Whistling Woods | 27 August 2016
The MyTree initiative by Sri M seeks to fulfill Manav Ekta Mission’s aim of promoting sustainable living by encouraging planting of trees. MyTree is inspired by the Sanskrit word – Maitri – meaning amity. This initiative promotes Manav Ekta (oneness of humanity) by encouraging an individual/community-led partnership to plant trees—a human alliance that ensures a sustainable relationship with nature.
MyTree Mumbai Team organized a group planting at the campus of Whistling Woods International Institute of Film, Communication & Media Arts, Goregaon, Mumbai on 27 August 2016. Apart from the Satsangis and the volunteers of Manav Ekta Mission, many joined in this planting initiative including thirty students from the nearby schools. They welcomed Sri M at the gate, chanting the Gayatri Mantra.
Whistling Woods International is a film, communication and media arts institute located in Mumbai, India. Bollywood filmmaker Subhash Ghai, Mukta Arts Limited and Film City Mumbai promote the institute. In July 2014, The Hollywood Reporter named Whistling Woods on its list of “The best film schools in the world”. The Hollywood Reporter first ranked the school among the top 10 film schools in 2010.
The planting of the trees was initiated by Sri M, in the company of Shri Subhash Ghai, Smt Meghana Ghai, and other well-known personalities like Shri Moti Sagar, Shri Vijay Raaz, Shri Raj Zutshi, and Sheeba Chaddha. In total, 9 trees were planted. Tulsi saplings were given to the guests and volunteers for planting in their own gardens.
Sri M briefly addressed the students at the Whistling Woods, Institute on the theme of student-teacher relationship and drew upon the spirit of the Upanishads to explain the concept. Sri M also enlightened the students with the importance of communication & dialogue in any sphere of life and said, ‘A conversation can lead to solutions, hence it’s most important to initiate them’. A short film followed the talk on the concept and significance of ‘MyTree’ project. Management of Whistling Woods International Institute—Shri Prahalad Kakkar, Smt Meghana and Shri Subash Ghai—felicitated Sri M.
“The act of planting a tree and taking care of its growth establishes an inner connection with nature. Understanding this inner connection results in our personal growth.” – Sri M
Sri M said: “Whistling Woods International is a divine place surrounded by nature and that’s the reason for our association with the institute. Meghna, ensured that at WWI the planted trees will be well taken care of and I now look forward to witnessing the sight of the beautiful Banyan Tree growing strong and inspiring students to stand tall and rooted, bearing fruits like the tree. I thank everyone at Whistling Woods International, especially Subhash Ghai ji and Meghna and her team, for their contribution and associating with us for a noble cause.”
At Karma Hall of the Institute, Sri M surprised everyone by choosing to speak on Kriya Yoga to a packed audience. He made it clear that he was not giving Kriya Diksha but just giving an introduction to Kriya Yoga. Kriya Yoga has been traced back to the ancient times and, in more recent past, to Lahiri Mahashaya, who received it directly from Sri Guru Babaji. He shared that Mahaavtar Babaji mentioned in ‘The Autobiography of a Yogi’ is the same as Sri Guru Babaji. He explained the Pranayama process involved in the practice of Kriya. A few students present, between the age group of 10 to 12, listened in rapt attention to the talk about ‘Ida’, ‘Pingala’, and ‘Sushumana’.
Sri M elaborated that, while being rooted in the tradition of Kriya Yoga and having been initiated into the Nath Panth by his Guru, Sri Maheshwaranath Babaji, he finds that Kriya is only one of the Paths to the Ultimate Truth. This view not only avoids any possibility of sectarianism but also puts him in the league of saints and sages whose primary concern is the spiritual growth of the aspirants. While expressing his inability to offer Kriya Diksha to a large group on the occassion, he blessed one and all with Mantra Diksha by chanting Om Hreem Sri Gurubhyo Namah.