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Will religion succeed in averting Global Warming ?


 

As recent reports  are confirming that the Arctic Ice is melting to unprecedented levels. Nations are rubbing their hands in glee as they wait to capture large tracts of hereto untouched and unreachable areas for commercial exploitations of oil, gas and minerals. That overt War is a possibility and the covert war must have already started, can not be overlooked.

And all these while odes are being sung on the dangers of Global Warming and Climate Change at the UN level !

The day the first drill for gas exploration touches the Arctic, its would be time to pack up the UNFCCC. There would be no need for such an organization which can not do what it was set up for. But the failure would not be of that organization alone. It would be of the total human race, which would have allowed such a thing to happen.

While I have always conceded that the change to more cleaner and sustainable energy is necessary, that it can’t happen overnight is fully understood by any serious environment advocate.

But surely we must have a NO GO ZONE !! All the signatories of the various climate related treaties and those who have acknowledged the UNFCCC’s 4th Assessment report know the dangers of exploiting the polar ice caps. So what is it that there is complete disconnect between action and words ?

Within the limited understanding I have, I would like to delve for once into the mind of the human race and perhaps we may still be able to find the answer we all seek – To live and let live.

Krishna, Jesus, Vardhaman Mahavir, Mohammed, Buddha, Guru Nanak – All taught tolerance and sustainable life style. Take any religious text and the message on Sustainable Living is clear. All faithful would swear that they walk the path of their Lord God. If it was so then where did the message of Sustainable Living go wrong in our quest for modern Civilization ?

Perhaps the root cause of this can be found in the present day economic model we follow. That it was imperfect, is obvious had the grand masters of Economics read the religious texts. But they did not and so here we are with a Warming Globe which is completely man-made instead of the natural cycle the Earth followed for millennia.

Stating from the Hindu religious texts, of which I’m most familiar – Hinduism primarily does not denote a religion… it is always considered a way of life! Hinduism primarily stands for truths of life… the essence of life!

It is better to strive in one’s own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma. But competition in another’s dharma breeds fear and insecurity.” ~ Krishna from The Bhagavad Gita

On a larger scale, dharma means “the essential order of things, an integrity and harmony in the universe and the affairs of life that cannot be disturbed without courting chaos. Thus it means rightness, justice, goodness, purpose rather than chance.”  ( Courtesy – http://personallifemedia.com)

Those who eat too much or eat too little, who sleep too much or sleep too little, will not succeed in meditation. But those who are temperate in eating and sleeping, work and recreation, will come to the end of sorrow through meditation.Still your mind in me, still yourself in me, and without a doubt you shall be united with me,Lord of Love, dwelling in your heart. ~ Krishna from the Bhagavad Gita  ( Courtesy – http://www.scribd.com)

Gandhiji not only gave India its freedom but also gave the world and us a new thought on non-violence and sustainable living. His teachings and experiments are more valid today than ever before, especially when we are trying to find solutions to worldwide greed, violence and runaway consumptive lifestyle which are putting a very heavy burden on the world’s resources. (Courtesy -http://www.nariphaltan.org).

We all need this Earth to survive and thrive. With myopic vision the only thing we shall achieve is our own Extinction.


 

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in My Thoughts

 

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Disconnect from ones culture is the root cause of Global Warming


The high carbon economy which is causing Global Warming and Climate change, is cause for concern World over. To combat such unprecedented situation, discussing new clean technology alone would not suffice. If one needs Peoples participation, it has to go deep into the ethos and psyche of the people and devise methods to reconnect bonds which human had once with nature.

India is a predominantly Hindu nation and Hinduism is pagan in Nature. The culture of India is based on the Vedas, Upanishads and the Purans .

The Vedas  traditional date goes back to 3000 BC, something which the German scholar Max Mueller accepted. As a body of writing, the Rig-Veda (the wisdom of verses) is nothing short of remarkable. It contains 1028 hymns (10,589 verses which are divided into ten mandalas or book-sections) dedicated to thirty-three different gods. The most often addressed gods were nature gods like Indra (rain god; king of heavens), Agni (fire god), Rudra (storm god; the ‘howler’), Soma (the draught of immortality, an alcoholic brew).

The composition of the Upanishads is significant and stride forward in the direction of knowing the mystery of earth’s creation and one comes tantalizingly close to the answers. Through episodes, commentaries, stories, traditions and dialogue, the Upanishads unfold the fascinating tale of creation, life, the essence of life and of that beyond to the seeker of truth.

The last is the The Puranas which contain the essence of the Vedas. They were written to impress the teachings of the Vedas onto the masses and to generate devotion to God in them.  The Puranas were meant, not for the scholars, but for ordinary people who could not understand high philosophy and could not study the Vedas. There is an emphasis on the worship of Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), Shiva (the destroyer), Surya (the Sun God), Ganesha (the elephant headed god known to be the remover of obstructions ), and Shakti (the goddess).  – Source : http://www.indhistory.com.

If one stops at each of the sentences I have highlighted, one can see that Nature and Animals were an absolute part of our daily living. There was no disconnect in the society from Ecology in its thrust towards agrarian economy and science. The reference to big bang theory and the age of the Universe are mentioned in the Vedas, something modern scientist too calculate. The most interesting thing being the calculations in many places are a near match. This proves that the Vedic period was an advance scientific period of Human history, just like now yet, there was no disconnect from Nature.

The knowledge in the the Vedas and Upanishads which understood God as Omnipotent – Omnipresent – Omniscient and has no form, yet can attain any form through its “Maya”, were not the regular fare for the masses yet the Puranas contained the essence of both. As one delves deeper into the Hindu mythology, one would find that with each Hindu God, some animal is associated, even plants have significance with almost all the important trees and shrubs having some or the other association with the Gods.In many Indian villages till the last century it was impossible to cut down a tree without the entire villages consent. And even today the “Panchyat” ( 5 member jury ) sit under a sacred tree, which is planted at the centre of a village, in rural India.

If one reads the 10 “Avatars” of the Lord VishnuMatsya, the fish-avatar ; Kurma, the tortoise-avatar ; Varaha, the boar-avatar ; Narasimha, the half man-half lion avatar – are the very first 4 avatars, in which Mother Earth has been rescued by God in animal form. Thus highlighting the importance of animals in this planet  and the balance of ecosystem.

Rama Avatar is the most important as here the synergy between human and animal is supreme. Lord Shiva in the avatar of Hanuman ( the monkey ) and Lord  Vishnu ( as a human prince – Ram )  together help rid of the evil and save “Janki” ( Sita ) who incidentally was found  underneath the soil while ploughing the Earth by her foster-father king Janak ! Moreover each God has a “Vahan” ( deity’s mount ) which almost always is an animal or bird. And what can be more contrasting that Lord  Ganesha ( the elephant-headed god ) has a mouse as his vahan ? The ancient Indian culture teaches compassion and tolerance while highlighting the fact that even the smallest creature is important in  ecology.

And this respect for the ecosystem is true across Continents in all cultures and religion. It is time, we once again find the rhythm of life.


 Part-II – Disconnect from ones culture is the root cause of Global Warming; Killing Trees

 

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