Returning to Our Roots; Restoring Our Earth; Renewing Our Future

Returning to Our Roots; Restoring Our Earth; Renewing Our Future

माता भूमि पुत्रोहं पृथिव्या

During the Vedic period, we used to live in harmony with nature. The Vedas have several references on environmental protection, ecological balance, weather cycles, rainfall phenomena, the hydrologic cycle, and related subjects that directly indicate the high level of awareness of the seers and people of that time.

Rig-Veda states that “the sky is like father, the earth like a mother and the space as their son.” The universe consisting of the three is like a family and any kind of damage done to any one of the three throws the universe out of balance.

It is also stated in Upanishad that “The God who exists in the universe, lives in air, water, in fire and also in trees and herbs, men should have reverence for them.” 

In fact, man is forbidden from exploiting nature. He is taught to live in harmony with nature and recognize that divinity prevails in all elements, including plants and animals. The Rishis of the past have always had great respect for nature. Theirs was not a superstitious primitive theology. They perceived that all material manifestations are a shadow of the spiritual. 

But unfortunately, Today Indian rivers are the destination for waste produced by hundreds of industrial units, our cities have become gas chambers, oceans have become the dump yard for plastics and rapid urbanization leads to deforestation. The greed of mankind has led to grave danger to the future of the environment.

Mahatma Gandhi said –

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” 

The effect of global warming and climate change are well emphasized in global narratives and India can neither remain unaffected nor be a mute spectator. 

The punishing long and scorching summers and uneven rainfalls are just the latest indicators that we need to do more to hold back climate change. Solutions to control such devastations are within our reach, but to capture them there is a need to take urgent consolidated actions across every level of society and build a future for our coming generations that are sustainable and resilient.

We are all responsible as individuals, in terms of changing our habits and living in a way that is more sustainable. Now is the time for people in every facet to raise their voices and urge each other to take a historic first step towards a sustainable future. We must reduce carbon emissions to the point where we hold global warming to no more than an additional 1.5 °C.

In our journey towards carbon-neutral, the private sector will play a key role in accelerating global decarbonization by setting science-based targets to reduce emissions within their operations and value chains. Moving ahead, we need deep and sustained decarbonization of the industry at all levels—Hard to abate sectors, food production and consumption, transportation, construction, manufacturing, and retail. To do this, we require new and innovative solutions that transform the way stakeholders engage with the natural world. Industries must switch to green & sustainable energy like solar & wind. One tool that could help the ‘hard to abate’ sector is green hydrogen & green ammonia.

Every country, city, financial institution, and company should adopt plans for transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050 and take decisive ACTION NOW.

Our PM Shri Narendra Modi always says – India believes in वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम.

Means ‘The whole Universe is one Family’

He has made a paradigm shift to a “whole-of-society” approach by involving and engaging sub-national and local governments, civil society organizations, local communities, people in vulnerable situations, and the private sector. 

With his motto of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas’ (Collective Efforts for Inclusive Growth), serious efforts have been made in the county to develop a robust SDGs localization model centered on adoption, implementation, and monitoring at the state and district levels.

We have Science with us; technology is with us. We just need to step up to combat climate change. Azadi ka Amrit Kaal is a make-or-break year to confront the global climate emergency.

Let’s UNITE and FIGHT for a sustainable future.

We must turn this momentum into a movement.

Jai Hind

What if Buddha Lived to See Today?

What if Buddha Lived to See Today?

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you.” – Lord Buddha

Lord Buddha is said to have found the answers to the most daunting questions pertaining to human existence. His quest started at the age of 29 and ended at 35 with enlightenment.

Post his enlightenment, Buddha spread his wisdom to his disciples & followers on many subjects related to misery, suffering, restlessness & eluding peace in human life. And, these pestilent problems still plague the modern society, and man does not know an escape from them. This includes not just the personal well-being, but also the preservation of the environment that interacts in complex ways with us. This is explained in Paticca Samuppada or ‘Dependent Origination.’

For Lord Buddha, purity of the mind & purity of the environment one lives in, were crucial to attain enlightenment.

Lord Buddha, if he lived today, would have followed the same principled path to help all of us.

His enlightened aura, the grace of his words, the shower of his knowledge and his pious preaching would have had a far grandeur effect on our society. He would have been the supreme sermon on earth, guiding us in the right direction through his halo.

He would have worked for the exaltation of both, the man & the nature he dwells in. 

The wisdom discovered by Lord Buddha after enlightenment

Buddha gave the foundation of peace for all of us. He compelled us to comprehend the reality as it comes. His wisdom begins with;

The Four Noble Truths

  1. Dukkha: Suffering exists: Life is suffering. Suffering is real and almost universal. Suffering has many causes: loss, sickness, pain, failure, and the impermanence of pleasure.
  2. Samudaya: There is a cause of suffering. Suffering is due to attachment. It is the desire to have and control things. It can take many forms: craving of sensual pleasures; the desire for fame; the desire to avoid unpleasant sensations, like fear, anger or jealousy.
  3. Nirodha: There is an end to suffering. Attachment can be overcome. Suffering ceases with the final liberation of Nirvana. The mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. It lets go of any desire or craving.
  4. Magga: In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path. There is a path for accomplishing this.

Lord Buddha also gave the Three Universal Truths;

  1. Nothing is lost in the Universe: Everything that exists is a part of an endless cosmic cycle. Everything flows through time and seems to change. Life & death, are thus, just repetitive cycles. 
  2. Everything Changes: Change is the only constant in the Universe.
  3. The Law of Cause and Effect: the law of karma says -for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful.

His wisdom gave his followers a new way to see the life & reality around them. “You are what you are becoming,” Buddha preached.

What would he say to us today?

Seeing the fast pace of life, restlessness, anxiety, pain & suffering that humans experience today, Buddha would recite his noble practices as a remedy to our toxic lifestyle- Sila (Virtue, Good Conduct & Morality), Samadhi (Self-development & meditation lead to wisdom) & Prajna (That wisdom will emerge for a calm & pure mind).

He would also recite to us the teachings of Adhammika Sutta that says- ‘Being a member of the environment the actions of man’s imprudent behavior damages the environment.’ Man is subject to his Karma, good and bad. Thus, his misdeeds can be punished via nature. Living a righteous life and maintaining a pristine environment would have been his lessons for us.

“In the end, only three things matter: How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” The essence of all his teachings rests in those words.

After all, Lord Buddha’s eternal presence remains with us in the form of his legend & words. Maybe he is all around us, waiting for us to wake up…