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Mahimai of BhUmi Devi & BhUvarAhan of Oppiliappan Sannidhi

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Wed Mar 04 1998 - 18:52:08 PST

Dear BhakthAs : Now that we have been blessed to
assemble the funds needed for the Mutthangi Kaimkaryam 
for the uthsava divya dampahtis of Oppiliappan Koil ,
I will proceed in a spirit of utter gratefulness to them 
offer my tribute to the Mahimai of BhUmi Devi 
and her Consort . I will cover the extraordinary 
tribute that Swami Desikan paid to BhUmi Devi 
of Oppilaippan Koil and link it to the BhUsUktham 
of Taittireeya Samhithai and Sage VyasA's Srimadh
Bhaagavatham passages as well as that of Sri NaarAyana
Bhattadhiri . May the most merciful Mother bless us
all in this effort of celebrating her Mahimai .

BhUsUktham's majestic tribute 
******************************

The first manthram of BhUsUktham starts 
majestically and addresses Her with great 
awe and wonder this way :

BhUmirbhUmnA dhyaur variNA 
anthariksham mahithvA I
upasthE thE dEvyadhithE 
agnim annAdham annAdhyAyAdhathE II

Oh Bhumi PirAtti ! Thou art vast in area and
shine forth in a manner appreciated by all !
Thou art supreme in Your kalyANa guNAs .
Oh Bhumi Devi , who can not be cut asunder 
by anyone ! I invoke the Agni devan in Your midst
who can partake the offerd Havis so that we can 
enjoy good harvests and nourishing food . 

The link of Bhumi Devi and Havis in the Yaagam 
immediately reminds us of Her dear Consort,
Yajna NaarAyaNan /Yaj~na VarAhan saluted by 
the Sri VishNu Sahasra Naamaa Passage :

BhUr bhuva: svastaru:thAra: SavithA PrapithAmaha:I
Yaj~nO Yaj~napathir yajvA Yaj~ngO Yaj~na vAhana: II

Yaj~na bhruth Yaj~na kruth 
Yaj~nee Yaj~na bhugh Yaj~na sAdhana:I
Yaj~nthakruth yaj~na guhya:
annam annAdha yEva cha II

It is instructive to see the link betwen
annam ( food as well as the object of enjoyment),
Agni , Yaj~nam and Yaj~na NaarAyaNa mUrthy , the 
consort of BhUmi Devi in both the first manthram 
of BhU sUktham and the above passage of 
Sri VishNu Sahasra nAmam . That YajvA ( the One 
who performs the Yaj~nam ) and Yaj~na Vaahanan( One 
who helps others to complete their Yaj~nams ) 
is the Sarva sEshi of all Yaj~nams . He is Yaj~nee 
for whose sake the sacrifices have been created .
He accepts and enjoys the Havis offered 
at those Yaj~nams as Yajn~a bhukh . He as 
the consort of BhUmi Devi is the annam or
the object of enjoyment and is the enjoyer
of those , who enjoy Him as the AnnadAh .

The secret behind the Yaj~nam ( Yaj~na guhyam )
is the Lord Himself as stated by the passage :

" All the VedAs and all that has to be learnt ,
all the SaasthrAs and all yaj~nAs and and all
worship --ALL are Sri KrishNA ! O Kings ! 
Those , who know KrishNA corectly in this way ,
may be considered to have completed successfully 
all yaj~nAs . " 

The relation between our Mother BhUmi Devi
and Her consort and our Father is celebrated 
in the context of the yaj~nam in the second manthram 
of BhU SUktham :

aayan gau: pruchnirakmeedh asanan mAtharam puna: I
pitharam cha prayan suva: II

Sri Vishnu Sahasra Naamam passage quoted above 
saluted the link between Bhu: Bhuva: and Suva:
this way : 

BhUr Bhuva: svas tharu: tAra: SavithA prapithAmaha:

This great grandfather (prapithAmahar ) , this great
producer/creator of every thing (savithA / Surya 
NarAyaNan ) , who helps people cross the turbulent
ocean of SamsArA is compared to a Brahma Taru
( Eternal Tree of Brahman ) , the tree for the 
beings of all the three worlds : earth ( BhU: ) ,
Sky ( bhuva: ) and heaven ( sva:) . This effulgent
divine tree spreading from Earth to Heaven is both 
the Mother , who nourishes us with life-giving food
( BhU Devi ) and the benovolent Father ( Yaj~na
NaarAyaNan )  , who blesses the Earth with rain 
to make it ready to produce the nourishing food . 
ANDAL , who is none other than BhUmi Devi has 
referred to this tatthuvam in the third ThiruppAvai
Paasuram this way  :

" --theenginiri nAdellAm thingaL mummAri peythu
-- neengAtha selvam nirainthElOrempAvAi "
 
The BhUsUktham concludes with a beautiful 
NaamArchanai of BhUmi Devi's anantha KalyANa
GuNAs , which Swami Desikan echos in his 
BhU sthuthi . Some of the names used by 
the Vedam as salutation to BhU Devi are :

mEdhiniee dEvi VasundharA --VasudhA devi Vaasavee I
--- dEvi HiraNyagarbhiNI devi PrasUvaree
--- Samudhravathee Saavithree ha nO devi mahyangee I
--Indrapathnee vyApinee ---
Vaayumahtee jalasayanee sriyandhA 
-- VishNupathneem Maheem Deveem Madhaveem 
MaadhavapriyAm , Lakshmee Priyasakeem Deveem 
namAmyacchutha VallabhAm II 
Om DhanurdharAyai VidhmahE 
sarvasiddhyasccha dheemahi I
tannO dharA prachOdhayAth II

The above pasage of BhUsUktham has to be
compared to the sixth slOkam of Sri BhU sthuthi 
of Swami Desikan to apppreciate his anubhavam of 
the Mahimai of BhU Devi . In the fifth slOkam ,
he explained to us as how Her grace nourishes 
all the worlds ( Visvam Tvadh aasrithathayA 
paripOshavanthee ) . This again is a reference to 
the nourishing power of BhU devi celebrated 
in the Veda manthram . That the Lord Himself 
rejuvenates and enhances His well being 
thru His assoication with BhU devi is 
the conclusion of Swami Desikan ( Maadhavee !Tvadh
SangamAdh Bhavathi labdha pOsha : ) .

Such is the greatnes of BhUmi Devi , which we
will explore in greater depth in the subsequent 
postings .

Subhamasthu .
Sri BhU Vallabhasya charaNou SaraNam prapathyE 
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SadagOpan 
Isvara Samvathsara , Maasi maasa , Sukhla Pakhsha 
Shashti dinam .