Restore Harmony with Mother Nature - The New Indian Express

Restore Harmony with Mother Nature

Published: 01st June 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 31st May 2014 11:49 AM

Children, natural disasters, global warming and other climatic changes are ruining humankind’s peace of mind. Because of our thoughtless exploitation of natural resources, the harmony in nature is being lost. Our air, our water, our very soil—all have become poisonous.

In the olden days, people travelled in bullock carts and horse carriages. Then came scooters and cars. Now, a single person may have two or even three cars. In olden days, we served our food on banana leaves. Today we chop down entire trees to make paper cups and plates and then throw them out after just one use. In these and other ways, because of our selfish desires, we are exploiting Mother Nature and wasting her resources.

We used to think of Mother Nature as Kamadhenu—the wish-fulfilling cow that bestowed all auspiciousness upon us. Now she is old and dried up. Our forests are diminishing. Our food supplies are vanishing. Pure air and water are a rarity. Diseases are on the increase.

Where did we go wrong? When we stopped being able to distinguish between a need and a luxury. We have to restore this understanding. It is adharmic (unrighteous) and sinful to take more from Nature than we justifiably need. I am remembering the story of a social worker. Early one morning, he went to the riverside to brush his teeth with water in a pot. At the same time, he was discussing some important matters with his colleagues. When he took the pot to rinse his mouth, he saw that there was no more water in it. “O God! I have been so careless,” he said. “I used up all the water before I even finished brushing my teeth!”

His colleagues did not understand the reason for his sadness. They asked him, “What’s the big deal? You have an entire river of water flowing right before you.”

The social worker replied, “There may be water in the river, but I have no right to take more than what is necessary.”

If our generation can reclaim the dharma bodham—the awareness of righteousness—displayed by this social worker, then famine and poverty can be eradicated. Amma has no doubt about this. Take from Nature only that which you need for your sustenance. Then humankind will still have all the food, water and clothing it needs, and Mother Nature will once again become a Kamadhenu.

A scientist once said, “If all the worms and microorganisms were to disappear from the world, life on earth would be completely wiped out within the next 50 years. On the contrary, if the human race were made extinct, then all the other living beings on earth would be thriving again within 50 years.” Children, humankind should not have to perish for the earth to live.

This world which was handed down to us by our forefathers is so beautiful! Are we going to pass it down to the next generation only after destroying it? We are bound by dharma to offer it to the next generation without even a tiny crack in it. It is our duty to protect and preserve Mother Nature as if she were our very birth mother. We have to open our eyes to this truth. In reality, this dharma is not only our dharma towards Nature but our dharma towards the entire human race as a whole. That is because humankind cannot survive without Nature.

The writer is a world renowned spiritual leader

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