At the conclusion of every Sikh service, Sikhs ask God for blessings/prosperity to all (“sarbhat da bhalla“). EcoSikh, an organization noted on this blog before, is enacting this wish through Sikhism-inspired environmental/ecological protection. In the end, preservation of our natural environment benefits all of humanity.
EcoSikh is currently engaging Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) and Sikh communities around the world to commemorate “Sikh Environment Day” on March 14, 2011. This date is significant in Sikh history; it was on this day in 1644 that Guru Har Rai was annointed as the Sikhs’ seventh Guru. In his honor, EcoSikh hopes to bring environmental awareness to Sikhs around the world.
Guru Har Rai is associated with a great compassion for nature. As a child, he was reduced to tears when his robe brushed against a bush and damaged its flowers. During the Sikhs’ hunting expeditions (used for military training), he would spare the life of animals and keep them in his zoo. So, the choice of his gur gaddi diwas (the day he became the Guru of the Sikhs) has special significance.
More information about the Sikh Environment Day initiative, and how to get involved (or get your Gurdwara involved), is available on their website (http://www.ecosikh.org). EcoSikh also provides some interesting articles about the connection between Sikh theology and environmental protection here.