World Water Day 2015
Uplift, Unify the Shift Network and Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) came together for a World Water Day celebration at Parmarth Niketan Ashram (Rishikesh, India) that started with a beautiful live Ganga Aarti ceremony on the banks of Ganga on the 22nd March and then connected over 300 locations all over the world to celebrating, honouring and loving water with a sacred yagna/havan and Water Blessing Ceremony webcast live on the 23rd morning at sunrise.
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji gave a beautiful introduction to the celebrations by sharing, “Today, is a beautiful day to celebrate World Water Day as it is also the sacred time of Navratri, in which for nine days we honour and worship the Divine Feminine. In Indian culture, Shakti (the Divine Feminine), Prakriti (Mother Nature) and Paani (life-giving water) have always been inextricably linked together so it is so fitting to be celebrating and honouring water during this auspicious time. From the fluid nectar in which we are nourished for nine months in our mother’s wombs, to the waters of our sacred rivers that irrigate our fields and quench our thirst, to the water that forms most of our very bodies, water is truly life and truly sacred.”
She also shared, “Today, sadly, water is becoming a source of illness and death instead of life. Approximately 80% of all disease and 25% of all deaths in countries like India can be attributed to water-borne illnesses. Tragically, 4,000 children perish globally everyday from water-borne illness, the equivalent to about 200 bus loads of children. If 200 bus loads of children were taken over by bandits and then each child was shot and killed the world would rise up in absolute outrage. As a global community we would catalyze, energize and activate together to find and stop the villain. These innocent lives are lost EVERY DAY, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Sadly, the criminal is none other than our mis-actions, our neglect and our inaction to protect and preserve our precious fresh water resources. As Mahatma Gandhiji reminded us, “There is always enough for everyone’s need but there is never enough for even one man’s greed.” This is the case today when our greed, our over-consumption, our demand for more and more, bigger and bigger and our neglect of finite natural resources are causing preventable diseases and often death. Let us come together for World Water Day, with our energy and efforts as a collective community to catalyse a major revolution so that all our brothers and sisters across the world have access to life giving water. We love water, because we love life. We love water and we love those who depend on the water! Let us Love Water, celebrate water, and pledge to also protect, preserve and serve water.”
Pujya Swamiji inspired everyone by sharing, “Just a few days ago we celebrated World Happiness Day and I shared that the key to happiness is ensuring clean and pure water for all. Happy Water is a Happy World. Then we celebrated the first day of Navratri with a pledge in Chandrabadni Dham and Devprayag to make our sacred pilgrimage (sacred journey) from temples to toilets. We pledged to keep our pilgrimage sites and our communities clean and green, ensuring adequate sanitation facilities for all. Today on World Water Day, let us pledge to make every day and every moment an opportunity to celebrate and cherish life, an opportunity to celebrate and cherish water, an opportunity to celebrate and cherish the divine feminine in all its forms.”
Bharat Mitraji, the Founder/President of Organic India and Uplift said, “I think the world as it is right now is a reflection of a state of confusion. Most of us are disconnected from the fundamental truth of oneness and therefore the world around us reflects it and it is easy to feel despair, it is easy to feel hopeless. Yet trying to fight the reflection of confusion is just engaging with the problem. The invitation for all of us is to transcend, to WAKE UP to who we are and through that awareness, which is present right here, not in the future but right here- reality transcends.We have seen it over and over again that when a group of people is inspired to co-create with the Divine, with God, with existence, whichever name you give it, whenever we are actually truly available to be present and to participate in this magnificent creation, the way that we are meant to, reality transcends instantly.”
People from all around India and over 20 countries, including Israel, America, China, Japan, Europe, Denmark, Venezuela, New Zealand, Indonesia and so many others, joined together on the banks of Mother Ganga, in Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh), one of the over 300 locations world-wide, to bring their prayers, pledge their actions and root their intentions to protecting and preserving life-sustaining element of water.