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January 2015

Study of Global Warming Management in Rig-Veda and Indian Constitution

Mohammad Harun Chippa,

Research Scholar,

Department of Law,

MLSU Udaipur (Raj.)



            The present paper is an attempt to control and manage the problem of global warming through Rig-Vedic model of cosmic management. This model is justified in the light of Indian constitution. The problem of global warming is prevalent today. Regarding global warming, ‘Stockholm Conference’1 ‘Kyoto Protocol’2 and ‘Cop-15 & 16’3 are widely recognized to eliminate and decrease the problem of global warming but these have not been successful. Many attempts have been made by the knowledgeable persons of this field to control and manage the global warming but these attempts are not enough to control the problem of global warming. The problem is rising day by day.4 Global warming is basically caused by three factors viz. greenhouse gases, pollution and deforestation.5 Greenhouse gases are the main source for global warming after deforestation and pollution. There is a need to control the global warming so that a person can live happily, merrily and prosperously without stress. This paper presents a model for controlling & managing this problem through Rig- Veda. Rig-Veda is the oldest book of knowledge in India. It contains the knowledge which is eternal & universal. According to F. Max Muller ‘Rig-Veda have so many remedies for the problems of philosophy, science, art religion, cosmology, ethics and poetrfvy.’6 It is also considered as a holy book in Hinduism. By the Hinduism it is regarded as a book of divinity. It is regarded as revealed by the Brahma. According to some Scholars, it is said to be merely a book of poetry. Rig-Veda contains ten-mandates to controlling global warming.

Introduction of Global Warming

            Global warming refers to ‘climate change that causes an increase in the average temperature of the lower atmosphere.’7 Global warming can have many different causes, but it is most commonly associated with human interference, specifically the release of excessive amounts of greenhouse gases, pollution and deforestation. It is used to describe ‘a gradual increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth's climate forever.’8 According to Encyclopedia of American History ‘gases created through human, industrial and agricultural practice primarily carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and wood, as well as methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons increase the heat-reflecting potential at the atmosphere, thereby raising the planet's average temperature.’9 ‘Global warming is the observed increase in the world's temperature of the Earth's atmosphere’10 Greenhouse gases and greenhouse effect was discovered by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrheniuusin (1896). It is a process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by atmospheric gases warm a planet's lower atmosphere and surface. 11

Causes of Global warming

            Causes of global warming are greenhouse gases, deforestation and pollution. These are the major factors of global warming. The problem of global warming begin with the Industrial Revolution in the 1850's and accelerate after that, the human consumption of fossil fuels has elevated CO2  levels from a concentration at -280 PPM to more than 380 PPM today. These increases are projected to reach more than 560 PPM before the end of the 21st century. It is known that carbon-dioxide levels are substantially higher now than at any time in the last 750,000 years.12 Along with rising methane levels, these changes are anticipated to cause an increase at 1.4 - 5.6°C between 1990 and 2100. The major causes of global warming are the omission of greenhouse gases like carbon-dioxide methane, nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. The major source of carbon dioxide is the power plants. These power plants emit large amounts of carbon dioxide produced from burning of fossil fuels for the purpose at electricity generation.

            About twenty per cent of carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere comes from burning of gasoline in the engines of the vehicles.13 This is true for most of the developed countries. Buildings, both commercial and residential represent a larger source of global warming pollution than cars and trucks. Building of industrial structures requires a lot of fuel to be burnt which emits a large amount of carbondioxide in the atmosphere. Methane is more than 20 times as effected as CO2 at entrapping heat in the atmosphere. Methane is obtained from resources such as rice paddies, bovine, flatulence, bacteria in bogs and fossil fuel manufacture. When fields are flooded, an aerobic situation build up and the organic matter in the soil delays, releasing methane to the atmosphere. The main source of nitrous oxide include nylon and nitric acid production, cars with catalytic converters, the use of fertilizers in agriculture and the burning of organic matter. Another cause of global warming is deforestation that is caused by cutting and burning of forests for the purpose of residence and industrialization.

Rig-Vedic Model

            Rig-Veda is one of the oldest Veda written about 1500-1000 B.C. It is also known as Rig-Veda Samhita. Vedas means Knowledge.14 Etymologically, originated from the two Sanskrit terms ‘Rig’ means praise and ‘Vid’ corresponding to the English words ‘wit’ and ‘wisdom.’15 According to Prof. H. Zimmer ‘the vedic hymns are the oldest extent literary and religious monument of the so called Indo-European family of languages.’16 ‘The Vedas give us abundant information, respecting all that is more interesting in the contemplation of antiquity.’17 ‘Vedic hymns not only present us with a universal standard of morality represented by Rta they also lay down certain duties as the concrete manifestation of Rta.’18

            In the Rig-Veda Rta means Dharma both the terms are used in the same sense. ‘Ritam represents the basic truth, harmony, system or eternal moral order of the entire universe. That which is universally true is ritam and that which is the opposite or false is termed Anritam.’19 Rta means the course of things. It shows an order in objects of universe. The Principle underlying the cosmos is termed as Rta by the Vedic seers. Rta is antecedent to all the objects of the universe and the external universe is its manifestation. Rta is unchangeable and eternal. Rta denoted the fixed course of the universe. Heaven and Hell owe their present existence to it.20 In this way, Rig-Veda presents the concept of Rta which is a representation of cosmic management in the universe.

            In the further part of Rig-Veda connotation of Rta becomes more comprehensive and it was taken to signify the ethical course of Gods and Persons. The world follows the course of Rta.21 The whole universe depends on Rta and moves with it.22 The concept of Rta propounds the existence of an intelligent basic principle that regulated the cosmos as well as the life of Individuals. As E.W. Hopkins says about Rta that ‘it is the order instituted by the wise spirit as regulator of world.’23

            Further Rta as a natural law gradually developed into a moral principle. It is the summumbonum of the individual and society. Without Rta there is no goodness in human life but in the universe. In this way, universe is teleological. Vedic Gods+ also follow the Rta, an eternal law. In reference of Gods it is metaphysical and in case of persons++ it is moral. Through the moral order person follow the path of Gods.

            Rig-Veda believes in the existence of Karma+, Samsara++ and Dharma+++. Rig-Vedic concept of Rta presents the concept of cosmic management. Cosmic management means “everything is managed through cosmic laws and order.’24 Sometimes it is said that when everything is managed by the cosmic law then what are the rights and duties of a person. It means one should follow only the path which is prescribed to him by his own capacities and capabilities. It means every person is free to do whatever he like or not. It is a form which forms the part of morality. It presupposes the personality, conscience (rationality) and freedom to will.

            Cosmic management is referred as Rta in the Rig-Veda. Rta denotes the moral law towards the well-being of each person. When one acts accordingly to cosmic management then there will not be a problem. A problem is a problem only and only when because it has a solution. A problem which has no solution is a riddle or mystery. To control the behaviour of a person some prescribed code of conduct is referred to each person. As Purusha-Sukta* maintains that the “Brahamin originated from the mouth, Kshatriya originated from arms and Vaishya from thighs and Shudra from the Legs.”25 This notion is misinterpreted by the most of the scholars as B.R. Ambedkar** maintains that this part of Rig-Veda is added to Rig-Veda in 4th or 5th century A.D. This view is not right. In the Purusha-Sukta Brahmins represents the knowledge, Kshatriya represents the courage and bravery, Vaishya denotes the ability to deal and Shudra denote the servicing. These are only the symbolic representation of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. This classification present the choice for each person to live accordingly and fulfill the duties associated with these varna.

            Later, this view was fully elaborated by Rama Krishna Paramhans***. He says “I am a Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya as well as Shudra too.”26 This view is also supported by M. K. Gandhi. This reference is made only to denote that every person has some distinct qualities and capabilities. These capabilities can be improved through training and development of a person. This notion also characterizes the four-fold classification regarding their quality. The Varna-Vyavasthaahas never been on birth but on the desire to do something which one likes. It is based on action.

            Every person is a participant in this framework of cosmic management. It leads to the ultimate and highest good (Purusartha). # In Indian tradition, there are so many ultimate goals have been mentioned by the different schools of thought. According to Vatasayana, Kama~~~ and Artha~~ are the main goals for which every person should pursue.27 According to Hinduism (Sanatana belief), Dharma~, Artha, Kama & Moksha~~~~ are the goals for a person.28 According to Chaitanya, who propounded the school of Vaishnavaism, Love is the ultimate goal after attainment of these four goals.29 Chaitanya literally means consciousness in English. Love is the fifth goal for a person.

            When a person acts according to these attainable goals then a person at micro level and society at the macro level will enjoy the serenity of body as well as of mind. These goals are a combination of truth, right and beauty.30 Each person should act in a way in which he himself as well as others may get the human-ideals. It doesn’t mean that a person should exploit the nature and environment. When a person participates against cosmic management it leads to stress, pain and so many life-threatening diseases. So, it is the duty of each person to act rightly in regards of cosmic management. One should follow the moral codes of cosmic management. When this moral code is pursued by a person then he becomes knowledgeable as well as wise. Knowledge leads to intelligence. Intelligence is of four type viz. ratonal intelligence, moral intelligence, emotional intelligene, spiritual intelligence. When one’s actions are directed to ultimate good then one can actively participate in the cosmic management. It is a moral pressure that leads to do the right actions in the light of the highest good. A good may contain so many right actions according to the capacity, capability and aptitude of a person. The right which does not fall under the category of good, that right is wrongly right. Here it can be concluded from the above discussion that an action should be directed towards the highest goal which is love. According to Narada#, love has five characteristics. These are, viz. love is devoid of any characteristics, it is free from desire, it increases with time, it is subtle than subtlest and it is based on experience.31 According to Swami Vivekananda##, love has three characteristics viz. it knows no bargaining, it knows no fear and it knows no rival.31(a) According to Vaishnavism### love has six characteristics viz. respect, whatever one like give it to the loved one, subject accepts whatever object give, express the secret before the object, ask for the secrets of the loved ones and offering foods to object. 31(b)

Vedic Justifications

            To control the global warming, Rig-Veda presents so many insights. First of all, Global warming is caused by the polluted water and air. Regarding this it is said in the Rigveda that Varuna is the deity of water.32 Water is supposed to be a deity namely Varuna. Water is mentioned as a divine entity. Its lord is Varuna.33 It is mentioned in the Mahabharata that thirty-three Crore deities resides in the water. It is said in the Rigveda that ‘Earth is the mother and I am her son.’ The deity of air is Maruta. In Gita, Nature is termed as ‘Aasthaa-Koni.’34 In the Varaha Purana it is mentioned “preserving the trees is a pious work.”35 The environment is metaphorically compared to deities to control the behavior of Individuals towards the preservation of water, tree and greenry. These examples mention that when one treat the environment in this way then the problem of global warming can be controlled. In, sum total it can be said that nature and environment is worshipped by the person. Nature is regarded as mother and no one exploit the mother. Trees are described as the manifestation of Supreme Power. So, one should not cut the trees and should not impure the air and water because they are the gods and leads to the fulfillment of desires of person.

Justification through Indian Constitution

            Global warming is a problem that is raised in the last century. It is believed that it is caused by the gases, pollution and deforestation as well as the other reasons also mentioned by the different scholars and the knowledgeable persons of this field. It affects human as well as humanity at the micro and the macro level, respectively. Recently, Tsunami at Japan may be referred as an effect of Global Warming. So, it is duty of every human being to save the world. It is the duty of each person to protect the environment and to control the pollution as well to reproduce the natural resources.36 Indian constitution also attempts to proceed with the concept of Rta (Dharma). It took some notions from the Rig-Veda to the constitution. It provides significant importance to the morality into legal codes. Major cause of global warming is greenhouse gases. Regarding this Indian constitution under article 21(a) maintains that “a company should be banned if it deals with harmful gases.”37 It is the duty of every person in most of the constitutions to use the filters in their companies so that the greenhouse gases may be firstly filtered and then come into the contact of environment. It will eliminate the global warming. Second cause of global warming is deforestation. Regarding deforestation article 48(a) and 51(a) clause seven maintain that each person will preserve the nature and environment.38 As well as one will help in increasing the plants in the community as well as will endeavor to improve the conditions of plants. There are three types of pollution, noise pollution, air pollution, water pollution. These pollutions are generally made by the individuals. Third cause of global warming is pollution.

            Regarding pollution control Indian Constitution maintains that clean water and fresh air will be provided to every person. It is mentioned in article 21 which is of right to live. One may writ public interest litigation under article 32.39 This notion maintains that one will get the fresh air and water.


            The problem of global warming can be eliminated or decreased through the Rig-Vedic model. This model treats the air and water as a Deity which fulfills the human desires and provide him good health and wealth. It doesn’t mean that one person should exploit or harm them. These are my personal opinion as well as sanctioned by the different scholars in the world, when these are practiced by a layperson then the problem of global warming will not be a problem. Further. It can be said that Morality is easy to follow because it is based on individual’s free will on the other hand Law enforce the behavior of a person. These are very helpful guideline to control the behavior of human being.

            Industries and companies are governed by the human-beings. If they follow the above mentioned suggestions, then our forthcoming generations will respect their fathers and will live happily (Aananda).# Otherwise, there will not be any human-being to live on this beautiful earth due to global warming. By the way, the world will have the children without full biological parts in their body. As we follow the Vedic Management in our daily life, the problem of global warming will not be a problem on which we have to worry. This is an idealistic model to control the global warming through the cosmic management. Here it must be noted that ideals are for the attainment. When humans have those ideals which are far from the achievement, then they are not the ideal. They are merely the imagination and fantasy. I believe, when we think about water, air, earth, nature in this way then the earth will be a better place to live happily and merrily without stress. (in the state of Aananda And Shiva)##



[1]        Strack, J.G. “”Introduction to International Law” P.406

[2]        Miller, G. Tyler ‘Environmental Science working with the earth’ P. 295

[3]        Moskos, Peter ‘Cop – 15 in the HOOD: My Year Policing Baltimores’ eastern District, Hudson, John “The Cop Texas :Ouflas” Bakars, Scott Phildin Tom – The FunnyrestCopstories

[4]        ‘How Do Plan Release Cor Into TheAtmosphwere’ P. 10

[5]        Miller, G. Tyler ‘Environmental Science working with the earth’ p. 293, Casper, Keerrmer Julie ‘Fossil Fuel & Pollution: The Future of Air Quaity’ Hill, K. Marquita : understanding Environmental Pollution

[6]        Muller, F.Max “Sacred Books of East : Rig-Veda” P. - 12

[7]        Parikshit, Ballabha ‘Global Warming: An International Emerging Issue’ P. 154


[9]‘      How Do Plan Release Cor Into TheAtmosphwere’ P. 25

[10]      Parikshit, Ballabha ‘Global Warming: An International Emerging Issue’ P. 45

[11]      Parikshit, Ballabha ‘Global Warming: An International Emerging Issue’81,83

[12]      Parikshit, Ballabha ‘Global Warming: An International Emerging Issue’205

[13]      Tellier, Beauregard Fredenc “The Kyoto Protocol addressing greenhouse gases emission from on road vehicles” P. 95

[14]      Sharma, S. N. ‘Indian Ethics’ P. 14

[15]      Sharma, S. N. ‘Indian Ethics’ P. 14

Note: Contact author for the complete list of references


End Notes

1+Vedic Gods means Deities mentioned in the Rig-Veda Like Indra, Agni, etc. for further details refer to the Hindu Mythology: Vedic and Puranic‘’ Wilkins, W. J. Rupa and Cmpany, Delhi. 2006

2++ For the further details regarding who is a person refer to the ‘’Joseph Fletcher “Indication of Humanhoof : A Tentative Profile of Man” Bioethics Edited by Thomas A. Shannon. NewyorkPaulist Press 1970 PP. 320-324

3+Karma literally means action. It is believed that everyone is responsible for his actions.

4++Samsara literally means the external or physical world.

5+++Dharma literally means Sanatana Dharma which is eternal. It refers to the Hinduistic belief

6* Purusha-Sukta is the hymn 10:90 of Rig-Ved. It is dedicated to purusha the cosmic being. One version contains 16 verses, while other version contains 24 verses.

7** B.R. Ambedkar is the first law minister of independent India.

8***Rama Krishna Paramhans is a saint, philosopher as well as an enlightened person. He is Guru of Swami Vivekananda

9$ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is the father of India.

10$$ Vatsayana is the name of a Hindu Philosopher in the Vedic tradition. It is believed he lived in 4th to 6th century.

11He is credited for writing a book on art & science of love making.

12$$$ Chaitanya is a Hindu saint and social reformer in the 16th century. He is believed by the GaudiyaVaishanivism the full incarnation of Lord Krishna.

13# Purusartha means which is sought by man. It is the human purpose, aim and goal of a person. The four-fold Purusartha

14~Dharma literally means which upholds the world. Literally it means the duty and responsibility.

15~~Artha, it represents the material prosperity and the purchasing power, owing the relations is also a part of artha.

16~~~Kama means dreams and desires.

17~~~~Moksha is the liberation or freedom from the worldly stress, sorrows and pain.

18# Narada is the Divine sage from the Vaisahnava tradition. He propounded the Philosophy of love. Philosophy of Love is termed as ‘Saptam-Darsana’ (Seventh Philosophy)

19## Swami Vivekananda is a enlightened person. He is known for his practical vedantic approach.

20### Vaishanavism. It is a thought of school in Hinduism.

21# Aananda is the state of highest bliss. It is not the happiness. It is the mental happiness.

22## Shiva is the state of dance, music and intoxication. In the Saktism (it is a branch of Hinduism) Shiva supposed to be the Supreme Lord. Symbolically, Shiva is being represented in the word ‘Om’ in the Rig-Vedic tradition. It literally means Love. It is believed that there are four characters in the ‘Om.’ These three characters represent the three types of love. On the character one emphasizes gets that type of love from the lord Shiva.




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