By Swami Harshananda
Bhusukta literally means ‘hymn concerning Mother Earth’.
It is the special characteristic of the ancient sages to see the hand of the divine nay, the divinity itself in every object of creation. Bhu or the earth being our basic abode that supports and sustains us, is naturally looked upon as a goddess, the Mother Divine, a consort of the Supreme Lord Himself.
- Atharvaveda Samhitā 12.1
- Taittirīya Samhitā 1.5.3
The one from the Taittirīya Samhitā is better known of the two. The first six verses in the Bhusukta are from the Samhitā. The rest (12 verses) are considered khila (addenda), but are also regularly chanted. A brief summary of the sukta may now be given:
- Bhudevī pervades all the three regions (earth, heaven and sky).
- She affords an opportunity to the sāttvik jīvās to realize God.
- By circumambulating her, Surya (the Sun-god) attained divinity.
- It is through her grace that the Vedas have taken refuge in him (the Sun-god).
- It is due to her grace that the Sun-god has become the life-force (prāṇa) of this world of beings.
- 0 Agni! Getting angry with you I forsook you! By your grace may I be able to make you burn more brilliantly!
- The anger of the Lord was absorbed by Bhudevī. She is the repository of all the gems. May she bless me with the power of all sense-organs and grant me the light of Brahman.
- She is the support or abode of (God) the Truth. She produces the best of things.
- She is the support of all the living beings.
- The sea is her garment.
- The mountains are her breasts.
- She is the consort of Viṣṇu in his incarnation as Yajñavarāha (the Boar). She is the ground for the performance of yajñas or sacrifices.
- She supports the river (Gaṅgā) that dropped on her from heaven.
- She has the air for her breath and the ocean for her bed.
- She is specially gracious to the spiritually blind persons.
- I bow down to Bhudevī who is also known as Mādhavī, dear to Mādhava (Viṣṇu) as his wife and the dear co-wife of Lakṣmī.
- I meditate upon Bhudevī who is armed with the bow, for attaining all that I want. May she inspire us for the same!
- We offer oblations unto Bhudevi who is the consort of Viṣṇu, who is free from old age and who is sitting, facing her Lord.
- Viṣṇu measured the earth, the heaven and the intervening space in three steps.
- Bhudevī, the presiding deity of the star Śravaṇa, takes refuge in him in order to grant name and fame to her dependents.
- May durvā (the panic grass), which represents the divine spirit, which is superior to a thousand purifying agencies, which has hundreds of nodes and sprouts and which destroys the effects of evil dreams, remove all my impurities.
- O Bhudevī, who is traversed by a horse, a chariot and Viṣṇu, I shall keep thee on my head! Protect me at every step!
- O Bhudevi! You are the giver of happiness like the milch-cow. You sustain life and support all living beings. You yourself were raised by Kṛṣṇa in his incarnation as the Boar (Varāha) having a hundred hands.
- O excellent Bhudevī! Destroy my evil deeds and sins! Then I can live for a hundred years. Mother Earth! Give me nourishment. In you all are established.
- Invoke the presence here of Srī, the goddess of prosperity, who is verily Bhudevī (or the earth) endowed with a peculiar aroma, who is hard to damage, who is ever well-nourished, who has an abundance of cattle and who is the ruler of all beings.
- Puruṣasukta 24; Taittirīya Samhitā 188.8.131.52
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore