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Year : 1987  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-5

Environmental health and hygiene in ancient India: An appraisal

Regional Research Laboratory, Jammu Tawi - 180 001, India

Correspondence Address:
P Pushpangadan
Regional Research Laboratory, Jammu Tawi - 180 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The ancient Indians were the custodians of a highly evolved civilization with great awareness on the decisive importance as well as the vulnerability of man's natural environment. The ancient Indians sages and Rishis had considered human environment from the point of view of physical, chemical, biological and social process that influences directly or indirectly the health and well - being of the human kind. Their approach towards life was very comprehensive, highly integrated with the environment and, therefore, was ecologically sound and sustainable. It was aimed at promoting a peaceful coexistence with all the living organisms as well as a fuller harmony with the physical environment. The ancient masters tactfully implemented much of their value oriented teachings through certain rituals, taboos and totems and made the people to observe it as spiritual duty; the violation of which was feared an antispiritual. This approach had its astonishing impact and the people accepted these value oriented practices as a way of life and which in course of time became traditions for ages ensuring peaceful coexistence of human kind with other living organisms as well as with the physical environment. But with the advent of modern civilization most of these value oriented traditions are being either lost or discarded. The disappearance or disregard for such time tested environmental conservation or preservation oriented traditions had begun to show its detrimental effect on the life supporting system.

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