Swami has spoken extensively on the intimate relationship between man and nature, pollution, and excessive desires leading to destruction of the natural habitat. Here are three important and practical methods to protect and preserve the only place we can call home: Mother Earth.

Intimate relationship of man, God and nature

“Care should be exercised in pursuing comforts as excessive comforts may spoil one’s mind and cause misery instead of happiness. “Na Shreyo Niyamam Vinaa” (Nothing good can be achieved without certain restraints). Because of the advancement of technology and provision of excessive comforts, life has become mechanical and the practice of spirituality has declined. Science fragments everything to pieces while spirituality builds up unity in diversity. Today, man is not making efforts to cultivate the feeling of oneness among humanity.

To show an example, the ozone layer in the atmosphere protects the people on earth from the effects of solar radiation. Because of the advance of technology, several factories have sprung up emitting harmful gases into the atmosphere. As a result, the ozone layer has become thinner which will have disastrous consequences if it goes on unchecked. Scientists are trying to stop the deterioration of the ozone layer but they are unable to find a remedy.

The actual cause for this situation is that more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, which would normally have been absorbed by plants and trees. Due to the alarming extent of deforestation, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased considerably. Therefore, the remedy for this situation is intensive afforestation, growing more trees everywhere and protecting the existing trees without destroying them for other purposes. Thus the relationship of man, nature, and God is very intimate which scientists may not be able to realise.”

Tread softly, move reverentially, utilise gratefully

“I shall tell you of one form of worship which will endow you with divine strength. Godhead expresses itself initially as the five elements, the sky, the wind, the fire, the water and the earth. All creation is but a combination of two or more of these in varying proportions. The characteristic nature of these five elements are: sound, touch, form, taste and smell; cognised by the ear, the skin, the eye, the tongue and nose. Since these are saturated with the divine, one has to use them reverentially and with humility and gratefulness.

Use them intelligently to promote the welfare of yourself and others; use them with moderation and with the idea of loving service to the community, to all. They are all free and full of precious potentiality. Appreciate the plenty and the preciousness. You know from experience that excessive quantities of wind or fire or water are injurious to health. Drinking more water than needed is a torture; inhaling more air is suffocating. Fire in moderation can warm or serve to heat and melt; but, beyond a certain limit, it is catastrophic; sound, beyond a certain limit, is a calamity, a weapon which can distract and drive people mad.

So, efficient use of these is itself a form of worship. The body is equipped with mechanisms which ensure a steady degree of warmth, beyond which or beneath which man cannot be healthy and active. Prakrithi (Nature) is in essence Divinity itself, lshaavaasyam idam sarvam: all this is divine. Vaasudevassarvamidam: all this is Vaasudeva (God). So, tread softly, move reverentially, utilise gratefully.”

Atmosphere is purified by chanting the Divine Name

“The recitation of the names of the Lord will help to purify the atmosphere as a result of the sacred sound waves getting absorbed in the atmosphere. The atmosphere that has been polluted by impure sound waves can be purified by the chanting of the Divine Name.

Likewise, sacred thoughts, pure speech and pure actions will purify other polluted elements. There is no better purifying agent than this. Crores (one crore is ten million) are being spent to purify the Ganges water. Of what use is this exercise if the Ganges continues to be polluted by the discharge of drainage water into the river? First, prevent the flow of filthy effluents into the Ganges.

In the same manner, the evil thoughts arising in the mind should be diverted; and the mind should be filled with pure, Godly thoughts by reciting the Divine name.

Everyone participating in bhajans should sing the name of the Lord and thereby serve to purify the atmosphere, and promote the well-being of the nation.”

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