Hinduism & Paganism


Our environment may very well be one of the most important things in our life. People may not see this out of ignorance but we wouldn't be here without the Earth. The Earth is our home and we have to protect it and love it the way we love anything else. Many different religions have expressed concern about the environment and it's importance in our lives. All religions have their own sacred texts and beliefs. The environment and Earth itself have been a part of religions texts. Beliefs of the environment may not be practiced daily but in the basis of almost all religions their is something about the Earth. I will be focusing on environment from the views of Hinduism and Paganism and their beliefs. These two religions will teach you how to love the environment. They will take you to a whole new level of understanding nature and our home. Religion guides us in a positive path. We start to look at the world a little closer and realize new things as we study the religion closer.

My Sources:
Hinduism #1
Hinduism #2
Paganism #1
Paganism #2

1) "Science has become obsessed with measuring those quantities endlessly produced by Prakriti. Because science has rejected anything that cannot be measured by the five senses or by the machines invented by them to serve them, science has lost even the idea of understanding the qualitative nature of what is beyond the five senses and belongs to the Soul."

Analysis: This quote is from a hindu sacred text called Vasudeva sarvam iti, which means God is All. Prakriti is the desires of our material nature. Krishna made this statement describing the way our life revolves around these materialistic things. We only notice the things that we can either see, hear, feel, smell or taste. Krishna says that we have totally forgotten and disregarded the thought of anything that belongs inside of us and only see the materialistic side of life. The environment is a prime example of what this quote is saying because we cannot use our five senses to describe environment so we pay no attention to it even though we should.

2) "Hindu religion wants its followers to live a simple life ... People are meant to learn to enjoy spiritual happiness, so that to derive a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, they need not run after material pleasures and disturb nature's checks and balances,"

Analysis: The religion of Hinduism values simple pleasures in life. Hindu people shun the idea of happiness from materialistic things. You should be happy with what you have and what you are not the things you buy. This quote explains how the "material pleasures " can affect and hurt nature and its original state. For example you will get a nice warm fur coat but to get this coat an animal was shaved and stripped of its original identity. A person has to learn to enjoy life and be happy without the "five- sense only materials" which the first quote talks about.

3) "The recognition of the divine in nature is at the heart of Pagan belief. Pagans are deeply aware of the natural world and see the power of the divine in the ongoing cycle of life and death. Most Pagans are eco-friendly, seeking to live in a way that minimises harm to the natural environment."

Analysis: This quote by BBC describes the role of nature in the Pagan religion. Pagan's realize that the importance and necessity of our well being is based on our environment. They believe that we must be very careful and protect our natural environment. This quote directly relates to the message given in quote #2 that we can't harm the Earth for things that we want, want not need. Pagans realize the importance of our natural environment and they try their best to preserve our home.

4) "Ultimately, practitioners of nature religion generally assert that nature (as encountered or understood through personal experience) is the final "authority" that trumps the opinion or wisdom of any other human being. "Nature," it might added, can be encountered on three levels: as the human body, as the external world of non-human nature, and finally as the cosmos itself expressed through the solar and lunar cycles of the year."

Analysis: Nature and Environment is something that has a different definition to each person. Based on experiences and encounters we make an opinion on nature, the importance of it and what it means. We say "Mother Nature" because it is the more power and more knowledge than any human being. Pagans believe that everyone sees nature on one of these three levels:
1. human body- we are nature, our actions affect nature whether we save it or hurt it.
2. external world of non-human nature- nature has nothing to do with humans.
3. cosmos (solar and lunar cycles)- the outside world not exactly connecting to humans but still apart of our world.

Hinduism and Paganism both have a true understanding and love for the environment. Religion opens our eyes to the little imperfections of life and teaches us to love them. They both care for our nature and appreciate it's role in our lives. If you look more in depth you can see the difference between the two views on environment of each religion. Hindu people believe in happiness based on life itself and not the materials in life. They say that the materialistic things that affect the natural balance of the environment are useless. Environment may as well be the basis of Paganism. They feel very strongly on the topic and to their best to protect and nurture our Environment. Environment is the highest "authority" in the Pagan religion and is valued very dearly. Both religions try their best not to harm our universe because they realize it is our home, and when it falls apart so do we.

Works Cited
1) "Vasudeva Sarvam Iti - God Is All." Vasudeva Sarvam Iti - God Is All. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. <http://www.inannareturns.com/gita/krishna11.htm>.

2) CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. <http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/01/27/eco.about.religion/>.

3) BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/paganism/beliefs/beliefs.shtml>.

4) "Library." Sacred Texts. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. <http://www.patheos.com/Library/Pagan/Origins/Scriptures.html>.