PARKASHPUR(H.P)- The religious institutions across India which attracts captive audiences in millions number could be the most ideal places for dissemination of community biodiversity conservation message far and wide. Establishing Lord Shiva and his Consort as an embodiment of environmental and ecological conservation, an ambitious scheme of spiritual forestry in the precincts of world acclaimed deities of Mahashaktipeeths of Mata Naina Devi, Mata Chintpurni, Mata Jawalamukhi, Mata Chamunda Devi, Mata Brijeshwari, Mata Mansa Devi, Mata Vaishno Devi and Mahasidhpeeth of Baba Balak Nath in Northern India has been mooted. The noble scheme envisaged sowing of saplings having spiritual, ayurvedic, medicinal, economic and theological significance and those reported in our ancient scriptures in the prominent shrines of Himachal Pradesh revealed the temple man Dr PC Sharma.
Having credited with several temple forestry projects in his multifarious career, Dr PC Sharma, now has steered and girded a globally famed charitable NGO entitled Shri Santoshi Nandan Dharamarth Trust which has voluntarily come forward to support and sponsor the virtuous concept of spiritual forestry drive which was jointly launched yesterday by the Himachal Rural Development Minister Virender Kanwar and internationally renowned environmentalist Dr PC Sharma at the premises of proposed building of International Mahashaktipeeths Museum in Shri Naina Devi Shrine in association with the Shrine Board, District Forests Division and other religious NGOs.
The spiritual afforestation campaign was participated among others by the Vice Chairman SDMA Randhir Sharma, Chairman SSNDT Sri Santoshi Nandan, temple Chairman Subhash Gautam, theological scholar Dr ND Sharma, corporate Managing Director Vinod Chauhan, pilgrims, tourists, councilors, panchayats, foresters, teachers, students, rural and urban community, Govt. employees, NSS volunteers and alike by implanting saplings of religious plants.
Later the technical symposium session on the theme of spiritual forestry was also organized in the temple’s conference hall which was participated by hundreds of peoples from different walks of life. While presiding over the seminar, Virender Kanwar lauded the first of its kind noble endeavor of spiritual forestry drive initiated by Dr PC Sharma and asserted that the community participation in such programs would go a long way in the protection and preservation of biological diversity of India. Randhir Sharma affirmed that it’s our moral duty to grow and protect plants for the survival of mankind and entire animal kingdom. Subhash Gautam uttered that the pioneering venture of growing religious plants in the museum complex would educate the temple audiences, students, teachers, tourists and general masses about our rich herbal wealth. Dr ND Sharma highlighted the theological significance of plants which are associated with gods and goddesses.
The chairman of SSNDT Sri Santoshi Nandan who was present in the launching program announced that we feel privileged to get associated with the spiritual eco-task of international importance and further stated that the drive would thrive and go across in inculcating the larger environmental awareness amongst the masses besides motivating the devotees to grow, own and maintain the sacred saplings. Dr PC Sharma in his key note address deliberated on the divinity of some of the spiritual plants such as peepal, shami, banyan, bael, sandalwood, chandan, saal, moulsarry, bamboo, ashoka, tulsi, eucalyptus, calatheas, rosemary, jade, neem, mango, amla, harad, bahera, coconut, kunda, kadamb, kamuda, parijaat, champa, rudrakasha, lotus, harshingar, sala, tila, vata, ficus,acacia, aegle, mesua, bassia, melia, calotropis, Artocarpus and many more having found in our ancient scriptures which have close association with various deities and many out of which were implanted in the campuses of dedicated museum block and sanskrit college with the view to promote and propagate temple forestry. The pilgrims would also be motivated and educated to offer and partake “Vrikshprasadam” under Spiritual Afforestation Mission, proclaimed Dr PC Sharma.
The descendant of universally famous Deotsidh Sidhpeeth popularly known as temple man of India, Dr PC Sharma who had also spearheaded the movement of spiritual forestry in the campuses of Sidhpeeth’s religious and educational institutions under NEAC of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests said that the creation of sacred groves of Spiritual Plants in the ecologically fragile baren areas around the museum building and temple would boost religious and eco-tourism potential and attracts plant ecologists to conduct researches on the trees associated with gods and goddesses besides facilitating in strengthening the soil conservational mode and measures.