Saints, Sangeet & Sanitation Come Together in Simhastha 2016
First Day of the Ujjain Kumbha Mela with Pledge to Protect Mother Earth and our Sacred Rivers
HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, Co-Founder of The Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, together with Head of Juna Akhara HH Pujya Acharya Mahamandeleshwar Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaj encouraged and inspired renowned classical music singer Pandit Jasrajji, Mela Adhikari of the #Ujjain #KumbhaMela Adhikari Shri Avinash Lavania , lAS, and Ministry of Culture, Government of India Director SCZCC Dr. Piush Kumar as well as many others to take part in a sacred #WaterBlessingCeremony.
The ceremony offered holy waters of the River #Kshipra and National River #Ganga over a globe as a symbol of our collective pledge to protect and preserve #MotherEarth and all water bodies from pollution, especially pollution caused by human excreta contaminating our life-sustaining water bodies.
Pujya Swamiji emphasized to pilgrims and devotees to do their part by using a toilet and keeping the Kumbha Mela grounds clean and green for all. He explained that 600 million people in India are forced to open defecate due to lack of toilets, fouling not only our sacred water bodies but causing many preventable waterborne illnessess, often leading to death, malnourishment and stunting. He explained that simply by building and using a toilet the world could be a healthier and happier place for all.
The ceremony also marked the first day of the Ujjain Kumbha Mela, which had started with a grand and massive #ShahiSnan in the morning with lakhs of saints and pilgrims bathing throughout the auspicious day, and coincided with World #EarthDay. Pujya Swamiji shared that this coincidence is another reminder for us to make this a Clean, Green and Serene Mela, a #MelawithaMessage for all. He said that for this crucial initiative saints and sangeetkars (musicians, artists and singers) must come together to bring the message of sanitation to everyone, everywhere.