Millennia ago, enlightened sages recognized the importance of our planet for human existence. For these earliest inhabitants of Indian civilization, the earth was a sacred mother, caring and nourishing all her children, and we in turn were duty-bound to respect and protect her.
All life on earth relies on each other for nourishment and shelter. The earth feeds us, clothes us and provides for all our needs. In its shade, birds chirp gaily, flowers spring eternal, and infants babble charmingly. Her beauty spurs
our quest for the Supreme Creator, and mesmerized by her creations, even simple minds compose odes to love. When our soul deserts our body, she even absorbs us within her. She gives freely, accepts all pain and suffering, and barbs and indignities. Were she to shed a tear, how would we see it? Thus it behooves us to care for her, and share her bounty with future generations of
This shloka from the Narada Purana (III.66.1-2) is our first prarthana of the day. As we awake, sit-up and prepare to place our feet on the ground, we ask
forgiveness of Mother Earth, for even this indignity.
By incorporating the Earth in our pantheon of divinity, this prarthana honors and sanctifies it. By reciting and understanding this shloka, we show respect for our planet and inculcate a similar respect in our youth.
Girdled in oceans and seas
Covered by mountain peaks
Companion of Vishnu
Kind and generous Devi
For I tread on Thee!