17 Jul Earth – Our Mother, Our Prithvi Mata, The Bhumi Deva!
Earth is a beautiful planet with many wonderful, gorgeous and amazing aspects to her. Why her and not he? Because “She” in the yoga context is Earth, our Mother, our Prithvi Mata or Bhumideva (Sanksrit name for Mother Earth). “He” is the Sky, Dyaus Pita in Sanskrit. Earth and Sky are dual and are worshiped in more detail in the early yogic scriptures of “The Vedas”. Mata Bhumih Putroham Prithivyah, Earth is my Mother, I am her Son – Artharva Veda 12 1 12. What has this all got to do with Yoga? Well, if we are to live blindly in this planet and take things for granted then she will not provide for much longer. Gratitude for water, food and shelter, our survival staples often go unnoticed to the younger generation and even sometimes in the rich culture. Where did that rice come from, or the meat or the grains? How clean and pure is the water running from the tap? Should I leave the tap running (ignorance) or should I only let it run whilst bathing and doing the dishes etc (mindful practice)? While the Earth is seen as a mere resource for human consumption to the mainstream westerner, the Vedic Seers advocate a caring and reciprocal attitude. They see nature-human as a mother-child relation. Hence, why the verses of the Vedas (yogic scriptures) reveal a deep respect towards the Earth just as a child is committed towards his/her mother. The mother is considered the first Guru of the child.
We hold the Earth’s constituents within us also. We are inseparable to Earth. We are made of her minerals, the air that we breath, the food we eat so in essence we are indeed indebted to her. The Chakras contain an individual element in each vibrational wheel; Muladhara Root chakra is the Earth element, Swadhisthana the Water element, Manipura holds Fire, Anahata aligned to the Air element and then Vishuddha as Ether. Ajna and the Sahashrara Crown Chakra is where the Ether gets more thin and translucent. All living spirits on Earth are governed by Purusha and Prakriti. Correct knowledge and awareness of Purusha and Prakriti can be a true source of liberation for human beings. By understanding what is Prakriti and what is Purusha correctly, a yogi can develop perfect attitude towards both and develop right discrimination to perform desireless actions for self-realization.
Shamans and many other indigenous cultures respect, bow and take up rituals in honour of Mother Earth. Whether ancient wisdom or modern day science, we cannot ignore the fact that we are extremely lucky to witness and live on such a divine planet. She can be ferocious with her magnificent waterfalls, taking lives if not respected by her power. She can do damage control with natural disasters like earthquakes and climate change. Mother Earth can also take us to places unimaginable to the eye with her beauty like I had got to experience in Yosemite National Park. There are many places that will be a sight for sore eyes and unfortunately not all can afford to travel to these gorgeous places. Making use of the public transport or our legs to places that contain the elements of Sattva (peace and purity) is within reach to most if not all of us. Let us bow to Earth, our own Mother Nature and let us never forget how blessed we are and pray towards those who are not so blessed with her good fortune.
Asana for the week: Paschimottanasana and Purvottanasana
“Paschima” meaning West or back of. So this forward bend pose will be explored with its variations a few times this week on the mat with me. The opposite to that asana is Purva, Eastward facing or front of. Purvottanasana is an upward plank pose strengthening our core and toning the whole body.
Mantra Focus: Prithvi Vedic Chants.
I will be play listing Earthly vibes, Prithvi Mother chants and establishing a Shanti aura including Lokah Samastha Sukhino and so forth. If there is any particular affirmation or mantra that allows you to feel connected to the spirits within and around and a sense of purity and gratitude please bring it with you to the practice.
Aum and may all beings live freely and happily.