This Sloka, from Srimad Bhgavatam, is the first of the gurus and their role as explained to King Yadu by the brāhmaṇa in his spiritual life. The first guru is Prithvi or Earth. This is similar to our first guru or teacher is our mother from whom we are born. So also the earth begets all the creatures inhabiting it and she is the first guru.
The earth bears all the abuses we heap on her. During the evolution of all species, the earth has been exploited by the species to its survival. An uncomplaining Earth bore all the burdens and scarring and continued its role as the bearer of earthly creation and sustainer.
Bahá'u'lláh describes the spiritual path that the seeker must travel to reach the nearness of God. In the “Universal Peace Shield of Truths, Rainbow Eagle”, Seventh Fire Peace Shield Teacher writes that the seven feathers on the peace shield is the symbol of seven sources of learning and the first feather represents the teachings of Mother Earth.
“God's creatures are all connected to Mother Earth and all are birthed and nurtured here. Mother Earth forces her children to respect her but nurtures all with unconditional love. She is also true to her own spiritual path and is continually renewing, purifying and evolving. She actively participates in the Creator's divine plan and gives herself completely to the Creator. Mother Earth also holds mysteries and truths planted within her for all to see and to learn from.” (pp. 56 -58, Peace Shield)
The rock carries the wisdom of the ages and in ancient wisdom tradition they called it, "Grandfather". From the rock we learn inner strength and faith. The rock is slow to move yet when the rock moves, the whole world pays attention.
The tree teaches us honesty just as the sap moves from the root to the furthest branches, we must learn to allow truth to move through us. For each disposition of the human there is a tree. If you are weighed down by worries and anxiety, the bent and crooked tree symbolizes your attitude. Some trees appear tall, majestic and grand, yet that same tree may be rotten on the inside just as pompous and self-righteous people.
Although we trample upon the grass, it keeps coming back. As humans we do that to one another, yet even when we get "walked upon" we must show kindness to ourselves and others and be ready to give more. A blade of grass has two sides to it just as we, as humans have a smooth side and a rough side. We must recognize this and use our genial nature to accumulate the dew of love and blessings by channelling it to our very roots. Our rough side must be kept under cover so that we can have a smooth relation with our neighbours.
The plants give us their bounty, season after season. They share their wealth with us and nurture us to health and vitality. Many plants give every part of their being for the service of the human and animal kingdom. But the most important function they perform is that of purification. The plant leaves convert the polluting carbon dioxide into life giving Oxygen.
As humans we need to learn to share with one another and give thanks for the gifts of life shared with us. In nature, there is a Divine purpose in all creation and an attribute of equal value must be assigned for harmonious co-existence.
The four teachings of faith, honesty, caring and sharing which come with the rock, the tree, the grasses and the plants keep us connected with our Mother Earth.
Love to you all