Elements viz air, water, earth, fire and space have no use in themselves till they are sought by plants. Plants draw sunlight, breath in air, draw water through their roots in the earth to nourish themselves. These plants are then sought by herbivores who eat plants for their food. Herbivores are useful for carnivores or animals that eat other animals to satisfy their hunger. You call it life cycle or food chain, this is the reality of life as it exists in nature. In fact, this is the law of the wild and jungle.
A man is a civilised animal. He, in fact, disturbs the nature and its balance. He clears forests to create farmlands, where he sows seeds and grow crops to satisfy his hunger. Unlike jungle, where the mightiest rules ( might is right) and there’s no ownership of the area, in a civilised world, the man becomes owner of the farm and that too in perpetuity, because after his death, his inheritors become entitled to his estate. And as you extrapolate the above thesis, you very well understand the cause of all the negativity we see around ourselves – pollution, global warming, territorial claims, social malaise etc. it also stems from the man’s ownership instinct and his greed to own and possess more.
How does one relate the above two scenarios ? On one hand, nature has very fine balance; there’s no concept of ownership or perpetuity of ownership. It’s about survival and use for others – elements for plants , plants for lower animals, lower animals for higher animals and higher animals amongst themselves based on animal instincts. What about man and his greed to make everything his?
It’s beautifully explained that it’s for nothing that the God has made a man to be superior to all other beings. He’s expected to understand this and become useful for others – his fellow beings, society, country, world, environment by understanding the futility of amassing material objects or Maya! Every existence matters if it’s of use to others!
It’s not for nothing that Bhagvad Gita, which is the word of Lord Krishna himself, is called the mother of not only scriptures but also treatises and management books! The above is beautiful interpretation of this particular aspect of Bhagvad Gita by redoubtable Devdutt Pattanaik in his book My Gita!