Sankaracharya of Puri Swami Sri Nischalananda Saraswati on Saturday blamed the human greed for the natural disaster that wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand recently. “Constructions were taken up in a reckless manner in the hilly state in the name of development. The disaster has established that there can be no super power other than nature.
The magnitude of devastation is a pointer to the fact that man has been playing with nature. This is not just the case with Uttarakhand, but the entire country,” he said while interacting with students at the Siksha O Anusandhan University here.
Taking a dig at urbanisation, the Puri Sankaracharya said people world over need to think if it is doing any good for the society. “Towns are these days considered signs of development and prosperity. These places claim to have everything, from fresh air to clean drinking water. But we fail to realise that these towns are being built after destroying water bodies and mountains and polluting environment,” he said.
“Thirteen years back, I visited Mumbai on the invitation of Bal Thackeray. A person had then offered to take me around Chaupati and Gateway of India. When I told him that I do not want to see these places, he said a saint like me should not come to Mumbai. I asked why and he said Mumbai is a factory of converting man into machines and here, there is no place for saints,” the Sankaracharya said, adding that every place in the country has today become such factories.
Terming the present time as ‘Kal (Machine) Yug’, the seer said even as more and more machines are invented to do the work in less time with less pain and without engaging manpower, they are unable to solve problems of humanity.
“We say machines are meant to save time, but every man says he has no time even to die. The machines are supposed to reduce labour, but every man returns home exhausted. Similarly, machines are contributing to the unemployment by rendering hundreds of labourers jobless,” he told the students, urging them to think before inventing advanced machines.
Answering to a query by a student on terrorism in India, the Puri Sankaracharya said, “There is no common ground between the Vedic culture prevalent in India in the past and the culture prevalent now. Hence, these kinds of terror attacks and social imbalance are bound to happen.”