Eco-caring is an important topic of discussion for an environmentalist. It is very important to understand the following points:
a) The human being in totality
b) The environment around him or her
c) Other beings associated within the concerned environment
d) The philosophy underlying it
In this particular article, I would be focusing exclusively the event which took place in the history of the Great Emperor- Akbar the Great Mughal King. It is the episode in which the primary role is played by Jodha Bai. I would be sharing the episode and discuss the concept of ECO-CARING at that time wherein Akbar was very fond of hunting. This would be highlighting further consequences and help us to comprehend several points.
Jodha Bai was on her way to Mathura to worship for the well-being of her brothers. She hailed from Amer in Rajasthan. It was a long journey for her and her companions. Fortunately, Akbar and his primary Queen-Ruqaiyaa Begum started off their journey for hunting. Neither Jodha Bai nor Akbar knew that they would be present in the same forest. Jodha was separated from her companions and was present at the same place wherein Akbar was aiming to shoot at his prey.
Jodha Bai was ardent lover of non-human animals and never intended to harm them in any manner. She was thinking very hard to save the animals and was looking for an opportunity to ALERT THEM IN SOME MANNER. She picked up dried leaves and wood shavings present near her. She burned them and hid behind the trees. This enabled her to avoid any kind of interaction with him and Ruqaiyaa Begum. The smoke emerged from the burning leaves. What happened at this jexture?
The sensitive and innocent deers smelt that someone was present in their area. They were immediately aware of the presence of the human beings and the subsequent danger for them. They began to run away from that spot. Akbar was very annoyed and wanted to know the culprit. He understood and recognized the person and knew that it was none other than Jodha Bai. He was very upset; however, he did not react to it immediately.
What are the implications of this historic event? Some of them might be enumerated in the following way:
1) Sensitiveness towards non-human animals in Jodha Bai
2) Hunting was prevalent during Akbar’s reign
3) Feelings towards the environment
4) Caring for other non-human animals
5) Techniques to save non-human animals
6) Sharpness in thinking methodologies
7) Holistic approach towards other living beings
8) Compassion for other living beings
9) Attitude towards saving and protecting other non-human animals
10) Differences between intentions from person to person towards others
Jodha Bai belonged to a royal family from Rajasthan. She was well educated in all spheres of life. She knew the importance of the ART OF SWORD FIGHTING. She herself possessed a beautiful attitude and knew herself very well. She was aware of her responsibilities as a ROYAL PRINCESS. She was an ardent worshipper of Lord Krishna. Consequently, she was trained and groomed enough with VAISHNAVA culture. As a result, she knew the following teachings of this particular school of thought-
a) Love for all beings-whether human or non-human beings
b) Importance of environment
c) Role of each and every being in the environment
d) Follower of strict VEGETARIANISM
e) Self-responsibility for saving other beings of the environment
f) Practice the philosophy of Eco-caring
She played her role very well at least in this scenario wherein she observed Akbar’s intention to kill the innocent deers in the forest. Her simple technique, with quick and sharp presence of mind, saved the deers.This shows that she had very pious nature and attitude to protect the lives of the deers. These were the non-human animals that never harmed Akbar in any manner. They never interacted with him in their lives.
What about Akbar? How does one analyze his nature and attitude at this point? What conclusions can be derived about his nature? Let us ponder on this point-by-point-
1) It is well-known fact that Akbar loved hunting and was accompanied by his beloved Queen Ruqaiyaa Begum. He was hunting from his childhood days. Consequently, he had intentions for killing non-human animals for pleasure. This is exhibited through his passion for frequent visits to the forests for hunting and catching or killing the animals for his pleasures. Thus, one might conclude that Akbar did enjoy THE PLEASURES OR DELIGHTS OF HUNTING in his life.
2) Obviously, this leads us to conclude that he loved to kill animals intentionally. He gained pleasure from hunting for them. It was his hobby and favorite pass time to kill the innocent animals. He took great care to aim at these animals and shoot or kill them. It was a unique kind of love to achieve pleasure from hunting. He used to get some kind of satisfaction from it.
3) Subsequently, Mughalia cuisine included dishes prepared from the meat or flesh of hunted non-human animals. Thus, one might conclude that hunting of the animals means killing them with certain intentions. These intentions varied from one level to another. For example, various intentions might be classified in the following ways-
a) Intention for visiting forests or jungles for hunting
b) Intention to be in the company of others for hunting
c) Intention of gaining pleasures from hunting
d) Intention to carry the weapons meant to hunt animals
e) Intention search for the places within the forests wherein the wild animals were residing away from the human populated areas
f) Intention to aim the arrows or guns to shoot animals
g) Intention kill the animal
h) Intention of gaining a feeling of VICTORY after killing the animal
i) Intention to capture the killed prey
j) Intention to celebrate the hunting and victorious activity
k) Intention to instruct and order the cooks to prepare the delicious dish from the flesh of the killed animal
l) Intention to enjoy with other royal family members and ministers
Though lot of care was given towards the environment during Akbar’s time, still there were events which reveal that he missed out the aspects of Eco-caring within his reign. On the other hand, Jodha Bai was equally strong person and queen. She was groomed well and knew her role. At the nick of time, she saved the lives of the animals in the forest. She had an entirely different set of intentions at this point. Let us look at each one of them-
a) She understood the presence of Akbar and Ruqaiyaa Begum in the forest. This was her first intention to understand their feelings
b) She had an intention to save the innocent animals from the clutches of the gruesome death waiting for them.
c) She had a pure intention to save the lives of the deers.
d) She had an intention to curb the killing passion of Akbar.
e) She had an intention to remove the pleasures of hunting for the innocent lives.
f) She intended to avoid any kind of DISTURBANCE in the natural wilderness.
g) She intended and showed the CARING attitude towards the nature and all its beings by her spontaneous thinking skills and adopted simple and easy way to protect the animals wherein she did not reveal her identity and played her role in a very nice manner.
In this manner, one might conclude the ARGUMENT FROM ECO-CARING:
A) Either it is the case that Jodha did not exhibit any kind of behavior towards eco-caring or it is the case that Jodha did indeed revealed her actions for eco-caring.
B) It is not the case that Jodha lacked actions towards the practices of eco-caring.
C) Therefore, it is concluded that Jodha Bai knew the philosophy of eco-caring and practiced them thoroughly in the life either as a ROYAL PRINCESS FROM Amer or ROYAL QUEEN OF THE MUGHAL EMPIRE. This had lot of impact on Akbar in his future years and gained lot of popularity and name in the history of India.