EARTH, ‘PRITHVI’, OR ‘BHUMI’ IS DEDICATED TO PRESERVE THE COSMIC BALANCE AND UNIVERSAL ORDER.
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION
In the United States, Wednesday, April 22, 2009 is celebrated as Earth Day. This tradition of celebrating planet Earth began in April 1970 and it intends to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. Earth is the natural home for all humans, plants, and the animals that inhabit this planet. We need to learn to keep this home safe, and healthy for the sake of our future generations. Earth’s resources should be used in a wise and judicious manner. We need to accept the stewardship of the planet and act to preserve and protect the plants and the animals that share their lives with us.
INDIAN TRADITIONS ABOUT EARTH’S ROLE
In the ancient Indian scripture of RIG VEDA, Mother Earth or PRITHVI MATA is described as the primordial goddess. She is also known by the names of Bhumi, Dhra, Dharti, Dhrithri, and Dharani all of which refer to her sustaining beneficence as “that which holds everything”. Akaasha(SKY), Vaayu(WIND), Agni(FIRE), Jalam or Varuna(WATER), and Bhumi or Prithvi(EARTH) are described as ‘PANCHA MAHA BHUTAS’ or the Five Great Elemental States of the material Nature or PRAKRITI. She is the consort of Lord Vishnu, the Divine Protector of the Hindu Trinity. Earth represents the female principle of fertility and is the source of all vegetation and is responsible for precious and bountiful crops and fruits that it yields. She is the sustainer and the preserver of the Cosmic Balance. She stands up to the rights of the living entities and defends them from Cosmic Forces and Energies. She is associated with the concept of a just and stable universe. She is dedicated to the maintenance of ‘DHARMA’ or Righteous Action which defines the Universal Order. She bears witness to all of our actions and particularly the actions of miscreants and evildoers who transgress the rights of weak and innocent denizens living in her domain. She mutely observes the acts of depredations and oppression. She endures all kinds of suffering with calmness and displays a great quality of patience. However, there are natural limits to her forbearance.When stressed beyond her limits of threshold and particularly to uphold the vital principle of DHARMA, she cries out aloud, calls for the attention of all gods, and insistently demands for the intervention of Lord Vishnu, the Divine Protector.
PATIENCE IN SUFFERING
Indians are encouraged to develop perseverance in the face of trials and tribulations of many kinds. The idea that Mother Earth is a witness to their pain and suffering provides man a sense of comfort and enables man to endure suffering with a sense of hope and an expectation of deliverance. Indians are culturally driven to face calamities with calmness as they hope that Mother Earth would intervene on their behalf. Being patient is a quality that is imparted to the human character by Mother Earth.
A HYMN TO PRAISE EARTH GODDESS BHU DEVI
Vishnu Shakti samutpanne, Shanka varna Mahee ta le,
Ane ka Ratna sambhuu te, Bhumi Devi Namo stu te.
Earth Goddess, Bhumi Devi, you originated from the Creative Power of Lord Vishnu, upon earth you display the complexion of a Conch shell, you can produce a variety of gems and precious stones. I join and press my palms together and bow my head to offer my salutations to you.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, A.P., India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.