HINDUISM & ECOLOGY:
A Critique of Rajdeva Narayan’s Article, “Ecological Crisis & Hindu Religious Thought”
Throughout Narayan’s article he explains in detail the Ecological crisis he believes we are encountering in our present day as well as its ties and relationship with the Hindu tradition and ways of thinking. In order to completely understand Narayan’s views on our Ecological crisis we must first understand what Ecology means. Narayan’s explains this to us using Roger Dajoz definition of Ecology; “Ecology is the science that studies the conditions of existence of living beings and the interactions of all kinds that exist between these living beings on the one hand and between these living beings and their environment on the other hand.”(Narayan pp.25) This helps us in realizing that the science of ecology does not put the domain of the beings found in nature under ourselves, this definition includes humans in the same categorization as all other living beings on the Earth. This idea of neutrality among living beings is essential when trying to understand the ecological “crisis” that we are in today as well as in how to aid and fix the problems that we have caused.
In the Hindu view of Ecology, religion plays a crucial role. It “helps to make human beings aware that there are limits to their control over the animate and inanimate world and that their arrogance and manipulative power over nature can backfire.” Narayan argues many reasons for our ecological position that we find ourselves in today. Narayan argues that “Todays ecological problem consists in the deterioration of man’s environment through industrialization and urbanization of his mode of life, exhaustion of traditional energy and raw material resources, constant growth of demographic pressure on nature, disturbance of natural ecological equilibria….” (Narayan pp.26) and as a result of our scientific and technical present civilization we are “menacing everything living on Earth with...
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