ecological and environmental preservation is intrinsic, innate and inherent in jainism. it is inbuilt and integrated in every principle, concept, tenet and mandatory doctrine of jainism. enlightened jain icons, arhats and tirthankaras pondered over and considered every aspect, the various causes of degradation and necessary measures, prophylactic to pre-empt as well as remedial to redress and redeem and also for sustained maintenance. all canonical and subsequent jain scriptures address extensively and comprehensively concerns and measures for environmental protection. the list is long. the notable scriptures are ayar suttam, dashvaikalik sutra, uttaradhyan sutra, thanang sutra, bhagwati sutra, sutrakritanga, atmanushasan, tilloyapannati, jambudweep prajnatpi, ratnakarand shravakachar, tatvarth sutra, panchastikaya, mulachar, purusharth sidhupaya, jain sidhanta deepika, jnarnava, ahimsa tatva darshan, syadvadmanjari, rajvartic, kartikayanupreksha, bodhi pahud, karamgranth, savayapannati etc. obviously the jain ethics and environmental ethics are synonyms.
the environmental scenario manifesting and evolving as of now is grim and dismal. the pollution level in soil, water resources and air has already reached maximum permissible and tolerance limits and continues to increase unabated. the dangerous consequences have started manifesting in climate change, melting of snow, shortages in crop yields, accentuating water scarcity, erratic rains, droughts, floods, diseases and miseries of all sorts. the environmental doctrines of jainism notably the doctrine of equality of all life-forms which include earth (soils and minerals), water resources, energy (fire) and air, doctrine of non-violence and doctrine of non-consumerism can set the clock back and restore the health of environment to its pristine state.
author : dr. s. m. jain
forest officer (retired)