Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all.
December 16, 20195 Minutes

Imagine waking up to the music of birds, a cool gentle breeze, and a clear blue sky spread like a canvas dotted with white clouds. You have fresh fruits to eat and clean riverside to sit and pass the day. You’d feel connected with nature and be thankful for everything that it has given us. This is the world Guru Nanak had envisioned for us. Unfortunately, we have not followed his words and have reduced nature to a mere outline of the picture we just imagined. Today, on his 550th birth anniversary let’s pledge to make things right and live in harmony with nature.

Guru Nanak once said:

ਪਵਣੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਪਾਣੀ ਪਿਤਾ ਮਾਤਾ ਧਰਤਿ ਮਹਤੁ ॥

पवणु गुरू पाणी पिता माता धरति महतु ॥

The saying means air is our Guru, water is our father, and earth is our mother. Earth today has been mostly ravaged of its resources and natural beauty. Cities are enveloped in smog, birds and animals have lost their habitat, rivers have either dried up or are polluted beyond recognition, and the green pastures of land have turned barren. We are well aware of the current state and should be acting fast to fix it.

Let’s follow 5 of Guru Nanak’s simplest teachings and imbibe them in our lifestyle to save and revive our environment –

Share and use together: Sharing what we have with others and those who are in need would lessen the exploitation of resources. A popular alternative to the increase in pollution through vehicles is carpooling.

Treat everyone as equal: Equality is the ability to treat others with the same rights, opportunities, and freedom. If we could communicate with plants and animals like we can with fellow humans, we would realize the importance of their life as much as we do for our own. Hanging a rhino horn or buying a croc skin bag would not appeal to us then.

Live in harmony: Sustainable living is the need of the hour. Be it using solar energy, wind energy, or simply recycling and reusing, a harmoniously balanced existence with nature is what can help us protect the lost treasure.

Educate oneself: We should educate others who are unable to understand the repercussions of the exploitation of nature and its resources. Only true knowledge can dispel the darkness of ignorance and greed and help us see how we have ravaged our environment, how it will endanger future generations, and what can we still do to prevent and protect whatever is left.

Be selfless: Think of others before discarding something. The old jacket that doesn’t fit you, the smartphone you don’t use, or the bottle of water that you couldn’t finish could help someone else who needs them. Plant a seed today so that its shade and fruits can be enjoyed by the coming generations. Build a rainwater harvesting plant that can help the farmer during a dry season. Be selfless in saving the environment for others and your future.

We can’t survive if the environment is destroyed. It’s that simple! The damage is not permanent and it’s never too late to start anew. The time is now to act. Let the wisdom of Guru Nanak clear the clutter in our minds and help us protect the environment that has selflessly given us so much.