NAVRATRI & AMMA'S MESSAGE ON GLOBAL WARMING & POVERTY
You Can Make a Difference
Happy Navratri! It's a celebration of Shakti: The Mother Power of the Universe. Everything which exists is manifested by Shakti: The Divine Feminine. All great social progress and change manifests through Shakti. This is why every great social progress movement happens through the power of women.
The Chipko Environmental Movement members were females who hugged trees to save the trees from the loggers. Rachel Carson, a female scientist, who wrote Silent Spring, was about the dangers of DDT and pesticides. The publication of the book ushered in the American Ecological Movement. Most slavery abolitionists were women. The Women's Movement was instituted by women, but there were enlightened men who joined the movement. The Civil Rights Movement certainly had many male leaders, but the leaders of action in the movement were women. The Indian Independence Movement had both male and female leaders, but the women were the action the part of the movement. It is no surprise that many women leaders have been elected in the last 20 years. This time is considered by many great teachers, including the Dalai Lama, to be the time of female power. He says women will save humanity.
Amma, the hugging saint of India, is considered to be a great female teacher and guru. Many people know of her work worldwide. Many of my friends from the yoga studios and mandirs revere and honor her efforts in the spiritual world. Recently she turned 62 and delivered a message on global warming and poverty concerns. These are real issues affecting human beings and nature. The media is taken up with Hillary Rodham Clinton's e-mails. It would be great if the same amount of media attention was focused on poverty and global warming. These issues affect millions of people worldwide.
Amma said, "The effects of climate change are threatening all of humanity. It is said that 22,000 children are dying daily due to poverty...Mere words of sympathy are not what the world needs. What the world needs are hands that are ready to serve selflessly...If we can light the lamp of faith and love in our hearts and walk forward together, then we definitely can bring about a change in society."
Each person can make a difference when it comes to taking care of the planet. We can plant trees and a garden if we own a home. Trees and plants mitigate the effects of global warming. Recycle, reduce and reuse, please. If your city, town or village recycles, then please do recycle what you can. Minneapolis, for example, has a one sort recycling system available for residents. There is no excuse if your municipality recycles and you do not recycle.
You should also be using green cleaning products, such as: borax, vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, lemon/lime juice, olive oil or salt instead of chemical products. The University of Minnesota conducted a study and the findings do not surprise me. None of the chemical products killed germs. Hot water and soap did kill the germs. The natural products do kill germs, are cheaper and safer to use. Many of the chemical products contain chemicals which cause cancer or other ill health effects.
Use natural, traditional materials for Holi celebrations instead of the chemical products which cause ill health effects for adults, children and the environment. Talc is one of the worse offenders because it contains heavy metals and nasty chemicals which become airborne more easily than other chemical products. Respiratory problems, allergies, chemical sensitivity and eye injuries are common health effects of these products. Use natural flower dyes, spices and herbs instead. Many of the elders know how to make natural materials. Use the wisdom of the elders. You can also read my blog called Forest Splendor for ideas and recipes.
Using mass transit, biking, cars with lower gas mileage, electric cars, hybrids and car pooling are some ways to reduce your carbon footprint. The point is the solution is discovering what you can do personally to change the situation. Eating a better diet is another avenue of change which can be instituted in your life. Support businesses which take care of the environment and support laws which respect the environment. Collective action is important, too, in solving these problems. When we get together we can enact social change.
You can also do much to help those in poverty. If you have a business, pay livable wages. If you are more affluent, donate money to non-profits working on hunger and poverty issues. Food shelves are available in many communities. It is good to donate food, money and time to help the operation of these shelves.
Coops can be an important form of business promoting a pooling of resources which will empower both working and middle class individuals to develop jobs and create a more equal distribution of wealth. Those who are more affluent can help start coops by providing seed money to jump start their operation. Ten Thousand Villages sells handicrafts in the USA. These handicrafts are made by those in the developing world. Female run coops in India sell clothing all over the world, providing jobs for low income women. Start you own coop with the help of others.
Shri Gaayatri Mandir in Minneapolis has a Samaasan Humanitarian Drive going on for the Devi Yagna, October 13th to October 22nd. You can bring the following items to the mandir: clothing, footwear, vegetarian food (peas, beans, rice, flour and canned products), towels, hats, bedding, soap, floor mats, hair accessories, storybooks, activity books and school items (pencils, pens, sharpeners, erasers, notebooks, rulers, geometry sets, file folders, crayons, makers, backpacks and lunch boxes). These will be donated to individuals in Crabwood Creek, Guyana who are poorest of the poor. The mandir is located at 2555 California Street NE in NE Minneapolis, near Lowry and Grand and the Lowry Bridge. The puja starts at 6:00 p.m. each session and the program is at 7-9 p.m.
Another person who you can contact to help with projects in Guyana and the USA is Pandit Tillack Seerattan of the SHRI Devi Mandir Global Humantarian Mission. Goggle him on the face book page. He just finished, along with others, a house for a low income individual in Guyana. He can tell you how you can help out financially and through volunteer work in support of the mission. Ask your local pandit, teacher or swami what you can do in your community to empower the poor.
JAI SHRI MA! JAI SHRI EMPOWERMENT! JAI SHRI LOVE!