Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back in Sringeri, Beautiful Sringeri

I am back to being surrounded by nature, back to studying, back to simplicity. I realize that the reason I came to India this time was for exactly these three things… nature, studies, and simplicity. Of course, right now studies are at the forefront of my attention, but nature and simplicity are an integral part of life here. Surely any discrepancy between my description and what Sringeri is actually like is due to my inability to capture it with words (and yet I try, if only for the sake of sharing the glorious experience I am having) and my own poor interpretation of what it is really like; and anything that is pleasing to read is without a doubt due solely to the actual beauty of that which I am describing!

It is still raining heavily here. I am told that this is unnatural; the cold season should have started already, and the rain should have stopped or at least diminished. The natives of Sringeri have confirmed this (they are more in touch with the weather patterns of this place, as they have lived here their entire lives), which is only further proof of the changing global weather conditions we are witnessing. What will it take to get us to stop polluting, stop wasting, stop destroying our world, and get in touch with nature to heal it? We call it Mother Earth. Mother Nature. Would you throw trash at your own mother, or dump waste on her, or tear off chunks of her flesh, or inebriate her with fumes? We should be ashamed of ourselves for saying “Mother Earth” and at the same time doing all these terrible things to her. If you feel actual pain when you see people throwing trash on the ground, then you know how I feel, you know what I mean. If you don’t, then try to see the earth as your mother and you will understand. Until we all start feeling this pain, we will not be able to do anything in a holistic and organized manner to stop the imminent destruction of our world. I suppose I will leave you with this thought for now.

Please do not just read this and think, “Ah, Varun has gone crazy, he’s seen one jungle and now he wants to save the planet” and do nothing, because it is something that relates to each and every one of us, not just me. If we continue to pollute our world without thinking about it, our sources of drinking water will be contaminated, the air we breathe will be toxic, and our lives (not just mine) depend on these things. If we continue to apply our principle of procrastination to this particular matter, it will be too late to do anything about it. Please think twice before using your car instead of public transportation or a carpool system, think twice before leaving the faucet on when you brush your teeth or shave, or leaving the shower on for too long before getting into it. Please think before throwing things away that can be recycled, think before taking too much food on your plate. Please think twice before buying a product that cannot be recycled or reused. Analyze your own thoughts – are you thinking positively? Are you being a productive member of society? Even our thoughts affect our world. Whatever little we do is enough, if everyone chips in. If everyone does these simple things (and I am only asking you to think!) we can yet turn things around and hope for a cleaner future on our planet.

One may think this is a “fear tactic” or just a scam. But look at the facts, all of them, and decide for yourself. Don’t listen to anyone else; do some research on your own. Then you will understand that the priority should be the earth, for the good of all.

Think about it this way – when you have to use the bathroom, do you think about how much studying you have left to get done, or what your “to do list” says? No. You think about one thing and one thing only: where the nearest bathroom is. Until you go to the bathroom and relieve yourself, any amount of studying or tasks accomplished is useless. If a man stranded in the desert is given the choice between a mountain of gold or a glass of water, he will definitely go for the glass of water. Why? Gold will not cure his thirst. It is simply a matter of priority. In 25 or 30 years, when we are supposed to be using the knowledge we gained in college or the degree we secured, if the world is not habitable or is even closer to its destruction, then of what use is a medical or a business degree? Of what use is the best music in the world if the world itself is not a safe place to be? What good is all our money if we cannot enjoy the benefits of having it? If we are sitting inside our home and we have a wrapper in hand, we don’t just throw it on the floor, we go to the trash can and put it there. Why can’t the planet be our home? It is sad that someone needs to get us to think about these things. So get your medical degrees, be successful businessmen and women, enjoy your money, enjoy your music; but at the same time do not forget the reason your life is possible. Think about the earth, your world, your planet, your mother.

Here is a very thought-provoking presentation called "Water & Earth by 2070" that was put together by the former president of India, Abdul Kalam (make it full screen, you can read it better):


Further reading/viewing:

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