In the Bhagavad Purana, King Yadu is perturbed by his father Yayati’s decision to renounce kingship. So Yadu goes to a forest and meets a realized soul there, an avadhuta, none other than the great Dattatreya.
What he is surprised by more than anything else is how happy this carefree man of the forest is. The Guru then proceeds to tell the King to learn from nature itself. He then explains how he got self realization by observing nature and its teachers. A quick summary follows:
1. From the earth, the quality of patience, forbearance and doing good to others
2. From air, the value of non-attachment and freedom
3. From the sky, the expansive nature of the Self, which is untouched by any object
4. From water, the quality of purity and coolness