I’m writing this blog at 2pm on Tuesday 11th February at my desk in Birmingham, UK. I woke up to clear but grey skies at 7.30am by 9.00am It had began to rain at 10.30am it turned into a ‘Biblical’ amount of rain and by 11.00 it started snowing. However despite all this by 12.30 the sun had come and at the moment it’s a pleasant sunny day.
I began to ponder whilst I was out walking, Has the weather ever been this extreme? From a rationalist or objective view it would seem mother nature being her unpredictable self. The Hindu inside me couldn’t help feel something else was going on. Looking at it through the lens of Hinduism it would quite easily be concluded the weather is out of balance.
Of course my mind went to work and began scanning for references to extreme weather in the Hindu Library of Knowledge. The story that jumped out to me was the First Avatar of Vishnu - The Avatar of Matsaya [Fish]. There are many cultures around the world that have accounts of a great flood or deluge for me the first account is the Avatar of Matsaya. I'm not going to go into the full story but suffice to say there was a flood.
The relevant bit of the story is the Human intervention. A human called Manu saves a small fish from being eaten by a larger fish. Breaking the natural order of the animal kingdom. Matsaya continues to outgrow his habitat and is eventually released back into the ocean but not after resources and labour are expended on accommodating his ever expanding size. Later Matsya now in the ocean forewarns Manu about an impending catastrophic flood and orders him to collect all the grains of the world in a boat; in some forms of the story, all living creatures are also to be preserved in the boat.
Explanations are given for the flood from the fantastical to a more rational and plausible explanation given by Rishi Vyas. Towards the end of the Mahabharat he explains to a dejected Dhritrashta and Gandhari the parents of the Kauravs that the war had to happen to reduce the burden on the Earth. Lord Krishna intervened as a kingmaker, Lord Ram intervened as a symbol of the ideal and sequentially all the previous Avatars intervened when Human interference became a burden on the Earth.
The freak weather is a sign but not the first sign but many signs on a cyclical path of self destruction, as a follower of Samkhya [Hindu Atheism] I'm required to base things on evidence but not of the scientific method. It was a Muslim scholar Prof Reza Aslan that explained what Sacred History is, only for me to realise in Hinduism we call it Ithihasa. It means to find wisdom from past events, less concerned with facts, dates and empiricism, For example John saw a homeless man and he gave that man the money he had. In the modern understanding we would be concerned if John really did that however the ‘ancient’ scholars were more concerned with wisdom.
The evidence is not of hard facts but of wisdom, especially the past. Many wise, learned and great souls have all said the same about learning from the past. For me it’s best summed up by Friedrich Nietzsche when he said The future influences the present just as much as the past. As a Hindu I find it imperative to act, it’s the highest call in the Bhagvad Gita to act when faced with an injustice. As mother nature is mother to us all who could keep quiet when their mother is treated with such disdain. I dare you to search out the facts and see what goes on in the world.