CARE FOR EARTH
"To be with trees and plants is beautiful because they go on growing, they become an impetus, an inspiration, and the whole energy is flowing upwards with the growth. You cannot remain low, you have to go high. If you are alert, then farming can turn you on as no drug can ever do. Just the smell of the wet earth, the smell of the growing plants, the joy of the birds and the sun - all that becomes a milieu for spiritual growth. To be close to nature is to be close to god." OSHO
Our Wasteful Deeds
By Anisha Singhal
Filling up the ocean,
And gushing through the seas,
The purest of all forms,
water it will be.
Life is arriving, surviving,
thriving on this treat.
Tasteless, but most delicious,when it is in need.
But from our dirty deeds,
the freshness has begun to recede,
from the frigid ice caps,
to the salty seas.
Go up high,
and melting ice.
It is quite clear,
the end is near,
Global Warming is the final frontier.
Stop and take a step back.
Look at all the important elements we lack.
Are we humans unpersuadable?
Wasting plastic that’s undegradable.
The gruesome filth our rivers hold,
Their murky waters green and cold.
Wasted droplets can make an ocean,
Close that tap, for less commotion.
Fellow humans, don’t be a disgrace,
Our carbon footprint doesn’t erase.
Will we leave the next generation a place,
like we know it to this day?
You and I,
one step at a time,
can help the world far and wide,
because saving water,
is saving lives.
Value of Trees
By Swami Prem Parivartan
Today our greatest need is to cover the earth with greenery. Trees are world’s greatest carbon banks and producers of oxygen. They collect carbon dioxide from our atmosphere,lock , convert, and deposit it in the form of wood, bark, roots and leaf.
While building up their carbon capital trees give us life-sustaining oxygen, water, food security, and various services, as if, as an interest on the carbon deposit.
One half of trees’ dry weight is carbon. One ton of wood locks about 1.63 tons of carbon dioxide and generates about 1.19 tons of oxygen and host of services.
A human being needs about twice as much oxygen as the weight of the food he consumes in a day. Due to this unique relationship, human metabolism is highly dependent on trees, the carbon banks, breathing polluted, oxygen depleted / deficient air is the main cause of nearly 90 % of our heart, lung, cancer and other diseases.
Valuation of Tree’s contributions thoughnot liquid cash, USD 162. 000 is a trees contribution over a 50 years’ span in the USA just for its four services, viz. oxygen production, mopping air pollution, rejoicing water and controlling soil erosion. It works out roughly to USD 3000 or about INR 120, 000 per year, per tree. This amount can be professionally worked out for different tree species and locations in India.
To start with, using just –third prices for Indian conditions we can conservatively say that an average living tree contributes vital services worth more than INR 40,000 per year for our survival in India. However, if there is intrinsic spiritual, cultural and rejuvenation values, its airconditioning, temperature moderating, and soil building services are added, this amount would be much higher.
All the costs of artificially generating the utilities and services, and also the total value of subsidies given by the government to these industries are counted towards the GDP.
Clearly, growing trees and protecting them from being axed for producing vital services worth more than INR 40,000 per perennial tree, every year, for peoples’ vital needs of air, water, food, health, wellness and better life, is a huge contribution to the ‘economic growth’ of the country that cannot be overlooked.
Meditations under the Peepal Tree
By Swami Prem Parivartan
My relationship with the Peepal Tree is as old as my relationship with Osho. Though I started planting trees at the age of ten in Pune, I realized the spiritual importance of my act only after knowing my Master. Osho taught me the meditations with Vanaspati chetana. His presence in the serene and green environs of Pune Ashram taught me the first lessons of how to connect with the outer environment apart from your inner environment. From Osho I gathered how to work on the inner and outer environment.
One of the most powerful tools of my meditative journey has been the Peepal Tree. I have seen it like my Master in the absence of the physical presence of Osho. For me it has been my spiritual guide in my journey.
I can only share some of the interesting things about this beautiful tree. In Hindu religion, Peepal tree has a lot of reverence. People worship the tree and perform a puja. During the Vedic period, the wood obtained by cutting Peepal tree was used to produce fire. In the ancient Puranas, an incident has been described in which the demons defeated the deities and Lord Vishnu hid in the Peepal tree. Since, the Lord resided in the tree for some time; the tree holds great importance for people. Thus, people began worshipping the tree, considering it to be a means of offering prayers to Lord Vishnu.
There are a few legends, which suggest that Lord Vishnu was born under the peepal tree. There are a couple of stories, which say that the tree is home to the trinity of Gods, the root being Brahma, the trunk is Vishnu and leaves represent Lord Shiva. Another popular belief is that Lord Krishna died under the Peepal tree.
Upanishads have also made a mention about the Peepal tree. To clearly define the difference between the body and soul, the fruit of peepal is used as a classic example. According to the Skanda purana, a person who does not have a son should consider the peepal tree as his own child. It says that the family will prosper and have a good name, till the peepal tree survives. Cutting a peepal tree is regarded as a big sin, which is almost equivalent to murdering a Brahmin. Skanda Puranas say that a person who cuts the tree surely goes to hell.
It has a large crown of leaves with the wonderful wide spreading branches. It can grow in any type of soil. It is a native tree which gives shelter to lots of birds, insects and reptiles too. May be due to its importance in ecosystem, its also known as Vanaspati (Lord of Forest).
Buddhists regard Peepal tree as the personification of Buddha. According to the Buddha 'He who worships the Peepal will receive the same reward as if he worshiped me in person'. Because Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment under this tree, it is often referred to as the Bodhi tree or the ‘Tree of Enlightenment’. Thus Peepal tree has its own symbolic meaning of Enlightenment and Peace. It is considered highly sacred, as people are of the belief that our trinity.. Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh & many other Gods used to reside underneath the tree.
The tree is also closely linked to Lord Krishna as in the Bhagavad Gita, He says,"Among trees, I am the Ashvattha." According to the Skanda Purana, if one does not have a son, the Peepal should be regarded as one. And as long as the tree lives, the family name will continue. People tie threads of white, red and yellow silk around it to pray for progeny and rewarding parenthood.
It is a well known fact that plants utilise carbon dioxide for photo-synthesis & release oxygen during day time. But Peepal can also do a modified form of photosynthesis called as Crassulacean Acid Metabolism. Though they may not release large amount of oxygen by this process but they are capable of doing photosynthesis during night. Besides this research work conducted on several plants revealed that the Peepal releases large quantities of Isoprene a volatile organic compound necessary for preventing depletion of ozone layer concluding that these trees play an important role in preserving ozone layer.
Being such a wonderful and useful tree, it is obvious that our mythology does not allow to hurt the tree in anyway. To cut down a Peepal is considered a sin equivalent to killing a Brahmin, one of the five deadly sins (Pancha-pataka). According to the Skanda Purana, a person goes to hell for doing so!
Truly Peepal is one of the Nature’s valuable gifts. The highly beneficial tree is easily propagated through the seeds. It benefits not only humans but birds and insects too in multiple ways. Hope this heart-leaved sacred tree resides in your heart and you have the heart to plant one!
What is a Tsunami
A tsunami also called a tsunami wave train, at one time incorrectly referred to as a tidal wave, is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, usually an ocean, though it can occur in large lakes. Tsunamis are a frequent occurrence in Japan; approximately 195 events have been recorded. Owing to the immense volumes of water and the high energy involved, tsunamis can devastate coastal regions.
Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions (including detonations of underwater nuclear devices), landslides and other mass movements, meteorite ocean impacts or similar impact events, and other disturbances above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami.
The Greek historian Thucydides was the first to relate tsunami to submarine earthquakes, but the understanding of a tsunami's nature remained slim until the 20th century and is the subject of ongoing research. Many early geological, geographical, and oceanographic texts refer to tsunamis as "seismic sea waves."
Some meteorological conditions, such as deep depressions that cause tropical cyclones, can generate a storm surge, called a meteotsunami, which can raise tides several metres above normal levels. The displacement comes from low atmospheric pressure within the centre of the depression. As these storm surges reach shore, they may resemble (though are not) tsunamis, inundating vast areas of land.
Life can become a splendour if we learn to flow with nature
Way back in the 1980s, Osho predicted a series of natural calamities to hit the world in the coming decades. And we have experienced them to a large extent.
Some of the major natural calamities include:
The 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Death toll 316,000
The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Death toll 230,210
The 2008 Cyclone Nargis: Death toll 138,000+
The 2008 Sichuan earthquake: Death toll 68,712
The 2010 Russian heat wave: Death toll 56,000
The 2003 European Heat Wave: Death toll 40,000
The 1998 Yangtze River Floods left 14 million people homeless.
Are we headed for more? We do shudder to think. What do we do?
Osho says that all the civilizations of the past, for example Atlantis, a vast continent that was drowned in the Atlantic Ocean. It was thought of as mythology, but recent researchers have proved that still there are remnants five miles deep under the water, of great cities. And the same happened with another continent, smaller than Atlantis -- Lemuria. That too was drowned in the ocean. It seems to the superficial observer that it must have been a natural calamity -- perhaps a great earthquake, a movement of the earth, an entering of the ocean into those great cities, volcanoes -- but something natural must have happened as a calamity. But Osho observes, those natural calamities were also caused by humans to a certain extent.
Man has disturbed the whole ecology of the earth. Man is not in harmony with nature. Osho says, “life is interwoven in a thousand and one ways.... Because many trees have disappeared, so much carbon dioxide has gathered in the atmosphere, that it has raised the temperature on the whole earth by four degrees. To you it may seem insignificant -- four degrees -- but it is not insignificant. By the end of this century, this temperature will be enough to melt so much ice that every ocean will rise four feet higher. One degree of temperature more means the ocean rises one foot higher. So the cities which are on the coast of the oceans -- and all the great cities are there -- will be flooded with water.
The Golden Future, Chapter-30
The first, basic change can happen only when we start dropping this conflict with existence. In accepting nature outside and inside. In that acceptance is transformation. That very acceptance is the transformation. One relaxes immediately, there is no need to be tense. One starts flowing with nature. Life can become a splendour if we learn to flow with nature.
Osho says, “The whole existence is nothing but a great brotherhood. We are all interdependent. Nobody is independent, nobody is dependent; it is an organic unity. Even if a pebble is missing in the world, the world will not be the same. There is no hierarchy, it is not that something is higher and something is lower; there is immense equality. In fact existence is very communistic: it exists in equality, it exists in brotherhood. And man has destroyed that harmony; he has destroyed the whole ecosystem of existence. Man has poisoned ecology because of a mad desire to be at the top, the stupid longing to conquer nature. It has been the greatest calamity. We are now on the verge of committing a universal suicide. To me, to be religious means to fall in harmony with all that is. You are neither lower nor higher. Trees are brothers, rocks are brothers, birds and animals are brothers. I love Saint Francis because he used to call his donkey 'brother'. He would always address the donkey as 'brother' and trees were 'sisters'. That should be the approach of a religious person. Start feeling a kind of brotherhood towards all that is; let that be your meditation and your prayer.
Turn On, Tune In and Drop the Lot, Chapter-8
The flapping of a single butterfly's wing today produces a tiny change in the state of the atmosphere (the Butterfly effect). Meditative energy is much stronger than a butterfly. Now is the time for creating a positive and powerful wave of Meditative Energy around the world to restore the balance and harmony with nature.
Life is momentary. We have to learn to live, feel and enjoy the moment.
The Story of Avani
Avani is a non profit society, located at a small village called Tripuradevi, in the Pithoragarh district of Kumaon, Uttaranchal. Avani began its journey in December 1996, as the Kumaon chapter of The Social Work and Research Centre, Tilonia, Rajasthan.
Ma RashmiBharti is the Secretary of Avani.
Avani aims to focus on the creation of livelihood opportunities in the villages of Kumaon Himalayas through:promotion and preservation of traditional craft, development and dissemination of appropriate technology.
Avani is working with the preservation and revival of traditional craft alongwith contemporary inputs to provide a larger market base for the artisans. Avani work with traditional artisans and also train unskilled people to become spinners, weavers and natural dyers.
The emphasis is on the creation of a village based enterprise that would be self sustainable and managed by the community.
Avani also makes sure that the production process should not contaminate the soil and water of this fragile hill ecology.
Avanihas also developed machines that operate on solar power like spinning wheels, calendering machine etc. They manufacture solar water heaters in their village centre. The preheating of water for natural dyeing is done in the solar heater and only the last few degrees is heated on the gas. This has led to reduction in use of gas or wood for heating of water.
The emphasis is to establish a rural industry that would sustain the rural artisans and at the same time slow the process of outmigration of some of the hill people to the plains in search of livelihoods.
This work has helped revive the skill of the weavers and to help them to establish a sustainable livelihood base. This has also meant introduction of new raw materials like silk and imparting the necessary training for more efficient production.
Avani has worked extensively with the dissemination of Solar Photovoltaics for domestic lighting in remote rural households. They have solar electrified more than 1200 remote rural households until now.
They have trained and continue to train local youth in the repair and maintenance of these systems. All the installed systems are maintained by a group of solar technicians trained at the Avanicentre.
Developing differential financial systems to make solar a viable source of energy for all sections of the society. The craft program has also ensured an enhancement in income of very poor families thereby allowing them to access solar technology. This program has now reached all sections of the society.
Avani established a mechanical workshop at Tripuradevi and trained local youth to manufacture solar thermal devices for heating, such as solar water heaters.
They have worked with the community to create of village level financial and technical management systems. The users of solar lights have collected about Rs 25 lakhs of their own for replacement of batteries and panels. This money is also being used to provide soft loans to very poor families to enable them to buy solar lights as well. This has led to an integration of the community across economic and caste divides.
The storage and use of roof runoff rainwater for domestic purposes is being promoted in the villages. The Avanicentre collects 2,70,000litres of roof run off rainwater. This water is used for drinking, natural dyeing, washing of wool and other products, irrigation and other daily needs of the training centre.
They have also built five rainwater tanks in local schools for provision of drinking water.
AvaniPromotes organic farming methods for cultivation of vegetables in greenhouses and vermicomposting.
Imparting environment education to school and college students through practical training like drinking water testing and cleaning of natural springs, making smokeless chulhas, low cost solar cookers etc.
Avani can be contacted at
MaRashmiBharti / Mr. Rajnish Pant
P.O Tripuradevi, Via. Berinag,
Kumaon. Distt: Pithoragarh,
Uttaranchal- 262 531
Tel: +91-5964-244943, +91-9412128222
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]
Lukman: The Man with whom Plants revealed their secrets
Feeling is the language, the forgotten language. If you understand feeling, you understand the whole.
lt is said of Lukman, one of the wisest men ever born -- he is the founder of Unani medicine - it is said about Lukman that he would go to plants, to bushes, trees, sit there, feel them, and ask them, "What use can you be put to? What disease can you be helpful in?" And it is said that he discovered millions of herbs, just by feeling them. The herb would say, "It will be good if you use me in tuberculosis; I can help."
This looks like a myth, a fiction, but scientists have been at a loss: if this is a fiction, then how did Lukman come to know? Because whatsoever he knew has been proved by all scientific experiment to be right. And no laboratories existed then, like they exist today; not such refined instruments, not at all! If this is a fiction, then a greater problem arises: How did he come to know? And not one or two or a hundred herbs - millions! If he had been experimenting with crude implements then it would have taken at least ten to twenty thousand years for him to discover all that. That seems to be more fictitious. The first fiction seems to be nearer reality - that he asked.
And there is the same story in India also. Ayurveda, the Indian medicine, is based on the same secret. Those secrets were revealed by the plants themselves. But then a language is needed, a language which is universal and not local to humanity. Feeling is that language. Greek or Arabic or Sanskrit won't do. No language originating in the mind is divine language. No, the divine language originated in the heart. Feeling is the language.
If you start really feeling, and your heart starts really throbbing with feeling, you can ask a tree, and a tree is always ready to reveal its secret. You can ask a bird, and the bird is ready to reveal its secret. You can ask existence, and existence is ready to reveal its heart. That heart is God, the kingdom of God, the ecstasy, the final liberation, MOKSHA, nirvana; whatsoever you want to call it, you can call it.
Just Like That, Chapter-7