God is our supreme father, and one of His energies, nature, is our mother. A mother nourishes her child with the milk from her body, and she also sees to the overall development of her child by imparting proper culture and education. Similarly Mother Nature cares for her innumerable children by providing grains, fruits, flowers, and medicinal herbs, and she showers her motherly affection on us by giving invaluable lessons, guiding us on the journey of life.
During one rainy season, I got an opportunity to stay at a small village named Galtare, 120 km north of Mumbai. I’ve had some attraction for rural life since childhood, and upon spending some time in the countryside, I could understand why Srila Prabhupada quoted the English poet Cowper: “God made the country, and man made the town.” I could see how the materialistic civilization prevalent in cities makes us godless. In the city, not seeing the hand of God in any aspect of life becomes natural. It is so easy to believe that industry and the Internet fulfill our needs. Packaged foods give us the sense that machines have manufactured them. Life goes on uninterrupted even if no rain falls for many years. But in the village, one can experience God closely. There life is absolutely dependent on agriculture, which depends on rain, and rain depends on God.
When we’re close to nature, the intoxication of the materialistic way of life gradually starts fading away. In my experience, the knowledge enunciated in Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and Srila Prabhupada’s purports becomes clearer.
The chirping of the birds, the symphony of the running stream, the mooing of the cows, and the sound of the swift breeze provide inexplicable happiness to the ears. Seeing the unlimited blue sky above, the thousands of stars at night, the giant mountains, the stretch of the green fields below swaying in the wind, and the love of a mother cow for her little calf is total perfection for the eyes. The mystical aroma of the soil, the scent of clear pollution-free air, the smell of freshly bloomed flowers, and the fragrance of cow dung deeply purify the sense of smell. The joy of touching soil, cows, green plants, and clear river water seems to reach even our souls. And the taste of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, water, and pure cow milk impels us to think how the artificial ways of modern life give us untainted miseries in the name of happiness.
While living in the countryside, I tried to visualize Srila Prabhupada’s priceless teachings. And I reaped satisfaction of the soul and enhanced faith. Understanding our supreme father becomes easy when our mother, nature, gives us personal lessons as she holds us in her loving embrace. In these pages, I have presented a few of the numerous teachings that Mother Nature helped plainly illustrate for me during my stay at Galtare.
Vamsi Vihari Dasa, a disciple of His Holiness Radhanatha Swami, has a graduate degree in commerce. For the past eleven years, he has been serving on the staff of the Hindi edition of BTG.