In the whole world there is no country which is as colourful and excellent like India. If we see the total picture there are negative points like dried up springs, deserted gardens, naked mountains, rivers turned into dirty nallah (streams) slums, deserted villages, perplexed oustees, neglected tribals, poor farmers, dirty ponds, wells and water bodies forest without trees, poor labourers, pollution of water, atmosphere, endangered species of birds, animals and vegetation. We see only big malls, sky scrapers in the name of development and modernization. We are forgetting our culture, which ancestral wealth Vedas and Upanishads has given us. Modern India is struggling to bring back its glorious cultural heritage and unpolluted atmosphere.
We are living in a era which is known as Scientific age. Technology is our theme for development. In the race of modernization we are rejecting our healthy heritage. We have forgotten that our learned ancestors after a long research and on the basis of their realization have prescribed certain rules and regulations. These rules and regulations which are set aside by the current generation as back dated actually aimed at welfare of society and maintenance of balance between nature and civilization. It perplexes me to see this glorious heritage which takes care of every part of human being, nature and civilization being lost. There is nothing like back dated in these very valuable thoughts which will serve humanity and Earth is my subject in this work. I have greatest faith on these values. This is the foundation of this book.
When I studied in deep I found that in our religions scriptures lot have been thought about conservation of nature. We were largely dependant on nature and natural resources. Our sages rightly thought that we must preserve nature because natural resources are limited. We must use only that much which our mother nature can replace. It was rightly thought that more we maintain balance better it is for the mankind. In our scriptures we have worshipped Earth. In every religious rites, we worship Earth. Earth is our mother. We worship vayu (air), water. We worship our rivers. Rivers are the centre of our religious faith. We have always thanked vayu, jal, akash, prithvi, and agni (Panchtatwa) as they are the genesis of our life. Our sages have supported preservation of nature through religion. Every act of preservation has been given a name of religious rites. This was their way of balancing nature and human being.
As we became modern we forget religion. Religious rites are considered to be back dated. At the same time we exploited natural resources like anything and did not think of preservation. Whatever nature preservation is done today is nothing compared to the damage, we are making. West is more serious of the fact and sincerely working on it. Whereas in India in spite of our cultural heritage we are not serious about the issue.
I have worked on astrology for 30 years . I have found that all vegetation is deeply associated with our life. In order to solve astrological problem we use vegetation. In every zodiac sign there are trees, stars, medicinal plants. A particular zodiac sign person should plant particular trees. This gives peace and prosperity also. In astrology nature is very important. Our sages have scientifically proved the importance of nature on human life. Every festival is linked up with agriculture. We celebrate sowing time, harvesting time etc, etc.
Today human being have become selfish. If we are asked to plant a tree we will not do. But if astrologer asks you to plant a particular tree for your welfare, he will pay any price to get that plant and take care of it.
I have tried to write on the subjects like Veda. brahman, cow, technology, trees and vegetation, bio diversity, chemical and modern and domestic pollution and also eating habits. I have tried to reveal the fact that we have inherited excellent traditions and analyzed what we have lost in the name of modernization. I have tried to say that “let us go back to nature, let us go back to veda” . Veda gives us the knowledge of prosperity and peace and this is our culture. Veda gives the message of universal love, it gives us the message of gratitude to the nature. We must understand the soul of the culture. Our vedic culture aims at fulfillment of life when I started writing this book I wanted to put before you my thoughts humbly and tell new generation about the cultural traits of ancient India. To know religion and to practice religion are two different things.
Our ancestors have taught that before starting any work we must plant trees in the name of parents, grandparents and near and dear ones. In every auspicious work plantation is must. We forgot these rituals and result is before us.
A great society rests on the value of community welfare and liberalism and a great life lives only for welfare of society and culture. Self centeredness corruption, and immoral activities weakens the society. Too much noise, foul smell, exciting posters and news, movies with too much criminal activities, too much consumerism affects our mental health. Human being is now the greatest enemy of nature. Our culture is based on forests. If forests disappear how can we maintain our culture? We have forgotten brahmyacharya, banprastha is only practiced by sages. Only grihasthashram remains which is also not in a happy way.
I believe we need people with positive mind who always thinks often the welfare of others. In order to purify atmosphere around us we have to perform yagna. Yagna helps us rejuvenate, clears the atmosphere. Manu smriti says that yagna elevates human being to brahamantya. It corrects all mental problems. Human being becomes thoughtful and of good character. It keeps us away from disease and brings happiness in our life. But yagna is totally dependent on forests. Yagna needs woods and trees and medicinal plants.
Today pollution is the biggest problem. But thousands of years ago our sages have given us most effective solution. That is plantation. One tree inhales 50 gms of carbondioxide every day and exhales 36 gms of oxygen. One persons needs 630 gms oxygen everyday and exhales 1 kilogram carbondioxide every day. To balance it we need 20 trees per person. If we have seven members in our family we will have to plant 140 trees. According to USDA forests service survey in 50 years one tree gives oxygen worth 31250 dollars, does water recycling worth 62000 dollars and control soil erosion worth 31250 dollars, apart from this financial issues, trees are indispensable. Our Earth is resting on trees. It is a very important unit of nature. It gives life. We can never repay its debt.
Human being’s body is the most complex creation. Our body is doing more than one hundred internal activities in 24 hours. To do these activities we have to have favourable atmosphere. In the today’s polluted atmosphere can our body do normal activities? We can not close the factories, stop the traffic, stop the use of chemical fertilizers, stop radio active rays. But we can at least do plantation. Let us all take the vow of planting trees. Let it be “one man army”. Some one has to start. Why not me? That is the least we can do for our mother Earth.
I have travelled a lot. Met people and came to know many facts. I have studied Veda and came to know how nature is embedded in our culture. How we can save our nature? I want to share my experience with you. I am convinced that vedic culture is the solution of all problem. Let us be modern, but let us not ignore our heritage.
Every year I go for a tour and usually I go with my family. We go to a nice place apart from recreation and gains from health point of view. I also aim at collecting rare vegetations and medicinal plants. I try to discuss about these plants with local people and tried to know very important facts which I have shared with you. These areas are totally dependant on these plants. Modern health system has not reached them. I found that these people are much more healthy and energetic than us. Happiness is there in their face. They are simple, not greedy and always friendly. This is the impact of nature on them. Travelling has really opened my eyes.
During travelling I came to know the importance of medicinal plants to our sages. How they used to treat themselves and people ? How these medicinal plants cleanse the atmosphere. I started collecting such plants. These are all ways of understanding and knowing nature. These tours gave me feel of the soul of Indian heritage. Gave me inspiration to live. This took me a long way in my life.
Motto of today’s science is progress and our sages also had a farreaching vision for the total progress of the society. Difference is only that they did not believe in the progress which leads us to destruction. Our need should not become greed. Human being has become selfish and greedy. Any act in this situation will harm the society. We have told the world “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” and we tend to forget it. Our heritage is greatly accepted in West because they seriously want to solve the problem. Yagna has become universally accepted practice in west now-a-days.
I have discussed this fact from different angles. I will think I am successful, if this book regains your faith on ancient heritage and culture and enlightens your mind, I am sure it will do it.
Dr. Rajendra Dubey