September 13, 2011 Comments Off on Gaia
Gai·a /Gaea / Ge
- The Earth personified as a goddess, daughter of Chaos. She was the mother and wife of Uranus (Heaven); their offspring included the Titans and the Cyclopes
- The earth viewed as a vast self-regulating organism
Is not all of Nature- from photons, life and the universe, manifestation of the supreme consciousness? The notion of Gaia expanded to stand as a cosmic immanence, not only of Earth but the cosmos, would seem an appropriate agent for Brahman Cosmic Consciousness and I personally am comfortable with a feminine manifest of a neuter ultimate reality. This notion derives in-depth support over a wide range of traditions that already suggest the sacred feminine as the supreme manifestation of creation- Lakshmi and Devi of Hinduism, Shakti of Tantra, Yin of Daoism, Sophia of gnosticism and numerous protoreligions. Devi of Shaktism is revered as the absolute, ultimate godhead. She is the appearance of Supreme Brahman itself, the “one without a second,” with all other forms of divinity, female or male, considered to be merely her diverse manifestations.
The theory, put forward by James Lovelock, that living matter on the earth collectively defines and regulates the material conditions necessary for the continuance of life. The planet, or rather the biosphere, is thus likened to a vast self-regulating organism
Throughout time, ancient wisdom brought to us by sages and elders has told us that everyone and everything on earth is inter-connected.
This inter-connection has been called by many names.
The Greeks used the word ‘Gaia’ as the Earth Goddess.Other names for Earth Goddesses
Scientists started by theorizing that Earth is an integrated entity till James Lovelock used the term Gaia to describe his theory.
Contemporary thinkers, scholars, philosophers have also penned their thoughts about Gaia.
Artists have used Images of Gaia to convey and evoke this inter-connectedness.
Is Gaia sentient or insentient?
GAIA – GREECE
Gaea (variant spelling Gaia) is a Greek goddess personifying the Earth. Etymologically, Gaea is a compound word of “Ge,” meaning “Earth” and “Aia” meaning “grandmother” (In modern English, the root “Ge” still relates to terms such as geography (Ge/graphos = writing about Earth) and geology (Ge/logos = words about the Earth) displaying an ancient connection to the term Gaea). Though not as popular as the Olympian gods of Greek mythology, Gaea was still revered for her role as “Mother Nature.” The divinization of the earth by the ancient Greeks as the goddess Gaea was their way of recognizing the intrinsic value of the earth’s bounty, fertility and beauty. Hellenistic worship of Gaea was also a celebration humanity’s symbiotic relationship with nature. The idea that the fertile earth itself is female, nurturing humankind, was not limited to the Greco-Roman world. Fertility goddess figurines found worldwide often suggest reverence for a divine, potent mother deity. Early cultures of the Middle East (such as the Sumerian) likely made an impact on Greek views of Gaea, and veneration of the pre-Indo-European “Great Mother” had existed since Neolithic times. In the twentieth century, Gaea has taken on new importance in the New Age movement, neopaganism, and ecological spirituality through the development of the Gaia hypothesis. The belief in a nurturing Earth Mother is also a feature of modern “Goddess” worship. Today, Gaea represents a celebration of the feminine side of creation embodied in the fertility of Mother Nature.
Source: New World Encyclopedia
In Greek mythology
Hesiod’s Theogony (116ff) tells how, after Chaos, arose broad-breasted Gaia the everlasting foundation of the gods of Olympus.
Broad blossomed, she that is the steadfast base
Of all things. And fair Gaia first bore
The starry Heaven, equal to herself,
To cover her on all sides and to be
A home forever for the blessed Gods
BHOODEVI/PRITHVI – INDIA
One of the oldest Aryan dieties, Prithvi shares many common traits with other Indo-European earth goddesses such as the Greek Gaia, in that she is personified as a mother and is closely paired with a fatherly sky god as her consort. In fact, Prithvi and her husband Dyaus Pita are frequently addressed in the dual by the compound dy?v?prthiv?, probably expressing the idea that earth and sky exist as complementary half-shells. Rg Veda 6.70 suggests that eventually the two were seperated by the decree of Varuna. Prthivi and Dyaus are considered the creators of the various living creatures, and together they also sired many divine children who became the progenitors of the rest of the Hindu pantheon.
The Vishnu Purana, for instance, provides an account of Prithvi/Bhudevi’s birth. During the reign of Prithu, the earth would not yield fruits, and so a terrible famine developed. Prithu vowed to slay the earth, thereby forcing her to give up her precious resources. Terrified, the earth assumed the form of a cow. Prithu gave chase to the beast, pursuing her all the way to the heaven of Brahma. Finally, the earth turned to her pursuer and informed him the magnitude of sinfulness associated with the murder of a woman. The king retorted by asserting that the murder of one for the benefit of many is actually a virtuous act. She then warned Prithu that a kingdom without the earth would be utterly devoid of support. In order to make amends, the earth-as-cow offered to use her milk to fertilize the dessicated landscape, so long as Prithu flattened the land so that it would be conducive to the flow of the nourishing liquid. Prithu accepted these conditions, and had the land plowed up and smoothened, thus marking the beginning of agriculture. Prithu then milked the earth and his kingdom was able to overcome their famine when all varieties of corn and vegetables sprouted forth. Because she was thereafter considered the daughter of Prithu, the earth-goddess was given the epithet Prithvi.
Source: New World Encyclopedia
Image source: Goddess Haumea by Zariah
Haumea is the Earth Mother Goddess In preparation for the beginning of Civilization She gave Form to all Star Children who first walked on the Holy Land of Mu as Goddesses and Gods It is said she lived as a mortal Woman And was known by the name… La’ila’i
Source: Ancient Hawaiian Goddesses
Haumea is the great earth goddess, sometimes equated to Papa the creatrice, and sometimes to La’iLa’i, the first woman. Her children are said to have been born from different parts of her body, which befits an earth goddess. That she is a very old goddess is evidenced by the fact that she was incorporated into several different Hawaiian religions, including that of Pele, for whom she plays the role of mother. She is usually associated with food supply, marriage, birth, and rebirth. In chants she is called Haumea “of mysterious forms, of eightfold forms, of four hundred thousand forms.” One of her commonly known forms, however, is the breadfruit tree. There is no single word haumea in Hawaiian, but hau can mean “a ruler” and mea can mean “reddish (like red earth).” Because of her position as an earth goddess, and because Hawaiians consider stones as the bones of the earth, the Kahilis say that she represents the element of stone.
Source Hawaiian Goddesses by Serge Kahili King
HOU-TU/ HOU TU NAINAI – CHINA
Hou Tu, earth god in Chinese religion, presently worshiped as the goddess Hou Tu Nainai. China has had numerous earth cults that worship diverse spirits. Hou Tu was first officially worshiped as the single supreme earth god by the Han dynasty emperor Wudi in 113 bc. As well as being one half of the traditional cosmological order of Heaven (the creator) and Earth (the nurturer), Hou Tu was god of the soil and harvest. Offerings to him were usually buried. Hou Tu was venerated at China’s imperial altar in the capital and on mounds of earth erected in every village and town. He was sometimes regarded as sustainer of the imperial dynasty and even as the spirit of deceased members of the imperial family. During the 14th century Hou Tu’s cult mysteriously changed him into Hou Tu Nainai, a female earth deity. Under later dynasties, veneration of the goddess Hou Tu Nainai involved the emperor plowing the first furrow of the year at the Altar of Agriculture in Beijing, thus ensuring the fertility of the kingdom.
Source: MSN Encarta
Explorers, who are traveling from faraway stars, look at the sacred planet expecting their exciting explore for the final destination. Immigrants, who had lived on the earth before, look at the mother planet reflecting their happy old days from the land of revolution.
It’s our greatest joy to see our home planet. Let’s bless the planet of our hearts. source