Volume 13, Issue 1, 2016
Devendra Nath Tiwari
Spiritual Ecology and Environmental Ethics
This article is about a spiritual response to environmental crisis, an emerging field of ethics that joins ecology and environmentalism with the awareness of sacred within the creation2. It investigates into the Vedic texts for finding out the philosophical attitude about the earth and our spiritual obligations and responsibilities to the planet in resolving environmental issues. In the vedic-tradition3, it is the course of experiencing nature as spiritual presence and the awareness to it about our conduct as the moral and rational being. It is a world view that values all that in totality is called “nature” that is, generally, taken as “other” in contrast to human, as existence or spirit. The ethics of respect to “others”, against the effects of imperialistic, ideological conflicts, religious terrorism, industrial, atomic and corporate pollutions, must be worked out as a remedy. The basic argument of spiritual ecology lies in the view that we can find no God more than the spirit abiding in all units of the globe. One must have the view of spirit as ubiquitous principle in treating with and enjoying our needs with the things that the nature permeates as gifts of his care to it. Thus, spiritual ecology of the Vedic tradition has a therapeutic importance; it helps in cultivating our conduct and overcoming the fear of a risk against living on the earth. I am of the view that the rationality of a man and that of a nation is to be determined in proportion to the cultivation and progress of attitude and treatment with “other” but not the vice versa.