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So long as this land,
Will have mountains, forests and pastures
That long will the Earth survive,
Sustaining you and the coming generations.

                 - Devistotra. A Hindu Shastra

Harmony with nature is an important aspect of Indian culture. The mountains, rivers, trees, flowers and animals have a special significance in Indian life. There is no mountain range in India from the Himalayas to Sahyadri which is not somehow integrated with Indian life. The Himalaya is the devatatma and the mount Kailasa is the abode of Shiva. The Vindhyas are also sacred; the Aravaliis with Mount Abu and Amba Devi are centers of pilgrimage. When we come to the rivers, it is not only the Ganga and Yamuna that are sacred, but Narmada, Godavari, Kaveri and others are also holy. To each locality its river is sacred as Ganga. The Peepal, Banian, Neem trees, Tulasi etc., are also the useful part of our life.

In fact the Hindu culture, like the Hindu temple, is permeated with reverence for nature.  

It is the harmony of man and nature that is the basic concept of our life and culture. 

What is needed today is to remind ourselves that nature cannot be destroyed without mankind ultimately being destroyed itself. Centuries of rapacious exploitation of the environment has finally caught up with us, and a radically changed attitude towards nature, is now not a question of spiritual merit or condescension, but of sheer survival. This earth, so touchingly looked upon in the Hindu view as the Universal Mother, has nurtured mankind up from the slime of the primeval ocean for billions of years. 

Let us recall the ancient Hindu dictum:

The earth is our mother, we are all her children. 

Mountains are mystical realms of Gods, heaven and spiritual masters. Trees and termites, all of Nature has been venerated by ancient Hindus, Greeks, Native Americans and other Pagan religions around the world. They worshipped Nature and to treat the forces of Nature as heavenly superhuman powers. Zeus, Apollo the Sun god, has his own attending ministers; Minerva, the Goddess of wisdom, a western Saraswati, for whom learning springs from the head of love." 

"God sleeps in the rocks, proclaims the Hindu scriptures, "dreams in the plants, stirs toward wakefulness in the animals, and in mankind is awake to his own ego individuality. "

" Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam -- The Whole Universe is one Family. "

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Updated -  October 28, 2008