Humanity – A Burden?

by February 1, 2012

Did you know that science has found a quick way to solve all ecological problems? Annihilate humanity! Biologist E O Wilson, among many other scientists, has studied the complex interdependence among various species in the biosphere. He found that every species makes some constructive contribution– small or great – to the ecology of the planet. For example, if the vegetation – grasses and shrubs – decrease, the herbivores suffer. And if the herbivores decrease, the carnivores are affected. But he found that there is one species that does not contribute to the ecology. Yes, it’s the human species. If the human species

became extinct, there would hardly be any problems for any other species or for the ecology. In fact, most ecological problems would be solved if humans became or were made extinct. Arguably humans constitute the most intelligent species on the planet. Yet science indicates that “intelligent” humans are nothing but a burden for the planet. Normally in a classroom, the more intelligent a student, the more potential he has to make a positive contribution. Then why is it that the most intelligent species is making, not a positive, but a negative contribution to the planet?

The timeless Vedic scriptures – and in essence all the sacred scriptures of the world —answer: human potential is fully realized when they contribute to the planet at the spiri­tual stratum. When they function only at the material level, their potential is at best underused and at worst misused. The Shrimad­Bhagavatam (1.2.10) gives the mission statement for human life, “Humans should function in the material realm only for maintain­ing existence, not for seeking enjoyment. For they will find real hap­piness only in spiritual realization and in nothing else.”

What is this spiritual realization? And what has it got to do with saving the ecology? Spiritual realization reveals to us that we are all children of God, with nature as our mother, as mentioned in the Bhagavad­gita (14.4). In an ordinary family, the parents maintain the children. Similarly in the cosmic family, God, the divine father, and nature, the divine mother, maintain all living beings.

And just as the children can live happily when they follow their pa­rents, we too can flourish if we live in harmony with nature and God, the sustainer of nature. When the children run away from the pro­tective embrace of the parents, they risk accident, kidnap and other dangers. The scriptural recommendations to practice physical res­traint and seek spiritual fulfillment constitute God’s embrace. When humans reject God’s protective embrace and embrace mate­rialism and consumerism instead, they experience stress, anxiety, violence— and ecological disaster.

Materialism and consumerism lead to greed, selfishness and ex­ploitative mentality, which comprise pollution of the heart. These ideologies pervert the pure human desire to find immortal joy in loving and serving God into the polluted desire to seek flickering pleasure by exploiting nature. This pollution of the heart impels peo­ple to knowingly persist with activities that pollute the environment. For example, due to greed, industrialists avoid treating toxic efflu­ents before releasing them into rivers. Therefore only when people learn to find happiness within, and not without can we hope to avoid ecological apocalypse. The easiest and the most effective way of finding inner joy is chanting the Holy Names of God. When people chant, find inner happiness and become free from pollution of the heart—greed, selfishness and consumerism, they will desist from activities that pollute the planet.

Therefore to save the ecology, there is an alternative to annihi­lating humanity: annihilate instead the ignorance that misleads hu­mans into materialistic living.

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  • Onkar Kulkarni
    April 21, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    sorry prabhuji I got my answer

    according to modern science, due to human beings the rate of extinction of species is 100 to 1000 times higher than natural rate in the pre-human era. you are absolutely correct,

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