The way to live in harmony with nature

B.K. Mohan Singhal

Inner discord is the root of all disharmony. It disturbs harmony in the family, in society, and the harmony in our relationship with nature.

Harmony exists at four levels. The first is harmony within the self – between our intellect, conscience, and our actions. When these are not aligned with one another, there is conflict within, which leads to stress and friction in relationships.

The human body is composed of the five elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether. When harmony between these elements is upset, disease develops. About 80 per cent of all diseases are psychosomatic – they are caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as stress.

Our disharmony affects nature too. Nature is a manifestation of human nature, so growing violence in humans is reflected in the increasingly frequent extreme weather events and natural disasters.

First step

The first step to achieving harmony within the self is to know one’s true identity.

When we realise that we are spiritual beings or souls expressing ourselves through the physical body, our perspective changes.

The imperishable soul, a sentient point of light, is the master of the sense organs, but we can exercise this mastery only when we are aware of who we are. This awareness is developed by reminding oneself again and again, ‘I am a soul’, and experiencing the self as a spiritual light, separate from the body.

To gain supremacy over the body and mind, the soul needs to draw power from the Supreme, the ultimate source of spiritual power, by remembering that being.

Just as a battery is charged by connecting it to a power source, the soul needs a link with that Source to fill itself with power. This power, which is discernible in the form of one’s judgment, tolerance and fortitude, enables one to achieve inner harmony by aligning one’s thoughts, speech and actions.

Five elements

For harmony with nature, we need to have the qualities of the five elements.

Water is fluid and takes the shape of any container; we need to be flexible likewise.

The earth provides food and many other things, similarly, we should sustain others by offering love and cooperation.

The air teaches us to be light at all times.

Fire transforms anything that is put in it, and our state of mind and personality should be so powerful that whoever comes to us goes back a changed person. When we live like nature, it will exist in harmony with us.

Interconnections between the elements and life forms make us all a part of one family.

Plants and trees can be called the youngest members of this family, as they are always connected to earth, like babies who cling to their mother.

A little ‘elder’ to them are the animals, which move on all fours, like slightly older babies.

Humans, who walk upright, are the eldest members of this family, and it is our responsibility to take care of our younger ‘siblings’.