Greetings to all fellow citizens on World Environment Day. Let us all bow down to every element of our environment which is always vibrating. Little plants-large trees, tiny springs-big rivers, tiny pebbles-huge mountains. Insects and humans. Today is the day to bow to all and pay reverence for their generosity.

By the way, Environment Day is celebrated every year. Every year some rituals are performed. Concerns are expressed. There are discussions on the threat to the environment. The concern is that environmental issues are not being deeply linked to our civic culture. Be it climate change or issues of keeping rivers clean and alive or saving trees. Our connection should have been deep.

Years ago the great English nature lover poet William Wordsworth said that let nature be your teacher. Nature teaches us that human life can be happy in any case. Co-existence is one of the greatest lessons of nature. Tamarind never asks Mahua why you grew in front of me. The tree does not give any punishment to the woodpecker that pierces the thick trunk of the tree with its sharp beak.

Recently came across some excerpts from the book ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ by German botanist and very talented author Peter Holbein. Now it has been proved that trees communicate with each other. They have no script. They transmit their messages to each other through smell. They are sad and they rejoice too. It has also been proved by research that trees that live among members of their species have a longer life.

Every year the month of July comes and the people who pretend to save the environment assemble in large numbers. Photos of sapling plantations are published in the newspapers. As soon as the plantation time is over, no one asks in what condition the saplings that were planted are. They clearly escape their responsibility when there is the real task of protecting the saplings. Therefore, very few saplings survive out of the total number of those planted.

Planting of trees is considered auspicious in our Indian culture. Trees are revered in Indian worship system, because they are believed to be the abode of gods. Gautam Buddha’s message is that every human being should plant a sapling every five years.

According to ‘Bharat Parashar Smriti’, a person who plants and nurtures Peepal, Neem, Banyan and Mango plants, gets a place in heaven. There is a mention of ‘Vrikshayurveda’ in Kautilya’s ‘Arthashastra’.

In the present times, public awareness towards the environment has definitely increased, but the metropolitan society has still not been able to establish an intimate relationship with the trees and plants. History shows that if there is a lack of emotional intensity in environmental conservation, then there is no result.

Healthy environment is equally needed by all irrespective of political party or ideology. Without oxygen there would be no life.

To avoid destruction, the society will have to learn to live with trees while reviving the tradition of nature-worship.

It is necessary to explain to the new generation the concept of preparing new saplings of traditional trees like Neem, Amla, Peepal, Banyan, Mahua, Mango. The respect given to plants on the land of India is not seen anywhere else.

Western scholars, philosophers have also learned to respect nature from Indian scriptures and traditions. The famous American essayist and philosophical poet Sir Emerson told his disciple Henry David Thoreau that if you want to experience the supernatural vibrations and melody of nature, then learn to take refuge in it.

Trees have a blessed presence in all our religious and cultural rites. Trees are worshipped through many Indian rituals, fasts, festivals. Many fasts are observed in the name of trees like Vat Savitri Vrat, Kevada Teej, Sheetla Puja, Amla Ekadashi, Ashoka Pratipada, Aamra Pushp Bhakshan Vrat etc. It is described in ‘Manu Smriti’ that trees have consciousness and they also experience pain and bliss. If they die because of the irresponsible behaviour of the society, then the society should feel as much grief as it naturally happens on the death of a loved one.

There should also be a voluntary ritualistic act of planting saplings on the part of the society. For the future generation to be proud of their ancestors, a little sensitivity is expected from the present generation. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has taken a resolution with self-motivation to plant a sapling every day. This is a unique initiative to encourage his civic culture and inspire common citizens. If every citizen accepts the challenge of becoming a responsible and sensitive caretaker of a living tiny plant, then we will all be enriched with greenery. So take a pledge today to respect our environment wherever we live.


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