Today being World Mother EarthDay, let us pledge to nurture and care for the environment.
Developmentis imperative, but a short-sighted approach is often the cause of great harm.Sustainable development is that which keeps in mind the long-term effects andbenefits of any programme.
Short-sighted development is a disaster. Ravaging natural resources without along-term vision will destroy the ecology, which is the very source of life.The purpose of development should be to support and sustain life. With thebigger picture in mind, all development plans will factor in the ecology,sociology and psychology. Then the very process of development becomes aconscious endeavor to preserve the planet and its resources. The health of ourplanet is of utmost importance.
Environment consciousness is inbuilt in the human system. Throughout history,Nature ( prakriti) has always beenadored in India; mountains, rivers, the sun, the moon, the trees have beenrevered. In fact, ancient cultures all over the world have exhibited a deepreverence for Nature. For them, God was not in temples or churches, but wasinherent in Nature. It's only when we start moving away from Nature that westart polluting Nature. Today there is a pressing need to revive the ancientpractice of honouring and conserving Nature.
Many are of the view that damage to ecology is an inevitable by-product oftechnological progress. But that is not necessarily so; actually, a sustainablegrowth is assured only if the ecology is protected. Science and technologyshould not be regarded as anti-environment; rather, we need to find ways ofmaintaining harmony in environment while progressing in science and technology.This is the biggest challenge of this century.
Just observe Nature; the five elements of Nature are opposed to each other.Water destroys fire, fire destroys air. Then there are so many species inNature - the birds, reptiles, mammals; all these different species are hostiletowards each other and yet Nature balances them out. We need to learn fromNature; how Nature digests waste material and produces something morebeautiful. Similarly, it is not technology and science that pose a hazard, butthe waste material generated by technological and scientific processes.
We need to find methods to consume the waste and develop non-pollutingprocesses, such as harnessing of solar energy. A return to traditional methodssuch as organic and chemical-free farming will go a long way in preparing theground for healthy development. Tradition, technology, trade and truth are thefour key factors, which need to be revived time and again. Unless they arerevived, the whole meaning for which they were initiated will be lost; ancientand modern methods should be synergised. Despite advances in the field ofchemicals and fertilisers, the ancient Vedic technology of using cow urine andcow dung continue to be one of the best ways to cultivate crops. Severalstudies have shown that natural farming leads to enhanced yield.
The latest technology needn't always be the most economically viable orefficient technology. We need to look into the merits; just because somethingis new, it is not necessarily good and just because some thing is old, it neednot be discarded.
There can be no sustainable development in a society full of stress andviolence. A disease-free body, a stress-free mind, a violence-free society anda toxin-free environment are vital elements of sustainable development. If wehave to keep opening more and more hospitals and prisons as society develops,it does not augur well. Access to more hospitals beds and availability of moreprisons are not signs of development.
Sustainable development also means freedom from all types of crimes. Destroyingthe environment, cutting down trees, dumping toxic waste, using non-recyclablematerials is also a crime. Environment is our first body, then comes thephysical body and the mind, the mental sheath. You have to cater to all thethree levels.
In reality, man's greed is the greatest pollutant. Greed stops man from sharingwith others. Greed also obstructs the preservation of ecology; man is sogreedy, he wants to make quick profits and achieve quick results. This greednot only pollutes the gross, physical environment but also contaminates thesubtle atmosphere; it stimulates negative emotions in the subtle mind. Thesenegative vibrations, once compounded, give rise to unrest in society. Negativefeelings of hatred, anger, jealousy are the root cause of all disasters and miseryin the world, whether they are economical, political or social in nature.
People should be encouraged to treat theplanet as sacred, to treat trees and rivers as sacred, to treat people assacred, and to see God in nature and in people. This will foster sensitivity;and a sensitive person can't but care for nature. It is basically insensitivitythat makes a person act callously towards environment. If a person issensitive, he will nurture environment, thereby eradicating pollution.