The mankind celebrating environment day is the way of expressing gratefulness towards the environment. Today, the importance of the environment need not be told or explained as Mankind understands its mistakes and is trying to correct them. The way we have tried to disturb the ecological balance has brought us to the brink of self destruction, but we have woken up from our slumber. Better late than never.
Let us learn to not only preserve the environment but also revere it. It’s the Vedic way to revere everything animate or inanimate as we see God in everything. God in Bhagwad Geeta Chapter 11 has called the Sacred Fig as one of its divine forms. “अश्वत्थ सर्व वृक्षाणां”.
We will get to see the reverence in many of the ways of Vedic culture. From worshipping a broom to worshipping different forms of animals as in cow and others. Vedic outlook is not only utilitarian, it is of reverence. At the same time reverence also does not mean that it can only be worshipped and not used. It simply means be grateful towards the thing one uses.
So on this Environment Day, let us learn to live in harmony with nature.
Let us learn to not only utilise nature for our own development but also let it develop with our help.
Let us learn the Vedic way of reverence for Nature and imbibe it in our lives to live and enjoy the life to the fullest.
Today on the occasion of Ganga Dusshara, I extend my wishes to you and everyone at home.
Let Maa Ganga delivery us from all our sins and so let us understand this utsav in this context.
GANGA DUSSHARA means the one who takes away our 10 sins (Duss + Hara) from our lives.
These 10 sins are ‘Kaayik’, ‘Vachik’ and ‘Mansik’ (physical, speech (thoughts) and pshycological).
अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।
परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।
1. To take away even if not offered ie to steal
2. To commit violence for no reason
3. To have adulterous connections
These are the sins committed by the body ie physical self.
पारूष्यमनृतं चैन पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वतः।
असंबद्धप्रलापश्र्व वाङ्मयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम्।।
4. To speak arrogantly,
5. To lie (To spread falsehood)
6. To backbite about others
7. To talk without any reason and what make no sense ie senseless talk
The above mentioned 4 sins are committed through tongue (thoughts)
वितथाभिनिवेशश्र्व मानसं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।
8. To think about snatching others wealth
9. To think that bad happen to others
10. To wrongly insist / persist
These are the 3, and the last of 10, sins committed in our minds
एतानि दश पापानि हर त्वमथ जाह्नवी।
दशपापहरा यस्मात्तस्माद् दशहरा स्मृता।।
O Ganga ! you are the one who will deliver me from the above said 10 sins and so I remember you (bow down to you) on the Dusshara day as “Duspaaphara”.
While writing the meanings, and you my readers, while reading the meanings must have realised that we do commit some or the other sin/s from the above 10 everyday. These first 3 Shlokas bring inferiority complex in us while reading them, but the last ie 4th shloka installs the confidence that Maa Ganga will deliver us from them.
And for this, Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji suggests thus :
“Human has to bathe / cleanse his body, his thoughts and his mind daily. The body has to be cleansed with water, the thought with ‘Swadhyay – self introspection’ and the mind with ‘Bhakti – devotion’. If we dip in Ganga with this understanding, then Maa Ganga will surely deliver us from our sins”
– Sanskruti Pujan (Utsav Vibhag), based on discourses given by Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale.
Lastly, A humble pray to Maa Ganga to keep blessing all of us in the way She has always.
Pray to God that may India receive the rainfall it needs.
Pray to God that let the world feels it oneness with its Creator
And once again Pray to deliver us from our above said 10 sins.
Maybe the only poet to write National Anthems of two countries, India as well as Bangladesh.
Gurudev had been at the foremost in the struggle for independence in his own way. He started a school of education in Kolkatta, where students learnt in natural surroundings. It was not a typical school, but a school where a student could explore his / her artistic abilities. He wanted to prepare the generation which would guide India after Her independence.
He also gave up his title of “Sir”, conferred upon him by the British King at that time, to protest against the brutal massacre of Indians at Jallianwala Baug.
A very humble poet, who has written many a poem, a few which I share here as my “namaskaars” to this great soul. Am quoting His poem which his apt for the situation today.
Many of you might have felt that why begin with wishes for May Day first and Maharashtra Day the last! Cause that answer lies in its history.
My kid today morning asked me, “Pappa what is the importance of this day? Why is it celebrated as international workers day and Maharashtra day?”
An unexpected question from a 7 year old made me think. I did explain to him about the socialist revolution and their fight for the cause of workers. A lot of workers blood was shed while fighting for their rights. How 1 May was chosen to be International Workers’ Day to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. In that year beginning on 1 May, there was a general strike for the eight hour work day. On 4 May, the police acted to disperse a public assembly in support of the strike when an unidentified person threw a bomb. The police responded by firing on the workers. The event lead to the death of eight and injury of sixty police officers as well as an unknown number of civilian killed or wounded. Hundreds of labour leaders and sympathizers were later rounded-up and four were executed by hanging, after a trial that was seen as a miscarriage of justice.
And also how India after independence was divided into linguistic states. How Maharashtra and Gujarat were born! How there was bloodshed for the same! Some politicians just for their own selfish motives dividing India on basis of language. India after being divided on basis of caste, class, kingdoms (small and large), religion; now was Her turn to be divided on basis of language. And as I write today, do not know how many times more will She be divided and on what basis and in which context…
While explaining all this I was lead to think that, is this the only reason to celebrate / commemorate 1st May? Or is there some other reason too? Can our human history be so narrow-minded? So took to the internet to find my answers. And I was proved right. History is always broad minded, not like humans who write it.
Sharing a few excerpts of what I found on the internet…
“The earliest May Day celebrations appeared with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held on April 27 during the Roman Republic era, and with theWalpurgis Nightcelebrations of theGermanic countries.
The day was a traditional summer holiday in many Europeanpagan cultures.
While February 1 was the first day ofspring, May 1 was the first day ofsummer; hence, thesummer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) wasMidsummer.
As Europe becameChristianised, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and May Day changed into a popular secular celebration.
A significant celebration of May Day occurs in Germany where it is one of several days on whichSt. Walburga, credited with bringing Christianity to Germany, is celebrated.
The secular versions of May Day, observed in Europe and North America, may be best known for their traditions of dancing around themaypoleand crowning the Queen of May.
Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours’ doorsteps”.
(Source – Wikipedia).
I hope this clarifies your question and is a justification for wishing May Day first and Maharashtra Day last.
Humans have been naturalists from the very beginning. The last few hundred years have made them more aggressive towards nature and environment. On this very day, let us all pledge to take care of our environment and love the nature.Let’s save Mother Earth not out of necessity. She is our mother and takes care of Her Children without any expectations. Let us coexist and thrive to achieve what the Creator has made us for.
The day, divine Ganges was brought down upon the Earth. Indians will always be indebted to Bhagirath for this marvel. Coming down from the glacier, through the Gomukh is an engineering marvel itself. Let’s have a look at it. After the pictures have shared a poem written by Vijayalakshmi Harish explaining the descent of the Ganges…
The Arrival of the Ganges.
over a snow-covered mountain top in heaven some secret river lies stirring not earthwards this river of the Gods
and then a prince disturbs her peaceful ferocity with determined prayer to cleanse the sins of his forefathers
look she trembles with wounded pride! not a mere mortal river is she a Goddess, her anger awakened but she must proceed
the Gods have asked her so she shall go but she makes her displeasure known threatening to swallow all of existence she follows
the earth shakes it cannot hold her weight her power her strength her majestic gait life-giver, she is now a messenger of death
in her anger she is beautiful, this world cannot sustain her only he who wields the trident can reign in her fall
and then the Mahadev traps her even as she falls in a mighty torrent thinking she will sweep him to the nether regions
in his locks she is lost struggling, she resembles the naga around his neck she spits like a cobra
this immortal river stays tangled in his locks for many a year till, defeated and frustrated she begs forgiveness
and then with his blessings she trickles down still furious in pace but in heart at peace
the mother of all rivers- this river of rebirth her sound like thunder her hair like streaks of lightning
celestial beings witness the skies are lit the parched earth satiated Ganga has descended
A day when Bhagwaan Rishabhdev broke His year long fast by drinking sugarcane juice through his cupped hands (Varshi Tap Paarna)…
A day when Maa Ganga descended on Mother Earth…
A day when Bhagwaan Vyas started dictating Mahabharat to Bhagwaan Ganesha…
A day when farmers in India start the farming work for the monsoon season by decorating their cattle and worshipping their fields (Bhoomi Pujan)…
At the beginning, I mentioned that its is one of the 3 and half mahurats, auspicious time to begin anything new. Akshay Tritaya alongwith Dusshara, Gudhi Padwa and Kartik Poornima (half day) are considered as the most auspicious days to begin a new venture. Akshay Tritiya day falls on the 3rd day of the bright half (shukla paksha) of Vaishakha of the lunar month. (It falls in later half of April or first half of may according to western calendar). The whole day is a day to acquire wisdom, think and begin anew.
“Akshay’ means one which never diminishes. Tritiya means the third day. So it is believed that anything that we acquire or begin on this day, will never be diminished.
Bhagwaan Rishabhdev, the first Tirthankar of the Jains, broke his fast on this day. A year long fast! I always wondered how they could do it. But this is “Tap”, ( the readiness to bear both pain and happiness, not to be delighted in one’s happiness and not to be bogged down in distress). Also, they (24 Tirthankara’s) in their pursuit of finding the truth about oneself, sometimes got lost in themselves and forgot to partake food. The fire within, for this pursuit was so hot that it engulfed all other worldly desires. Today many a people emulate them. My namaskaars to all of them, first. At the same time, my question is that are we in the same pursuit? With same intensity to find the truth? I do not doubt the intentions of anyone, but at the same time, I want to gently remind my readers at least, the facts about our ancestors, the way they thought and lived.
Mother Ganga descending upon the earth is one of the most beautiful glacial phenomenon, an human can envisage and see happening in his own lifetime. Bhagirath, the great King, was able to do this. It’s an engineering marvel. Even today, people go upto ‘Gomukh’, the caves from where Ganga appears, but the exact place of Her beginning is still unknown. The flow of Ganga is continuous and divine. The divinity within Her waters is something which will never be diminished “Akshay”.
Mahabharat, the great epic, was started to be written today. It has covered all relations and all topics under the Sun. There is an episode before the Mahabharata was started to be written. When Bhagwaan Vyas asked Ganesha, the God of wisdom, to write his dictation, Ganesha said that it would be possible only on one condition that Vyas would not stop once he starts dictating. Bhagwaan Vyas readily agreed and put forth his condition that Ganesha will understand what is being told and then write it down. And so it is said that Vyas would speak a few sentences which were difficult to interpret for Ganesha and would take a break. The truthulness behind the episode is difficult to be adjudged, but this conveys to us the greatness of Bhagwaan Vyas. The Mahabharat in it’s true sense is a book of undiminished “akshay” wisdom.
The farmers all over India consider this day as an auspicious day to begin their farming work. With monsoons just a few weeks away, the tilling of the soil has to be done. They worship the soil as well as the cattle which is going to be useful for his work. It is an expression of gratefulness towards both of them, due to whom the humans get food. We, Indias have always seen God everywhere. For us, He is omnipresent. So we bow down to the soil too. With all the pain that She (Mother Earth) will bear, She will return good fruits to Her children in form of crops. And that is a undiminished “akshay” blessing to Humanity as a whole.
On this most auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya, I wish all my readers a very Happy Akshay Tritiya.
May Bhagwaan Rishabhdev bless us with understanding about penance and help us move away from the fruits of our action.
May the ever flowing Ganga cleanse our bodies and minds and fill them with divine thoughts.
May Bhagwan Vyas and Ganeshji bless everyone with undiminishing wisdom.
May Goddess Annapurna bless every field with lots of crops and every kitchen with unlimited, but delicious meals.
She will bloom and smile and rejoice,To us She will share her fruits and joys!…
Am sharing the poem which I wrote last year on the same day as we earthlings celebrate Earth Day.
The context today has completely changed. Today we are fighting the most dreaded virus, Corono, collectively called Covid-19. Our Mother Earth is blooming and purifying herself as Her favourite son, Human, has stopped all his activities which were polluting Her.
Am reading reports that the water of the Ganges which we have polluted during the last many years of industrialisation and development, has been cleared and people living on her banks are just filling up their pots with pure water of the Ganges.
The flora and fauna around my house is blooming too. From a last few days we are observing a crow couple building their nest and preparing themselves for the upcoming raining season. It’s a treat to watch them work so hard to build their nest. It made me realise that every animal does work for it’s well being and tries to live in harmony with nature.
Hope we Humans realise our mistakes and try to correct them!
Hope we Humans try to learn to live in Harmony with Nature!
Hope we Humans make this Earth a better place to live in!
The director of Tom and Jerry series and Popeye, the sailor man, Gene Deitch, passed away yesterday.my generation will always be grateful to him and his work, which made us smile, laugh and roll on the floor watching his work.
Vashi – Navi Mumbai and Thane creeks are now flooded with them. Just sharing a few pics…
Initiate our souls into the light Flamingo yes your hue is burning bright Your colors lighting up the night We migrate out of darkness within you
Enlighten us to heal our weary hearts To be with love and never to depart Appreciating brand new starts Your beauty resonates us deep within
We want nothing more than with you to be free To fly away from stress along with thee Our wings could only hope to grow As beautiful as yours unfold You are the breath of freshened air Our spirits call to breathe repair
In my memory of you I see poise Noticing your stance without a noise Perfectly still you are seen Tranquil in life’s pond so serene
As we pass through to become in ourselves Teach us how to become nothing else Than the magnetic beautiful creatures Spirit designed with every feature
We are a gift to the flowing Always coming always going There never seems to be enough Time in the universe thereof To take a moment to enjoy And therefore we destroy
This is an ode to your sweet nature A song of love and light not danger A memory we are creating A vibrant show of figure skating
In the circle of acceptance now Our wings are rising up to bow Take in the scenery with deepened breath Never afraid of shaking hands with death
For we are peaceful and at rest Knowing we always do our best A true beginning has no end Drinking from life as we befriend The journey of our soul path In a spiritual rose bath
My Bhabhi shared these pics and I couldnt stop myself from sharing with you all… A poem on Tulips at the end to lift up our mood…
Tulip Gradens of Srinagar…
You didn’t care much for Easter or for flowers for that matter yet I went to the store and bought a bouquet of pink and yellow tulips.
Now here I stand in the midday sun my shaking fingers clutching the long green stems, as a warm, slow tear drips off my chin. I kneel down and set the flowers down next to the temporary sign that holds your name, wondering again why I even bothered.
I grab a handful of the dirt that now hugs your body and cringe at the thought of you laying just feet below me. I can’t help but wish that you were here.