- Prateek Jain
“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demand for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all being.”
- Buddhist Sutra
Everyone must be taken aback by reading such an abrupt heading: “Inner and Outer pollution.” People think that there is no relation between environmental pollution and the pollution inside our souls. But instead, there is a very close relationship between the two. The perfect balance of nature which was crucial millions of years ago and is also crucial now for maintaining life on the planet Earth. This balance is being constantly threatened by the overpowering technology that has extensively transformed the modern world. Every now and then, we hear threats towards the environment. Either it's regarding the air we breathe, the water we use or the land that gives us our food, all are slowly and progressively getting contaminated and becoming ill for human use. The headlines on the Sunday newspapers across the Indian peninsula was about the alarming rate of pollution in New Delhi. The Capital is witnessing an "emergency situation" due to pollution levels. The pollution levels are at such disastrous levels that at many places in the Capital it breached over 17 times, the safe limits.
The same goes in the water pollution scenario a study showed an alarming 80% of India's surface water is polluted, the latest assessment by WaterAid, an international organization working for water sanitation and hygiene, shows. Concern for the ecology has become worldwide.
Just like the outer ecology is degraded similarly our souls have also been sullied. The divine ecologists- saints, mystics or spiritual gurus have unearthed the inner beauty of the spirit and have also discovered the pollutants that settle like dust on our pure soul. The greed and lust for worldly desires and sensuous pleasures residing in the souls of the human being has polluted our inner ecology.
We have to understand the four main points of the natural cycles which are: understanding the natural cycles; becoming aware of the effects of pollution; restoring nature to its pristine state and adopting practices & lifestyles that help in conserving the nature to its purest form.
Just as we have water cycles and other natural cycles we also have a soul cycle. The soul's journey began with the creation of the universe and has been in motion ever since. The soul inhabitants the body and bring it to life. As long as the soul resides in the body we're alive. Thus, began the soul cycle.
The second aspect is understanding the pollutants. We're aware of the water, air, and land pollutants but we're unaware of the pollutants residing within our gifted divine soul. Five pollutants that cover the soul's purity are anger, greed, lust, attachment, and ego.
The third stage is the restoration of the inner and outer ecology back to its purest form. The outer ecology is a worldly concern and ecologists around the world are working tirelessly day and night to give back nature its pristine form but there is a lot of things that we also can do like: start cycling or walking, use public transport whenever possible, create compost bins, follow the 3Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle. The inner ecology can be saved with the help of divine ecologists who help you to remove the dust and filth layers from your soul. Spiritual adepts teach us practices like yoga, meditation, Raj yoga etc. that help us cleanse our soul.
And in the final step, we begin to experience great positive changes within ourselves and we realize that soul and body have combined into a single unit. Similarly, if we experience a cleaner and greener environment we will get addicted to it and will automatically work in the direction to make mother Earth a better place. If we long for harmony around the planet, we have to make the interdependent ecological system work in a better way.
When we adapt and practice ways to advance our spirituality, we tend to live more emotionally balanced and with sensitivity. If we regain our balance on the inner ecology level it will automatically reflect on the outer ecology. We will start treating people and other things with more compassion and kindness. If we're able to remove the imperfections and pollutants of the soul then removing the ecological pollutants will be a mere child's play and we'll be able to restore original purity of both our spirit and our environment.