Recently, I happened to see a picture. It was shot by one Anil Prabhakar. The scene was an Orangutan helping a renowned geologist to come out of a mud hole, in the forest. A picture might equal a thousand words. When Covid was at its zenith, I had written that Nature is after its most vicious enemy – human being. Animals don’t kill anything for pleasure. Even king cobra does not spare its poison unnecessarily. No carnivorous animal on earth keep meat dried, for another coming day. Man, but kills animals not only to preserve but also for pleasure.
Look at a tree and see into the purpose of it here. Anybody can make a nest on its branches – no permission required. Anybody can eat its fruits, use it shade … no permissions are required. It never complaints, even if children throw it from all angles. Looking for a wet touch, its roots go deeper and deeper and that never complaining. It gives shade to people and it shields everyone from scorching hot and smashing lightnings. It has given us the freedom to cut it by branches or stump itself. A tree is there just for others; it has no foe or friend categories in its relationships. Maybe the woodpecker its best friend. Just as a poet sung, holding the blue sky on its top, lives holy trees.
When it comes to animal life, like plants, no animal may visibly offer themselves for others. Knowing that every lion needs some animal for food, no animal comes forward. The rules are different there. A lion has to run …run and run…and outrun. No preference to lions for the reason that they are kings. It is not true to say that all animals live in the present. Many have thoughts of tomorrow. Haven’t you seen ants and bees storing for tomorrow?
At the other end of evolution, comes man with double consciousness. Here, only a few realised live in the present. Most others live either in tomorrows or in yesterdays. Group life for humans is not just for self-existence but for might demonstrations too. The rule of forgiveness and reconciliation is strange to humans. Unlike in plant kingdom or animal world humans their pleasure is attacking Nature from all angles. It happens in politics, in religion, in cultures of distinct colours …. everywhere man has a goal set in the horizon. He is not trying to settle down with all the abundance he has been given.
Hear the story of a greedy farmer. He requested the emperor for more land to cultivate. The emperor told him to take into custody that much land up to which point he can run one day. The farmer was happy, he ran as fast as he could but only to fall down dead.
We don’t know if future or past are real. We keep plundering…. storing as much as we can. Even if one has already earned enough for a thousand generations, he/she continues to run. Nobody ever stops to relax. Gandhiji once took, a cup of water only from a big river. He said that it was just what he was supposed to take. Taking more than one deserves is ‘aparigraha’ or stealing according to Indian teachings.
But who actually are rich or poor? Truly, even a man going to bed without a dinner need not be poor. It is decided by the fact where he is – in shortage or plenty. If one limits itself to needs and could find an excess somewhere, he should be rich, because he has with him something to share.