The same would be undertaken at all the other main temples of Himachal Pradesh as well
Members of the Shri Naina Devi Shrine Board, district forests division and several religious and environmental fora have jointly launched an ambitious spiritual forestry drive in the premises of proposed building of the international Mahashakti Peethas museum at Shri Naina Devi temple, district Bilaspur of Himachal Pradesh.
Launched by the Himachal rural development minister Virender Kanwar and known museologist and environmentalist Dr P C Sharma at the shrine premises on September 8, the said drive participated among others by Randhir Sharma, vice chairman, state disaster management authority (SDMA), Himachal Pradesh, Sri Santoshi Nandan, chairman, Sri Santoshi Nandan Dharamarth Trust (SSNDT), Subhash Gautam, chairman, Shri Naina Devi Temple Trust, theological scholar Dr N D Sharma, managing director, Vchau-the world heritage organisation, Vinod Chauhan, and several devotees, tourists, area councillors, teachers and students by implanting saplings of spiritual and religious plants.
SPIRITUAL SAPLINGS GARDEN OPENED
With the forestry drive, a spiritual saplings garden spread in about 25 acre land was also opened at the upcoming international Mahashaktipeeths museum.
Stating that a symposium session on spiritual forestry was also organised on the occasion, Dr P C Sharma said that Kanwar, who presided over the seminar, lauded the first of its kind drive and said that community participation in such programs would go a long way in the protection and preservation of biological diversity of India. Dr Sharma said that the drive would continue in phases and also at all the main temples of the state.
Randhir Sharma in his address said that it was duty of everyone to grow and protect plants for the survival of mankind and entire animal kingdom. Subhash Gautam said that the venture of growing religious plants in the museum complex would educate people about the rich herbal wealth of the region as well as country.
Dr N D Sharma highlighted the theological significance of plants while Sri Santoshi Nandan said that one felt privileged to get associated with the spiritual eco-task of international importance and added that the drive would go across in inculcating the larger environmental awareness amongst the masses to grow, own and maintain the sacred saplings.
Dr P C Sharma in his keynote address deliberated on the divinity of some of the spiritual plants such as peepal, shami, banyan, bael, sandalwood, chandan, saal, moulsarry, bamboo, ashoka, tulsi, eucalyptus, calatheas, rosemary, jade, neem, mango, amla, harad, bahera, coconut, kunda, kadamb, kamuda, parijaat, champa, rudrakasha, lotus, harshingar, sala, tila, vata and others which have also been planted in the campuses of dedicated museum block and Sanskrit colleges with the view to promote and propagate temple forestry.
He said that the devotees would also be exhorted to offer and partake “Vrikshprasadam” (Prasad of religious plants’ saplings) under the drive.