By Pankaj Jain, Ph.D., Huffpost
Hinduism contains numerous references to the worship of the divine in nature in its Vedas,
Upanishads, Puranas, Sutras and its other sacred texts. Millions of Hindus recite Sanskrit mantras daily to revere their rivers, mountains, trees, animals and the earth. Although the Chipko (tree-hugging) Movement is the most widely known example of Hindu environmental leadership, there are examples of Hindu action for the environment that are centuries old.
Hinduism is a remarkably diverse religious and cultural phenomenon, with many local and
regional manifestations. Within this universe of beliefs, several important themes emerge. The diverse theologies of Hinduism suggest that:
• The earth can be seen as a manifestation of the goddess, and must be treated with respect.
• The five elements — space, air, fire, water and earth — are the foundation of an interconnected web of life.
• Dharma — often translated as “duty” — can be reinterpreted to include our responsibility to care for the earth.
• Simple living is a model for the development of sustainable economies.
• Our treatment of nature directly affects our karma. Continue reading
By Irena Akbar, Indian Express
As if overwhelmed by the sea of humanity and media frenzy that engulfed it during the week-long Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption agitation, Jantar Mantar, Delhi’s protest street, looks unusually calm on a Thursday. There are three protest stalls, all by Hazare wannabes clamouring for a corruption-free India, except that this time neither the media nor the public has bothered to stop by to listen. Or perhaps, it’s just that the harsh sun has got the better of protesters and their supporters.
Around noon, the silence at Jantar Mantar is disturbed by a cavalcade of 20 vehicles that includes SUVs, vans, a water tank, and a generator, all with posters that read, “Yamuna Bachao Padyatra”. Some 100-odd men and women dressed in dhotis and lehengas are part of this procession, the women dancing and singing bhajans in praise of Radha and Krishna. Kusum Sharma is part of this procession, singing into the mike and dancing, her lehenga obliging with neat twirls. The cavalcade comes to a halt. There is no podium, no stall, but this pavement abutting the Jantar Mantar has no marked out spaces, at least not on this unhurried sultry afternoon, so Sharma and the other protesters take out mats and bed sheets and spread themselves across the pavement. Continue reading