Critical Commentary: Reflecting on Hinduism’s links to Nature

Posted on April 15, 2013 by

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The article, “Reflecting on Hinduism’s links to Nature” by Birgit Maaß from Deutsche Welle, was about Ramprakash, a Hindu who spends several months of his life living in Somnath Mahadev. Somanath Madadev is a temple located in the mountains that are considered sacred by Hindus. The author and Ramprakash discussed Hinduism and how Ramprakash found his faith. Ramprakash brought up how nature is important to Hindus. A vital part of Hinduism is worshipping nature. Protecting trees and plants is thought to be an obligation of a Hindu because trees and plants are seen as holy. When the subject of pollution arose, Ramprakash said that it was the cause of greed. He said that “people think of money first,” and he believes that “a true Hindu would try his or her best to preserve nature.” In India, pollution is a big problem. Forests are being cut down, and waste disposal is a big issue. Ramprakash points out that the world humans have created, a contaminated, materialistic environment, is very detrimental to the world itself.

The argument of this article is about how the current world and Hinduism beliefs have a hard time coexisting. The current world is a very materialistic, consumption-based world. Trees are getting cut down every day to build houses, closets, tables, bed frames, and many other items people see as necessities. Ramprakash states that happiness does not originate from material things and that if people had fewer wants and needs, people would be happier.

The source of information is from a Hindu named Ramprakash. Ramprakash seems like a fairly reliable source because he lives in a Hindu temple in India. He is also educated on the problems occurring in India and educated in Hindu beliefs and traditions. The source in the article is also unreliable because only one opinion is being shown. The opinion is derived from the point of view of a Hindu who finds nature to be very important, which is the angle promoted by the article. Hindus that protect nature is portrayed as the correct viewpoint. The people who pollute the environment, cut down trees, or have too many material possessions are represented as the negative point of view. It is very easy to distinguish facts from opinions in the article. For instance, stating that a major part of Hinduism is worshipping nature. Although that could be true for Ramprakash and the Hindu temple he stays in, it may not be true for all Hindus. Due to the fact that Hinduism encompasses many different traditions, Gods, rituals, and beliefs, it is very likely that a group of people within the Hindu community do not believe that nature is vital to the religion.

This article gives a peaceful sense toward religion. The author portrays Hinduism as a solution for dealing with the impurities, such as pollution and materialism, in the world. The reader feels a sense of happiness and tranquility when the author focuses on the goldfish swimming instead of the pollution that is in the lake.

 

Maaß, Birgit. “Reflecting on Hinduism’s Links to Nature | Global Ideas | DW.DE | 02.04.2013.” DW.DE. N.p., 4 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. http://www.dw.de/reflecting-on-hinduisms-links-to-nature/a-16714698

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