African Traditional Religion (Idoma Prayer)
They gave the sacrifice to the East,
the East said, “Give it to the West,”
the West said, “Give it to God,”
God said, “Give it to Earth, for Earth is senior.”
We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved. Man is organic with the world. Baha’ullah (Secretary of Shoghi Effendi, from a letter dated 17 February 1933 to an individual believer)
Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise Bahau’ullah, Tablets of Wisdom
Let creatures all, all things that live,
All beings of whatever kind,
See nothing that will bode them ill!
May naught of evil come to them!
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. 1 Timothy 4:4
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. 1 Corinthians 10:26 (also found in Psalm 24:1)
The natural world is not an object of our manipulation. It is a community of living, sentient beings that suffers or rejoices according to how it is treated by human beings. The scriptures teach that, for those who have eyes to see, nature is exquisitely sensitive to the spirit and attitude of people. The creation ‘groans in travail’ when it is misused and defiled, and rejoices when it can serve God through serving the children of God. Indeed, the virtuous person brings redemption to nature. Analects 4.1
The mode of living which is founded upon a total harmlessness towards all living creatures is of the highest morality. Mahabharata, Shantiparva
Do no mischief on the earth after it hath been set in order, but call on him with fear and longing in your hearts: for the Mercy of God is always near to those who do good.
To Him belongs what is in the heavens and on earth and all between them and all beneath the soil. Ayatul Kursi 020.006.
He it is who sends down water from the sky, and therewith we bring forth buds of every kind; we bring forth the green blade from which we bring forth the thick-clustered grain; and from the date-palm, from the pollen thereof, spring pendant bunches; and gardens of grapes, and the olive and the pomegranate, alike and unlike. Look upon the fruit thereof, when they bear fruit, and upon its ripening. Lo! herein verily are signs for a people who believe. Qur’an 6:99
Have benevolence towards all living beings. Tattvarthasutra
One should not injure, subjugate, enslave, torture, or kill any animal, living being, organism, or sentient being. This doctrine of nonviolence is immaculate, immutable, and eternal. Just as suffering is painful to you, in the same way it is painful, disquieting, and terrifying to all animals, living beings, organisms, and sentient beings. Acaranga Sutra 4.25-26
When God created Adam, he showed him all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said to him: See my works, how lovely they are, how fine they are. All I have created, I created for you. Take care not to corrupt and destroy my universe, for if you destroy it, no one will come after you to put it right. Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7
Judaism and Christianity
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein.
Native American (Okanagon Creation Story)
Thus all living beings came from the earth. When we look around, we see part of our Mother everywhere.
Native American (Suquamish Tribe)
Every part of this country is sacred to my people.
Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove
has been hallowed by some fond memory
or some sad experience of my tribe.
Even the rocks,
which seem to lie dumb as they swelter in the sun
along the silent shore in solemn grandeur
thrill with memories of past events
connected with the fate of my people
Chief Sealth, 1887
Even in a single leaf of a tree, or a tender blade of grass, the awe-inspiring Deity manifests Itself. Urabe-no-Kanekuni
The earth is a garden,
The Lord its gardener,
Cherishing all, none neglected.
Adi Granth, Mahj Ashtpadi 1, M.3, p.118
Humanity follows the Earth, the Earth follows Heaven, Heaven follows the Dao, and the Dao follows what is natural. Tao Te Ching