Vrindavan, 2013.08.26 (VT): On Varah Jayanti, Friends of Vrindavan held its fifth annual Vedic Earth Day and Green Awards Ceremony at the Swami Vivekananda Auditorium at Vrindavan’s Ramkrishna Mission.
A total of five “Vrindavan Green Awards” were distributed to a distinguished temple, school, campaigner, author and activist.
The program began with pooja to Varah Dev and a soul-stirring mangalacharan sung by Shri Damodar Sharma. Then Lord Varaha Himself blessed the ceremony with His traditional dance. Lord Narsingh Dev and Varaha Dev can be seen dancing and roaming on the streets of Shri Vrindavan during Narsingh Chaturdashi, but since 2014, Lord Varaha has blessed the Vrindavan Green Awards ceremony by performing the Varaha Nritya, adding a new chapter to this tradition.
Next, students of the Bhaktivedanta Gurukul gave a presentation of their excellent mridanga skills. A Rajasthani folk dance was presented by students of Samvid Gurukulam, followed by Vasanta Pallavi and Dasavatara Stotram beautifully depicted in the Odissi style by dancers from Venu Nad Kala Kendra.
The Guest of Honor, Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami inaugurated the awards portion of the ceremony by explaining the significance of Varah Jayanti in relation to Vrindavan. Varah Puran is the kshetra puran of Vrindavan, Maharaj said, and Varah Dev Himself appeared in Vrindavan. Without Varah Dev the earth on which this Bhu Vrindavan resides would not exist. Maharaj spoke powerfully against pollution and unintelligent methods of development, inspiring each member of the audience to make every effort to keep Vrindavan clean.
In years past the prestigious Green Temple award was given to Tatiya Sthan, Meerabai Mandir, Rangji Mandir and Radha Gopinath Mandir.
This year, ISKCON Vrindavan took home the Green Temple award for its environmentally-conscious services, including organic farming, conversion of prasadi flowers into compost, cow protection, marketing of non-dairy cow products like gomutra and govar, and more.
The other awardees were as follows:
- Green School Award: Samvid Gurukulam (Vatsalya Gram) for creating an eco-friendly atmosphere in the school campus.
- Green Campaign Award: Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society, Agra for its campaign to protect Soor Sarovar, Keetham Jheel and Yamuna
- Green Author Award: Dr. Ashok Bansal for his work on Surdas
- Green Activist Award: Shri Hemant Agarwal for his Public Interest Litigation in the National Green Tribunal for the cause of Yamuna.
Shri Akash Vashishtha, Shri Damodar Sharma. Shri K.B. Pathak, Shri Raghav Bharadwaj, Shri Hemant Bharti, Shri Dhananjay Gautam and Shri Purushottam Sharma were also felicitated for their environmental activism, and Shri Sandeep Kumar and Shri Vijay Chauhan received honors for Green Policing.
The event was sponsored by Shri Anurag Goyal, in memory of his parents Late Girdhari Lal Agarwal and Smt. Sudha Agarwal.