We learn from the media, as well as one's own experiences that there is a great deal of pollution in the world today. The environment has become highly polluted. Even in advanced society like America, at a few places people find it difficult to breathe. Water in our rivers is not clean. It is not potable. The levels of noise pollution are on the increase. Mother Nature is being exploited without mercy. Our cities today are concrete cement jungles giving rise to phenomena like rising temperatures and depletion of the ozone layer.
Today people the world over, are becoming conscious of this environmental crisis. Efforts are being undertaken to reverse the degradation of nature. Unfortunately due to lethargy and delay in reacting to the problem, it has reached mammoth proportions. Though a beginning has been made, unfortunately enough has not been done.
If we revert back to the Vedas (a storehouse of knowledge) we find the roots of our ancient culture steeped in the adoration and veneration of Mother nature. From pre-Vedic times; from far back in recorded history, the Hindus have worshipped trees, rivers and the elements. We have sought and continue to seek the forgiveness of Mother Nature for the atrocities we heap on her.
Why do Hindus worship the various forms of Nature? By and large the spiritual context has not been understood and the worship of Nature has been taken to be mere superstition, an act of cowardice at times. The Hindu worship of Mother Nature is the acknowledgment of the presence of the Lord everywhere and at all times. We see the Lord in all beings, all forms - animate and inanimate and worship Him in all of them.
Through the ancient culture of the Hindus, came the message of living in harmony with Mother Earth, following the inherent melody and rhythm present therein, whereas the present day message is one of aggression. How to win over Nature and subjugate her. We should however, know that progress can be made by obeying the laws of Nature. It is not necessary to plunder and decimate at will. If it is the latter route that we follow, then suffering is very much on the cards. One cannot go against the laws of Nature and escape scot free. The price of plunder and loot must be paid.
About the author
Swami Tejomayananda, the Chairman and spiritual head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide, is one of the foremost disciples of Swami Chinmayananda. He is an outstanding teacher of Vedanta and an accomplished poet, author, and composer.