Once again this year on March 14th, the Gurpurb of Sri Guru Har Rai, Sikhs across the world will be marking Sikh Environment Day. This initiative was started by EcoSikh, a US & India based organization. The Sikhs highest temporal authority, Sri Akal Takht Sahib, now officially recognizes March 14th as Sikh Environment Day and encourages Sikhs all over the world to participate in this initiative which promotes environmental awareness about issues facing our world.
The World Sikh Organization of Canada is proud to be an active participant in the 2013 Sikh Environment Day. We are amongst hundreds of Sikh organizations around the world partnering with EcoSikh to raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection. As part of our participation, we are asking Sikhs across Canada to joins us in marking Sikh Environment Day.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first embodiment of Divine Light in the Sikh tradition, laid the foundation for a sacred vision for the environment when he composed the salok:
‘Pavan Guru Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat’
ਪਵਣੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਪਾਣੀ ਪਿਤਾ ਮਾਤਾ ਧਰਤਿ ਮਹਤੁ ||
(Air is the Guru, Water the Father, and the Earth is the Great Mother)
We honor our Gurus’ wisdom by believing that all humans have an intrinsic sensitivity to the natural world, and that a sustainable, more just society is possible, where water, air, land, forests, and biodiversity remain vibrant, living systems for our generation and for future generations.
The EcoSikh Toolkit contains valuable links which will help you learn more about the initiative and also what you can do on this day. At the very least, Sri Akal Takht Sahib encourages every Sikh to plant one tree on Sikh Environment Day. Included in the EcoSikh Toolkit are English and Punjabi resources such as:
- Sikh Environment Day Guide
- PowerPoint Presentation
- Booklet with 30 Gurbani Shabads that can be sung
- 10 minute eco-assembly
- Ideas on student participation in classrooms
- Pledge form, flyers and posters
Caring for and protecting our environment, our home, our planet is a global responsibility for every human. Sri Guru Har Rai Ji, who was a great lover of nature and created many gardens and parks, showed us this path through the Sikh way.
We encourage you to utilize the EcoSikh Toolkit to organize activities for Sikh Environment Day including nature walks, community clean ups, tree planting events, etc in your local communities.
For more information on EcoSikh and the Sikh Environment Day initiative visit www.ecosikh.org.