Monday, January 28, 2013

Ecology from the route of 'Theology'

Green Team India, under a joint effort by Y's Men Club of Vizag-Steel; YMCA, Visakhapatnam; Lions Club of Visakhapatnam North and N Power Foundation, Visakhapatnam, represented by Ysm. Dr. N. Jayakumar Rao, Programme Chairman; Ysm. L. Pragnan Kumar, Past President, Green Ambassador; Ysm. P. Vasantha Rao, Secretary; Mr. Sam Cherian Karuvely, President, YMCA; Mrs. M. Sarojini, President, N Power Foundation; Ln. N. Srinivas, President, Lions Club, Visakhapatnam North, Ysm. A.H.N. Venkata Rao, Chief Guest, Green Team India, Y's Men, President, Waltair Club and other distinguished dignitaries, has embarked on brand new theme and approach to `Ecology' from the route of 'Theology'.

 All along through our `in-land' and the `lands-beyond' we only have observed and participated discussions to improve upon the `Environment we live-in' livable and friendly to all organisms of all kinds from the Scientific, Socio-economic and Political point of views. On 27th December, 2012 at YMCA Conference Hall, Visakhapatnam, India, it has been a first ever collective and collaborative effort to deal with the same subject but from the perspective of `Theology' dogmatic and pragmatic to various lead religions in India and in the Globe, at large, namely; Judeo-Christian, Islam and Hindu.

It was an exciting and interesting session where intellectuals who deeply involved in the reclamation of the `Safe Earth' by means of their active participation through different service institutions like mentioned above, have gathered together, at the invitation, not to look up or around anywhere for the solution of the enigmatic ecological crisis but, this time, to gaze right at `within' through the goggles of their own Theology, with a shout at the top of the voice, i.e. `Let's Get Back to our Theology and Let's Get It Right'.

Life in the world moves on the basis of one's faith in Religion or in Science or in both. People for every area of their life consult these areas frequently. `Theology' being the Queen of all other `systematic studies', it is widely and largely consulted at every critical moment in life by very many. Therefore, what does our Theology say at the present Ecological crisis that the world is undergoing steadily but yet very damagingly, is a pertinent question we all had dealt with, at length, recently on 27th Dec.

Blessedly, we came to know about Rev. Dr. Mruthyunjaya, L.K., Director - Swanthana Seva Samithi, which is a Christian Humanitarian Voluntary Organization which facilitates the holistic awareness of the Church and the Society in meeting the comprehensive necessities of all, with a particular reference to the marginalized communities in a few pockets in Andhra Pradesh, India. Dr. Mruthyunjaya is a well-versed, highly educated, greatly awarded, practitioner of integral services in our country. As has been his vision, he holds Theology on one hand and the Sociology on the other, moves around equipping, motivating and mobilizing a corporate action to every existing crisis, be it, theological or sociological.

Having read through a couple of his articles on Environmental concerns and solutions from a Theological perspective, the Ys Men Club and the YMCA have invited him to present a paper and facilitate the corporate discussion and therewith an action to initiate. It was a remarkable and ever-memoral event where insightful and revealing information was brought out by Rev. Dr. Mruthyunjaya, the Presenter of the Paper and the Facilitator of the Discussion. Some of the experiences stated below:

Dr. N. Jayakumar Rao, Founding Member, YMCA, Visakhapatnam : "It takes guts to present this subject in this manner. In fact, I feel unworthy to comment on the mysteries in this angle, unravelled until now. At least now we must begin to look at environmental protection from the Biblical angle. Let us gird up our loins and leap forward to preach that it is every Christian's unmistakable responsibility to protect our environment."

Ysm. A.H.N. Venkata Rao, Green Team india, Y's Men International, President, Waltair Club, Visakhapatnam : "God declared all He created to be "good" and "very good".  Goodness does not imply finished, perfect or complete.  We are called to advance the culture, but we must do so in ways that do not adversely affect human health, the animal kingdom or the earth...It is my earnest endeavour that Rev. Dr. Mruthyunjaya, L.K. would expand the paper into a small booklet that must find its entry into every platform."

Ysm. L. Pragnan Kumar, Past President & Green Ambassador, APAY. : "It's very mysterious as to while all of us do believe our Scriptures and draw our inspiration from them; and all the lead Scriptures, unanimously, uproar that `all the visible and invisible creation originated from God' and when God viewed it, it was `good' and that God has ordered the humans to take care of the Creation'. And now sadly, the same `faith-people' spoil and ravage the nature utterly and to an extent of `irreversible manner'. So, what can we say, does `faith' save the nature or spoil the nature?"

The whole set of participants were just silent when Rev. Dr. Mruthyunjaya, the Presenter, makes a bold statement that IT WAS NOT, ACTUALLY, THE ECOLOGY UNDER CRISIS; BUT OUR UNDERSTANDING ABOUT GOD IS UNDER CRISIS. It is absolutely and truthfully honest that we have got our Theology wrong. The Hindu Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagvad Gita; Quran and the Holy Bible; all read from the same page when it comes to declare that the Creation emanated from God, He cares for it, He protects it and He has a place for His Nature all through. They that believe God cannot hard His Creation, instead, he or she must care for it. Dr. Mruthyunjaya's quote from Thomas Aquinas, "Any error about creation also leads to an error about God", has set the tone for all the discussions.

There was must brainstorming among the participants and each was encouraged to make a self-declaration in the light of the learning and the challenge that was posed. It goes something like this:

"I have solemnly and strongly convinced that there is an inseparable unity and identity between the Creator and the Creation. When we hurt the Creation, it hurts the Creator. I, therefore, unswervingly, makes a pledge that I will take all the care warranted from my faith point of view that I will never initiate nor prompt or promote any measure that will wreck the nature and form a potential threat to the living-kind on the earth."

We, therefore, introduce and recommend the same exercise could be done at every YMCA, Y's Men and other Organizations which are advocating for the `Green-Earth' in India and abroad; and with a equal tone, would we recommend that Rev. Dr. Mruthyunjaya could be called for to facilitate such sessions.

Ysm. L. Pragnan Kumar, Green Team- India.

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