The Making of Environment Warriors

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar

Jun 08, 2024, 09:06 AM | Updated 09:06 AM IST

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addresses media in Bhopal. (Mujeeb Faruqui/ Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addresses media in Bhopal. (Mujeeb Faruqui/ Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Every year as the World Environment Day comes around, there is a renewed clamour for stricter green laws and regulations around the world. While laws are important, they don't alone ensure environmental sustainability. We as individuals, need to take care of our environment. This is our first and foremost duty as citizens of the planet Earth.

We need to learn from our mistakes of the past. And its already happening, the current generation is much more concerned about environmental issues. Unlike the previous generations, the youth today are not as consumeristic. In many parts of India, the youth have come together under the Art of Living banner and rejuvenated about 70 rivers and their tributaries. It is heartening to see many dead rivers flowing again. We must also encourage farmers to adopt sustainable and natural farming methods and phase out the use of chemical-based fertilisers. In this regard, we have trained 22 lakh farmers where the input cost is nearly zero, and the health benefits are numerous.

Trees are the lungs of our planet. In the ancient vedic philosophy it is said, if you want to cut a tree, you have to take permission from the tree and promise to plant five more trees of the same kind. If you go to any forest, where so many animals live, they live in harmony, they never litter the forest but look at human beings, we have polluted the environment.

In ancient India, the environment was worshipped as manifestation of one God in five elements. The earth, fire, water, air and space elements - we need to preserve them for generations to come. To be able to that, we need to revive this attitude of sacred reverence towards nature. This makes people more sensitive and a sensitive person can only care for nature and protect the environment. That is why I consider spiritual awakening as a vital part of any environment care campaign.

Historically, there has been an intimate relationship with the environment built into the psyche of human beings. It’s only because we started drifting from this umbilical connection to nature that we began polluting and destroying the environment.

Ecological degradation is not necessarily an outcome of technology and development. The real issue is the waste created by these processes. We need to find ways to manage this waste and develop non-polluting methods, like harnessing solar energy and practicing natural farming that recycles almost all of the waste generated from the fields.

The purpose of technology is to find ways to coexist with nature, to bring comfort to human beings along with providing the right information. When a society ignores spiritual and human values, technology potentially brings pollution and destruction, instead of comfort.

So, this environment day, let us all resolve to plant more trees, keep our water sources clean and pure and most importantly, not waste any water and not pollute the air. If we take care of our environment, it will take care of us. It will bring us health, happiness and prosperity.

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