World Environment Day 2020: 5 Teaching of Nature in Hinduism

You probably have read a lot of teaching from Vedas and Hindu Gods about the environment and Earth but did you know Hindu believes that poisoning environment can come back to us as Karma? This World Environment day let’s learn something from one of the greatest religion about how should we save Environment.

World Environment Day is celebrated on 5th June of every year to spread awareness about the environment in mankind. This year the theme for world environment day 2020 is celebrating biodiversity. It’s time to protect biodiversity when 1 million species are on the verge of extinction. It was announced by the UN general assembly in 1974 with the theme of “Only One Earth”.

Today there are several threats to our home, our environment and we all need to come together with everything we have got. Hinduism contributes its fair share in prioritizing the environment. Vedas have always shown earth as a mother and all elements of earth as life. Hindu gods have bestowed upon with a lot of teaching about protecting the environment in different Hindu scriptures. We have many things to learn from Vedas to sustain a good life, but today we learn about some beautiful and mesmerizing tales from Hinduism that promotes nature on this World environment day:

1) Tale of Aranyani: the goddess of forests and the animals living among them

Aranyani : World Environment Day
Aranyani: the goddess of forests

Aranyani is believed to be the mother of forests and diversity living among them. This Hindu deity protects forests and provides food to mankind. In Rig Veda no 146 she has an exquisite introduction with very poetic description. Aranyani came into existence when once the goddess Parvati wished upon Kalpavriksha, a wish-fulfilling tree. She asked for a beautiful girl with nine divine gifts of purity, knowledge, peace, energy, patience, respect, success, prosperity and happiness. With the touch of Lord Shiva, she came into existence. Aranyani has descriptive hymns in Rigveda about her beauty and embrace. This World Environment Day let’s take a pledge to help out Aranyani to keep bringing new lives on earth and help her protect all the endangered ones.

2) Tale of “One tree is equal to 10 sons”

Earth
Tree

Hindu gods had a very beautiful response to all environmental problems. The Hindu deity Parvati longed for another song after Lord Ganesh. So, she would plant the Ashoka tree with saplings and took good care of it. Once a Rishi that is a sage came there and asked her that what benefit this tree will bring her in acquiring a son. Parvati said “one person who digs well where water is scarce, resides in heaven. Just like that one son is like 10 reservoirs of water and one tree is equal to 10 sons”. This story comes from Matsya Puran.

So, did you decide to plant a tree for your future generation and gift them a pure and fruitful nature and environment.

3) Tale of Mother Earth

Earth
Mother Earth illustration

Vedas always presented earth as the mother of mankind. Earth gives us life, fertility, and nourishment. Hindu addresses her as Prithivi maa means “the vast one”. They also respect her wholeheartedly. It is a ritual in Hinduism that most people follow that whenever we wake up, first touch the ground and bow our head to it before putting our feet on the ground. This respect teaches us the importance of mother earth in our lives and we have to take care of it.

4) Tales in Bhagavad Gita’s about Environment

Hindu Gods
Sage reading Vedas

Bhagavad Gita is a compilation of teaching by Hindu god Lord Krishna to his follower Arjuna before fighting the war with his brother. Bhagavad Gita has a lot of things to teach mankind and those teachings have been a way of life for the whole world. In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna has compared the environmental cycle of cloud, rain, food, and human behaviour to nature. Where he has asked to sacrifice to a fire to bring rain on the earth. Hindu believes in bringing an offering to God for many greater purposes like rain, knowledge, fertility, etc.

This teaches us how hard is it to get some of nature’s gift that we might not care about. For the betterment of nature, promise yourself this Environment day to not take anything for granted and help in rainwater harvesting and conserving the wild.

Want to read teachings of Bhagavad Gita for free, here https://vedpuran.net/2011/10/21/ved_puran/

5) The tale about Pancha Mahabhutas (5 elements of life)

World Environment Day: Nature
Girl meditating

The Hindu religion Life is composed of 5 elements bhūmi (earth), ap or Jala (water), Tejas or Agni (fire), Marut, Vayu, or pavan (air or wind) and shunya (space or zero) or akash (aether or void). Old people believe that we came from the environment and will go into that so we should respect our soil Because if nature gives birth to us, it can also destroy us and take us back. And this belief has been making more sense than anything. It is sin to poison the environment according to Vedas and Upanishads believes that nature takes back if we don’t respect it.

People following Hinduism believes that our action for the environment will affect our Karma as in our next life. With those beautiful teachings, Hindus live great and simpler life protecting everything around us. Our values, morals, and ethics are intended solely for making all lives matter

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