In today’s age, we all are aware of the Natural Resources — or rather the shortage of natural resources, and the need to use them carefully. Even the children are now taught in the school from a young age that whatever the nature provides us with, is precious and is in limited quantity; so wastage of any kind should be avoided.
Along with this, the concept of recycling / re-using/ up-cycling has gained a lot of importance. This is a commendable trend and the more we absorb it in our routine life, the more helpful it is in maintaining the balance of nature.
Although now these ideas have gained momentum, these are not new concept – at least these are not new for our Indian culture.
An ancient story of Gautam Buddha goes as follows:
Once a disciple of Gautam Buddha, a Bhikkhu or a Monk, approached Buddha and payed his respects. Then the disciple put forth his request, ‘O Great One! I have used my clothes for a long period of time. Now the clothes are worn. Please arrange to give me some new clothes….’
Buddha Asked him, “What did you do with your old garments?”
The disciple replied, “O Great One, I’m now using my old clothes as my bedding to sleep on at night.”
“Then what happened to your old bedding?” Buddha asked.
“It had become very old,” The disciple replied, “So now I am folding it and using it as my pillow.”
“And where is your old pillow then?” Buddha asked curiously.
“I am now using that as my door-mat, because that old pillow was all torn,” And before Buddha could ask further, the disciple continued, “The previous door-mat was all worn-out, so I am using the threads of that door-mat as wicks in the oil lamp.”
Buddha smiled and nodded his head. He then made arrangements to give new clothes to that disciple.
So, recycling / re-using the old things in some other way, was always a way of life in our Indian culture. The ‘Use and Throw’ ideology came much later, probably borrowed from others. So now once again we are going back to our roots and making use of old and used things in various other ways. Because –
Natural Resources are precious.
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