Thursday, January 29th, 2015
Having been born here on Earth, growing here, are we ever grateful to Mother Earth?…the mother that grants us everything, wherewithal for our daily living…are we humans ever thinking of the pristine selfless love Mother Earth holds for her children? Humans were not doing so need to change their perceptions and look upon Mother Earth with love, respect and reverence…Worshipping Bhumata…Mother Earth…an interesting article depicting human love and concern for Mother Earth and Mother Nature…an interesting article by Sri Sai Santosh, published on behalf of USA Sai Region 4 Young Adults, on www.sailoveinaction.org, an off-shoot of the official website of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations – Worldwide.
“Approach Nature in a humble, prayerful mood; then your future will be safe. Ravana coveted Sita, who represents Prakriti (Nature), and stealthily brought her over, but that selfishness and greed led him to the deepest fall. If only he had coveted the God behind Nature, Rama, he could have earned eternal joy.” —Sathya Sai Baba, 27 Mar 1967 
I recently moved to a new apartment right opposite a beautiful park in Knoxville, Tennessee. One day on my nature walk I noticed a lot of trash floating in the waterways and wetlands surrounding the park. Looking at the way the trash had seeped into the soil, I deduced it must have been around for a while. The park is generally well populated with children playing and adults jogging around, and I wondered why the trash had not been cleaned up.
Aahhhh . . . just as I was enjoying a nice long Sunday shower, the inner calling became so strong I couldn’t ignore it any longer. Cleaning myself (every day!) while my Mother (Earth) remained polluted felt highly inconsiderate and unloving. Non-action no longer seemed to be an option. As if the Universe were supporting me in my intention, the Sai (God) within shouted, “Hanuman  always jumped to Rama’s service without thinking twice!” True! No denying, there!
Then memories of an experience at Trayee Brindavan (Sai Baba’s former summer residence near Bangalore, India, at which I had been blessed to work as a service volunteer) came flooding in. It was a warm summer afternoon. Trayee Brindavan was full of devotees gathered for darshan (opportunity to see a holy person). How graced I was feeling at the opportunity of serving Swami at his residence in Bangalore! It was surrounded by a beautiful garden.
On that particular afternoon, Sai Baba walked out of darshan and headed to the gardens. He seemed to be feeling for the trees that stood silently bearing the scorching sun. He stopped near the tall ashoka trees. I imagined he was being reminded of the magnificent trees in the demon Ravana’s ashoka gardens in Sri Lanka, which provided comfort and solace to Lord Rama’s grieving wife Sita, while she was held captive there under the vigilant watch of the demons. With his most merciful eyes fixed on the fortunate trees, Swami remarked, referring to humans, “Mother Sita is the Earth, and we are Ravanas destroying her.”
Hanuman earned eternal joy from finding and saving Mother Sita, because it was in serving her that he could serve his Beloved Lord (Rama) – serving God being the only activity capable of conferring everlasting joy. Upon seeing Mother Sita in the gardens – tired, weeping, sad, and unable to see her way out of her plight – Hanuman jumped right into action, consoling her by narrating the glorious tales of Rama and his monkey friends.
As these memories infused me with the much-needed love to embark on my task, I got out of the shower and started getting ready to head to the park.
So, chanting the name of my superhero – “Hanuman!” – I armed myself with a crispy-clean, white, “Love All, Serve All” T-shirt, gloves, a mask, and some trash bags. To call on this superhero, I didn’t need to eat spinach or wear special wings but just say, “Jai Sai Ram!” (“The Lord is ever victorious!”)
I went out into every possible accessible area of the forest and streams for the next couple of hours or so, picking up beer cans, straws, bottles, polystyrene foam, and rubber. Some of the curious onlookers wondered what I was doing. The “Love All, Serve All” T-shirt must have explained my actions and intentions, for many of them smiled and said thank you.
The cans had seeped into the soil, but Green Hanuman gave me the strength to pull them out. He also showed me intuitively where the trash was! To love is to know, I guess.
I caught sight of so many cans down the hill in the water stream. Oh, wait! As I stepped, I fell down the hill. Lying in a pool of water and mud, in the middle of nowhere with excruciating pain in my shoulder, I called out, “Rama!”
Gently the birds started chirping, “It’s okay . . . you are not alone . . . we are with you.” If Earth is my Mother, then the birds are my siblings! I have only fallen into my Mother’s lap, and my siblings are comforting me. Lying there in the middle of nowhere in a knee-deep ditch filled with muddy water, I understood that the energy I have to serve Her comes from Her. The pain vanished magically, and I resumed picking up the trash.
To return, I had to walk a mile uphill through the forest with two tall heavy trash bags, and Green Hanuman was very happy to assist his little brother in performing this tiny act of love. He filled me up with the necessary strength to walk back home. Then all I had to do was sort and recycle the trash (smile).
Oh, there is more work to be done, like the huge tire and the shopping cart in the stream, but I know that Green Hanuman is ready to help and guide – one park at a time – one river at a time – one community at a time!
If I have faith that can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.” —Holy Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:2
II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II
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