This month newsletter brings an excerpt from a famous lecture of Swami Vivekananda. Here Swami Vivekananda speaks about how mind and nature form a continuum. This is part of a series of excerpts from the various works of Swami Vivekananda which VK-nardep has been publishing - the common theme in all of these excerpts published through all the newsletters in his 150th birth anniversary is the Vedantic basis to the ecological thought and action, like the oneness of all life, Vedantic basis of treating all existence as one's own self and inseparable connectivity to nature. Here Swami Vivekananda points out that one cannot differentiate oneself from nature thinking we have the mind and that it is different from the rest of nature. In his words: "Mind is changed into matter, matter is changed into mind. Thought force becomes nerve force, muscular force; muscular and nerve force become thought force. Nature is all this force, whether expressed as matter or mind." All difference we see in nature between ourselves and the so-called lower animal life is only that of degree. Swami Vivekananda in his own characteristic forceful way puts it : "I and the lowest pig differ only in degree. It is less manifested, I am more. Sometimes I am worse, the pig is better." A really powerful message to venerate all life - even the forms which we usually are conditioned to despise.
Our work in the renovation of the sacred water bodies in the holy island of Rameshwaram is progressing wonderfully. Now we have started the renovation work of the third teertham - Sahadeva Teertham. Here too the stagnant water has been removed, an internal well has been made visible, and as clear water pours in the surrounding enclosures are getting a new face-lift. Surely this is fitting tribute to the living presence of Swami Vivekananda and a work of gratitude for the people of Rameshwaram - who gave Swami Vivekananda an arousing welcome on his return from his triumphant visit to the West.
With summer comes the camps. We conducted camps for the children and also elders. It was a great learning experience for the adults as well as children. They imbibed training to enhance their scientific thinking, their living in tune with nature and improving inter-personnel relations. There has been other happenings also. In our publication section we present an excerpt on the ideal village eco-system which has evolved in our country and how it stands endangered today. And our wisdom section has an educationist speaking about Mother Universe. What does an empty cococut shell have to teach you? A lot of eco-awareness! That is an episode from the life of Mata Amritanandamayi where she imparts green discipline as part of spiritual living. There is a prayer to the future beings whose future our actions will make or mar.
On the whole we wish a very happy and useful reading experience to YOU dear friend... you can download the newsletter here.