Today is the Environment Day..
Was just thinking how the Divine Couple Uma and Maheshwara Loved the trees growing in the forests abutting their holy abode, is described by Kaalidasa in the second canto of Raghuvamshamahaakaavyam..
King Dileepa, to fulfil a vow, is serving the Divine Cow Nandini, the daughter of Surabhi the Kamadhenu..
Nandini belongs to the hermitage of sage Vasishta, the preceptor of the Solar Dynasty and therefore of Dileepa..
Every morning Dileepa would take the cow out to forest to graze..
One day,when the king was just immersed devouring the beauty of the Himalayan Flora and Fauna through his eyes, an elephant fell upon the cow with murderous intent..
Dileepa took out his arrow to slay the beast and protect Nandini..
But, as if held under a spell, the king could not move his hands.. and could not use his weapon..
He stood paralyzed.
Then the lion spoke to the king..
The lion first introduced himself as the servant of Lord Shiva named Kumbhodhara.. going around the forest in the disguise of a lion.
He was deputed to protect the trees and the plants of the forest from attack of wild animals..
Further he says,
"अमुं पुरः पश्यति देवदारुं पुत्रीकृतोऽसौ ऋषभ्ध्वजेन।
यो कुम्भस्तननिःसृतानां स्कन्दस्य मातुः पयसां रसज्ञः॥२--३६
कण्डूयमानेन कटं कदाचित् वनद्विपेन्नोन्मथिता त्वगस्य।
अथैनमद्रेस्तनया शुशोच सेनान्यमालीढमिवासुरास्त्रैः॥२-३७
रघुवंशे द्वितेयसर्गे कालिदासः॥
amuṁ puraḥ paśyati devadāruṁ putrīkṛto'sau ṛṣabhdhvajena|
yo kumbhastananiḥsṛtānāṁ skandasya mātuḥ payasāṁ rasajñaḥ||2--36
kaṇḍūyamānena kaṭaṁ kadācit vanadvipennonmathitā tvagasya|
athainamadrestanayā śuśoca senānyamālīḍhamivāsurāstraiḥ ||2-37
raghuvaṁśe dviteeyasarge kālidāsaḥ||
Oh, the Devadaaru tree which you see in front of you is loved by that Lord Maheshwara who has a bull as insignia in his flagstaff.. the Lords affection for the tree is as if it is His own son.. And Uma who is the Mother of Skanda and the whole universe too, has nourished this tree with water fetched by Herself in pots made of gold.. as if she is feeding the tree with milk flowing from her own breasts..
And one day, a wild elephant, feeling itchy all over the body, just barged into the forest and rubbed his back on the barks of the tree, causing damage to the skin of the tree. When, Uma, who saw the damage to the tree as she came to water it, She could not contain her grief and cried aloud as if she was suffering the grief on seeing the injuries in the beautiful body of Her own son Skanda the Supreme Commander of the Gods. . those wounds inflicted by the demons during his successful battle with them..."
Of course, it was only a test to Dileepa to prove his loyalty tho the cow.. and the danger to the cow was removed later..
But the episode in the great Kavyam reveals how the poet and the people in general including the Divinity valued the upkeep of environment..
The mother of the universe Uma is nurturing a tree, and is crying when she sees that a part of its bark is damaged.. The Lord of Lords, Shankara loves a tree as if it is the His own son..
That is why
She is called the Prakriti, and He is called the Pashupati..
What greater tribute can one pay to nature?