Introduction – Eco-Spirituality in Hinduism 

“Eco spirituality is a manifestation of spiritual connection, the relation between human beings and nature, environment”. It understands the interrelationship between all living beings on earth, and also understands, and recognizes their interdependency in nature while maintaining eco-balance. Eco-spirituality is mainly related to ecology – nature, and spirituality. Eco spirituality helps people to understand the natural world and their relationship to all creations. It’s helpful to recognize that all creatures of the universe owe their existence to the supreme god, and humans are not separate from the rest creation of the universe, it’s also an important part of the whole creation of the universe.     

In Hindu Religion or any other religion, it is a faith-based approach and it’s a combination of religion and natural environmental activities. In Hinduism, eco-spirituality is the relation between the supreme god, human beings, faiths, beliefs, and nature – the natural environment which is also called earth sacredness. Sanatan Dharma Temples reflect a synthesis of tradition, arts, the ideals of Sanatan dharma, beliefs, values, and the way of life cherished under Hinduism. It’s a link between man, deities, and the Paramatama (Supreme God) in sacred space. 

The Eco Spirituality - Green Temples Buildings & Architecture-Sheet1
Human and Eco Spirituality connection_@Source – website – www.

Hinduism explains some fundamental facts and teachings about the environment.

  • According to the Hindu religion, Hinduism, there are five main elements in the environment: space, air, fire, water, and earth. These five elements are independent and relate to the Brahman. This means, “From Brahman arises space; from space arises air; from air arises fire; from fire arises water; and from water arises earth.” Hinduism also believes that these five elements are equally related to the human body, and each element is related to one of the five senses. The human nose is related to Earth, the tongue to water, the eyes to fire, the skin to air, and the ears to space, and this relationship is the foundation of our human relationship with the natural world. 
  • Divinity (Ishavasyam) is omnipresent and takes infinite forms. For instance, the Bhagavad Gita (7.19, 13.13) and the Bhagavad Purana (2.241, 2.2.45) contain many references to the omnipresence of the supreme deity. For example, many Hindus think of India’s mighty rivers, like the Ganges, as goddesses. The foregoing points to the pantheistic nature of the ultimate being. Explaining this differently, Ignacimuthu posits that Hinduism expresses the firm belief that the natural environment in which people are placed is a manifestation of divine nature itself.
  • An essential aspect of the concept of Dharma is the protection of the environment. 
  • Our environmental actions affect our karma. 
  • The earth (Devi) is a goddess and our mother and deserves our devotion and protection. 
  • The interrelationship between the Hindu concepts of karma, dharma, and ecosystem.

These are all some facts that are connected to eco-spirituality, the environment, and Hinduism. 

Santana Dharma Temples reflect a synthesis of tradition, arts, the ideals of Sanatan Dharma, beliefs, values, and the way of life cherished under Hinduism. It’s a link between man, deities, and the paramatama (Supreme God) in sacred space. 

The Connection Between Eco-Spirituality and Hindu Religious Temple Buildings 

Green Temple Buildings projects aim to build environmentally conscious temples and temple complexes around the world. It contains sustainable design principles and eco-friendly technologies in the temple design and construction process. Because of these methods, we minimize environmental impact, promote long-term sustainability in the spiritual-religious project, conserve resources, and foster harmony with our natural surroundings. 

Temple as an Institution of Environmental Ecology 

Sometimes temple buildings work as an institute for environmental ecology. It works as a natural building. All the building designs and construction are made according to green environmental and natural aspects. Green temple buildings or green temple complexes project major mediums to maintain the relationship between nature and spirituality and spiritual activities. The green temple building is a major medium to establish a relationship between eco-spirituality and the Hindu religion. Green temples help to incorporate environmental consciousness into religious rituals and teachings. Tree planting, water conservation, and waste management become integral parts of religious ceremonies; these practices not only raise awareness but also encourage individuals to adopt sustainable habits in everyday life. Temples serve as a canter for environmental education and advocacy, conducting workshops, seminars, and awareness campaigns on ecological issues. By disseminating knowledge and engaging with communities, temples empower individuals to become active stewards of the environment. 

Temples are very helpful in preserving green spaces such as sacred groves and temple gardens, serving as a refuge for flora and fauna, safeguarding biodiversity, and protecting endangered species. Moreover, temples inspire eco-consciousness among their devotees through the integration of environmental principles into religious rituals and teachings. By emphasizing the interconnectedness of all living beings with religious and spiritual Hindu activities with others, the temple encourages a sense of responsibility towards the environment and motivates individuals to adopt sustainable practices in their daily lives.

Environmental Consciousness in Religious Temple Architecture 

Eco-spirituality is about helping people experience ‘the holy’ in the natural world and natural environment to recognize their relationship as human beings to all creations. So, it’s important to understand the religious building’s role in the surrounding natural environment. Temple building is a medium to establish a relationship between nature and religion. Green temples and green temple complexes help to create different environmental and nature-conscious religious environments. It is helpful to reduce the negative impact on the surrounding natural environment as well as people’s minds and thinking processes; it creates healthier spaces and promotes unity among people who care about the well-being of the planet. Because in eco-spirituality, environmental factors like materials, trees, plants, colours, renewable energy sources, energy-efficient systems, etc. are used in temple design and construction processes, it automatically creates not only environmental consciousness in religious temple architecture but also involves this environmental eco-spirituality aspect in a traditional Hindu temple and religious lifestyle. This can reduce the carbon footprint of these sacred spaces and promote a sense of stewardship towards the environment. 

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Hindu Temple _@Source – website –

Ways to Establish Eco – Religious Spiritual Environmental Consciousness in Temple Complexes 

Tree planting, water conservation, waste management, biodiversity and landscaping, use of natural materials, sustainable materials, site selection, and orientation according to nature, environmental factors, soil study, etc. are integral parts of religious (temple) architecture. 

  1. Green pujas, worship, and celebration: 

Organizing formal timings of worship, pujas, and celebrations links to nature by highlighting environmental themes. All foods and materials should be ethically sourced, locally provided, and formed according to ways that are kind to Earth. In Hindu temples, everything is honoured by the divine. By bringing environmental themes to prayers, songs, and moments of silence, it reminds us that nature is part of divine creation. Organize these celebrations around environmental themes on special days such as Earth Day and around the annual Hindu Environmental Week. Cleanliness must be followed all over the temple’s sacred spaces before the festival, during the festival, and after the festival. All waste should be disposed of effectively. By using environment-friendly materials, paints, and other elements Perform blessings over cows and other threatened wildlife and wild places. Source the majority of food locally to minimize fuel use for transport. Plan outdoor services and spiritual outings in nature. Such festivities bring an increasing number of pilgrims to our religious sites. Religious pujas and celebrations are wonderful opportunities to highlight Hinduism’s respect for all of nature.

  1. Water management and conservation: 

In the Hindu religion, rivers are a very important element of life. Water is essential to all forms of life. Pure, uncontaminated water commands a high value in Indian culture. Indian religious traditions regard all rivers as sacred. There are ways to conserve water and keep the temple complex environment healthy and sustainable. The rivers, lakes, and any other water bodies that surround the temple should be clean. Bio toilets should be used; they are available in the temple complex area. Drinkable water should be provided in ashrams, temples, associated health centres, schools, offices, etc. areas of religious complexes. 

  1. Greening the temple landscape through sacred tree planting: 

Landscapes, green temples, or any Hindu religious complex are important aspects of eco-spirituality. In the Hindu religion, people worship trees as Vriksha Devatas (tree gods), forests as Vana Devatas, mountains as Giri Devatas, and rivers as goddesses, cows, and cattle for their agrarian utility. In the Hindu religion, sacred trees are the Tulasi Tree, Neem Tree, Pipal Tree, Amala Tree, Bel Tree, and Ashoka Tree. Etc., these are Ayurvedic and healthy health-effective trees. Planting trees and greenery in and around the temple grounds and temple complex provides shaded and fresh outdoor areas, which are very helpful for healthy health and also help to keep a cooling effect inside, reducing energy costs. 

Ways temples can green the temple landscape 

  1. Creating community, herbal, and meditation gardens within temple grounds or on rooftops helps create a green temple complex.
  2. Establish a productive nursery. In the course of worship, distribute young tree saplings as prasadam, or offerings, and encourage the pilgrims to take them home and plant them there. It’s helpful to create awareness among the people and visitors who visit the temple complex. 
  3. By planting shading and dense foliage trees and using green planted walls and green roofs around the temple complex, which keep the surrounding areas as cool and fresh as possible. 
  1. Waste management:

By developing a segregation system for different types of waste in the temple complex and overall surroundings. Recycle worship flowers through compost areas or as incense (see box). Compost kitchen and garden waste to enrich the soil. Use cow dung to fuel kitchens or kitchen and garden waste. Making the temple ground a plastic-free zone will help the temple complex become a green environmental complex. Installing water fountains around temples will clean up the surrounding dust waste and help keep the overall temple complex cool. 

  1. Faith and food: 

Bring the principle of ahimsa into your food consumption; ensure that the milk served in the temple or ashram comes from cows treated well. Plant organic vegetables and fruits on temple grounds without the use of toxic chemicals. Milk and food should be bought from producers who do not use toxic pesticides. By supporting the growth of organic and sustainable products that develop the faithful food system in the temple complex, be kind to cows according to the principle of ahimsa; and ensure that the milk served in the temple or ashram comes from cows treated well. Pure, clean food scraps and cooked food waste can be given to animals or composted. Plan a celebration with a “green” theme, featuring locally and sustainably grown foods. All of these ways can help to maintain faith and a faithful food environment in the temple complex. 

6. Use of natural, sustainable green materials in temple complex construction: 

Using green-rated and energy-efficient materials for the entire temple complex and the construction process of temple walls, slabs, roofs, columns, etc., parts of the building complex create green temple structures with sustainable, long-lasting structural Hindu religious complexes. Use of LED, CFL bulbs, and lights in the entire complex, providing natural light and ventilation wherever possible, installing solar panels on the roofs of temples surrounding residential zones, using light conservation schemes, etc. can help improve the energy efficiency system in the architecture and construction process of the green temple complex. 

7. Green temples and sacred geometry: 

Sacred geometry involves geometric shapes like circles, squares, triangles, and pentagon hexagons, which appear in nature. Which is related to the natural environment. Sacred geometry is often associated with spiritual traditions, meditation practices, and beliefs. By believing that meditating on these geometric forms can lead to spiritual insights and heightened consciousness of the universe, By adding this concept and ideas together, it can be understood that the Green Temple was designed with the principle of sacred geometry, where architecture and design incorporate geometric patterns with the natural environment as spiritual significance. promoting eco-environmental sustainability. Such a place might serve as both a physical sanctuary and a symbolic representation of humanity’s connection to the Earth and the cosmos.


In conclusion, temples, as institutions of environmental ecology, hold immense potential for preserving nature, promoting sustainable practices, and fostering environmental consciousness. Their commitment to the preservation of green spaces, the promotion of sustainable agriculture, and educational initiatives pave the way for a more sustainable and harmonious coexistence between humans and the natural world. Recognizing and harnessing the potential of temples in environmental conservation is crucial for creating a sustainable future for generations to come. 

Ultimate Source 

Supreme Lord and Everything: 

The Ultimate Answer by Supreme Lord Shree Krishna: 

According to our Vedic shastras and scripture, “Shrimad Bhagavad Gita,” “Everything rests on me as pearls are strung on a thread. I am the original fragrance of the earth. I am the taste of water. I am the heat in fire and the sound in space. I am the light of the sun and moon and the life of all that lives.” Bhagavad Gita 7.7-9 

By reading this verse, Shloka, we have to understand that the entire “Nature, Environment, Ecology, and All Religions, including Hindu Religion, depend on and come from absolute truth, i.e., “Bhagavan Shree Krishna (The Supreme Personality of Godhead). This is the ultimate reality of life and all creatures because everything is coming from Krishna’s energy only. “Thus, according to this ultimate source of everything, these green temple complexes, green architecture; eco-spirituality, nature, and environmental-related spirituality are very well connected through the very strong thread of our Hindu Vedic knowledge and by the ultimate source of everything, Supreme Lord Shree Krishna.”. 


Fig.1: human and Eco spirituality connection. [Photograph], (n.d.). Retrieved from website: –

Fig. 2 – Hindu Vedic Temple Complex [Photograph], (n. d), Retrieved website: – www.  


Rasika is an Architect by profession and Writer by passion. Her passion for writing about literature and spirituality. Her love for these subjects shines through in her writing, which is both informative and engaging. Through her writing she is trying to spread awareness, importance and sacred knowledge about Vedic - spiritual, religious as well as modern architecture. With the heart of an explorer always seeking new experiences that inspire her, she appreciates soaking in the beauty of the world around her. She truly believes that through architecture we can give the right shape to our society, and maintain our culture to make a difference that stands for generations to come.