Environmental Question In Indian Philosophical Traditions

Q) Indian philosophical explanation considers nature as a composition of 5 elements, comment on it?

Environment in Indian thought is considered as a living mechanism where humans are on of the many living creatures. Ancient Indian philosophers argued that man being an intelligent creature should consider protection of environment as one of the fundamental duties. Oral traditions are focused on practice, whereas Indian textual tradition offers a complete and systematic analysis of the universe.

According to textual tradition, man is made up of elements which at death disintegrate and dissolve into nature. There are 9 Tatvas or elements. Earth, water, fire, air, sky, time, directions, mind and soil. Indian thought explains there is life in all kinds of things. It might be biotic or abiotic material. There was emphasis on mutual dependence and living in isolation was not possible.

Environment In Oral Traditions

In Oral tradition, environment has been perceived as a living being which breathes, feels, protects etc. Components of environment have been given special position which means a kind of consideration was kept in mind for environmental forces. Animals and plants were basic components of tales in oral tradition. It was always kept in mind that human survival was possible only with the conservation of flora and fauna. They were even worshiped to ensure their survival. Man was not in the possession of knowledge instead it came from birds and animals. Cosmic intelligence is the self existent source of all knowledge. Ancient Indians believed that the world was divided into two halves. The sky and earth. There also existed a world beyond the sky and another below earth.

Environment In Philosophical Treatises (Textual Tradition)

Indian textual tradition considered even the abiotic world as a living creature with a soul. It placed man as equal to every other element in our environment. Rituals ensured that we treated even abiotic world with great care. Eg: Earth is considered as mother goddess. Living things other than man have also been given due importance. Eg: Worship of Pashupati Mahadev. The tales of Panchatantra also denotes the importance given to living world. Animals and plants in the tales are given human characteristics to give lessons to manking.

Environment And Classical Arts

According to Indian philosophy, every creative act comes from direct contact with Prakriti. Art is based on visual and audio perceptions of objects in nature. The dance of Shiva is a perfect icon of ecology 
  • Emblems - Agni & Deer
  • Locks (Hair) - Forest
  • Hair hides - Sun & Moon
  • Neck - Snakes as garlands
  • Wears Tiger skin
  • Energy - Shakti who is the daughter of Himalayas

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