The projects include tree planting by the World Malayalee Council, a Civil 20 campaign to disperse one million seed balls in fragile ecosystems worldwide, and AYUDH’s ninth year of planting saplings, alongside its start of beekeeping.
Vishu is Kerala’s Spring celebration of the prosperity, abundance, and joy that arises from Mother Earth. Amma has launched new practical initiatives to globally address the effects of environmental degradation and climate change. The projects will be carried out in collaboration with volunteers worldwide.
“Alignment with nature is the lasting and closest bond for the human body and life. Without the elemental forces of earth, fire, water, air and space, humankind and other creatures will cease to exist. Our essential consciousness is the totality of all these forces. As long as we do not acknowledge this eternal unity between humankind and these natural forces, peace, happiness, and harmony will remain a dream. Vishu represents this elemental bond,” said Amma during her address at the Vishu celebrations in Amritapuri.
“Vishu is a celebration of the bond between man and God, man and nature, and man and man. It is clarion call to reclaim the glorious values of our timeless and imperishable farming culture. The word Vishu also means ‘equal’. Vishu is the day on which day and night are of equal length. The state of being equal is the central point of our existence. From that perspective, Vishu gives us the message of seeing everything and everyone as equal.”
Amma blessed saplings for Vishu Thaineetham, an initiative that was started in 2015 by the Math’s youth wing, AYUDH. In addition to Vishu Kaineetham, the tradition of receiving money from family elders, the young people celebrate Spring by planting trees, fruits and other vegetation in their local ecosystems. ‘Thai’ is the Malayalam word for sapling.
This year, the World Malayalee Council (WMC) was inspired to join such a noble cause and has expanded the reach of participation to diaspora at the global level. Vishu Thaineettham is now initiated by all 69 WMC provinces in India and abroad in six regions across the world, as well as by several other international Malayalee associations.
“The Vishu Thaineettam initiative represents a significant transformation inspired by Amma. As children, we used to receive Vishu Kaineettham and buy candies or toys during the temple festival seasons. This was a type of pocket money. Children generally lack discernment, and money in the hands of a dullard can be dangerous. The same is true for our minds—a mind in the hands of a dullard is also dangerous,” said Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri at the event.
“What did Amma do? She transformed this tradition into Vishuthaineettam. In this era of global warming and climate change threatening humanity, this initiative has become a revolution—a revolution of compassion, so to speak. It is an inner revolution. By joining this great venture, the World Malayalee Council demonstrates their duty, commitment, and sincerity toward society, the world, and future generations.”
Sri Johny Kuruvila, Global Chairman of WMC, expressed his gratitude to team up with the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) to address mother nature’s call to humankind to urgently take action to correct the damage done by pollution, deforestation, and greenhouse gas emissions. With a positive mindset, he also expressed that this is a way to reunite all people of the world as a global family.
He said: “Only today did I come to realise the importance of Vishu – its significance and greatness in family unity, and how the love for nature is passed on through generations. To join this great venture and spread this message worldwide, no government or other administration could have carried it out and reached all the families of the World Malayalee Council as effectively as this organisation has. I see this as a God-given opportunity. I thank Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Swamiji, and all members of the World Malayalee Council at this time. Let this be the beginning. I have hope that for the good of the world and humanity, we have joined hands together.”
On the same day, WMC’s chapter in the Middle East and Amrita Kudumbam UAE initiated Vishu Thaineetham by gifting a sapling to the Consulate General of India in Dubai, Dr. Aman Puri. Their vision was to motivate everyone, especially the younger generation, to see the importance of Mother Nature and of preserving and protecting Her.
This year’s Vishu also celebrates further initiatives by MAM to encourage people around the world to contribute in whatever way possible to environmental restoration, as every small action contributes to a greater whole.
With Amma as Chair of the G20’s Engagement Group for civil society, the C20’s Sustainable and Resilient Communities working group has launched ‘Seeds of Hope’ – a campaign with the goal of dispersing one million seed balls in fragile ecosystems worldwide.
Volunteers are set to gather in centres across the country and in Asia, Europe, South America, North America, Australia, and Africa to create the seed balls. They are made by rolling soil and seeds that are often mixed with clay and other organic materials to bind them.
The balls are then thrown or scattered in local areas where vegetation is declining. Since they rely on natural rainfall or watering to germinate and grow into mature plants, no further gardening is required. It is, in fact, an ancient technique used for reforestation and soil restoration.
So far, volunteers have taken part in intensive seed ball making workshops at the Amrita University campus and the ashram in Amritapuri. They have made balls that contain seeds for neem trees and eventually, a total of 100,000 balls will be distributed across the country. To make Amma’s dream of restoring balance with mother nature come true, people of all ages, even little children, are participating in whatever way they can.
AYUDH has also taken up the charge to further its environmental actions by starting a beekeeping project at Amrita University. The purpose is to set an example on how to support local bee populations, as their numbers are declining in many parts of the world. This affects global food supply, as at least one-third of crops depend upon pollinators.