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Earth The Mother

Earth The Mother



May that Earth, which hold on Her ample lap the ocean,
The rivers, the lakes; which bears the crop-yielding soil,
And is ground for that breathes and stirs and lives,
May She also bear the fruits of what we have done.

That Earth was born from vast waters, at first was water.
And ancients attended Her growth with their own creations.
Her heart is set on the real, high in the heaven,
And what is undying of Hers is guarded by Truth.

Whatever there is at the core of Your being, whatever
There is in Your air, whatever the power that leaps
From Your length, set us, Mother, among that wealth.
Raise us up. You are my Mother. I am Your child.

Mother, give me that fragrance You Yourself make,
The perfume that comes from green growing things, from waters,
The same that heavenly players and dancers desire.
Anoint me with it, so none may wish me hurt.

Your very same fragrance that fills up the lotus pool,
The perfume You had as gift at the marriage arranged
For Dawn by the Gods, the very first perfume of all:
Anoint me with it, so none may wish me hurt.

You who uphold the men who, though mortal,
Are singing and dancing together in exultation,
And uphold the men who, mortal, go out to kill
With furious shouts and the wail of trumpets at war:
O may You, Mother, drive my opponents away,
And make me a man without a rival in all the world.

You who nurture the five kinds of crops
And are cause for their grains to swell out to ripeness.
O Earth, Wife to the lavish cloud,
It’s to You, To Your open hand, that I bow.

Though men cry out in many strange tongues, and profess
A flurry of faiths, You take them all to Yourself.
Give us a thousand streams of Your wealth,
Give, like a cow whose udder is full.

Make us the masters of crowded highways
And of narrower paths, that few, in a hurry, take,
The ways of goodness as well as the ways of evil.
May these be cleared of those who would hurt us or rob us.
And may we receive what is good to receive.

Birds must come swinging round You when they take flight;
The hawk, the swan, and everything that flies,
And the wind that, circling the sky, goes plunging ahead
To drive down the rain, rock the trees, and flare up the fire.
You are the One who issues the wind its force.

Darkness and golden light, the night and day
Were conceived out of You together, O Earth
Wrapped in the circling seasons, wound in time.
Rend us good in all our scattered homes.

~ Atharvaveda, XII.1

Translated by V.N. Misra, L. Nathan and S. Vatsyayan

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