Hindu Environmental Advocacy

Delivered at the Light For Lima Vigil - Union Square, NYC - December 7th, 2014

By Rohan Narine

The evidence is the strongest it's ever been: greenhouse gas emissions are the highest ever recorded in history.  Over the past 50 years, sea levels have risen, snow and ice are diminishing worldwide, and sound global policies have still not been put into place.  

But fear not my sisters and brothers - for there is hope.  Our eyes are open, and we can see now.  We can see all too well now.  My sisters and brothers, we have arrived as a state of existence where we humans would rather separate ourselves based on differences, and deny one that cries out for love.  We have become a society that would rather use our "smart" phones to take unintelligible pictures and videos of the decline of society - rather than putting our phones away, working out a solution, and saving this planet.  

This is why, my sisters and brothers - Lima - this is why Lima is so important.  We as a human race are finally chanting the mantra, "Let's love each other again."  We also chant, "Let's love the earth again too."  

And so in closing, know that I am here to form a bond with all of you so that this bond becomes we, and together my sisters and brothers, we can help our world leaders create policies that promote a love of our home: our earth. 

As a Hindu, know that I see all of you as my family, and worshipping our earth is how we pay homage not just to Hindu Gods and Goddesses, but to all Gods and Goddesses.  

A famous Hindu writer once said, "In the Vedas, saints and holy people are compared to trees, which give charity to everyone.  Trees never complain, but freely give fruit, shade from the sun, shelter from the storm, and even their own bodies for fuel."  

Know that Hinduism is a faith which is inclusive of all faith, stress non-violence in all that is done, and believes that nature is sacred and must be worshipped as such.   

I will end with a short prayer - a prayer for love.  Please, kindly repeat after me:  

In each of us / 

Is the Tree of Life / 

Let us commit ourselves / 

To think of the environment first / 

Then think of ourselves. / 

O Eternal Being of Consciousness: / 

Water our trees with wisdom / 

So we may unconditionally love our earth / 

Starting / 

Now / 

 

Om / Shanti / Shanti / Shanti / Om 

Namaste