Images of the devastation caused by super storm Sandy are terribly moving. Can’t understand the agony of people without electricity, food, water or gasoline for days. Besides stirring emotions, the storm has triggered several questions.
Can the human race survive in a challenging mode or cooperative mode with Nature? Technology has made life better. Has it seriously interfered with the Order of Nature? Rivers have been dammed, mountains crushed to rubble, forests cut, land dug, seeds genetically modified, artificial intelligence created, artificial life is sought to be created, organ harvesting already achieved, use of pesticides affected insects life cycles and species, land/water & air highly polluted and space cluttered! Is it not testing the patience of Nature? There is no international protocol so far on limits on human exploitation of natural resources. Rather it is expanding by the day.
Imagine a situation when more severe storms were to dump innumerable whales or sharks or crocodiles or hippopotamuses from the sea or lakes on human habitats. So far Nature has been dumping only water and slush on our cities and coastlines as a warning sign, but anything is possible at the hands of angry Nature in its most ferocious moods. We have seen how the power of the storm can twist even the strongest steel and concrete structures, destroy ships, aeroplanes, cars, buses, railways and trains, electric poles etc There is no device invented by man to face the challenge posed by such storms. America represents the concept of a super-power and we have seen how powerless such a super power is before mother Nature?
We are paying for our own deeds in a way. In India, the principle of peaceful coexistence with all the elements of nature has been put into practice long ago. So rivers are considered pious and worshipped. The idea behind such worship is that people will be deterred from polluting sweet water sources like rivers, lakes, streams and wells. Today they all are polluted by sewerage or industrial effluents discharged into them, in spite of thousands of guards and millions spent on their upkeep. Same goes for animals including the serpent, trees, air, water, fire etc. In fact, every element in the creation has a God or Goddess, just to raise human consciousness to treat them as they have been made to by the creator. Human beings can set up a zoo where they can keep a variety of animals, birds or insects, but can never create a whole planet like Earth, with mountains, rivers, lakes, wet lands and dry lands, climate systems, air, water, sunlight, moonlight, weather cycles, life cycles and the complex systems governing them independently as well as parts of a system. When such is the Creation, why not accept the existence of a Creator and live in harmony with Nature rather than in conflict with Nature in perpetuity? Life is meant for living. Let us learn to live. Let us learn to be happy. We can be happy only if we allow others to be happy. We can never be happy by robbing others’ happiness, be it an animal, insect or element. The whole earth is not for the human race alone. It shares the endowments of Nature with everyone else.
It might be considered by some modernites as something anti-modern, but it is not. We are modern without any doubt. But the history of mankind is the history of modernizing only. We are better than our predecessors. But it is in a limited sense only, since the cycle brings about better and worse and good and best defined time cycles. Indian thinkers have assigned them names: Satyug, Tretaa, Dwaapar and Kaliyug. We are currently in the Kaliyug or machine age. All the four have been defined elaborately. Kaliyug is an era of science & technology, cold logic, atheism and a free for all environment, besides several other characterstics. This era is going to test all beliefs, traditions, customs, morals, values- in fact, everything. It is an era of great upheaval, human and emotional. Nothing good or bad- it is in the nature of things. It has yet to peak. So while scientists are still thinking of putting up “storm barriers” to face in future such severe tragedies, they still have no idea of what might happen 100 years hence, as nobody knew how to face the trauma of devastation of a super Sandy in the 18th Century. There lies the key to unravel the mystery. And I observed that the American people went into “prayers” to mitigate the misery caused by the storm. One doesn’t necessarily become backward or reactionary or even religious by praying to the Creator- our father or mother. Suffice for us to acknowledge that there is a Supreme Power many times more powerful than a super power called America or all the Super Powers put together.
Meanwhile, I join in prayer the American people to get back to normal life. So God may help us!