In reference to then US president Donald Trump's allegation of India'a lesser commitment towards saving environment, then Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi told:

"I have in simple way stated the dream of 'new India'. I quoted from 5000-year-old Vedas to say humans have a right to milk the nature but have no right to exploit it." he told the gathering in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. [source]

Which verses was he referring to?

Note: In my observation, Shri Modi is a learned PM and he usually knows what is he speaking. The verses similar to above can be found in Bhagavad Gita. So it should be find-able in Veda-s too. See an interpretation of BG 3.11-3.13 in this post: What are the Yagnas Sri Krishna was referring to in Srimad Bhagavad Gita?. It suggests to consider the elements of nature as Deva-s which reward us with various nourishments and in turn we should pray them by nurturing/preserving them.

  • 1
    We should start a thread "Which quotes are wrongly attributed to Vedas" :P People generally say it is in the Vedas, add Vedic before everything. "Everything is in the Vedas" is a popular line and sometimes used as a joke too. He is a politician after all. A learned one in this subject doesn't say 500 year old. Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 4:49
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    @Sarvabhouma, yes Vedas are eternal. May be he meant the 'version' of Vedas which is known for at least last 5000 years. I have added the similar verse from Gita in the question. So possibly it should be found somewhere in Vedas too. BTW, "Everything is in the Mahabharata" is more popular; not sure about Vedas.
    – iammilind
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 4:57
  • I'm not saying about "what is there in MB is present in the world, what is not there in MB is not found in the world". It is a general saying when quotes "In the Vedas, it is said" or "According to Vedas" I'm saying about Vedas only. People (you can find here also) add Vedic before questions and look for Vedas even when the answer is not really Veda. Everything is found in the Vedas is also a popular quote but you might not be aware of it. Let's see what quote is it if it is really there.It could be there in Upanishads or Brahmanas too and not exactly in samhita. Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 5:13
  • 2
    This research article may be useful.
    – Pandya
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 6:30
  • The Prime Minister is not an authority on the Vedas. Commented Nov 3, 2019 at 11:42

1 Answer 1


Bhoomi Sukta from Atharva veda eulogises Mother Earth (AV 12.1). It describes,

असंबाधं बध्यतो मानवानां यस्या उद्वतः प्रवतः समं बहु । नानावीर्या ओषधीर्या बिभर्ति पृथिवी नः प्रथतां राध्यतां नः ॥२॥

Asambaadham Badhyato Maanavaanaam Yasyaa Udvatah Pravatah Samam Bahu | Naanaa-Viiryaa Ossadhiiryaa Bibharti Prthivii Nah Prathataam Raadhyataam Nah ||2||

Not over awded by the crowd of Manu's sons, she who hath many heights and floods and level plains; She who bears plants endowed with many varied powers, may Prithivī for us spread wide and favour us.

According to Atharva Veda, the Earth is not for HUMAN BEINGS alone, but for all the creatures.

त्वज्जातास्त्वयि चरन्ति मर्त्यास्त्वं बिभर्षि द्विपदस्त्वं चतुष्पदः । तवेमे पृथिवि पञ्च मानवा येभ्यो ज्योतिरमृतं मर्त्येभ्य उद्यन्त्सूर्यो रश्मिभिरातनोति ॥१५॥

Tvaj-Jaataas-Tvayi Caranti Martyaas-Tvam Bibharssi Dvi-Padas-Tvam Catuss-Padah | Tave[a-I]me Prthivi Pan.ca Maanavaa Yebhyo Jyotir-Amrtam Martyebhya Udyant-Suuryo Rashmibhir-Aatanoti ||15||

Produced from thee, on thee move mortal creatures: thou bearest them, both quadruped and biped. Thine, Prithivī, are these Five human Races, for whom, though mortal, Sūrya as he rises spreads with his rays the light that is immortal.

The Prime Minister, Sri Narendra Modi, might have quoted the words - humans have a right to milk the nature but have no right to exploit it" , based on the above references from Atharva Veda.

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