Saints Pledge for Abating Climate Change & Saving Rivers in Alaska
Pujya Bhaishri Rameshbhai Ozaji, renowned kathakar and scholar, Pujya Swami Karshnipeethadishwar Gurusharananandji Maharaj, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji, expressed their deep concern over the increasing pollution in Ganga during Pujya Bhaishriji’s Shrimad Bhagawat Katha on the Royal Caribbean Cruise. It took place off the shores of Alaska with about eight hundred devotees from different countries and cities of the world in attendance.
Pujya Swamiji expressed his feelings of deep enchantment on witnessing Alaska’s natural beauty. He said that the natural beauty of Goumukh, Gangotri, and the four sacred pilgrimage sites in the Uttarakhand Himalayas are no less divine and splendid. Pujya Swamiji shared that with better planning and provisions, in addition to Alaska and the Alps in Switzerland, the Simply Heaven State of Uttarakhand had the power to attract people from across the world.
He said, “Many years of penance and austerity of our saints and rishis has made Uttarakhand a powerhouse of peace, vibrancy and energy, as well as a perfect place for releasing the stress and tension of our lives. I warmly invite you to plan your next visit to Uttarakhand, India, soon because if visiting India is a must then Uttrakhand should be first.”
He expressed that the glaciers of Alaska have retreated about 12 to 14 km and they are receding quickly every year. He also stated that as a result of fast melting glaciers, one could see fragments of floating glaciers in the ocean and the water bodies that they feed. In the same way, the Gaumukh Glacier in Uttarakhand has been said to have receded 50 meters and floating broken glaciers can be seen in the sacred river Bhagirathi, which is fed primarily by this glacier.
Pujya Swamiji and all the saints expressed their concern and took a pledge while sitting near a beautiful glacier that they would continue to raise awareness on abating climate change and inspire action to prevent this tragic phenomenon.
During the pledge Pujya Swamiji said, “We exist if the Himalayas exist, Ganga exists if glaciers exist, and India exists if Ganga exists. We share an interconnected and intertwined web of life. Hence, to protect one, is to protect our own selves and the time to act is NOW!” Everyone joined in the pledge to work collectively in India to keep our rivers and our communities clean and green.