23 July 2010

Rig the Climate

By: Viva Kermani 

The climate denial lobby is beginning to look really silly. It creates loonies out of people -the most recent one - Lord Monckton - who claims that climate change, is a conspiracy, a new flag of the left and rebukes the very idea of global warming.

For someone who has no training in science whatsoever to discount the IPCC s body of some 800 scientists, he is irresponsible and certifiable. The science is now loud and clear - warming of the earth is unequivocal and there is no doubt that much of the change in climate is due to human induced action.

Scientists at NASA-GISS have confirmed that the first six months of 2010 have set a global temperature record. But I am not going to write about the vicissitudes of climate change of my generation or the politics that world leaders has been engaged in over the last decade to try to solve the climate crisis or what is the planet we are leaving behind. It has been about 2 decades since the Earth Summit in Rio and we are still struggling for an agreement to protect our planet and its ecosystems, its forest, water tables, atmosphere, oceans and mountains.

In the last 50 years or so millions have been spent in UN conventions, declarations and pledges for environmental protection. While we may have failed the earth in the last 100 years or so – there were some who paid it glorious tribute 5000 years ago. The best tribute ever paid to the environment can be found in the Vedas.
 
The Vedas are considered the most sacred books for Hindus. The word Veda means “wisdom”. There are 4 Vedas .The Rig Veda, the Sama Veda, the Yajur Veda and the Atharva Veda. The Rig Veda , a collection of hymns ,are the most ancient of all Hindu texts, probably about 5000 years old but codified much later.This is concerned with the worship of gods that are largely personifications of the powers of nature. The Rig Veda contains the most popular mantra , the Gayatri mantra. I don’t know any Indian who does not know the Gayatri Mantra – it’s the mother of all mantras.


Aum Bhoor Bhuwah Swaha

Tat Savitur Varenyam
 
Bhargo Devasaya Dheemahi

Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat






There are various interpretations of this simple mantra - I do not wish to go into the existential meaning of this mantra, its metaphor or its esoteric meaning.I am no expert in Sankrit or ancient texts. Not at all and cannot even remotely claim to be. But this much I know -when I do a word to word break down of the Gayatri Mantra it is telling me something – a prayer to the "giver of light and life" - the sun (savitur). Its power remains unchallenged and unrivalled. It is not only the Rig Veda that pays tribute to nature.

There are 63 mantras of Atharva Veda (12.1.1. to 12.1.63) pertain to Hymns to the Earth, which glorifies Mother Earth. The Rig Veda regards trees and plants as possessing healing properties. Tree planting is considered a religious duty.

So ecology is not a modern day science that was started in Europe. Its root can be found in our ancient texts and its modern day manifestation in the Chipko Movement that began in the early 70’s in the Garwhal – where villagers formed a human chain and hugged trees marked to be cut down for the development of a sports equipment factory. Since then, the movement has grown as a ecological movement. So while world leaders break their heads over complex documents on carbon emissions,legal frameworks,binding targets,offsetting, de-forestation and afforestation, Indian Rishis understood this 5000 years ago but instead,chose to express it through beautiful, 4 line hymns - that are still chanted today.

3 comments:

  1. Let’s all Stand Up against Global Warming in 2010.I am supporting this campaign & would like you to do the same.
    You can join the campaign on http://www.facebook.com/unmcampaignINDIA & http://twitter.com/unmcampaignIND

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  2. Salute this man! Pachauri did what no climate sceptic is able to do. A Trojan Horse that destroyed the IPCC from the inside.

    If Pachauri did not exist, we climate sceptics would have had to literally invent him. He is in fact every sceptic’s dream. How could we have asked for more when he embodies the UN Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in all completeness? Interestingly, he also strongly epitomizes the typical climate activist and their organizations that they are attached. Did he mould both in his image or its vice versa is however for history to judge.

    Next month 194 governments of the IPCC are scheduled to meet in Busan, South Korea. This is where a plot to ouster Pachuari could be unleashed. Pachuari remains defiant: “At the moment, my mandate is very clear. I have to complete the fifth assessment” The Indian Government who Pachuari is their candidate is equally defiant, backing him to the hilt. If Pachauri goes, we leave the IPCC! And if India leaves the IPCC, it can trigger an exodus.

    Read More: http://devconsultancygroup.blogspot.com/2010/09/salute-this-man-pachauri-did-what-no.html

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