We the children of BYMM did not perform this for entertainment, we performed it as an offering to our mother Earth, for Ma Ganga and for all generations of children to come, because Ganga cannot tell you of her suffering, nor can the future generations, but we can and we hope our message was clear.
To most people, we seem like small innocent children incapable of understanding the world around us and ignorant to the destruction of our home, our Mother Earth. But we do know, because we see and we feel and we suffer the consequences of all of your actions.
In our grandparents’ time, within the last 50 years, the river Ganga was clean and healthy, dolphins, fishand turtles swam freely and happily. Her waters were purifying, healing and sacred. Now we cannot taste her healing waters, we cannot splash and play in her water, instead we have to wade through piles of plastic to reach her water’s edge, and there we sink in filthystinking mud, contaminated with human and industrial waste. We now feel Ganga will make us sick, but it is not her fault, our river Ganga is dying and the miracle of the earth is leaving. This makes us cry ourselves to sleep at night.
Our parents and grandparents tell us that Ganga Ma is sacred and she is the mother to be worshipped and adored, but who would treat their mother like that? We all have something in common; we are all some mother’s son, and some mother’s daughter. For a moment reflect on your own mother – would you throw your toilet waste, pollution and negativity into your mother’s food and water? No! So why do you do it to Ma Ganga? And why do you allow others to do it?
Without water we would die within a few days and the earth would become a hot desert, a planet incapable of maintaining life. We fear this may happen in our lifetime if we do not change our ways.
We, the children of BYMM, are worried about our future and our children’s future. Did you worry about these things when you were our age?
We, the children of BYMM, are very lucky as we have yoga and the ashram in our lives. Yoga has taught us the importance of clean air, water and food for a healthy and happy life. The ashram has taught us to perform seva as our effort to improve ourselves and the environment around us.
We children feel very grateful as we have Swamiji who always tells us to be happy and live with awareness. He tells us hope, faith and purushartha, self-effort, can transform our nature. Swamiji guides us in every way to improve our lives and be good, as Swami Sivananda always said, “Be Good Do Good.”
With this strength of hope we pray that through our young hearts and actions we can transform the world around us, and we know if we don’t do it then our children and grandchildren will not have the opportunity to see Gangetic dolphins as they swim and play, they will not see Ganga in monsoon when she spreads as far as the eye can see, with eagles soaring, blue kingfishershunting and green parrots flyinghigh. They will not hear the stories of the miracles of Ganga. If we don’t change our ways all of this will be gone.
We the children of BYMM pledge that we will stop using plastic which is now strangling the rivers and oceans of our planet, we will conserve and protect our precious natural resources of water, forests, air and soil. These resources are our life and without them we have nothing. We are not separate from the earth, we are the earth, every cell of our young growing bodies are sustained by her - she is our divine mother and inspiration, she is our life.
Many of you have travelled long distances from far away countries, but whether you come from England, China, India, Australia or South America, we all breathe the same air and drink the same water - eventually. In whatever way you pollute the air and water in your country, it will eventually rain on us and vice versa. After all, it is the elements of creation that link us all.
We are here tonight with a request: we plead with you all to change your ways because our lives depend upon that.
To the people of Munger, please do not throw your rubbish in Ganga, please do not use Ganga as your toilet, please do not support the industries that throw their waste into Ganga. Help us to fightfor Ganga, help us to make Munger a clean green town.
To those of you who have come from other towns and places, please protect the life-giving waters of Mother Earth. Live simple yogic lives and reduce what you buy and throw away. The more simple, natural lives you live, the less will be the pollution and degradation of our planet and her waters. When good people join forces together, anything and everything is possible.
We pray we have inspired in everyone the need to change our lives and work to protect the waters and to live in a green and beautiful world. Then for years to come we will proudly sing and dance with you all on the banks of Ganga Ma. Jai Ho.
—25 October 2018, Munger Yoga Symposium