ENVIRONMENTAL COGNITION AND ATTITUDES IN ANCIENT INDIAN TRADITION
 
Shejwal, B. R., Palsane, M. N., Kulkarni, N. R., University of Pune, India
 
This paper emphases the environmental cognitions and attitudes the ancient Indians had. The present state of environmental deterioration is caused due to some inappropriate environmental attitudes. Therefore, the paper is presenting an ancient view based on the Vedic literature. They believed strongly in the Mahatatva (i.e. the Great Principle) that provided five elements to the world. These are earth, water, fire, and space. These elements have gone into the formation of life and it's recycling in its various forms. This belief determined man's perception of the physical and spiritual world around him. This awareness was reflected, therefore, in his attitudes and actions towards these five elements and the environment in general. The prime attitude was that man is a part of nature, was equal, not superior, to the rest of creation. He has, therefore, an interdependent relation with the world and environment. He, thus, respected the nature, which included the (mother) earth, the sun, trees, rivers, animals, etc. Hence, when this knowledge is disrespected due to ignorance disasters will be an outcome. The paper refers to some cultural traditions and practices towards these elements, which are still continues in various communities even today.