“Our very body is an extract from this planet. Everything that we are is earth. The 22nd of April is a reminder that we are a part of this earth. If humanity has to live for a long time, we have to think, act and be the earth because that is what we are.” ­­– Sadhguru

Earth Day was commemorated at the Isha Yoga Center on 22nd April by creating awareness about nature and its elements, and the role that Mother Earth plays in our lives. The entire day was a fun-filled learning experience with various games, quizzes and skits. Children and adults participated in the games, which included forming the letters “EARTH DAY” with “natural materials” (cow dung patties), a race with participants pushing the traditional childhood toy – nongu vandi made from palm fruit, a haystack-balancing race, and scarecrow-making. Very appropriately, teams were named in Tamil, after different kinds of soils – kalli mann, sem mann, kinathu mann, thai mann, puthu mann etc.

Later in the day, a video was screened on the beautiful birds of paradise. This followed by a skit with Isha Vidhya kids, on the significance of waste segregation (which is currently being implemented in the Isha Yoga Center). And Adzap competition for “green products” such as solar power, cow dung, waste segregation, sewage treatment plant water and organic farming was next. This helped create awareness on the advantages of using unconventional power, reusing, recycling, and thereby the advantage of being eco-friendly.

This was followed by a videos with Sadhguru speaking about Mother Earth. The celebration came to close with a talk by Anand Ethirajulu, Director of Project GreenHands, who spoke about the little things we can do to save resources by narrating the following Buddha story:

Buddha, one day, was in deep thought about worldly activities and the ways of instilling goodness in human beings. One of his disciples approached him and said humbly “Oh my teacher! While you are so concerned about the world and others, why don’t you look into the welfare and needs of your own disciples also.”

Buddha: “Tell me how I can help you.”

Disciple: “Master! My attire is worn out and it is beyond decency to wear the same. Can I get a new one, please?”

Buddha found the robe was indeed in a bad condition and needed a replacement. He asked the store keeper to give the disciple a new robe. The disciple thanked Buddha and retired to his room. A little later, Buddha went to his disciple’s place and asked him “Is your new attire comfortable? Do you need anything more?”

Disciple: “Thank you my Master. The attire is indeed very comfortable. I need nothing more”

Buddha: “Having got the new one, what did you do with your old attire?”

Disciple: “I am using it as my bed spread.”

Buddha: “Then I hope you have disposed off your old bed spread.”

Disciple: “No, no, Master. I am using my old bedspread as my window curtain.”

Buddha: “What about your old curtain?”

Disciple: “Being used to handle hot utensils in the kitchen.”

Buddha: “Oh, I see. Can you tell me what did they do with the old cloth they used in kitchen.”

Disciple: “Being used to wash the floor.”

Buddha: “Then, the old rug being used to wash the floor…?”

Disciple: “Master, since it was so torn up, we could not find any better use except as a wick in the oil lamp, which is right now lit in your study room.”

Buddha smiled in contentment and left for his room.

If not to this degree of utilization, we can at least make the best use of all our resources at home and in office. We need to handle wisely all the resources Mother Earth has bestowed us with, so that they can be saved for the generations to come!