Samudra Vasane Devi, ParvataStanaMandale,
VishnupatniNamastubhyam, Pada SparshamKshamasva Me
(Excerpt from a Sanskrit chant, this is a mark of reverence and respect to Mother Earth and seeking forgiveness for stepping on it with the feet).
Love for the Mother incepts in the womb itself and comes naturally to the conscious of God’s creatures. Earth, on the other hand, as it offers life-sustaining elements, is an extension of the same analogy.
The ecological heritage of India is based on the belief of experiencing nature as experiencing the cosmic system, as opposed to the ideology of considering it as a mechanism to be experimented. Even today when science has proved the geological processes, Indian faith continues to sustain the legends and the doctrine remains an integral part of the future generation as well. It is the baseline of a spiritual response, and a conscious reorientation of inner commitment. Nature is considered to have nurtured and nourished human intellect with food for thought and food for the body.
“Shannoastudvipaday, Shan Chatushpadday”, a Sanskrit chant that prays for the health and happiness of all two-legged and four-legged creatures on Earth is a testimony that everything is existing because elements made of everything is similar. With the spiritual core undiminished by the modernism and part of the interconnected psyche, our humane and dignified view of the chain of life and environmental ethics and not a result of environmental crisis. The enigma of the philosophy is that we are all birds of the same nest, wearing different skins, speaking different languages, believing in different superpowers, yet nested in the same home, covered by the same skies, gazing at the same stars and fond of the same twilight and breathing the same air. Transcending the dimensions and considering the Earth as our mother, and all creatures its children, it is a living example of tolerance and gentleness of a mature mind, spirit and love for all, the presiding deity of all those who exist and are yet to born. From the earth we are and unto Earth, we shall return.
In Rig Veda, the earth and sky are frequently addressed in the dual, the idea of two complementary half-shells. Impregnated by the rain, the flora and fauna come into existence. Considered to be the bearer of Goddess Sita, she was found in a ploughing field. Often depicted to be seated on the square platform resting on four elephants, considered to be the four corners of the earth. While depicted with four arms, she holds a pomegranate, a water vessel, a bowl containing healing herbs and another containing vegetables.
There are numerous ways in which the Indian society believes in sacred importance and reverence which is not just available in the scriptures and religious practices, but also the everyday activities.
The gestures of offering water to the plants, bowing head to the sun, ritual bathing in the natural sources of water, consideration of various herbs for their medicinal properties and elixir, the exponent of seeking blessings and forgives from the Earth before starting the dance form, the practice of drawing polam outside the house with rice flour not just to beautify, but also as an offering of food to the ants, the legendary Chipko movement that stirred the nation and revolutionized the concept of collective wellbeing and brought a paradigm shift.
Indian Mythology also has enough evidence about the synergy of the elements in ecology is the underlying force of our very existence. The Vedic man is believed to have been gifted intellect and wisdom as a gift from nature. So, for him, God and nature were the same. The essence of culture being born in forests is indicated by the transition of man and its evolution from an animal to a rational man.
The chronology of world order, from the seed to the womb, energized by breath, was the global anthem of sustenance the mankind learnt. He understood the powers by worshipping them. Consequently, the interaction satisfied its bodily needs and spiritual needs. Its proximity to the plant and animal life made him consider himself as the son of nature as well. The one and all giver of Life, Lord Shiva’s necklace, Rudraskh, signifies links to the forest. Krishna brought cows and played flute through the forests of Vrindavan, a forest as clear as the sanctified mind of the worshipper.
The Earth as an embodiment of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and generously the products of its life’s activity. Untamed, it is a forest, domesticated, it is a field. Lessons of complexes social systems are professed by the forests, sharing the same sun with an ideology that there is enough for everyone, stopping the spread of disease by not overlapping on canopies and sharing nutrients and water from under the Earth, the art of social forestry in its austere form is a lesson to mankind in itself.
The principle and guiding force, is to see the divine and mystical unfold before us, in an inevitably linked and a seemingly endless dance.