On the occasion of Earth day this year – April 22,2020, let us take a moment to reflect and understand the significance of this day and own up to our responsibilities on to our Mother Earth. Man is a social animal and we live in a society, which in turn is established and dependent on an ecosystem. As we live through, we exploit our ecosystem. In the name of progress, industrialization and economic growth we exploit our land, water, air and bio-sphere resources.
We get most of our energy, food, water, all kinds of natural resources and minerals from Mother Earth. Whether it be in the form of nourishment that comes in from the plants and the animals, or whether it comes in the form of water and air that we need to live, or the minerals from the land we explore and exploit, or even in the form of the land or place where we stay and build our homes, we are taking whatever we can from Mother Earth. Our planet is one of the few known planets in the “Goldilocks’ zone” – a zone that sustains life forms in a harmonious and safe ecosystem near its parent star. We must indeed consider ourselves lucky and treat our planet with utmost courtesy and gratitude. And are we grateful? Do we just restrict ourselves to our needs while we take care of our planet? Nay, we abuse our environment and exploit Earth for our greeds!
If we silently introspect; we shall see that in every aspect of our life we are closely dependent on our planet – “Mother Earth”. Yet how often have each of us, given back to the earth, what we take from it? How often have we thought about simple things, like the quality of soil around us? Do we consider the sources of “usable and potable water” that we consume every day and give a second thought of their sustenance and replenishment? Do we willingly attempt to consume lesser electricity – which is a gift of natural resources? Do we avoid polluting our environment and attempt to clean it?
Did you know all around us, less than 1% of the earth’s crust is the Alluvial topsoil? This fertile topsoil is what sustains all of plant life, which in turn gives us crops, fodder, fruits and vegetables – to feed every other form of life, that we consume. Also have we considered the fact that the top soil, takes several years(~500 years) to build up in to fertile land / loose soil that supports vegetation. Particularly the richness of the right organic matter, along with air/water balance, minerals and granules that can help plants to grow and form roots, is essential to a healthy eco-system. Let’s ask ourselves:
How often have we given back to recreating fertile topsoil ?
Are we ensuring that we contribute to recycling biodegradable waste? Are we converting the kitchen litter, into better organic soil material?
Are we preventing the soil around us from being polluted by willing avoiding the use and dumping of plastics?
Do we attempt to clean or protest against human consumerism and destruction of land and water bodies – due to dumping of human trash?
‘Oh, how do we do all this?’ – if you ask – Did we not learn of this in school? Yet we chose to neglect! Literate and yet selfish and foolish, the urban person today – is little different from the often little educated rural farmers. The cultivators, actually by farming and natural living – help impact Earth less. We can follow simple activities, which can be done as a domestic affair by practicing:
Segregation of organic from non-organic wastes,
Composting our vegetable and biological wastes, which are safe from pathogens, in our gardens or nearby compost pits.
Collect rain water in our balconies, roof-tops or open compounds and reuse for gardening/cleaning
Whereas this demands personal self discipline and a very little amount of time; most people do not make a serious effort to do this. At the same time let us understand that as top soil gets depleted, more and more land across the earth is going barren. The quality of natural produce has been reducing, which intern has made our farmers use shortcut methods, such as fertilizers and pesticides to control pests – another imbalance caused by man. These in turn have their own side effects by affecting our health at large by getting in to the food-chain – directly or indirectly and giving our bodies a toxic attack – often slow-poisoning us.
In fact today organic farming practices are being adopted in most of the developed nations, that shows the importance of the fertility of the land, balance of all organisms in the environment, the natural growth of food crops and plants in an organic environment, etc. Let us awake and learn to give back to Mother Earth!
Let us consider the next important resource, which is good quality potable water. Did you know less than 3% of hydrosphere is freshwater and less than 1% of the earth’s water can actually be consumed by human beings? Yet we as human beings do not bother to conserve this scarce life-giver! We do not do enough to preserve or create more channels, to ensure this fresh water supply, (which is in fact sufficient for all of humanity and unlimited due to the continuous water cycle); continues to stay replenished well.
‘How do you replenish freshwater?’ – you may ask and the answer is simple – Afforestation and Rivers/Lakes Protection. Ensuring that you have trees and plants around the green areas of your ecosystem, ensures that there will be sufficient transpiration, which in intern replenishes the water cycle. This again needs a very simple practice of nourishing and growing plants, building forest cover/woods and protecting natural water bodies like ponds and lakes – around our ecosystem.
How many of us plant trees? How many of us prevent the local builder from reclaiming a natural lake? How many of us protest when in the name of development thousands of lakes are filled with ash, sand and gravel? Loss of thousands of inland lakes, kills millions of fishes, organisms and depletes local biosphere every year. How many of us water any wild plant or tree, that ensures better greenery in our areas? Can we not atleast preserve the seeds of “tree-based fruits” we eat and plant them? Let us start reflecting on how we can help in the replenishment of the natural sub-system and the ecosystem, that provides us with this critical element of water, without which, not only we but no life can thrive on this planet. To ensure that we consistently get good quality of water, in our rivers, tanks and lakes, we need to ensure that we don’t pollute them.
How often, have we seen polluted lakes or a polluted rivers? Did we just pass by (with suppressed breath), complaining about the governments negligence and the industry’s indifference to have polluted them? Have we not done anything – to either publish articles in the local newspapers or on our face book/social media videos/pages – warning and informing authorities, about the consequence of such pollution to water bodies? We have been only on the receiving of the good’s, without giving back or protecting Mother Earth enough and this has to change!
Another critical resource that we get from Mother Earth is good quality “air”, that we need for our very breath. Given the days of COVID 2019 crisis, that we’re reeling under today, we know the importance of this simple natural element of air, which we have been enjoying for free, all this while. Carelessly, we have not bothered until today, to given a second thought to this life-line – the Atmosphere – our “Prana”. But every one of us, in different ways have been adding to several kilograms/tons of carbon dioxide, depending upon how we have been consuming energy, electricity, various kinds of fossil fuels, etc. In our day to day activities viz. cooking, traveling, driving, taking trips and vacations across countries – each action adds to our carbon-footprint. Each of us have been consuming energy in the form of electricity in our homes, energy for our mobiles & televisions, office gadgets, automobiles, entertainment – all of which adds to our carbon debt to Mother Earth.
We have also been polluting our atmosphere in various ways, through our activities of industrialization, consumer economy, mass-production, mass-transportation, etc. Each of these emit toxic chemicals like CFCs, Thiols, Nitrogen, Carbon and Sulphur oxides with additional suspended particulate matter(SPM) which causes not just irritation and inconvenience in breathing, but also causes various kinds of lung diseases. They affect the heat-retention of the Earth through Green-house gases, affecting global climate, cause ozone-depletion, melt polar ice-caps, cause acid-rain, un-seasonal weather changes, random storms, etc. Yet, how many of us felt responsible that – WE ARE CAUSING THIS!
How many of us have tried to improve the quality of air around us? Again, ‘How can you do that?’ – you may ask. It’s not enough if the quality of air, within our home remains clean (by using filters, purifiers, discharge tubes or air-conditioners), instead we need to ensure we keep our environment clean too. That means we keep our atmosphere particle-free, pollutant-free and we ensure to pollute the atmosphere a lot less. Introspect on how can each of us contribute to this? A few simple strategic things can help.
Reduce your overall consumption of electricity/energy.
Switch off those televisions, bulbs, gadgets and monitors when you do not need them.
Move out of inefficient consumption of power – in the form of filament lamps, older heaters and coil stoves, on to led based lamps or electronic devices.
Be more energy efficient – use solar panels, water heaters, etc.
Move away from those products that pollute the environment and the atmosphere. Instead adopt and accept natural products, as they in turn reduce the overall impact on to the environment. These are little things, we can do in our lives, to help create a better planet and to leave a safer planet with cleaner air for our children to breathe. Let us move away from metal and plastic based products, on to more natural clay, wood, compacted wood or sawdust based products. These not only look more elegant, but also help the ecosystem, promoting cultivation and afforestation, and are healthier. Let us understand, when we consume products made of wood, we must not buy those that come from natural forests. Instead we must choose only certified woods, that come in from sustainable culture or farmland woods, that don’t affect green cover or the natural forest cover of our land. This in turn will not only create more agricultural afforestation, promote small scale industry and artisans, but will also create better quality of air and life. Help sustain the carbon-cycle, water-cycle and the heat-cycle of Earth, while you also ensure that you live a healthy lifestyle at home.
Can each of us resolve to become more sensitive to Mother Earth? This is exactly why the Earth day was chosen to be celebrated. Earth day across different countries/cultures was celebrated on different days. Yet the world over, in general April 22nd, has been chosen as a common Earth Day, so that humanity at large comes together, to think about this Earth from where we have been only reaping benefits. This is one day we need to think about giving back to Earth, in every possible way we can, even by making small lifestyle changes. If all of us, were to take a concerted effort and also educate/motivate other people to act, we would definitely leave a better planet for our children to enjoy. If we fail to think about this today, we are bound to lose our planet – once and for all! Not only that, if our planet ever chooses to retaliate, the effects and the consequences will be far beyond, what any science or technology we have, can control.
Let us therefore on this Earth Day promise to live a healthier, more naturalist lifestyle. One of harmonious coexistence – by allowing other life forms, plants & animals to live and thrive. At the same time, let’s reduce impact on our ecosystem, by also creating channels of nourishment and replenishment of our ecosystem. Towards this, it is also important that we understand and implement, these simple changes. Additionally let us begin by introspecting and retrospecting on our life style, on a daily basis and making one little change every day. By acting on things which are within our control, over a period of time, these small changes will add up, across all of us who chose to make a change to save our planet. Like they say in the little poem:
“Little drops of water, little grains of sand;
Make the mighty oceans, and the pleasant land.
Little deeds of kindness and little words of love,
Can make this earth an Eden, like the Heaven above!”
True, if we have to make our Earth into paradise, we all need to act in these little dimensions, which in turn, over a period of time across all of humanity, will make a big positive impact. Let us start introspecting, reflecting, acting and looking at the ways & means in which we can make a our Earth a little better.
The power of positive thought, can bring about better manifestation. To be able have determined thoughts, to create an impact on the ecosystem around, each of us need to send out positive thoughts – in all directions around us every single day. As we live, we must send out positive vibes to every person that we meet by
Our strength of character
Our simplistic, loving earth oriented actions and
Having a steady determined mind to enable global good
Through this, we will be able to create a large impact on the society around us, which in turn will have a significant impact on the ecosystem. But to have great strength of character, great determination of mind and great peace at heart – we first need to train our own selves to be enabled to live like a yogi. Towards this, meditation helps build all the three aspects.
Meditation helps our growth towards:
A peaceful harmonious coexistence
Living an undisturbed, loving life
Inculcating an unperturbed mind that is determined and focused
Building the strength of character, that instills self-discipline
Sushumna Kriya Yoga is an ancient tradition of kriya yoga, that has been suited particularly for the common man. Adopting and practicing this simple technique, which only involves four steps and can be practiced at your home every day, will help you to build the strength of character and mind, that you will need to make these little changes in your life-style. You will be able to spread these positive vibes around you, so that other people in your vicinity, accept and adopt these practices. You can thus influence human society towards becoming better. Not only on this earth day, but on every single day, let us resolve to make our planet a better place to live in. Just as we inherited this planet from our ancestors, in a form that could sustain and nourish us, despite the indolence we meted out to it, let us be responsible people to hand it over safely and in a better state than we inherited it, to our children.
Apart from the simple techniques that were discussed, each of us can come out with:
other techniques of implementation
ways of reducing exploitation
mechanisms of improving replenishment
ideas to reduce pollution
ideas to reduce energy consumption
practices to enhance the overall quality of life and
betterment of peaceful coexistence across the earth.
Let us on a daily basis start meditating, so that through the strength of character and mind, we learn how we can discipline ourselves, be less greedy, live simply, radiate positivity around us and create a positive environment all around which in turn is non-exploiting, non-violent, lovingly giving and automatically replenishing. Let us live the true naturalist life of a yogi amidst society. Practice Sushumna Kriya Yoga, by visiting the following link here. Or if you’re Already a practitioner, please join our regular morning meditation session between 4 and 5 a.m IST. If interested click on the link below