A while a go I wrote about Hinduism’s attitude to the environment, suggesting that protection of the environment is a duty. I am pleased to say that other Hindus seem to think the same way. A declaration was posted at the Parliament of World Religions, in Melbourne, Australia which supported environmental protection. The declaration begins:
The Hindu tradition understands that man is not separate from nature, that we are linked by spiritual, psychological and physical bonds with the elements around us. Knowing that the Divine is present everywhere and in all things, Hindus strive to do no harm. We hold a deep reverence for life and an awareness that the great forces of nature—the earth, the water, the fire, the air and space—as well as all the various orders of life, including plants and trees, forests and animals, are bound to each other within life’s cosmic web.
Our beloved Earth, so touchingly looked upon as the Universal Mother, has nurtured mankind through millions of years of growth and evolution. Now centuries of rapacious exploitation of the planet have caught up with us, and a radical change in our relationship with nature is no longer an option. It is a matter of survival. We cannot continue to destroy nature without also destroying ourselves. The dire problems besetting our world—war, disease, poverty and hunger—will all be magnified many fold by the predicted impacts of climate change.
I am pleased to see such a positive message about our duty to the environment from fellow Hindus. Dharma is avoiding harm to all life, and unnecessarily excessive exploitation of the environment is adharmic.