World Peace Trees planting in Jadan Ashram
15th August is always the day of lofty celebrations in Jadan Ashram. Throughout the India, the whole nation celebrates it as the Independence Day of India, this year being already 66th anniversary. And all the disciples and bhaktas celebrate 15th August as the Incarnation day of our Divine Master His Holiness Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Shree Maheshwaranand Puriji Maharaj. This year we celebrated Swamiji's 67th birthday anniversary. In Jadan ashram, both of these auspicious events are always commemorated together. Every year the students of Shree Vishwa Deep Gurukul Vidyalay present their annual academy with a rich cultural program. This year another great occasion took place - Swamiji planted His 66th & 67th World Peace Trees.
At 9 o’clock in the morning, Swamiji initiated the celebrations of 15th August by hoisting the Indian national flag and then He lead the marching parade of the gurukul students. This official protocol is followed in this particular way everywhere in the whole country. Afterwards, Swamiji presided over a function that was prepared by our school children and lasted for three and a half hours. More than 20 various performances including singing bhajans, prayers and national songs, recitation and speeches in Hindi, Sanskrit and English, traditional Indian dances and theatre, yoga exercises and others were presented. Our students have shown how much they can represent the Vedic and Indian culture and they have proved the meaning of their gurukul education. A mere look into the audience consisting mainly of 1500 students of our school was uplifting. The bright glow of their faces and the pitambr (yellow) kurtas which represent the dress of Bhagawan Shree Krishna gave optimistic impression for maintaining the Vedic culture of Mother India also in the future.
At 1 o’clock in the afternoon Swamiji, accompanied by many school children, ashram sadhakas and V.I.P. guests, arrived to the grounds of Shree Swami Madhavananda Austria Hospital and chose the proper place for planting the two World Peace Trees. Next to the Hospital building there are quarters where some of the ashram employees live. Upon seeing Swamiji approaching to that area, they all made their way to greet Him and offer their pranams. For example, one typical four-generation Indian join family was also present there. The youngest member is a one-and-a half year old boy Manish and the oldest his grandgrandmother Bhani Devi Bai who is 80 years of age. As respect to senior citizens is common in India, Swamiji instantly invited her to participate in the Tree planting ceremony. Along with Swamiji, she symbolically touched the tree with her hand and bestowed all her life experience, wisdom and the inner peace of her respectful age on it. In the same way, many present dignitaries joined Swamiji in this significant and memorable moment – Mahamandaleshwar Swami Krishnanand of Juna Akhara, Shree Suresh Kumar Nahar Sahib from Bangalore, Sadhvi Shree Shanti Puriji and Colonel K.S. Rathore Sahib from the management of Shree Swami Madhavananda Austria Hospital, the Mahant of Jadan Ashram Swami Shree Premanandji, Shree Sita Ramji Garg – the Principal of Shree Vishwa Deep Gurukul Vidyalaya, Jadan; Shree Gajanandji Sharma – the Principal of Shree Swami Madhavananda College, Jadan; Shree Junjar Singhji Rajpoot – former Thakur of village Bagavas and many others, including dozens of our school and college students and ashram bhaktas.
Swamiji planted 2 different kinds of sacred Indian trees, the first one being a Peepal (Ficus religiosa), which received the name Shanti and the second one being a Banyan (Ficus benghalensis) named Iccha. Along with Jala abhisheka (sprinkling holy water) and chanting Mahamrityu Jaya mantra Swamiji gave the trees a special blessing that whoever strives for peace of mind should come, sit and meditate on his or her aim under the Shanti tree, and the one who strives for the fulfillment of his or her pure wishes should pray under the Iccha tree. Watch video on youtube.
Both of these types of sacred Ficus trees are worshiped in Hindu culture since ancient times. They are venerated as the seat of the Divine Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh) and thus represent one of Saguna forms of God. This is the reason why a Peepal or Banyan should never be cut down. We can often see these trees in Indian cities and villages with hundreds of colorful strings around their trunks and burning agarbathis and deepaks below them as the marks of continuous puja ceremonies. Quite often, women worship them in order to be blessed with a child. In satsangs, Swamiji repeatedly said that, as per scientific research, these two kinds of trees are special due to their extraordinary production of oxygen, which is extended even to 24 hours a day. Hence, these trees are very beneficial for the natural environment.
Swamiji keeps planting the World Peace Trees for the last 15 years, the first one being planted on 1st June 1997 in Konya, Turkey during the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders. Till the present day, there are 67 official World Peace Trees in various parts of all the five continents but there are already many millions of trees the plantation of which was initiated by a particular Swamiji’s World Peace Tree ceremony and millions more are coming.
With each World Peace Tree planting ceremony, Swamiji also plants a strong positive imprint of peace and harmony in the minds of all the people present as well as in the minds of those who learn about it through the media. This impression keeps growing together with the trees and those places truly become memorials where people gather not only at special occasions like 21st September – the UN International Day of Peace - but every time when they seek for inner support and a place radiating love and harmony. These Holy Trees of Peace will one day manifest their mighty splendor and we are the lucky ones to be a part of this great project. Everyone may support it by occasional visits to the nearest Peace Tree, by fulfilling the 2012 Gurupurnima sankalpa - planting at least 11 trees till next year - or by simply entertaining thoughts of inner peace and harmony and radiating them around themselves as often as possible.