The State of the Planet

I am always being asked by people, “Why is a spiritual leader, a yogi, planting trees?” Unfortunately, in human minds, we have compartmentalised our life in such a way that we are breaking up one and hoping that the other will live. Trees are our closest relatives. What they exhale, we inhale; what we exhale, they inhale and keep our lives going. It is just like the outer part of our lung. You cannot ignore your body if you want to live. The planet is in no way different from that. What you call as ‘my body’ is just a piece of this planet.

When we say ‘spirituality’, we are not talking about looking up or looking down. It is about turning inward. The first fundamental fact of looking inward is always to see that you are naturally very much a part of everything around you. Without that realisation, there is really no spiritual process. That is not the goal of spirituality, that is the fundamental.

Today, modern physics is establishing that the whole existence is just one energy. There is scientific evidence today establishing that every particle in your body is in constant communication with the whole cosmic space. A spiritual process is only to enhance one’s perception and bring this into one’s experience. What is a dry scientific fact which does not change anybody’s life except triggering your imagination, if it becomes a living experience, then caring for what is around you as you care for yourself is just a natural process?

The United Nations is projecting that by 2050, we will be 9.6 billion people on this planet. In India particularly, right now, 52% of our land is ploughed just to feed 1.2 billion people. It is a fabulous fact that our farmers, with rudimentary, ramshackle infrastructure, are producing food for over one billion people. But still, the man who produces the food is not eating proper food. That is not something to be proud of. The people who produce food for all of us, their own children don’t eat a full stomach. This is not a commendable fact. This is essentially because we have not taken the responsibility of deciding, “For this much land, how much population can we support?” It definitely cannot support endless growth of human population. Either we control our populations consciously or nature will do it in a very cruel and painful manner. This is all the choice we have.

“The planet is not in peril, it is only human life which is in peril. This is something human beings need to understand. People are going about projecting that the planet is in danger. The planet is not in any kind of danger. It is only human life which is in danger.”

This idea that the planet is made only for human beings is a very gross idea. This idea has been put across into people’s minds, saying that you are created in God’s image and this kind of nonsense. If a man thinks God is a big man, I am sure the worms are thinking God is a huge worm. It is not just for ecological reasons, but for the sake of your humanity; you must understand that every creature on this planet has a complete life of its own. Even an insect has a total life of its own. He has a life, a wife, a husband, children, he has a society – there are a whole lot of things happening in his life. Just because somebody is smaller than you and looks different from you, thinking that he has no right to live and only you have a right to live here, is a very gross way to exist for humanity.

Humanity devoid of humanity – that is what humanity is today. Unless humanness is brought forth, I don’t think these ecological projects will happen. Of course, governments have to make policies, but they cannot enforce these things in a democracy. It can only be done by a campaign, by bringing the necessary awareness. People in the government definitely have to put that idea forth. There was a time when India was campaigning for a planned family. You don’t see any of that campaign anymore anywhere in the country, as if we have reached a solution.

Without controlling human populations, talking about ecology, and land and water conservation is just not going to happen because the kind of impetus that is there in the form of science and technology is making every human being hyperactive. You cannot cap human activity; you can only cap human numbers. There is no way we are going to cap human activity because that will amount to capping human aspirations. And today, our aspiration is that everybody should get educated, and have large dreams and ambitions. That cannot be accommodated with the current levels of population, unless we strive for a more conscious way of determining where we want to stop. And I don’t think that is impossible.

So, are we going to adjust our population to the resource that we have? That is all we can do and that is the easiest thing to do. That is something that every human being can do, if the necessary education and awareness is brought into their lives. If that investment is made, we don’t have to plant trees. If we stay away from the land, trees will grow; you cannot stop it. The planet is not in peril, it is only human life which is in peril. This is something human beings need to understand. People are going about projecting that the planet is in danger. The planet is not in any kind of danger. It is only human life which is in danger. I hope we wake up to this fact and do what is needed.

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Sadhguru

Sadhguru. Named one of 50 most influential people, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, a bestselling author & poet. Sadhguru has been conferred the “Padma Vibhushan” by the Government of India in 2017, the highest civilian award of the year, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.

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