ENVIRONMENTALISM  AS TRUE  SPIRITUALISM


Editor  Prof.T.Shivaji Rao

Government of several countries are generally more bothered about National security which deals with threats across the borders from other countries but rarely do the talk about threats to the environment within the country.  Just as Governments look after maintenance of armed forces they should protect the land together with what it harbors on the surface and underneath such as air, water, soil, forests and wild life crops and mineral wealth.  Just as food security is defined as physical and economic access to food for all the people at all times, environmental security should encompass all the plans dealing with safeguarding public health and all the environmental assets for optimum utilisation for ensuring a reasonable level of public health and safety,economic development,national welfare and human survival of  the present and future generations.  There is a sense of insecurity on the global food situation due to the explosive population growth particularly in the developing countries and the high consumption oriented and luxurious styles of living adopted by the developed countries which are held responsible not only for garnering the vast natural resources of the globe but also for causing most of the global environmental problems such as greenhouse gas effects, ozone depletion, acid rains, marine pollution and destruction of wild life and tropical forests endowed with unique biological wealth of inestimable value to mankind all over the world.

 

The startling facts on the ever growing shortage of drinking water and escalating rates of infectious diseases in the poor countries clearly indicate the unhygienic living conditions of millions of poor people but also the insensitivity of the administration to tackle the environmental decay.  The basic subsistence level human needs of food, water, clothing, housing and health are not available to more than half of the global population.  While large scale morbidity and mortality prevail in rural areas due to lack of safe drinking water and hygienic waste disposal facilities, the problems of pesticide residues in food is adding a new dimension. Even in metropolitan cities too the piped water supply is highly contaminated and the air pollution from industries and automobiles is causing high incidence of allergies, asthma and other respiratory and almost incurable diseases like AIDS. Ozone depletion is causing loss of natural powers of immunity resulting in increased susceptibility to many diseases like malaria, dysentery, diarrhoea, infectious hepatitis and enteric fevers particularly among the sensitive population including millions of infants, old people and pregnant women among poorer sections of society in all countries .The water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat are all so polluted that their combined burden on human health is increasing day by day.

The escalating rates of urbanisation, industrialiation andpopulation growth in developing countries is constantly adding to the biological and chemical contamination of the environment.  Today, at the global level, there are 1700 million cases of tuberculosis, 270 million of malaria, 90 million cases of filaria, 10 millions cases of leprosy, 10 million cases of guinea-worm, 480 million cases of amoebiasis, one million cases of typhoid, 2000 million cases of Hepatitis-B (jaundice), 900 million cases of hook-worm, 120 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases, 10 million cases of AIDS/HIV virus and 7 million cases of cancer.  Out of 10 million caes of AIDS infected people about 5 lakhs are sick with AIDS.  Among the 1700 million people infected with tuberculosis, 20 million are sick.  Environmental factors are responsible for 200 million cases of mental disorders, 90 million cases of drug abuse, 12 million deatths due to cardio-vascular diseases and 5 million deaths due to pneumonia.  India is on the top of 15 countries that account for 75% of childhood pneumonia cases in the world.  India has 44 million pneumonia cases, China has 18 million, Pakistan 5million and Nigeria has 5 million cases.  About 150 million cases of pneumonia occur annually in children under 5 years in poor countries accounting for morethan 95% of all new cases worldwide.  While 2 million will die for the disease about 20 million require hospitalisation.  While 14% die during infancy, 16% under 5 years of age die in India.   More than 150 million urban dwellers are exposed to high levels of noise pollution which is increasing day by day moreover the escalating ratesof urbanisation, industrialisation and population growth in developing countries like India is constantly adding to the biological and chemical contamination of the environment. with the result that almost all the natural water courses are so much polluted that many people are forced to spend huge amounts for bottled water to protect their health .  Under these conditions of growing insanitation and environmental degradation not only the degenerated diseases but also the preventable communicable diseases are making a mockery of the objectives of a welfare state and such a deteriorating situation cannot make any socially responsible scientist to have a sound sleep as has to discharge his fundamental duty to safeguard the environment as envisaged under article 51 A(g) of the constitution. In order to confirm to the definition of positive health it is a duty of every responsible scientist and the citizen to not only prevent the spred of infectious diseases and correct physical deformaties but also promote mental health, social health and spiritual health in order to fulfil his own obligations as a humanbeing for seeking his own enlightenment for transformation into divinity of which he is an inalienable part.   Today with the rapid advances in the fields of biotechnology, bioremediation, phytoremediation, genetics and stemcell threapy it is  possible to not only prevent, control but also manage all the problems of pollution, environmental disruptions and decaying public health and hence the modern scientists have to play a dynamic role to restore natural balances and protect man and nature.

 

 The global environmental problems like Ozone depletion,climate changes,wars,ocean pollution by industrial and nuclear wastes,escalating pesticide use and their damaging impacts on man and nature are making things go from bad to worse day by day just because a hand ful of greedy industrialists and business men in almost all countries are exerting undue influence over the decision-makers to choose the wrong methods in place of the right methods of national development that confer economic benefits to the vested interests while being detrimental to the vast majority of public interests.There is an urgent need to utilise the perspecives of physical and spiritual sciences to activate the inherent ethical,moral and spiritual values lying dormant in the decision makers and the business lobby so that their attitudes get slowly transformed  into the inherently more humane ones in place of the existing purely artificial materialistic ones as inherited  from the imperialistic cultures.

 

It is said that a healthy body and a healthy mind go together and with it coexist a healthy community, a healthy society, a healthy nation and a healthy world. Unless the physical body is kept in sound condition, the mind cannot be healthy to maintain harmonious and healthy relationships with man and nature. Man does not know that indiscriminate destruction of forests, wildlife and habitats of animal and human populations amounts to sinning against the Creations of The Almighty. Man should desist from cutting the branch of a tree on which he is sitting and for this purpose he must have a sound consciousness and that is possible if the body and mind are kept in a healthy state: Consequently we have to restore the quality of environment by improving it in all its phases by stages to restore the health and welfare of man and all forms of life on which he depends for his survival.

 

It is said that the conquest of the physical body and the vital self has been achieved in the past by the purification of emotions and clarification of the intellect.  While the purification of the emotions has been achieved by morality and religion, the clarification of the intellect has been achieved by science. And through science  the above uplifting forces have been working in all the moral societies.  At present in most of the societies we find increasing levels of moral degradation and religious fanatism that are leading to chaotic conditions and conflicts.  Science has not only helped to promote food production, escalating  comforts and luxuries but also produced several side effects including polluted environment.  Philosophy has not percolated into the human societies to enable them to sustain economic and social order and world peace.  Under these circumstances some of the intellectuals envisage that the conquest of the baser man can be accomplished by transforming him into a superman and it can be achieved only by dedicated practice of Yoga based on simple living and high thinking.

 

The object of yoga is the union of the human individual (soul) with the Supreme being (Universal and transcendent existence) and of the present nature of the humanity with the Eternal, Supreme or Divine nature.  It is said that there is a secret soul in us which is our true person and there is also a secret self which is our true impersonal Being and Spirit and the purpose of yoga is to unveil that Soul and that Self.

 

Until the dawn of a developed thinking mind in matter (life form) the evolution had been influenced subconsciously (or subliminally) by the automatic (mechanical) operation of Nature but not by the self aware aspiration, will, intention or seeking of the living being.  However man found that there can be a higher status of consciousness than his own and the evolutionary stimulus is there in his parts of mind and life and the aspiration to exceed himself is delivered and (is ) articlate in him.  The yoga is turning of the human soul from the egoistic state of consciousness 9absorbed in the outward appearances and attractions of worldly things)  to a higher state in which the transcendent and Universal  can pour itself into the individual mold and transform it.  The first determining element of Siddhi is, therefore the intensity of turning, the force which directs the soul in world.  The measures of that intensity of turning are the power of aspiration of the heart, the force of the will, the concentration of the mind, the perseivarance and determination of the applied energy.  It is the zeal of the whole nature for its divine results, the hearts eagerness for the attainment of the divine, that devours ego and breaks up the limitations of its narrow mold for the full reception of that which it seeks, that which being universal, exceeds and, being Transcendental,  surpasses even the largest and the highest individual self and nature.

 

The acceptance of a new spiritual idea-force and upward orientation in the being, an illumination, a  turning that is the momentous act which contains as in a seed all the results that the yoga has to give.  The mere intellectual seeking for the Higher is ineffective unless it is ceased on by the heart as a desirable one and by the will to be done.  Truth of the spirit is not to be merely thought but to be lived and to live it demands unified single-mindedness of the being.  He who seeks the divine must consecrate himself and to God only.

 

Aspiration of the psychic being is for the opening of the whole lower nature, mind, vital, body to the divine and for the transformation of the mind, life and body by the descent of the higher consciousness into this instrumental being and nature.

 

Desire or demand comes from the mental or the vital; But a psychic or spiritual need is a different thing.  The psychic never demands but aspires and as complete trust in divine or guru and patiently waits for the right time for divine grace.  It puts pressure not on the divine but on the nature, placing  a finger of light on all the defects there which obstruct realization and filters out all that is mixed, ignorant or imperfect with the nature till it has got perfectly open to the divine free from ego, surrended, simple and right in the attitude and all movements.  This  must be established fully in the mind and vital and in the physical consciousness.

 

What is necessary for realization is that one part of the being, particularly the Central will when it says with conviction “I want only You” then everything comes as though there were a perfect and absolute consciousness organizing around you all things.  The Divine will come without your seeing Him and removes the obstacles in your path to solvation and if you are devoted He will remain to close you and all the rest will go away due to a higher Grace.  If this aspiration and Yoga is practiced properly the Meditator and meditation get united and for the success of this endeavour the individual must be always in a state of positive health and to maintain positive health all people must work hard to restore the quality of natural resources like water, air, soil, flora and fauna on which human life depends.  Any positive action in ensuring the quality of environment, public health, social welfare and sustainable development amounts to service to fellowmen and thereby service to God.  Hence the practice of true environmentalism in the service of your neighbours and all forms of life created by God is bound to propel you in the long term into the kingdom of God.