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Re: Who is Hri?

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Wed May 05 1999 - 05:57:29 PDT

Dear Sri Mani VaradarAjan :
>Who then is 'Hri'? One guess would be Bhumi Devi (mother earth)? 
>However, in all of Sanskrit literature, Bhumi is never known as
>'Hri'. Can someone clarify?

Sriman TatachAr , Sri ParthasArathy of Singapore have now 
shared with us their views on the meaning of Hree ( Modesty/
BhUmi Devi ).

The meanings of Sanskrit words used in the Vedic parlance
are quite different than the current day usage . In today's
usage , Hree indeed means modesty and the embodiment of
Modesty , BhUmi Devi . Hree also means "ashamed ". We will
focus on the meaning Modesty as the essential trait of
Bhumi Devi , the patta mahishi of Lord Oppiliappan
of ThiruviNNagar divya desam . One has to go back to
PurANams and sthOthrams in this context , since the Vedic
meaning of Hree is beyond us to get hold off. I have however 
requested Sri Venkatesh Eklayavalli to look at 
the tenth MandalA of Rg Vedam to check on what SayanA says
about Hree in his Bhaashyam .

The Vedic passage declares majestically
that the Lord's pathnIs are Bhu dEvi and 
Sri Devi and the day and night are His sides
( AhOrathrE PaarsvE ) . Our Bhumi Devi and 
Sri Devi are with ThiruviNNagarappan on the
banks of AhOrAthra PushkaraNi at Oppilaa appan
Koil . Bhumi Devi is kneeling before Him with folded
hands praying modestly for the Lord's
karuNai for their children and Sri Devi resides
on His chest and is after the same mission .

Srimadh Bhaaghavtham , VarAha PurANam and
Swami Desikan's BhU sthithi connect closely
as to why Bhumi Devi is associated with 
the name Hree .

As the Lord VaraahA lifted Bhumi Devi out of the 
praLaya jalam with His gigantic form and placed 
Her on His left shoulder for the whole world to see
His beautiful bride. Our Mother , who is not used
to such public celebrations out of Her own innate 
modesty sat there uncomfortably on the perch of 
Her Lord's shoulder and received His (BHUVARAAHAN"S )
public adoration .She did not seem to like the public 
spotlight as His Queen . He went on further and
took the form of AdisEshA and carried Her on His head
according to Swami Desikan's poetic vision to
prove to the world about Her supeerior status
compared to MahA Lakshmi , whom He carries only
on His vakshasthalam .The Lord carrying her 
to reveal Her superior status is alluded by 
Swami Desikan in the 10th slOkam of BhU sthuthi :

" SeshAthmanA thu Bhavatheem SIRASAA dhadhAthi " . 

Srimadh BhAgavatham ( Canto 5.18.33 and 35) 
houses the eulogy of a shy and "embarassed "
BhUmi dEvi to thank Her Lord fr His great
act of valour in rescuing Her form under the Oceans .

Swami Desikan's description of the tender scene 
of the Lord ( Sri VarAha mUrthy )hugging Bhumi Piratti
and placing Her on His shoulder and the DhyAna slOkam of 
bhU sthuthi(SlOkam 32 ) gives us the clues for Her naamam 
celebrated by the vedam as Hree .Vedam salutes ThrivikramaavathAram .
By inference then, the avathAram as VarAhA that happened
before Trivikrama is Veidc in significance .

Swami Desikan refers to " pOthra sparsa lasath kapOla 
palakA " while describing the sparsam of the mirror like 
cheek of BhUmi dEvi against the rough cheek of the Lord 
in VarAhavathAram . She was overcome by Her normal 
sense of modesty and she had rOmAnjali . Bhumi PirAtti's
other name is KshamA or Sarvam KshamA .That name goes 
well with the name Hree. 

One can go on , but I will stop here .
Bhumi PirAtti ThiruvadigaLE SaraNam .