Why do Hindus hold Nature in great reverence?
Hindus have always shown great reverence for Nature. Their places of pilgrimage are situated deep in the hills and mountains, alongside rivers, lakes or near the sea. They pray to the sun, the moon and the planets. Hindus believe that the Navgrah (nine plants) hold sway over the destinies of individuals, communities and nations.
What may seem just natural phenomena to most people is the will of God for Hindus. Good or scanty rainfall, floods and drought, storms and hurricanes are natural phenomena. However, Hindus see God Indra controlling these to their benefit or detriment. For the modern scientist, the sun is just a source of light, heat or energy. But for Hindus the sun is a god - Surya. The moon too is a god - Chandrama. The other planets are also personified - Mars as God Mangal, Jupiter as Bhagwan Brihaspati or Saturn as God Shani. Others are no different. Just like the planets, the hills, mountains and rivers are all personified. There is the quiet hand of God to support these. The rivers are goddesses giving magnanimously like a mother. When angry they punish children harshly. Fire too is a god - Agni. Without it most Hindu ceremonies cannot be conducted and would remain incomplete. Like other gods, Agni provides mankind energy. It controls the balance in nature. However, when angry Agni causes great damage.
The animal world is a part of the evolutionary process for the modern scientist. But Hindus hold an altogether different perspective. For them the animal world is as important