SEA BEACH OF PURI

The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu spent some time this morning (July 8, 2024) at the sea beach of the holy city of Puri, a day after participating in the annual Rath Yatra. Later she penned her thoughts about the experience of being in close commune with nature.

Here is the text that was posted on X: “There are places that bring us in closer touch with the essence of life and remind us that we are part of nature. Mountains, forests, rivers and seashores appeal to something deep within us. As I walked along the seashore today, I felt a communion with the surroundings – the gentle wind, the roar of the waves, and the immense expanse of water. It was a meditative experience.

It brought to me a profound inner peace that I had also felt when I had a darshan of Mahaprabhu Shri Jagannathji yesterday. And I am not alone in having such an experience; all of us can feel that way when we encounter something that is far larger than us, that sustains us and that makes our lives meaningful.

In the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, we lose this connection with Mother Nature. Humankind believes it has mastered nature and is exploiting it for its own short-term benefits. The result is for all to see. This summer, many parts of India suffered a terrible series of heatwaves. Extreme weather events have become more frequent around the globe in recent years. The situation is projected to be far worse in the decades to come.

More than seventy percent of the surface of the earth is made up of oceans, and global warming is leading to a rise in global sea levels, threatening to submerge coastal areas. The oceans and the rich variety of flora and fauna found there have suffered heavily due to different kinds of pollution.

Fortunately, people living in nature’s lap have sustained traditions that can show us the way. Inhabitants of coastal areas, for example, know the language of the winds and waves of the sea. Following our ancestors, they worship the sea as God.

There are two ways, I believe, to meet the challenge of protection and conservation of the environment; broader steps that can come from governments and international organisations, and smaller, local steps that we can take as citizens. The two are, of course, complementary. Let us pledge to do what we can do – individually, locally – for the sake of a better tomorrow. We owe it to our children.”

 

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