The human species, Homo sapiens, is just one of the millions of species on Earth, but humans are unparalleled as they have the potential to cultivate virtues. Great mind power and a high level of consciousness make humans altogether distinct from all other species. The most beautiful art (or science, as some would say) that humans have put forth, is yoga. Yoga is not just confined to physical exercise, aerobics or pranayama. It is a sum total of all life-enhancing virtues. Life-enhancement is not just confined to human life; it includes all life that the earth embraces, nurtures, rears and evolves. Life is not a biological entity within the boundaries of earth’s biosphere. It is a phenomenon propelled and sustained by light, evolution and time. Biophysical form of life is a manifestation of this phenomenon.Yoga is not an object; it is a subject of life. When we alienate ourselves from the natural environment, yoga drifts away from its real, deeper meaning. In our contemporary world, life is shrinking as all species, including humans, are under stress. Numerous species are on the verge of
extinction; biodiversity is depleting.
It is all taking place at an accelerated rate due to anthropogenic activities that are compromising life.
Crises of life are rooted in the crises of nature. Environmental disruptions are rooted in negative karma. The core of this objectification of nature is in running the economy based on exploitation of natural resources. We can get rid of all crises, environmental as well as cultural, if we recognise and practise yoga as eco-yoga. Eco-yoga, in essence, is the very soul of karma yoga of India’s ancient culture, the Aranya Sanskriti. Interconnectedness of living organisms with their environment is what ecology is all about. And eco-yoga establishes, strengthens, consolidates and boosts human-nature relationships.
“Eco-yoga is based on the principle that all life is yoga,” says eco-philosopher Henryk Skolimowski. Natural evolution is one of renewal and enhancement of the sustainability of life. Human life is not something that is apart from the evolutionary phenomenon, but is a part and parcel of the whole of life.
Every species has specific and exclusive attributes. Homo sapiens is no exception. Humans have been conferred by natural evolution with extraordinary intellectual power. This power is an attribute of the evolutionary design of natural evolution. This is the yoga inherent in the mystery of natural evolution. Every species, in fact, is a mysterious “product” of evolution, including the human species.
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