In my understanding, nature is the supreme power to be worshiped.
Is there any scriptural basis for nature being the Supreme God or Goddess?
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Prakriti is not just the physical aspect of nature but it is the feminine aspect of Supreme. Prakriti has been hailed in Devi Bhagavatam, Ninth Book, Chapter 1 by lord Narayana.
- S’ri Nârâyana said :-- This (Highest) Prakriti is recognised as five-fold. When She is engaged in the work of Creation, She appears as :-- (1) Durgâ, the Mother of Ganes’a, (2) Râdhâ, (3) Laksmî, (4) Sarasvatî and (5) Sâvitrî.
4-18. Nârâyana said :-- “O Child! Who is there in this world that can describe fully the characteristics of Prakriti! However I will describe to you that much which I heard from my own father, Dharma. Hear. The prefix “Pra” in the word Prakriti means exalted, superior, excellent; and the affix “Kriti” denotes creation. So the Goddess, the Devî Who is the most excellent in the work of creation is known as the Devî Prakriti. To come closer :-- “Pra” signifies the Sattva Guna, the most exalted quality, “Kri” denotes the Rajo Guna and “Ti” denotes the Tamo Guna. (The Sattva Guna is considered as the Highest as it is perfectly clear and free from any impurities whatsoever; the Rajo Guna is considered intermediate as it has this defect :-- that it spreads a veil over the reality of things, so as not to allow men to understand the True Reality, while the Tamo Guna is considered worst as it completely hides the Real Knowledge).
So when this Intelligence of the nature of Brahmâ, beyond the three attributes, gets tinged with the above three Gunas and becomes omnipotent, then She is superior (Pradhânâ) in the work of creation. Hence She is styled as Prakriti.
O Child Nârada! The state just preceding that of creation is denoted by “Pra”; and “Kri” signifies creation. So the Great Devî that exists before creation is called Prakriti after creation. The Paramâtmâ by His Yoga (i.e., Mâyâ S’akti, the Holy Ghost) divided Himself into two parts; the right side of which was male and the left side was the female Prakriti.
Prakirti is the aspect of Supreme Brahman himself and Maya of Lord is itself indentified with Prakirti in the Vedas:
मायां तु प्रकृतिं विद्यान्मायिनं च महेश्वरम् ।
तस्यवयवभूतैस्तु व्याप्तं सर्वमिदं जगत् ॥ १०॥ (Shwetashwatara Upanishad 4.10)
Know, then, that Prakriti is Maya and Maheswara is the Lord of Maya. The whole universe is filled with objects which are parts of His being.
And Shakti of Lord belongs to Lord himself:
ते ध्यानयोगानुगता अपश्यन्
देवात्मशक्तिं स्वगुणैर्निगूढाम् ।
यः कारणानि निखिलानि तानि
कालात्मयुक्तान्यधितिष्ठत्येकः ॥ ३॥ (Shwetashwatara Upanishad 1.3)
The sages, absorbed in meditation through one−pointedness of mind, discovered the Shakti, belonging to the Lord Himself and hidden in its own gunas. That non−dual Lord rules over all those causes−time, the self and the rest.
But Prakirti is called Perishable with respect to Brahman because Prakirti undergoes changes with time whereas Brahman is always the same:
क्षरं प्रधानममृताक्षरं हरः
क्षरात्मानावीशते देव एकः ।
भावात् भूयश्चान्ते विश्वमायानिवृत्तिः।। (Shwetashwatara Upanishad 1.10)
Prakriti is perishable. Hara, the Lord, is immortal and imperishable. The non−dual Supreme Self rules both prakriti and the individual soul. Through constant meditation on Him, by union with Him, by the knowledge of identity with Him, one attains, in the end, cessation of the illusion of phenomena.
And as the Prakirti is just form of Brahman itself, Brahman is also identified with Prakirti also:
शून्यं तत्प्रकृतिर्माया ब्रह्मविज्ञानमित्यपि ।
शिवः पुरुष ईशानो नित्यमात्मेति कथ्यते ॥ (Mahopanishad 6.61)
That Brahman has been (identified with) emptiness, Prakriti, Maya and also consciousness. It has also been said to be "Shiva, pure Spirit, the Lord, the eternal and the self".
And Maya (in personified form) is also capable of providing wordly things and liberation (which I also discuss here). It is also seen in the Stuti to YogaMaya (a form of Durga) by Lord Vishnu in Harivamsha:
AvAsaH sarvabhUtAnAM niShThA cha paramA gatiH ||2-3-10
You are the abode, death and liberation of all beings.
R^ishINAM dharmabuddhistu devAnAM mAnasI tathA |
You are dharmabudhhi of sages and mind (fixed in truth) of devA-s.
vidyAnAM brahmavidyA tvamo~NkAro.atha vaShaT tathA |
Among all kinds of knowledge, you are BrahmaVidya. You are Om and vaShaT
tvayA vyAptamidaM sarvaM jagatsthAvaraja~Ngamam |
The entire world of non-moving and moving entities is pervaded by you.
And in any case the elements of Prakirti (like fire, water, air etc..) is pervaded and created by Supreme Lord himself as described in this chapter of Shatapatha Brahamana and in AtharvaVeda. And Svetasvatara Upanishad also says the same deriving this mantra of YajurVeda
यो देवो अग्नौ योऽप्सु
यो विश्वं भुवनमाविवेश ।
य ओषधीषु यो वनस्पतिषु
तस्मै देवाय नमो नमः (Svetasvatara Upanishad 2.17)
The Self−luminous Lord, who is in fire, who is in water, who has entered into the whole world, who is in plants, who is in trees−to that Lord let there be adoration! Yea, let there be adoration!
So, the Lord himself is also present in Prakirti elements and Prakirti is itself the potency of the Lord.