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Bhu Devi & NeeLA Devi : Question Of Shree

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Oct 22 1997 - 05:20:44 PDT

Further to Sri Mohan Sagar"s response , I would like 
to add this comment for additional discussions:
 
Sri S.M.S.Chari in his invaluable book has addressed
this question at great length in Chapter 8 entitled :
VishNu and Goddess Sri . The theological , ontological
implications of the doctrine of Sri is covered here  very thoroughly.
Besides addressing the important question 
whether She( Lakshmi ) is on a  par with VishNu enjoying equal 
status and a Vibhu  , Dr.Chari covers the other Devis of the Lord
and their relationship with Sri Devi.  

The points for consideration summed up by Dr.Chari are:
(1) are Bhu Devi , NILA devi and other saktis listed 
by Lakshmi TantrA and Paancha Raathra SUtrAs 
distinct from Sri Devi and One another ?
(2) Are they all to be taken as consorts Of VishNu? 
(3) What are their ontological status with respect 
to VishNu and Sri Devi ?

The Purusha Suktham , Bhu SukthA of Yajur Veda samhithA 
and HarivamsA as an appendix of Maha BharathA , 
Brahma PurANA attest to the two devis( BHu & NeeLA ) as 
VishNu pathnis . Swami Desikan has composed
Bhu sthuthi and GOdha sthuthi  to indicate them as 
two DISTINCT consorts of Lord VishNu . 

>From the ontological point of view ,
Bhu Devi and NiLA Devi are regarded as two ASPECTS 
of VishNu sakthi , which according to PaancharAthra
samhithAs is the VERY GODDESS LAKSHMI . Thus ,
they are AMSAS of Lakshmi . Both are personifications of 
KshamA or tolerance . Both are worshipped along with 
Lakshmi without affecting the unitary character of Lakshmi 
as the inseparable consort of VishNu enjoying the same
status as VishNu .

Vishvaksena SamhithA goes on to point out that Bhu and NeeLA
Devis are not Vibhus like Lakshmi and yet both these Devis
are dear to VishNu and are his consorts .
 
The acceptance of additional consorts for the Lord 
does not thus  affect the unitary character ofthe supreme 
Mother , MahA Lakshmi .

Subhamasthu .
V.Sadagopan