Climate change has become a real issue worldwide in the present time, and our lifestyles and activities are directly responsible for greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. A recent study says that the average carbon footprint in the USA is 16 tons which is one of the highest rates in the world. To mitigate the carbon footprint, you must adopt new environmental habits. The ancient concept of yogic Yamas and Niyams are the best habits to reduce climate change and carbon footprint.
Yogic Yamas and Niyamas (Universal Ethics) :
Yam means controlled conduct, and Niyam means self- regulation. Yamas and Niyamas are a set of ten moral principles that lay the very foundation of Yoga. Without yam and Niyam, the practice of yoga can’t be successful. Yama teaches you how to behave with the people, things, and the outside world as a whole.
The Niyam is self-regulation. It teaches you how to make progress in your personal life without harming others. Niyam is an internal march; it imposes self-disciplined on you. Niyam is necessary. You don’t need a second entity to practice it except divinity. Yama and Niyam are vital elements to have proper harmony within the society to mitigate climate change.
Mental Purification to Mitigate Climate Change:
The weaknesses of humans gave rise to global warming and climate change. You deal with the Earth as an object to exploit indiscriminately for your benefit. In pursuit of money, energy, social and political power, you are ready to harm other living beings, your people, and Mother Nature and disturb the ecological system. Yogic Yamas and Niyamas offer you the proper solution to these entire behavioral crises. It sets your life through guiding principles.
The weaknesses arise in the human mind. So every human being ought to have strong environmental habits of selfless service and meditation to purify the mind. In this regard, the yogic Yamas and Niyamas are the best approaches to achieve mental purity to alleviating climate change. Here is the list of ten Moral Principles ( Yamas and Niyamas).
Brief Explanation of Yogic Yamas and Niyamas
Yamas: A set of five- controlled conduct: Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, and Aparigraha.
Each of your actions affects the environment. Be it a killing animal, eating, and fuels, all contribute to the number of greenhouse gases and discharge it into the atmosphere. However, the regular practice of Yogic Yamas and Niyamas removes your confusion and mental distraction. Below are the lists of moral principles.
Ahimsa (Non- harming)
- Ahimsa( Non- Violence):you need not inflict any suffering on any living being with a word, thought, and action. It is Ahimsa. Of course, if you are alone in this world and no second entity exists, then the questions of Himsa do not arise. But it is not so. You have to follow Ahimsa. Because there are innumerable living beings and things, the living beings also want to live and survive here happily with this ecosystem. So the first principle, Ahimsa, is necessary to comply with and maintain the equilibrium between you and other living things to mitigate climate change. As a result, a pleasing environment will co-exist in this world.
Satya(The philanthropic use of thought and phrase)
2. Satya (The philanthropic use of thought and phrase): If your feeling is not pure, it could cast a negative effect on the external world, animals, and person. You can’t deal with your fellow being properly. Your mind would usually be hesitant in this situation. Such negative thoughts will degenerate your activities in society which may hurt climate change. So you are to practice Satya (the philanthropic use of thought and word) in daily life.
3.Astey (non-stealing): You must understand you own nothing in this universe. Whatever you’ve got, it is the gift of God. You don’t own even your physical body and mind. If God thinks He can take it away at any moment without giving any notice to you. So you must not bring any feeling to acquire the wealth of others in your thought and action. This habit will have control over your greed. This psychology will stop unnecessary loot on natural resources. It would enable you to treat Mother Nature in a balanced way to reduce climate change.
Brahmacharya (Thinking of Divinity while doing any Behavior)
4. Brahmacharya means to think about Brahma (Divinity) traversing from one place to another place, one object to another object, from one time- span to another. You always think that everything is the manifestation of Brahama (Divinity).
Brahmacharya is an art to look at the object with the outlook of divinity. If you think of crude, your thought will become crude and lose all humanistic feeling. The materialistic bent of mind is always menacing, but the spiritual bent of mind is harmless. Brahmacharya will help you cultivate spiritual thought and love for all living and non-living things as you feel Brahma exists in everything. Eventually, it teaches you to use Mother Nature properly to mitigate the carbon footprint in each person’s action
5.Aparigraha (non-possessiveness): In Aparigrah, you resign everything except your requirement for the existence of the physical body. What do you long? You long for peace of mind. Being ignorant of it, you run after material things to hoard them for your desire for peace. You think amassing wealth you will enjoy more pleasure. It means you are in delusion. You don’t recognize how to achieve it. In reality, you want peace of life, but not pleasure in your life. You can’t fulfill your happiness by amassing any amount of wealth.
Peace is subjective. When you concentrate your mind on Brahma (divinity), you attain peace.
The wealth is limited in the universe. So live and let live. This idea will lessen the competition to accumulate physical wealth, and there might be less chance of infringement on Nature. Finally, it will lead to mitigate climate change.
Yogic Niyamas( Self- Regulation)
You don’t require a second entity to perform Niyamas. It is a self-regulatory process, and you follow five principles to impose control on yourself. It is your independent action.
1.Sauch (Cleanliness): Sauch is the first part of Niyam. Sauch (cleanliness) is of two types. The first one is to clean your body and surroundings. The second is the purity of the mind. To purify your mind from all the filthy ideas, you need to practice meditation, work for charity, attend your duty with punctuality, and be compassionate towards all living things. The practice of Sauch (cleanliness) will work to mitigate climate change.
2.Santosh (Contentment): It is the second part of Niyam. In the practice of Santosh (Contentment), you ought to be cheerful all the time. Sukha (happiness) and Santosh (Contentment) are the two parts of contentment. Sukha means when you get something according to your desire and the achievement creates a similar vibration in your nervous system, and you feel transient happiness in your mind.
Contentment means when you leave no desire for the particular items is contentment. You achieve self-satisfaction (internal bliss); you attain peace. The self-contentment helps you protect from unnecessary infringement to natural laws. The achievement reduces the carbon footprint in the atmosphere.
3.Tapah (penance): Tapah is of two kinds. The first is to take physical hard-ship to give happiness to the people; for example, serve your father and mother, ancestors, lower living beings (plants, animals, flora, and fauna), and humanity as a whole. The second is to serve God to please Him. For students, Purposeful study is Tapah. Tapah can create an atmosphere to mitigate climate change.
Savadhyaya ( learning with proper understanding)
4.Savadhyaya ( learning with proper understanding ): means the reading of philosophical and scriptural books. It suggests you study with its meaning to find out the Truth. All the holy books come under this category. A person who doesn’t have the reading ability can attend scriptural discourse or Satsang. The more you study, the better you understand Nature. A study with proper understanding can enhance your knowledge of the way to mitigate climate change.
5.Ishavarpranidhan (Meditation): The longevity of Human life is short. You must focus all your thoughts on Ishvara (God). Ishvara means who is the ultimate controller. In meditation, you must remember Him in all adversaries. It may be pain or pleasure, prosperity or poverty in all affairs of life. The idea of divinity will elevate positivity in you all the time, and you develop a strong will- power.
Summary: Yamas and Niyamas are the components of Yoga to establish unity with Nature and divinity. Yam gives you the strength to have controlled contact with other living beings, and Niyam is conducting to invigorate yourself for self-purification. Yogic Yamas and Niyams guide you throughout the journey of your life. Regular practice of Yogic Yamas and Niyamas lessens carbon footprint in the environment. Yogic Yamas and Niyamas could play a pivotal role in climate change.
Frequently asked question
Q.1. Why do Yama and Niyam so important for Yoga?
Ans: Yama and Niyams are the foundation limbs of Yoga. When you follow Yamas and Niyams, You develop disciplined conduct and offer proper output along the path of natural harmony. It protects you like a fence from any downfall in spirituality. These assist a rhythm between your individual life and collective life. Without Yama and Niyam, progress in the spiritual world is not possible. So the great yogis give due importance to Yamas and Niyamas.
Q.2: How are Yamas and Niyams helpful in reducing global warming and climate change?
Ans: The weaknesses of Humans are responsible for global warming as well as climate change. Because of your mental weaknesses such as greed, jealousy, anger, exploitation, and hatred, you treat Earth indiscriminately as an object to exploit for energy, money, and power. As a result, the world population faces global warming and climate change. Yamas and Niymas impose controlled touch with the environment, living beings, and humans and enhance your self-progress independently without harming others. Naturally, the right- use of Natural resources will mitigate climate change and global warming.
Q.3: Can I follow Yamas and Niyams in the present phase of corruption?
Ans: Money does not give you peace of life. For any reason, if you join hands with corrupt people and exploit others. Nature will punish you. A time will come you’ll lose complete peace, and your family will undergo tremendous torments for a generation. But if you follow Yamas and Niyams strictly, these protect you and your family from any onslaughts. You and your family grow with peace and prosperity and establish an ideal family. You’ll produce genius youngsters. Your family would be nature-friendly. If any corrupt people would dare to disturb you, they might start getting natural punishment. In your life, you’ll always experience divine intervention. An unseen force will ever be ready to shield you like the country of Israel.