Prithvi

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Prithvi
Goddess of the Land
The Mother Earth
Devanagariपृथ्वी
Sanskrit transliterationPrithvi
AffiliationDevi, Bhudevi, Pancha Bhoota
AbodeDyuloka
PlanetEarth
MantraOm Bhumhaya Namah
MountCow, Elephant
ConsortDyaus Pita
Equivalents
Greek equivalentGaia
Roman equivalentTellus Mater
Norse equivalentJörð

Prithvi or Prithvi Mata (Sanskrit: पृथ्वी, pṛthvī, also पृथिवी, pṛthivī) 'the Vast One' is the Sanskrit name for the earth as well as the name of a devi (goddess) in Hinduism and some branches of Buddhism. In the Vedas, she is the consort of Dyaus Pita but, later in Puranas, she is known as Bhūmi, Varaha's wife.

As Pṛthvī Mātā ('Mother Earth') she is complementary to Dyaus Pita ('Father Sky').[1] In the Rigveda, Earth and Sky are primarily addressed in the dual as Dyavapṛthivi.[2] She is associated with the cow. Prithu, an incarnation of Viṣṇu, milked her in cow's form.

Despite strong historical Hindu influence, the name is also used for national personifications of country Indonesia, where in certain points have been internally referred to as "Ibu Pertiwi" (in Indonesian).

In Buddhism[edit]

In Buddhist texts and visual representations, Pṛthvī is described as both protecting Gautama Buddha and as being his witness for his enlightenment. Prithvi appears in Early Buddhism in the Pāli Canon, dispelling the temptation figure Mara by attesting to Gautama Buddha's worthiness to attain enlightenment.[3] The Buddha is frequently depicted performing the bhūmisparśa or "earth-touching" mudrā as a symbolic invocation of the goddess. [4]

In Chinese Buddhism, she is considered one of the Twenty-Four Protective Deities (二十四諸天 Èrshísì zhūtiān) and is usually enshrined in the Mahavira Hall of Buddhist temples along with the other devas.

Pṛthvī Sūkta[edit]

The Pṛthvī Sūkta (or Bhūmī Sūkta) is a hymn of the Atharvaveda (12.1).

Epithets[edit]

Indonesian depiction of Prithvi in ancient regal attire as Ibu Pertiwi at the Indonesian National Monument
Category Transliteration Gloss
Provider Bhūmi Soil
Dhatri Nursing Mother
Dharitri Nurturer
Janitra Birthplace
Medini Nurturer
Prshni Mother of Plants
Vanaspatinam Grbhir Osadhinam Womb of Forest Trees and Herbs
Vishvadhaya All-Nourishing
Vishvagarbha World's Womb
Vishvamshu Producer of Everything
Vishvasvam Source of Everything
Sustainer Dhar Upholder
Drdha Steady One
Ksama Patient One
Sthavara Stable One
Vishdava All-Preserving
Vishvadharini All-Supporting
Vishvamhara All-Bearing
Enricher Ratnagarbha Repository of Gems
Ratnavati Abounding in Jewels
Vasundhara Bearer of Treasure

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leeming, David; Fee, Christopher (2016). The Goddess: Myths of the Great Mother. Reaktion Books. ISBN 978-1-78023-538-7.
  2. ^ Doniger O'Flaherty 2007, p. 201, 330.
  3. ^ Shaw 2006, p. 27.
  4. ^ Shaw 2007, p. 17.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola
  • Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions (ISBN 81-208-0379-5) by David Kinsley