Inner View · Spirituality beyond Religion · Words of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo


Today is World Environment Day. Pretty much everyone who is active on social media – from ordinary folks to politicians, from activists to spiritual leaders – has been busy posting some appropriate picture or message or quote about it. Why we must take care of the environment, how we can do our bit for the environment, etc etc. Plant more trees, respect the rivers, save electricity, consume less, launch a community cleanup drive, etc etc.

All that made me think if I did anything specific today that might be considered particularly ‘good’ for the environment. I didn’t plant anything new, I didn’t particularly do anything to save electricity, I didn’t participate in any special cleaning project in the community. (Since I didn’t go shopping, perhaps it may be said that I didn’t purchase any useless stuff. So I at least have that!) 




But did I do something specific environment-friendly today?

I believe I did. I weeded. 

Yes, I did a lot of weeding in my little garden this morning. I pulled and plucked a lot of unwanted, pesky little things from several pots, from around the pots, from the ground, from around the corners near the garden wall. I divided some plants for re-potting by eliminating some of their redundant growth. I trimmed some vines and shrubs.

I also got the gardener to cut down two overgrown bamboo trees that had become severely bent under their own weight during some strong winds last week and were blocking a particular corner. 

What, you say? I got the trees removed instead of planting something new. And I call this environment-friendly action? 

Of course, it is.

Gardening is not only about planting new things, it is also about eliminating that which could be choking the growth of the things we plant. A beautiful garden not only requires colourful flowers and healthy plants. It also requires, perhaps to a greater degree, a harmonious growing environment. An environment that facilitates right kind of growth for right kind of things. An environment that is regularly cleaned up by removing all that is unwanted and unnecessary.

Kind of like us. Isn’t it?

Being environment-friendly also means knowing what is to be eliminated. This is true for individuals, societies, nations. And of course, for the environment. 


Weeds are the bane of the fields; delusion the bane of mankind. Therefore whatever is given to those freed from delusion yields abundant fruit.

Weeds are the bane of the fields; desires the bane of mankind. Therefore whatever is given to those freed from desires yields abundant fruit.

~ Mother’s commentaries on the Dhammapada, CWM, Vol 3, pp. 286-287


Linking with ABC Wednesday, W: W is for Weeding

37 thoughts on “Weeding

    1. Indeed. Every bit helps, especially when done with awareness. But what is most important is that we do that bit everyday, not just on June 5 🙂 Thanks, Alok for reading!

  1. Weeding out desires and delusions! What could be more appropriate for humans to proper in the spiritual garden of life? You have said it so clearly: staying committed to the environment is a 24×7 activity, not a yearly one. I have a theory: Whenever a Day is instituted to commemorate something, that thing is already in danger of being ignored for the rest of the year. At the rate the number of such Days is multiplying, one is afraid for humanity.

    1. Yeah, soon every day will be a special day marked for something 🙂 And then we will need a day to remember to breathe! Just be. World Being Day or something like that! But seriously, as you also wrote in one of your posts so many of these things that are good for the earth were/are being done as part of our natural, holistic approach to life are now being repackaged and resold to us as part of ‘socially responsible’ thing to make us feel good about ourselves. In some ways, all this stuff is meant to boost our egos, at least I am doing something good for the environment by switching off all lights for one hour once a year! And because I need to switch off lights, let me go and buy some fancy ‘Made in China’ candles first! I know I am being cynical here. And perhaps there is truth to the idea that every little bit helps. But it has to be done much more consistently and as part of our everyday lifestyle rather than as a fashionable thing for a day.

      O well….

      Thanks Zephyr for your wonderful comment.

  2. Yes indeed. There are so many types of weeds which need to be removed to ensure that the native species remain intact in plants. And it hold true both in the literal sense and the metaphorical sense as you have so beautifully put.

  3. Like we need to learn good things, we also need to unlearn the bad ones that we might’ve picked up along the way. Weeding I believe is more important than planting trees.

  4. I have having tough time with weeds and insects. They both need to be eliminated. I loved your analogy and how it can be implemented in real life too. For a better, stronger life, bad elements need to go 🙂

    1. Thankfully, I have a small enough garden (unlike my last home where the constructed area was much smaller than the open yard area), so I can almost keep up with the weeding task. But then I don’t do much of weeding in the patch which is supposed to have some grass, otherwise I won’t have anything green left there 🙂 You see, I don’t really water the patch that is supposed to be the grassy lawn thing because it is simply not water-friendly, water is too precious to be spent on watering grass in the kind of heat we have here in south India. So I let some weeds grow there to keep things green 🙂

      I am happy you liked the post, Raj. Good luck with the weeding!

  5. It reminded me of Cuscuta, a weed mentioned in our Biology books and I have seen many trees falling prey to this dangerous weed. I could relate these weeds to the unwanted beings of our society who targets others to destroy them physically, emotionally and mentally. I hope we could weed them out.

    1. I agree with you – unwanted stuff must be eliminated if we don’t want it to destroy the rest of the beautiful creation, be it a garden, a society or us – the individual.
      Thanks Upasna for your thoughtful comment.

  6. Loved this post. You’ve said it all in very few words. Indeed we must weed lest the weed such the soil dry of nutrients, forcing the ‘good’ plants to whither and die.

      1. Thanks, Dagny! I surprised myself too by writing a short post on this topic! As you know how much more I could have said on the topic of weeding out the unwanted 🙂

    1. Well, it is 🙂 Uncultivated land is full of weeds, to cultivate we have to weed out all the redundancy. True for gardening, true for societies, true of all of us as individuals! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. The all round focus is so much on planting that we tend to give a blind eye to the other important aspect required to maintain the equilibrium in environment, often forgetting altogether, and that is weeding. Your post so beautifully brings out this, the importance of removing the weeds, in the garden and in life, so that the flowers and fruits flourish.

    1. Thanks, Anamika! Happy you liked the post. I like the way you bring in the idea of equilibrium. Indeed, that’s what it takes to keep things healthy and harmonious – our gardens, our societies , our lives, and ourselves.

  8. True that, Beloo. You’ve rightly pointed out that making perfunctory noises on one day and not adopting it as a lifestyle choice doors nothing for the environment on the whole. My husband who is an avid gardener spends more time removing weeds than planting new plants.

    1. Thanks, Rachna for bringing into focus this point about making real lifestyle changes if we want to do something good for the environment.

      And your husband surely is a wise gardener, I must add 🙂

  9. I have read that bamboo grows quickly.. hence considered eco friendly too. So it’s ok that you got them cut… plus they weapons otherwise be a trouble to others.

    1. Yes, Bamboo is that way eco-friendly and grows quickly, that’s why bamboo products/furniture etc are preferred over other wooden stuff. I suppose I was trying to make the point that even our daily activities should be done with a sensitivity to environment, rather than just doing a token on any one particular day and then going back to our mindless ways for rest of the year. Thanks for reading 🙂

  10. Totally agree with you, Beloo.
    This World Environment Day, I could not share anything on the Social Media. Wanted to share links of my posts.
    However, I was busy promoting eco-friendly handicrafts and handlooms of our India & informed all to make use of them, rather than plastic & other harmful stuff.
    Hope we all treat everyday as a day to respect and care for the environment…

    1. Yes, each little step taken mindfully and in awareness can make a difference. And as the wise say, it must begin with myself. No amount of preaching others can work if we don’t do it ourselves. Thanks, Melody!

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