Posted in Nature and the Environment, Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji

Sri Swamiji’s Discourse: Episode 513 Srimadbhagavatam SGSPosts

This is a message from His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji! Episode 513 Srimadbhagavatam SGSPosts:

“Bhagīratha mounted his chariot and drove swiftly at the speed of wind. River Ganga rapidly flowed behind him purifying different lands as she flowed through them.”

Swamiji explains: What a meritorious deed Bhagīratha performed! He brought purity to all lands by bringing Ganga to Earth. Because of the existence of Ganga, all smaller tributaries and distributaries flow everywhere. You may wonder- do other rivers not have any speciality in them? Of course they have! Each river has its own speciality. But River Ganga surpasses all other rivers with its purity!

How should the auspicious river bath be taken in sacred rivers? It is incorrect to directly go and bathe in the river and cleanse oneself using soap. Prior to proceeding for a river bath, the person should bathe and cleanse himself. He should complete all his daily obligatory duties. He should then, with feelings of total purity and reverence, proceed to the river.

Washing clothes or utensils, bathing with soap, polluting the river with chemicals and factory wastes or dirtying the river by any other method are forbidden. Fetch the river water in a bucket and then use that water for your needs. It is incorrect to pollute the entire river in order to complete your tasks. A river is considered sacred and akin to nectar. A river flows through many mountains and herbs imbibing their medicinal properties. As it flows through varied types of rocks and gems, it absorbs their energies as well. It is natural mineral water. Drinking such water cures diseases. Crops grown with this water are nutritious.

Is it right to pollute such rivers? The Government’s efforts to clean the river are not yielding complete results due to lack of co-operation from citizens. They continue to pollute the river despite Government’s efforts. If at all polluted water needs to be let into the river, the water should be treated and then released. Sewage treatment plants should be set up for this purpose. When treated water is released into the river, the aquatic animals do not perish. By releasing polluted water, the plants perish, the animals are destroyed and the water is no longer fit for consumption. We are poisoning the water. We pollute the water and then blame the Government for not taking adequate steps. Government has been doing its best in this aspect.

When drainage waters are collected and left to dry, then Sun’s rays suck up the dirt and impurities. Germs are destroyed. When treated water is used for watering plants, the water enters into the earth. It gets purified there. Water table improves. We get purified drinking water again from earth.

We are careless in disposing garbage. We worry only about the cleanliness of our house when dirtying the streets and then shift the blame on to the Government. Shamelessly we use plastic covers and indiscriminately dispose them. Cows and buffaloes eat plastic and fall sick. Are we not sinning? When there are alternatives to plastic, why are we insistent on using plastic? Plastic rice and plastic noodles have flooded the markets. Let us now get back to the story.

When we go for a sacred river bath, we should at first bathe and cleanse ourselves at home. With devotion and reverence we should go to the river and dip thrice. That’s all. Applying soap and bathing in river increases the sins instead of destroying them. Sins of those who bathed earlier in those waters transfer to the person who dirties it.

“River Ganga flowed over the ashes of the sixty thousand sons of Sagara. With the touch of Ganga, these sons were purified and they reached heaven. From here originates the custom of taking the ashes of the deceased and offering them in River Ganga. She swallows up the sins”.

Krishnaya namah

Posted in Blessings from Appaji, Life, Nature and the Environment

Celebrating Life: Protecting the Environment

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/plastic-pollution/
A simple click on the above link would help to paint the picture of the reality that mankind faces as a result of plastic pollution.
One very important fact we can all attest to is that the Earth is in trouble because of our use of plastics. This is primarily due to how humans pollute the Earth because of the way plastics are used and more so because of the way plastics are disposed of.

On October 17, 2019 His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda issued a call for all ashramites to stop using plastic. To each His Holiness provided an eco toothbrush.
Those who are devotees and followers of His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda would surely understand that His Holiness does nothing that is against nature and He also does nothing that is against mankind. Instead it is the very opposite and His love knows no bounds. His actions are always filled with thought, love, sincerity and compassion and this is always directed at all of Creation.

His visit to Antarctica https://www.dattapeetham.org/events/2013/sri-swamiji-in-antarctica-29-dec-2013-to-07-jan-2014 is an example of this. The care given to animals wherever His Holiness goes is another indication of this. Shuka Vana which is home to over 475 species of birds, the koi pond, the Bonsai Garden which has a plant for each of the 365 days of the year, the Gau Shala and His visit to various places around the world is proof of this. One particular memory which stands out in my mind is seeing squirrels and monkeys up and down trees and running around the Ashrama. The way that they are comfortable and the way that they are at peace is evident. No questions need to be asked. The truth is they may not be able to live as peacefully as this in any other part of the country.

As humans we owe it to Mother Earth (Dharti Maa) to take care of Her because she has blessed us with the food which sustains and nourishes us and the land where we make our homes. However we should not take care of the Earth because we feel obligated to but it should be because we care and we genuinely want to.
One very real way of doing that is by reducing our use of plastics. It is doable and it is very possible. All it requires is firm conviction (your thought and belief process) and action (actually efforts and measures to reduce your use of plastics).

Here as some ways to help the environment:
1. Recycle- ( glass bottles, plastic bottles, paper, unused books)
You can do this by checking locally in your country of residence for this. Those who live in Trinidad and Tobago can refer to this previous post (https://rachaelathomasj.com/2018/01/23/celebrating-nature-recyling)
2. Reduce wastage meaning use just what is needed. Do not use what is not needed. Do not be complacent and mismanage. Such actions will not help anyone.
3. Support animal relief efforts. Provide help at animal shelters or render assistance by helping however you can – feeding, care and the upkeep of the homes of animals. Share information on protecting endangered species and lead by example. Whether it is leather back turtles, birds, fishes or snakes, help animals that you can help.
4. Switch to eco friendly products. His Holiness set a precedent at the Mysore Ashrama. No use of plastics now means eco friendly toothbrushes, compostable garbage bags and no plastic bottles. In essence it means an opportunity to now use eco friendly water bottles that are BPA free and greater use of copper water bottles. These are products you can adopt in your everyday lives. These products are available online and many businesses in Trinidad have eco friendly bags for when you purchase goods or they allow you to bring your eco-friendly bags.

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Photo Credit: Sgs Swamiji

This being said it is advisable to do some research and find out what is available where you live. Go through the internet, go through social media and see what is available for you!
Here are some other things you can also look into using:
1. Bamboo cutlery
2. Compostable plates
3. Bamboo fiber cleaning towels
4. Recyclable storage bags
5. Dissolvable due free detergent
6. Reusable bottles
7. Reusable coffee cups
8. Metal straws
9. Paper wrapping
Every step counts! Every action matters! Do what you can and make a difference! Save a life, help protect our Earth!

Posted in Nature and the Environment, Uncategorized

Celebrating Nature: Recyling

Hi all,

It is indeed a blessed occasion when I have the opportunity to share a post with you! This post is dedicated to Celebrating Nature and Recycling (mainly Trini Style) but it’s all about embracing nature, respecting it and protecting it!

We can all agree that protecting our environment and respecting it will help us to minimize the impact of climate change being faced throughout the world. Together, let’s do it!

Here are some sites worth checking out:

http://www.all-recycling-facts.com/recycling-statistics.html

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/electronic-waste-recycling-un_us_5a30f30de4b01bdd76588e5c

https://www.fastcompany.com/40510592/to-keep-plastic-out-of-the-ocean-companies-are-starting-to-add-it-to-their-products

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/

Did you know that you can help recycling plastics, glass, paper, tetra packs and lots of other things right here in Trinidad and Tobago? Just imagine if we all do our part or we all do a little, our effort can make a difference and result in less pollution and maybe less flooding and unwanted diseases! Just imagine doing a little may mean that our effort can help save a live or lives as the case may be! Let’s all do something to help!

A simple search on Google for “recycling in Trinidad and Tobago” will produce very useful information.

The iCARE Project is a project of the Environmental Management Agency (EMA). This National Project is aimed at the Collection of Recyclable Solid Waste. At present there are a minimum of 58 iCARE Collection Bins throughout the country where plastic, glass, tetrapaks and aluminium cans can be placed for recycling. To recycle these items here is what must be done:

  • Items must be collected and rinsed.
  • They must be placed in a transparent bag.

For more information on the iCARE Project please visit http://www.ema.co.tt/new/index.php/component/content/article/9-uncategorised/482-icare

For recycling paper you can contact Ace Recycling Limited. You can visit their website at http://www.acerecyclingcaribbean.com/   or you can contact them at (868) 290-2970.  At Ace Recycling they provide a wide range of services which can be found at http://www.acerecyclingcaribbean.com/services.php .

It provides a free cardboard and paper recycling service throughout Trinidad and Tobago and after calling to schedule collection waste paper or cardboard can be collected within 48 hours.

It is to be noted that glass can also be recycled at Carib Glassworks. For more information on this please visit https://www.caribglass.com/recycle

In searching through recycling here in Trinidad and Tobago I found the video that I have included below. Kudos to the students of St. Stephen’s College on this initiative!

In closing allow me to share this video from October 2017: