Prithvi (Sanskrit: पृथ्वी, pṛthvī, also पृथिवी, pṛthivī, "the Vast One"), also rendered Pṛthvī Mātā or Pṛthivī Devī, 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, her consort is Dyaus, the sky god. Her Puranic equivalent is Bhumi.

AffiliationDevi, Bhudevi, Pancha Bhuta
MantraOm Bhumhaya Namah
Greek equivalentGaia
Roman equivalentTellus
Norse equivalentJörð
Indo-European equivalentDʰéǵʰōm

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

Owing to strong historical Hindu influence, the name is also used for national personifications of Indonesia, where she is referred to as Ibu Pertiwi.

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 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