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Prithvi Sukta

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In a previous posting re: Atharva Veda, by Kanchi Paramacharya,

he made reference to Prithvi Sukta. This is such a sublime hymn, and

so relevant to our concerns today, that I thought readers would

cherish it dearly.




XII, 1. Hymn to Goddess Earth.


1. Truth, greatness, universal order (rita), strength. consecration,

creative fervour (tapas), spiritual exaltation (brahma), the

sacrifice, support the earth. May this earth, the mistress of that

which was and shall be, prepare for us a broad domain!


2. The earth that has heights, and slopes, and great plains, that

supports the plants of manifold virtue, free from the pressure that

comes from the midst of men, she shall spread out for us, and fit

herself for us!


3. The earth upon which the sea, and the rivers and the waters, upon

which food and the tribes of men have arisen, upon which this

breathing, moving life exists, shall afford us precedence in drinking!


4. The earth whose are the four regions of space, upon which food and

the tribes of men have arisen, which supports the manifold breathing,

moving thinas, shall afford us cattle and other possessions also!


5. The earth upon which of old the first men unfolded themselves, upon

which the gods overcame the Asuras, shall procure for us (all) kinds

of cattle, horses, and fowls, good fortune, and glory!


6. The earth that supports all, furnishes wealth, the foundation, the

golden-breasted resting-place of all living creatures, she that

supports Agni Vaisvânara (the fire), and mates with Indra, the bull,

shall furnish us with property!


7. The broad -earth, which the sleepless gods ever attentively guard,

shall milk for us precious honey, and, moreover, besprinkle us with



8. That earth which formerly was water upon the ocean (of space),

which the wise (seers) found out by their skilful devices; whose heart

is in the highest heaven, immortal, surrounded by truth, shall bestow

upon us brilliancy and strength, (and place us) in supreme



9. That earth upon which the attendant waters jointly flow by day and

night unceasingly, shall pour out milk for us in rich streams, and,

moreover, besprinkle us with glory!


10. The earth which the Asvins have measured, upon which Vishnu has

stepped out, which Indra, the lord of might, has made friendly to

himself; she, the mother, shall pour forth milk for me, the son!


11. Thy snowy mountain heights, and thy forests, O earth, shall be

kind to us! The brown, the black, the red, the multi-coloured, the

firm earth, that is protected by Indra, I have settled upon, not

suppressed, not slain, not wounded.


12. Into thy rniddle set us, O earth, and into thy navel, into the

nourishing strength that has grown tip from thy body; purify thyself

for us! The earth is the mother, and I the son of the earth; Parjanya

is the father; he, too, shall save us!


13. The earth upon which they (the priests) inclose the altar (vedi),

upon which they, devoted to all (holy) works, unfold the sacrifice,

upon which are set up, in front of the sacrifice, the sacrificial

posts, erect and brilliant, that earth shall prosper us, herself



14. Him that hates us, O earth, him that battles against us, him that

is hostile towards us with his mind and his weapons, do thou subject

to us, anticipating (our wish) by deed!


15. The mortals born of thee live on thee, thou supportest both bipeds

and quadrupeds. Thine, O earth, are these five races of men, the

mortals, upon whom the rising sun sheds undying light with his rays.


16. These creatures all together shall yield milk for us; do thou, O

earth, give us the honey of speech!


17. Upon the firm, broad earth, the all-begetting mother of the

plants, that is supported by (divine) law, upon her, propitious and

kind, may we ever pass-our lives!


18. A great gathering-place thou, great (earth), hast become; great

haste, commotion, and agitation are upon thee. Great Indra protects

thee unceasingly. Do thou, O earth, cause us to brighten as if at the

sight of gold: not any one shall hate us!


19. Agni (fire) is in the earth, in the plants, the waters hold Agni,

Agni is in the stones; Agni is within men, Agnis (fires) are within

cattle, within horses.


20. Agni glows from the sky, to Agni, the god, belongs the broad air.

The mortals kindle Agni, the bearer of oblations, that loveth ghee.


21. The earth, clothed in Agni, with dark knees, shall make me

brilliant and alert!


22. Upon the earth men give to the gods the sacrifice, the prepared

oblation; upon the earth mortal men live pleasantly by food. May this

earth give us breath and life, may she cause me to reach old age!


23. The fragrance, O earth, that has arisen upon thee, which the

plants and the waters hold, which the Gandharvas and the Apsaras have

partaken of, with that make me fragrant: not any one shall hate us!


24. That fragrance of thine which has entered into the lotus, that

fragrance, O earth, which the immortals of yore gathered up at the

marriage of Sûryâ, with that make me fragrant: not any one shall hate



25. That fragrance of thine which is in men, the loveliness and charm

that is in male and female, that which is in steeds and heroes, that

which is in the wild animals with trunks (elephants), the lustre that

is in the maiden, O earth, with that do thou blend us: not any one

shall hate us!


26. Rock, stone, dust is this earth; this earth is supported, held

together. To this golden-breasted earth I have rendered obeisance.


27. The earth, upon whom the forest-sprung trees ever stand firm, the

all-nourishing, compact earth, do we invoke.


28. Rising or sitting, standing or walking, may we not stumble with

our right or left foot upon the earth!


29. To the pure earth I speak, to the ground, the soil that has grown

through the brahma (spiritual exaltation). Upon thee, that holdest

nourishment, prosperity, food, and ghee, we would settle down, O



30. Purified the waters shall flow for our bodies; what flows off from

us that do we deposit upon him we dislike: with a purifier, O earth,

do I purify myself!


31. Thy easterly regions, and thy northern, thy southerly (regions), O

earth, and thy western, shall be kind to me as I walk (upon thee)! May

I that have been placed into the world not fall down!


32. Do not drive us from the west, nor from the east; not from the

north, and not from the south! Security be thou for us, O earth:

waylayers shall not find us, hold far away (their) murderous weapon!


33. As long as I look out upon thee, O earth, with Sûrya (the sun) as

my companion, so long shall my sight not fall, as year followeth upon



34. When, as I lie, I turn upon my right or left side, O earth; when

stretched out we lie with our ribs upon thee pressing against (us), do

not, O earth, that liest close to everything, there injure us!


35. What, O earth, I dig out of thee, quickly shall that grow again:

may I not, O pure one, pierce thy vital spot, (and) not thy heart!


36. Thy summer, O earth, thy rainy season, thy autumn, winter, early

spring, and spring; thy decreed yearly seasons, thy days and nights

shall yield us milk


37. The pure earth that starts in fright away from the serpent, upon

whom were the fires that are within the waters, she that delivers (to

destruction) the blasphemous Dasyus, she that takes the side of Indra,

not of Vritra, (that earth) adheres to Sakra (mighty Indra), the lusty



38. Upon whom rests the sacrificial hut (sadas) and the (two) vehicles

that hold the soma (havirdhâne), in whom the sacrificial post is

fixed, upon whom the Brâhmanas praise (the gods) with riks and sâmans,

knowing (also) the yagur-formulas; upon whom the serving-priests

(ritvig) are employed so that Indra shall drink the soma;--


39. Upon whom the seers of yore, that created the beings, brought

forth with their songs the cows, they the seven active (priests), by

means of the satra-offerings, the sacrifices, and (their) creative

fervour (tapas);--


40. May this earth point out to us the wealth that we-crave; may Bhaga

(fortune) add his help, may Indra come here as (our) champion!


41. The earth upon whom the noisy mortals sing and dance, upon whom

they fight, upon whom resounds the roaring drum, shall drive forth our

enemies, shall make us free from rivals!


42. To the earth upon whom are food, and rice and barley, upon whom

live these five races of men, to the earth, the wife of Parganya, that

is fattened by rain, be reverence!


43. The earth upon whose ground the citadels constructed by the gods

unfold themselves, every region of her that is the womb of all,

Prajâpati shall make pleasant for us!


44. The earth that holds treasures manifold in secret places, wealth,

jewels, and gold shall she give to me; she that bestows wealth

liberally, the kindly goddess, wealth shall she bestow upon us!


45. The earth that holds people of manifold varied speech, of

different customs, according to their habitations, as a reliable

milch-cow that does not kick, shall she milk for me a thousand streams

of wealth!


46. The serpent, the scorpion with thirsty fangs, that hibernating

torpidly lies upon thee; the worm, and whatever living thing, O earth,

moves in the rainy season, shall, when it creeps, not creep upon us:

with what is auspicious (on thee) be gracious to us!


47. Thy many paths upon which people go, thy tracks for chariots and

wagons to advance, upon which both good and evil men proceed, this

road, free from enemies, and free from thieves, may we gain: with what

is auspicious (on thee) be gracious to us!


48. The earth holds the fool and holds the wise, endures that good and

bad dwell (upon her); she keeps company with the boar, gives herself

up to the wild hog.


49. Thy forest animals, the wild animals homed in the woods, the

man-eating lions, and tigers that roam; the ula, the wolf, mishap,

injury (rikshikâ), and demons (rakshas), O earth, drive away from us!


50. The Gandharvas, the Apsaras, the Arâyas and Kimîdins; the Pisâkas

and all demons (rakshas), these, O earth, hold from us!


51. The earth upon whom the biped birds fly together, the flamingoes,

eagles, birds of prey, and fowls; upon whom Mâtarisvan, the wind,

hastens, raising the dust, and tossing the trees-as the wind blows

forth and back the flame bursts after;--


52. The earth upon whom day and night jointly, black and bright, have

been decreed, the broad earth covered and enveloped with rain, shall

kindly place us into every pleasant abode!


53. Heaven, and earth, and air have here given me expanse; Agni,

Sûrya, the waters, and all the gods together have given me wisdom.


54. Mighty am I, 'Superior' (uttara) by name, upon the earth,

conquering am I, all-conquering, completely conquering every region.


55. At that time, O goddess, when, spreading., (prathamânâ) forth,

named (prithivî 'broad') by the gods, thou didst extend to greatness,

then prosperity did enter thee, (and) thou didst fashion the four



56. In the villages and in the wilderness, in the assembly-halls that

are upon the earth; in the gatherings, and in the meetings, may we

hold forth agreeably to thee!


57. As dust a steed did she, as soon as she was born, scatter these

people, that dwelt upon the earth, she the lovely one, the leader, the

guardian of the world, that holds the trees and plants.


58. The words I speak, honied do I speak them: the things I see they

furnish me with. Brilliant I am and alert: the others that rush

(against me) do I beat down.


59. Gentle, fragrant, kindly, with the sweet drink (kîlâla) in her

udder, rich in milk, the broad earth together with (her) milk shall

give us courage!


60. She whom Visvakarman (the creator of all) did search out by means

of oblations, when she had entered the surging (flood of the)

atmosphere, she, the vessel destined to nourish, deposited in a secret

place, became visible (to the gods) and the (heavenly) mothers.


61. Thou art the scatterer of men, the broadly expanding Aditi that

yields milk according to wish. What is wanting in thee Pragâpati,

first-born of the divine order (rita), shall supply for thee


62. Thy laps, O earth, free from ailment! Free from disease, shall be

produced for us! May we attentively, throuoh our long lives, be

bearers of bali-offerings to thee!


63. O mother earth, kindly set me down upon a well-founded place! With

(father) heaven cooperating, O thou wise one, do thou place me into

happiness and prosperity!







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