Letters / Opinions — 26 June 2013

As many of our readers know, Prabhavati Dwabha lives near Rishikesh above the Laxman Jhula bridge, where she built and runs an orphanage and the organic restaurant Ramana’s Garden, overlooking the river Ganges, many feet above the water level.

After the recent heavy destructions at Kedarnath, Dwabha wrote about the situation on site in Rishikesh that they are safe but their mobile tower is down, so difficult to connect.

She wrote:

“Mother Nature is raging here. Ma Ganga is a torrent of fury and destruction. 70,000 stranded, many without food or water; over 10,000 missing and many known dead. Entire villages on Ganga’s banks were swept away. The water rose to touch the Ram Jhula bridge [below Laxman Jhula bridge]…400 hundred roads swept away, nearly every road we traveled on is gone…21 bridges swept away, all on the Char Dham Yatra routes that we were taking.

And still outside my window Ma Ganga is raging against all those who cut her beautiful forests, carried away her precious stones and sand, and encroached on her sacred banks with their illegal dams, power stations, and buildings. It all began just the day before Ganga Dusshera, the day she is believed to have descended to the earth from the heavens. It is as though she is finally striking back at all the evil that continued to defile her for so many years.

I remember the day we were leaving Gangotri and I couldn’t stop crying seeing all the ancient trees butchered by sheer greed by the roadside (which is now totally gone along with most of Gangotri…only the temples there and Kedernath still stand, although they were built 1000 years ago). It rained for 5 days continuously in Kodiya, huge waterfalls poured down from the mountain top above us…both roads to get out were destroyed down. It is in these times that I really know we are being held in the hands of the Divine.

We are all safe, a little damp and muddy, but very grateful and happy that our homes weren’t destroyed and we are all safe and together, singing and praying for all those unfortunate to be out in the rain without food and shelter tonight…so sad that the innocent have to suffer while those who created this mess are far removed from it.

Some call it The Wrath of Kali Maa! As heavy rains cause further destruction the high priests speak out to the world. On the eve of this tragedy the ongoing battle between priests and the hydro dam company over their demand to destroy the Kali Temple in Rudraprayag to build the dam was decided in the hydro company’s favour and they removed Kali Maa’s murti to a platform outside and began to demolish temple. Goddess Kali Maa is the protector of Kedernath shrine. Believe what you like there are the facts:

All hydro projects between the temple and Kedernath are destroyed!! Rudraprayag was hardest hit after Kedernath which was protected by 3 massive boulders which came down first…Jai Kali Maa!

It is such an important message Mother Ganga is giving us: Nature is not ours to objectify, use and abuse. Mother Nature brings life when we treat Her with respect, care and love. But nature neglected and abused wrecks Her own havoc upon Her abusers….. By Her grace, I believe She is giving us another chance. Let us take the message to heart and change our ways so that Mother Nature, Mother Ganga and all our brothers and sisters upon Her banks may live safe, healthy and nurtured lives….”

Prabhavati Dwabha TNPrabhavati Dwabha is a long-time sannyasin and has been living in Rishikesh for decades. She created a remarkable NGO to help in particular orphans and destitute children from Nepal and India and also supports children in local villages with clothing, food and medical help. She is the recipient of the Humanitarian of 2011 Award for her ongoing contributions. friendsramanasgarden.org

Share