n Nidan : International Journal for Indian Studies - Hinduism and Nature, Nanditha Krishna - book review

Volume 3 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1016-5320


The Hindu way of life — Hinduism — spins around Nature and its diverse manifestations. Hinduism has evolved, over several millennia, on its own with people’s experiences translating into faith. No other global faith, in high likelihood, emphasizes an environmental ethic, as does Hinduism. Its sacred books say in total clarity that humans are a part of Nature and Nature is to be venerated. An ordinary Hindu attempts to identify and unify the self with Nature and its perceptible manifestations, usually expressed as simple forms of devotion. An enlightened Hindu, in contrast, identifies and unifies the self with Nature, exploring both of its perceptible and subtle manifestations. The following segment from Aśvata Vṛkṣa Stuti— “I salute that aśvata, seeing which diseases flee, touching which the sins are destroyed, and surrendering to which I get long healthy life”— illustrates how a Hindu seeks the blessings of the aśvata (Ficus religiosa, bodhi, pippala). This example also clarifies how Nature and its components represent divinity in Hinduism.

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