Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Reverence for Nature and Youth…

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The rains have begun. And so has the month of Asadh (Hindu month for July). The nature will now bloom with all its greenery and the atmosphere will be cool but rainy.

Today on the 12th of July, Swadhyay Parivaar celebrates this day as Vrushmandir (Tree Temple) Day and Madhav Vrund Day. The Great Human and the propounder of the thought of Human Dignity, Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale, the founder of the Swadhyay Parivaar, has given the above experiments to the world to learn and understand the importance of nature in one’s own life as well as social life.

I need not tell my reader the importance of nature conservation. The newspapers, the social activists, the NGO’s are trying to do so in their own way. But the motive behind the conservation is nothing but utilitarian. There might be nothing wrong in it, but it does not motivate the society to participate. It has it’s own limitations.

Many objectify nature. It is one of the worst attitudes mankind can ever have. Nature is not an object that can be degraded. We need to remove this from our minds and thoughts. But then how do we look towards nature.

This is where Pandurang Shashtriji’s thoughts, which are based on the Vedic way of life, help us. He says that we need to look towards nature with devotion. As God resides in everything, God resides in nature too. We need to identify and develop an attitude. The way we look after God and take care of him, we need to do the same for nature.

And with this understanding which He inculcated in common people living in villages , He came up with the experiment of Vrukshamandir – the Temple of Trees. People from 20 villages gather and plant trees one barren land with an understanding of devotion. These trees, or saplings rather, which they plant are not only plants but God Himself so they take care of these saplings and today we see the grand trees taking their place.

This all may sound like a miracle but it is not. One needs to see it to believe it. And it has taken long years for this to take a form. Shashtriji waited for the common man to understand the thought and imbibe it in their life. And later to give some action to this thought he established Vrukshmandirs. Today there are 27 such Vrukshmandirs in states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana.

My reader, by now, you must have a question regarding reverence for the youth and its significance today. Well, Pandurang Shashtriji always says “I confide in the triad of God , Shruti (Vedas) and the Youth”. In the times of turmoil and unrest, of which youth is a part and his energy is being used for destructive abilities, Shashtriji, has channelised this energy into constructive activities. He has given them the platform to air their views, discuss about them and come to conclusions based on logical reasoning and Vedic way of life.

The platform, He has called it Yuva Kendra (formerly known as Divine Brain Trust), turns 50 this year. The youth between the age group of 16 to 30 have been meeting regularly every week to discuss various values and characters as well as debate upon topics which help mould their lives. They perform street plays during Janmashatami and conduct elocution competitions during Geeta Jayanti. They also have an annual sports day and 4 yearly sports conclave called “Charam Samkridan”. This has led to drawing out the creative energies amongst the youth and inculcated the value of devotion towards parents, teachers, society and above all God.

This transformation taking place around the world is not visible but has a great effect in personal and family lives. And in all this, their guiding force during the last two decades, has been none other than Shashtriji’s daughter, Jayshree – Athavale Talwalkar, better known as Didi Talwalkar. The pains She has taken to nurture these youth is unparallel in history and to celebrate Her efforts, the Parivaar celebrates Her birthday, that is on 12th July, as Yuva Din.

The youth as envisioned by the Vedas: युवा स्यात्साधुयुवाऽध्यायकः।
O Human! Be youthful; be a well mannered youth; be studious.
आशिष्ठो दृढिष्ठो बलिष्ठः।
Optimistic, Determined and strong.
तस्येयं पृथिवी सर्वा वित्तस्य पूर्णा स्यात्।
O Yearnful Youth! This Earth is filled with wealth and it is all yours…
स एको मानुषःआनन्दः। …
And all this in youth is bliss of Being Human…

We get to see an effort on the part of the youth in moving towards this goal.

On this day, I can only offer my Pranaams to both Shashtriji and His daughter and take pride in being moulded by Her.

Wishing you all a very Happy Vrukshmandir Din and Yuva Din.

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Author:

Am a teacher by profession. A student of History and international politics. Believe that Bhakti (Devotion) and Humanism can only save Humanity. Revere all creation. My thoughts are influenced by His Holiness Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale

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