FaithInvest founder and CEO Martin Palmer has released a series of prayers and meditations focusing on climate change through the lens of various faiths. The six prayers have featured on BBC Radio 4's Prayer for the Day throughout the COP26 climate conference currently taking place in Glasgow.
Saturday 6 November saw a Christian prayer, Monday 8 November offered a Buddhist perspective and Tuesday 9 November saw Martin turning to the wisdom of Judaism for a reminder that humankind is made 'whole' by the 'life and spirit of all growing things.'
On Wednesday 10 November, Martin looked to the teachings of Sikhism for a reminder of the urgency needed in addressing climate change.
Sikhism – World burning
The founder of Sikhism in the 15th century, Guru Nanak, said the reality that humans create around themselves is a reflection of their inner state. The current instability of the earth’s natural systems is a reflection of the instability and pain within humans. The increasing barrenness of the earth’s terrain is a reflection of the emptiness within us. The Sikh Holy Book the Guru Grant Sahib says:
'The world is burning due to four rivers of fire;
Rivers of violence, material attachment, greed and anger.'
The solution to the crises in our world lies in prayer and in accepting God’s hukam. Hukam is not the easiest concept of Sikhism to express but it is perhaps best described as a combination of God’s will, order, and system. With an attitude of humility, and surrender to the Divine Spirit, we can respond to the current crises of the environment and of social justice. In the Sikh Way this is done through the guidance of the Guru, who is the Divine Master and messenger of God.
Sikhism opposes the idea that the struggle of the human race is against nature and that human supremacy lies in the notion of “harnessing” nature. The objective is harmony with the eternal – God – which implies a life of harmony with all existence. Around the world Sikhs are creating hundreds of sacred forests for all wildlife and human beings to delight in and working on environmental justice striving for a life of harmony with God and all creation.
This prayer is taken from the Guru Granth Sahib:
'The world is going up in flames – Shower it with Your Mercy and save it! Save and deliver it, by whatever method it takes. O Nanak, one is saved and one can save others by holding tight to kind and compassionate deeds.'