Islam has given great prominence to Nature conservation. Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, was travelling with his disciples. At night they pitched a tent. While going to bed, the Holy Prophet noticed a fire place.
On reaching there, he saw his disciples sitting around the fireplace they had made to keep them warm. Loudly he yelled at his disciples to assemble there immediately. They thought somebody had harmed him and rushed towards him. He asked them to help him put out the fire using fresh leaves and twigs. All together they could easily do it. Then they asked him what had happened. He said the burning to death of ants was worse than enduring the cold. Saving the life which Allah had provided is much more important than keeping them warm. The sensitivity and care of the Great Prophet in not killing even a small insect for the comfort of humans is so much prominent in the current scenario where even human lives are sacrificed for meagre possessions!
He asked his disciples to go and take rest as they were tired. But the Holy Prophet sat there and only after he saved each one of the live ants, he left. 1400 years ago, Muhammad Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was sending a big message to the world to follow. Even if no man is left in the world still Nature survives, but if these ants are not there, then the stability of Nature will be lost. God almighty had created various types of living things in this world, they all are important for the Nature to sustain. Natural habitat cannot survive if one element of its chain is lost. For teaching his disciples on the importance of all living things in Nature the great prophet had made his disciples to jointly put out the fire to save these ants.
The worst crisis before the human race today is the instability of Nature which has, in turn, turned against man. Ironically, the techno-savvy modern man who has conquered space cannot live peacefully due to unpredictable climatic changes and natural calamities for which he must take the blame. These calamities are caused by pollution of rivers which are the source of drinking water, destruction of forests in the name of development, atmospheric pollution and careless human behavior. Science has not come up with answers to this problem. The solution, however, is simple. We need to become sensitive to our surroundings and respect Nature.
In The Holy Bible, the first book is Genesis. It describes the origin of the world and of the humans. The holy book states that the world was created by the God in six days and the seventh day he took rest. Of the six days, the most important is Day 3 when he created Nature comprising the trees, air, water and other natural resources. Jehovah the lord created a world with all its natural beauty, before he created Man and placed him in the world.
After creating man and woman who He named Adam and Eve, the Lord placed them in the beautiful Garden of Eden which He had created for them. He asked them to eat the fruits and vegetables in the garden and to drink water from the rivers to sustain themselves. In fact, there is no mention in the creation story of killing animals for eating their meat. He directed them to live in harmony with Nature.
But Man disobeyed God and the laws of Nature. This is evident even today in the way human beings live. There is havoc as a result.
Living against Nature is like challenging the will of God. So for a healthy and peaceful life with the blessings of the Lord Almighty, we should live in accordance with His teachings.
Rituals for a peaceful coexistence
Hindu beliefs and rituals are associated with Nature and its resources. Trees, Rivers, Hills, Air, Water, Earth, Birds, Animals and even small insects are considered as divine forms. A view of Mount Kailas is considered as a life time spiritual achievement, as it is the abode of Lord Siva or higher consciousness. Lord Siva the Guru of self realization meditates at Mount Kailas, living on what Nature provides. River Ganges which provides livelihood and water for humans is considered flowing down from heaven for taking care of human lives. Thus Hindu religion teaches to respect Nature and its resources. The yogis and rishis had the foresight to see beyond generations where these natural resources will be mercilessly misused and which will be the cause for the decline of the human race. So they had taught us to start our day with prayers to these Nature resources.
Goddess Earth is considered as the wife of Maha Vishnu. So it is necessary to ask her pardon before one sets his foot on the floor, while getting up from bed in the morning.
Samudhra vasane devi, parvatha sthana mandithe,
Vishnu pathni namasthubhyam pada sparsam kshamasva mae.
Salutations to you the wife of Lord Vishnu,
Encircled by oceans,
Beautifully adorned by mountains,
Pardon me mother, for stepping on you today.
Bathing is done not only for the purification of the body but for the mind too. The following prayers are recited while taking bath, praying for the sacred rivers.
Gange cha Yamune chaiva Godavari Saraswathi,
Narmade Sindhu Kaveri Jale asmin sannidhim kuru.
Holy river Ganga,
Holy river Yamuna,
Holy river Godavari,
Holy river Saraswathi,
Holy river Narmada,
Holy river Sindhu,
And holy river Kaveri
I pray you to purify this water
Vedic mantras are part of a sophisticated yoga of sound. These rituals clearly define the importance derived in ancient scriptures for respecting Nature and its resources. Chanting such mantras is one of the most powerful things we can do not only to uplift our self but also for reenergising the Nature around us.
Fire God (Agnidevan) is the bridge to the gods from the ordinary world. We feed offerings to the divine fire for pleasing the gods in heaven. All auspicious rituals will start with the lighting of a lamp. This is the prayer for the holy fire
Shubham karothi kalyanam, aarogyam, dhana sampadam,
Shathru budhi vruddhi vinasaya deepa jyothi namo nama.
Prayers and salutations,
Holy flame of this lamp,
Which blesses me with all that is good,
Health, wealth, peace and prosperity
And saves me from all my enemies.
Thulasi adorns the courtyard of almost all Hindu houses. After the lamp is lit the Tulasi should be watered while reciting the prayer:
Thulasi shree sakhi shubhe , papa haarini punyade,
Namasthe Naradanuthe, Namo Narayana priye.
Oh , Holy Thulasi,
The closest friend of goddess Lakshmi,
The destroyer of sins,
The shower of blessings,
Salutations and prayers to you
Who is admired by sage Narada,
And loved by Lord Narayana
Prayer to the holy banyan tree which provides shade, pure air, happiness and prosperity:
Moolatho brahma roopaya madhyatho visnu roopine,
Agratha Shiva roopaya , vruksha rajaya te nama.
Blessing, the king of trees,
Whose has roots in Lord Brahma,
Stem of Lord Vishnu,
And crowned by Lord Shiva.
Prayer to Nature to make the day peaceful:
Brahma murari tripurandhakari,
Bhanu sasi Bhoomi sutho budascha,
Gurusca Shukra . sani rahu Kethava,
Kurvanthu sarve mama suprabatham.
Dear Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva,
And Planets Sun, Mercury, Jupiter,
Venus , Saturn, Rahu and Kethu,
Receive my blessing of this morning day
And make my day peaceful.
Satharnva Saptha kulachalascha,
Saptharshayo dweepa pavanani saptha,
Bhooradhi kruthwa, bhuvanai saptha,
Kurvanthu mama suprabhatham.
My prayers to
The seven oceans,
Seven sages, seven forests,
Seven Islands and Seven Lokas,
For blessing me with a great morning.
Prayers to the Sun God:
Bhano, bhaskara Marthanda, Chanda rasmai, divakara,
Ayur, arogyam, budhim, sree yamscha dehi mae.
God who breaks the dark,
Who showers light on this earth,
Who carries heat for the world,
Bestowed with heat and light rays,
Who creates this day,
Bless me a peaceful long life,
With health, wealth and intelligence.