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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lecture on Siddha and Sacred Groves

Dr. Whitney Howarth, Professor along with a team of twenty students from Plymouth State University (New Hampshire, USA) is on a visit to Sadhana forest Auroville near Pondicherry for 3 weeks from Jan 5th. Dr. Whitney has organized series of lectures there to make her students familiar with Indian Culture and Conservation ethics of Indian culture. As part of the programme Dr.T.Thirunarayanan, secretary CTMR was invited to speak on ‘Siddha tradition and sacred groves’ on 24th Jan 2011.
Sadhana Forest started its ecological revival and sustainable living work on December 19th 2003. The vision of its founders, Yorit and Aviram Rozin, is to transform 70 acres of severely eroded, arid land on the outskirts of Auroville. In a spirit of human unity, their aim is to introduce a growing number of people to sustainable living. The community focus their nergy and resources on the creation of a vibrant, indigenous Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF).
Dr. Thirunarayanan explained how the sacred groves are significant as micro units of bio-diversity and show case the biological heritage. He also explained the groves as treasure troves which help as seed bank, conserve water and soil and influence the microclimate. The medicinal plants present in the groves makes them the God’s dispensary. He enumerated the use of 20 tree species and their significance in traditional medicine. The second part of the presentation on the long history of use of Siddha medicine, its concept of living in harmony with nature, body-mind linkage, and role of traditional food in health was well received by the students and this was followed by a question-answer session.

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