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The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 27, 1998

Philosophy of Culture

C.P. Srivastava
Pages 97-101

Environmental Consciousness as Reflected in Indian Culture

This paper attempts to bring out environmental consciousness as reflected in Indian culture. What we are facing now was quite different in ancient times because our environmental problems owe a lot to contemporary styles of thinking and to our way of life. 'Differences' between nature and human beings have been misinterpreted as 'opposing forces.' This attitude is antipathetic to nature, which explains our careful but callous experimentation with nature that produces achievements as well as harmful by-products. When dealing with living beings on earth, we should not rely fully on the methods applied in laboratories. Science explains particular phenomenon in terms of universally valid laws. But abstract aspects of things do not do justice to the aspirations of living beings. Indian culture depicts the entire universe as a significant manifestation of a basic reality, namely 'The Self.' Indians believe 'macrocosm' in 'microcosm.' This vibrant common bond enlivens everything existing in the universe. To substantiate the above, a few phenomena will be cited. In the end, it will be shown that human values are not to be grafted; they require rather perseverance and cultural base. Hence scientific and cultural efforts should proceed hand in hand for the progress of humanity.

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