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Sustain dharma for sustainability


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Sustain dharma for sustainability

  1. 1. Sustain Dharma for Sustainability Ms V Chaitanya Lakshmi Institute of Public Enterprise, Contents O U Campus, Ms. V.Lahari Hyderabad 500 007
  2. 2. Abstract Sustainability Dharma & sustainable development Dharma and ecological sustainability Dharma, Society and the Economy: Dharma economics Some of the Reasons for the Present Scenario Mismatch between Growth and Regulation Things to be followed from Business management point of view “You be the change” Conclusion Sustain Dharma for Sustainability
  3. 3. Ms V Chaitanya Lakshmi Student of PGDM I Sem Institute of Public Enterprise, Dr. G. Vidyanath Senior Faculty O U Campus, Hyderabad 500 007 Abstract God has created all of us with equal abilities. Some of us are using our abilities for our development besides contributing to the growth of the society around us, while most of us are using them for self development. As a result, there has been uneven growth in the world around us, increasing inequalities among us, etc., posing a threat to the sustainability of humanity at large. This situation has arisen, because we have forgotten our human dharma of “upholding dharma in whatever we do so that the dharma itself would protect us”. Dharma is the duty of every one of us of maintaining the natural order in a righteous way. “Sustainability is to uphold life within the carrying capacity of the supporting eco-systems beyond a finite time boundary”. Therefore, it is the duty and onus of all of us to maintain nature in a righteous way to sustain the natural human capabilities for an infinite time. In this paper a humble attempt is being made to highlight the reasons for the present situation of un-sustainability caused by ignorance and negligence of our dharma in maintaining and sustaining humanity. It emphasizes the need for activities towards the direction of humanity and the health of the environment we live in. It suggests how an individual, a family and the society can uphold dharma in all perspectives to enhance sustainability of humanity. Sustainability Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has ecological, economic, political and cultural dimensions. Sustainability requires the reconciliation of environmental, social equity and economic demands - also referred to as the "three pillars" of sustainability or (the 3 Es). Sustainability interfaces with economics through the social and environmental consequences of economic activity. Sustainability economics involves ecological economics where social aspects including cultural, health-related and monetary/financial aspects are integrated. Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. Dharma for sustainable development
  4. 4. The word "dharma" comes from the Sanskrit root dhri, meaning to "uphold" or to "sustain." From this perspective, the best way to think of dharma is to say, "that which upholds or sustains the positive order of things: the nation, the community, the family and ultimately even the universe." At a social level, every individual has a particular dharma according to their place in life. Children have a dharma, parents have a dharma, teachers have a dharma, the police have a dharma and even the head of a nation has a dharma. Dharma as the duty of maintaining the natural order in a righteous way. Dharma refers to those behaviors that are necessary for maintaining the natural order of things-another way of expressing the concept of “Duty”.“Sustainability is to uphold life within the carrying capacity of the supporting eco-systems beyond a finite time boundary”. Therefore it is the duty of all of us to maintain nature in a righteous way and caring the environment that gives us life to sustain the natural human capabilities for an infinite time. To practice dharma is to understand oneself. To understand oneself is to understand my relationship to everything, including the earth. Therefore, to practice dharma is to be in an appropriate relationship with the earth. One must include the principles of sustainability in one‟s life.The need for us to take drastic measures for re-adjusting our lifestyles is urgent. The Dharma teaches that we must consider the impact that every decision we make will have on generations to come to enhance sustainability. Dharma and ecological sustainability In search for pleasure & affluence modern humanity has exploited nature without any restraint to such an extent that nature has been rendered almost incapable of sustaining healthy life. Invaluable gifts of nature have been polluted resulting disastrous consequences. Humanity is now searching for ways and means of overcoming the pollution as health is being alarmingly threatened. If we are to act with a sense of responsibility to the natural world, to our fellow beings to future generations, we must find an appropriate environmental ethic.For survival, humans depend on nature for their food, clothing &shelter medicine and other needs. For maximum benefits humans have to understand nature so that they can usefully utilize natural resources while living harmoniously with nature. By understanding the work of nature for example, the seasonal rainfall pattern, methods of conserving water by irrigation, the soil types, the physical conditions required for growth of various food crops-humans can get better returns from their farming. But this learning has to be accompanied by moral restraint if the benefits of natural resources are to be enjoyed for a long time. Dharma, Society and the Economy
  5. 5. According to dharma in the Buddhist teaching, Firstly, human beings have to live in peace and harmony with each other, other beings and nature. Secondly, truth and non-violence are essential and thirdly society has to be non-exploitative and human beings have to act in a manner that optimizes health, happiness and welfare of everybody including those in other societies or nations. Fourthly humans beings have to live a life of simplicity and lastly there is need for self-control, friendliness,compassion ,love and forgiveness. Humanity must learn to satisfy its needs and not to feed its greed., dharma advocates the virtues of non-greed , non-hatred and non-delusion in all human pursuits. Greed breeds sorrow and unhealthy consequences. Wealth should only be a means to an end; it is for the satisfaction of human needs. Hoarding is considered a senseless anti-social habit. Dharma advocates that a householder should accumulate wealth as a bee collects nectar from a flower. The bee harms neither the fragrance nor the beauty of the flower, but gathers nectar to turn it into sweet honey. Similarly, a human being is expected to make legitimate use of nature so that one can rise above nature and realize one‟s innate spiritual potential.So to reverse this process of moral decay is to restore Dharma. We also have to accept that selfishness and greed are not going to vanish overnight. It would appear that the first step of being dharmic would be to explain how the present way of life is not in our own interest, let alone in the interest of millions of other beings and future generations. The second step would be to challenge the social strictures which sustain and promote values that lead to ecologically destructive results. Two structures of particular importance would be education and economics. In the secular democracies of the west, both of these structures are based on belief in value-free knowledge, unlimited progress and the individual freedom. The combined effect of these beliefs and the rapid erosion of the values(compassion, generosity, self-control) which come from western religions. As a force of spiritual renewal dharma would seek to inject fresh awareness of undisputed values. Dharma economics In the modern economics the prime motto is raising the standard of living or maximsing the consumption which is called materialism and there by optimizing the production. The production philosophy of modern industrialism is based on the corporate need for profits, technological determination and ecological indifference. Following Dharma, the Buddhist economy may be briefly enumerated as: The goal of such system is the maximization of human happiness , combined with full mental and moral growth and the optimization of health and water. It is driven by morality and stress selfcontrol and the regulation of material consumption rather that its maximization
  6. 6. Some of the Reasons for the Present Scenario In Indic religious traditions, a number of rituals and myths exist in which the environment is revered. Despite this nature worship in India, its natural resources are under heavy pressure with its growing economy and exploding population. We are not following the dharma of nature and the nature is taking revenge on us. We are misusing the environment. We are not respecting the pancha bhoothas, (the five elements), i.e., Air, Water, Sky, Fire and Land, they are also showing their negative impact on all of us. The mother nature has an equation made up of these five elements at which our lives would be very comfortable, healthy, etc.,. This equation also has tolerance limits. The mother nature is kind enough to permit us to make the necessary changes in the given equation to make our lives more comfortable. But, only when we go beyond these tolerance limits, the mother nature would react abnormally through natural calamities. Today, as we have gone far beyond these limits our sustainability is threatened. According to the mother nature any deadly disease can be diagnosed only in its third stage, where it is incurable. Then we are left with the only option of living with it for as long as possible. Similarly the unsustainability . How are we polluting these Pancha bhoothas at the expense of our necessities,comfort and luxuries and those which have now lead to threats for the sustainability of people planet and prosperity. We are polluting the Air We humans pollute the air by burning plastic which is non-biodegradable this to when burnt gives off the gas co2. Believe it or not cows are also polluting the air as each day they give off large amounts of a gas called methane which is harmful to the atmosphere. We contribute to pollution of air by smoking, burning plastics, bellowing fumes from our cars, chemical sprays, personal sprays,deodorants, perfumes, by cleaning products that contain harmful ozone damaging chemicals. Heavy metal toxins also play a part in polluting our atmosphere, and and bodies, because we inhale them every day, and the build up in the body, and can cause some very serious illness's. These are Mercury vapors, lead, aluminum, etc. Detoxing for specific heavy metals is possible nowadays, and is very effective. With the development of automobile industry, increase in the number of vehicles and polluting the environment.We are contributing to the global warming and thinning of Ozone layer when we switch on a few crores of air conditioners in this world. We are wasting and polluting water
  7. 7. Today we are forced to buy the drinking water, and a lot of drinking water is being wasted consciously and unconsciously. In the name of comfort we use a lot of water for a purpose than actually required. Direct sources polluting water include effluent outfalls from factories, refineries, waste treatment plants etc.. that emit fluids of varying quality directly into urban water supplies. Indirect sources include contaminants that enter the water supply from soils/groundwater systems and from the atmosphere via rain water. Soils and groundwaters contain the residue of human agricultural practices (fertilizers, pesticides, etc..) and improperly disposed of industrial wastes. Atmospheric contaminants are also derived from human practices (such as gaseous emissions from automobiles, factories and even bakeries). We are polluting the Space &sky Astronomers world-wide are concerned with the disappearing stars in the night sky due to increasing skyglow from uncontrolled urban uplight. Lights in the city illuminate night skies, hiding many of the stars. Outdoor lighting that interferes with the natural landscape is called light pollution. As urban areas grow, so does this type of pollution Space pollution refers to the gathering debris in orbit around the Earth, made up of discarded rocket boosters, broken satellites, and more. And just like the other types of pollution, space pollution is a cause for increasing concern as the amount of material continues to grow.We are causing a lot of ecological imbalances We are not respecting the Fire We are supposed to worship the Fire regularly and as we are not doing that the Fire is converting our natural wealth into ashes. We are polluting & overburdening Bhoomi, the mother Earth Agriculture--Accumulation of animal manures,excessive input of chemical fertilizers,illicit dumping of tainted crops on land. Mining and Quarrying-using of explosives to blow up mines, using of machineries which emits toxic byproducts and leaks to the ground. We are hallowing her by sucking the rich minerals from her and misusing the same Sewage sludge-improper sanitation system causes sludge to leak at surrounding soil . Dredged spoils-improper method of dredging at fertile land causes soil infertility, leaving the soil more prone to external pollution. Household-improper waste disposal system causes waste accumulation, improper sanitation system.
  8. 8. Demolition and construction--non biodegradable rubbles or debris which are not cleared settled in the soil undergo chemical reactions and increase soil toxicity. Industrial—poisonous/toxic emissions of gases which are not filtered or neutralized. Mismatch between Growth and Regulation We have not regulated the growth, as a result we have grown in a haphazard way. For example, Software industry, Insurance Sector, Tele Communication industry, Politics, Power Generation, Education, etc., have grown in haphazard manner. If we look at the global crisis 2008 such questions like Why loans were offered to people who couldn‟t afford to pay them off(subprime lending). Why regulators failed to curb individual financial practices that could bring down monolithic institutions. Why unsecured debt had become so dominant a force in the economy. And why governments had consistently turned a blind eye or actively encouraged this „age of irresponsibility‟ arises which are due to mismatch between growth and regulation which in turn that caused the crisis . Discontentment Jealousy and greediness are the main reasons for the today‟s situation Desire for more comforts is exhausting the limited sources.Allegations of corruption, bribery and improper practices are being prevailing all over the world . Look at the scams and unethical practices worldwide Unethical practice, resorting to dishonesty, trickery, Distortion of facts to mislead, manipulating people emotionally by exploiting their vulnerabilities, greed to amass excessive profit, creation of false docs to show increased profits, avoiding penalty or compensation, lack of transparency, harming the environment by exceeding the govt prescribed norms for pollution, sexual discrimination. Business houses that comply with ethics to determine their conduct are shrinking in number. The lack of business ethics in the market is the reason and this is why the whole world economy is presently in crisis, several scams all over the world and recent scams in Inida like 2013 Chopper scam, 2G spectrum, CWG scam etc. India ranks 95th among 182 countries on transparency Internationals corruption perceptions index. While the index ranks countries according to their perceived levels of public sector corruption. However it is not just public or private company but today most of the companies follow unethical practices and discontent among the individuals and excessive of owning wealth.If corruption can be tackled, perhaps the emergent Indian exceptionalism will take root. As the Buddha said, "No one saves us but ourselves." Now if we could only get out of our own way.
  9. 9. Overutilization of Available Resources Population is growing day by day and hence leading to Excessive human consumption. People for sake of their luxuries and comforts are exploiting the natural resources rampantly. For example take bath in bath tub, generally it takes one bucket of water for bathing but whereas in a bath tub it nearly takes 4-5 buckets of water. The purpose is same but consumption and wastage is more. We humans for the sake of our pleasure we are wasting water and now we‟ve come to situation where we‟re buying drinking water. People use air conditioners and other chloro-flouro carbon emitting things which badly effects the environment. As the Ozone layer is getting thinned with the emission of these cholorfloro carbons from vehicles and A/c‟s. Technological development Technology is seen as an all-powerful answer, it is increasingly being seen as too powerful, even addictive.It is one of the major causes for enhancing the need for sustainability, number of uses are increased for same material to make it all the more scarce. Dependence on the technology should be reduced, so that the human ability would be utilized properly.Using caluculator even for small calculations is making human brains so lazy and being more dependent on computer has developed lackadaisical attitude in people. We‟re losing the ability or willingness to think and memorise. How many of us today know the phone numbers of our friends and family? Computers, cell phones, iPads and tablets are wonderful things but our ability to think individually is definitely being diminished. Sustain Dharma for Sustainability - Sustaining or enhancing the sustainability How we can reshape the world so that we live in a sustainable, fairer and better way. And the beauty is that the change that is needed will make us sustainable & happier. That change is Sustain dharma and that dharma sustains the sustainability of People,Planet and Prosperity. Things to be followed from business point of view Broad-Based sustainable development Too many are intent on maintaining corporate prerogatives and preserving a narrow focus on short-term financial performance. BBSD is wholistic approach to development which extends beyond the narrow goal of economic growth Examples of Sustainable finance and sustainable business practices in India:
  10. 10. It was Godrej group, not Electrolux, which recently launched the world‟s cheapest fridge costing less than $100, The world‟s most affordable clean water solution has been launched not by Coca-Cola or Nestle, but by an Indian fertilizer company Tata Chemicals.Some of the Indian companies are blazing a trial with affordable, low energy, development-friendly products and solutions. In global perspective companies such as Google, Wal-Mart and Apple are investing in solar power. Such initiatives must be encouraged worldwide and efficient and effective utilization of those resources can reduce the plant dependence on fossil fuels ,non-renewable sources which is harming the People, planet and prosperity. Get Dharmic Dharma which means “that which upholds, supports or maintains regulatory order of the universe”. Dharma refers to those behaviors that are necessary for maintaining the natural order of things.“The global finance industry is sorely lacking dharma.”, perhaps more than any other profession, it has lost its sense of purpose. Arguably this has led to a dramatic collapse in the time horizon with which we allocate society‟s capital as we look to generate instant returns and instant rewards and to the steady erosion of the ethics from the industry. Indeed Capitalist myopia seems to have taken over the reins of the global markets. Capitalism is myopic and cannot make long-term investments social investments in education, infrastructure and research development that it needs for its own future survival. It needs government help to make those investments, but its own ideology won‟t allow it either to recognize the need for those investments or to request govt help. While this myopic view played a large part in the financial crisis as well as the erosion of ethics that continues to fuel the occupy movement, it has also negatively affected the Earth‟s natural environment. However just because humans suffer from myopic choice and find it hard to make a sacrifice now even for the sake of something better later doesn‟t justify taking a view of prosperity based on more or less instant gratification. While Gross domestic product may measure economic growth but it doesn‟t take into consideration the ecological ramifications of that growth and says that it is critical to find a credible vision of what what it means for human society to flourish in the context of ecological limits. Certainly Dharmic view could help to rectify this situation .It is necessary take into consideration the other GDP: Gross Damage to the Planet. Don’t cut out ESG Cutting social, environmental or governance corners costs shareholders in the long-run. Poor corporate governance has brought large Indian companies such as Satyam Computers to their Knees. Allegations of corruption, bribery and improper practices have seen the share of many property and infrastructure companies plummet. Poor Community relations have
  11. 11. delayed multi-billion dollar projects for years. The reverse is also true. In almost every sector the companies that have delivered the best long term returns are the companies that have taken their environment social governance responsibilities most to heart. “You be the change” The famous saying “Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha” told by Sri Krishna to Arjuna, which means “Protect the dharma and dharma will protect you”. When dharma is sustained the nation will prosper and so as the humans sustain but In present scenario here comes the reign of a-dharma by individuals having forgotten the ethics and dharma leading to unsustainably of the people planet and prosperity. All things cannot be achieved overnight. Similarly don‟t be in a feel that what happens with change in an individual. As small drops makes an ocean.Definitely the change in you can impact the society. You be the change and make sure the effect should be felt and followed in your family and then follows the society. Let us change our individual lifestyles such that it conserves natural resources.Practice and uphold dharma is to be in an appropriate relationship with the earth. We must include the principles of sustainability in our life. In all worldly activities , you should be careful not to wound propriety, or the canons of good nature.You should be prepared at all times to respect the appropriate dictates of conscience; you should watch your steps to see whether you are in someone else's way; you must be ever vigilant to discover the Truth behind all this scintillating variety. That is your dharma. Discharge your duties as intelligently and as devotedly as you can; but carry out your duties as if they are acts of worship offered to God, leaving the fruit of those acts to His will, His Compassion. Do not be affected when the results you anticipate are not produced; leave it to Him.Do your duty as a sincere sadhana .Whatever you do you must regard it as a duty done without any motive of self-interest or selfish gain. Through desire-filled actions we take birth, through desire less actions. Follow the sustainability principles 1. Reduce dependence upon fossil fuels, underground metals, and minerals 2. Reduce dependence upon synthetic chemical and other unnatural substances 3. Reduce encroachment upon nature 4. Meet human needs fairly & efficiently
  12. 12. Ways of living more sustainably can take many forms from reorganizing living conditions (e.g., ecovillages, eco-municipalities and sustainable cities), reappraising economic sectors (permaculture, green building, sustainable agriculture), or work practices (sustainable architecture), using science to develop new technologies (green technologies, renewable energy and sustainable Fission and Fusion power), to adjustments in individual lifestyles that conserve natural resources. Conclusion The need for us to take drastic measures for re-adjusting our lifestyles is urgent. Since the reasons for the present situation of un-sustainability caused by ignorance and negligence of our dharma in maintaining and sustaining humanity. It emphasizes the need for activities towards the direction of humanity and the health of the environment we live in. The Dharma teaches that we must consider the impact that every decision we make will have on generations to come to enhance sustainability. It suggests how an individual, a family and the society can uphold dharma in all perspectives to enhance sustainability of humanity.We‟ve emphasized how we can reshape the world so that we live in a sustainable, fairer and better way. And the beauty is that the change that is needed will make us sustainable & happier. That change is Sustain dharma and that dharma sustains the sustainability of People,Planet and Prosperity.