Global Warming: Nature respecting culture like Hinduism can lead us out of this mess

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Yuvrajjj, May 1, 2008.

  1. Our understanding about global warming has reached a definite mode when scientists across the globe (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Changes) have declared a few things in unequivocal terms. They are as follows:

    1. The global temperature is going to rise by 6.4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, resulting in great human misery.

    2. It is not the nature but human activity itself who is responsible for the problem. They have clearly stated that the impending doom is not because of one of those natural cyclical phenomena that appear, creating damage to human life and property.

    3. They have asked us to be alert and respect nature.

    All these points, particularly the second one needs to be taken into consideration seriously, not only to find remedies or solutions to limit human suffering, but also to think about the root causes responsible for this tragedy. Here when we say root causes, we do not mean the causes like increase in the atmospheric CO2 etc, but the causes, which have made humans so destructive and irresponsible so as to create a problem of such great magnitude. We shall provide serious attention to this particular aspect of global warming, obviously not only for academic interest.

    Human mind expresses itself through various actions. Scientists tell us that, ultimately these actions are the causes of global warming. So it is a must for any serious person to find out, "Why human actions were in wrong direction for over so many years?" This is because of the human mind that dictated man to do so. But why has the mind failed to take the right direction? Here lies the key to this issue. Many a times it is the ideology of a person that guides his mind to act in a certain manner. The mind decides what is right and what is wrong according to the ideology that influences it. In this manner, he decides upon the course of action to be adopted. So it is better to analyze the ideologies, which influence the human mind to find out why human actions in this case were in the wrong direction.

    If we study this issue closely, we understand that humans went on exploiting Mother Earth for their needs. And their needs were and are unending. To get more material comfort and prestige they wanted to earn more. Yesterday's leisure items became today's essentialities. There is no end to it. Creation of wealth became the sole aim. And then there were wars, intolerance, etc. All this happened without paying any attention to Mother Earth. And why does humans have to pay any attention to Mother Earth? They were sure that the Nature, the non-living entity, is not at all going to say anything to them about her exploitation. So when we study global warming, we actually understand a story of unlimited, unscrupulous exploitation of the planet by humans. Humans have shown absolutely no respect towards nature. They felt that such exploitation is necessary for their happiness. So lack of respect for Mother Earth and an unending quest for happiness in material things are two peculiar qualities of the human mind, which should be analyzed with respect to the various ideologies which influenced the human mind. As we can see that combination of these two resulted in human actions responsible for global warming.

    We will take into consideration the major ideologies that shaped the human mind over the last 200 years in those countries, which are said to be mainly responsible for problem of global warming. The main actors in the list are Christianity, Islam, Capitalism and Socialism. These are the major ideologies that have contributed to the thought process of human mind in those developed countries, which are considered as mainly responsible for global warming. There is also a fair amount of agreement on the point that since the advent of industrialization i.e. over last two hundred years, things have started worsening.

    History tells us that before the ideology of Christianity started prevailing over human mind, in Europe and elsewhere, there were some other cultures or ideologies. And these ideologies taught their followers to worship nature. But Alas! Christian missionaries worked relentlessly to wipe out this culture. 'Pagan' is the term they used to identify these people. Details of where, when and how this took place is not the point of our discussion here. Then came Islam, an ideology that has no concept of worshipping nature. Both these ideologies were extremely intolerant towards everybody who were not willing to accept their God as the only God and their way as the only way. History is full of stories of violence by their followers in the name of their Only True God! These followers kept on increasing their numbers by conversion, many a times by force. For them the concept of spiritual upliftment of an individual meant bringing him/her to adopt their faith by whatever means including force.

    So technically speaking, although perpetrators of such actions might have done this with what they call as non-materialistic intentions, but their actions and the thoughts were definitely very materialistic i.e. to increase the number of their followers. Imperialism was an integral part of these actions. So the ideologies which inculcated such so called 'non materialistic' intentions, had no concept of inward journey within one's mind to reach God or to find bliss within. If at all such a concept did exist, then it was very primitive in nature, as the history of bloodbath created by these two ideologies to gain numerical superiority just negates any existence of such a concept put seriously in practice by the mind they influenced. Along with such thoughts of intolerance, no teachings to find bliss or God within and lack of the concept of viewing nature with reverence were qualities imparted to the mind by these important ideologies. Such was the state of human mind, which then came under influence of various other ideologies like Capitalism, Liberalism, Socialism and Communism, especially after industrial revolution.

    None of these new ideologies have any concept of worshipping nature. Neither have they cared for finding bliss or happiness inwards as stated earlier. So the results have been devastating. E.g. the man in developed countries takes material worth 20 times his weight everyday from the planet and then 99 % of it becomes waste! If others have to use American living standards then we will require many more Earths! The mind that is already convinced that happiness lies in some material aspect of life then goes in that direction with no limit. Destructive nature of communism and socialism is well known to history. For both these ideologies, worshipping nature is out of question. They too attempt to find happiness for man through material fulfillment.

    A mind influenced by such ideologies then just cannot think of preserving Mother Earth with conviction nor can limit her exploitation. Someone may question, "Why is finding bliss or happiness inwards and worship of nature important? Is it not sufficient just to be careful about nature? The answer is 'No!' Here to be careful about nature is a thought at a superficial level or an attempt made by the mind after some explanation or understanding about the problem. Whereas worship inculcates not only the quality of taking care of nature but also a sense of gratitude towards nature. One can understand the ocean of difference between the effort made by the mind, which takes care of its unwanted actions affecting nature, and the efforts made by one whose actions affecting nature are governed by gratitude towards it. This when coupled with an ideology directing the mind to realize God i.e. 'Bliss' within, by using nature for basic needs honestly makes a big difference. The mind that seeks happiness in material things or achievements will always end up in performing some action detrimental to nature. If these two principles, viz. seeking bliss or the God within and nature worship becomes an integral part (akin to faith in religion) of any ideology which governs human mind, then we need not worry about problems like global warming for generations to come.
  2. In contrast to all these above-mentioned ideologies, Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism) shines with its peculiarities. Hinduism has always been an environmentally sensitive philosophy. No religion, perhaps, lays as much emphasis on environmental ethics as Hinduism. The Vedas, Upanishads, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas and Smriti contain the earliest messages for preservation of environment and ecological balance. The Rig Veda verse 6-48-17 says: “Do not cut the trees”, Rig Veda was composed around 1500-3500 BCE. Nature, or Earth, has never been considered a hostile element to be conquered or dominated. In fact, in Hinduism humans are forbidden from exploiting nature. A human is taught to live in harmony with nature and recognize that divinity prevails in all elements, including plants and animals. The sages of the past have always had a great respect for nature. Theirs was not a superstitious primitive theology. They perceived that all material manifestations are a shadow of the spiritual. The Bhagavad Gita advises us not to try to change the environment, improve it, or wrestle with it. If it seems hostile at times tolerate it. Ecology is an inherent part of a spiritual world view in Hinduism.

    There is nature worship in various ways in Hinduism. e.g. Hinduism tells its followers to pray to Mother Earth every morning before placing their feet on the ground. Hinduism places a non-materialistic goal i.e. God Realization in front of every individual in clear words in day to day life. There are well-evolved disciplines in this regard and masters who actually practice them. They are free to decide which way to follow.

    Animals occupy an important place in Hinduism. They are frequently mentioned in Hindu myths and legends and enjoy a place of their own in Hindu pantheon as vehicles of many gods and goddesses, as divinities and also as incarnations or aspects of Vishnu & Shiva. They embellish and beautify Hindu decorative art and temple architecture, adorning the outer walls and towers of temples as objects of beauty or being installed inside as objects of veneration. In Hinduism, animals are not inferior creatures, but manifestations of God, on lower scale of evolution compared to humans, each containing a spark of the divine, capable of becoming human and achieving salvation like the rest of us.

    Hindus regard everything around them as pervaded by a subtle divine presence, may it be rivers, mountains, lakes, animals, flora, the mineral world, as well as the stars and planets. It is so because the Divine reality is present as Prana/Shakti energy, power, in every electron, particle, atom, cell and in every manifestation of matter. It is its very fabric. Just like the sparks of a fire are of the same essence as the fire they were issued forth from, so is the entire creation, of the same essence as the Divine. Just as Hindus greet each other saying "Namaste", which means: I recognize and salute the Divine within you, so do they recognize the same Divine essence, in all around them.

    It is a unique wonder that we find some small areas of forests called Devrai meaning God's garden! absolutely untouched for centuries together in India because of such qualities of Hinduism.
  3. Have you ever been to India?
  4. Majority of Indians don't follow true Hinduism. They don't even know what's Hinduism.

    India was under the rule of Islamic invaders from Arabia & Europeans since past 1000 years.

    Muslims form 20 % of India's population. Their contribution to the economy of the country is 0 % . They need special packages like this to sustain their everyday living.