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What the Vedas Teach About Climate Responsibility & A Prayer for Mother Earth

By Acharya Shunya

After the winter we've had, especially here in California, it's not difficult to see that we are in the midst of a climate crisis, and that climate responsibility falls to all of us. If you've noticed the current derangement of climate and micro seasons all over the United States, it might have hit home that indeed — something is happening to our weather, to our environment, and that we may be contributing to it.

It is on a rather grim but important note that I must share with you that in the ancient Ayurvedic scripture, the Charaka Samhita (from the first century BCE), we find this warning: that humanity is going to encounter what is known in Sanskrit as janapadadhwansa — complete annihilation — if we do not take heed and prevent the disturbance of the climate.

The climate, and the derangement fueled by our industrial and other materialistic greed, is a reality. And it feels that janapadadhwansa is not far. In fact, the scripture clarifies that first, the weather will change. It will rain when it should not. There will be a drought when it should be raining. It will be hot when it should be cold, and cold when it should be hot. And after this, these disturbances in our climate enter our crops and the crops become deficient in their qualities which are otherwise nurtured by the rhythm of the seasons.

When the crops are disturbed, our health will become disturbed, diseases will proliferate for which we have no answer, because these diseases lie in the disturbance of our climate.

The Divine Mother is the same as Mother Earth — who wears garments that are the oceans; whose nurturing breast are none other but the mountains. She is the consort of Vishnu, as Divine Mother Lakshmi. She carries us, and our ancestors, without complaint. She invites us from celestial spheres to come to her as a child. She feeds us food. And in the end, she takes us back when we let go of this body. She deserves our respect.

Climate change is real. I ask that we all pay attention and do the work you can towards protection of our environment, and utilize whatever agency you have as a person to prevent further deterioration and disturbance of our climate.


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