Post No. 10,562

Date uploaded in London – –    14 JANUARY   2022         

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Let me continue my commentary on ‘Hymn to Earth’ in  the Atharvana Veda (Bhumi Sukta AV. 12-1)

A Tamil poet by name Kanian Punkundran sang 2000 years ago,

“Every town is my hometown

Everyone is my kith and kin”- Purananauru 192

Tamil poet Bharatiyar went one step ahead and  sang even the crow and sparrow, even the long mountain chains and the blue sky are our own kith and kin.

Another saint by name Vallalar Ramalinga Swamikal said that he is withering away whenever he sees a withering plant. These thoughts are not new to Hindus. This is the way they looked at earth ‘made up of rocks and sand and the living earth where wild animals and humans live’.

Athravana Veda (AV) Bhumi Sukta confrims it.

First look at Bharati’s Tamil poem,

When he was alive, he lived in poverty. When his wife Chellamma borrowed some grains from her next door neighbour for cooking, he got it from her and fed it to the birds that came to the backyard of his house. He felt immense happiness leaving his wife to worry about what to do next.

He used to dance, singing

“The crow and sparrow our kin;

One with us mountain and sea;

Wherever we glance ourselves a – dance

In a whirl of Ecstasy!”

(Tamil: Kaakkai Kuruvi Engal Jaathi, Neel Kadalum Malaiyum…….)

My comments…………..

Mantra 25 out of 63

Here the AV poet sings about the glory of the fragrance coming out of men and women, the wild beast and the elephant, the horse, and the hero. In the last verse we saw the fragrance in lotus and the brides. Here he sings about the fragrance and majesty and lustre in them. The point is ‘all are one family’. In the next verse he is going to include rocks and dust like poet Bharati.

Looking at earth as a ‘Living being, Breathing one’  is new to Westerners. But for Hindus it has been the view for thousands of years. Otherwise, the poet would not have sung them in one breadth!

Mantra 26 out of 63

Here he pays his obeisance again to Mother Earth.

He described her as ‘Rock, soil, stone, dust held together and firm’. Calling her mother show us everything on earth is one family to be respected as Mother!

Mantra 27 out of 63

Here in this verse, he includes Trees and Herbs.

Tamil poet Vallalar echoed this (see above).

Mantra 28

It may sound strange to many of us to see the poet changing his tone. Here he begs to his Mother (earth), to help him walk straight without stumbling.

It wouldn’t look strange for orthodox Hindus and millions of volunteers in the RSS movement of India. They recite a poem called Morning Thoughts (Pratas Smaran) everyday. There a Hindu says, “Please forgive me for stepping on you”. Before putting one’s feet from the bed, he or she looks at the palm in right hand and praises Goddess of Wealth Lakshmi, Goddess of Knowledge Sarasvati and all pervading God Vishnu. Then he says ‘O Earth, Forgive me for stepping on you’. He also describes Earth wearing Sea as her sari and mountains as breast. It is nothing but an echo of AV Bhumi Sukta. So, for a Hindu, even stepping on Mother Earth is wrong. By remembering this way, he considers everything from human hand to rocky earth as a holy living being. After reading all the 63 verses in this hymn, one would respect the earth more than ever before.

(‘Gold breasted Earth’ and ‘May no one hate me’ are covered already)

Now please read the English Translation and the Sanskrit original in the attachments given below:-

To be continued…………………

tags- crow ans sparrow, bharati, Vedic poet, Fragrance

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