Science tells us that planet earth is a living being. But an imminent ecological cessation due to the reckless destruction of earth's assets finds humanity facing the challenge of saving the planet.
To put the earth we inhabit in a true perspective, Veda Vyasa personified the Earth as Kunti Devi in the epic Mahabharata. As a young girl, Kunti was granted a boon by Sage Durvasa Muni that she could invoke any God by chanting a sacred mantra.
Kunti was always fascinated by the rising Sun. In the aura of the Sun, one day, she saw a handsome man adorned with divine armor and brilliant ear-rings. Remembering Durvasa's boon, she chanted the sacred mantra and the Sun God had appreared before her. The Sun God, by the power of divinity, granted her a Child. Kunti had then, gave birth to a son called Karna. The child also wore armor and ear-rings (kavasa & kundalam).
In Sanskrit, "Kun-ti" means "The Earth". Kunti's other name is Pritha or Prithvi which means the same. Life originated on Earth with the help of Sun's rays. Vegetation was born. Karna, literally means, grain with chaff. He represents seed, the essence of the vegetable kingdom. But a seed cannot sprout without water. Kunti placed her child in a basket in the waters of the river Aswa. karna was found and brought up by Adhirath, a charioteer, who lived by the banks of the river. "Adhi-rath" actually means, "anxiety for the body".
Karna grew up as a great warrior later to be known as Ang-raj, meaning "ruler of the body". The significance of Karna's protective armor and ear-rings can be comprehended from the Sanskrit words, kavacha and kundala. The entire vegetable kingdom has a protective skin or peel, hide or shell, husk or crust. Kavacha in Sanskrit means protective covering and also rind or bark. And fruits hanging from trees just look like ear-rings or kundalas.
Kunti, used the boon of chanting the sacred mantra, and with the help of celestial grants, gave birth to the 5 Pandavas - Yudhistira from Dharma, Bhima from Vayu, Arjuna from Indra, Nakul and Sahadev from the Asvins. If Kunti's first born (Karna) conceived through the energy of the sun represents the vegetable kingdom, all the 5 Pandava brothers may be considered to constitute different parts that go to the making of the man, the highest manifestation of the animal kingdom.
Yudhistira represents Buddhi, Bhima - the mind, Arjuna - Prana or breath and the twins Nakul and Sahadev - arms and legs respectively. They were born one after the other, just like the child emerges from the womb - head first (this is the place of the Buddhi i.e., Yudhistira) then the brow, the place of the mind (Bhima) then the organs of the senses from the ears downwards through which the breath can pass (Arjuna) completing the principal parts of the man. Then we have arms, followed by legs, which are alike in every part and lie together in the womb; and so they are twins represented by Nakul and Sahadev.
The above interpretation merely seeks to draw attention to the importance of all aspects of the environment, for, as human beings, we have within us, all the elements that exist outside of us. The earth and its inhabitants therefore need to live in mutual harmony is the essence which Veda Vyasa is portraying to the common man through this epic story of Mahabharata.