Guest Post by Laura Plumb
Imagine standing in the midst of a wide, flowing river, looking up toward its source: the soaring mountain ranges of the mighty Himalayas. Far above you glistens the snow-capped summit of Nanda Dev, a golden point so high, it seems to pierce the sky.
This is the source of the river in which you stand, surrounded by shimmering waters that look like they pour from Heaven and flow to the ocean where all heavenly waters reunite.
It is a beautiful, powerful river. You let go. You float and allow this river to carry you to the ocean. As it moves, and flows, you feel that eventually all things do merge into one, and a river runs through. You feel yourself at peace, and a part of that great truth.
This is the great Ganges River, known as Ma Ganga to the nearly one billion people who live, drink, bathe, and worship in her water daily. Ever since people lived along her banks, this river has been considered sacred, an expression of Heaven’s grace flowing towards the valleys to feed, fertilize, nourish, purify and heal humanity.
Sadly, though, this river is dying. Approximately three billion liters of waste and chemicals are dumped into her waters every day.(1) This puts the millions of people who depend on her waters at great risk; in fact, millions who use Ganga’s waters fall sick to illnesses such as typhoid, cholera, and dysentery.(2)
In addition to the threat of pollution, this holy river is drying up. Thanks to climate change, the Tibetan glaciers that feed the headwaters of Ganga are melting four times faster than in Asia, and faster than anywhere in the world.(3) The World Wildlife Fund listed the Ganges among the world’s five most endangered rivers.(4)
In response to this crisis, my teacher and spiritual guide, H.H. Puyja Swami Chidanand Saraswati Maharaj of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, has launched a campaign to preserve this great river: Ganga Action.
Ganga Action is a global family of all types of people. Young, old, rich, poor, unknown, famous, all castes, all creeds, all bound by a common heart that respects and loves Ma Ganga. And we’re committed to helping her become cleaner and healthier.
To that end, we are launching the Ganga Yoga Retreat and Training, a 3 day, 35 hour Yoga training that focuses on Yoga as service, Yoga as compassionate action, Yoga as a way to honor the flow of the divine, Yoga uniting communities of people devoted to heal, uplift and restore wholeness to our world. IYF/
We can thank Ma Ganga by revering our mother waters everywhere. We can value her gifts — life in all its forms — wherever She flows. We can cultivate a deeper relationship with the Sacred Feminine, restoring spiritual authority to women who provide balance and wholeness to a world safe and just for our children, healthy and fair for all.
We can “let go and let Ganga,” as Swamiji says, and allow Ganga to be a river of love, healing and compassion that flows through us, bringing our Yoga off the mat and offering the world our devotion, selflessness and service.
I invite you to join us in your own unique way, hold Ma Ganga in your heart, and be the flow of love, healing, compassion we all seek, and the world so badly needs.
Laura Plumb is a partner at VedaWise, offering clinical services in natural medicine for whole person wellness and trainings in the Vedic sciences, Laura is also the Director of The Sophia Mission, teaching sacred feminine leadership, empowerment and wellness to women and girls for the betterment of all.
Check out her upcoming Yoga Yatra Retreat in India, Feb/March 2014 !