Once, during his childhood, Guru Har Rai, the seventh Sikh Guru, walked through a garden and accidentally damaged some flowers with his flowing robe. The sight of the scattered, crushed petals – once vibrant and full of life –  deeply  moved his gentle heart. From that moment, he made a vow never to cause harm to anything in the world. It's no surprise that Sikh Environment Day, celebrated worldwide on March 14, honors Guru Har Rai, known for his profound connection to nature. He taught us to live in harmony with our surroundings, recognizing nature as the dwelling place of the divine.

Reference of nature in Sikhism 

In Sikhism, the Supreme Being is known as "Waheguru." This wondrous master reveals Himself in nature and throughout the cosmos. Referred to as "Akal Murat," meaning the timeless image, Waheguru transcends time and fills all cosmic forms. As "Karta Purukh," the prime mover and creator,.Waheguru fashioned the world with its skies, mountains, sun, moon, stars, oceans, rivers, rains, dew, flowers, and animals. Even within a tiny drop of water, Waheguru's presence is felt. Guru Nanak beautifully expressed, "He is the tablet, he is the pen also — writing on it too." The Supreme Being is envisioned as diffused throughout His creation. If He exists everywhere and in everything, why would He cause chaos? Why harm His creation?

The Almighty's creation reflects harmony through two fundamental forms: manifestation and will. Waheguru reveals Himself in nature, while His divine will underpins the entire cosmic existence. As stated in Asa di Var, it was Waheguru's "raza," His "bhana," His "hukam" that brought the world into existence. Seated at the center of nature, Waheguru observes with joy the unfolding drama of creation. His divine will governs all life forms, striving for harmony within the cosmic order.

Guru Nanak believed that God is everywhere in nature, and we humans are just one part of His creation. He taught that realizing the vastness of God's creation makes us humble and helps us overcome our ego, which stops us from understanding ourselves fully. When people are full of ego, they only care about themselves and not others. But when they are humble, they become closer to God. Nature teaches us about God's qualities, like giving and forgiving, just like water, which flows humbly for everyone. The Sikh prayer, Ardas, shows that true worship is serving everyone, as it says "Sarbat da bhalla," which means wishing well for all.

To honor the Creator and His Creation, Sikhs celebrate March 14th as Sikh Vatavaran Divas. On this day, each Sikh family plants a tree and tries to be more eco-friendly in their daily lives, showing their respect for nature and their commitment to taking care of the environment.

*Based on an article by Kulbir Kaur, published in Asian Age on 19th March 2013


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