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International Referred Research Journal

ISSN- 0975-3486

VOL,I *ISSUE-9

RNI: RAJBIL /2009/30097

Research Paper

RELEVANCE OF MAHABHARATAWITH REGARD TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS


June, 2010

* Dr. Amarendra Biswal


* Kurukshetra University Kurukshetra, Haryana

Referred By INTRODUCTION Today the environmental problems have become the focus of discussion everywhere. Whether there were environmental problems in the ancient times or not? If there were problems, what were they and how they solved? To answer these questions on has to have a look into the ancient literature, as literature is the mirror of the society and culture. So far our country is concerned, we have an enormous amount of literature beginning from the Rig-Veda till today, where, we find that people respected nature veryhighly and established various relationships with the natural elements. The Mahabharata has a special status in the classical literature. Meaning of Environmental Consciousness: It is a universally acknowledged fact that protection and developed of environment is very important for the human race. In Sanskrit the word environment is replaced by the word ^i;kZo j.ke~* ] etymologically it consists of ifj$vk$o$Y;qV ~ and its meaning is that which surrounds us from every side; ifjr% vko.kksr hfr i;kZo j.ke~ But according to V.S. Apte, Actions and impressions which purify all the human-brings is called i;kZo j.ke~-1 The word conscious is regarded by ^psr uk* in Sanskrit, which means to be aware of or to be conscious of something. 2 1.1 Environmental Conscious with regard to the Five Physical Elements: If we draw our attention to Mahabharata from the point of viewof environmental consciousness with regard to the physical five elements (Prthvi, Ap, Teja, Vayu and Akasa), there can be found a lot of material regarding it and discussed in the following lines: 1.1.1 EARTH (PRTHVI That which had odour is called earth i`fFkoh3 But Vaisesikasutrakara, Kanada, defines it as ^:ijlxU/kLikZo rh i`Foh* 4 i.e., the earth possesses colour, savour, odour and touch. Earth is found in different forms such as tree, plants, forests, mountains, sense of odour, different types of bodies5 i.e. tjk;qt] v.Mt Losn t vkSj mn~fHkTt-6 (a) Description of mountains, Trees and other plants of Mahabharata that indicate the Environmental Consciousness. According to Maharsi Vyasa the immovables LFkkojk% are called Udbhijas and these are of five types trees, shrubs, creapers, plants and bamboos. 7 All these types of trees and plants were foun d a t di ffer en t pl a ces of Ma h abh a r at a . Description of Meru mountain is beautifully depicted in the Adi Parva, where it is said: the mountain was covered with many medicinal plants. Many fearful beasts were roaming here & there on its weight. 8 This mountain was also covered with different types of t rees such a s Ashoka , Cha mpaka, Cuta s, Atimuktakas, Punnagas,Karanikaras,Bakulas, Divya-Patala, Patala, Narikelas, Chandanas, Arjunas and various other beautiful and sacred trees full of fragrant flowers and sweet fruits. 9 Richness of forest with varieties of flora and fauna, has been a distrinct feature of Mahabharata age. 10 Cutting down of trees was supposed to be heinous action even at that time and those who cut down the trees, also be killed. 11 A great importance has been attached to the trees and leaves in the Adi parva. 12 Lakes having cool water, tanks, ponds were integral part of human life. 13 Fragrant and pure air blowing though the forest carried perfumes of celestial flowers. Furthermore, the presence of herbs and plants having medicinal

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International Referred Research Journal ISSN- 0975-3486 VOL,I *ISSUE-9 RNI: RAJBIL /2009/30097 values made the forest quite essential for the Taittiriya Brahman, Brhadarhyaka Upanisad and people. 14 At the time of Mahabharata people Manusmrti also present the same view about water 28 worshiped mountains, trees, rivers and sea. 15 b) Purity and cleanliness of water was maintained: (b) Huning of Animals was regarded as a heinous People at the time of Mahabharata, saved water in act: Although people at the time of Mahabharata big tanks, thats why the problem of water-storage used togo for hunting in the forest, but it was regarded was rarelynoticed. After suffering to get water in the as a sinful act and the person, who killed the animals, country king Yavakri c constructed so many ponds had to go to hell. 16 Yudhisthir, the eldest son of and tanks for the well availabilityof water. The wells Kunti, was not in favour of war with the Kauravas, were constructed in the palaces and the houses for because of the innumerable human beings as well as daily use and the water was stored in the earthen animals would be killed in this war. 17 A man who pots, of which there were two benefits i) the water commits crime of killing some animal, he should remained cold at every time ii) it was pure and declare his in publicly and should also go on fast for hygienic in the earthen pots. 30 The king also ordered three nights. 18 to dig wells on the road sides of the big Rajamargas (C) Planning of villages and cities at that was for the comfort of the travellors. 31 c) Purity and ecologically sound : In the time of Mahabharata Sacredness of water (as rivers, lakes,tanks, ponds period the villages and towns were situated near the etc) Description of so manyrivers, lackes, tanks. etc developed gardens full of plants, trees and creepers. is found in the different places of Mahasharata People were dependent upon the fruits, roots and depicted the beneficial and sacredness of waters. veget abl es pr oduced by t h em . 19 T h e ci t y of The river Malini used to flow through the maintain Khandavaprastha was covered with so many vally which attracted so many ascetics on its banks charming gardens and trees with full blossom in for its pure, transparent and sacred water. The river their season and used to lean towards earth with the was flowing through many islands and cleaned weight of their fruits. 20 The houses were constructed shores.About the sacredness of the river Ganges with high walls and gates. 21Having entered the water, it is said by Maharshi Vyasa this auspicious Mithila city, one could see that it was adorned with and celestial river is accessible to all times. The magnificent parches, buildings and splendid places, Ganges water has external value so one should protected for all sides by lofty walls and also filled certainlytake a dip into it.33 Like the river Ganges, the with innumerable carts. 22 river like Sukumari, Kumari, Sitasi,Venika, Mahanadi, 3.1.2 Water (Salila/Apah) Manijala, Caksusa and Vardhanika were also The second physical element is water, its considered as sacred. 34 In the Kingdom of Chedi, the definition has been given in different ways in the lakes in the forests were full of sacred and clean Sanskrit literature. Kanada says, ^:ijlLifoR; viksn zok% waters. 35 The Gandhamardana mountain the lakes fLuX/kk%* 23 The water posses the quality of colour, taste, were neat and clean bankes36 and it is water is having touch and fluid. 24 Further mimansaka Narayana a good healing power because of the cane tree. 37 pandit say itas, ^LokHkfodnzo Rokf/kdj.k lfyya A rkq lj% 3.1.3 HEAT (Tejas) Heat is the third fundamental lfjR;jLoRdjdkfn:i jlusfUnz;a pA 25 element in the universe. Rsi Kanada has defined a) Importance of water with regardto origin of the Tejas as^rstks:iLifor~* 38 According to ManmyoUniverse: Origin of the universe has been traced in dayakara Narayana Pandit39 and Tarka samgrahakara the water itself in our old sastras. A learned scholar Annanbhatta 40, tejas is what has the quality of not Prof. S.A. Dange holds, water as the earliest source touch. It is found in many forms, such as sun moon, of creation what is generally called choose or abyss, fire, stars, gold etc. in subtle form it is found in the elsewhere the Hindu Vedic sources call it the sense of sight u;usfnz; apraketa salila26 Salila has been taken as the primary a) Tejas in the form of fire: its importance as the chaotic principle of the dark moisture and the later Creater, Sustainer and Destroyers of the Universe: state of satila is called a sat, Apah (or ambhus), from In the pauloma parva (of Adi parva) fire has been which things take the birth.27 In the Taittiriya Samhita described as the creater of the world. After hearing also the existence of water, in the beginning of the story of pauloma and the curse for Agni, the creation is accepted similarly Satpath Brahmana, great Brahma says in very gentle words:

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International Referred Research Journal ISSN- 0975-3486 VOL,I *ISSUE-9 RNI: RAJBIL /2009/30097 yksdkukfeg losZ kk Roa drh pkUr ,o pA element. Vaisesikakara Kanada defines it as ^LikZo ku~ Roa /kkj;fl yksdkL=hu~ f;k.kka p izo rZd% AA 41 ok;q%* 53 that is, air is that which has the quality of b) Tejas in the form of sacrificial fire ;KkfXu touch. Further Mameyodayakar has given its All the products (created things) are definition like this: Air is what has touch, while having developed only when they get heat. If the Agni (fire) no colour. And that is of the form of gentle breeze, is withdrawn from all the places there will be a total the breath, etc and in the form of the sense of touch. 54 chaos. No Agnihotra and other essential ceremonies Tarka Samgrahakara Annam Bhatta defines it as will be performed and the creatures on the earth will ^:ijfgrLikZ ok;q* 55 Air has touch but does not have swallowed bya deep darkness. 43 If the ghee is poured colour. as long as twelve years to Agni the environment a) Air is found in the form of Panca prana and is become more cleaner and materials which is offered essential for life: These are: prana, Apana, Udana, as oblation in the fire makes the environment so Vyana and Samana. The description of the five Vayus clean. 44 as found in the santi parva is as follows: (c)Tejas in the form of digestive stomach-fire Prana- Manarshi Bhrugu has called pranavayu as tBjkfXu Heat in the form of Jatharagni digestive- atma (soul). He says that atma izk.kkRek protect the stomach-fire) is the most vital part of ones life. The whole body while residing in the central place of the heat (pavaka) staying between the two types of vital fore head ew/khZ, and further it is said that this pranvayu air-panavayu and Apanavayu. It is called as exist in the forehead as well as in the heat of the body Jatharagni because of its digestive nature. and causes motion in the body. 56 d) Tejas in the form of house-holders fire xkM;iR; Apana- Apanavayu goes down ward direction and vfXu All the houses were made of grases and strans. it lives in the toe and lips57 in uretha and it moves Theywere plastered with mud. In the summer season from the upward to downward discharging out urine due to the inherent dangers, people used to keep the and excreta. 58 fire in a safer place. The people staying in the fort, Udana:- The vital air udana which functions equally cooked food only at night due to spreading of fire. 46 in all the three, i.e. iz;Ru] deZ] cy is called udanavayu.59 e) Tejas in the form of sun:It enables a person to speak words and letters with Sun is the most powerful planet of the the help of throat, palats, lips etc. universe. If the sun would have no existence in the Vyana- The fourth vital air is called vyana. Bhrugu sky, there would have been no light and no heat, to says that the vital air which is expanded in the whole which life on the earth would have been impossible. body as well as in all the joints of body is called The sun shine in the great lightning and inspiration vyana. 60 it dispels the darkness every where. 47 Due to its Samana- The heat which is pervaded in all the dhatus brightness all the stand in the sky seem to of the body is circulated equally in all the pars with disappeared because some of the stars have their the help of Samanavayu. The whole body survives shine only due to the sunlight 48 Keeping fore towards and all the juices (rasas), senses (dhatus) and the east and west one should offer prayers to the sun three dosas of the body works properly. 61 god in both the joining times and in the morning and b) Air is purified by the sacrifices and fragrances evening. 49 Due to the continuous motion of the sun of flowers etc: Performance of different types of different seasons are created. For six months he sacrifices not only pleases the god but fulfils the travels towards north ward course and then for the desires and ambitions of the yajamanas, but it is also six months n southward course. This traveling course a main source of environmental purification. King of the sun creates winter and summer seasons for the Yayati, says: Haring seen the clouds of smoke in the creatures. 50 The sun beams are very helpful for the sky, which were going high from the sacrificial fire healthy growth of plants, creepers etc. 51 The sun has and also having smelt the scented fumes which went been one of the main cause of rain on the earth to the sky from the sacrificial oblations, because so because the sun soaks up waters and justices from exalted that I have came to this sacrificial ground of the earth. Then he again, at proper time and proper yours immediately. 62 In the modern age in case of season gives back the water in the form of rain. 52 draught period also performance of sacrifices is a 3.1.4 AIR (vayu) Air is the fourth fundamental good source of rain because clouds of fumes go high

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International Referred Research Journal ISSN- 0975-3486 VOL,I *ISSUE-9 RNI: RAJBIL /2009/30097 in the sky, due to which water pours down in the form CONCLUSION:of rain. 63 Environmental consciousness among c)Air is also helpful in the creation of the universe people is very important for the development of a Bhrugu has pointed out that, in the heat of Narayana society or a country. In the epic of Mahabharata the there arose a desire to craet the universe. The five elements i.e. earth, water, heat, air and other Manasadeva vO;Dr first created the egr~ and then were fully maintained. The people were very food of vgadkj from vgadkj there arose the element of other flora and fauna. The forests were coved with trees, vkdkk 64 from the other the water then fire and then creepers, hurbs etc. cutting down of trees was air. With the combination of fire and air the firth considered as crime and they were worshiped them. element earth could get its existence. 65 Hunting of animals was preventing among the higher 3.1.5 ETHER (AKASA): Ether is the fifth society but it was called as a heinous act.Villages fundamental which is required for the creation of the were ecologically sound. Rivers were contained with universe. Tarkasamgrahkara Annam Bhatta defines very clean and sacred water and worshiped by the it as ^'kCnxq.kekdk'ke~* 66 Bhatta Mimansaka, Ether is people. Fire was worshiped in different sacrifices. regarded as perceptible izR ;{kxE; by all and is Sun was the powerful planet and it giver energy to omnipresent foHkw 67 In the Mahabharata, there it is the universe and dispels darkness. The air is found said the element of vkdkk (ether) gets its subtle origin in thehuman bodyin five forms (Prana,Apana, Udana, from vgadkj an element appeared from egr~ oqf)68 In Vyana and Samana). And it was purified bythe sweet modern times the sound pollution is spread fumes and sacrifices. Ether got its orgnations from everywhere n the form of very high valued music lord Narayana as the first element. It is the abode of (D. J.etc), large number of vehicles running on road, sound which is its quality. In brief, it can be resolved sound of loud speakers used in the rallys, marriages, that environmental consciousness with regard to religious activities and so on. the five physical elements was nicely maintained at the time of Mahabharata.

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V.S. Apte, Skt-Eng Dictionary, p. 374 2 Sir Monier Williams, Skt-Eng Dictionary, p. 401.3- xU/korh i`f Fkoh Tarka Samgraha, p. 103 4.Vaisesika Sutra, p. 115. Manmyodaya, p. 153(ed. Adyar) 6.Ibid., p. 1547- mfHkTTkk% LFkkojk% izksDrkLrskka iPpSo tkr;% A o`{kyrkxqY eoYy;LroDlkjkLr`.kktk;% AA Bhisma, 4.17.8- O;kySj kokfjra /kksjSfnZO;kSkf/kfofnfire~ A UkdekoR; frBUreqPNis.k egkxhje~ AA vkxE; eulk/I;uSf uZnho{klefUore~ A ukukinlaxSp ukfnra lqeuksgjS% AA Adi, 17-7&8 9 - Ibid, 267-910- 'kksdo`f)a rnk ps u pSd = O;fr"Br A lksxPNr ioZrka 'pSo lfjr'p ljkaf l'p AA Ibid 77.7 11- vojksI ;sg o{ka rq Qydkys fuikR;rs A fugUeSua nqj kReua ;ks;eLeku~ u eU;rs AA Ibid, 189.312- ,dks o`{kks fg ;ks xzkes Hkosr~ i.kZQykfUor% A psR;ks Hkofr futkZfr'pZuh;% liwf tr% AA Adi, 151.3313- unha ljka fl okih'p fofo/kk'p e`xkf}tku~ A Lkk ogqu~ Hkhe:ik'p fi'kkpksj xjk{klku~ AA iYykokfu rMkxkfu fxfjdqVkfu ldZjk% A lfjrks fu>Zjk'pSo nn'kkZn~Hkw rn'kZukr~ AA Vana, 64.7-814- ,rfLeUeUrjs ok;q% loZxU/kog% 'kqfp% A fnO;kU;qo g iq"ikf.k deZ.;k'pkSk/khLr;k AA Santi, 336.4515- vfpZrk lrra nso k% iq"iSj fnHk% lnk p o% A ;Fkk yC/kSew ZyQyS firjpkfi rfiZrk AA Vana, 156.616u`'ka l deZ lqe gr~ loZyksdfoxfgre~ A vLoX;Ze ;L; pkI;/kfeZ"Ba p Hkkjr AA Adi, 118.22 17- ;nheka Hkorsk oqf)a ok|ke o;ehn`' khe~ A 'kL=a uSo xzgh;keks u of/k';ke da pu AA Santi, 10.4 18- fr;ZX;ksf uo/ka d`R ok nqe kf'Nosrjku~ og`u~ A f=jk=a ok;qHk{k% L;kr~ deZ p izFk;Uuj% AA Ibid 35.34 19.R;DRok xzkE;lq[kkgkja rIrekuks egr~ ri% AcYdyh Qyewyk'kh pfj";kfe egkous AA Adi, 119.32 20.Ibid, 207. 43-44. 21-f}i{kx:Miz[iS}hjS% lkS/ks'p 'kksf Hkre~ A xqIreHkzp ;iz[;SxksZiqjSe fUnjksieS% AA Ibid, 207-3222 207- 69 23 Vaisesik Sutra, 1-2-24 110. 25 Manmeyodaya, p. 154 (Adyar) 26 vizd sra lfHkya loZe k mne ~ A R.g. Veda. 10.129.3 27 C.f. S.A. Danges research Parper The Perspiration of the creator Published inSrigyanamrtam, P.128(i)vih nzok bnexzs lfyyesokl A Tai. Sani, 47.5 (ii) viks nzo k bnexsz lfyyesokl AA s nzo k bna vxsz lfyy vklhr~ AA Tai-Brah 1.1.3.5 (iv) vki ,osnexz vklqlk vi% lR;el`t Ur AA v) vki ,o jklthnks rklq ohtekl'tr~ A Manu. 1.8 ;oh% lglzk sRFkk; iknon~ ;su oS lj% AA tyghu ljks n'Lok ;oh lRofjr% ik=s Atxke lfjr% lohLrkisL ;kO;lu~ fo'ks"krk% AA Vana, 136.15-1630 dk"Bkfu pkfHkgk;kZf .k rFkk dwik'p 1 [kku;sr A Lkakks/k;sr~ rFkk dwi ku~ d'riw ohu~ Ik;ksfFkZfHk% AA fo'kkyku~ jktekxZ'p dkj;sr~ ujkf/ki% A vi'p foi.kk'p ;Fkkss'k lekfo'ksr~ AA ii)unha

pkJelaf'k"Vka iq.;rks; ka nn'ksZ l% A loZizk.k Hk`rka r= tuuhfeo f/kf"Brke~ AA Ibid, 70.2433 vfuok;ZelEok/ka ro okpk dFka o;e~ A Uk Li`"kkse ;Fkkdkea iq.;a HkkxhjFkhtye~ AA Ibid, 70.2434r= izo` kk% iq.;ksnk% u|% dq#dw yks);% A lglzk.kka 'krksU;so ;rks okZfr oklo% AA Bhisma, 11.3335 Vana, 65. 2-4 36 Vana, 158.72-75.37 rL;kFk e/ ;s osrl% iq.;xU/k% Lglz'kk[kks foiqyksfoHkkfr rL; ew ykr~ lfjr% izo gfUr e/kqndizg;o.kk% lqiq.;k% AA Ibid, 186.28038 Vai sesika Sutra, 2.1.339m".kLi'kZxq.ka rst% AA Mannyodaya, P.15740Tarka Samgrah, P.11141 mokp opua 'y{k.ka Hkwr HkkoueO;;e~ AA Adi, 7.17-1843 Adi, 7.12-1344 lrra ;kT;/kkjkfHkjSdkRE;s r= deZf.kA gfokk p rrks ofgu% ijk r`fIrexPNr~ AA Santi, 23.64 lefUor LRof/k"Bkua lE;da ipfr ikod% A deZjkf'k'kkyklq ToynfXu% lqjf{kr% AXk`gkf.k p izos';k=foZ/ks;% L;k)qrk'ku% A egknUn'p rL; L;kn~ iL;kfXuosZ fnok Hkosr A iz/kksk;snFkSo p j{k.kkZFkZ iqjL; p AA Ibid, 69.49-5047 reka flo ;Fkk loZLrk% f'k'okfe% dkap uizHkk%A Vana, 224-3648 (i) 'kksHkUrs HkkLdjs.kso rkjk% AA Ibid, 133.21(ii) u{k=k.kho lfork ukk;kfe AA Ibid, 133.19 Lkk;a izk rtZisr~ la/;k fr"Bu~ iw oksZ rFksrjke~ A Santi, 193.550 v;ua rL; k.ekluqkja nf{k.ka rFkk A ;su la ;kfr yksds kq 'khrks".kks fol`t u~ lfor% AA Ibid, 225.3651 Ror~ ,rk% iqu% 'kq fo:/kks gfjrPNUnk% A Tkk;rs iq"dfj.;'p leqnz'p egksnf/k% AA lw ;ksZ HkwR ok jf'efHktkrosnk% Hkwf ejlks Hkw frtkrku~ jlka'p A fo'onsokuknk; iqu:Rl`T ; dkys o`V;k l`V;k Hkko;ehg 'kq AAIbid, 232.18 53 Vaisesika Sutra, 1.2.4 Lk eUnokrkfu%'okl okrkfn:IkLRofxfUnz; :Ik'p AA fJrks ew/kkZuekRek rq 'kjhj ifjiky;u~ Aizk.kh ew/kZfu pkXukS p orZekuks fops"Vfr AA vikuh ukekokXxeuokUik[kkfn 58 LFkkuorhZ AAVedantasara, 89.P.45 ofLrewy a xqna pSo ikoda leqi kfJr% A Okgu~ew =a 59 iqjhka pkI;eku% ifjorZrs AA Santi, 185.6 Ikz;Rus dehf.k oys p ,dfL=kq orZrs Amnku gfr ra izk gj/;kRefonq kks tuk% AA Ibid, 185.1760 lfU/k"ofi p losZkq la fufo"VLRkFkkfuy% A 'kjhjskq euq";k.kka C;ku gR;qi fnz';rs AA Santi, 185.861' 'krq"ofXLrq forr% lekusu lehfjr% A jlku~ /kkrq'p nkskka' p orZ; Uuofr"Brs AA rSjk[;krk Hkorka ;K Hkwfe% Lkeh{;a ;sek Rofjreqi kxrksfLe A gfoxZU/ka nsf'kda ;KHkw es& /kqe kZi kax ifrx`g; ifrra AA lEe`f "VflDriUFkkua iq"iizd j'kksf Hkre A pUnuL; jlS% 'khrSS% iq.;xU/kSfuZ ksf ore~ AAIbid, 221.3664 lksgl`tr~ izFkea nsoks egkUra uke uker% A egku~ lltkZgad kj p pkfi Hkxoku p Avkdkkfefr fo[;kra loZH kwr/kj% izHkq% AASanti, 182.1365vkdk'kknHkon okfj lfyyknfXuek:rkS A vfXuek:ral;ksxkr~ ru%leHkoUegh AA Ibid, 182.1766Tarka Samgrah, p. 126.67 Manmyodaya, p. 16168 Cp. Santi, 182.13

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