Looking at the happenings around the world since last few months, physical environment is now gaining more and more attention worldwide because there is now greater realisation of the serious danger posed by the depletion of the ozone layer and of the threat of the greenhouse effect— the former resulting in increase in ultra-violet radiation and the later in grave consequences in the form of global warming and the rise in the level of oceans, which, in turn, will wipe off many islands and coastal countries from the map of the world. Hence, in the context of preservation of the environment and planning for development, 'sustainable' has become a catchword. And that is why it is now being emphasised that our efforts to improve the living standards of people in the under-developed countries, as also our means of production and transport should not result in depletion of natural resources and degradation of the environment. Greater emphasis is thus being put on the word 'sustainable' whenever there is talk of development. And many steps in that direction are, therefore, being suggested. However in this whole planning, not much is being thought and done to reduce the population growth-rate, especially in some Asian countries. It is not being realised that, if population continues to grow in these countries, then development efforts there, however slow and small, would certainly result in more and more pollution of the environment.
World over, it is still not being properly realised that if the population continues to grow and, to meet the all-round demands of that population, developmental efforts also go on, then there would definitely take place some deterioration in the environment. Similarly, if the lifestyle of the people in the developed countries continues to be what it is today, then there would certainly be a depletion of natural resources. Combining the two factors together, one can say that 'sustainable development would then be a dream rather than a reality. If, therefore, we wish to avert a major catastrophe because of these two grave threats, we must inspire people to have self-control and a simple life-style and for that purpose, adopt a spiritual outlook on life. And for that we need to realise our spiritual identity and values. Such awareness will make us naturally eco-friendly, and send out a positive energy that will bring the elements of nature into harmony with us again. If a critical mass of humans begins to live with this spiritual awareness, nature will by itself become our friend, and humanity will look at a golden instead of doubtful future.