Bhoomi Devi - The Earth Goddess


Earth has been an abode for humans and several other thousand species inhabiting on this sacred planet. We all know that Earth is a moving entity revolving around the Sun. Not only in India but all across the world she is considered to be a massive super organism with an individuality of her own. If we compare the human anatomy and the Earth's structure, we will find a remarkable similarity. Even scientists from the past have not shied from stating Earth as a living entity.


In Indian culture mother, Earth is known as Bhoomi. She is also known by several other names like Prithvi, Vasundhara, Bhudevi, etc. In most of the scriptures, she is known as the manifestation of goddess Mahalaxmi. She is the divine feminine who is the provider of all possible resources required to sustain life. She is represented sitting on 4 elephants which mark the 4 different directions of this world. She is the divine consort of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu in his Varaha avatar saved her from the clutches of demon Hiranyaksha. Hiranyaksha was an extremely powerful demon who had snatched Earth from the Gods and submerged her into the planet of hell. He kept her immersed in the cosmic ocean. This is when Vishnu came forward to rescue Bhoomi. he lifted her from the ocean and placed her back into her orbit. During this period Vishnu and Bhoomi also bore children. It is believed that Narkasur was born when Vishnu was lifting Bhoomi back to her original space. It is also believed that the planet of Mars (Mangala) was also born during this event.


Demon Narkasur had a boon that only his mother could kill him. When Narkasur started misusing his powers and torturing everyone, the Gods requested Bhoomi to intervene. This is when Bhoomi incarnated herself as Satyabhama and married Krishna. Both killed Narkasur after that. In Vishnu Purana, we encounter a different story in regards to Prithvi's birth. This occurred during the reign of King Prithu. A devastating famine had occurred all across the world. Earth had lost its fertility and there was almost no food left. This situation angered Prithu and he vowed that he shall cut Earth into several parts and dig out all her resources. This scared mother Earth and she disguised herself into a cow. Prithu chased the cow so that it could kill her. He kept chasing her until they reached the abode of Brahma. The cow then warned Prithu of the horrendous sin he was going to commit by killing a woman. Prithu then told her that killing one individual for the benefit of thousands of people would rather be a virtuous act than sin. The cow then agreed to help Prithu. She said that she will pour in her divine milk all across the world. This shall bring the fertility back. However, to achieve this Prithu shall have to level up the land so that the divine milk can flow all across easily. Prithu agreed and started cutting the mountains to level the soil. This marked the beginning of agriculture and hence fertility was restored.


In the holy book of Ramayana Bhoomi has been shown as the mother of Sita who was adopted by the king of Janak. In the last book of Ramayana (Utara Kand) Rama asked Sita to stay in exile as the people of Ayodhya were not ready to accept her back as Queen. She stayed as a captive in Ravana's kingdom for long and this created suspicion among people regarding her chastity. Rama had to succumb to the public pressure and banish her. Sita stayed in Valmiki's ashram after this. Her two sons Luv and Kush were also born there. Later when Ram realized his mistake he requested Sita to come back as his queen. However, by now Sita had undergone immense suffering. She then asked her mother Bhoomi to accept her back and free her from this suffering. This is when the earth split apart and Sita merged into it.


In the Vedic texts, Bhoomi is depicted as the divine mother who is the wife of Dyaus Pita (Sky god). Together they created all the other gods and living beings. The greek goddess Gaia shares a lot of similarities with Bhoomi Devi. Gaia is the divine earth goddess who is married to the Sky god and together form the base of evolution in this world.


Art Credit: Unknown

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