At times, people have told me about experiencing a sense of imbalance similar to vertigo. The situation with nature has also become like this. Therefore, we should be aware and alert. I grew up in a very poor fishing village. People there lived off daily wages and rarely got to eat everyday.
I used to go to neighbouring houses to collect food scraps to feed our cows. One day, I went to a house. They had 11 children. They were all lying in the lap of their mother. The mother said that they didn’t have anything to eat the whole day. I asked for the reason. She said her husband could not find any work. She said her husband walked 10 kilometres to borrow money but didn’t have any luck. On the way back, it was a full moon and he saw turtles coming offshore to lay eggs. He waited for them to go back into the ocean after laying their eggs.
From among the 100 eggs or so he took about half, brought them home, boiled them and fed the kids. Each got two to three eggs. Then one of his children asked why he did not take all the eggs. The father said, “If I lost all my children, how would I feel? If l lost only one of you, at least the rest of you would be there to console me. The turtles will be affected the same way. And if I take all the eggs, the turtles will be extinct very soon.”
The father was thinking about the survival of the turtle family even when he was going through hard times. When man cuts a tree, he is actually making his own coffin. It is not enough to plant one tree for each one he cuts. During my younger days, we used cow dung to cure cuts and wounds. Now if we use cow dung, the wounds will become septic. What was medicine in the past has become poison now.
Nothing is inconsequential in nature. Both an engine and a screw are important in an airplane. The plane will not fly if there is a problem with either. It is from pollination by honeybees that we get fruits and vegetables. People have to plant flowering trees and also install beehives. Thousands of my children are doing this, but more children should get involved.
Mother Earth will tolerate all our abuses and take care of us for our entire lifespan. We cannot forget our responsibility towards her. When fire breaks out in a 10-storeyed building, the person living on the first floor cries out for help. The person living on the 10th floor says that it is not his problem. But it soon will become his problem too.
There is harmony in the universe. Everything in the universe is interconnected. When there is movement in the corner of a net held by four people, it will reflect everywhere. It will not work if we wait for others to change. Even if they do not change, we should be willing to change.
Just like we grandly celebrate Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, we should respect and worship Mother Earth at least for one day. Everyone in the world should plant tree saplings on that day.
The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader