Hinduism & Nature [need for an ecological balance]
  • Hinduism & Nature

    Nature and Hinduism are so entwined that it is
    quite impossible to think about one without the other.
    The need for an
    ecological balance is stressed in the Vedas and Upanishads and this
    message is
    repeated in the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Gita, Puranas and in
    the messages of Hindu saints.
    Mother Nature is worshipped in Hindu
    religion. But for majority of Hindus, worship is confined to
    temples and homes and thus they are equal contributors in global warming, pollution and emissions.
    are a few thoughts which ancient seers of Sanatana
    Dharma had shared
    more than 5000 years ago regarding the importance of nature and majority of them
    are highly relevant today.

    * One should not destroy the trees. (Rig Veda Samhita vi-48-17)
    * Plants are mothers and Goddesses. (Rig Veda Samhita x-97-4)
    * Trees are
    homes and mansions. (Rig Veda Samhita x-97-5)
    * Sacred grass has
    to be protected from man's exploitation (Rig Veda Samhita vii-75-8)
    * Plants and waters are treasures for generations. (Rig Veda Samhita vii-70-4)
    in which lie the sea, the river and other waters, in which food and
    cornfields have come to be,
    in which lives all that breathes and that
    moves, may she confer on us the finest of her yield. Earth, in
    which the waters, common to all, moving on all sides, flow unfailingly, day and
    night, may she pour
    on us milk in many streams, and endow us with

    May those born of thee, O Earth, be for our
    welfare, free from sickness and waste, wakeful through
    a long life, we
    shall become bearers of tribute to thee. Earth my mother, set me
    securely with bliss
    in full accord with heaven, O wise one, uphold me in grace and splendor. (From the Atharva Veda -
    Hymn to the Earth- Bhumi-Sukta)
    * Earth, atmosphere, sky,
    sun, moon, stars, waters, plants, trees, moving creatures, swimming
    * creatures, creeping creatures all are hailed and offered oblations.
    (Taittiriya Samhita i-8-13)
    * One should protect the
    habitation. (Rig Veda Samhita vi-71-3)
    * Waters as friends of man
    give full protection to his progenies. (Rig Veda Samhita vi-50-7)
    * One shall take care of
    quadrupeds. (Taittiriya Samhita iv-4-10)
    * One shall be auspicious to animals. (Taittiriya Samhita ii-3-14)
    * One shall not find
    fault with animals. (Chandogya Upanishad ii-18-2)
    * Waters represent splendor.
    (Atharva Veda Samhita iii-13-5)
    * Waters bear off all defilements
    and cleanse people. (Vajasaneya Samhita iv-2)
    * Whoever injures
    the essence of food, kine or steeds is a robber who sinks both himself
    * his offspring into destruction. (Rig Veda Samhita vii-104-10)
    * Offerings are dedicated to waters of wells, pools, clefts, holes, lakes,
    morasses, ponds, tanks,
    * marshes, rains, rime, streams, rivers and ocean. (Taittiriya Samhita vii-4-13)
    * There was only water in the
    beginning. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad v-5-1)
    * Waters and herbs
    should have no poison. (Rig Veda Samhita vi-39-5)
    * Waters are to
    be freed from defilement. (Atharva Veda Samhita x-5-24)
    * Waters
    cleanse humanity from the evil of pollution committed by it. (Atharva
    Veda Samhita xii-2-40)
    * Waters are healing and they strengthen
    one to see great joy. (Taittiriya Samhita vii-4-19)
    The Mahabharata says that 'even if there is only one tree full of flowers and fruits in a village, that place
    becomes worthy of worship and respect.’
    ‘No religion, perhaps, lays as much emphasis on environmental ethics as
    does Hinduism. It believes
    in ecological responsibility and says like
    Native Americans that the Earth is our mother. It champions
    of animals, which it considers also have souls, and promotes
    vegetarianism. It has a strong
    tradition of non-violence or ahimsa. It
    believes that God is present in all nature, in all creatures, and in
    every human being regardless of their faith or lack of it.’ Dr. David
    We Hindus are always proud to hear others praise our
    culture. We publish them, discuss them in social
    circles but rarely
    follow the unparalleled teachings in our scriptures.
    Lord Ganesha,
    Holy Cow, Worship of Mountains, Worship of Nagas (Snakes), Tulsi and the numerous
    other plants and animals that form part of Hindu worship are
    nothing but messages incorporated by
    wise Hindu Saints to teach us that
    we humans are part of nature and not outside it and above it.

    The Hindu
    concept of Brahman, the Supreme Soul, suggests that all animate and
    inanimate and all born
    and yet to be born are part of Brahman. Therefore an imbalance in a particular part will affect all other parts.
    Supreme Being then finds out a method to transform that defective part.
    Since Brahman is present in
    all, it is easy to transform. And we humans
    might term such a transformation as the End or Death or total
    annihilation. For the Supreme Soul, it is a small repair work carried
    out by a minute virus.

    Mother Nature
    is not dependent on Human Beings but Human Beings are. Ancient Seers
    knew it and
    therefore they worshiped Nature. Modern Humans termed it as
    animism and replaced it with more refined
    worships. And the result of
    such a refined worship ...

    ‘In our arrogance and ignorance we have destroyed the environment of this planet. We have polluted the
    oceans, we have made the air unbreathable, we have
    desecrated nature and decimated wildlife. But the
    Vedantic seers knew
    that man was not something apart from nature, and, therefore, they
    constantly exhort
    us that, while we work for own salvation, we must also work for the welfare of all beings.’ Karan Singh

    Only a people’s movement can save the earth from destruction. We are armed with wise
    teachings of our
    saints. Now what we need is its implementation.

    Courtesy: Quotes from Vedas as found
    in the articles of Dr. S Kannan and Dr. Karan Singh -
     forwarded by Mr Sudhir Srinivasan



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