Why Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture now?
Throughout the ages, the best traditions of natural farming have been based on a mutually beneficial partnership between man and nature. Farmers respected the sacredness of nature and farmed naturally, in harmony with their environment. This attunement with nature produced an abundance of food for all to enjoy.
In recent times, however, man has separated himself from nature, both from nature which surrounds him and from his own inner nature. So-called “modern” agricultural technologies—aimed at maximizing productivity and profit—have deepened our separation, and infringed upon our fundamental alliance with nature.
This estrangement from nature has disrupted farming practices around the world, burdening the environment with soil erosion, chemical fertilizers, life-damaging pesticides and herbicides, and genetically modified organisms. The result: much of the food we eat today lacks the purity and nutrients we need to stay healthy.
However, even beyond reducing the purity and nutrition in our food, today’s widespread agriculture practices have imbalanced the environment, creating droughts and flood conditions, water shortages, and temperature extremes, all of which threaten world food security. Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture recognizes that man’s violation of his environment is the main cause of natural disasters and that such disasters can be mitigated or completely avoided by culturing an attunement with Natural Law through the Maharishi Technologies of Consciousness.
Today, around the world, responsible voices are calling for a new paradigm in agriculture to restore agricultural practices that create a harmonious and sustainable relationship with nature. Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture is ready to meet the challenges created by today’s agricultural practices with a fundamental approach to bring man back in tune with Natural Law.
It will take a whole new paradigm. “Only a new seed will yield a new crop!” Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture is that new paradigm.
Hazards of Modern Agriculture
In order to fully understand the goals and direction of Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture Institute, it is necessary to have a perspective on modern agriculture. Agriculture is one of society’s most basic needs and activities–an activity that has been at the heart of every culture throughout the ages. The focus of agriculture should be to provide an abundant food supply for the nation in a healthy, cost-effective and sustainable manner.
Most recently, the ever-increasing trend in agriculture has been towards large-scale, chemical-based farming. Harmful chemical fertilizers, non-degradable pesticides and herbicides have destroyed the life of the soil, causing widespread erosion and sterility. Food has become polluted with the by-products of these applications, sacrificing quality to unhealthy growing and processing practices. There is a continual emphasis on killing–killing predators, insects, weeds, bacteria–anything and everything that is outside the mono-crop system. The whole food chain is thus polluted with poisons and killing agents, and the natural balance of species in the environment is completely disrupted.
In addition, the production and sale of agricultural products have become focused on packaging, marketing, convenience and shelf life, with the result that fruits and vegetables are harvested long before they are ripe and have developed their full nutritive value. Unripe foods are then chemically or unnaturally ripened at the convenience of the market.
Imbalances in World Agriculture
It is also evident that the overall organization of world agriculture is imbalanced, since some emerging nations still face food shortages, even though the world has an abundance of unused land. Farmers everywhere are working hard, yet they remain underpaid and receive only a small fraction of the money spent on food by the consumer. In fact, they receive a much smaller fraction of the food dollar than they received 100 years ago. In the US, for example, at the beginning of the 20th-century farmers received 41 cents for every dollar of food sold in the market–now it is less than 8 cents. However hard the farmers work, they remain at the mercy of the vicissitudes of Nature. Even in organic agriculture, no matter what the farming techniques may be, if Nature is not supportive, if the weather is not conducive if there is sun when rain is needed and rain when sun is needed, then the farmers and the nation will suffer. Only the Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture program addresses this fundamental issue of support of nature.
Erosion of the Soil
The most fundamental threat to the health of our food and food production systems begins with the soil. The earth is continuously discarding its old worn-out skin and renewing its living sheath of soil from the rock beneath. Unless the equilibrium is disturbed, a mature soil preserves more or less a constant depth and character indefinitely.
Soil erosion disrupts this natural equilibrium. It is accelerated by human mismanagement through aggressive cultivation technologies, uncontrolled deforestation, or the destruction of natural vegetation by overgrazing. Erosion is the modern symptom of maladjustment between human society and its environment.
Conventional agriculture has resulted, almost invariably, in a catastrophic decrease in soil fertility. The illusion that fertility can always be restored by applying vast amounts of artificial fertilizers has been shattered by the recognition that fertility is not merely a matter of plant-food supply (for even exhausted soils usually contain ample reserves of plant food), but is also closely connected with soil stability. An exhausted soil is an unstable soil; Nature has no further use for it and removes it bodily.
Under normal conditions, a fraction of an inch of soil may become exhausted and be removed in a century. Under human mismanagement, the entire depth of soil may become exhausted and eroded in just a few years. At present, about 10 million hectares of the world’s arable land (0.7 percent) is lost every year through soil degradation. The world is now losing some 2 billion tons of topsoil per year, and productivity of about one-third of the world’s arable land has been severely impaired due to accelerated erosion.
Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture Institute will educate farmers to improve soil conditions and re-establish the stability and nourishing life-force in the soil for balanced crops. This change in the approach to farming will establish a healthy world family, now, in this generation, and for all future generations to come.
Genetic Engineering Permanently Endangers the World Food Supply
The most dangerous of all the technologies that have come to the forefront in recent years is the genetic manipulation of food and seed sources. Thousands of years of perfect evolution in accord with all the Laws of Nature are being sacrificed to misguided business interests. These genetically engineered organisms that are being created not only contain dangerous toxins and allergens but may crossbreed with the natural plant populations, creating irreversible changes within the earth’s ecosystem. This disruption of the intelligence of nature threatens the health of present and future generations along with the safety of our food supply itself.
The manipulation of the core blueprint of life itself is very serious. Manipulating the genes of the food is altering the natural intelligence of the plant, and these changes will be self-perpetuating and irreversible. There is no way to ever get back the original, natural genetic code. In just a few years, genes from viruses, bacteria, insects, animals, etc., many of which have never been in any food supply before and have nothing to do with life, have been added into the food gene pool. These added genes change the natural sequence of the DNA.
There has not been any systematic testing on GMO foods, especially in regards to their effect on the holistic values of life, and on subtle, long-term changes they might have on the quality of human life. Most countries do not require the labeling of GMO food. There is no way for the individual to decide if he or she wants to be a “guinea pig” or not.
Furthermore, the forcing of chemical and bioengineering farming methodologies onto developing nations has in many cases wholly undermined their ancient cultural practices and led to food supply problems. Whole nations are becoming food dependent on the wealthy, powerful nations, which makes the poorer nations even more vulnerable for their essential needs.
As GMO’s threaten to rewrite the nature and viability of life in the next few years, it is essential that people all over the world support natural agriculture, Vedic agriculture. Everyone must now take action to ensure agriculture survives as a viable profession and the health of the world is protected.