The long journey of human civilization has given us many lessons for creating valance between nature and human life; many philosophers have shown us the way to happy living; but we humans have failed to cherish their ancient wisdom and doctrines and have gradually become staves of money and machines, believing that these two things are the only means to a happy life.
It is true that these things have brought some temporary good for us, but we the present generation and have started taking them as only way to happy living and failed to apprehend that this is not the permanent way. We have also failed to realize in what condition we are going to hand it over to the next generation. Our greed has taught us to exploit nature to create luxuries for our life without noticing the damage we are doing to nature and the injustice we are doing to our future generation.
The combination of Vedas, Ayurveda, Dhayan, and Yoga transmits a way of living that is healthy, peaceful and harmonious for all creations of nature. There are four Vedas in Hindu mythology, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda and Rig Veda. The Vedas are the ancient natural medical treatment pharmacopeia which is completely based on natural herbs and medical substances.
The three ancient streams of knowledge that explained here are examples of how our ancestors created a way of living harmony with nature, they have demonstrated the interdependence between nature and human life and explained why and how we should protect our ecology.
One of Veda hymns in the forms of prayer of peace seeks ‘Prithivee Shanti’ ( World Peace) and ‘Banaspataya Shanti’ ( which means let all the plants of the earth flourish in peace and prosperity in space among all creatures of the earth, among all medicines, in water and land in cities and village, among all castes and creeds).
A recent research as the factors affectedly health and the wellbeing of humans, carried out by the Research unit on Health and Behaviors change, university of Edinburgh. It defines four key factors for health and wellbeing of humans.
Healthy Conditions and Environment:
Safe physical environment, supportive economic and social conditions, regular supply of nutritious food and water, restricted access to tobacco, and drugs, healthy public policies and organizational practices, provision for meaningful paid employment and affordable housing.
Participation in civic activities and social engagement, strong social networks, trust, power and control over life decisions, supportive family structure, positive self-stream
Effective Health Services:
Provision of preventative services, services, access to culturally appropriate health serices, community participating in planning and delivery of health services.
Decreased use of tobacco and drugs, regular physical activity, balance nutritional intake, positive mental health, safe sexual activity
The above example of ancient wisdom and modern knowledge has been expressed in different manners. However, the key message from them point towards the same direction ‘living in peace and harmony with nature’ and very balances way to living.
The belief of Daoism that life is generally happy but it should be lived with balance and virtue holds pertinent relevance to the lifestyle of the current era dominantly characterized by the lust of consumerism, declining social and family value system and insatiable greed for power and money. Since the inception of ‘Daoism’ the world has made significant progress in technology and life facilities, but it has failed to nature the balance between achievement and ancient knowledge, wisdom and social value system terms that guide happy living.
The imbalance has increased restlessness, undue competition for scarce resources, and dissatisfactions among individuals despite the modern luxuries of life. The lust of modern lifestyles is significantly contributing to distancing human kind from ‘Nature’ and is largely responsible for all kinds of human induced damage to the ecology.
There is significant interdependence between life of humankind and nature. If we humans continue the process of distancing our life system form nature, it will more damage, we do to the natural environment the more we make the ‘human race’ an endangered species. Therefore, there is urgent need to shift from “separation of human and nature” to “harmony between human and nature”, which is one of the key messages of Daoism. The imbalance between humans and nature worsens the lives of children and elderly people more as they are the most vulnerable groups.
As children and elderly people are most victimized when natural disasters occur, the main themes of this discuss ‘Ecological safety and Elderly safety’. Elderly people are not most vulnerable to ecological damage, but they are also rich sources of wisdom, knowledge and experiences and can strike the balance between human and nature as they have been maintaining that balance in their lifetime. Therefore we need to care for their safety and also take advantage of their experience in keeping balance with nature.
Ecological safety has become an important political and development agenda today. Changing temperatures and climate patterns have put our ecology and bio-diversity at risk. The most vulnerable are agriculture and food security, water resources and energy, forest, public health, urban settlement and infrastructure. The threat of natural disasters caused by environment degradation is increasing by the day. Considering these conditions, the time has come for us to start putting a human face to all aimed at ensuring ecological safety, especially with but not ‘ people for eco-safety’. We need a ‘people centered approach’ to ecological safety which is one of the core principles of Daoism.
In the new race of eco-safety let us fail to cross-examinee our efforts to see if we are not creating more damage to the natural way of living in harmony with nature. Let us connect our efforts to the ancient knowledge and wisdom of happy living and make mother earth a place of living in peace, harmony and tranquility for our future generations.
(This article base on key note speech by H.E. Madhav Kumar Nepal – former Prime Minister of Nepal)