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Day 13 – Cauvery Diaries: Of Motorcycles and a Mystic

Field Stories
15 September, 2019
8:22 AM

With Chidambaram and Thiruvarur behind them, Sadhguru and the riders continue their journey to Puducherry and at last for a huge event in the state capital of Chennai. Stay tuned to the blog and the live stream!

Day 13 – Cauvery Diaries: Of Motorcycles and a Mystic

Sep 1 - 2 Days To Go || Sep 2 - 1 Day To Go || Sep 3 - Day 1 || Sep 4 - Day 2 || Sep 5 - Day 3 || Sep 6 - Day 4 || Sep 7 - Day 5 || Sep 8 -Day 6 || Sep 9 - Day 7 || Sep 10 - Day 8 || Sep 11 - Day 9 || Sep 12 - Day 10 || Sep 13 - Day 11 || Sep 14 - Day 12 || Sep 15 - Day 13 || Sep 16 - Day 14 || Sep 17 - Day 15

How Are Cauvery Calling Funds Managed? ft. Varalaxmi Sarathkumar

Sadhguru answers a question from actress Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, about how funds donated for Cauvery Calling will be managed. He explains that a prominent board will be overseeing the funds, in conjunction with an internationally reputed auditing firm.

Catch up on some videos from earlier today

Exhilarated screams and cheers as Sadhguru was requested to come on stage at the University of Madras event.

Sadhguru arrives to a delirious welcome at the madras university in the midst of pouring rain and he rides straight into the auditorium, sending the crowd into raptures.

This afternoon, Sadhguru reached Chennai for the Cauvery Calling event at the University of Madras.

The atmosphere in the hall was electric for this mega event.

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Sadhguru was joined by: the Hon’ble Governor of Tamil Nadu, Banwarilal Purohit; Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K. Palaniswami; Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, O. Panneerselvam; Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, Founder of Apollo Group of Hospitals; and Suhasini Manirathnam, actress and producer.

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Here are some snippets from talk.

The first guest Suhasini Manirathnam, when called forward to speak, unknowingly approached the podium on the far corner. Sadhguru directed her towards the other podium and she couldn’t resist saying humbly, “He is the director for all of us.”

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She remarked, “‘Cauvery’ is all that Sadhguru has been uttering since the past three months when we last met him. I think his very breath goes like ‘Cauvery’ with an inhalation and ‘Cauvery’ with an exhalation.” Speaking of the support that Cauvery Calling has gathered, she said, “When the youngsters of this country have decided to join Sadhguru on this journey, join the cause of environmental protection, then there can be no doubt if the target can be achieved.”

G. K. Vasan, leader of Tamil Maanila Congress said, “Cauvery Calling is a first of its kind campaign setting the standards for how India's lifelines - rivers - can be revitalized.” He added, “For us to welcome Cauvery, we need to improve the soil fertility, which will lead to water recharge. Water recharge is going to help the water flow in Cauvery. The necessary step for this to happen is to plant trees.”

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Founder of Apollo Group of Hospitals, Dr. Prathap C. Reddy expressed his admiration that “a spiritual guru has been making a significant impact in thinking ahead about what hasn’t been thought about the past 50 years.” He summarized the campaign's reach, “The reception you are getting across the country is phenomenal.”

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Deputy CM O. Paneerselvam praised Sadhguru, “Cauvery finds mention in many ancient texts and works of Tamil Nadu. Due to population rise, trees have been cut extensively. Farmers are dependant on trees and rains for their livelihood. To revive Cauvery, Sadhguru had started this. History will have a special place for Sadhguru for taking this step to revive Cauvery.”

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Hon’ble Governor Banwarilal Purohit lauded the efforts “on behalf of the entire government, cabinet, CM and Dy CM present here.” He lent his support to the cause, saying, “Our CM has formed a 16 member committee for Cauvery. Farmers are very enthusiastic. I have been getting feedback from them. The entire government is with you. It is bound to be a success.”

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CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami welcomed the initiative and acknowledged Sadhguru’s achievement, “The only person in India who can plant the highest number of trees is Sadhguru. The people of Tamil Nadu, especially the women and the youth have to be a part of this initiative. I pledge that this government will do whatever necessary to implement Cauvery Calling,” he assured.

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Sadhguru Speaks!

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Sadhguru spoke about the reception that Cauvery Calling has been garnering. “Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments have agreed to support. Karnataka CM has spoken that ‘It’s my wish that once again Karnataka and Tamil Nadu can live as brothers,’” a statement that received a roaring applause from the audience. He gave an update on the campaign, “As of now, 4 crore plus trees have been sponsored.” Reiterating the long-term nature of the project, he said, “This needs 12 years of commitment, are you with me?” to which a thunderous “yes” resounded in the hall. He explained that his is not his cause or Isha’s cause, but a generational work that is all of our responsibility.

He spoke about how Isha currently has 35 nurseries in the state which we plan to multiply to 350 and rename them as “Mahatma Green India Mission” as this is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and it was his with that rural India be robust.

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Sadhguru also addressed the CM to explain the economic impact Cauvery Calling would have on the government if properly implemented: “If one third of the land comes under agroforestry, by the eighth year, the government will get Rs. 29,000 crores as GST. So this will be of benefit to the government and the farmers.”

On a final note, Sadhguru expressed his gratitude to his fellow riders, the media and the police.

Read: River Interlinking Will Not Solve India’s Water Problems by Sadhguru

With some parts of India in drought and others in flood, river interlinking seems like the obvious solution. Sadhguru explains how this could spell disaster for India’s rivers.

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Singer Karthik & Sadhguru on Cauvery's Significance

Sadhguru explains to Karthik on how southern Indian rivers like Cauvery differ greatly from northern rivers like Ganga, and how we are destroying the fertile soil of southern India by using chemical fertilizers.

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“My relative Mr. Krishnan came up to me and said, ‘I read about Sadhguru's initiative about Cauvery rejuvenation, and I want to donate for planting trees. Since I don't know how to donate online, can you donate on my behalf.’ I was moved by his gesture, this is the kind of trust Isha has built over years.”

- Prakash Devarajan, volunteer, Chennai

Learn more about how to fundraise for Cauvery Calling here!

Water Clock - Chennai

Chennai’s water crisis became prime time news as all the city’s four major reservoirs that supply drinking water reduced far below the zero level. Critically dependent upon its desalination plants, as there is poor to almost no rainfall, the city has run dry. All this did not happen overnight - the water bodies were over-exploited. Now, people have no other option but to look the truth in the face. Chennai and its neighboring districts had around 6,000 ponds, lakes, and reservoirs but due to lack of rainwater and increasing consumption, the number dropped down to 3,896. Chennai alone lost around 150 of such essential water sources. Even the water bodies that have survived are not in their original form; most of them have depleted rapidly due to development projects. The most alarming thing is that all the three rivers that cross the metropolis area have been dead for many years. People cling on to hope and struggle every day to manage with limited water resources. Only if nature is kind, the smart city might see a better tomorrow.

Watch Sadhguru Live Now from Chennai

Cauvery Reunites the Nadi Veeras

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We usually spend 8-10 hours at work with our colleagues, 4-8 hours at home, with our families, give or take a few.

But these 100 Nadi Veeras trained, lived, ate and worked together for the last 18 months. This is more than a family in many ways. They know everything about each other and are most forgiving of each other’s quirks, all in the endeavor of one thing – the Rally for Rivers. This one common focus that they all joined hands for in 2017 keeps them glued together to see this vision of Sadhguru’s, and now their own, come to life.

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After being trained, they left to Maharashtra, some of them to Karnataka and some stayed in Coimbatore at the Central Office in Isha Yoga Center. As Cauvery was Calling, they could not ignore her and made their way to the events in Bengaluru, Mysuru and are now headed to Chennai. They were meeting each other after months, and getting them to pose was no easy task for the photographer. Their excitement was simply uncontainable. Cauvery brought them together... the nadi never fails the Nadi Veeras.

Getting a Nadi Veera to pose for a picture - the job of three Nadi Veeras at once!

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The Cutest Sapling You Have Seen

Not sure if she practiced this expression to represent the depleting trees or she was simply a natural. Either way, she nailed it, don’t you think? Or maybe she is just unhappy covered in leaves. To avoid that gloomy look, should we plant some trees? That way, she won’t have to become a plant again and can live her human life as she was meant to.

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12:10pm - Enroute to Mamallapuram

In the scorching noon sun Sadhguru and team race towards the state capital to deliver the message of Cauvery's distress and the critical revitalization strategy that needs to be implemented.

We caught the next venue in Chennai, prettying up for Sadhguru’s arrival and the atmosphere in a celebratory mood! 

Flowers and colors and fronds for the Mystic!

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Volunteers who are hell bent on making Cauvery flow again! 

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A quick catch up!
Setting the stage!
Warming up the voices, the instruments and the ambience for the audience and our Yogi! 

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Why should the adults have all the fun? We caught our tiny volunteers sharing a light moment while waiting for our cool Guru!

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Lying in wait for the Mystic’s arrival. Volunteers on the ECR road waiting for Sadhguru to pass by!

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Sadhguru Welcomed!

Sadhguru receives a warm and ceremonious welcome by Mayiladuthurai volunteers and his fellow motorcyclists share their experience of riding with Sadhguru and for Cauvery Calling.

Cauvery Calling riders break into a spontaneous and joyous huddle to celebrate @sadhguru, Cauvery, and life!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#CauveryCalling riders break into a spontaneous and joyous huddle to celebrate @sadhguru, Cauvery, and life!

A post shared by Isha Foundation (@isha.foundation) on

About Puducherry

Puducherry aka Pondicherry carries a vivid reflection of French history on its architecture. With colonial-era villas and eateries serving Franco-Tamil delicacies, the white town area is built in such a beautiful way that it resembles the cities of France. Soon after the arrival of the French rulers in 1637, Puducherry’s transformation period began. From a small fishing village, it ascended to become the epicenter of the Indo-French trade. Due to its colonial ambiance and famous beaches, Puducherry receives a huge footfall of travelers from across the globe.

Watch: Nithya Menen Asks Sadhguru About Cauvery Calling

Sadhguru answers questions from Nithya Menen, explaining how his main work is on the inner ecology of the human being and that Cauvery Calling is just a small outcrop of that.

Snippets from the Puducherry Event

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N.Gokulakrishnan, Rajya Sabha MP, spoke about the significance of rivers. “Rivers are Mother Earth’s blood veins. Sadhguru has proposed agroforestry as the solution both for farmers and our rivers.” Speaking about the benefits of Cauvery Calling, he said, “Like the saying, ‘killing two birds with one stone,’ Sadhguru is trying to kill four birds with one stone. This Cauvery Calling plan will take care of: one, the issue of water scarcity; two, it will improve the green cover; three, it is responsible for farmer welfare; fourth, it will have a positive influence on climate change.”

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M.Kandasamy, Minister for Welfare, said, “Sadhguru is travelling across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry creating awareness among people. This will definitely be successful. He has announced 242 crore trees now for this project. But the foundation stones for this has been laid by him through nurseries in many places, including Puducherry. Let us join Sadhguru in this movement and support him in all his endeavors.”

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V. Narayanasamy, Chief Minister of Puducherry backed Cauvery Calling wholeheartedly and promised Puducherry government’s undying support. “The main reason for Cauvery depletion is the cutting of trees in the Cauvery basin. If we take care of nature it will take care of all our needs. The Puducherry government will do our part towards this. Our government will also do its part to grow forests in our lands, as requested by Sadhguru. We need Sadhguru's support in making Puducherry green.”

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Sadhguru Speaks!

Speaking highly of the farmers, Sadhguru said, “It is the farmers who have built this civilization. Not the kings, not somebody else. When Chinese traveller Hsuan Tsang visited India, he wrote, ‘This is a strange land. Two kingdoms are at war. But the farmers are still ploughing the land, sowing the seeds, doing their business as they should.’” 

He spoke of the impending doom if we don’t save Cauvery. “People are saying ‘There will be water wars’. I’ve been telling them, there will be no water wars. Even to fight a war you need water.” 

“With the soil in distress, the farmer is not willing to put his child into farming. How are we going to grow food in this country? Are we going to live on some technology? Are we going to grow paddy on the moon?” Sadhguru questioned before tossing a warning parting shot, “Your pongal days may get over. That’s what I’m trying to tell you.” 
 

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Watch: Lt Governor of Puducherry Dr. Kiran Bedi extends support to Cauvery Calling

"We are all like satellites revolving around Sadhguru," says Hon Lt Governor of Puducherry Dr Kiran Bedi, as she urges all public servants to play an active role in aggregating the masses towards environmental causes such as Cauvery Calling

Nachiketha, a 6th standard student from Pondicherry, says that he supports this cause since its needed. And he's here because Sadhguru has called for all to take part in this. When this movement gets into action, he says, Cauvery will flow...and only a person like Sadhguru can make it happen.

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Watch Sadhguru Live Now in Puducherry!

“As a tribute to Mahatma on his 150th birth anniversary, today we are renaming all our existing 35 and upcoming 350 nurseries in Cauvery Basin as Mahatma Green India Mission.” -Sadhguru

Samskriti students, dressed in traditional attire, perform a folk dance to a famous Tamil song praising the rivers of Tami Nadu, written by Mahakavi Bharathiyar.

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8:35am - Sadhguru and the convoy have arrived at Raj Nivas. Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi receives them.

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Sadhguru addressed the gathering here and the lawns of Raj Nivas at Puducherry reverberated with the clarion call to make Cauvery Calling a success.

He spoke about how the movement is 3-pronged and involves farmers, the government and the public. The solution of agroforestry is not rocket science but a no brainer, he said. The problem is that people's brains are committed elsewhere.

To celebrate the occasion, Sadhguru grew a sapling, a symbol that our lives are inextricably linked to trees.

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Participants of the Southern Sojourn spent a night nestled under the shelter of coconut trees on the banks of the river.

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It’s early Sunday morning but the participants are not only up but are so high in energy that they are literally in the air! We need this intensity to bring back Mother Cauvery!

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7:15am - On the last day of the Southern Sojourn, participants bask in the presence of the Mystic in the early morning at a campsite in Puducherry.

The last day, the last hug and the last group photo...

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And the band of motorcyclists capture an unforgettable moment with the Mystic who led them on a movement of a lifetime…

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8:10am - At last Sadhguru all set to start from the campsite in the picturesque backwaters of Puducherry.

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And he zooms off from the beautiful backwaters of Puducherry. Another day of Cauvery Calling begins...

A glimpse into last night at Chidambaram…

Water Clock - Chidambaram

Chidambaram taluk is a coastal area that is part of the Cuddalore district. This region has seen devastating cycles of droughts and floods. This March, it was declared one of 24 districts hit by drought in Tamil Nadu. In the 2015 floods, it was among the most severely affected with thousands of residents marooned, 49 deaths and 60,000 hectares inundated. In recent years, water scarcity has compelled farmers to shift to horticultural cultivation like fruit trees, and away from water-intensive crops like paddy and sugarcane.

Most of the Chidambaram taluk is confined between the rivers Vellar and Kollidam, which are distributaries of Cauvery. The Kollidam is the major northern stream of the Cauvery delta. The river was dammed in 1836 to help provide irrigation water for the delta, the most fertile and densely populated region of southern India, noted for its rice production. The town of Chidambaram lies on its banks.

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