A Conscious Planet: Its Time Has Come
People often ask me, “Sadhguru, why are you spending your time initiating ecological projects?” The implication is clear: gurus should stick to yoga and leave ecology to environmentalists. Why should a yogi concern himself with soil and trees and water? Shouldn’t he be concerned with less terrestrial matters?
What my questioner did not realize is that being in a state of yoga—union—simply means doing whatever is necessary in a given moment. And the concern for rivers, trees, and soil is no different; it is a spiritual movement with an environmental consequence.
When a businessman asked me why I was at the World Economic Forum some years ago, I told him, “As a yogi, the only one thing I am interested in is human well-being. Whatever the nature of your business, it’s essentially about human well-being—that’s my business too!”
We all know that the earth on which we tread is the basis of our lives. Our disregard of the environment threatens not just human well-being, but human survival. How then is it not my concern?
Now, yoga is not, as many suppose, merely about body contortions and breath control. Yoga means union. This means that sitting right here, you are capable of experiencing the entire world as a part of yourself. This is not an ideological statement; for the yogi, this is a living experience. Unfortunately, human consciousness has grown so fragmented that most people have forgotten that their bodies are just offshoots of this planet. “Inclusiveness” and “interdependence” have turned into environmental slogans, scientific theories, and metaphysical concepts. We forget that this is an existential reality.
Modern physics tells us that the universe is just a tremendous dance of energy. Most people understand this intellectually. But once you know this experientially, you are in a state of yoga. Once you are in such a state of experiential knowing, would anyone have to instruct you, “Plant trees, conserve soil, rejuvenate rivers, protect forests, save the world”? Why would it even be necessary?
You don’t become spiritual by praying, by going to temples, mosques, and churches; you become spiritual only when you understand that you are mortal. The pandemic has placed our mortality squarely before us. The ecological question has also placed our mortality squarely before us.
In the last two years, humanity has begun to realize that the need of the hour is a conscious planet. The pandemic has established that the virus spares no one. It subscribes to no distinction of caste, color, race, creed, or nationality. The ecological crisis has also established that the planet is everyone’s responsibility. The Earth is every individual’s concern, every individual’s inheritance, every individual’s birthright. We are— whether we like it or not—one planet. If we are conscious, we can ride this tumult with minimal damage; if we are compulsive, we will pay a huge price.
It is time to act collectively laying aside differences of belief, culture, creed, and world view. Our only hope of survival lies in acting not as believers or ideologues, but as conscious human beings. This is no longer a utopian dream. From religion to responsibility—that is the direction humanity needs to take. It is an urgent necessity. A conscious planet—its time has come. Let us make it happen.
|Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, and visionary, and a prominent spiritual leader. An author, poet, and internationally renowned speaker, Sadhguru is the founder of Isha Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to human wellbeing. (www.isha.sadhguru.org)
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