“If you lose touch with nature you lose touch with humanity.
If there’s no relationship with nature then you become a killer;
then you kill baby seals, whales, dolphins, and man
either for gain, for “sport,” for food, or for knowledge.
Then nature is frightened of you, withdrawing its beauty.
You may take long walks in the woods or camp in lovely places
but you are a killer and so lose their friendship.
You probably are not related to anything to your wife or your husband “
– the great philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti writes. Living close to nature is indeed living close to the divine, and GOD has always had this as its baseline.
In line with that, the First Anniversary of Houston Namadwaar in the US was celebrated on March 13, 2011 with giving programs in the morning and a grand tree-planting drive in the afternoon along with cultural events.
On the afternoon of March 19th, the Honorable Mayor Delores Martin of Manvel city arrived at 2 pm. She was taken to see the Namadwaar and spent considerable time there listening to the chanting and looking at the sayings of Mahans that adorn the Namadwaar’s walls and also the photo collage of various G.O.D. activities in the US and across the world.
She was then invited outside where everyone had assembled. Smt. Zenitha Ram was the “MC” for the program. She invited the Mayor onto the stage along with Sri Jeevan Nair and Sri Narayanan Sathiamoorthy. After a spirited rendition of the US national anthem by accomplished 14-year-old singer, Shilpa Sadagopan, Sri Srini Balakrishnan gave the welcome address and read out Sri Swamiji’s message for the anniversary. In His message, Sri Swamiji spoke of the sweetness of the path of love and the joy of singing the glories of the Almighty together as a group, and blessed all the members of the G.O.D. family who had come all the way from across the country to celebrate the first anniversary of Namadwaar and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu jayanti.
Sri Jeevan Nair then gave an overview of G.O.D. USA activities and the activities at Houston Namadwaar. Following this, Mayor Delores Martin, who has been a great support to the Namadwaar in the last year, was invited to speak. She spoke a few short but sweet words that expressed her enthusiasm and gratitude to be able to attend the Namadwaar anniversary just like she had the inauguration last year. Sri Narayanan Sathiamoorthy then spoke about Universal Love and the underlying principle of G.O.D. which is Universal Harmony through Inner Transformation, Inner Transformation through Spiritual Awakening, Spiritual Awakening by Chanting the Divine Name. He spoke of how we only “fall” in worldly love but always “rise” in Divine Love and that that Divine Love is the one that can take each one of us to the ideal of Universal Harmony.
Ms. Ranjana Narasiman and Mr. Tupil Narasiman represented the Meenakshi Temple Society of Pearland and gave their best wishes for the function. Honorable Maaji and Shri Chandraji representing Shirdi Sai Jalram Mandir of Houston and Mrs. Tara Narasiman representing Hindus of Greater Houston were special attendees of the evening program.
Following this, the Mayor was invited to commence the tree sapling planting. About 17 saplings of beautiful flowering trees were planted behind Namadwaar, by each of several guests and friends in a temporary area. They will later be transplanted to different locations within the Namadwaar grounds.
The GOD team has also requested the Mayor to see if we can help the wider community – spanning the Manvel city and the neighboring cities – by planting more trees.