Filed under: Uncategorized
Prabhupada asked, “Why is the sand crab running?” Scientists would say, “The sand crab is running away due to instinct. His instinct is to go to his hole.” But Prabhupada said that there is no such thing as instinct. Instinct is a word that’s been coined by the scientists to cover up the fact that there is Supersoul, there is God and there is past experience. He explained this is detail, and it finally dawned on me that, “I have been taught Darwinism in school all my life, and even though I had been a devotee for seven years, I was raised to think that the birds and beasts are operating by instinct.” Day after day Prabhupada blasted this philosophy in great detail.
Prabhupada said, “Suppose you know where the privy [bathroom] is, and twenty years from now you return to the same house. Because you were here twenty years ago, you still know where the privy is. Similarly, you have been in the body for many lifetimes, so you know to look for the mother’s breast. The baby animal is nudging for the mother’s breast. It’s past experience, the past lifetime, and it’s the Supersoul within the heart that guides the living entity. It’s not instinct. There is no such thing as instinct. Instinct makes no sense. What does instinct mean? If you stop to think about it and analyze it, you will see that it means absolutely nothing. Yet the scientists have convinced everyone that the whole of nature is moving by instinct. But the whole of nature is not moving by instinct. It’s moving by Supersoul.”
-Govinda Devi Dasi, Memories
Worldview and Culture
The pattern that emerged in medieval and Renaissance Europe- a progressively more godless cosmology leading to a destructive civilization based on the maximum exploitation of matter- was described five thousand years ago in the Bhagavad Gita.
The Gita (16.8,9,11) states, “They say that this world is unreal, with no foundation, no God in control…Following such conclusions, the demoniac, who are lost to themselves and who have no intelligence, engage in unbeneficial, horrible acts meant to destroy the world…They believe that to gratify the senses is the prime necessity of human civilization.”
Some modern observers echo the Gita’s words. Pitirim Sorokin, former chairman of Howard University’s department of sociology, described the civilization that rose out of Renaissance Europe’s age of scientific discovery as “sensate.” Sensate culture, he explained, “is based upon the ultimate principle that…beyond the reality and values which we can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste there is no other reality and no real values.”
Sorokin said that the senstae society “intensely cultivates scientific knowledge of the physical and biological properties of sensory reality.” He adds, “Despite its lip service to the values of the Kingdom of God, it cares mainly about the sensory values of wealth, health, bodily comfort, sensual pleasures, and lust for power and fame. Its dominant ethic is invariably utilitarian and hedonistic.” The inevitable result, Sorokin said, is the exceptional violence he have experienced in the twentieth century. And we may include in this category violence against the planet itself, brought on by the “increasing destructiveness of the morally irresponsible, sensate scientific achievements…invented and continuously perfected by the sensate scientists.”
-Divine Nature by Micheal A. Cremo & Mukunda Goswami (p70)
Filed under: Vedic Ecology
“When the clouds appear in the sky the peacock begins to dance in ecstasy, as a sincere soul becomes overwhelmed with joy on the appearance of a saint at his house.”
-Light of the Bhagavata, Verse 17
Article found at Alliance of Religions & Conservation
Hindu groups and the Orissa government agreed to re-establish the state’s sacred forests to provide sustainably-managed wood for the annual festival of Lord Jagannath.
The centrepiece of the ancient festival is the building and parading of three huge chariots – after which the English word “juggernaut” is named. These are made with timber from 20 local tree species and after the ceremony, the wood is distributed to local villages and used to fuel temple kitchens.
But over the centuries inadequate forest management has gradually led to a significant loss of trees. The implication both for the festival and the natural environment is serious.
The forests are rich in resources, but their proper management requires the co-operation of the people who live in and around them.
The Sacred Gift builds on the people’s devotion to Lord Jagannath – a devotion that has been a key element of Orissan culture for at least 2000 years – and aims to set up three forest conservation zones, each incorporating about ten villages sited in state-owned forest lands.
Since 2000 each village has had a Forest Protection Committee to promote joint forest management based around practical incentives and employment schemes.
In 2001 the local communities developed a management plan in collaboration with ARC.
By mid-2007 2369 hectares were earmarked for plantation under the Shri Jagannath Vana Prakalpa Forest Project. See link to learn more about this project and the management of Jagannath Forest.
The project sets an important precedent for other Hindu groups to extend their involvement in environmental matters. It also encourages the Orissa State Government to incorporate traditional cultural and religious practices into their forest activities – which are vital to the state’s economy.