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Sanathana Dharma is one of the rarest culture in history of mankind which emphasize on the protection of nature. Here in India, Hindus respect the value of life in Nature. They respect trees, animals and all other living beings.

Before cutting one tree, they apologize and ask permission from the tree being cut. I have seen this practice in Kerala, where tree cutters and carpenters ask for permission of tree. Also there is a saying like 'One tree is equal to 10 sons', which shows the importance of trees. Also forests are an essential part in the life of Hindu according to Varnasrama dharma.

In a general view, most of the Hindu scriptures deals with the nature. In ancient times, there were no question of nature protection since people were keeping their values and considered earth as equal to mother. But this is Kaliyuga and everything has changed a lot. People all over the world is looting nature and destroying the forests. My question is in concern with all these activities against nature. What does Hinduism say about nature protection? Which of the particular Hindu scripture deals with the protection of nature? Or is it like all of them deal with it?

Also as an additional question, does anyone know about the origin of the practice which is about asking permission to trees before cutting them down?

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Sanathana Dharma teaches us to worship mother earth as bhudevi, in fact entire creation is seen as cosmic body of God where creator is purusha and creation is prakriti. Everyone/everything is seen as a form of god.

Hindus(sanathana dharma followers) worship flora and fauna equally, dharma is our way of life and this is daily practice for us! Our culture says Vruksho rakshati rakhitaha meaning those who protect tree will be protected! We feed small insects by rangoli. Every tree is linked with a god and is worshipped, growing a plant indirectly feeds animals and insects depended on it. Animals are seen as god's vehicle and are protected.

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What does Hinduism say about nature protection?

One of the panchamahayajna's (the Five Great Sacrifices) of a householder is Bhuta Runa.

From Pandit Sri Rama Ramanuja Achari's The Hindu Sacrament of Marriage:

Bhūta Runadebts to the elements

Bhūta yajña — And lastly we are part of an environment which is made up of the five elements and consists of plant and animal life (bhūtas = elementals). This ecosystem is vital to our survival and thus it is our duty to continually protect it. This is done through tree planting programs, correct farming methods and protection of wildlife, decreasing our consumption of valuable resources. In our homes we can take the effort to limit the amount of water, gas and electricity consumed, by recycling and avoiding the use of plastic bags etc.

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