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This Hallowed Earth Serves You Better than Gold

 2015 United Nations International Year of Soils

The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions. For more details see: www.fao.org/soils-2015/en

In the Agni Yoga writings is this revealing story:

A mother told her son about a great saint, “Even the grain of sand beneath his foot becomes great.” It came to pass that this saint passed through the village. The boy followed his footsteps, took up a pinch of dust therefrom, sewed it in a bag and wore it around his neck. And as he recited his lessons in school, he always held this relic in his hand. The boy was filled thereby with such inspiration that his answers were always remarkable. One day when leaving the school his teacher praised him and asked what he always held in his hand. The boy replied, “Earth from beneath the feet of the saint who passed through our village.” The teacher commented, “This hallowed earth serves you better than gold.” A neighboring shopkeeper, hearing this, said to himself, “What a stupid boy to take only a pinch of this golden earth! I will await the passing of the holy man and collect all the earth from where he trod. Thus I can obtain the most profitable merchandise.” And the shopkeeper waited in vain for the coming of the saint. But he never came. Greed is not akin to the Fiery World.  [From: Fiery World I, Verse 581]

The specific objectives of the IYS 2015 are to:

  • Raise full awareness among civil society and decision makers about the profound importance of soil for human life;
  • Educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development;
  • Support effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources;
  • Promote investment in sustainable soil management activities to develop and maintain healthy soils for different land users and population groups;
  • Strengthen initiatives in connection with the SDG process (Sustainable Development Goals) and Post-2015 agenda;
  • Advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).

This video illustrates the greater context in which we value the soils of Mother Earth:


About Judy

Hi, I'm one of a group of authors and editors for the Sydney Goodwill website.

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