Protect Environment Rather Than Combating Crisis (NEXUS Conference)

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Published on May 17, 2016 by RNS Video

 

My special gratitude to you, Srimati Kiran Bediji for your incredibly transforming words, and my sincerest gratitude to the very sincere dedicated speakers throughout yesterday’s sessions, who were really sharing their realizations, their knowledge, their skills, and my special gratitude to each and every one of you who have come to our Govardhan Eco Village for this event.

 

Radhanath Swami points out the root cause of problems in world

We are especially focused on discussing, making changes, and finding solutions to the crisis in the environment. As we said yesterday, it is from a deeper perspective, we are not facing a crisis of the environment, rather it is a crisis of the human spirit, because whatever we see in the ecology of the world very much corresponds with the ecology of the human heart. A simple analogy, because in Mumbai we have our Bhaktivedanta hospital, so I always talk with doctors, any disease we treat the symptoms but it’s not going to solve the problem unless we go to the root cause of the symptoms. If a person is having boil due to a disease in the blood, we could put ointment and various treatments for the boil itself but they will recur again and again and again, unless we go to the root cause, toxins in the blood. The toxin of greed, arrogance, lust, envy, illusion, is plaguing the human heart. Bhagavad-Gita compares agreed to fire. The more you try to satisfy it, the more you feed it, the stronger and hungrier it becomes. Material resources, whether its prestige, fame, acquisition of property, expansion of our bank account, can never ever satisfy the heart; the more we become obsessed with these things the more the fire blazes for more.

Spiritual life, true religion, true yoga is the science of cleansing the heart from these toxins, and actually learning to live in harmony, the body, the mind with our own atma, with our own soul. – Radhanath Swami

And as we learn to live in harmony with our true self, we naturally learn and understand the importance of living in harmony with God, with all other living beings, and with nature, the environment.

 

Radhanath Swami on understanding meaning of compassion

In Sanskrit the word karuna is sometimes translated as compassion. In the English dictionary compassion is defined as having feelings for the welfare of other living beings. In Sanskrit there is a word para-dukha-dukhi, that an actual enlightened person is not just one who can quote a lot of scriptures, not just one who could perform some supernatural powers, an actual enlightened person is one who thinks, ‘Other people’s suffering becomes my suffering, and other people’s happiness becomes my happiness.’ And as our heart becomes cleansed, as we come in contact with Krishna or God and our own soul, naturally that spirit of compassion expands. As Srimati Kiranji was saying, we should have compassion for our own self, our own body because it is a temple of God, it is not mine, it is in my care; compassion to my own family members because they are not mine but they are children of God placed in my care; to all my possessions to my well and it gradually expands to the community, to our nation, to humanity, and to all living beings.

To the degree the spirit of compassion, the spirit of karuna expands, our life becomes meaningful and fulfilling. – Radhanath Swami

karuna does not just mean a theoretical conception of compassion, it means active, intelligent, and directed compassion, with commitment and care. It is that spirit of karuna that is most urgently needed in the world, and every other type of poverty and shortage is very much because of the poverty of compassion.

It is impossible to make sustainable environmental changes unless there are changes in people’s behavior, values, and philosophy of life. Outward change is directly corresponding with inward change. They go together. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami elaborates the meaning of logo of Nexus Conference

In the Nexus conference sign that is in front of us, I don’t know if you call this a logo or a picture, but whatever it is there are different colored, different shape, different size hands all holding each other, and that is the principle. That holding of hands is based on actually caring for each other. Compassion is not just an idea; environmentalism is not just a concept. If we believe in it, if we care for it, we will commit ourselves for the action and the example that will actually make those changes. The more we see problems in the world, the more we want to go deeper to be empowered by a higher power than our own, the power of God’s grace, so that we can actually make a difference.

Technology can be extremely useful or extremely harmful depending on who is using it. Similarly education, yesterday we heard from one of our speakers that most of the real big problems in this world are being created and perpetuated by people who really have a tremendous amount of material intellect and scientific technological training, but a polluted ecology of heart. Here at our Eco-Village, it’s a very humble and small attempt, not just to create a nice community for we who live in it, but trying to create an example, that could somehow give some enlightenment, some direction, and some hope for the world.

We were speaking yesterday that the biggest things in the history of this world began with just a few people committing themselves. If we are expecting, ‘Let’s have something big and then we will really get excited about it!’ then we may wait birth after birth after birth after birth; we have to begin with what we have and commit ourselves to it. Many of the brahmacharis and the monks that are living here are graduates from many of the world’s leading universities and colleges, many from IIT in India. They are engineers, in fact one of our devotees got his PhD at Penn State University, in Pennsylvania USA, and he really wanted to do something that was really meaningful and useful from with his PhD. So he came here and explored village technologies and made a tank that transforms cow dung into gas for cooking, and it’s so simple, there’s no electricity, it’s just a way of treating the cow dung picked up with our with the villagers. The brahmacharis, the engineers, are together with the village ladies picking up the cow dung and putting it in. People with some of the highest credentials of science and technology in their youth are hand-in-hand with farmers, with villagers, exploring what many of them have forgotten.

When Srila Prabhupada went to England, this is in 1969, one reporter asked him, “Swamiji, why have you come to our country, we have our own religion?” Srila Prabhupada smiled. He said, “You British people, you ruled over India for over a century and you took from Indiana and brought to London all of its treasures, but you forgot the most valued treasure of its culture, its philosophy, its spiritual lifestyle. I have come to freely bring to London what you forgot to take.” So we find here at the eco-village, we have some of the most influential industrialists, business people, engineers, who are coming together. I just went to one semester of a junior college.

So, the secret to real progress is when we learn to appreciate the potential within others. – Radhanath Swami

When we are selfishly centered, when there’s arrogance, we are thinking, ‘I’m doing better than you,’ or we become envious because we can’t do as good as someone else; but an actual enlightened person is one who can deeply appreciate the value of what others can do, in the service of God for the good of others. Whether we are Hanuman carrying mountains or a little spider lifting one grain of sand at a time, in Ram’s estimation they are equal, because they are sincerely doing what they can. So with this spirit, we are trying to address various issues that we see are really really important, built on the foundational principle of devotion to Krishna or God and compassion for others, with the help of Vishwanathji and several others we are developing water harvesting. The water is there. Are we grateful for God for every drop of water he is giving us, if we are, we will see its value and cherish it, not waste it. Sewage refining – they don’t even call it sewage here, they call it a symbiotic biotechnology. As I was speaking to Nimai Lila yesterday, I said translate it for people can understand, it is treating sewage but they don’t see it that way. Just like yesterday, one of our esteemed speakers was teaching us that we should not waste waste, because it’s not waste.

Everything within this universe has great value, oḿ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaḿ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate, everything is perfect and complete if we understand its relationship with Bhagwan, with Krishna, with God. – Radhanath Swami

But what does that mean? That doesn’t mean just a theoretical idea. If we really understand its connection, then we will live in seva, we will use it in a spirit of service. Yes, human sewage is priceless if only we understand its potential value and use it accordingly, because that’s the way the universe was created. With the help of Chitra ji, who I believe is still here, she has taught us, according to Srila Prabhupada, our own guru’s idea, how to make bricks from our local soil, compress them, and dry them in the sun. The villagers, the industrialists, the monk engineers, together they’ve made over 250,000 bricks and the building we are sitting in is made out of it. And they really beautiful, aesthetic, and they last. It’s really incredible. We are walking on the land all the time, do we see the potential that we could build buildings and houses and temples out of this brick, if we just realize it’s potential. We have that potential within ourselves, if only by the association of people who see it, we can understand it.

Composting, taking organic trash and making it into incredibly valuable compost for growing crops, natural growing food without chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers. We have our PhD’s studying the technologies that hundreds of years ago simple farmers used in realizing this is superior to everything that modern science has ever created, and it’s right here in India. Electricity – the experiments of solar power, wind power, and as I said practically all the cooking is done with the gas produced by the dung of the cow. There is no reason to kill a cow or a bull. They are our brothers and our sisters and I have seen people from all around India and all over the world, when they come here and they actually come in contact with a cow that has been loved by humans, and that cow loves humans, they have a complete transformation, they could no longer ever eat meat again, because they make the connection that every animal ultimately wants to be loved and want to love; that is the universal principle of life itself.

 

Radhanath Swami shares the story of Redwood trees

I will end with a little analogy that I like to give. How nature teaches us so many things, like this illustration. In California, the redwood trees are the largest trees on planet earth, and I heard a Park Ranger explaining how these trees that we were looking at, there are on loose soil, their roots cannot grow very deep in that soil, over the centuries they have been subjected to massive earthquakes, blizzards, storms, how do they keep growing higher and higher and bigger and bigger. The underground secret! Because the roots of the redwood trees reach out for the roots of another tree and as soon as they come in contact, they intertwine with each other and make a permanent embrace. In this way every tree in the forest is directly or indirectly supporting every other tree; unity is the strength. In their own way they are not only holding hands, but the root of the tree is like the heart of the tree, their hearts are connected, this is karuna.

Compassion is when we actually connect our hearts with real love and concern for other living beings, and this is the real fruit of self-realization, enlightenment. – Radhanath Swami

And in this way even in the face of inevitable storms and earthquakes that come in so many ways to all of us individually and collectively, if we are connected, with karuna, with God’s grace between us, we will continue to grow and grow and grow. I thank you very much.

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  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Very nice lecture by H.H. Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

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  • Gopinath Chandra

    I was present for the Nexus Conference. A Muslim scientist who has been researching cow dung was present. In his presentation he said that the real nectar from the cow is not milk; it is cow dung and cow urine. And he had all the research to back up his claim.

    He was telling that if we promote the benefits of cow dung and cow urine among the masses, cow slaughter will automatically stop. He had a point. What do you say friends?

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    • Piyush Singh

      That’s really a fantastic point. Only a fool businessman would think of killing cows if everyone is made aware of the real value of the cows. Leave apart the loving religious sentiments attached to mother cow.

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    • Raja Shekar

      Its amazing to know a Muslim scientist backing the cows. His research shows people don’t want to know the deeper benefits of any subject matter, what to speak of cows. Hence the mess of environment. As Radhanath Swami nicely addressing the root cause of cleansing the hearts rather than symptomatic solutions.

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      • Gopinath Chandra

        People get blinded by their anarthas. Then facts, even if presented properly does not sink in.

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  • Rakesh Pandita

    Recently I was in a session on cow products I was amazed how critical illness like paralysis and hundreds of many can be cured with ghee from desi cows. Just by buying cow products how can it be beneficial for us as well as cow protection mission.I have heard that under guidence of Radhanath Swami such a mission is going on in wada, what a amazing leader and inspiration he is!

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    • Gopinath Chandra

      Could u share details of where I can find more info regarding cow products curing diseases please? I am interested.

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  • Piyush Singh

    This is really a thought provoking and inspiring talk by HH Radhanath Swami. He so beautifully states the need to treat the disease of material existence at it’s root with a spiritual perspective as any other material arrangements are just like applying the medicine externally on the boil and continue to ignore the underlying root disease of impurities in the blood. A holistic approach to tackle all the problems is the need that every human being must consider.

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  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Very powerful lecture! so true that all the ecological problems that we are facing is a reflection of the lust, greed, anger etc. within our hearts. Moreover, the solution to problems is to eradicate if from the root. Govardhan Eco village under the guidance of Radhanath Swami is a wonderful example of how we can live with nature happily by going back to the vedic style of of simple living and high thinking.

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  • Alok Ranjan

    Radhanath Swami explained the essence of solution of all the problem in this world. He stressed on the role of each and every individual on this mission. Radhanath Swami himself is great inspiration. The Govardhan eco village have came up in very sort time so wonderfully under his guidance. He is a compassionate leader.

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    • Gopinath Chandra

      Any other solution except the solution of cleaning the heart is a temporary solution. In this conference, one of the main speakers was a young man from Tamil Nadu who has initiated a drive to clean lakes across India. So far he has cleaned up 7 lakes in Tamil Nadu. Undoubtedly that’s a remarkable achievement.

      But when somebody from the audience asked him what he did with the mountains of non-biodegradable wastes he had filtered out from the lakes he had cleaned, he admitted he didn’t have a solution to dispose off those wastes. He had simply piled it up in a corner. This is the sad reality of affairs.

      The ultimate solution is therefore to clean the heart, as Radhanath Swami points out here.

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      • ANUR BANSAL

        Totally agree with you on this. The real change has to come from Within. I believe we will find answers on how to bring about this internal change in the latest book by HH Radhanath Swami “The Journey Within” http://journeywithinbook.com/

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      • Piyush Singh

        So well said. Whatever you said makes a lot of sense, but unfortunately many of the people are not still waking up neither spiritually nor environmentally. We are still going on with all the self destructive activities that are causing major disasters for both Environment and also for the spiritual advancement of the society. Very sad situation.

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      • Sumit Sharma

        Can’t agree more. Simply by cleaning the external environment, we cannot get permanent solution.

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  • CS Sandeep Shinde

    Superb lecture by H.H. Radhanath Swami Maharaj. Thank you very much.

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  • Jerry Richard

    Technology can be extremely useful or extremely harmful depending on who is using it

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    • Piyush Singh

      So true Jerry. Technology needs to be handled with care.

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  • Sumit Sharma

    An eye opening lecture by Radhanath Swami Maharaj. Until our endeavors are not to fulfill our selfish desires, we cannot bring peace in this material world.

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  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Cleaning the heart is the permanent solution. Thank you very much.

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  • Carl Farrel

    Despite of our cellular phones and our computer technology and our satellite televisions people are in more anxiety and depression than ever before in history. People are so immersed in politics and western technologies and economics that they lost their faith in their own spiritual culture. Most unfortunate! This world is a very troubled place. There is only one real solution to purify our hearts and live in harmony with the love of God by chanting holy name of the Lord.

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  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Radhanath Swami has very lucidly explained that the environmental crisis we are facing today is a reflection of the crisis in our hearts. Very nice analogy about how a disease is treated from the root if it has to be eradicated, similarly we have to remove the toxins of lust, anger, greed, envy and many other anarthas to purify our existence. The way to perfect our lives is shown in the Bhagavad Gita which we all should read, understand and follow.

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