Pratītyasamutpāda in Buddhist Philosophy: An Environmental Perspective
Author(s): Dr. Anita Meena
Abstract: Environmental awareness, co-operation and nonviolence is the common message of Buddhism-‚
sukho Buddhānaṃ uppādo sukho Dhammassadesanā |
Sukhā saṁgassa sāmggī samaggānaṁ tapo sukho||”
- (Dhammapada, 14.8)
Peace and the survival of life on earth as we know are become threatened by human activities which lack a commitment to human values. Destruction of the nature and natural resources results from ignorance, greed and lack of respect for the earth’s living and non-living things. To control these digastric results of the nature we need to look forward our ancient thoughts and values. ‘Pratītyasamutpāda’ or dependent origination is a key principle and the central point of the Buddhist philosophical thought. According to this fundamental principle everything arises and causes in dependence upon causes and conditions. Environmental degradation is the result of human activities. How to balance between needs and greed? It is a big question in the present time. Buddhist philosophy says that desire of attachment ‘self’ is the root cause of suffering or ‘Dukkha’. Ignorance (avijja) of understanding ‘self’ and attachment towards materialistic world is the root cause of climate change and global warming. The whole problem of climate change is due to our individualist ‚desire of more‛. Dependent 39 origination can be understood in many aspects, like co-existence, interdependence, sustainable growth and so on. Therefore in the Buddhist context the insight and profound knowledge of pratītyasamutpāda is paramount important especially to overcome man’s basic problem of suffering in the world existence. Thus the every single problem related to the environment is connected with a particular cause. It means if we can identify and take the action in right direction we can definitely protect the environment.