There is a rhythm to everything in this universe. The wind, the rain, the waves in the ocean, our breath, our heartbeats… Each of these have their own rhythm. For our mental and physical health, and to ensure longevity, it is imperative this rhythm be maintained. It is our thoughts and actions that set the rhythm and melody to life. If the rhythm of our thoughts is lost, it will soon reflect in our actions. Sooner or later, this will impact the rhythm of Nature. The main cause of natural disasters like tsunamis, landslides and earthquakes is Nature’s harmony gone awry.
Amma remembers a story.
Once a king wore a disguise and went on a hunting expedition. During the hunt, he got separated from the rest of his group and lost his way in the forest. Tired and hungry, he finally reached a hut—the home of a tribal family. They did not recognize the king. They brought him some fruits and berries. Biting into a fruit, the king exclaimed, “Oh, how bitter this fruit is!”
“Yes, it is very unfortunate,” the tribal family agreed. “Our king is extremely selfish, self-indulgent and lecherous. In his cruelty, he forces us to pay excessive taxes. Those who cannot pay are put to death. Due to his adharmic deeds, even naturally sweet fruits are turning bitter.”
When the king returned to his palace later that night, he could not forget the incident in the forest. He thought about how much his people were suffering because of him and was filled with remorse. He resolved to devote the rest of his life to sincerely serving his people. Soon, taxes were slashed and many charitable works and humanitarian activities were initiated.
After a few years, one day, he disguised himself and visited the old hut in the forest. The tribal family once again brought him fruits. This time, every one of the fruits was sweet. He asked the family the reason for this change. “Our ruler is a changed man,” they responded. “He rules the kingdom very well now. The people are all happy and content. Due to his good deeds, there is a great change in Nature as well. This is why the fruits are so sweet.”
What is the message of this story? Man’s actions impact Nature. If his actions are adharmic, the balance of Nature will be lost. If his actions are dharmic, that will reflect in Nature as well. Nature’s harmony will be restored.
Today many people excessively exploit Nature. Hence, Nature is losing its rhythm. Natural disasters are becoming more and more common. Today, even small families prefer to live in large houses. Two people need only two rooms in a house. At most, all they can use is two or three extra rooms. But many people construct 10- or 15-room homes. For this, they level hills, blast mountains and drill bore-wells. In this way, we do not think twice about exploiting Nature for our own selfish needs.
If we are a little careful, we can stop this excessive exploitation of our natural resources. Crores of people in our country travel to work alone in their cars. If five such people carpool, only 200 vehicles will be needed in place of a thousand. See how much we stand to gain by this! Traffic can be cut down drastically. Accidents will be less. Pollution will decrease. We can save on fuel consumption as well as fuel expenses. Furthermore, less traffic means less time commuting!
Man’s senseless actions today remind us of the foolish woodcutter who tried to cut the very branch upon which he was sitting. It is crucial that our attitude changes. Protecting Nature is not man’s duty to Nature; on the contrary, it is man’s duty to himself. Man’s very survival is dependent on Nature. When man and Nature move together in harmony, life becomes peaceful. When rhythm and harmony go together, the resulting music is melodious and pleasant to the ear. Similarly, when man lives in harmony with Nature, his life will become as sweet as a beautiful melody.