Whatever is out there in the biosphere of the Earth is ecological yoga, or eco-yoga, that is, the sum total of all species, their genotypes, their communities and the ecosystems they flourish in. Human species is one of them. As human beings we are the last to have come into existence through the phenomenon of natural evolution. This natural evolution is not static, but conscious, vibrant and laden with the virtues of renewability and enrichment. The continuous enrichment the natural evolution brings to life is reflected in the stunning variety of life in the biosphere. This is eco-yoga – a benevolence of natural evolution to life.
The dazzling number of species prevailing on Earth as of today has not been the same throughout the evolutionary history of life. It is assumed that 99.99 percent of all the species that ever existed in the historical passage of natural evolution have vanished. Extinction of species is the law the natural evolution is governed by. However, the eco-yoga does not come to halt due to natural way of extinction at the will of evolution. Species are done to extinction and new species are added to life. The evolutionary changes are not sudden or abrupt. They do take place over a period of millions of years.
The natural phenomenon of eco-yoga took a u-turn with the evolution of human species. Ours (human’s) is the last among all the species that came into existence with the passage of evolution and are flourishing in our times. In other words, we are a guest on the Earth and the rest of the millions of species are our host. However, ironically, the ‘guest’ has turned into a ‘pest’ for the rest of the species!
Ours is, undoubtedly, the most capable species. All other species on Earth are haplessly governed by human species. Humans are the custodians of whole life. It is not now the natural evolution that governs life. It is human species that governs even the natural evolution. There is hardly an ecosystem on the entire planet that flourishes in its natural state. Almost all ecosystems are now anthropogenic ones. Which species is to grow and which is not, is all decided by us. The species we know are useful to us, must survive and which are not, must be pushed to extinction. This is in the psyche of the human race. The species extinction is now in our hands! And ashamed of us, life is gradually shrinking. Breakdown of ecological integrity of the planet, environmental disruptions, global warming, climate change etc are all being managed by us. Not only the entire planet Earth is governed by human species, even the cosmic space and other heavenly bodies are not far from our grips.
The planet earth is in an environmental mess. The evolutionary passage adding species to the biosphere faces obstructions. Channels for the living species to exit from the biosphere and vanish into a hell of extinction are open. In other words, the phenomenon of eco-yoga is disrupted. It is all because now human species are at the helm of life’s affairs. If nature is to breathe at its fullness, it has to be enacted by human beings. If the healing of the earth is to be done, it would be possible by human action in that direction. If the phenomenon of eco-yoga is to be restored, it would be possible only by human karma.
What kind of human action is needed to restore the lost glory of the living planet? It is the action that is born out of eco-yoga. What is the prerequisite of healing the earth? It is the healing of the self. The first step of eco-yoga begins with the process of healing the self that will eventually expand to the healing of the earth. Rampant consumerism, insatiable greed and vice have acutely wounded human beings. They need to be healed up by adopting frugality, non-attachment with materialism and by thinking great. Self-healing is vital for generating ecological consciousness and ecological justice. Ecological justice is practiced by protecting, conserving and augmenting nature and its biodiversity. Ecological justice means being fair and just for all the species, for all life forms. Boosting photosynthesis, reducing carbon footprints, keeping the environment clean and healthy, promoting inexhaustible and renewable resources of energy, and in fact, all life-enhancing activities are all various dimensions of ecological justice. Ecological justice leads to ecological balance, which, in turn, leads to ecological affluence. The phenomenon of reaching out for ecological affluence is eco-yoga, the yoga of all yogas.
(The author is a Professor of Environmental Science in GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology)
Saturday, 20 June 2020 | Vir Singh
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