We are all so habituated to using things for ourselves that we hardly realise that we are inviting a terrifying future for not only us but also for the generations to come. ‘Use & throw’ has become the mantra of today.
Everyone of us is aware of the threats to the environment like;
- Green House Gases
- Acid rain
- Melting of arctic n antartic
- Garbage including e-garbage
All these have already started showing their effects by way of,
- Global Warming
- Rise in sea level
- Various Species on verge of getting extinct
- Water Scarcity
- Recent trend of diversion from agriculture to industrialisation
- Untimely migration of birds
We do not realise if every one says, then who will do?
Amongst the few who do and not just say, Shree Aniruddha Upasna Foundation with its affiliated organisations and the Aniruddha’s Academy of Disaster Management (AADM) is a leading organisation which speaks through its work.
The Organisation under the guidance of Dr. Aniruddha Joshi, foundly known as Param Pujya Aniruddha Bapu, has successfully implemented various projects for conservation of the environment and general awareness among both the urban and rural people.
Some of the projects undertaken by the Sanstha in this regard are:
- Ecofriendly Ganesh Idol
- Cleanliness regime
- Raddi yojana
- Tree plantation
- Vermi culture
'Devotion to God and service to mankind i.e. bhakti and seva go hand in hand’. This is best explained by the unique project of Eco-friendly Ganesh Idols. It involves making of Lord Ganesh Idols from paper pulp. These idols are made from shredded paper of ‘Ramnaam’ notebooks used by the devotees, who write ‘Ramnaam’ and deposit the notebooks with the sister organization, Aniruddha’s Universal Bank of Ramnaam (AUBR).
These idols disintegrate easily upon submersion in water, as compared to idols made from plaster of paris, which takes significantly longer to disintegrate and also harmful for the creatures and plantations in the sea. A noteable aspect is that, the paints used are non-toxic, thus contributing significantly to the control over pollution of the environment. Also the paper pulp while getting dissolved in water acts as food for the fish.
The volunteers of Shree Aniruddha Upasna Foundation, AUBR and other organizations collectively make these idols for the Ganapati festival every year. In the year 2008, the organization prepared and distributed nearly 3500 Lord Ganesh idols.
Lord Ganesh Idols re-immersion seva:
Lord Ganesh idols are usually made of plaster of paris, and therefore take long time to dissolve in water. Consequently, these idols are washed back to the shore, which is certainly not a pleasant sight to behold. The Disaster Management Volunteers, alongwith the volunteers of its sister organisation, Shree Aniruddha Upasna Foundation, then undertake the re-immersion of such idols in the deeper waters with the help of boats. The beaches are also fully cleaned and spruced up with infrastructural support from the Municipal authorities by way of garbage vans, equipments, etc.
It is the 7th program of the 13 point programm declared by Param Pujya Aniruddha Bapu on the 3rd October 2002. Cleanliness programs are undertaken at Municipal and Government hospitals, where the entire hospital premises, including stairs, toilets, wards, corridors etc. are thoroughly dusted, scrubbed, washed and cleaned. Approximately 214 volunteers are regularly present for the seva at Sasoon Hospital, Pune, on a regular basis.
Mobile medication facilities alongwith cleanliness drives, are carried out at around 9 places in Virar, once every 3 months. Volunteers of Shree Aniruddha Upasna Foundation clean the surroundings and school areas and medical aid is given to the needy children by trained doctors of the Foundation.
The cleanliness programme are also undertaken in Municipal schools and also at various beaches during the re-immersion of the Ganesh Idols. Till date the organisation has carried out the cleanliness drive at various places in Maharashtra.
Devotees of Param Pujya Aniruddha Bapu, instead of selling old/used newspapers/ magazines/ notebooks as scrap, donate the same to the Foundation. These are then converted into such articles, as paper bags, which not only go a long way in solving the plastic bag problem but also contribute, in its small yet significant way, in the conservation of the environment. Further, paper pulp made out of this paper is used to make articles such as Word chart, toys and alphabetical blocks, which are distributeed to the poor students as an incentive to attend school.
Trees are one of the most important aspects of the planet we live in. Trees are vitally important to the environment, animals, and of course for us humans and all living beings. They are important for the climate of the Earth, they act as filters of carbon dioxide, they are habitats and shelters to millions of species, and they are also important for their aesthetic appeal. However, the trees on our planet are being depleted at a very fast rate.
The destruction of the forests is occurring due to various reasons, one of the main reasons being the short-term economic benefits, increasing urbanization and as a means of fuel.There are a number of adverse effects of deforestation, such as Soil erosion, disruption of the water cycle, loss of biodiversity, flooding and drought etc. There has also been a considerable rise in the atmospheric temperature mostly attributed by the effects of the Global Warming.
Stepping Stone:This need of the hour was realized by Param Pujya Aniruddha Bapu. The Tree plantation project took shape in the year 2003. Aniruddha’s Academy of Disaster Management initiated the Tree Plantation Activity in various parts of Maharashtra and Goa Region. The Academy aimed at planting more trees so as to minimize their shortfall and its severe impact to the greatest possible extent. Also when we plant and care for trees, we are making the future better for our family, our neighbourhood, our country and our world.
The summary of the tree plantation activities undertaken by the Academy in the past few years is depicted in the table below:
Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Maharashtra 26762 6308 138423 76369 22750
Aniruddha’s Academy of Disaster Management plants trees to get pure air, to bring down the temperature, to regulate the rainfall, to prevent floods; soil erosion, and to restrict the speed of wind. It not only plants the trees but also takes the after care till they grow completely. It aims to create maximum awareness amongst the masses on the importance of tree plantation
Types of plants used
The Academy insists on scientific selection of saplings and growing trees requiring minimum attention, emitting more oxygen, having best water retention capacity, containing soil holding ability, which helps preventing soil erosion and also being resistant at the time of Natural Disasters. Some of them are listed below:
Peepal, Karanja, Palas, Beheda, Bel tree, Mango, Bor, Pangara, Hirda, Apta, Vad, Ashoka, Jackfruit, Bakul, Shisam, Audumbar, Eucalyptus, Gulmohur, Awla, Bhokar, Tamarind, Saag, Raintree, Neem, Khair, Bhendi, Jambhool, Kadamb, Savari, Cashewnut, Bibba, Bradfruit (jangli phanas), Peltoforoum, Aien, Kailashpati
Vermiculture means artificial cultivation of earthworms. Vermicompost is the excreta of earthworms which is considered as one of the most effective and environment friendly fertilizers, without any harmful side effect. Earthworms eat cow dung and other solid wastes like household garbage and give out vermicompost. Municipal waste and non-toxic solid and liquid waste generated by industries can also similarly be converted into vermicompost. Earthworms not only convert garbage into valuable manure but also keep the environment healthy.
The project was first started at the residence of volunteers, who created vermiculture bins from household items and with an initial ‘seed’ provided by the Academy. The efforts yielded large amounts of vermicompost by feeding the earthworms with the day to day household garbage/waste.
After a specified duration, the entire vermicompost and vermiwash so generated is handed over by the volunteers to the Academy. The vermicompost is also used for the tree plantation activity carried out by the Upasna Centres throughout the state of Maharshtra.
Tiil date, approximatesly 15 tonnes of vermicompost have been distributed among needy farmers, absolutely free of cost. That amounts to conversion of a total of 60 tonnes of waste into vermicompost.
Aniruddha’s Academy of Disaster Management conducted a large scale project of Vermiculture at the Central Railway Workshop (Mumbai) using their canteen and garden waste. This project was hugely appreciated by the local civic bodies as well as by the corporate sector. The team which implemented this project now acts as a training team for setting up such projects on large scale, as well as on a small scale (i.e. at the household level) and upon request, also offers consultancy to various housing societies, public institutions, corporate sector, schools, colleges, etc.
Following is the list of places where the Academy has conducted Vermiculture Training sessions.
- Naval Dockyard (Colaba)
- Central Railway Workshop (Matunga)
- FDC Ltd. (Jogeshwari)
- Maharashtra State Bank
- DIL Ltd (Thane)
- Bhavans College (Andheri)
- IES School (Marol)
- Dr. Sarvapaali Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya,
- Thane Mahanagar Palika School, etc.
The basic aims and objectives of this project are:
1. Working towards a better environment by disposing off garbage and waste in a productive manner.
2. Production of vermicompost through Vermiculture technology which can be put to effective use for:
- Tree Plantation project
- The supply of the produce to the drought prone areas and needy farmers.
Read more about Param Pujya Shri Aniruddha Bapu in the following article "Yugpravartak" by Dr. Yogindrasinh Joshi
The Aniruddha Pournima (Tripurari Pournima) this year (2008) witnessed about
.... shraddhaavaan be blessed with the darshan of Sadguru Shree Aniruddha (Bapu).
Doctors, engineers, lawyers, professors, professionals and other shraddhaavaan from
several walks of life came not only from distant suburbs of the city of Mumbai but remote towns of the state of Maharashtra, from the nooks of India and in fact from the world over and could, saying ‘Hari om’, offer their reverence before Sadguru Bapu. Their heart full of love, they came all the way for the one blessed moment, the darshan of the Sadguru. No saffron clothing, no kamandalu, no mala round the neck, no rosary in the hand, not even a tilak on the forehead and in fact with a clear and explicit view that ‘miracles are jugglery, the tricks of magicians’, how then, is Aniruddhabapu the Sadguru of millions of highly educated and thinking bhaktas? How come? All the special moments of grace that these bhaktas have experienced have led them to believe that Bapu is indeed the Paramatma. Just like every other function in the year, the Aniruddha Pournima was a day that millions spent in an ambience of bhakti. The sight of
millions queuing up for seven or even eight hours, calm but disciplined, writing the Ramnaam book of ‘The Aniruddha’s Universal Bank of Ramnaam’ through their wait, reciting a mantra or a stotra is bound to arouse curiosity, interest about Bapu in the mind of any person stepping in here for the first time. Who indeed in Sadguru Aniruddha (Bapu)? Despite the fact that there is
nothing conventionally spiritual about Him, how come the bhaktas belive that He is the Sadguru? The volunteers of the organisation participate in the seva-activities under the guidance of Sadguru Bapu; the zeal with which they do so and in no way compromisng on their family responsibilities, on their occupation is truly astonishing. How come this huge following and that too without any deliberate effort at propagation? What does Bapu say? What exactly does He want to do? Why does He want to do all these seva activities? These are some of the questions that crop up in the mind of the new-comer here. Dr. Aniruddha Dhairyadhar Joshi i.e. Shree Aniruddha (Bapu) is an M.D., a professional medical consultant. A perfect family person, through His own conduct, Bapu communicates that it is very much possible to achieve the highest purpose in life without turning away from worldly life. Spirituality is not escapism. And shrugging off responsibilities, giving up home, walking away from the family and smearing the
body with ash just cannot be the means to achieving the highest goal in life. ‘Misplaced notions of worldly life indicate equally misplaced notions concerning the Higher purpose’; and leading man on the path of the purushartha, this is what Bapu says pointing to the verse in the Shree Saisachcharit which means:
"Alertness in worldly affairs facilitates the achievement of the Highest purpose in life. Do not therefore have apathy for your worldly duties, keep striving for the purushartha."
(Shreesaisachcharit, chapter 14/27)
It is this verse that contains the answers to questions like what does Bapu intend to do? and what does Bapu really wish? That every human being,walking on the path of the purushartha, attain the ‘oj’, is what Bapu wants. The attainment of the six purushartha of dharma, artha, kama, moksha, bhakti and maryada, is indeed the highest fulfilment of the human birth. It is in order that both the worldly life and the achievement of the Highest Principle become sources of true joy and at one and the same time, in other words so that every human being walks firm and consistent on the path of the purushartha, that Bapu through His own Word, caused the Work,
‘Shreemadpurushartha Grantharaaj’ to come into being. Spelling out the purpose of His work, Shree Aniruddha states in clear terms in the Shreemadpurushartha Grantharaaj, “My dear friends, I, Aniruddha, your Friend, your Mate, have just the one mission in life - to get the entire universe to fulfill this purushartha of maryada, to teach and establish this purushartha - that is My aim and without the fulfilment and the establishment of the purushartha of maryada, the Ramrajya, the reign of Shree Ram, the reign of the Maryadapurushottam (the ideal, the only complete and perfect being who was the epitome of maryada) can never be ushered in.
....and that is precisely why, ‘to imbibe and cultivate the purushartha of maryada, to nurture it and while doing so, to allow it to develop unrestrained’, is My resolve.”
‘I am your Friend.’
‘I am not an avataar, not of anybody. I was always Aniruddha, I am Aniruddha
and Aniruddha I will always be.’
‘I am a warrior and I enjoy teaching the art of warfare to all those, who wish
to fight their destiny.’
The three volumes of the Shreemadpurushartha Grantharaaj, the ‘Satyapravesh’, the ‘Prempravaas’ and the ‘Anandasadhana’ were released and in simple words Bapu opened for us, a means of realizing progress in its entirety, walking all along, the path of the Parameshvar. ‘Call Me what you like but it is this one role that I wish to live. I am your Friend, a Friend who never betrays, a Friend who wants to see you happy.’ That indeed is Bapu, that is Bapu’s stand. In explanation to the purushartha of ‘dharma’ Bapu says, the supreme divine principles of Truth, Love and Joy that stem from purity - their base; and whose one and only decisive norm is purity, are the true dharma. ‘It is the path of maryada that grants the aishvarye of the Parameshvar to the human dharma’ adds Shree Aniruddha Bapu in the Shreemadpurushartha.
All the saints of India have upheld the path of bhakti that was always a part of the ancient Indian values. An excessive and unreasonable inclination towards cessation of worldly engagement as also a way of life essentially motivated by material, selfseeking activity, both classify as extremist thought and are largely responsible for the imbalance in individual human life as well as that in society. Science and spirituality are by no means contrary or conflicting, they are complementary. It is by striking an accord of the two, that human civilization can make progress, emphasises Bapu.
hundreds of thousands of people visit. The procession for the immersion of the Ganesh idol is a huge sea, a sea brimming over with bhakti.
Hemadpant’s grandson and the present Pipa Appasaheb Dabholkar along with his wife Meenavainee were the ones through whom Bapu got this beautiful deed done. As for the Shreeaniruddhagurukshetram at Khar, Mumbai, all one can say is that it is a sacred place of Supreme eminence, the zenith, the tiara of all sacred places that be. What every single person coming to Bapu invariably feels, is Shree Aniruddhabapu’s ‘pure, sheer love’, love not loaded with any motive whatsoever- His very essential aspect. Neither does He expect nor does He accept anything from anybody, never - leave alone the day of Gurupournima, just never. It is not even mandatory for those attending His pravachan (discourse) to offer the namaskar to
Bapu. The discourse too is a guidance in simple words as to the attainment of progress on the path of bhakti without turning away from worldly life. Every Thursday Bapu, while doing the pooja of Shree Dattatreya, recites along with all present, the fourteenth chapter of the Gurucharitra. He then does the ‘Aradhanajyoti’ upasana with the bhaktas present and even participates in the gajars sung at the time. Bapu says that bhakti is the supreme strength and so He initiated the ‘Aradhanajyoti’ upasana that will equip the shraddhaavaan to face and successfully tide over the difficult times lying ahead and help achieve development and progress
in his life.
even that of others; in sum train in disaster management.
The above project also happens to be part of the 13-point programme that Bapu gave to us on 3rd October 2002. These training courses that include various rescue methods and CPCR techniques etc. are offered free of cost. To date, the DMVs (disaster management volunteers) have made a valuable contribution towards managing disasters. The unusual downpours of 26th July 2005, the landslide at Sakinaka, the serial blasts in Mumbai’s local trains on 11th July 2006, the bomb blast at Ghatkopar on 2nd December 2002 - DMVs had rushed to offer help at the site of all of these disasters and were part of the rescue operations. They even manage crowds every
year at the time of the Ganesh festival. Similarly the DMVs manage and control crowds at annual fairs at Mandhradevi, Jyotiba and even at Nasik at the time of the Kumbha mela.
Under the guidance of Shreeaniruddha Bapu, several seva projects are implemented as part of the 13 point programme. A health and hygiene campaign has been implemented for the last five years at Kolhapur-Karanjphen. This year (2008) about 16,300 students and villagers availed of medical examinations. Accordingly medicines were distributed and treatment advised. Many were given spectacles. Tests like the ECG, the sonography, X-ray, etc. and even dental check-ups and treatment are conducted free of cost. Besides, 7634 students were examined medically and were then given uniforms (2 sets each and so 15,268 sets), sports material, caps, slippers, etc. all free ofcost and so that they attend school regularly. The uniforms thus distributed are made from the fabric woven from the yarn that results from the ‘vastra project’ (charkha project) under the 13 point programme. The volunteers themselves spin the charkha and the yarn produced is used to make uniforms for the needy students. Till date, 4000 charkhas have yielded 1,58,700 metres of fabric resulting in 71,376 uniform sets that were received by 35,683 needy students.
remote places difficult to access are also provided with articles of everyday use, school
text books, etc.
Neither can bhakti be complete without seva nor can true, heartfelt seva happen without the foundation of bhakti. Bhakti keeps us firmly grounded, it does not allow the ego to take root, says Shree Aniruddha Bapu.
jap, the Ramaraksha stotra jap. I will deposit it in My Dattaguru’s bank but for your sake, not mine and put it to use when you are in real need. Give your time, give your efforts for the seva of your needy brethern, for the upasana of the bhagavant. You need to offer at least twenty-four minutes out of twenty-four hours in bhakti of the bhagavanta. It is this that is ultimately going to be useful. In the horrific times of the third world war, it is this reserve of bhakti and seva that is going to salvage you. Bhakti is the path of the valiant not of the coward. It is a totally misplaced and wrong notion to define for oneself ridiculous associations with bhakti like being shabbily dressed or being foolish or uncaring about worldly affairs. Modern technology, science, an alert yet ethical worldly and material life, being tidily and neatly dressed are all needs of the hour and one just has to move on with time.’
In the preface to the work ‘The Third WorldWar’ Shree Aniruddha Bapu says, ‘There is no doubt that over the next twenty to twenty-five years, conflict will become an aspect of everyday doings and in every region on earth. In the coming times, the equation of today might not be valid tomorrow and what was valid at seven in the morning might be flung right out of the window after its purpose is served and at five minutes past seven. The calendar is released every once in a year because there is a definite kind of mathematical formula and construction involved. The calendar of the coming ‘third world war’ is however, going to be a new one everyday.’ Dwelling on India’s role in the work ‘The Third World War, Shree Aniruddha Bapu
states in detail that it is indeed going to be a significant one. In explanation He says, ‘What is most important is that the task of salvaging the world on all fronts as also that of its post-war rehabilitation will, in all probability fall to India’s lot.’ Shree Aniruddha strongly believes that no matter how big the destructive power, it is as slight as a blade of grass, just no match for a pure, positive and constructive power. Besides, for the purpose, He is ever willing and committed to undertake a morally worthy and constructive task complying with the norms of the Parameshvar.
In His role of a Friend, Shree Aniruddha is ever at work, ever willing to take along with Him all the shraddhaavaan on the path of accord mentionned earlier, the path that leads beyond any conflict whatsoever.... to usher in the new era, an era of love! An era of the human, the humane dharma! An era of pure friendship! He cherishes in His open eyes, the beautiful dream of the dawn, the dawn of the new era. His relentless and infinite effort will mark the break of dawn. The one singular focus and aim, the one life mission of the One, who will cause the break of dawn, the sunrise and light the way is, I shall fill this world with happiness and abound with joy, all that be.