Of all the energy that we carry within us, only 40% comes from the food that we eat; 60% comes from sunlight, air, the soil that we walk upon, and the atmosphere around us. The more alive we keep the soil, the more energetic every one of us will be. This aliveness has been the power of Bharat’s land. I have been speaking to many soil scientists across the world. They tell me that, for some strange reason, the soil in India has more species of microorganisms than anywhere in the world – even more than the Amazon forests.
A movement like Conscious Planet–Save Soil has become necessary because this sacred soil, which has been so alive and has built this whole civilization, has now depleted to a point where 62% of India's soil is considered degraded. The movement is aiming to bring about government policy changes so that there is a minimum of 3–6% organic content in agricultural land.
Unfortunately, today we have created farms where there is no plant life, no leaf from the tree, no animal waste – just tractors and machines. Machines are useful but they cannot enhance the quality of the soil. Without animals and trees, soil can never be rich with organic content. But we have been removing the animals and trees for the last 40–50 years, and it has caused immense damage to India’s soil, and across the world, too.
Banas is demonstrating that farmers can earn and live a respectful, dignified life and prosperous life. They have understood the value of animals in human life and how they have brought prosperity. But the value of animals is not just in the milk that we drink. Animal waste in the form of dung is the most important thing to keep the soil alive.
In this nation, we still have nearly a billion bovine animals. Right now, unfortunately, I see people discussing in television debates that these animals are a big problem because they are on the highways. I want the farmers, who already know this in their hearts, and the people of Gujarat to know that if we continue with this attitude, and the animal population goes down in another 10–15 years' time, we will have murdered the soil in this country. We will have murdered the nation for future generations.
Gujaratis are very enterprising people, building businesses around the world. That is a fantastic thing, but we must understand that we cannot eat money, information technology, computers, phones, or buildings. We eat food and food is only possible as long as soil is rich – and that is under serious threat right now. This is the time to wake up and act. If we do not save soil in the next 20 years, we will be a very regretful generation.
Till now, there has been a spectacular response in every nation. Seventy-four nations have committed to saving soil. Many UN agencies have joined us. 9 nations have signed MoUs with Save Soil and Gujarat became the first state in India to sign an MoU. But without the support of individual people and farmers, the government cannot do anything because the government is here only to fulfill the people's mandate. So, I request every one of you to keep your voices up for the safety and wellbeing of the soil, and for the aliveness of Mother Earth. Only then will it happen. Let us make it happen.
Ranked amongst the fifty most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and a New York Times bestselling author. Sadhguru has been conferred the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 2017, the highest annual civilian award, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.