Every pilgrimage should be eco-pilgrimage

    Dear friends,

    Even as we share this month newsletter with you, we are also sharing the pain and grief of all those who lost their dear ones in the Uttarakhand tragedy. This immense human tragedy has made us realize that our pilgrimages are meant to be green pilgrimages as well. They should have in them an in-built institutional respect for the grandness of nature. In fact the immense temple that stands at Kedarnath has been meeting such natural ravages from time immemorial and has withstood them all because those who envisioned this shrine also built it in tune with nature. Our pilgrims should be designed in a way and our so-called tourism industry should be made to respect these original values of our heritage that made us do these pilgrims. We along with the families of those who lost their lives in Uttarakhand share the pain and salute all those -primarily our army people- in saving the stranded pilgrims so bravely risking their own lives.


    That takes us to the fact that we should take care of  the ecological aspects of each and every pilgrim center. The Rameshwaram project that VK-nardep has taken up for commemorating the 150th year celebrations of Swami Vivekananda birth anniversary, is taking shape in a wonderful way and we have shared with you a pictorial report of the project. We are sure now we all can appreciate the importance of preserving the ecological dimensions of our pilgrimages. Every pilgrim should be an eco-pilgrim is the message of the work that VK-nardep is taking up at Rameshwaram. We want every Indian to make this a people's movement.

    Such a reverence for nature comes from realizing that Humanity, Divinity and Nature are all interlinked manifestations of the One. Swami Vivekananda's message with respect to this aspect of the relation between the Divine, the Human and the Nature appropriately forms the part of the series VK-nardep has been bringing you.  Swami Vivekananda rightly points out that  the " a connection among all those distinct objects— a unity which pervades the whole universe—trees, shrubs, animals, men, Devas, even God Himself;" This message of Swami Vivekananda is the basis of seeing us as the part of nature and not self-appointed consumers of nature.

    'Our happenings' this month brings you our various activities and our publication section this month brings you how the need for change in values is essential for changing and reducing our consumption patterns which is very essential for sustainable development of all humanity. In our wisdom section, we bring you how Dharma is the basis of ecology and very existence itself - from the words of Tagore and Swami Rama a great mystic and how Dharma should be the basis of our technological development as narrated by the thinker-author Makarand Paranjape. We wish you all a reading that shall usher in sustainable development for all. You can download our newsletter here.

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