By Vineet Mittal, Chairman, Avaada Group
समुद्रवसने देवि पर्वतस्तनमंडले ।
विष्णुपत्नि नमस्तुभ्यं पादस्पर्शं क्षमस्व मे
Mother Earth, who has the ocean as clothes, adorned by mountains and forests,
And is the consort of Lord Vishnu,
I bow to you to please forgive me for touching you with my feet.
The Vedas have endowed us with a vast array of knowledge that range from environmental protection to ecological balance to rainfall cycles, and just about every phenomenon that occurs on planet Earth. Our ancestors believed in ‘sanrakshan’ – mindful of the society’s role towards sustainability and ecological preservation.
Unfortunately, since the world seems to have grown around us, we have forgotten to fear the invisible cause-effect relations that drive our reality. Now, despite receiving light nudges and warnings across centuries, our collective ignorance in pursuit of creature comforts has lead us to cause irreversible damage to Mother Earth and she is done with throwing us humans helpful hints.
A clear, impartial observation highlights the impact climate change has had not only on the current Covid19 Crisis era but has been felt for many decades, amplifying with each year and observed on a worldwide scale. We have always sensed the wrong and harm we have inflicted on nature for centuries. Mother Earth has had many warriors and champions, they warned us, threatened us but humanity never heeded.
Now that nature has taken matters into its own hands and we have been – as a species – driven into hiding and we need to press the refresh button. Things can’t go back to the ‘old ways’ so we have to look, learn, adapt and evolve. From factories to everyday grocery shopping – nothing can stay the same. Burning fossil fuel, the Amazon forest fires, bush fires as well as rising sea levels can no longer be terms we simply find bound between pages inside dusty, old libraries. The wrath of nature has brought these facts closer to home and impacted our everyday lives.
As per the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), fuel emissions alone kill an estimated 7 million people worldwide every year. The ice caps are melting and the sea-water levels are rising by 7 to 8 inches on average since 1900, slowly swallowing land and homes while fueling more inland flooding. From our homes to health to food scarcity if we don’t learn to adapt and grow – extinction isn’t a far off concept.
Humans are driven by comfort and are constantly challenging Mother Nature. Human activities like urbanization, deforestation, infrastructure building, etc. have led to severe decline of pristine natural environment. Rapid ice melting to glaciers floating along with an ever increasing human population had led to depleted biodiversity and loss of multiple essential natural habitats.
From polluting the water to excessive vehicular use, we as a species have pushed a multitude of flora – Silphium, Rhynia, Sigillaria – and fauna – the Black Rhinoceros, White Dolphin, Passenger Pigeon – towards absolute extinction. We have destroyed the balance between several ecosystems whose stability is amicably interdependent.
So then the question arises – ‘Can we undo our harmful actions?’
Even though the answer isn’t quite as straightforward as a yes or a no we need to try.
The solution, it seems, lies in one simple concept – Harmonious Sustainability.
Luckily a lot of research and holistic studies have been done for us. Extensive studies on the ‘Charak Samhita’ with special focus on the third chapter on epidemic diseases could be a start. It elaborates on living together as one with nature and learning how to notice warning signs.
Technology has brought us far. By rebuilding the world and marrying it to nature through eco-friendly methods is a successful step forward. From celebrating renewable energy to growing with plants and trees in their natural habitat to co-existing peacefully with other species are some foundational ideas that encourage Sustainable Living.
Just have faith and take a step forward. For now, Nature has begun to heal; let’s not miss this chance to create a sustainable future for the many generations that are yet to come.
विश्वंभरा वसुधानी प्रतिष्ठा हिरण्यवक्षा जगतो निवेशनी ।
वैश्वानरं बिभ्रती भूमिरग्निमिन्द्रऋषभा द्रविणे नो दधातु ॥६॥
She (Mother Earth) is All-Bearing, She is the Producer of all Wealth,
She is the Foundation on which we live,
She is of Golden Bosom, the Dwelling Place of the World,
She holds The Universal Fire within Her,
May the Mother Earth bestow on us the splendour of that Fire and make us strong.