A Buddhist View of Environment

Buddhism blesses all the living beings on the earth. In fact, Buddhist religion is an ecological religion. Buddhism teaches that human beings should live in harmony with nature and all other creatures.

  • Pratityasamutpada:
  • This means that all living beings are interdependent on each other. All creatures are co-existent. In this respect, Buddhism has a deep concern about environment. Human beings should respect and live in tune with environment.

  • The Five Precepts:
  • Buddhism religion believes in the avoidance of taking the life of all living beings. This teaching suggests that Buddhists are supposed not to kill other creatures and should protect themselves from being killed. From environmental perspective, the destruction of forests, the killing of animals, as well as the way of consuming goods in our daily life are all perceived as an infringement of Buddhist religion.

  • Love-Kindness:
  • Buddhism believes that a mother should risk herself to protect her own children as well as to love all the other living things. All living beings should not be discriminated by human beings. If this principle applies to environment, we can draw a conclusion: Withdrawal of pollution, traffic, act of destruction and the issue of global warming is a Buddhist practice.

The Buddhist View of Solving the Global Ecological Crisis:

  • Compassion is basic to make a balance between the whole world and the environment.
  • Buddhism believes in”save and not waste”, which suggests that nothing in nature is to be spoiled or wasted.
  • The philosophy of Sarvodaya rebuilts ecology, by advocating loving kindness, compassionate action, and altruistic joy.

The Buddhist Four Noble Truths:

  • Climate change is a reality and it leads to disasters like flooding, drought, desertification and loss of soil.
  • Over-consumptions of fossil fuels, excessive herds of livestock and loss of land is the primary cause of climate change.
  • Fear and greed are the sources of all suffering. Capitalism thrives on the basis of individual fear and greed.
  • The climate that we are supposed to change is the climate of greed and fear, where individual consumptions thrive.
  • To get over suffering, start from yourself. Remind yourself: Where can I reduce my consumption? Plant tress to repay your carbon debt to your children’s children? Eat local and organic foods.

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