Brahman carries the Mother Earth in His womb. He nourishes Mother Earth like a mother taking care of her child in her womb. Bhūmi means Earth and Bhūmā Devi means Mother Earth. Mother Earth is said to be highly sacred in nature as She beholds several gods and goddesses, celestial beings, ancestors, etc. Bhūsūkta, a part of Mahānārāyaṇa Upaniṣad (28) prises Mother Earth. It says, “She is universal and comprising of the primary element, that is She is exceedingly blissful, transformed into the bodies of creatures, illustrious, enduring and hence immortal.”
Mother Earth is the Consort of Viṣṇu. This means that Viṣṇu carefully nourishes the earth along with everyone who exist in Her. This analogy also confirms that Brahman creates and protects in a scientific way. This also goes to prove that He is the Supreme and He controls every act of the universe through His creative power. It must be remembered that when a reference to the Brahman is made, it refers only to His power of projection or saguṇa Brahman.
Bhūḥ garbhe yasya saḥ (भूः गर्भे यस्य सः) He in whose womb is the earth.
Puruṣa Sūktaṃ / Śvetāśvataropaniṣat – Chapter 3
Sahasraśīrṣā puruṣa ssahasrākṣa ssahasrapāt,
Sa bhūmiṃ viśvato vr̥tvā’tyatiṣṭha ddaśāṃgulam. (1 / 14)
:: पुरुष सूक्तम् / श्वेताश्वतरोपनिषत् – तृतीयोऽध्यायः ::
सहस्रशीर्षा पुरुष स्सहस्राक्ष स्सहस्रपात् ।
स भूमिं विश्वतो वृत्वाऽत्यतिष्ठ द्दशांगुलम् ॥ १ / १४ ॥
The Puruṣa with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet, encompasses this universe which has this Earth in it; on all sides and extends beyond it (the Universe) by ten fingers’ breadth
Bhoogarbhah – The Creator of the World
Bhoo means the Earth. Garbha means the womb. Bhoogarbhah means one who has the Earth in his womb, that is to say one who has generated the Earth. Alternatively it could mean that he lovingly nurtures and nourishes the Earth like the mother sustains the baby in her womb.
- from Rig Veda (10.90)
सहस्रशीर्षा पुरुषः सहस्राक्षः सहस्रपात् ।
स भूमिं विश्वतो वृत्वात्यतिष्ठद्दशाङुलम् ॥१॥
Sahasra-Shiirssaa Purussah Sahasra-Akssah Sahasra-Paat |
Sa Bhuumim Vishvato Vrtva-Atya[i]-Tisstthad-Dasha-Angulam ||1||
1.1: The Purusha (Universal Being) has Thousand Heads, Thousand Eyes and Thousand Feet (Thousand signifies innumerable which points to the omnipresence of the Universal Being),
1.2: He envelops the World from all sides (i.e. He pervades each part of the Creation), and extends beyond in the Ten Directions ( represented by Ten Fingers )
पुरुष एवेदं सर्वं यद्भूतं यच्च भव्यम् ।
उतामृतत्वस्येशानो यदन्नेनातिरोहति ॥२॥
Purussa Evedam Sarvam Yad-Bhuutam Yacca Bhavyam |
Uta-Amrtatvasye[a-I]shaano Yad-Annena-Ati-Rohati ||2||
2.1: The Purusha is indeed All this (Creation) in essence; That which existed in the Past, and that which will exist in the Future,
2.2: Everything (i.e the whole Creation) is wovenby the Immortal essence of the Great Lord(Purusha); by becoming Food of which (i.e. by getting consumed in Whose Immortal essence through surrender) one transcends the gross world (and becomes Immortal).
एतावानस्य महिमातो ज्यायाँश्च पूरुषः ।
पादोऽस्य विश्वा भूतानि त्रिपादस्यामृतंदिवि ॥३॥
Etaavaanasya Mahima-Ato Jyaayaash-Ca Puurussah |
Paado-Asya Vishvaa Bhuutaani Tri-Paad-Asya-Amrtam Divi ||3||
3.1: The Purusha is Greater than all the Greatness (which can be expressed by words),
3.2: His One Part has become all these (visible) Worlds, and His Three Parts rest in the Immortal World of the Transcendence.
त्रिपादूर्ध्व उदैत्पूरुषः पादोऽस्येहाभवत्पुनः।
ततो विष्वङ् व्यक्रामत्साशनानशने अभि॥४॥
Tri-Paad-Uurdhva Udait-Puurussah Paado-Asye[a-I]ha-Abhavat-Punah |
Tato Vissvang Vya[i-A]kraamat-Saashana-Anashane Abhi ||4||
4.1: The Three Parts of the Purusha is High Above (in Transcendental Realm), and His One Part becomes the Creation again and again.
4.2: There, in the Creation, He pervades all the Living ( who eats ) and the Non-Living ( who does not eat ) beings.
तस्माद्विराळजायत विराजो अधि पूरुषः ।
स जातो अत्यरिच्यत पश्चाद्भूमिमथो पुरः॥५॥
Tasmaad-Viraadda-Jaayata Viraajo Adhi Puurussah |
Sa Jaato Atya[i-A]ricyata Pashcaad-Bhuumim-Atho Purah ||5||
5.1: From Him (i.e. the Purusha) was born the Virat; (the Virat came into being) from the presence of the Shining Purusha (Who remained as the background or substratum of Virat);
5.2: He (i.e. the Virat) created the Earth, by manifesting Her from His own being as substratum.
यत्पुरुषेण हविषा देवा यज्ञमतन्वत ।
वसन्तो अस्यासीदाज्यं ग्रीष्म इध्मःशरद्धविः ॥६॥
Yat-Purussenna Havissaa Devaa Yajnyam-Atanvata |
Vasanto Asya-Asiida-Ajyam Griissma Idhmah Sharad-[d]Havih ||6||
6.1: With the Purusha as the (Sacrificial) Fire, the Deva (the Shining One, referring to Virat) continued the Yagna (Sacrifice of creation),
6.2: Spring was (created as) the clarified Butter(of that Yagna), Summer was (created as) the Fuel (of that Yagna), and Autumn was (created as) the Havis (Sacrificial offering of that Yagna).
तं यज्ञं बर्हिषि प्रौक्षन्पुरुषं जातमग्रतः ।
तेन देवा अयजन्त साध्या ऋषयश्च ये ॥७॥
Tam Yajnyam Barhissi Pra-Ukssan-Purussam Jaatam-Agratah |
Tena Devaa Ayajanta Saadhyaa Rssayash-Ca Ye ||7||
7.1: The First Divine Men were created as the Holy Water sprinkled with the Kusa Grass in that Yagna (Sacrifice of Creation).
7.2: The First Divine Men were the Sadhya Devas and the Rishis, Who were created by Him, the Deva (the Shining One, referring to Virat), Who performed the Yagna. (These Rishis were not human but divine Rishis like Saptarshis created directly by Virat).
तस्माद्यज्ञात्सर्वहुतः सम्भृतं पृषदाज्यम् ।
पशून्ताँश्चक्रे वायव्यानारण्यान् ग्राम्याश्च ये॥८॥
Tasmaad-Yajnyaat-Sarvahutah Sambhrtam Prssadaajyam |
Pashuun-Taashcakre Vaayavyaan-Aarannyaan Graamyaash-Ca Ye ||8||
8.1: From the Complete Offering of His (i.e. Virat's) Yagna (Sacrifice of Creation) was obtained Ghee mixed with coagulated Milk, ...
8.2: ... which (i.e. the Ghee and Milk) are (the created) Animals, both of Air (Birds) and of Forests (Wild Animals) and Villages (Domestic Animals).
तस्माद्यज्ञात्सर्वहुत ऋचः सामानि जज्ञिरे ।
छन्दांसि जज्ञिरे तस्माद्यजुस्तस्मादजायत॥९॥
Tasmaad-Yajnyaat-Sarvahuta Rcah Saamaani Jajnyire |
Chandaamsi Jajnyire Tasmaad-Yajus-Tasmaad-Ajaayata ||9||
9.1: From the Complete Offering of His (i.e. Virat's) Yagna (Sacrifice of Creation) was bornthe Rig Veda and Sama Veda,
9.2: The Chandas (Vedic Meters) were bornfrom Him, and the Yajur Veda was born from Him.
तस्मादश्वा अजायन्त ये के चोभयादतः ।
गावोः ह जज्ञिरे तस्मात् तस्माज्जाताअजावयः ॥१०॥
Tasmaad-Ashvaa Ajaayanta Ye Ke Co[a-U]bhayaadatah |
Gaavoh Ha Jajnyire Tasmaat Tasmaaj-Jaataa Ajaa-Vayah ||10||
10.1: From Him (i.e. Virat) was born the Horses, and all those animals who has teeth in both jaws,
10.2: From Him (i.e. Virat) was born the Cows, and from Him was born all types of Goats
यत्पुरुषं व्यदधुः कतिधा व्यकल्पयन् ।
मुखं किमस्य कौ बाहू का ऊरू पादाउच्येते ॥११॥
Yat-Purussam Vya[i-A]dadhuh Katidhaa Vya[i-A]kalpayan |
Mukham Kimasya Kau Baahuu Kaa Uuruu Paadaa Ucyete ||11||
11.1: What did the Purusha (i.e. Virat) holdwithin Him? How many parts were assigned in His Huge Form?
11.2: What was His Mouth? What was His Arms? What was His Thighs? And what was His Feet?
ब्राह्मणोऽस्य मुखमासीद् बाहू राजन्यःकृतः ।
ऊरू तदस्य यद्वैश्यः पद्भ्यां शूद्रो अजायत॥१२॥
Braahmanno-Asya Mukham-Aasiid Baahuu Raajanyah Krtah |
Uuruu Tad-Asya Yad-Vaishyah Padbhyaam Shuudro Ajaayata ||12||
12.1: The Brahmanas were His Mouth, the Kshatriyas became His Arms,
12.2: The Vaishyas were His Thighs, and the Shudras were assigned to His Feet.
चन्द्रमा मनसो जातश्चक्षोः सूर्यो अजायत ।
मुखादिन्द्रश्चाग्निश्च प्राणाद्वायुरजायत ॥१३॥
Candramaa Manaso Jaatash-Cakssoh Suuryo Ajaayata |
Mukhaad-Indrash-Ca-Agnish-Ca Praannaad-Vaayur-Ajaayata ||13||
13.1: The Moon was born from His Mind andthe Sun was born from His Eyes,
13.2: Indra and Agni (Fire) were born from His Mouth, and Vayu (Wind) was born from His Breath.
नाभ्या आसीदन्तरिक्षं शीर्ष्णो द्यौःसमवर्तत ।
पद्भ्यां भूमिर्दिशः श्रोत्रात्तथा लोकाँअकल्पयन् ॥१४॥
Naabhyaa Aasiid-Antarikssam Shiirssnno Dyauh Samavartata |
Padbhyaam Bhuumir-Dishah Shrotraat-Tathaa Lokaa Akalpayan ||14||
14.1: His Navel became the Antariksha (the intermediate Space between Heaven and Earth), His Head sustained the Heaven,
14.2: From His Feet the Earth (was sustained), and from His Ears the Directions (were sustained); in this manner all the Worlds were regulated by Him.
सप्तास्यासन् परिधयस्त्रिः सप्त समिधःकृताः ।
देवा यद्यज्ञं तन्वाना अबध्नन्पुरुषं पशुम् ॥१५॥
Saptaasya[i-A]asan Paridhayas-Trih Sapta Samidhah Krtaah |
Devaa Yadyajnyam Tanvaanaa Abadhnan-Purussam Pashum ||15||
15.1: By making Seven Enclosures with Threetimes Seven sacrificial Firewood, ...
15.2: ... the Deva (the Shining One referring to Virat) in that Yagna (Sacrifice of Creation), bound the infinite expanse of the Purusha as (apparently) finite living beings (Pashu).
यज्ञेन यज्ञमयजन्त देवास्तानि धर्माणिप्रथमान्यासन् ।
ते ह नाकं महिमानः सचन्त यत्र पूर्वेसाध्याः सन्ति देवाः ॥१६॥
Yajnyena Yajnyam-Ayajanta Devaas-Taani Dharmaanni Prathamaanya[i-A]asan |
Te Ha Naakam Mahimaanah Sa-Canta Yatra Puurve Saadhyaah Santi Devaah ||16||
16.1: The Devas performed the external Yagnaby meditating on the real Yagna (i.e. contemplating on the Purusha Who is Shining behind everything); And thus they first obtainedthe Dharma (based on the Oneness of the Purusha),
16.2: By Meditating on the Greatness of the Chidakasha (Blissful Spiritual Sky behind everyone, which is the essence of the Purusha), during those earlier times, the Spiritual Aspirants became the Shining One themselves.
७१. ॐ भूगर्भाय नमः |
71. OM Bhūgarbhāya Namaḥ
Bhūgarbhaḥ -One who is the very womb of the world (Bhooh) The One from whom the world has emerged out. In the Cosmic Form of the Lord, this world occupies an insignificant though sacred portion, just as the foetus in the womb, constantly and lovingly nurtured and nourished by the very Essence in the mother. Or, Bhooh = the earth: the divine consort of Hari: Garbha = Protector.
INTERPRETATION GUIDED BY SANT VANI (WORDS OF SAINTS)
He who holds the world inside himself. He who is the womb of the world (Śaṅkara). He, whose consort is Bhūmī-Devi or Bhūma-Devi (Parāsara Battar).
The one with the earth in His womb.
Following on from the previous word, Īśvara has the ‘bhū,’ the earth in His garbha, womb and hence He is called Bhūgarbha. The earth is the upalakṣaṇa for the cosmos; it indicates that the whole cosmos is in Him – the universe, as we know it and all that remains to be discovered. The whole cosmos includes my body-mind-sense-complex (abbreviated as BMSC further in this post).
The word ‘bhū,’ can also mean existence, that is, reality. Therefore, He is Bhūgarbha, because He has the reality within Himself. What sets apart the study of Vedanta which is really an enquiry into oneself with the greatest mother of all, the Sruti, is the study of our reality or what we consider to be real. Reality or sat is that which is not subject to negation, dismissal or any condition. This being so, anything that is subject to change, let’s say the body-mind-sense complex (bmsc), is not sat.
What? But whatever I have done in life is because of this BMSC. True. All the experiences in life are because of this BMSC. True. All my accomplishments and my most fulfilling relationships are because of this BMSC. True, relatively speaking.
All of this existed in time and space which is conditional. So what? All of the experiences and fulfillments, achievements and relationships are not absolutely real. So? The despair, the anguish, the feeling insignificant is also not absolutely real. Just like in a dream, the devastation experienced seeing one ‘s family members shot dead is not real, after one wakes up in great relief from the dream/ nightmare. Infact, one will say “Thank God, it was not real.”
When I wake up to the absolute reality of myself, this BMSC and all that it goes through acquires a dependent reality. We do not say the BMSC is false. It gets things done. We do not superimpose or imagine a value on it that does not exist. Neither do we say that we need to ignore the body nor do we say that we pamper the body with overindulgence. It‘s not going to last anyway. It has been given by Īśvara and as a trustee, one takes care of it. How much should one take care of it? To the extent that it allows me to accomplish my pursuits, about which I need to be clear about. All the realities, whether it is the subjective reality or transactional reality, are within Him, because they are nothing but the reality of Īśvara.
The World we see and relate to is actually a reflection or rather a projection of our own impression of the world “as WE see it” and not necessarily as the world “Really IS” In that sense the world within each one of us is the real world. In order to ‘change the world‘ (outside), we must change from within. The change within will reflect on the outside as well – Our world is truly what we make of it.
Changing the world happens inside-out – when the change comes from within, then the change is visible in the outside world too – to both the person who has changed from within and also to those who interact with him/her.
This name continues with the string of names that this verse joins together: the subtle-internal controller of the mind and intellect Īśānaḥ, he who gifts us the Prāṇa (Prāṇada) and is seated within as the Prāṇa as well and is also our closest companion – the elder brother literally, the Guru who can show us the light – that Jyeṣṭhaḥ–Śreṣṭha and the Prajāpatiḥ – the one principle who dwells within all beings – plants, animals, and he who is invested with and embedded inside the Sūkṣmaśarīra, as the Hiraṇyagarbhaḥ
And to break through the Hiraṇyagarbhaḥ to the reality within (Bhugarbhah) and understand the true nature of the ‘Self.
Śaṅkara in his Dakṣiṇāmūrti stotram talks of how the world appears as an image reflected in a mirror when the reality is that which lies within:
विश्वं दर्पणदृश्यमाननगरीतुल्यं निजान्तर्गतं
पश्यन्नात्मनि मायया बहिरिवोद्भूतं यथा निद्रया ।
यः साक्षात्कुरुते प्रबोधसमये स्वात्मानमेवाद्वयं
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥१॥
Vishvam Darpanna-Drshyamaana-Nagarii-Tulyam Nija-Antargatam
Pashyann-Aatmani Maayayaa Bahir-Ivo[a-U]dbhuutam Yathaa Nidrayaa |
Yah Saakssaat-Kurute Prabodha-Samaye Sva-[A]atmaanam-Eva-Advayam
Tasmai Shrii-Guru-Muurtaye Nama Idam Shrii-Dakssinnaamuurtaye ||1||
Here, Śaṅkara talks about how, just as the image of a town (scenes from a town) reflected in a mirror is not really the town and only a reflected (and limited) image of the town, so also that person who wakes up from his “dream-state” or illusory state of false reality, realizes that all that he has projected or sees on the outside as ‘The World” is not real but the real and “True World” lies within. Then the Ātman covered by the veil of Māyā is revealed – this is made possible by the divine grace of that ageless-silent-teacher who never speaks but is ever transmitting this knowledge to those who turn to him – when the gaze is turned inward, the in-dwelling Viṣṇu himself can become the guiding Guru.
The reference to the ageless-silent-teacher will become clearer when we come to the next name in the string.
It is important to note here that Sri Parāsara Battar refers to the episode of Varāha (वराह) lifting up Bhūma-Devi from the depth of the waters and rescuing her from Hiranyaksha.
It’s interesting to also note that Devi Sita, Bhagwan Sri Rama’s wife who was the earthly consort and the Shakti of Vishnu’s Avatar was known as Bhumijaa – the one born from earth and also went back into the core of Earth.