This week I happened to watch David Attenborough’s A life on our planet. Where in it was tried to show how the human induced changes happened to mother earth and how we lost biodiversity and wild species. This has nothing to do with digital journey blog but wanted to share my thoughts here. I was moved by the episode and on the same time for past many weeks I have made it a habit of reading Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu scripture. It made me recount how we can save mother earth from all these destructions if we adopt a spiritual framework towards sustainability. I don’t want to be bring religion into discussion, the concept of spirituality is rich, intercultural and broad-based concept aimed to understanding the deep meaning of life that connects us to all living beings and to Ultimate reality. When we look into the concept of spirituality, they all teach the same fundamental concepts of reconnecting to self, search for universal truth and empathy for all living organisms. Again, to put spirituality into perspective, it is beyond religion where we can have interreligious discussion on the humanity beyond clashes and individual reflections to own life and a social quest for deep meaning of life.

We encounter technological changes, which by itself is not dangerous but the way we put the technology into uses causes devastation, it is the profit only making mindset which violates the integrity of natural ecosystem. It is shown in the episode how organisms are affected by the business or hunting, fishing and deforestation practices, how environment has become more polluted with disrupting the ice caps and how native species are being disrupted. Modern societies are detached from nature and live in a unsustainable way. What we need is a careful way of carrying out economic activities with a benchmark beyond monetary gains. What we need is spirituality motivated managers ethical environmental practices and business initiatives.  We need businesses which promote natural living conditions and pain free existence for living organisms and avoid violating the systematic patterns of living.

We require discussions which promote a sense of shared meaning, responsibility and purpose towards environment. What we need is a bridge between rational thought process and spirituality. As argued by many scholars we need to bring change towards nature and develop an eco-philosophy approach – which ecological harmony or equilibrium. Many believe what we are facing today all crises, recessions or related chaos are due to breaking away from reality – what we need breaking away from anthropocentric approach to more of eco-centric approach of living. We need something which can restore sense of shared meaning.

Due to current pandemic, economic scenario and other factors we notice how people have lost confidence in institutions. If we need to reshape the ecological, political settings, we require a sense of shared responsibility, businesses operating with purpose. When we understand the importance of compassion, temperance we can successfully link spirituality to sustainability. This is something thought provoking for me and there are great scholars we debate on this topic of spirituality and sustainability and I prefer leaving the readers to go through their discussions on this topic.

To conclude, how references can be drawn from Bhagavad-Gita for sustainability is dealt by many authors and am excited to find my thoughts are not new, there is a huge work being done to bridge this gap. The five great principles of Karma Yoga like Playing the rules of the game, Living and Let Live, honoring mutual dependence and fulfillment towards life are some the principles already debated by many to achieve sustainability. Even the chapter 3, Karma Yoga Text 42, on indriani parany ahur… which elaborates on senses. Again spirituality beyond religion, which when carefully applied will result more harmonized living. Similarly there are many great scholarly articles which draw references from religious books and inferences to sustainability.

Thanks

Jayakumar

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