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Buddha and Upcycling

August 17, 2010

Recently I had written a post with 3 stories (… On both sides of Ganga he did not come across a single village that dumped its waste into the river and not a single city that did not …). This story is in continuation to the same…

Today the cities are producing thousands of tons of waste everyday. Why is it that  village hardly produces any dump while a city produces tons? The story tries to answer the question –

Buddha, one day, was in deep thought about the worldly activities and the ways of instilling goodness in human beings.

One of his disciples approached him and said humbly “Oh my teacher ! While you are so much concerned about the world and others, why don’t you look in to the welfare and needs of your own disciples also.”

Buddha: “OK.. Tell me how I can help you”

Disciple: “Master! My attire is worn out and is beyond the decency to wear the same. Can I get a new one, please?” 

Buddha found the robe indeed was in a bad condition and needed replacement. He asked the store keeper to give the disciple a new robe to wear on. The disciple thanked Buddha and retired to his room.

A while later, he went to his disciple’s place and asked him “Is your new attire comfortable? Do you need anything more?”

Disciple: “Thank you my Master. The attire is indeed very comfortable. I need nothing more”

Buddha: “Having got the new one, what did you do with your old attire?”

Disciple: “I am using it as my bed spread”

Buddha: “Then.. hope you have disposed off your old bed spread”

Disciple: “No.. no.. master. I am using my old bedspread as my window curtain”

Buddha: “What about your old Curtain?”

Disciple: “Being used to handle hot utensils in the kitchen”

Buddha: “Oh.. I see.. Can you tell me what did they do with the old cloth they used in Kitchen”

Disciple: “They are being used to wash the floor.”

Buddha:” Then, the old rug being used to wash the floor…?”

Disciple: “Master, since they were torn off so much, we could not find any better use, but to use as a twig in the oil lamp, which is right now lit in your study room….”

Buddha smiled in contentment and left for his room.

If not to this degree of utilization, can we at least make the best use of all our resources at home and in office? 

We need to handle wisely all the resources earth has bestowed us with — both natural and material, so that they can be saved for the generations to come! Yes, I know that it is easy to talk and write a blog but difficult to live such things. Given below are few things that I have adapted in my life before putting down this entry:

1. Minimizing usage of plastic – (a) I carry my own cloth bag and hardly take any plastic bags (b) I have nearly stopped buying bottled water and carry my own water bottle with me.

2. Take care to throw the organic waste in the green bins

3. Have started to use the waste items to make my own bags, pen stand etc. This way I need not go to shop to buy stuff every now and then.

Its been 2 months now and I am sure many more things are to follow…

9 Comments leave one →
  1. ajay permalink
    August 17, 2010 22:01

    Excellent story and I am sure many more things will follow from your side. All the best dude


  2. Aravind permalink
    August 18, 2010 00:04

    This is where the western world has set a very bad example for the developing world. Whereas Indians had been prudent in their usage of things like paper and plastic, today it is the sign of prosperity to be using-and-throwing stuff. The convenience of plastic has overwhelmed the common man, and the sustainability of that convenience, the price paid are not of concern. Per capita consumption is going up in developing countries and shows no signs of going down in the developed ones. The situation is bleak.

    Your efforts are commendable though.


  3. August 18, 2010 00:21

    @ Ajay – 🙂 thnx man

    @ Aravind – Firstly, I don’t believe the whole developed and developing story. For me India, Africa were always “developed”. Here people “were” living peacefully with mother earth for thousands of years without exploiting her for their personal needs.

    Yes, the situation is bleak but it is only when the situation becomes unsurpassable will the people realize and act (what happened in Cuba in early 90s). Today no one can deny the fact that the situation is worsening and this shows that some change is bound to occur 🙂


  4. Kush Sharma permalink
    September 8, 2010 15:13

    Awesome piece…loved the story….And yeah…thanks a lot for your advice…..


  5. September 9, 2010 11:15

    May seem unrelated… but when population is large, things become chaotic; however much we try to create awareness, educate… for our thoughts to form the core values of all population is impossible in a chaotic environment

    Given our standard of living, making everything self sustainable (recyclable, harmonious, living one with nature etc) would be possible if our country population was less than half the current population

    I aint a cynic but unless we control population like china did, concepts such as recycling (which are supposed to be high on priority for human civilization) will never be implemented on ground


    • September 12, 2010 18:46

      may be this prob is there coz we are taking a very centralized approach to solving the issue… the problem is there wen we think that there is one unit spreading the idea and people in general have to learn from that core org.. (whatever that may be.. right education, right living, environ etc etc)

      but is it actually that way? every human being is an intelligent person… provided his/ her thought processes are not manipulated, forced to change (which currently I believe is happening with help of big institutions, schools, colleges etc) this problem will not exist… localized solutions are present everywhere and were being implemented… now what has happened is that no more do people think its their own local prob (like a villager used to think.. why is it that a village never dumped its waste anywhere.. irrespective of the population a village had?) and depend on the solution to be provided to them by people like us who have no other work but to sit and frame solutions for them 😛 they have soutions.. every individual has it… the change will happen wen every individual will change him/her self..

      I hate to talk as if i have found the solution, so apologies if I sounded like that, but this is my current thought process…


  6. September 16, 2010 15:05

    Your point is taken.

    But I am not talking about a centralized approach. When life itself becomes fast paced, does anyone have the time to see other’s problems as their own? However much the awareness, our time and focus is limited to things in the immediate vicinity


    • September 19, 2010 13:07

      Yes you are right… and may be this is the game plan 🙂

      The Plan: Make us so highly insecured, consumeristic and competitive that we do not even get time to reflect.!! A person making 20k needs 40k.. one making 40 needs 60.. 60 wala is not satisfied anywhr below 100… and the game goes on… Do we sit and reflect on how much do we actually need and why? No, we do not have time.. we are caught in this mindless race. No more do we have time to sit in evenings and talk about our problems and issues, enjoy little priceless beauties (even with our families, forget about community, neighbourhood, like we used to before)…

      But we can take a step backward.. wait lemme see where am I going.. do I really want to do this? many people are realizing that farming is still one of the best occupation.. as a farmer you are on your own.. you grow your own food and do not depend on the market.. for you the price of milk does not increase with the price of oil..

      Again is thia all a game plan played by corporates, supported by government… The schools make us highly competitive so that we can go fit in the big corporations, help them make a lot of illicit money (which btw today is not apparent as it was before.. the latest post “Vidya” talks about it), and flaunt the perks they offer us…

      We get out of the game, regain our individuality and become strong (not weak insecured souls dependent on our degrees) we would get a lot of time to reflect on things that require our energy, passion and talent…


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