Its been about four years that I am planting trees (Ayurvedic saplings). As a part of my yogic journey, I have traveled extensively in different parts of India and various other countries. Everywhere apart from teaching yoga and philosophy of yoga, important messages I have given are cleaning the rivers, reducing / eliminating use of plastic and planting trees - especially Ayurvedic plants.
Another reason to go for Ayurvedic plantation is, increasing demand for Ayurvedic medicine. World over the demand for Ayurvedic medicine has drastically gone up. Many new companies in India are producing Ayurvedic medicine. General worry you would find with the raw material procurement department of these companies is - unavailability of enough raw material. Parts of Himalayas, Cchattisgarh, Odisha, Western Ghats etc are the few regions where you procure raw material from. With increasing demand, the plants are depleting fast. In few years, or may be today itself we may come with the news of ayurvedic products not meeting the specifications as advised in the old scriptures. So planting Ayurvedic sapling is a must. If we wish to give good medicine to ourselves and future generations, we should plant more and more Ayurvedic plants.
During my travel I realized that India though one country has different weather patterns. There is a confirmed co-relation between trees and rainfall. Wherever more trees / deep forest are, rainfall in these areas is better than the regions which are deforested. Western Ghats, regions of Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, North Eastern India, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand are good examples of this phenomenon. So idea came to my mind - why not plant trees where there is scarcity of rain. Parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Odisha, MP, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh really need drastic measures and huge drives of forestation so that the green cover & resultant rainfall could be improved.
I started my plantation in Kashmir through some unique encounter. A Muslim lady visited me calling Pir sahab and wanted some remedy from me for the problem of a soul possessing her. I advised her to plant five Chinar saplings and miraculously she said her problem got over. Then I planted trees in Rajasthan, Karnataka, parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat. As a matter of faith when people visit me for some divine remedy to their problems, I do advise to plant trees. Increasing number of people give me the feedback that their problems get solved. I call it as divine grace and blessing of Vriksha Devata (Tree God).
|Aamla tree plantation near Bangalore at Kanyaka Parameshwari Temple|
I do have a theory regarding this. Human life day by day is becoming superficial by bringing a disconnect between humans and the nature. Modernization, Urbanization have created new employment opportunities and people are moving away from farming. City population is swelling and villages are drying up. Impact of this city ward movement of population is making the village population lazy. Best example is Kerala where people spend their month by waiting for remittance coming from abroad. Same scene is observed in many parts of India. So the villagers are not farming seriously. the lands under cultivation are becoming arid. There is no guidance to these villagers about new methods of farming, fruits plantation etc. Such vast idle manpower in India needs to be tapped for forestation, mass plantation drives. I am exactly trying that.
Farming is predominantly done by our farmers with commercial motive. Which is not wrong. But some measures of common gain, like forestation need to be advised to the farmers. Forestation will improve rainfall in the region and will benefit all. When I share this simple idea with the farmers, they like it and wish to participate.
While doing plantation, choice of plants is very important. Government agencies do forestation too. But they mainly plant the trees which are non-local (foreign), which can grow fast with less water, and which normally don't bear fruits. Such forestation drives help in reporting increased forest area. But all plants don't suit the given region. So I suggest to plant Ayurvedic saplings. General trees useful in Ayurvedic medicines are Aamla, Vat, Peepal, Arjun, Harad, Behad, Bael, Audumbar, Jamun, Neem, etc. These grow into big trees and generally grow in any part of India. And then we have list of other trees which can grow in specific regions. I advise on that too.
|Ayurvedic Saplings distribution at Nashik, Maharashtra|
Not only big Ayurvedic trees, but encouraging Ayurvedic farming is important in this regard.
This plantation drive is for the benefit of humanity. So larger participation in this is expected.Everyone may not own farmland, but one may have ability to help buy the sapling, one may have ability to help nourish the plant for two years, one may help protecting the plant. My idea is to develop a big garden for each village where basic medicine for the village could be procured from.
|Sapling plantation at Sao Paulo, Brazil|
Cities are cutting trees for making space for constructing new houses, some are cutting trees for making wood available for the housing and industrial purpose, villages are mindlessly cutting trees for source of energy (for cooking fire). During my journey I have seen, if not less, thousands of hands cutting trees. Unfortunately I seldom came across the sight of tree plantations.
Though I have not kept record, by now, I must have planted between 8000 to 9000 plants. I wish to plant one Crore (ten million) Ayurvedic plants in my lifetime. Directly or indirectly. I am sure I will get necessary help from the conscious souls who think of common welfare. I am sure the divine will complete the Sankalpa.