Hindu Perspective on peaceful world


A. Hinduism has a very long-sustained human endeavor to seek and encourage harmony among all peoples within themselves and with their environment. Hinduism respects diversity and does not attempt to homogenize/eliminate environmental diversity.

B. The essence of Hindu traditions is to see everything, be it humanity, animal kingdom, plant life, mountains or rivers-all animate and inanimate beings as the expression of the Divine. In Hindu Vision, the entire material world and all that animate beings including human beings need for survival-the earth, water, air, fire and space-are not secular assets to be exploited to the hilt by the humans, but inherently sacred, as sacred as human life.

The Hindu world view is thus Eco-centric and NOT Anthropo-centric. An ancient sacred Text, lsavasya Upanishad, for example, begins with the words, “Isavasyam idam sarvam”.  (Translation of this sentence – “everything down to the tiniest atom is the manifestation of the Divine”. Put differently, Hinduism does not believe or accept that God has granted man dominion over the world of nature. Nature in all its aspects, animate and inanimate, is sacred. It is not the secular asset of man. Thus Hinduism is centered on deep environmental and ecological consciousness.

1. The Hindu Vision on ecology and environment is found in all lndic religions (religions which originated in India) and also in many other Eastern religions.
2. Deep environmental and ecological consciousness is not an intellectual idea. It is abiding reverence for Nature. (It is a spiritual Value, not merely a religious tenet. Many ancient cultures all over the world have had a similar orientation). Hinduism sees all the five fundamental elements of Nature, earth, water, air, fire, and space are not secular assets to be exploited to the hilt by the humans, but inherently sacred, as sacred as human life . According Hinduism, humans and their environment emanated from the same source, the Divine, and are interrelated. So, according to Hinduism, the five basic elements of Nature mentioned earlier.
3. The Hindu Dharma is of the view that the entire creation is the manifestation of the Divine. Man occupies no special status in Creation which plants, animals, water and wind do not. Thus Hindu vision of Life does not set apart humanity from Nature conceptually.
4. The Hindu vision of Life consider that humans and all other constituents of Nature share a common origin and share the common biological space. They do not consider the humans as the crowning glory of biological hierarchy. Humans and Nature are inter-dependent and humans have a clear duty to protect and safeguard Nature as if it is a part of their own. This sense of duty is imbibed in several rituals prescribed about how to view and handle Nature. What is noteworthy is that these are not dead traditions.
5. The ancient sacred Hindu Texts-the Vedas, Upanishads, Smritis and Puranas-are still living traditions with millions following in varying degrees the rituals prescribed in them in their day to day life. These constitute the cultural anthropological traditions of India, which is a nest of family and community relations and continuities.
6. The cultural traditions embedded in Hinduism seek to prevent environmental deviance by restraining environmental violations from within. These inner restraints are supplemented by external environmental Regulations. In contrast the modern models exclusively rely on external control and regulations.
7. The ancient Hindu Vedas, the spiritual dialogues and teachings comprised in the Upanishads and enchanting and instructive stories in the Puranas, all of which constitute the corpus of Hindu sacred Texts, regard the Ultimate Reality ( called by them as Brahman) or the un-manifest Eternity, as manifesting what is seen and perceived as universe, the world, and the five elements of Nature. All of them are inter-related and inseparable part of the whole of Creation that includes humans. The thought, lifestyle and behavior of millions in India are deeply influenced by what these Texts expound.

Everything in this creation, functions in an orderly way. Since there is an order at every level, there is an ecology. Ecology can be recognized at different levels and not only at environmental level. Generally the only ecology we discuss or we attend to is about disturbing the ecology of air, water,flora and fauna. We tend to think only about how we – the humans are affected or disturbed by this or that. I think this attitude comes from human selfishness. There is societal ecology, cultural ecology, ecology of karma, ecology of dharma etc. Wherever there is an order, there is an ecology. Ecology is nothing but awareness of one’s own actions and its ever-widening circles of reactions, causing the disturbances. It is like throwing a stone on a quiet and clean water pool. Stone just doesn’t go to the bottom straight. It keeps on creating the ripples and these ripples keep on widening and widening into bigger and bigger circles. Ecology is an excellent word. It has brought into light of certain understanding which was not there before. For example, ecology is often used because pollution is recognized. Thus, in a way, ecology is an appreciation that is in your understanding. It exist outside because you see it.


Living life involves relating to the world; world of people I animals , world of objects. Not to disturb the ecology at the level of human beings I animals means [a] to be happy and make others happy, [b] not to be unhappy and not to make others unhappy and [c] to get my rights fulfilled and get others rights fulfilled.

We human beings, are given freedom – freedom over action. Once the freedom is given to us, we can do whatever we want (it is because of this freedom human can commit homicide and suicide.)

FREEDOM can be defined as : That which can be abused or misused. Since we can abuse it, we can disturb the ecology.

Our Dharma governs our freedom to maintain the ecology.

What Can Be Done

1. To inculcate attitude of of reverence for Nature, prevalent in all ancient societies/cultures and still in vogue among many societies and communities of the world as a living tradition.
2. Need to Recognize and Declare that traditional culture and faith are social capital which protect environment and ecological assets of the concerned communities and of the world.
3. Need to Interpret religious texts and secular laws to view forests, wild animals, trees and plants, rivers and mountains, earth and fire, air and sky as manifestations of the Divine and not as secular assets for indiscriminate exploitation for human consumption, satisfaction and life.
4. Promote among peoples of the world deep ecological and environmental consciousness in place of shallow ecology based on consumption, leveraging on the traditional reverence for Nature, in all its aspects.
5. Need to Understand the value of vegetarian food habit and its contribution to ecology and environment.
6. promote mutual respect among religions, not merely ‘tolerance’.
7. Emphasize human duties as much as human rights in matters connected with community traditions so that the human rights paradigm does not result in the destruction of the traditional base of communities.


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