Sanatana Dharma, also known as Hinduism now, claims that there are four aeons, referred to as yugas. “Satya Yuga”, “Treta Yuga”, “Dwapara Yuga”, and “Kali Yuga”. The Dharma bull (or the bull of righteousness), stands squarely on all four legs in the first one, and now, in Kali Yuga, it balances precariously on just one. Puranas contain stories from the ancient times, and one can clearly see how virtue decreases and sin increases as yugas progress. At the end of Kali Yuga, life is supposed to come to an end in a deluge (just as the Bible predicts an end, hastened by our sins), perhaps of a metaphoric kind. And life starts over from the Golden Age of Virtues, perhaps after several aeons of healing.
As I was reading about the disasters, one by one, and now, the horrifying nuclear reactor leak in Japan, I couldn’t help but wonder. Did we, in our rush towards industrialization and globalization, meddle too much with the deepest laws of physics? Rent apart atoms that should have been left well enough alone? Should we have accepted Dalton’s definition of an atom and left it at that?
Trying to find metal for our machines, diamonds for our jewel collections, we’ve dug deeper and wider into our one planet. We’ve made machines that can dig faster too, using the metal and oil that came from the earth’s depths. We’ve felled trees that hold soil down. Is it possible that we’ve destabilized the earth’s crust and core irreparably? In the quest for faster and easier lives, we’ve littered our one planet too. Can the damage ever be undone?
Our damaging ways haven’t stopped with the Planet Earth. In the utter arrogance of humankind, we brought untold misery to animals in the form of factory farming. Even as we extol the virtues of compassion towards criminals, so have we inflicted suffering upon innocent animals in our food and cosmetic industries (yes, food is an industry now), in our labs and medical research. Drove many to extinction for sport.
Now, I always wondered about the glaring difference between the basic philosophies of Christianity and Sanatana Dharma. While one believes that we are all sinners, and starts from there, the other believes that we are all essentially good, we’re born good, but our actions may lead us down evil paths. Thus, babies are all good. Are both trying to say the same things? Christianity, born as it was in the Hindu Kali Yuga, sees all as sinners. How many of us can honestly state that we’re not guilty of even a single sin? I would hazard a guess and say none.
Coming back to the deluge, can Earth survive the onslaught of so many thoughtless human-but-not-humane beings recklessly pillaging and systematically destroying it?
Perhaps there is a God or a Goddess, perhaps there isn’t, but in the wisdom of our ancient forefathers and foremothers, they predicted that a day would come when we would be on the fast track to using up the Earth, Air, and Sea.
This is an impassioned plea to everyone who reads this to start being kinder to the Earth. I know not if religion is right or if science is, or if both are wrong or both are right, but I do know one thing. Mindless consumerism hurts us in so many ways. It hurts our wallets. It clutters our lives. It consumes even more of the essence of the planet, and replaces it with worthless, poisonous rubbish in the form of landfills. In the form of pollution, to make and transport what we buy. It costs us peace of mind, trying to keep track of everything. Declutter. Simplify.
Folks, if there is one resolution you make today, let it be for the betterment of our One Planet Earth. The. Only. Planet. We. Have.