God Himself has become everything of this world

HINDU PERSPECTIVE ON ECOLOGY

Vedas, the fundamental text of the Hindus, are filled with the prayers addressed to gods who represent   the elements of nature.  Here we shall discuss only two such prayers.

Prayer of our ancient rishis as given in Rig Veda Samhita:

“Om tachchay yoraavriniimahe. Gaatum yajnaaya.  Gaatum yajnapataye.  Daiveemsavastirastu naha.

Savastirmaanushebhayaha.  Uurdhvam jigaatu beshajam.  Sanno astu dvipade. Sam chatushpade.”

The meaning of the above prayer is as follows:

Aum, we pray so that we may chant in praise of sacrifice and sing in praise of the Lord of sacrifices.  May divine blessing be showered upon us.  May peace be unto the whole human race.  May the healing herbs grow in abundance.  May prosperity abide by us, the bipeds (men of all caste, creed and colour).  May the same attend on the quadrupeds (animals of all kinds).

Prayer of our ancient rishis as given in Shukla Yajurveda:

“Om dyyau shaanthirantariksham shaanthi prithivi shaantiraapah shaantiroshadhaya shaanthirvanaspataya shaantihi.  Vishvedevaah shaanthi brahma shaanti

sarvam shaanthi shaanthireva shaanthi saa maa shaantiredhi.”

The meaning of the above prayer is as follows:

Aum, unto the heaven be peace, unto the sky and the earth be peace.  Peace be unto the waters; unto the herbs and the trees be peace.  Unto all the gods be peace, unto Brahman and unto all be peace, peace, yea verily peace.  May that peace be unto me.

This is the Hindu perspective on ecology.

Hindus worship and revere the natural resources as permeated with Godliness.

For hindus, water is Ganga Mayii, air is Vayu bhagawan, earth is Bhoo Mata, trees and plants are Vana devata, fire is Agni bhagavan and divinity alone exists everywhere in and through all objects, both animate and inanimate, on the earth.

l

Such a grand philosophy which was in vogue in our ancient times has lost its spirit owing to man’s self-centeredness in the name of scientific advancement.  All our advancement has been obtained by producing problems of environmental pollution manifested in air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, etc.  What is a pollutant?  Any substance, chemical, physical, biological, etc. which produces harmful effects in the environment is called a pollutant.  What is the source of all pollutants?  It is man’s selfishness which is the most powerful pollutant and the mother of all pollutants on the earth.  Man makes his own mind polluted and pollute his environment.  That is why our ancient rishis prayed for a pure and unselfish attitude of mind by realising the oneness of humanity.

The sense of oneness of humanity lies dormant in each individual; only the vast majority of people fail to see this.  Our Rig Veda declares, “That which is ONE has become the ALL.”  We have to love the people around us not because they are near to us but because we see our “OWN SELF” in them.  It is evident from this that Hindu formulates not merely universal brotherhood but universal oneness.  Our ancestors have kept before us the ideal, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – the entire universe is one family.

They did not preach us any single idea that was found impractical.

In recent times, 175 years ago a God-man called Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa lived that grant philosophy.  We come across in his life history the incident of his feeling as if some one was walkng over his chest when he saw somebody trampling on the lawn.  On another occasion,  he was watching a quarrel between two boatmen.   The quarrel turned into exchange of blows and one boat man beat the other on his back.  This beating of the boatman on the back of another boatman caused pain for the God-man and he screamed with grief when some one nearby rushed towards and found the marks of 5 fingers on the back of the God-man Sri Ramakrishna.  That was the idea of oneness that we see in the life of persons who lived just 175 years ago.

To recycle, reuse,reduce and revive the quantities consumed are the four Rs of the modern principles of ecology.  We come across reflection of this idea in the life of Mother Sarada Devi.  After the vegetables were dressed for cooking, some one was about to throw away the vegetable peelings into dust bin.  Mother advised that what is not useful for humans should be made available to the cattle and what is not useful to cattle should be made available to fishes in the pond.  That was the philosphy of reusing practised by Mother  Sarada Devi who lived amidst our own people just 100 years ago.

Ecology is the study of interrelationship of living organisms with their environments. Man is  completely dependent upon other living organisms, for his requirements such as, food, water, clothing, medicine etc. But,it is man who influences the environment of himself and other living beings. Thus the fundamental ecological principles apply to him as well.  Therefore, the knowledge of the principles of ecology is absolutely essential for man for his own existenc on this earth.  On September 11, 1893 when the world famous Vivekananda addressed the seven thousand strong audience at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago as “Sisters and Brothers of America”, they applauded continuously for two minutes.  The words “Sisters and Brothers” had been used earlier by many persons and even after that siginificant occasion.  But, what was the speciality in Vivekananda’s utterance?  The audience felt that the words came not from his lips only but from the depths of his heart.  They could see that Vivekananda felt the sense of oneness and as an expression of that intense fraternal feeling he uttered those significant words.

Two thousand five hundred and fifty years ago Lord Buddha proclaimed this message and prior to him many Rishis of the Vedic age have lived this grand idea and recently we see the same in the lives of Ramakrishna-Sarada and Vivekananda.

It is essential for the world to day to imbibe that great truth of oneness of humanity.

Let us repeat the prayer of our Rishis:

“Sarve bhavantu sukhinaha

Sarva santu niramayaha

Sarve bhadrani pasyantu

Ma kashchid dukhabhag bhavet.”

The meaning of the sloka is as follows:

“May all be happy!

May all be free from disease!

May all realise what is good!

May non be subject to misery!”

Swami Nishthatmananda

Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrma

Muzffarpur 843 116, Bihar, India

Advertisements

2 Responses to “God Himself has become everything of this world”

  1. avithaa Says:

    Om Namo Narayayanaya Revered Swamijee

    Brilliant acount of Ecology Swamijee! I was extremely happy to read and digest! Thanks!

    With Pranams!
    avithaa
    South Africa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: