As invited by Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji from Pramath Niketan in Reshikesh, India, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Tinle Lhundup and more than 40 monastics from the Jungchubling visited Reshikesh on November 16, 2016. His Holiness and his retinue arrived there around 4pm and were received with warm welcome. They participated in the blessing ceremony of the Ganga Cleansing in the same afternoon. Along with the leaders of Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and the indigenes religions. His Holiness made water offering for the well-being of the Earth and lamp offering for world peace. He also joined the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance. At the conclusion of the water offering, Saraswatiji, who stood next to His Holiness, shared his joy, “We need to host this ceremony every year.
We need to work together.” His Holiness responded, “Our Buddhist College is ready to promote environment preservation and world peace.”
During the interfaith dialogues at the Ganga Ghats, His Holiness said, “ Today, we gathered by Ganga. Religious leaders from various traditions jointed hands in praying for the future of Ganga and advocating for world peace and environment preservation. I felt deep joy. This is the opportunity that I have been waiting for years. I want to express my sincere gratitude for Saraswatiji, who organized this event."
“Recently I met with an expert who has been studying glaciers for years. He told me that we have lost half of the world’s glaciers over the past 30 years and the melting of glaciers is expected to continue in the next 30 years. In this case, the flow of water in Ganga is projected to decline by 50%, which will threaten the livelihood of millions and millions people who depend on the Ganga River. In addition, if we cannot limit future global warming under 2 degrees Celsius, many animals will go extinct and our ecological environment will be weakened to the extend that we cannot even imagine.”
“This why preserving our ecological system and natural environment matters to everyone. No single organization can manage such a big threat to our environment alone. This is why collaboration among people around the globe is called for. It does not matter which country you are from or what religion you are practicing, as Earth beings, we are one big family and each one of us is responsible for restoring our Mother Earth. ”
Leaders from other religions also gave great speeches. The interfaith dialogues generated profound mutual understanding.
His Holiness offered Khada and a statue of Buddha to Saraswatiji, the founder of the Clean Ganga Movement and a happy and joyful environmentalist. Then the Ganga Arti Puja took place in songs of blessings followed by a lamp offering.
Before the conclusion of the Puja, Saraswatiji announced that the Ganga Arti Puja and the lamp offering will be hosted annually in order to join the forces of different religions and bring blessings and energy to the Ganga Cleaning Movement.
On November 17th, Saraswatiji confirmed that he will appoint 3 representatives to participate in the Nature Restoration Action training at the Songtsen Library. 1 expert from Australia and 2 experts from Taiwan will provide training on ecological conservation.
Pujya Swamiji is the Founder of Ganga Action Parivar which is leading the way in themassive Clean Ganga Movement spanning from Gangotri to Ganga Sagar. Ganga Action Parivar’s work includes everything ranging from solid waste management to sewage treatment plans to full civic re-planning for the villages/cities onthe banks of Ganga.. The program includes detailed and in-depth plans for proper treatment of chemical, commercial and toxic waste for the tanneries andother industries that lie on Ganga’s banks, as well as promotes organic farming to minimize chemical run-off in Ganga’s waters.