Volume 16 - Issue 07
July 2018
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Posted on: July 23, 2018

Green Initiatives of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust

This is a snapshot of some of the recent stellar endeavours of the Trust to preserve Mother Nature
and to ensure that Prasanthi Nilayam always remains green and serene.

Part 01

Come Guru Poornima 2018 and Prasanthi Nilayam will witness the first ever Go Green International Conference – an event of immense significance for everyone on this earth who breathes in oxygen to survive.

Even though the topic is environmental, at its core it is spiritual. It is for this reason that such a conference being held at the 'Supreme Abode of Peace' is indeed a watershed moment for humanity.

Environmentalists declare how there is no way the planet can become green unless we plant more trees, reduce our consumption and share our resources.

25 years ago Bhagawan Himself said, “Because there is deforestation to an alarming extent, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has considerably increased. Therefore, the remedy for this situation is intensive afforestation - growing trees everywhere and protecting the existing ones without destroying them for other purposes.” (January 21, 1993)

This is indeed what many green conscious individuals and groups have been working towards. The International Sai Organisation too has done yeoman social work in this regard with their “Save the Planet” initiative launched in October 2013. In fact, the conference on July 25-26, 2018 will be a defining moment for everyone who has been enthusiastically involved in these projects to come together, collate, collaborate and take this work to newer heights.

 
  Graphic Courtesy: Sathya Sai Young Adults

When we study Bhagawan’s teachings deeply to decipher what can we do to ‘go green’, one of the thought processes that emerges is this:

If we plant more sensitivity in every heart,
then our trees effortlessly will be saved.

If we plant more sharing in everyone's mind,
then our waters effortlessly will be safeguarded.

If we plant more compassion in every individual,
then our surroundings effortlessly will be conserved.

The amount of time, interest, effort and energy that is being expended today to preserve say the flow of River Ganga, if that is spent to preserve the flow of goodness in every heart, then not just River Ganga, the entire green eco-system of its flora and fauna can be preserved for generations.

Only when we nurture our good nature, can Nature be nurtured. This indeed is the evergreen way.

Bhagawan emphasised this unequivocally when He said more than half a century ago:

“Foster the tiny seed of Love that clings to ‘me’ and ‘mine,’ let it sprout into Love for the group around you, and grow into Love for all mankind, and spread out its branches over animals, birds and those that creep and crawl.

Let the Love enfold all things and beings in all the worlds. Proceed from less Love to more Love, narrow Love to expanded Love.” (July 23, 1975)

Similarly in another message, ten years later, on July 11, 1985, Bhagawan said:

“It is a pity that, instead of paying attention to God, Nature, and man, in that order, men today are concerned most with themselves, then with Nature and finally, much less with God. From birth to death, from dawn till night, man pursues fleeting pleasures by the exploitation, the despoiling, the desecration of Nature, ignoring the truth that it is the property of God, the Creator, and any injury caused to it is a sacrilege, which merits dire punishment.”

In the eighties itself Bhagawan used to emphasise a lot on ‘Ceiling on Desires’ and exhort devotees to exercise restraint in their wants which would not only save the limited resources of the planet but also protect people from untold miseries.

Undoubtedly, spiritualising our lives is the surest, best and lasting solution to not only protect the earth’s pristinity but also solve every problem of this century.

Nevertheless, even as we strive for that lofty goal, we can of course utilise the buddhi, the intelligence gifted by God, to come up with innovative solutions to repair the damage already done. We can take measures to see that for the coming generations we leave a planet where our children and grandchildren do not fall sick every once in a while, and in fact learn to happily rejoice in the glory of the Lord every time they see a flower bloom, a fruit ripen or hear a bird croon.

It is typical of Swami to first do before asking others to follow the same. Indeed if we look at His life, even before He asked people to practice ‘ceiling on desires’ Swami was leading a life which was as minimalistic as it can be.

In the 60s, in His abode in Brindavan, He was eating on leaves and never allowed to even buy steel plates for long. In those days it used to be chill especially in the mornings in Bengaluru, but His house had no carpets on the floor and He never agreed for it even when someone was willing to donate it.

From 1950 till 1993, He lived in the Prasanthi Nilayam mandir in a room that was probably 8 feet in length and width, with no furniture except a bed and a table. Anyone who has seen Swami at close quarters can go on adding to this list.

Swami not only practiced the art of regulated living but also ensured that this virtue percolated into each of the institutions He set up. Every rupee spent had to be done as judiciously as it can be and in a manner that sets an ideal.

Today all these edifices established by Bhagawan, through the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, are symbols of His unending love and compassion for humanity, and continue to be lighthouses of inspiration. Even as they help every person’s spiritual evolution, they lead the way when it comes to green revolution too.

In the past decade, the Trust has taken several trailblazing initiatives to preserve Mother Nature. Each of these stories is eye-opening and filled with interesting ideas that the world can use. We present some of them in the subsequent parts of this article.

 

Go to Part 2 | Go to Part 3

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