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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Is Hindu Dharma Eco-Friendly?

With increasing global warming, there has been an increase in the Eco-friendly product business. Right from bamboo straws to reusable sanitary pads, many earth friendly products are already a rage and the multi-national companies are in no mood to lose this increasing customer base. Hence innovations are aplenty and are expected to increase, and even if the research team doesn’t have a ‘eureka moment’ then the misleading ads will help sell even the hazardous products as eco-friendly.

While this new found awareness about decreasing our carbon footprints is commendable, many intellects fail to take notice of a culture/religion which has always taught love for Mother Nature – the Hindu Dharma.

We all remember how our grandparents and parents wanted us to not pluck flowers for fun stating that flowers aremeant to be offered to Bhagwan. Many of us were also warned to not wake up sleeping plants, once the sun set. By carefully observing such practices, one can gauge the amount of importance Hindu Dharma places on being respectful to Mother Nature.

Amongst many such practices, one has been refurbished as a scientific innovation. Eating on leaf plates and bowls in Bharat, has been revamped by the western scientist and is now known as leaf dinnerware. For time immemorial, Hindus have used pattals instead of metal plates for various gatherings – at least the commoners have. The best thing about these leaf utensils is that one doesn’t have to wash them; since such gatherings typically attracted the entire village and nearby areas, thus a lot of water was saved. The issue of leftover food was also sorted as cattle were fed these plates and also the food on it. So the social events in Hindu Dharma were traditionally an eco-friendly affair.

Similarly, much before plastic water bottles and cups flooded our water streams, in Bharat earthenware – bottles known as surahi, and cups known as kulhad – were used and you can still find them in the remote areas of the country. Apart from being eco-friendly, including mud and dried leaves has its own unique significance – when these leftovers are thrown away, they act as compost for earth. It is more like a mutual respect thought process.

Coming back to the  plastic menace, we can surely avoid use of toothbrush, which everyone in the world dumps once every 3-6 months. While there are eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes available, Bharat had a different solution altogether for the dental health – daatun, which is simply branches of neem tree. Earning further brownie points, daatun eradicates the need for toothpaste, whose empty tubes also contribute greatly to plastic waste these days. Earlier, companies made metal tubes for these products, but apparently cost cutting is way more important than being nature friendly.

And to sum up exactly how much emphasis the Hindu Dharma lays on being nature friendly is the fact that various kinds of trees and plants are worshipped in this religion. Plants such as tulsi, bamboo, peepal, banyan, kusha, durva and many more are worshipped as they are very useful in treatments of various diseases.

Is there any religion which worships non-living things? The answer is quite obvious. Not just them, Hindu Dharma preaches peacefull co-existence of human and animals. It preaches empathetic treatment of animals and not treat them as food or an entity for abuse. This point is so valid today as many research articles claim that meat consumption – in direct and indirect way – is a big contributor to global warming.

How can a human perform various activities without affecting the quality of life on Earth? Apparently, Hindu Dharma is the answer to it all. Only no one will truly accept this fact as ‘greater monetary’ goals are to be met with instead.

(Featured Image: hinduism.stackexchange.com)

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