Planting a tree on International Yoga Day
|International Yoga day|
At the behest of the inspiring new Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi ji, June Twenty first has been declared as the International day of Yoga by the United Nations. Having initiated the idea, it is perhaps incumbent on India to contribute ideas as to how this day may be celebrated.
Today morning an email arrived in my inbox from a government agency that maintains contact with citizens at large to contribute ideas for the day that would be communicated to the PM. I enthusiastically responded sending three ideas. The first was a bit of art work carrying the caption – Vasudev Kutambakam – a phrase coined by ancient yogis who declared that all life is one family, indeed as modern genetic science has verified; humans, animals, plants and bacteria are born of a common gene pool and share many genes. The ultimate goal of yoga to move out of our limited personal desires and unite with those of All. The art work was developed using the base template as a photo of the Himalayas with the early morning sun rising over it sent to me by a student – Naman Kothari and partner in a campaign and activity we undertook towards alleviating hunger and malnutrition.
The second idea was to try and create a composition of an anthem for the day in multiple major languages of United Nations containing the words of the previous phrase.
The third idea was to begin the day with planting a tree. One might ask what yoga has got to do with a tree. Let me explain. In an earlier post in this blog on Sun Inspired Yoga it was described how valuable it was to develop gratefulness to the Universe that gives all life with the Sun as its visible part. While it is good to exercise and meditate in the early morning sun for brief periods of fifteen to thirty minutes, longer hours of meditation the part of yoga for advanced yogis that follows physical exercises must be carried out in shade and if one can in the open because as Khalil Gibran recorded in the Prophet,
“The Breath of life is in the sun and the hand of life is in the breeze”
Through history, certain trees have been ascertained as beneficial for meditative activity and reflection if one sits under them and three trees, also described in detail in this blog earlier are – The Oak, Banyan, and Neem. While the first grows in colder parts of the planet, the others grow well in warmer areas. Therefore planting these trees in an open common ground is a great move aside from the fact that a greatly depleted mother earth needs more trees. However just in case one cannot locate saplings of these trees one can also substitute with a food producing tree which too is a great need of modern times with a huge population on earth.