Even after the diversity of colours, food items, diets, languages, dialects, practices and behaviours the whole human race is one. Essentially interdependence is a truth associated with all lives including humankind. Interdependence on one another is a clear indication of utility, purpose and importance of everyone in the creation. This also signifies equality of each and every woman and man in all manners, determined by the Creator.
The entire human race is under the same sky with the hope and burning desire for safe, peaceful and happy life and its continuation on one planet. This is the greatest truth related to human life, the constant realisation of which is desired from every woman and man. In order to ensure everyone’s safe and happy life, every human being is essentially and inescapably expected to carry forward his/her practices or indulge in behaviours accordingly taking it as his/her prime duty.
Nature and related resources as well as other creatures are also created or born for the continuity, security and happiness of life in the safe environment by the Supreme Authority – the sole Controller of the eternal universal law. The realisation of this truth – the conservation of nature and other life, and their appropriate utilisation by one and all, without any kind of discrimination, as well as maintaining purity of the environment, is always and continuously desired and expected from every human being.
But the reality is that humans have been continuously indifferent from what has been essentially desired or expected from them for their own good and welfare. Keeping the individual, group and regional interests at the forefront, they not only spoiled the environmental equilibrium and not only played with nature, exploiting it unjustly and brutally, but also continued to put at stake the lives of fellow beings besides other creatures. As a result, not only the face of the earth with all life on it, but also the existence of human beings themselves is now under a question.
Because of the unjust exploitation of Nature in the name of progress or development and modernity, the planet’s forest cover has reduced from 70% to 16%. Not only this, the unfortunate and unjust process of deforestation still goes on. It has badly affected all walks of life. Forests, along with maintaining the environmental equilibrium and purity, play a vital role in the prevention of natural disasters, conserve soil and maintain the ground water level. Forests are also sources of human livelihood. However, the individual, group of individuals and regional interests of men have cast a catastrophic impact on the environment. The environmental equilibrium has worsened. Ice is continuously melting on the poles and mountains. Glaciers are disappearing one after the other. The sea-water level is increasing. As a result, in the coming years, many parts of the earth, including many coastal metropolitan cities will be submerged.
Many species of flora and fauna have also disappeared due to this situation created by human beings. It is impossible to get complete data of such extinct creatures. However, in recent years, a list issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature mentions that five thousand five hundred eighty-three species of flora and fauna are about to become extinct. This extinction is against the universal principle of mutual dependence adversely affecting the environment, the nature and the climate. Mankind itself has been the most affected by it and is being affected continuously.
Misuse of animals, beasts and insects and unjust and arbitrary exploitation of natural resources have made the situation frightening. Natural disasters, outbreaks and epidemics are associated with this situation. By this exploitation of nature, men have pushed mankind to destruction as it appears from the current state of the pandemic. The eternal principle of interdependence and the truth that the “welfare of an individual, group of individuals and the region or a country remain intact only in the well-being of all” has been neglected knowingly-unknowingly. The Veda-Vani, which calls man, the best of the entire creation, to follow Devapurushas, gods in thoughts and actions and to carry on individual and mutual practices keeping the reality of Indivisible Wholeness and Universal Unity at the centre thereof is disrespected. The Rigveda (X: 192: 02) has a proclamation:
“Sangachhadhwam, Samvadadhwam Sam Vo Manaamsi Jaanataam/
Devaa Bhaagam Yathaa Purve Sanjaanaanaa Upaasate//”
It means, “Oh men! Go together harmoniously; speak together; understand each other’s minds. Just as gods from ancient times, having known each other’s minds did the job come to their lot, righteously, so you too act.”
Any individual, a group of individuals, or a country is not an exception or above the reality of the eternal principle of interdependence. The situation arising out of the current pandemic itself, with some exceptions, confirms this veracity.
Interdependence is the eternal truth. We cannot survive in isolation. The thinking of universal welfare and acts accordingly, are ultimately the path and medium for real progress and prosperity. Whatever that is contrary to it, is unrealistic, momentary or short-termed and perishable. Mankind must realise this reality in the present situation and embrace the truth keeping the Indian dictum of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” as the nucleus. It is the time when the pronouncement of “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Niraamayaa” is not to be taken as a prayer but is acted upon. Otherwise, it will be too late. Accepting the importance of environmental equilibrium, nature conservation and everyone in the creation, having active goodwill and harmony, without any sort of discrimination towards all while controlling the evil-like vices of jealousy, competition and desire of making control over others is necessary. In a state contrary to it, the situation like “if not now, then never” would emerge. Protect all life so that that it can protect us back.