Subscribe     |     View in browser  

Our Shared Oceans

Dear Envirocare Coordinators, Go Green Champions and Eco Explorers,

This month, we shed light on the wonders of the oceans in providing sustenance for humanity and all other organisms on Earth. 

“The ocean is the ultimate destination of all rivers. The ocean is the goal of the rivers (Nadinam sagaro gathi).”

- Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol.29/Ch.77, 26 July 1996. 

This vast body of water in enormous basins on Mother Earth is a safe home to most of our planet’s biodiversity, a major source of food and medicine, a mode of transportation and, above all, a critical part of our biosphere that regulates the global climate system. Even with all its benefits, the oceans are now in need of urgent restoration. Everyone is responsible to safeguard the oceans and ensure they shine resplendently again.

Our Oceans in Crucial Need of Support from Humankind

The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods” was the theme of World Oceans Day 2021 celebrated on 8th June, with the strong goal to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources” by 2030 - United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14.

Today, through unsustainable practices, mankind is extracting more from the oceans than can be replenished. Studies show that 90% of big fish populations have been depleted and 50% of coral reefs have been destroyed. Oceans, seas, and marine life are under severe threat from irresponsible exploitation, plastic pollution, oil spills, warming, acidification and harmful algal blooms that are disrupting marine ecosystems and the fragile communities they support.

Eco-Spiritual Connection of Humanity to Our Oceans - Global River and Beach CleanUps

Many countries across the different Zones of the Sri Sathya Sai International Organization stand shoulder to shoulder with Mother Nature to ensure a healthier oceans and marine ecosystems. Picking up trash from our beaches and rivers is a simple and easy and can be regarded as the most imperative spiritual activity (sadhana) at this moment in time when our oceans are struggling to recuperate from the long-term repercussions of man’s polluting activities

Spiritual sadhana means to regard a mountain or a tree, or a flower, or the ocean, as a means of God-realization.

- Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol.18/Ch.31, 29 December 1985

For over more than 10 years, Sri Sathya Sai volunteers from young children to adults have been mobilizing to clean our oceans, a selfless service (seva) performed as a complete offering to the Divine. This service will provide understanding of the interconnectedness of all creation in God and help to restore our oceans. The volunteers continue to grow the engagement year-round and they collect all sorts of items, such as plastic bottles, bottle caps, straws, beverage cans, takeaway plastic containers etc. 

PLASTICS of all kinds have been at the top list of marine debris. They also collect many odd items, whereby we just have to wonder, “How did this end up here?”

River and Public Beach CleanUp, Zone 9A, Mauritius, 2018 - 2019

Equipped with gloves, plastic bins, boots, rakes and shovels, the enthusiastic Sai devotees effectively harnessed the power of the team to collect river and ocean trash. Among the twenty-five bin bags full of waste, it was surprising to retrieve unusual things, such as broken furniture, rusted iron sheets, and even decayed animal carcasses near the P.G Melville public beach, Grand Gaube in 2018. The enthusiasm continued into the next year at the Riviere Des Galets public beach as pre-birthday celebrations of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and nearly twenty bins of trash were collected.

Rivers are the predominant channels that carry wastes from land to the oceans. The Mauritian Sri Sathya Sai volunteers had united to capture these harmful pollutants from La Grande Rosalie River, D’epinay and river banks in 2019 before they leaked into the ocean. More than fifteen bags full of wastes, mainly plastics, were removed.

River and Beach CleanUp, Zone 2B, Ecuador, 2019

A community cleanup was organized twice in 2019 at Yuyos Beach, Lima, and was open to the general public, so that all contribute towards a litter free environment.  
The Sri Sathya Sai Centre of Loja, in conjunction with the Environmental Coordinator of the Ibero-American Social Security Organization (OISS) of Ecuador and members of the Eco Club of Vilcabamb, celebrated Earth Day 2021 by cleaning up the Chamba River, Vilcabamba. The event was made even more special when the enthusiastic volunteers rushed onto the central streets of the town of Vilcabamba to pick up plastic litter.

Modara Beach CleanUp, Zone 4A, Sri Lanka, 2021

The Young Adults of the Sri Sathya Sai Centre of Colombo organized a massive coastal clean up, where different wings resiliently amassed 170 large gunny sacks of garbage that had been dumped over many years, the bulk being clothes and plastics. The area surrounding the beach was very dirty and in a depleted state, with accumulated trash even buried in the surface layer of the sand. After several hours of strenuous efforts, the beach shore, neighbourhood and marine habitats were restored to life.

East Coast Park Beach CleanUp, Zone 4B, Singapore, 2019

The Young Adults of Zone 4A/4B actively participated in a 4-day Spiritual Retreat in May 2019 on the theme ‘FaithLift’ with the slogan ‘May The Source Be My Force’ in Prasanthi Nilayam. Prior to the event, a beach cleanup was organized to strengthen the interaction of the participants with Nature, to share with the ocean the qualities of ‘Satchidananda (Being Awareness and Bliss)’ and to prepare them better for the Retreat. The cleaning activity concluded with around 20 plastic bins of waste collected.

The Key to Inner-Transformation

After the cleanup, we participated in some soul stirring bhajans by the beach and at the river banks. We also conducted a study circle at the river bank, on the theme ‘Think Green, Act Green and Live Green,’ where we shared the wisdom of seeing Divinity in Nature and practising Ceiling on Desires as a spiritual exercise. We pledged to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, to make mindful choices daily, and to inspire others to do so as well.

- Sri Sathya Sai volunteers, Mauritius

While cleaning up, I realised that most of the things we were picking up were materials we use in our homes, from toothpaste tubes to broken pieces of home appliances. It dawned on me that we need a fundamental change in the way we use and pack things. We are the ones who generate most of these wastes through our own indiscriminate consumption.” 

- Bro Nishanth Suriyakumar, Sri Lanka

Some Practical Tips: What Can You Do To Save Our Oceans?

WATCH and DOWNLOAD Go-Green Webinars and Resources from the Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC) and the Young Adults Serve the Planet Subcommittee (STP) Hub.

Did you know?

The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen.
The oceans are key to our economies with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
Oceans absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming. - United Nations Observances

With Sai Love and Light,

Environmental Sustainability Committee

Sri Sathya Sai International Organization