Hindu roots of modern ‘ecology’
Hinduism is the world’s largest ecology-based religion that recognises and seeks the Divine in nature and acknowledges everything as sacred.
One of the first lessons a student of ecology is taught is that this science is relatively new, that the term ‘ecology’ was only first defined in 1866 by Ernst Haeckel. Among the sciences, it has become sought after from the latter half of the 20th century, largely due to widespread environmental degradation and pollution.
What the western discourse in general and the western academia and its textbooks in particular forget to inform us is that the roots of ecology lie in Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism and no other religion pays as much attention to environment and environmental ethics, and to the understanding of the role and value of nature. Hinduism is inherently an ecological religion. It can quite easily be said that Hinduism is the world’s largest nature-based religion that recognises and seeks the Divine in nature and acknowledges everything as sacred. It views the earth as our Mother, and hence, advocates that it should not be exploited. A loss of this understanding that earth is our mother, or rather a deliberate ignorance of this, has resulted in the abuse, and the exploitation of the earth and its resources.