Since time immemorial, we Indians have considered Earth as “Bhoodevi” or “Mother” by saying, माता भूमि: पुत्रो अहम पृथिव्या meaning, “Earth is my Mother I am her son“.
There are scores of verses in “Prithvi Sutra” in Atharva Veda to glorify Mother Earth. She is worshiped for providing everything like air, water, soil, food, forests, mountains, rivers, medicines and natural cycles such as climate etc. We are getting this “ecosystem services” since thousands of years. In absence of this beautiful environment and the availability of resources on the Earth, we could not have existed.
But what have we done to our Mother Earth due to our ill practices and over-exploitation of resources? The pollution level is an all-time high and the resources are fast depleting. The scientific community agrees that Earth’s ecosystems can no longer support the modern industrial life and concerned citizens seek an alternative.
The Mother Earth is in trouble. Nature, which is not controlled by human power, affects not only human life but all living and non-living things. Nature keeps doing its own control periodically and we are confronting some of its warnings in the form of various climatic and other changes. Numerous animals, birds, plants and other living things are non-existent and are part of history now. Her message is loud and clear, “if you harm me, the world would cease to be“. If exploitation replaces respect, she will continue to nurture us and give us life. We should not forget that the resources are vanishing bit-by-bit.
The Atharva Veda articulates the Indian reverence for nature and all forms of life, a tradition that needs to be cultivated in our contemporary context. We should adhere to its very clear ecological message: “Mother Earth, may whatever I dig from you grow back again quickly and may we not injure you by our labour”.
A Mother is source of life to the child but at the same time it is also the responsibility of the child to take care of her. If we want you want to save Mother Earth for future generation and not transform it into another life-less planet, we will have act quickly and effectively and take adequate measures in this regard.
The responsibility to save Mother Earth should start from personal level and restraining ourselves from using excessive energy, reducing water consumption and transportation etc.
The government should extend efforts towards afforestation, rainwater harvesting, solar energy recycling of waste water, cutting industrial pollution etc. And above all create awareness towards these activities among the masses.
The Earth Day seems a good day to remind us of all these facts and take “down to Earth” actions in helping our Mother “heal”.