By Deepak Parvatiyar*
A viral video of a deer playing with waves speaks about universal freedom. This is a four-year-old video. I am told this was a clip from a film by Anthony Martin, a French filmmaker. This clipping was posted by Angel Eul on You Tube. It has gone viral only now when our planet is locked down because of COVID-19! The timing is significant and the message well understood — The wild are celebrating humans in (self-imposed out of fear) cage!
Space for all species – This is what our planet was all about till humans encroached it. The video of the playful deer is more than symbolic. This is not serendipity but absolutely divine. There can never be any more powerful message, that it is high time we humans mind our own business, than this at a time when the very existence of entire humankind is challenged by a microscopic coronavirus.
It is tragic that every time we need a disaster to wake up. But are we really serious about the issues that are killing our planet and human beings? Hopefully we don’t ignore the signals we have been getting from these virus attacks for our own good. Else….It’s just a stern reminder of the power of nature. That even the tiniest of bacteria is capable of vanquishing us!
Of course we hope we survive this time. Actually, we survive on Hope! But the signals are ominous. This is the time to reinvent our respect for Nature. It is high time that we realise that development doesn’t mean fiddling with nature and its resources. Development means a developed mind which always aspires for unbridled joy. Can anyone deny that this playful fawn offers unbridled joy? But all these years we have learnt to kill our joy!
Ironically, Corona virus attacked us at a time we were beginning to realise the potential of gross domestic happiness. We cannot remain aloof from Nature, destroy it, and then remain happy. We need to understand that we exist only because of Nature. In Hinduism, we call our God, BHAGAVAN. The word has its origin in Sanskrit. Hindus consider Sanskrit as the language of the God. But Bhagavan can also be an acronym. BH (भ) representing Bhoomi (Earth), A (अ) representing Agni (Fire), G ( ग) standing for Gagan (Sky), VA (वा) representing Vaayu (Air) and N (न) standing for Neer (Water)! These are the five Elements. Hindus consider them to be the prerequisites for any life form. And that is a fact. Without any one of them even, we cannot survive. They are the natural forces. They collectively are Nature. Only they together have the power to procreate. Today we made our earth unsustainable. Our skies are polluted. We have more wildfire than ever in the history and still we don’t understand the signals. We have poisoned our air and made our water dirty. We not just ignored but insulted our ancient wisdom. Still we have the gumption to survive. Can we? I sincerely pray that the Corona virus threat gets quickly over. At the same time I also pray that we quickly learn to return to our roots and start worshipping Nature. Nature in its glory is resplendent. It is generous. It is life provider.
We lived for thousands of years by worshipping Nature, obeying its rules. Hindus call it Mother Nature. But in this modern age of so called development, our respect for Nature has diminished. We used to respect it but not anymore. We need to reflect. It is now or never. We need to protect nature to protect ourselves. Ask any doctor and they would agree that even modern medicines and facilities would be more effective then.
In India, our ancient scriptures, all of them had never considered Nature hostile. Human beings were never supposed to dominate Nature, but were taught to live in harmony with Nature. The Bhagwad Gita taught us “not to change the environment, improve it, or wrestle with it. If it seems hostile at times tolerate it…” It is high time we start relearning our ethos. Corona virus epidemic is only a wake up call. In our universe, let’s have space for many more such playful flora and fauna!
*The writer is a senior journalist and an award winning film maker.