Don’t defy nature, but don’t deify it either; glorify the Deity behind nature
Overzealous materialists exploit technology to pursue their egoistic agenda of conquering nature. They define technological progress in terms of how much it controls a supposedly headstrong nature. However, indiscriminate exploitation of nature has brought our planet on the verge of ecocide. Consequently, we have become more aware of nature’s many delicate balances – balances difficult to comprehend, leave alone correct after unwitting disruption. This eco-awareness has gradually blossomed into the important green movement.
Exclusive obsession with nature replicates the external environmental wasteland as an internal spiritual wasteland.
Predictably, some overzealous materialists try to misappropriate such ecological awareness, just as they tried to misappropriate technological progress. By cashing in on the widespread concern for nature, they indoctrinate people to look no further beyond nature for any object of worship. Pushing the pendulum of human conception of nature to the other extreme, they deify nature, portraying it as a secular substitute for God. Such exclusive obsession with nature ends up replicating the environmental wasteland externally as a spiritual wasteland internally. How? By stripping life of any lasting meaning. Nature by its very nature of being made of temporary matter is temporary. So if nothing exists beyond nature, then our existence can have no enduring purpose. Between these twin extremisms of defying or deifying nature, Gita wisdom shows the enlightened balance. The Bhagavad-gita (14.03) delineates a holistic vision of nature and our place in it. We are cherished children in a cosmic family with nature as our mother and God, Krishna, as our father. When we play our natural role in this family by practicing bhakti-yoga, we harmonize not just with Krishna, but also with nature. Bhakti enriches us with inner fulfilment, thus eradicating the craving for external control that impels us to environmental conquest. The more we relish devotional abundance internally, the more green living becomes easier, thereby fostering natural abundance externally.