Only God Can Save This Earth



Climate change, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, desertification, bio-diversity, conservation - the list of environmental disasters seems endless. Scientists and environmentalists are providing warnings about these concerns every day. Here is a different and deeper perspective from a spiritualist His Divine Grace B. S. Tirtha Maharaj, during his discourse at Maryland University, USA


We can save the earth from further deterioration only when we can understand the root cause of the present environmental disaster. Scientists may explain the crisis from their logical perspectives but we, spiritualists, have our own definite views. Over the last few centuries, the general masses have not paid any heed to spiritual opinions because of their implicit faith in scientific proclamations rather than scriptural declarations. This attitude has landed us in the current crisis. According to the Vedas, the ultimate source of knowledge of both spiritual and material matters, the earth that we inhabit, is only one of the fourteen planetary systems contained within this universe. The earth constitutes the middle planet. There are seven hellish planets below the earth where sinful living entities reside and there are six heavenly planets in the upper regions in which pious living beings dwell. This entire universe is the creation of God, the Supreme Controller, the Almighty but the Extremely Benevolent. Even Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein accepted this as a fact. There are 8,400,000 species of life that occupy this universe. All of them are combinations of material bodies and spirit souls.


The external bodies of all the living beings, including animals, birds, trees and human beings, are made of five material elements namely, earth, water, fire, air nd ether. This can be verified when an unclaimed dead body of a person disintegrates. In particular, the major portion of the gross external body of an nhabitant of this planet, consists of earth. Hence we say, from dust we came and unto the dust we go. This is an undeniable fact.

The earth is the source of all essentials of livelihood for all the living beings here. Therefore, the Vedas refer to this planet as 'Mother Earth'. Even as recently as five thousand years ago, the earth produced grains like wheat and rice without the soil being tilled. Every wave of the ocean deposited pearls at the shore and valuable minerals were visible on the uppermost surface of the mountains because most people who lived at that time were pious.


The earth caters to everyone's needs, but today we suffer because of our greed greed for the enjoyment of our senses and for wealth. Our sensual appetite has degraded to such an extent that human society has been reduced to an animalistic society. A dog or a hog cannot control its senses but man can, if he so desires. A man of uncontrolled senses is as good as an animal. The research behind all scientific inventions and technological innovations have sense enjoyment as the ultimate aim. We don't realise, that the more we cater to the demands of our senses, the more they hanker for greater enjoyment because of their insatiable nature. This unabated avarice for sense pleasure is the basis for the exploitation of the natural resources of this planet. The unholy desire for sense indulgence compels a man to transgress all injunctions and prohibitions of the Holy Scriptures and divine commandments. This sinful sense gratification by man leading an irresponsible lifestyle has created irreparable damage to the natural environment. The result is global warming. Incidences of storms, cyclones and earthquakes are also on the increase.


The Vedas have been acknowledged by UNESCO as the ultimate source of knowledge. They identify four major sins very detrimental to human society. They are: gambling, intoxication, prostitution and eating of animal flesh. Gambling includes all speculative activities including betting on racehorses, playing cards, chess, lottery, video games as well as investments in the stock market. Intoxicants include tea, coffee, all types of alcoholic drinks, drugs, betel leaves and betel nuts, as well as smoking cigarettes and tobacco consumption in any form, including snuff. Prostitution covers all kinds of illegitimate physical association for carnal enjoyment other than that through marriage in civilized human society. Animal flesh includes the flesh of all land-based and water based animals, as well as birds. This also includes eggs.   These four vices uproot the very moral and ethical foundation of human society. These are considered as sins for the following reasons:


Those who eat animal flesh tend to become merciless in their dealings with other human beings and their reactions are generally very violent. It is said: 'You are what you eat,' and therefore, one gradually develops animalistic propensities. The 18th-century German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, believed that cruelty to animals should be abjured if for no other reason than that: 'Such brutality leads to a violent mentality that is then likely to be directed at one's own fellow man,' as published on page 161 of The Ideas of Immanuel Kant by Bertrand Schulman, Philosophical Publishing, 1984. The renowned mathematician, Pythagoras, substantiates this saying, 'As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other.' Those addicted to intoxicants in one form or the other, are, to a larger or a lesser extent, bound to behave in an irresponsible way, ruining their own and their family members lives’.


Those who regularly indulge in illicit relationships outside marriage will see the members of the opposite sex merely as objects of sense stimuli and nothing more. They treat others, including their elders, such as parents, with irreverence. Men and women, for whom gambling in any form is irresistible, will lose faith in earning a livelihood through honest means and usually lead an ostentatious life. It is an established fact that gamblers always resort to falsehood. Drunkards are forced to give up all forms of austerity; animal flesh eaters lack compassion and promiscuous men and women are invariably bereft of morality.


In a society of sinners, there cannot be peace and happiness. The result is war, crime, murder, rape, terror and torment. The root cause of these sins is the fundamental mistake of identifying oneself with the body, which forms the basis for sense enjoyments, through foul means, if necessary. Sense gratification naturally becomes prominent in a godless society. Only with the total eradication of these sins by a global effort can sanity return to human society and not merely by protracted and prolonged rhetorical speeches at the United Nations organizations and other world organizations.


The highest purpose of human life is to become sinless for spiritual advancement, the diligent pursuit of which assures one the Kingdom of God. Unfortunately, the world leaders, far from imploring their citizens to abstain from sins, themselves unabashedly indulge in, and even promote these activities without any compunction. They promote these unethical and unholy activities by allowing large, mechanized slaughterhouses for animals; clubs and pubs for drinking; and casinos for gambling; while turning a blind eye on illicit male-female relationships. What's more, all wealthy persons and leaders pride themselves on visiting the world's gambling capital, Las Vegas in the US, where all these sinful activities are conducted under single roofs of huge casinos.


What we see now is the fury of Mother Earth. She can tolerate all burdens but not the burden of sinful people dominated by unlimited and uncontrolled greed. Motivated by the greed for sensual enjoyment, this greed for increasing amounts of money that caused the destruction of natural resources by individuals, corporations and nations, to amass wealth by exploiting nature through indiscriminate mining, killing animals, excessive fishing, cutting trees, polluting water, emitting poisonous emissions and all other environmental crimes. Once they have amassed these riches, they flaunt them. So we see a rampant display of envy among individuals, societies, communities, nations and religions. This envious attitude today, is wreaking havoc throughout the globe resulting in the depletion of Mother Nature.


Some people are very proud of rapid economic growth and immense opulence. But, material advancement bereft of God consciousness is advancement in ignorance. We are minute spiritual entities and God is the Supreme Spiritual being. We are the children of God. Because of spiritual nature, both God and living beings are eternal consciousness entities and therefore our relationship with God is eternal. This mundane world is a temporary manifestation by the material energy of the Lord and hence, ultimately perishable. No one can exist here permanently. Our bodies, made of material elements, are also temporary. Compared to birds and beasts, human beings have extraordinary intelligence and a highly evolved consciousness. This enables them to understand that spiritual existence is true existence. This spiritual awareness, together with God consciousness can restore sanity in human society. This alone can end the sinful sense-enjoying propensity based on a bodily concept of life.


An avaricious and lusty person loses sight of the actual goal of human life. A man enslaved to his senses always listens to the dictates of passion, and not reason. Today, morally debased, unethical people are exploring newer and newer avenues for ever greater varieties of physical pleasures. This is the basis of creating disharmony in the ecological balance of this planet. This tendency must be arrested if we are to save the earth. When we talk about controlling the senses and our greed, we do not mean repression, we aim at regulation. If we do not recognize the urgency to act in this direction, we will head towards total ruin.


Mother Earth and God do amply provide for regulated sense enjoyment so that every person can live in tranquility in a society that affords scope to focus one's mind on spiritual advancement, which is the real mission of human life. Our aim must be to liberate ourselves from the conditioned existence of this mundane atmosphere and attain a place in the eternal spiritual abode, the Kingdom of God and not here in the corridors of illusion.


An article entitled 'Greenhouse Gases on Your Plate' from the New York Times dated 29 August 2007 stated: 'The biggest animal rights groups do not always overlap in their missions, but now they have coalesced around a message that eating meat is worse for the environment than driving. They and smaller groups have started advertising campaigns that try to equate vegetarianism with curbing greenhouse gases.'


Recently, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization issued a report stating that the livestock business generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined. The Humane Society of the United States has taken up the issue as well, running ads in environmental magazines that show a car key and a fork. 'Which one of these contributes more to global, warming?' the ads ask. They answer the question with 'It's not the one that starts a car,' and goes on to cite the UN report.


It is high time to eliminate the four major sins and our unlimited greed to strive for the real aim of gaining transcendental loving devotional service to God in His spiritual abode. God created the earth and God alone can save the earth.