Prithivi, our Mother

Prithivi, our Mother

Partha Desikan

From the Hymns of the Atharva Veda, by Ralph T.H. Griffith, [1895], Book XII , Hymn I, namely Prithvi Sukta, which I have extracted from, here is an assortment, some fourteen verses from a total of sixty-three.


>They tell me that the Gods are continuously watching over Prithvi, the earth. They tell me that she is my Mother, I am her son. They tell me too that the fragrance of all creation on Earth, is Mother earth's fragrance. I invite you to enjoy them with me and to make a silent vow that our kind may yet learn to live in harmony with her, our Mother.



Not over-awed by the crowd of Manu's sons, she who hath
many heights and floods and level plains;
She who bears plants endowed with many varied powers,
may Prithivī for us spread wide and favour usMay Earth,

May Prithivī, always protected with ceaseless care by
Gods who never slumber,
May she pour out for us delicious nectar, may she bedew us
with a flood of splendour.

She who at first was water in the ocean, whom with their  Wondrous powers the sages followed,
May she whose heart is in the highest heaven, compassed about
with truth, and everlasting,
May she, this Earth, bestow upon us lustre, and grant us power
in loftiest dominion.

On whom the running universal waters flow day and night with
never-ceasing motion,
May she with many streams pour milk to feed us, may she
bedew us with a flood of splendour.

She whom the Asvins measured out, o'er whom the foot of
Vishnu strode,
Whom Indra, Lord of Power and Might, freed from all foemen
for himself,
May Earth pour out her milk for us, a mother unto me her son.

O Prithivī, auspicious be thy woodlands, auspicious be thy hills
and snow-clad mountains.
Unslain, unwounded, unsubdued, I have set foot upon the
On earth brown, black, ruddy and every-coloured, on the firm
earth that Indra guards from danger.

O Prithivī, thy centre and thy navel, all forces that have issued
from thy body
Set us amid those forces; breathe upon us. I am the son of
Earth, Earth is my Mother. Parjanya is my Sire; may he
promote me.

Earth on whose surface they enclose the altar, and all-performers
spin the thread of worship;
In whom the stakes of sacrifice, resplendent, are fixed and raised
on high before the oblation, may she, this Earth, prospering,
make us prosper.

Produced from thee, on thee move mortal creatures: thou
bearest them, both quadruped and biped.
Thine, Prithivī, are these Five human Races, for whom, though
mortal, Sūrya as he rises spreads with his rays the light that is

In concert may these creatures yield us blessings. With honey of
discourse, O Earth, endow me.

A vast abode hast thou become, the Mighty. Great stress is on
thee, press and agitation, but with unceasing care great Indra
guards thee.
So make us shine, O Earth, us with the splendour of gold. Let
no man look on us with hatred.

Scent that hath risen from thee, O Earth, the fragrance which.
growing herbs and plants and waters carry,
Shared by Apsarases, shared by Gandharvas therewith make
thou me sweet: let no man hate me.

Thy scent which entered and possessed the lotus, the scent
which they prepared at Sūryā's bridal,
Scent which Immortals Earth! of old collected, therewith make
thou me sweet: let no man hate me.

Thy scent in women and in men, the luck and light that is in.
That is in heroes and in steeds in sylvan beasts and elephants,
The splendid energy of maids, therewith do thou unite us,.
Earth! Let no man look on us with hate.

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