Friday, August 6, 2010

Recycling lessons from Buddha

Recently I read this interesting story of Buddha. One of his disciples goes to him and says that his robe was old and ragged and therefore he needed a new robe. Buddha saw that the robe was indeed in tatters and so he gave him a new one. The next day Buddha went up to his disciple and asked him what he did with his old robe. The disciple told him that he was using the robe in the kitchen as kitchen napkin. Buddha asked him what happened to the old kitchen napkin and the disciple told him that that cloth was being used to mop the floors and when asked what he did with the old mop the disciple told him "Master the wick that is being used to light our rooms is actually the strips of that discarded mop cloth". Buddha was immensely happy with his disciple. Nothing wasted! Now that is what recycling is all about and you have people telling you recycling is a modern concept.

Reading this story made me wonder at our present times. Right from olden times, be it our  grandparents or parents, the thing that I observed was that they were very careful about not wasting even a single thing and managed wonderfully. I guess our ancestors even in those times realised the worth of nature and her gifts. They never took things for granted. But somewhere down the line the concept of recycling and making use of every single thing has been totally lost. How many times have we not gone to the malls and bought things on an impulse? Then coming back home realised that, that was actually not what we wanted and hence put it aside as junk and then finally one day discard the whole thing even without using it for one single day?

How much food we order in the restaurants and then waste it because we did not order wisely? How much food gets wasted when we arrange functions and  other large events? In the long run, the consequences are there for all  to see. We are all now worried about global warming and pollution and waste disposal and so on and so forth.We never think of giving back to nature, but are always interested in looting what is given by nature. Is it not high time that we as parents  educate ourselves first and bring about awareness in our children and make this earth a habitable place to live in? What we must be aware of is that, the more conflict we have with nature the worst affected will we be.

Nothing will get done if we wait for someone else to do it for us. It is left to us take the first step and make this earth a habitable place for our future generation to live in.

5 comments:

Deven said...

In this context of recycling i wonder whether the Big shops like Big Bazaar, Reliance and all allow us to bring our own plastic bags or for that matter any bags??? When i was a kid i recollect my local kirana store guy used to pack things in paper and never ever used plastic bags...But over period of time he too had to switch to plastic bags..Atleast some medical stores today pack the medicines in paper bags...

Shobhana Shenoy said...

Yes Deven, I guess plastic is a boon as well as a bane. But over a period of time it has reached monstrous proportions and has become a grave concern and a serious cause of environmental pollution.

Seema said...

Today, we live in the age of disposable things. The thinking is -use and throw. Be it syringes, glasses, plates, napkins or even relations, everything is disposable. We are not attached to anything. This however, is not a step towards "nirvana", but towards the degeneration of human kind.

Everything is made for utility, when the utility is over, it is thrown away.

Shobhana Shenoy said...

Hi Seema,
Thanks. What you say is very true. Our life style currently revolves around our own convenience and is too very materialistic with scant regard shown towards anything or anyone.

taylor said...

Very nice story. Can you tell me what the source of the story is, I would like to find the original text. Thank you!