GREENING AREA AROUND IS OUR DHARMA
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
An Acharya of a Gurukul sent out the Brahmacharis into the forest around looking for foliage or creepers that were of little use to human beings and animals inhabiting the Tapovan and areas around. After a day or so all of them except one returned and reported to the Acharya that the foliage was of little use except presenting a green look to viewers. After a couple of days returned the Brahmachari who had stayed back for an intensive research and said with aplomb that the entire vegetation in and around Tapovan was of immense benefit to both manushya and pashu for promoting health and happiness. The Acharya patted his back and said that his finding was in accordance with the analysis and research outcome of the great botanists and physicians of repute. The entire greenery could be put to some use or the other for the betterment of living beings.
The Ved mantra on Peace encourages human beings to emulate Vanaspati and Aushadhi to imbibe the Peace that emanates from them. The relevant segment of the Ved mantra runs thus:
AUM…dyau shantih prithvi shantih aapah shantih aushadhayah shantih vanaspatayah shantih…..sama shantiredhi ( excerpts from the YAJURVEDA)
A free rendition into English would be like this :
O Ishwar! May the Enlightened Planets( besides the Earth), Planet Earth, Water, the Medicinal Herbs, the rest of the Vegetation, pass on the Peace that they possess to us the Humans…
It is interesting to note that the water, medicinal herbs, the vegetation in general are at peace with the universe and , therefore, the Man prays to the Almighty that the prevailing peace of the greenery around may be passed on to him for his Peace- physical, mental and spiritual. Thus the greenery around is indeed promoting Peace that Man yearns to imbibe for the good of the human race. The more the Man takes on the pleasant duty of greening the area around his habitat the more peaceful he will be. It is the inner peace, it is the outer peace, it is being at peace with his own self, with fellow human beings, with the four legged creatures and also with the area around that go to make the Environment pleasant, livable ad, of course, non-poisonous.
No wonder Rishis of yore laid an emphasis on achieving and maintaining Shanti and Santulan, Peace and balance leading to equanimity of mind which in turn keeps lives of individuals and the society that they live in peaceful. It is Peace of mind, body and soul that leads to Happiness that we all long for.
The present day social system is in turmoil because Man has stopped paying attention to achieving and maintaining the desired equilibrium of Mind. The present day craze for acquiring objects of sensual pleasures disturbs the desired Peace and may lead to violence. The ever growing number of sexual assaults and amorous escapades are the direct result of human beings paying more attention to sensual pleasures now than achieving perfect peace and equilibrium of mind of self and transmitting it to society. If individuals are happy, the groups that the individuals live in are bound to be happy.
The human beings and the Nature around have to achieve the perfect balance where one does not disturb the other. If Man interferes with the flow of rivers, causes deforestation, promotes disappearance of Greenery, there is bound to be recurrence of earthquakes, blowing of sand storms, deserts swallowing the Green belt or residual of it and thereby making that part of planet Earth unlivable. The resultant migration of human population from arid land area to green vegetation may cause friction of interests leading to violence and disappearance of Peace from the lives of affected human beings.
One may ask a pertinent question: where is Land available around human habitation that may be turned into green orchards or pastures. The query is partly correct but not wholly. If one looks around one finds some unused landfills, the government controlled pieces of land lying barren. The big military cantonments may have training areas that may be made green. The railways too possess large pieces of land lying unused and arid. These may be made available to good intentioned citizens for Greening without transferring the proprietary rights. The arid land will be turned into green belts by volunteers who may not be tempted to make an encroachment.
In the New Okhla Industrial Development Area many small and medium patches of land have been made Green by the residents by planting trees without building a permanent structure that may fall in the category of encroachment. It would be a good idea for the Administration to encourage such well intentioned citizens with a green finger by lending saplings of fruit trees and flowering creepers. Off and on a sarkari mali may be made available to lend a helping hand to the good Samaritans who are senior citizens. It may not cost much to the government or any Authority administering new Habitat to help retired army personnel with cow dung manure, compost and good earth for starting their mini-gardens. Thus many desert like patches will be converted into green pastures and orchards without anyone dreaming of making an encroachment on public land. Thus it will be feasible to stop march of the desert on human habitation for good.
It may be pertinent and relevant to cite rising number of cases of road rage. Of late the national capital, New Delhi and Delhi has been witnessing on congested roads brawls, fisticuffs, hitting with iron rods and even use of fire arms both licensed and unlicensed that lead to grievous injuries and even fatalities. Innocent lives of young men and women are being lost on roads because killers do not have Peace of Mind promoted by a healthy Environment. Greening all available areas will bring back Peace of Mind, Body and Soul that the Ved Mantra called Shantipath envisages.
Thus we realize that Greening an area and achieving the state of Shanti go hand in hand. May the concept take shape in as many human habitats as possible and bring back Peace and Happiness to the human beings.
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