as organise waste management and composting in their homes.
HH Pujya Muniji asked participants to take a pledge to “live green”. He also said yoga was key to living sustainably and ensuring our actions, words and thoughts are aligned and in harmony with Mother Nature as well as in service of our world family.
Last weekend also saw the launch of “green initiatives” by HH Pujya Muniji during the “Green Katha”.
A special bhoomi poojan ceremony was performed for a large bio-digester toilet complex at Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh, along the banks of the River Ganges.
Under the first phase of the project, 25 sites of popular pilgrimage around the banks of the Ganges in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand have been chosen.
These will be funded by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and supported by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), an interfaith alliance for improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), of which HH Pujya Muniji is the co-chairman.
Pujya Morari Bapu, HH Pujya Muniji and the minister for drinking water and education of Uttarakhand, Prasad Naithani, launched a clean drinking water filter on the Parmarth Niketan Ganga Ghat to provide clean drinking water to thousands of pilgrims visiting every day.
An international memorial garden or Smriti Van, in memory those who lost their lives in the Uttarakhand floods of 2013, was launched by Pujya Morari Bapu, the governor of Uttarakhand, Krishna Kant Pal and agriculture minister of Uttarakhand, Dr Harak Singh Rawat.
The memorial garden has been planned in Rambara, Kedar Valley and the first tree was planted by HH Pujya Muniji.
Finally, the inauguration of a rehabilitation and reconstruction project of a sacred Buddha temple, undertaken under the leadership of HH Pujya Muniji in collaboration with the Divine Shakti Foundation, an organisation founded by HH Pujya Muniji, in Nepal was also held on June 20 by Pujya Morari Bapu; Pujya Dr Pranav Pandyaji, vicechancellor of Dev Sanskriti Vishwa Vidyala Haridwar; and Acharya Balkrishanji, vicechancellor of Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar.