Every moment our life should be exemplified as an act of gratitude, worship, indebtedness and adoration to mother earth for our being, becoming and ceasing to be. The question always rankles in our mind whether observing earth day is a mere routine of formalities showing insouciance for the irreparable damage done to earth or a moral and spiritual upheaval in us to realize the eternal umbilical cord that connects the earth to our life.
It is only when the mother earth was exploited, tortured and despoiled to the hilt and when the existence, sustenance and perpetuation of living beings on this earth as predicted by scientists remain a question mark, we were awakened to the need to save the earth and prevent all kinds of activities that will prove nuisance to the earth. The celebration of earth day has not become part of our being from the very birth rather it has been the result of our understanding of the devastating consequences of our activities wrought upon this earth. It has turned out to be an afterthought event.
Eons ago in Hindu Dharmic tradition the scriptures like Vedas, saints, sages and seers have become unequivocal and eloquent in their pronouncements in praises and adoration of mother earth highlighting the moral imperatives weighing on us that nothing shall be done knowingly or unknowingly that will hurt and damage the earth. That is the reason our scriptures sing hymns seeking permission from the earth and its constituents like plants, water etc for the use of mankind.
This tradition has taught us to approach the earth with a religious attitude not with a predatory and exploitative attitude. Out of love and realization of the great service mother earth renders to humanity by its indescribable sacrifice, suffering and forbearance every moment the human beings should in their every bit of activities and thinking should desist themselves from doing anything that remains pernicious to the nature.
Remaining grateful with an attitude of worshiping and deification and awakened to the very realization that of the greatness of mother earth on the one hand and on the other decrying in strongest terms those activities that threaten earth and forbidding us from doing harm should be the sine qua non of our life if we are to live on this earth.
There are three kinds of people on this earth. The first kind is having the wisdom, foresight, intuition and insight to realize beforehand the consequences of their actions, way of life and thinking at present and in future. Their number is very miniscule. Having a glimpse of this they have urged upon us to act accordingly.
Our scriptures, sages, saints and seers carrying the banner of wisdom have nuanced to worship mother earth with love, dedication and humility. It is not a superstition, a dogmatic belief or folklore as western thinkers, intellectuals and scientists and western bred Indian intellectuals are accustomed to believe.
It reflects the priceless foresight and wisdom that transcending time and space, all ages, places and civilizations teaches us to feel the unity of our being with nature in all aspects of our living. What ancient Bharat has inscribed in its immortal words to worship nature has to day taken the form of observing earth day only when we have robbed the earth of its reassure trove which it has kept in store for us. Let us join this group and enlarge it from being minuscule to majority if we are to come as testament to this glowing immortal wisdom being reflected in Indian seers and scriptures. His will be our real worship of mother earth.
The second group lacks the foresight and wisdom the first group possesses. So they used to commit mistakes after mistakes without being sanguine of the consequences of thereof. Only when they find that the loss is galore and their existence is in peril, they become conscious and rise to the occasion to eschew the forbidden path they were treading.
After mindless and relentless exploitation of the earth, pollution of water and air for more than three centuries in the name of development, inordinate life style this group now harps on the project to save the earth. It was only after 1970s the intellectual fermentation that took place in western hemisphere impinged on us to redefine development and way of life we have been accustomed to that was premised on fossil fuel based industrialization and technology. It is like a cat after eating away all meat and fish thinks of observing the life of renunciation.
The third category is the most dangerous, ignorant and obduracy of all the above categories. After undergoing the ordeal of constant suffering, trial and tribulations this category never introspects, analyzes and desists itself from pursuing that misdirected path and continues perpetuating on that path. This is an attitude of egoism, superiority and exploitation with might and strength. The IPCC reports admit to the fact that it is the conscious human activities that have been the primary causes of degradation of the nature and climate change.
These reports have awarded mankind to the apocalyptic consequences of their own actions which have interfered into the functioning of nature. In spite of all these findings, warnings and sufferings, the nations are still continuing carbon copying western model of development unfailingly based on industrialization and their exorbitant life style.
The dominant view of the universe/ cosmos crafted in a particular time and historical context constitutes the bedrock of defining the way of life built into the paradigm of development, society, state and governance. This is pertinent to all civilizations and varies from civilization to civilization.
The Newtonian/Cartesian view of the universe as lifeless matter founding the western paradigm of development reinforced by its Judeo-Christian tradition as its main building bloc with the passage of time and spread of communication became the universal history and paradigm of development underestimating the other civilizations and cultures and their respective divergent views of the universe/cosmos and way of life.
Consequent upon this ingrained and dominant view the shift in portrayal of the earth as mother to treating it as an object, a lifeless cornucopia of raw materials and a scrapheap of waste products took place. The child never thinks mother as an instrument or object for fulfillment of its goals but as a part of his being interwoven with that of his mother. But the western view and development separates the earth from our beings perceiving in it an instrumentality and a source of exploitation and pillage.
What Beacon and John Locke have inspired the mankind to tame the earth for its material aggrandizement has turned out to be the guiding metaphor of western development and its way of life now engulfing the entire globe.
Mere observance of this day as a routine affair once a year will not serve the purpose for which it is being celebrated. A revolutionary change in our dominant paradigm, thinking, attitude, and way of life seems to put before us the desideratum and loadstar to be reached. The five elements-earth, water, fire, air and space that constitute the universe also constitute our being. What is in universe is also found immanent in us.
This is how the earth is interconnected in the web of our life and being. If we love our being then we love the earth. Like child and mother being interconnected in the web of life we the living, the animate and inanimate and future generations and the earth are inextricably interconnected in the vast web of life spanning beyond time and space.
Let all be happy
Let all be free from diseases, harm and disability
Let all behold what is auspicious and good
Let all not suffer from sorrows and suffering.