Lohri, the annual fire festival of Northern India marks a good bye to the winter chill and calls forth the spring and the new summer. Ironically, Lohri 2016, the day of bidding good bye to winters came but winter did not come. Unlike the previous years, Northern India including Punjab which witnesses extremely low temperatures in January stood strikingly warmer this year.
Scientists report that this disturbance in the weather is probably because of the extended El Niño effect and vortex created in the Artic which has locked the cold currents and left a strikingly warmer and dryer winter this year.* Though scientists don’t confirm the role of climate change in this change, but experts certainly say this weather fluctuation comes as an alarm for the humanity. Even if it is not climate change now, climate change would definitely increase the frequency of El Niño in future, resulting in warmer, dryer winters and other unanticipated weather changes.
Responding to this natural warning, DJJS Ludhiana Nature Conservators dedicated Lohri 2016 to sensitize and mobilize masses to understand their due responsibility towards saving Mother Earth. The program started with an insightful talk laying down the dynamics of looming climate change threat on the planet system by ascetic disciple of His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj Ji, Sadhvi Ambalika Bharti, Coordinator, DJJS Ludhiana. Webbing her lecture around the current warmer winter, Sadhvi ji drew attention of the audience to the fact that how selfish living of man has led to such an environmental disruption. If we don’t rise to our due responsibility towards mother earth now, then the time is not far when all these celebrations will lose meaning and our living itself would be challenged by nature.
“His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj Ji, Head and founder of Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan, states that traditional Indian festivals behold a great socio- spiritual significance. Traditional practice of chanting of Gayatri Mantra on the occasion actually symbolically alerted man to always use his knowledge and intellect for welfare of others and not for his selfish endeavours. Lack of understanding about these subtle messages embedded in our traditions, we have strayed from the path of harmonious living. Lohri for mother earth is not only sensitizing masses about the environmental subject but we are also reconnecting people with scientific meaning of these traditional practices”, informed coordinator MEMR Ludhiana Chapter.
In the end, redefining tradition of walking and sacrificing peanuts and corns in the pious fire, the MEMR Nature Conservators and the sensitized locals walked around the pious fire taking seven pledges to save Mother Earth.