Inner Wheel Forest
Inner Wheel Forest – The Holy Initiation in Inner Wheel Presidentship
The alarm rang at 3 am. It rang so many times for so many reasons at various points in time in my life, like everyone. For catching a flight or a train. For waking up the children for their school and examinations. For medical purposes. For getting up to go to the office. But this was for a different occasion.
It was the first day of my Presidentship at the Inner Wheel Club of Navi Mumbai Sunrise. I would have to get ready to go to the Inner Wheel Forest in the Kandivali area in Mumbai. I looked out of the window. It was still dark outside. I was relieved to see that the rain that had been lashing the city for the last few days had stopped. There was almost absolute silence and stillness all around. It was the perfect time to feel the same stillness and calm within you.
While getting ready, I thought, what could be a better time to start this day in my association with Inner Wheel? It was a little before the Brahma Muhurta - the most auspicious time of the day. Not only that. What could be a better way of beginning Presidentship in my Inner Wheel Club of Navi Mumbai Sunrise? Tree plantation and forestation drives are giving back to Mother Earth what belongs to her. In my opinion, the holiest thing to do. Could not think of any better ritual to start this journey of community service.
As we got civilised, we became delusional about our status in this world. We started believing we are the master of this world; we own it and control it. The reality is in front of us all the time, yet we choose to remain oblivious of where we come from and where we go back. Instead, in our urge to commodify everything, we have not left even Nature. For example, in our proud modern parlance, we call water a ‘precious commodity’. We forgot that it is the Divine Nectar of Life and not a ‘commodity’. Hence, sometimes when we claim that we have to ‘save’ nature, we sound boastful.
Nature is an all-powerful entity in itself. It is self-reliant. It does not need our intervention for its survival and growth unless we interfere with it. Our existence depends on Nature because we are nothing but a part of it. We are an expression and extension of the same energy that Nature manifests through all the other living creatures. By saving nature we favour ourselves and ensure our well-being and survival. Planting trees is an investment in ourselves. We need oxygen to breathe and be alive. We need water and soil to sustain our bodies and minds. Our entire civilization rests on it. We need fruits, medicines, wood, gum, fibre and leaves given by trees. We need the birds and the bees, mammals and the reptiles, insects and the butterflies. They are our fellow beings, our true partners in life. We are no less vulnerable than them to the possibility of extinction. We recently experienced the consequence of hobnobbing with the wild too closely for our safety. Coronavirus.
The ecological balance must remain unspoilt if we love our children and grandchildren. Because if they have to live a sane, healthy and spiritually evolved life on the face of this earth, and not run away to some other barren planet in some kind of claustrophobic capsules, they will need it. Hence when we go for forestation and tree plantation, we perform a responsibility to ourselves, our next generations and to all our fellow earthy creatures.
Carrying the responsibility of submitting the humble contribution of 47 trees from my fellow Inner Wheel Club of Navi Mumbai Sunrise members to the Inner Wheel Forest at Kandivali was such a sacred responsibility. I thank our Inner Wheel leader PDC Himadri Nanavati for gifting the Maximum city of Mumbai this invaluable emerald pendant. It was her vision and initiative that this piece of barren land on this hillock today has a lush green cover of 15,000 trees. I thank Inner Wheel District 314 for the perfect initiation practice in the spirit of service every year on the 1st of July.
Inner Wheel Club of Navi Mumbai Sunrise