A River in Danger
Mayapura, West Bengal
The main nerve or hub of activity for the area is the Ganges River. Besides the sacredness of her holy waters, she offers a very practical service. Her liquids provide energy for agriculture. Rice paddy fields are common in the area. She is food for the rice which is food for the population.
Rivers are so much taken for granted though. Do we ever think of them as a life-line? The sastras (spiritual texts) remind us of their contribution. If you resort to the automobile or motorcycle for travel you so much cut yourself off from the environment around you. The Ganga, that powerful source of energy, can so easily be forgotten, even here in Mayapura. As was the case last year on my visit here I cursed those who drive their scooters in the dhama (holy place). I'm a big opponent. When someone zooms by I blurt out, "You should walk!" Again my intent is to offer the idea that we all need to get in tune, or in touch with the world around us.
With signs up in Mayapura, pilgrims here are made aware of another river, one that is in great danger of losing life. That river is the Yamuna. Signs read, "Save the Yamuna." This river with source from the Himalayas flows south east eventually appears to lose speed and content before it drains itself. By the time it reaches after Delhi, the Yamuna is so ravaged and polluted that pilgrims and residents of Vrindavan can't experience her full former glory what to speak of the practical irrigational services she commits to. It is not unheard of for rivers to dry up totally.
The signs encourage all to submit to a petition, a worth while and simple service anyone can do. I have little information at this point on who's behind this campaign but it seems to me that we need to establish such obligations in at least a small way. It's the right thing to do -- get informed and offer some help. Contact www.saveyamuna.org