Killers as beneficent god-like kings? Yes. These are Gray Wolves hunting an Elk in Yellowstone National Park in the US. Their role in the chain of life is shockingly marvelous.
The Gray Wolf had been exterminated from Yellowstone by the 1930s. Conservationists reintroduced Gray Wolves into Yellowstone in 1995 only on the principle of conservation of the wolf itself and no other reason, amidst great concern for the impact on the elks. What happened was incredible.
At first the elks just stood around thinking the wolves were like jackals and harmless. Soon they discovered that these Canines were Killers. Elk behaviour changed for survival, and returned to what it had naturally been. Elk started staying away from open areas near rivers and streams where they were easy prey. Elk populations declined to a new but stable low.
With the heavy grazing of the elk removed, trees grew again. Willows, Aspens and other trees grew and flourished, creating habitats for beavers, moose and hundreds of other species, insects, rodents, birds, deer, etc. Beavers started building dams in streams again by felling trees across them, creating ponds and thus habitats for water life.
Even the threatened Grizzly Bear benefited. Being able to scavenge wolf kills immediately before and after their winter hibernation increased the ability of female bears to successfully produce and raise more cubs, growing the bear population and easing the extinction pressure on the bears.
The full impact of the Gray Wolves will take decades to understand. But what’s become clear is that removing the wolves removed the only check on the elk population and the elks proceeded to eat and reproduce without limit, and destroyed the society of life. The return of the Apex Predator returned the Elk to its natural behaviour and population level, and almost the entire Society of Life was restored.
Apex Killers maintain the order of the system of life.
This echoes what the Bhagwad Gita describes as the Order of Life and Death. The morality, the obligation of he whose Dharam is to kill, how the order of the all society depends on his Karam.
The dharam of the Gray Wolf is to kill those whose greed and expansion spreads injustice and disrupts life for all others. The killing by the wolf is his karam.
Dharam and Karam align, and order and justice of all society is restored, and all others are able to return to their own dharam.
Hindu philosophy has wisdom and knowledge of nature and the universe that is utterly absent from the Abrahamaic societies and cultures which have swept across the planet, exterminating the deep ancient truths that humanity had always known.
But in the grand cycles of millenia, those truths, and the cultures that know them, will reassert themselves because societies built on destroying and denying existential truths of nature will rule only so long as their way can be sustained with the exploitation and destruction of nature.
But any Hindus feeling good about this should pause. Hindu society is itself out balance. We are like the elk of Yellowstone. Since 1947 our population has grown from 400 million to 1200 million. We have exterminated the forests and woods and the creatures within them, turned our country into a vast farmland. We are pumping the land full of poisons to grow more and more grain and to exterminate anything that wants to share that food with us. Our water table is drying up because we sank tubewells into our aquifers and started pumping water out of the ground at such a rate that we have depleted in 50 years what will take nature thousands of years to replenish. Soon all the the fresh water will be gone. The water that does still remain has become so filled with agricultural and industrial poisons that now we need reverse osmosis filters to make water drinkable. Cancers are exploding and in extreme cases, Arsenic and Uranium is turning up in water supplies. Our cities have turned into noxious hell holes of oily smoke, acid aerosols, and soot, the most polluted in the world. Our rivers and lakes are foaming with industrial waste.
Make no mistake, we Indians are grossly out of balance with nature.
Pakistan, Islamists and Jihad are occupying our passions, and it’s right that they should, but that is not the Adharma, the existential crisis we face.
There is something like the Mahabharat coming. Not just military conflict, but a crisis of nature that cannot be averted or postponed. There will be a reckoning for this Adharma. The Gray Wolves will come.