“Water is a resource, which was revered as a god. Before having hopes about a great life learn to respect the nature, which created that life.”
Ven. Elle Gunawansa thero
Our country is based on agriculture. Water can thus be named as an important concept of the liaison between the agriculture and culture. Therefore, the two main tokens of this ancient village society were ‘Wewa’ (tank) and ‘Dagaba’ (Stupa). Our kings never forgot to upgrade the quality of life by constructing rivers and creating a self-sufficient country. Nor did they forget to improve the spirituality of people by constructing stupas.
Our ancestors considered not only water as a resource, but also everything connected to nature as resources. At that time there was an extremely mutual connection between nature and people as the due respect was paid without hesitation. Nature loved its people because everything in the nature was acknowledged as resources such as Wana sampatha (Forest resource), Ali sampatha (Elephant resource), Bhumi sampatha (Soil resource), and Sagara sampatha (Ocean resource). Also King Parakramabahu taught the value of water remarkably by avowing “Ahasin watena eka diya bindakwath prayojanayata nogena muhudata noya yuthui” (Even a drop of rain water shouldn’t be send to the sea without making use of it).
Sri Lanka receives an average annual rainfall of 12 million ha. /m. But only a diminutive amount of 3.5 million ha. /m is remained as surface water for consumption. Yet, already a bottle of water is more expensive than that of milk. Soon there will be a drought. If we do not save water we will have to confront a very serious issue. It is really a pity that we do not do at least one single thing to protect the life, which depends on water from birth to death. We use water in almost all the important occasions in our life from the birth to death. Water embraces life from the day when we were bathed from a pierced coconut shell with holes to pouring water from a vessel to a cup until it brims over (‘atha pan wathkireema – a funeral ritual) at funerals. Those days our ancestors even performed the exchanging ritual for the New Year at auspicious time with water. They honoured and revered the well. Those days nothing depended on money. At the dawn of the New Year, they would perform rituals by planting a tree and transacting with the well even before partaking meals at auspicious time. It is a reality that there were more nature sensitive people those days than today. We know that the world has faced a water scarcity today due to that thoughtlessness. The water resources are diminishing daily. Even the cycle of rain is irregular and instead of regular rains irregular rains have started. So, we should get together to take necessary measures by understanding the ongoing adversity. Conserving water is saving life. That’s why it’s necessary to remind the value of water albeit worshipping it as a god.