Sadhguru: How audacious that we can even think that we will allot a day for the earth! Both day and night happen only because of the revolutions of the earth. Our very body is an extract from this planet. Everything that we are is earth. For the human beings who have forgotten that they have just temporarily come out of the womb of this earth and that they will one day be sucked back into this earth, for them, this day is a reminder that you are a part of this earth. If humanity has to live for a long time, you have to think like the earth, act like the earth and be the earth, because that is what you are.
I am always being asked by people, “Why is a spiritual leader, a yogi, planting trees?” Unfortunately, in human minds, we have compartmentalized our life in such a way that we are breaking up one and hoping that the other will live. Trees are our closest relatives. What they exhale, we inhale; what we exhale, they inhale and keep our lives going. It is just like the outer part of our lung. You cannot ignore your body if you want to live. The planet is in no way different from that. What you call as “my body” is just a piece of this planet.
The United Nations is projecting that by 2050, we will be 9.6 billion people on this planet. In India particularly, right now, fifty-two percent of our land is ploughed just to feed 1.2 billion people. It is a fabulous fact that our farmers, with rudimentary, ramshackle infrastructure, are producing food for over one billion people. But still, the man who produces the food is not eating proper food. That is not something to be proud of. The people who produce food for all of us, their own children don’t eat a full stomach. This is not a commendable fact. This is essentially because we have not taken the responsibility of deciding, “For this much land, how much population can we support?” It definitely cannot support endless growth of human population. Either we control our populations consciously or nature will do it in a very cruel and painful manner. This is all the choice we have.
Without controlling human populations, talking about ecology, and land and water conservation is just not going to happen because the kind of impetus that is there in the form of science and technology is making every human being hyperactive. You cannot cap human activity because that will amount to capping human aspirations. And today, our aspiration is that everybody should get educated, and have large dreams and ambitions. That cannot be accommodated with the current levels of population, unless we strive for a more conscious way of determining where we want to stop.
So, are we going to adjust our population to the resource that we have? That is all we can do and that is the easiest thing to do. That is something that every human being can do, if the necessary education and awareness is brought into their lives. If that investment is made, we don’t have to plant trees. If we stay away from the land, trees will grow; you cannot stop it. People are going about projecting that the planet is in danger. The planet is not in any kind of danger. It is only human life which is in danger. I hope we wake up to this fact and do what is needed.
Editor’s Note: To read more about the state of the environment and what we can do about it, download the ebook, A Tree Can Save The World.
Get involved with Project GreenHands, Isha Foundation’s environmental initiative.