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Prithvi
Mother Earth
Prithu - Crop.jpg
Prithu chasing Prithvi, who is in the form of a Cow
Affiliation Devi, Bhudevi
Abode Earth
Mantra Om Bhumaya Namah
Mount Cow
Personal information
Consort Dyaus Pita, Varaha
Children Sita, Mangala, Indra

Prithvi or Prithvi Mata (Sanskrit: पृथ्वी, pṛthvī, also 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.

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.

She is a national personification in Indonesia, where she is known as Ibu Pertiwi.

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]

The 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. ^ Madhu Bazaz Wangu. Images of Indian Goddesses: Myths, Meanings, and Models. p. 35. "Prithvi is coupled with the sky god Dyaus.
  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

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