In our daily life we don’t have to go to any educational institutions to learn the fundamentals of human conduct and approach to life. If we observe nature manifesting through several forms of existence and living beings, we have ample material to learn and benefit. All that is needed is a keen sense of observation and discriminating intellect to grasp and assimilate. Here are a few examples.
The sun is the visible god to everyone. It is the source of all energy essential for life on this planet. It gives us heat and light. Just imagine our existence without the sun. It does not discriminate in distributing its benefits. It gives light to all living beings. It brings about climate changes and we have rains and sunshine. Crops grow and we get our food. All these are done without expecting anything in return. Do we show our gratitude to the sun? At least can we not pray to the sun god for all kindness shown, with reverence?
Next let us take the case of air. It purifies everything. It radiates the scent of flowers to us and gives a pleasant feeling without destroying them. At the same time it is no way affected by the scent. It is unaffected by the perfume or foul odour. It contains oxygen which is essential for our existence. Can we exist without oxygen even for two minutes? How long can you hold your breath?
You know how much we have to pay for a cylinder of oxygen to last ten minutes. At that rate how much should we pay if some one were to charge for the air we breathe in a life time? It is mind boggling. Instead what we do is to pollute the air by releasing all obnoxious gases, fumes and dust, making life difficult, miserable and unhealthy. We are inviting diseases because of our indifference to keep the air free from pollution.
Now we come to fire. It is available everywhere.it facilitates our cooking. It gives us warmth when we face adverse climate. It is the visible source of energy. It helps us to manufacture and process thousands of goods and services for our living. But if carelessly handled, it causes death and destruction. We have to respect it. Forest fires and inferno cause widespread havoc. This is because of our neglect and disrespect to fire.
Now let us consider space. Can we move an inch forward or backward without space? It is not polluted in any way. Everything exists in space. Without space we cannot think of existence of anything. But do we recognise this great boon in our daily life. Just imagine if we have to pay a fee every time for covering a few feet of distance. How much we will have to pay and can we afford it?
Water is another gift without which we cannot live. It purifies and cleans everything. It is the medium for our cleanliness and processing of food. It facilitates navigation. Without it we cannot survive.
Then comes the earth. How patient the earth is. We overburden it by building several billion tons of structures on it. We dig the earth several times in several places. We dump all filth in it. But it never complains. Is there anything greater than Mother Earth to teach us patience? Do we ever recognise this and pay our homage to it.
The cow is another example of an animal of service to man. It gives us milk and manure. Its hides, skin and bones are useful for making several articles. To such an animal what do we give? We give fodder which is the unwanted remnant of the crops we grow. By accepting this cow continues to serve man. Is it not a great act of generosity on the part of cow which gives the most nutritious item without expecting anything in return? Is it not an example of patience and great service?
These are a few examples of how man can learn from nature. Even objects and animals we consider to be insignificant do us great service and teach us valuable lessons to improve our approach to life and widen the horizon of our thinking and knowledge. Above all they teach us humility. Why not we live in harmony with them?