Lament of the Himalayas
by Janaka Goonetilleke on 27 Sep 2009 3 Comments

I was born millions of years ago and have, since birth, given rise to many a civilisation in the length and breathe of Asia. I am the mother of the whole of Asia. It is from my sweat that the great rivers, the Ganges, Indus, Yangtze, Mekong, are continuously supplied with water. It is around these big rivers that all my children developed the civilisations which gave rise to great Religions and Philosophies.

Moralism, Compassion, idealism and integrity were the basis of these founding fathers. Wisdom and freedom of thought was the result. How else can we explain the fact that my children produced such great Religions and philosophies as the Vedic philosophy, Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Confucianism, etc.

What I am most proud of, however, is that my children never compromised on the high idealism of purity of thought, of compassion which gave them the freedom to create, until now. There was NO FEAR because our ideals were pure. There was no hell, there was no heaven; where there is no evil there is no need for it.

Was it not my children who started the first university in the world in Nalanda that unfortunately was destroyed by foreigners with the loss of knowledge in mathematics, astrology, Indic philosophies etc? Was it not my children who produced the first rocket, compass, sugar, ice cream? It is the emphasis on wisdom of thought that made some of my children call their country Bharat Varsha: Baha - Wisdom, Rata –light, Varsha – Continent.

It is this wisdom and humanism that created the Asian Mind that Tagore and Okkakura so proudly spoke about. It is this Asian Mind that is being attacked by this deadly foreign virus called Money. This virus created by an alien community has destroyed wisdom and purity of thought. Drunk with greed my children have lost their freedom. They are yearning for more and more money, but they will never be content; neither will they realise how they are compromising their health, happiness and peace of mind. Their actions are destroying me, their Mother, and if I die the Rivers will go dry, there will be floods and destruction due to the melting of the glaciers, and finally my children will be compromised. It is the intoxication of Money that will destroy my children.

In keeping with our tradition, it will be unfair if I do not speak about my other children, the deprived, the poor, and the compromised. Let’s talk about the poor in our society. I was very saddened to hear the millions of dollars wasted on very unimportant events abroad by some of my children whilst farmers are committing suicide because of un-payable debt. In China, because of pollution my little children are dying of lead poisoning, not forgetting the children who were poisoned by melamin in the greed to earn money. It is this intoxication with money that has created this evil. Selfishness and appreciation of an alien philosophy has blinded some of my children in power from seeing the suffering of their brothers and sisters and the long-term interests of their countries.

It is this greed for Money that has made some of my children collaborate with evil regimes who are poisoning my continent. It is this greed of Money that is making Asian fight Asian, be it in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Haven’t they realised that they are poisoning their own environment by enmity, death and depleted uranium, for the interests of an alien evil empire? Haven’t they learnt from their brothers in Vietnam? Haven’t they seen the congenital abnormalities from Residual Agent Orange? My heart bleeds for the children of Vietnam. Does that Asian blood not stir? Do we still need to work hand and glove with this evil empire?

In my heydays, the fauna and flora offered such bio-diversity, not forgetting the beauty it created. From oak to juniper, from teak to sal, not forgetting beautiful rhododendron, gave a majestic appearance to the forests. Deforestation in the greed for money has not only destroyed the trees, but also the fauna which live in harmony with the environment The trees cannot impede the surface water from heavy monsoonal rains any more, which has created such mayhem especially in China, with floods and landslides. Not forgetting the destruction of the scenic beauty.

I am sick and tired now. I do not know how long I will last, but like all Mothers, I will look after you until my last breath. My children do not forget that Asia is one. I am the Mother to all the civilisations of Asia. Do unite. Do not forget the high ideals of compassion and purity of thought. Do not be led by foreigners who are plotting to get brother fight brother, sister fight sister. They do not bode well for you move away from them.

Return to the high Ideals of your ancestors. That will give you the freedom to enhance your creativity for the benefit of humanity. My life is in your hands. Look after me and I will look after you. May you have the foresight to see your errors. Please forgive me if I have over emphasised the qualities of my children. All mothers do.





The author is a consultant physician

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