India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, and its religious texts are packed with wisdom about our relationship with the environment. While some of these texts may be thousands of years old, the messages they contain are still relevant today.
One of the most important messages from Indian religious texts is the importance of living in harmony with nature. For example, the Atharva Veda states that“Mātā bhūmi putro aham pṛthivyāḥ! The Earth is my mother and I am her child!” — Atharva Veda (12.1.12). This message reminds us that we are all connected to the natural world, and that we have a responsibility to protect it.
The seers of Rig Veda speak on behalf of earth for its principle of replenishment “You give me and I give you”. They look at every entity of Nature with the eyes of a friend and sympathiser: “Mitrasyaaham chakshushaa sarvaani bhootaani sameekshe.”This message is especially relevant today, as we face the challenges of climate change and resource depletion.
The Rig Veda mentions a protective layer, now known as the ozone layer, that shields the earth from harmful sun rays. It also praises the radiation that enters the atmosphere and contributes to the well being of the environment. In one hymn, the seer asks the Ashvins for protection from intense solar flares that can impact the earth’s temperature.
All Vedic text, including the Rig, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva Vedas, acknowledge the significance of preserving the natural cycles of the seasons. They recognize that human actions can cause climate change and disrupt these cycles. It is noteworthy that people in Vedic times had a holistic view of nature and respected and protected all its components and beings.
The Vedas are not the only Indian religious texts that contain messages about climate change. The Jain scriptures also have a lot to say about our relationship with the environment. For example, the Jain text called the Tattvartha Sutra states that “all living beings have equal rights to the earth’s resources.” This message reminds us that we should not exploit other living beings or the natural world for our own gain.
The Quran is another religious text that contains messages about climate change. For example, the Quran states that “God has created the earth for us, and has given us everything we need to survive.” This message reminds us that we should be grateful for what we have, and that we should not take the earth’s resources for granted.
The messages from Indian religious texts are still relevant today. As we face the challenges of climate change, we can turn to these texts for guidance. The messages of harmony with nature, mindful consumption, and equal rights for all living beings are essential for creating a sustainable future for our planet.
Reference- Wikipedia, BBC, Journal Nature, National Geographic, Vice