Hindu texts and scriptures are full of references to the worship of the divine in nature. And they continue to be relevant today. Millions of Hindus recite Sanskrit mantras daily that revere their rivers, mountains, trees and animals. Many also follow, for religious reasons, a vegetarian diet and oppose the institutionalized killing of animals for human consumption.
The Earth, depicted as a Goddess or “Devi”, is worshipped in many Hindu rituals. For instance, before the foundation of a building is dug, a priest is invited to perform the “Bhoomi (earth) Pooja” to seek forgiveness from mother earth for violating her.
To many Hindus, the concept of environmental protection is not separate from religious teaching. That’s seen in several local practices among rural Hindu communities such as the Bishnois and the Bhils to protect forests and water sources.
Hinduism has always been an environmentally sensitive philosophy. No religion, perhaps, lays as much emphasis on environmental ethics as Hinduism. The Mahabharata, Ramayana, Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas and Smriti contain the earliest messages for preservation of environment and ecological balance.
Hindus regard everything around them as pervaded by a subtle divine presence, be it rivers, mountains, lakes, animals, flora, the mineral world, as well as the stars and planets. It is so because the Divine reality is present as Prana/Shakti energy, power, in every electron, particle, atom, cell and in every manifestation of matter. It is its very fabric.
Nature, or Earth, has never been considered a hostile element to be conquered or dominated. In fact, man is forbidden from exploiting nature. He is taught to live in harmony with nature and recognize that divinity prevails in all elements, including plants and animals.
The rishis of the past have always had great respect for nature. Theirs was not a superstitious primitive theology. They perceived that all material manifestations are a shadow of the Divine.
The Bhagavad Gita advises us not to try to change the environment, improve it, or wrestle with it. If it seems hostile at times tolerate it. Ecology is an inherent part of a spiritual world view in Hinduism.
The mighty Himalayas, the abode of Sages since millenia & the abode of Lord Shiva is very sacred to the devout Hindus
Char Dham Yatra : A Sacred Pilgrimage to The Holy Himalayas
Hindus worshipping the sacred temple elephant
Hindus taking holy dip in Kumbha Mela in the confluence of the three most holy rivers of India, Ganga, Yamuna & Saraswathi
Ancient Aryans of Vedic Civilisation, were devout worshippers of Mother Nature. Nature worship sounds more sensible many a times to many of the educated lot in this modern age of science & technology.
God is a transcendental being. and we can not perceive God with our shallow human senses. But nature is perceptible to our sense organs. Aren’t we directly being benefited by nature in infinite number of ways? Nature is bountiful and showers her selfless love on us humans in infinite number of ways.
Cow is a sacred animal in Hinduism. Nothing is as nutritious & as easily digestible as cow’s milk. We can live on cow’s milk alone & enjoy robust health, if nothing else is available. It’s a complete food in itself according to ancient India’s Ayurveda. The Indian Desi cow and all her products including her dung is a blessing for us from the Divine, of course without the forceful injections of toxic allopathic hormones for increasing the yield of milk artificially. Even new-born babies can live just on cow’s milk, with absolutely no side effect.
Thulasi plant of India, is an extraordinary medicinal plant, & every traditional Hindu lady makes it a point to have this plant at home for her daily worship. Thulasi is extremely good for cold, cough & several other ailments, according to Ayurveda, & a plant at home is very handy during many of the common illnesses.
Peepul tree (Ashwatha) too has got infinite number of medicinal uses, as per the Indian Ayurveda. We should have as many Peepul trees as possible in our environment, by watering them daily as a form of utmost sanctity, and as a form of religious ritua.
Sun is the source of all energies on our planet. Sunlight blesses us with health, vigour & vitality. Sun with its beneficial rays gives us an energetic body and robust health. No wonder we have worshipped Sun God since time immemorial, in this land of Aryans, our holy Bharatavarsha
Agni is Devatha. Can we ever think of our existence without fire? Never ever.
The mighty Himalayan mountains again is Devatha for us Hindus. Can we think of torrential rain fall in our country year after year without the existence of this sacred mountain? Unimaginable.
Isn’t Nature Worship then more meaningful to us earthlings than worshipping the thirty three crores Devathas of our Hinduism?
By worshipping nature in its various forms, we are expressing our love & heartfelt gratitude to Mother Nature for her love & bountiful blessings.