Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day 2016 - Earth Goddess - Earth Devi

            Earth Devi - Goddess Earth

Prithvi-Mother Earth

When reading Vedic literature, one can sometimes be overwhelmed by the varied amount of Gods and Goddess. Despite the daunting task of remembering all the saints and sages, one divine being mentioned throughout Vedic text is easily remembered – Mother Earth, also known as Prithvi or Bhu Devi.

It is commonly known that when Vishnu incarnates as an avatar, Laksmi is said to incarnate as well. When he appeared as Krishna she was Rukmini, when he appeared as Rama she was Sita, When Vamana she was Kamala, and when he was Parashuma she was Dharani.

But Vishnu has two wives; Sri Devi, an aspect of Lakshmi, and Bhu Devi an aspect of the Goddess Earth. Bhu Devi can be found throughout all of the incarnations of Vishnu as pervasively as Lakshmi.

The following accounts from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and various Puranas have many different versions, so they may differ from stories you have read or been taught.
 Bhu Devi :  Mother Earth and the Ramayana

Sita found in Earth Thai depiction
                                 Sita Born of Earth
 The region of Mithila had been stricken with a severe drought and famine. As a remedy (upaya) to alleviate the famine, the sage Gautama Muni instructed King Janaka that if he ploughed the fields himself, the rains would come, and the land would once again become fertile. As King Janaka was ploughing the fields his plough hit something beneath the earth. Upon inspection the king discovered a chest. Within the chest, wrapped in a cloth he discovered a baby girl who he called Sita. Sita, was said to be born of Bhu Devi (mother Earth).

                                 Sita returns to the Earth

Upon being rescued from Ravana, when Sita reunited with Rama there were many rumors as to her chastity while she had been held in captivity. Fed up with the slander, Sita vowed that if she was in fact telling the truth about her chasteness the Earth would swallow her. Soon after, a crack formed in the earth and Sita merged back with Mother Earth.

         Bhu Devi: Goddess Earth and Krishna I

Not being able to stand the wickedness of men any longer, goddess Earth in the form of a cow, approached Brahma and Vishnu to ask for assistance with managing the wickedness of men. Upon hearing the cries of Mother Earth, Brahma and Vishnu agreed to incarnate as Krishna to thwart the evil of men.

                           ~~  Mata bhumih, putro aham, prithivyaha  ~~

       Bhu Devi:  Goddess Earth and Krishna II

Over 5,000 years ago, Mother Earth was feeling victimized, exploited and harassed by men. She approached Indra to express the discontent she was experiencing at the hands of mankind. Disconcerted, Indra said, “ Bhu Devi, I am sorry but this evil is great and beyond me, let us seek the advice of lord Brahma.”

Indra and Goddess Earth traveled to the abode of Brahma and the goddess explained her plight. “ Lord Brahma, Kali yuga is approaching and men have forgotten righteousness and honor. They are trashing the Earth, lack any form of compassion, and are destroying dharma, please offer some assistance.”
Brahma pondered the plight of the Earth for a few moments and said, “ The evils of man are indeed growing, we must confer with Vishnu to find a resolution.”

Brahma, Indra and Bhu Devi (Mother Earth) traveled to the abode of Vishnu where Brahma pleaded the case of Mother Earth to Vishnu. “ Vishnu, I believe it is time you must incarnate once again on Earth to eradicate the evils of mankind,” said Brahma.

Vishnu looked disturbed. After sadly pondering this problem for a few moments he slowly rose and said, “ Incarnating is not a nice experience. Last time I incarnated, I suffered greatly as Rama. If I must reincarnate in the world of men to assist Bhu Devi I will, but this can only be done if we get clearance from the Divine Mother (sometimes referred to as Maha Maya, Yoga Maya and other epithets), pray to her and if she advises it I…I will incarnate once again”

Lakshmi, Vishnu and Bhu Devi

 Divine Shakti Revealed as the Power behind the Gods

Brahma, Vishnu, Indra and Mother Earth devoutly prayed to the Divine Mother, and after a long period of sincere devotion the Divine Mother of the universe appeared before them in a soft cascading array of splendorous light.

With a devout and humble pranam Brahma pleaded to the Divine Mother, “ Dear Mother, the goddess Earth is being destroyed by the wickedness of man, you have helped to vanquish the worst evils in the past, please help us once more.”

Indra then stepped forward, bowed, and humbly spoke, “O Mother, it is only through you that anything can be accomplished we are only here through your help. We seek your protection and blessings in these dark times.”

As they all spoke, the Divine Mother silently watched with the disposition of a candle’s flame.

Vishnu humbly approached, and with a bowed head offered many sacred gestures and said, “great Divine Mother, you are the shakti behind Brahma, Shiva and even me, we cannot embark on the task of erasing the evils that men have done without your sanction”.

Goddess Earth- Indonesia
With a silent grace gently resting on her face, the Divine Mother spoke, “ I have some time ago decided this must be. Kasyapa will be born as Vasudeva, as a member of the Yadavas. Because of the curse once levied by sage Bhrigu, Vishnu will be born in a prison as the son of Vasudeva. My shakti will pervade Balarama and Krishna, and the evil will reap their wickedness”.

Thus, Krishna was born over 5,000 years ago to come to the aid of Mother Earth.

Of course, Mother Earth was complaining about many people including Kamsa, Naraka, Salva, Dhenuka, Vatasaka, Sishupal, Jarasandha and others.

Bhu Devi 11th century
               Mother Earth and Diwali

The demon Hiranyaksha had absconded with the goddess Earth and dragged her to the nether regions of Rasatala in the ocean. Vishnu incarnated as Varaha (divinity in the form of a boar) and descended into the deep ocean and rescued Mother Earth from the vile demon. The love between Vishnu and Mother Earth was so intense that as they rose through the murky depths of the ocean, they began an ecstatic divine coupling like eagles mating in flight.

After they had risen from the ocean, their rapturous union had caused mountains, hills and valleys to form on the flat Earth. With the essence of the goddess permeating his aura, Varaha thrust his tusks into the earth causing plants and trees of all forms to spring from the entire world. But It is from this union that arose an unintended side-effect from their copulation in the dark depths of the ocean. Their intimacy in the nether regions of the ocean caused the birth of the demon Naraka.

Naraka craved ultimate power, so he embarked on extreme austerities to gain them. After many decades, he had done so much penance that Brahma appeared before him. Reluctantly, Brahma approached the yogi and spoke, “ You have done an innumerable amount of austerities, I will thus grant you any desire you wish.”  Naraka commanded, “ great Brahma, I wish to be invincible, unconquerable, I wish to never fall at the hands of death.”

Brahma replied, “ This is against the laws of nature. One cannot be truly invincible, but since you have crossed the threshold of austerities, I will grant your wish with one caveat, that you can die if it is at the hands of your own mother – goddess Earth”.

Almost immediately upon receiving his boon, Naraka embarked on a reign of terror. He and his thugs went to and fro murdering, pillaging and causing great distress to women.

Naraka and Krishna-Wiki
One of the wives of Krishna was Satyabhama. She was secretly the incarnation of the goddess Earth. Krishna asked her to hold the reigns of his chariot while he journeyed to battle the now very powerful demon Naraka. Satyabhama was not inclined to battle, but when an arrow from Naraka struck Krishna’s armor, he feigned that he had been felled. Satyabhama, in a rare show of anger to protect her husband, grabbed Krishna’s bow and quickly pierced Naraka with an arrow.

Thus, the invincible Naraka was vanquished by his mother (Earth, Prithvi) in the form of Satyabhama. Therefore, the second day of Diwali, Naraka Chaturdasi celebrates the extinction of this demon at the hands of the goddess Earth.

Prithvi 14 century
~~~It is said that the Adi Varaha Purana was transmitted directly to Bhu Devi from Aavatar Varaha. Vyasa was said to have written it down.~~~

                         Goddess Earth: Prithvi

Prithu-Prithvi Wiki
  For many aeons, the goddess Earth provided for all of mankind in an inexhaustible abundant manner, but when she saw that mankind began trying to monopolize the riches she gave freely, she retreated in sadness and anger. As she retracted her spirit from the earth, no plants flowered and not one seed sprouted. Countless humans began to starve and waste away. Witnessing this wide spread famine, Vishnu descended to Earth in the form of Prithu.

Prithu pleaded with goddess Earth, but Bhu Devi turned herself into a cow and ran away. Growing frustrated, Prithu gave pursuit and even threatened to shoot the Earth Mother with an arrow to get her to comply. “I do not wish to support those ungrateful evil humans any longer, and if you strike me down with an arrow, you will also strike down the Earth itself” Prithvi said.

 “ Please forgive me, It is my duty to preserve and protect humanity. Please give me a chance and I will change their wicked behavior, instill respect for cows, and I will establish dharma throughout the land,” said Vishnu in the form of Prithu.

Prithu then began to teach righteous economics throughout the land. He was the first human to teach fair trade, sustainability, biodynamics and organic farming. He wrote the Dharma Sutras to teach mankind proper ethics, and taught respect for the environment.

Will Cunningham
Bhu devi became pleased with his progressive environmentalism and adherence to the dharma. She then called her self Prithvi as a term of endearment to honor her new friend Prithu.

Kali, Tara, Parvati and many other goddesses all have aspects of the Earth mother.
                                    Om Shri Mahimata Namah

                                   Samudhra vasane devi, 
                                 parvatha sthana mandale, 
                               Vishnu pathni namasthubhyam 
                              pada sparsam kshamasva mae.

Prithvi - Vedic Earth Chant

Maha Vedic Earth Stotram - Bhu Suktam

                                            Bhumi Devi Gayatri

                              Om Vasundharaya vidmahe
                              Bhutadhatraya dhimahi
                              Tanno bhumih prachodayat


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