Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Planting a Tree, According to Hindu puranas

It rained a bit here in Bangalore today. Its so pleasant feeling as the rain brought down the mercury level and nice breeze all around :).  Traditionally, its time to start preparing to sow the seeds in the farm land and also great time to plant trees. Fortunately from my childhood days, i have been involved in tree plantation in every year of this season. Again this time too we are thinking of big tree plantation drive on the occasion of WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY which falls on JUNE 5th every year. Just came across an insightful article on how our elders motivated people to plant more trees, so that our planet is livable for generations. 
Sheshu sir, planting a sapling during our previous year tree plantation. 


A Lesson for Modern mankind.

angat angat sambhavasi hrdayad abhijayase |
atma vai putranamasi sa jiva saradah satam || 

To make a "Green Earth" the above verse of Agnipurana makes a request to mankind to plant trees instead of cutting them and let them grow and increase. Besides it reveals the importance of trees. Plants play an important and vital role in human life. Directly or indirectly plants are connected with the life of man, and apart from that life cannot be imagined.
Their relationship with mankind is pertinently observed in the Puranas. From every angle, thePuranas have discerned and discussed the utility and importance of the plant kingdom to human society. Included are the Agni Purana, the Kurma Purana, the Matsya Purana, theBrahma Vaivartta Purana, the Garuda Purana, the Vayu Purana, etc. The Vayu Puranaclearly states that all basic necessities of a man, viz. garments, ornaments, timber for house building, fruits, dyes, honey etc. are available from plants. [2]
The Puranas severely criticize the unnecessary cutting of trees and prescribe the punishments for this prohibited act. In Agni Purana it is said –

tarumsca cchedayed yasca vrksan cchayasusitalan
asipatravane ghore pidyate yamakimkaraih [3]

In order to protect the trees from the wood cutters' hand, there is some threatening made by the authors of Skanda Purana, according to whom cutting of trees may lead one to the hell.

nagaropavane vrksan pramadaddhi cchinnati yah
sa gacchen narakam nama jrmbhanam

Ancient people were conscious of plantation, by thinking of its preciousness. To encourage plantation, Matsya Purana said that by planting a single tree one can reside in heaven for 30,000 years of Indra. Not only this, the planter may have the moksha, i.e., end of rebirth.

yascaikam api rajendra vrksam samsthapayen narah
so' pi svarge vased rajan yavad indrayuta trayam
bhutan bhavyamsca manujams trayed drumasammitan
paramam siddhim apnoti punaravrttidurlabham

Agni Purana also glorifies in other words how: "Planting of trees brings moksha. [6] Again it is said that a tree never betrays anyone, rather that it always remains helpful at all times. They are never harmful even as a son, who at times do harm to their parents out of greed for property.

"pitaram nopahimsanti druma dravinalobhatah [7]

Agni Purana encourages becoming a lover of tree. It gives more emphasis on planting a tree by analyzing its necessity – that to have a better life, one should plant a tree and should take care of it like one's own son. Because trees are more precious and useful than a son, who are self-seekers by nature and never follow the scriptures, i.e. –

tasmat subhavaha vrksa ropyah sreyobhivanchata
putravat paripalyasca te putra dharmatah smrtah.
kim dharmavimukhair martyaih kevalam
taruputra varam ye tu pararthaikanuvrttayah

Plantation is not the only work; care should be taken for their protection by not cutting them down. Therefore, Puranas made some prohibitions against the cutting of some particular trees, i.e. Asvattha, Vata or banyan, Bilva or wood apple tree, Udumbara or fig etc. by connecting them with some religious ethics.

asvattha vatavrksasca na cchettavyo kadacana
na cchettavyo bilvavrksodrum barasca kadacana
karmanyascaiva ye vrksa na cchettavya

The regretful factor is that the modern people are not conscious regarding the value of plants and plantation like the ancient people. Though the population and their needs are rising tremendously, still then they are cutting down the trees carelessly and destroying the forests with their full efforts, only to maintain their luxurious lives. Now-a-days considering the importance of trees the authorities launch plans for afforestation, viz. plantation on the road-side and celebration of Vanamahotsava, etc. but due to lack of proper care those plans become unsuccessful.
After plantation, care should be taken to grow them up properly. There are so many illustrations in Puranas in this regard. According to some passages of Agni Purana; planting trees is not very difficult work. But after plantation, right care should be taken to allow them to grow properly by protecting them from the heat of the sun, from animals as well as from the insects. Besides, plenty of water and fertilizers should be supplied at due times.

Therefore the people should be alert to learn from the Puranas about different aspects of the plantation and their protection and should let them grow properly by which lives may be wholesome and comfortable on this earth, not only for the human beings but for all the living entities.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Award function 2012

As planned this year award function for 10th April 2012 went on very well. It was simple one compared the previous one. But this time awardees selected were exemplary. Mr.Ramesh Putnalli , Range Forest Officer, Sharavathi wildlife sanctuary was the chief guest and Mr.Chidambar Hedge, a known physiotherapist was guest of honor. As announced earlier, PARISARA SRI award was presented to Mr. Ameen Saab Nadaaf, a forest guard at Bhadra Wildlife sanctuary. The award presented to Mr.Nadaaf by RFO. His achievements were read out by Ms.Kritika. Then SAMAJA SRI Award presented to Mr.Purushotham by Guest of honor Mr.Chidambar Hegde. His achievements were read out by Ms.Kritika. While speaking on the occasion Mr.Ramesh Putnalli stressed the need for active participation of people in conserving the forest, Mr. Hegde asked people to work unitedly for betterment of rural life. While accepting the SAMAJA SRI award Mr. Purushotham thanked the The Sharavathi Nature Conservation Trust(R) for recognizing the people who dont make noice but silently work for the society, Mr.Nadaaf stressed the need of holistic approach to save the forest. Trust Vice Precident Mr. Ranganath Hegde gave vote of thanks. It was another memorable day for all of us to award the best people. Lot trekking friends had sent the best wishes to the awardees and they have been conveyed to them, thank u all for the gesture.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Invitation for the PARISARA SRI Annual Award for Year 2011-12

As part of our organization "The Sharavathi Nature conservation Trust (R)" initiative to take up various nature conservation, we have setup an annual award called "PARISARA SRI". We are going to present this award every year to the genuine people particularly forest officials who are working for nature conservation and people who are saving prestine forest. The aim this award is to encourage and motivate the people to take up the consevration with more vigor. This year is going to be 4th year in row. From last 2 years we also added a award called "SAMAJA SRI" award for the genuine people who are serving the society selflessly.

This year we have chosen Mr. Ameen saab nadaaf for "PARISARA SRI" Award. Mr.Nadaaf has been working as forest guard at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. He was instrumental in catching a organized wildlife poachers in the sanctuary. In the fight against these anti social elements, he was seriously injured and lost his hand. We are very proud to present this year award to Mr.Nadaaf who has worked hard to protect precious flora and fauna in the sanctuary. we wish him a great success in his endeavor to protect the pristine forest and wildlife.

Also this we are presenting "SAMAJA SRI" Award to Mr.M.G.Purushotham for philanthropic activities in the field of live stock protection and also genuine social service activities in and around Sagar Taluk. The above awards carries cash award and also a memento.

We are presenting the above awards to these deserving awardees on April 10th 2012 Tuesday by 4:00 PM at Gubbagodu, Sagar taluk and Shimoga district.

We, the trustees of The Sharavathi Conservation Trust(R) and Staff of The Sharavathi Nature Trails.. cordially invite everyone in our trekking community for the award function. Please grace the occasion and encourage the awardees to take up the cause with more vigor.