Date: Sun Jun 3, 2007 8:09 pm ((PDT))
Namaste all Vedic Friends,
It is increasingly apparent that the environment and what is happening to it, in it, and what humanity has to do with it, is a growing issue. Here is my article on the Vedic view of environmentalism. It is not an action plan regarding what we should do, but it is a guide in adjusting how we should look at nature, and whose nature it is. After all, even at a major environmental symposium, it was recognized that that which is regarded as sacred will more likely be treated in a respectable way. Thus, in this regard, when we view nature and the environment as something sacred, something that is bigger than ourselves and belongs to something more important than ourselves, it is more likely that people will begin to treat it differently, and as if the way they treat it and take care of it really matters. And that what they do is connected with everything else and affects everything around them.
So this article should inspire this vision or perception that will be the basis of humanity's change of attitude and action toward the environment and nature.
Environmentalism According to the Vedic View
By Stephen Knapp
The environment means nature, and whose nature is it? It is God's nature. Did anyone else create it? Did anyone else put it all together so that it operates the way it does? In fact, mankind is still trying to figure out all the intricacies of its functionality.
In all the inventions or devices we produce, all the ingredients and resources that we use are all given by God. The elements we need to make big buildings, bridges, ships, cars, or the fuel to operate them, are all being given by God, and we need to show the proper respect. To think we are the proprietors of everything is the illusion. It is our pride that makes us think we are so intelligent when actually the very brain with which we think is not created by us but has again been given by God.
As everything is created from the Supreme, then we should certainly have a high regard for everything as the expansion of God's energies. This not only includes all of our fellow men, but all creatures, as well as all aspects of the planet. Violence toward the planet in the form of not caring for the environment, misusing and polluting our natural resources, not managing the land and forests properly, are all forms of disrespect toward God and the blessings that have been given us. Why should we expect God to continue giving us the necessities of life, or the means to acquire them, if we are going to ruin them, or do not know how to care for them properly? So we must never pollute our resources or waste the food we have.
We should also see that even the Earth is a living being, full of life. The globe is a mother to us since she supplies all that we need. All of our food, water, and resources for sustaining our own lives, as well as supplies for shelter and clothing, all come from her. How she reciprocates with us in regard to what she provides depends on how we treat, honor and care for her. The imbalance in nature, such as the green house effect, the changing climate and weather patterns, are reflections of the imbalance in the consciousness of humanity. Once there is balance and harmony in society's consciousness and the way we regard and treat the ecosystem, this will then be reflected in the balance in nature. Then many of the storms, natural upheavals and disasters will begin to cease.
The environment and the material creation are supplied with all the potencies to produce all the necessities that we require, not only for humans but also for all species. Human society should not consider itself as the only enjoyer of all of God's creation, and that no other creatures have a claim to it. Humanity is actually a minority species when we consider the many types of creatures that are sustained by the environment. If we manage the ecosystem properly, it will continue to produce everything we need. However, if people who have no genuine spiritual understanding start exploiting the Earth to take whatever they want in any way they want, then the supply of resources starts decreasing and the Earth, being a living organism, stops producing or responding to the needs of society as abundantly as it used to do. Then there will be shortages, droughts, and forest fires; subsequently the prices on commodities will increase. Gradually more people will become poor, and poverty and starvation will spread in parts of the world. Then we see fierce competition for whatever resources can be attained. When many people die while fighting over land and commodities, or temporary and ever-changing political stances, then all the bloodshed from the dead, dying or wounded is like offering Mother Earth blood sacrifices to drink. She is pained by this, as are so many other higher beings that watch the activities of humanity. Rather than respecting the Earth and cooperating to share her resources, when we fight over them it is most heartrending for Mother Earth. Thus, when the Earth and the Lord's environment are not properly appreciated and maintained, or are exploited by ungodly people, then scarcities and excess pollution is the result. However, nature itself can go on nicely except for the interference of ungodly men. As a society controlled by godless men gathers all the resources from the land as fast as possible for power and quick profits, it may appear to be a mighty economic gain at first, but in time it is never enough. As demand grows, scarcity raises its angry head. When the environment is not respected and cared for properly, there are also changes in the various species that have existed for thousands of years, even extinctions. These are all signs of further unknown changes in the future that will be revealing themselves to us when it will be too late.
There may be times when the Earth needs to cleanse herself of unwanted activities or from the pain she suffers from society's wrong aims of life. She may move in various ways to adjust things so that humanity is not so out of balance and will be forced to reconfigure the value systems that are displayed by humanity and make them geared more toward the real goal of life. When Earth reacts in particular ways to relieve her from the weight of unwanted activities or segments of society, we should not miss the message. A society that is too spoiled often easily forgets the real reason why it is here.
The proper vision is that everything is the property of the Supreme. If we have any possessions or wealth, we should see that we are only borrowing them for a short time. We certainly cannot take them with us when we leave this body, thus someone else will take it all when we are gone. The ultimate owner of everything is the Supreme Creator. Thus, the proper way to use anything is in the service or consciousness of God. The same goes for taking care of the environment. Everything belongs to God so, ultimately, we should take care of it as if we were being watched by God and only taking care of His property while, by God's good graces, it produces the resources we need to live. After all, as the Lord in our heart and as the Supersoul of every living being, He is observing everything we do.
All of one's land, home, wealth, and possessions belong to the Supreme Being though we wrongly think, "I am this body and all that belongs to it is mine". Thus, a person of wisdom should not see anything as separate from the Supreme Lord. In spiritual consciousness, such a person will see everything, whether it be fire, air, water, the earth, the sun and stars, all living beings, the trees and plants, the rivers and oceans, and in fact everything that exists as an expansion of the energies of the Supreme Lord. Even while actively engaged with so many objects and undertakings in this creation, a person who sees the whole world as the energy of the Supreme Being is indeed a great sage of wisdom.
Therefore, we should care for the environment as if it is not ours but God's property, and in this way assure ourselves that it will continue to provide all of our necessities for many years to come, and into many future generations. This is the Vedic view.
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My dearest friend and confidante HG Sri-Kishore Prabhu (Satish More), currently working for his Masters degree in Film at Ohio University, was recently interviewed on Vocal Profiling Live, a local Ohio radio program. In the interview, Sri-Kishore reveals his deeply compassionate motivations and mission behind his upcoming documentary project. After listening, I became more proud to have this very special soul in my life. You may feel the same too...
http://www.vocalprofilinglive.com/media/radio/shows/satish.mp3 (click to listen)
Here's the blurb on the interview from Vocal Profiling Live
"A tantalizing conversation with, Satish More, a film maker who shared information about sustainability and ecological degradation and how frivolous and thoughtless people in First World countries are. His next film will concentrate on the desensitization of the American psyche and how we are numbed by the media. He feels that people are "burning with dissatisfaction" and really want to have a more meaningful life. He suggests that we start with moving motivation to an internal perspective and that TRUTH and TRUST of one's self and one significant partner is the place to start turning around our lives into one of significance and contentment. Satish is a former actor/singer/computer programmer who wants to make a difference and move people away from consumerism. Satish can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-835-3639"
TIRUPATI, INDIA, July 7, 2008: The Tirumala temple, in the south Indian city of Tirupati, is one of Hinduism’s holiest shrines. Over 5,000 pilgrims a day visit this city of seven hills, filling Tirumala’s coffers with donations and making it India’s richest temple. But since 2002, Tirumala has also been generating revenue from a less likely source: carbon credits. For decades, the temple’s community kitchen has fed nearly 15,000 people, cooking 30,000 meals a day. Five years ago, Tirumala adopted solar cooking technology, allowing it to dramatically cut down on the amount of diesel fuel it uses. The temple now sells the emission reduction credits it earns to a Swiss green-technology investor, Good Energies Inc.
Like Tirumala, dozens of holy places across India are moving quietly towards green energy. Muni Seva Ashram, in Gujarat, which combines spiritual practice with social activism, is working to make its premises entirely green by using solar, wind and biogas energy. A residential school for 400 students is already running exclusively on green energy. Starting this year, the ashram will also sell three million carbon credits. A similar movement is afoot at the revered Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi, Maharashtra. “Our aim is to avoid pollution in every way,” says Raghunath Aher, the temple’s chief engineer. “A holy place should be pure and completely in harmony with nature.”
It’s not surprising that religious groups are in the vanguard of India’s green movement: India is the birthplace of Hinduism and three other of the world’s largest religions Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, all of which revere nature and preach conservation. Indeed, with 99% of Indians professing to one faith or another, the country’s green movement might not have a prayer without them.
Jun. 13 - Japanese company Genepax presents its eco-friendly car that runs on nothing but water.
The car has an energy generator that extracts hydrogen from water that is poured into the car's tank. The generator then releases electrons that produce electric power to run the car. Genepax, the company that invented the technology, aims to collaborate with Japanese manufacturers to mass produce it.
SOUNDBITE: Kiyoshi Hirasawa, CEO, Genepax.
MUMBAI, INDIA, April 11, 2008: The Gateway of India will be wiped off the Mumbai skyline. Bhelpuri at Chowpatty will become the stuff of grandmother’s tales. No flights will take off from Chhatrapati Shivaji airport. No couple will canoodle at the Marine Drive promenade and even heirs to the bungalow of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan will not be able to resist being evicted from their home. Ninety-two years from now, all these landmarks of Mumbai will be underwater. That’s the apocalypse scenario drawn up in a report titled “Climate Migrants in South Asia: Estimates and Solutions” (download the PDF here http://dev.hinduismtoday.com/modules/wordpress/hindu-press-international/2008/04/11/greenpeace-report-on-sea-level-change-puts-mumbai-under-water/ ) that has been commissioned by Greenpeace, a non-government organization.
Prepared by climate expert and professor from the humanities department of IIT Chennai, Sudhir Chella Rajan, the report says that a potential increase in temperatures by 4 to 5 degrees due to greenhouse emissions at the current rate would mean a corresponding rise in sea levels of up to five meters by 2100.
HPI recommends reading this alarming report. It points out that the
inundation of coastal areas will cause large scale migration to inner cities,
such as Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi. Seventy-five million Bangladeshi
would be displaced, with the prospect of many of them migrating to India.
According to the report, the sea level change will increase slowly until
about 2050, then rapidly. It points out also that there can be sudden changes,
for example parts of the Antartic ice sheet melt.