Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 11 Feb 2005


How can we avoid environmental pollution and natural calamities?

[The drastic effects of environmental pollution and the shocking effects of natural calamities >must be avoided to save the humanity on this earth. What measures should be taken?]

The application of the discoveries of scientists for the welfare of humanity has resulted in environmental pollution. The discoveries were successful but the application has not ended in human welfare, but has harmed humanity instead. It is like saying that the operation was successful but the patient died. The essential reason for such failure is absence of faith and devotion in God. God wants to punish people through natural calamities and pollution. Scientists cannot control His program. Therefore, mere social service without the element of spirituality always fails. Even if it succeeds, the success is only temporary. The service slowly ends in injury. Such a person who serves without touching God also goes to heaven and he will be thrown out of heaven after some time. He only gets temporary happiness, which results finally in misery.

If you associate the propagation of divine knowledge and devotion with your social service, it gives permanent and best results. The punishment of God is only meant for bringing a change. Your propagation of divine knowledge and devotion brings that change. Therefore, God withdraws the punishment. Mere social service without the spiritual mission is like giving mere boarding and lodging to hostel students without teaching in the classes. The students get spoiled and finally you have harmed them. The nature of the punishment reveals the nature of the past action of that sinner. The above punishments show either a slow or sudden killing of human beings. Therefore, the nature of the deed that is responsible for such punishment must be also killing. All the living beings are souls like yourself. They have taken the birth of the plants, birds and animals as a punishment, which in fact is a spiritual training. A selfish soul is born as a plant and goes on donating its fruits, which were the hidden treasures in his previous birth. By killing the plant you are interfering with its spiritual training. The mind of the God is irritated and that leads to the above effects. Thus a green plant should not be cut. A paddy [rice] plant is cut when it dies and turns yellow due to the loss of chlorophyll. It is equal to cutting a dead body. That is not equal to cutting a living bird or an animal. This is the reason for the propagation of non-violence by human incarnations like Buddha and Mahavir Jain.

You can refer to the various arguments given by Me, to various questions on this same topic. There is no other alternative than this. Prayers to God cannot stop these things. The propagation of non-violence (Ahimsa) is the only way. At least let it [violence to living beings] be reduced and then slowly let it be completely avoided. The Hindu scriptures (Dharma Shastras) attempt this. They ask the fisherman to stop catching fish at least in Banaras and at least on the holy day of Maha Shivaratri. When that is achieved, the scriptures mention some more sacred places and some more festival days. Slowly they control the whole sin by finally saying that one should not catch fish on any day at any place.