Understanding nature’s anger in times of COVID-19 pandemic

    19-May-2021
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Sanjoo Thangjam
Nature involves our natural surroundings. It includes VIRUS, BACTERIA, TREES, BIRDS, CLOUDS WINDS, ROCKS, STARS etc. It also includes sounds we can hear, heat that we can feel, and gravity that pulls the earth. In short, it includes everything and anything that is “NATURAL” that is, not made by anybody.
The world is not made for human beings alone nor is the world always made in their favour. Worldly conditions have no favouritism; they are neither kind nor cruel but neutral. Human beings exist because nature allows them to do so. It is the duty of human beings to understand the real worldly conditions.
Those who lead lives by violating natural ways of life must face the consequences either physically or mentally.
In the name of progress, the world has been wrecked by human beings for their personal comforts, disregarding the environment and all living things. Up until now, nature has been much forgiving. Man has to realise that this planet was not made for him to rape and plunder at will. And deprive other living things of their natural rights, but to live in accordance with nature.
In the early history of mankind, natural environment was the source for food and shelter. Natural materials were used to fashion tools and natural fires were turned to provide heat and light. The calls of the animals could indicate danger or mere containment and men learned to know the difference.
Lightning and thunder were frightening until their nature was understood. Man was curious about this surrounding and tried to find out just how ordinary rocks and minerals can be changed to precious metals such as gold and silver. Much of what was in part was observed, and in part imagined, became folklore, and various saying about the weather was passed from generation to generation. When a written language was developed much of what has been passed by word of mouth became a written record and many aspects of nature were included in such writings. The great religious leaders found that the use of common place knowledge about nature could be made the basis of their moral and ethical lessons.
More and more people were growing aware of our dwelling natural resources.  Thus, there is added impetus to the hope that an understanding and love of nature will bring about a public opinion that will safeguard and conserve our resources, so that our future generations can have much to study and enjoy in our natural environment.
I, being a Buddhist would like to quote something about what Buddhism thinks of nature. Buddhism has always been associated with nature. The Buddha was born under a tree and also gained enlightenment under the tree and spent many hours in the seclusion of jungles. He even passed away under the shade of two trees.
He always extolled the great benefits to be derived from association with nature. He discouraged the destruction of plants and animals for the pleasure.
Nature is made up of conflicting forces.  Socrates said that nature is not an accidental chaos as the previous sophists had thought but is rather an ordered array of interacting agencies, which on the whole support one another. Thus each part of the human organism serves the other and benefits the whole.
Nature has always been compared to a mother. Like a mother nurtures her child right from its birth, like a mother makes sure that the child gets necessities like food, clothing and shelter, like a mother struggles to keep her child healthy in the same way, Mother Nature has also taken all the care to make sure we live. Nature has arranged for us a place that is conducive in every possible way for life, Nature gave us trees that breathe out oxygen, nature has arranged for our food, made the soil fertile, provided water that can quench thirst and serve other purposes and provided us with minerals, ores, fossil fuels etc. without which the world today cannot exist. Nature has been motherly to each and every living being on this Earth right from the beginning. Such a hospitable entity, it is difficult to even imagine that it can get destructive as well. But the answer is pretty simple, like every mother, this one also gets angry and when Mother Nature is furious, it is hell unleashed.
Nature has its own way of expressing her anger or causing destruction. When the nature turns hostile, there is absolutely no place where life can hide. The nature’s fury is inescapable. The elements which sustain our lives earth, water, fire and wind are the same element which bring the wrath on humans and on every possible thing when the Mother Nature unleashes her wrath.
Over the years, there have been hundreds of natural calamities which shook the entire world and which created history with their level of destruction. Each disaster has left the entire human race in sync with the fact that no matter how intelligent we get, no matter how powerful we become, we will always be helpless in front of these weapons of nature.
The world has eight edges, and each edge is razor sharp, capable of slicing human beings to bits without mercy. The eight edges of the world are, on the one side, the edge of wealth, the edge of status, the edge of praise and the edge of pleasure. These four edges are especially sharp because they are things we like. We keep polishing and sharpening them, and the more we do this the shaper they get, until ultimately they turn around and slit our throats.
The other side has four edges too, but actually they are not sharpened because no one likes to use them. No one wants them, so no one sharpens them and as result they are dull and blunt – and like dull knives, they cannot kill anyone. These four edges are loss of wealth, loss of status, criticism and pain. No want wants any of these things but they have to exist as part of the world.
Man is not a cosmic accident, but a culminating phase of the whole natural order with a peculiar and important function to perform. He alone can bring nature into the light of understanding and consciously direct his life and activate into voluntary harmony with this order. The writer is a Social Activist for People Who Use Drugs (PUDs)