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Nature and Hindu Scriptures

Nature and Hinduism are so entwined that it is quite impossible to think about one without the other. The need for an ecological balance is stressed in the Ved and Upanishad and this message is repeated in the Raamaayan, Mahaabhaarat, Geetaa, Puraan and in the messages of Hindu saints. Mother Nature is worshipped in Hindu religion. But for majority of Hindu, worship is confined to temples and homes and thus they are equal contributors in global warming, pollution and emissions. Here are a few thoughts which ancient seers of Sanaatan Dharm had shared more than 5000 years ago regarding the importance of nature and majority of them are highly relevant today.

--One should not destroy the trees. (Rig Ved Sanhitaa vi-48-17)
--Plants are mothers and Goddesses. (Rig Ved Sanhitaa x-97-4)
--Trees are homes and mansions. (Rig Ved Sanhitaa x-97-5)
--Sacred grass has to be protected from man's exploitation (Rig Ved Sanhitaa vii-75-8)
--Plants and waters are treasures for generations. (Rig Ved Sanhitaa vii-70-4)
--Earth, in which lie the sea, the river and other waters, in which food and cornfields have come to be, in which lives all that breathes and that moves, may she confer on us the finest of her yield. Earth, in which the waters, common to all, moving on all sides, flow unfailingly, day and night, may she pour on us milk in many streams, and endow us with luster. (Atharv Ved - Hymn to the Earth - Bhoomi Sookt)
--May those born of thee, O Earth, be for our welfare, free from sickness and waste, wakeful through a long life, we shall become bearers of tribute to thee. Earth my mother, set me securely with bliss in full accord with heaven, O wise one, uphold me in grace and splendor. (Atharv Ved - Hymn to the Earth - Bhoomi Sookt)
--Earth, atmosphere, sky, sun, moon, stars, waters, plants, trees, moving creatures, swimming creatures, creeping creatures all are hailed and offered oblations. (Taittireeya Sanhitaa i-8-13)
--One should protect the habitation. (Rig Ved Sanhitaa vi-71-3)
--Waters as friends of man give full protection to his progenies. (Rig Ved Sanhitaa vi-50-7)
--One shall take care of quadrupeds. (Taittireeya Sanhitaa iv-4-10)
--One shall be auspicious to animals. (Taittireeya Sanhitaa ii-3-14)
--One shall not find fault with animals. (Chhaandogya Upanishad ii-18-2)
--Waters represent splendor. (Atharv Ved Sanhitaa iii-13-5)
--Waters bear off all defilements and cleanse people. (Vaajasaneya Sanhitaa iv-2)
--Whoever injures the essence of food, kine or steeds is a robber who sinks both himself and his offspring into destruction. (Rig Ved Sanhitaa vii-104-10)
--Offerings are dedicated to waters of wells, pools, clefts, holes, lakes, morasses, ponds, tanks, marshes, rains, rime, streams, rivers and ocean. (Taittireeya Sanhitaa vii-4-13)
--There was only water in the beginning. (Brihadaaranyak Upanishad v-5-1)
--Waters and herbs should have no poison. (Rig Ved Sanhitaa vi-39-5)
--Waters are to be freed from defilement. (Atharv Ved Sanhitaa x-5-24)
--Waters cleanse humanity from the evil of pollution committed by it. (Atharv Ved Sanhitaa xii-2-40)
--Waters are healing and they strengthen one to see great joy. (Taittireeya Sanhitaa vii-4-19)

--The Mahaabhaarat says that "even if there is only one tree full of flowers and fruits in a village, that place becomes worthy of worship and respect".

--No religion, perhaps, lays as much emphasis on environmental ethics as does Hinduism. It believes in ecological responsibility and says like Native Americans that the Earth is our mother. It champions protection of animals, which it considers also have souls, and promotes vegetarianism. It has a strong tradition of non-violence or Ahinsaa. It believes that God is present in all nature, in all creatures, and in every human being regardless of their faith or lack of it. Dr David Frawley

We Hindu are always proud to hear others praise our culture. We publish them, discuss them in social circles but rarely follow the unparalleled teachings in our scriptures.

Lord Ganesh, holy cow, worship of mountains, worship of Naag (Snakes), Tulasee and the numerous other plants and animals that form part of Hindu worship are nothing but messages incorporated by wise Hindu Saints to teach us that we humans are part of nature and not outside it and above it.

The Hindu concept of Brahm, the Supreme Soul, suggests that all animate and inanimate and all born and yet to be born are part of Braahman. Therefore an imbalance in a particular part will affect all other parts. The Supreme Being then finds out a method to transform that defective part. Since Braahman is present in all, it is easy to transform. And we humans might term such a transformation as the End or Death or total annihilation. For the Supreme Soul, it is a small repair work carried out by a minute virus. Mother Nature is not dependent on Human Beings but Human Beings are. Ancient Seers knew it and therefore they worshiped Nature. Modern Humans termed it as animism and replaced it with more refined worships. And the result of such a refined worship ...

In our arrogance and ignorance we have destroyed the environment of this planet. We have polluted the oceans, we have made the air unbreathable, we have desecrated nature and decimated wildlife. But the Vedaantik seers knew that man was not something apart from nature, and, therefore, they constantly exhort us that, while we work for own salvation, we must also work for the welfare of all beings.

Courtesy: Quotes from Ved as found in the articles of Dr S Kannan and Dr Karan Singh



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/9/09
Updated on 10/03/13