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Prthu by the end of his bow put in arrangement at one place the thousands of mountains which were lying scattered over the country. The grounds were not even and so there were formerly no divisions into villages and towns. There were no grain-plants like paddy or wheat, no agriculture, no cow-protection and no trade. It was since the time of Prthu that all these came into being. People desired to live in places where the grounds were even. Then the people lived on fruits, leaves and roots. When they were all destroyed people found it difficult to live. Therefore Prthu making Svayambhuva Manu as calf milked for the welfare of his people all plants from the earth. People do live even today by what was milked then. Prthu, because he gave life to BhumidevI, became her father and she got the name Prthvi. (Page 609, Puranic Encyclopedia - Vettam Maṇi)
The Puranas maintain that Bhumi has a Devi (goddess). The births of Bhumi and its basic goddess are in two different ways. The Mahabharata, (Daksinatya Patha) says that the goddess Bhumi was the daughter of Brahma and that she was married by Mahavisnu. The earth on which we live is the Mrtpinda of which the basic deity is this Bhumidevi. Of the many versions given in the Puranas regarding the origin of earth, three are given below:
1) Long ago, towards the end of the age of floods, the earth was in a liquid state. At that time, Siva cut open his thigh and let fall a drop of blood in the water. It assumed the form of an "anda" (egg). Siva took that anda and split it. A man came out of it. From him was made Nature (Prakrti) for the creation of the Universe. One half of the broken anda became sky and the other half became the earth. (Kathasaritsagara, Kathaplthalambaka, 2nd Taraiiga ) .
(2) Mahavisnu lay on the surface of water which spread everywhere in the beginning. A lotus sprang up from the navel of Visnu and from its top Brahma was born. Liquid matter began to flow out of Visnu's ears on both sides. From it were born two Raksasas named Madhu and Kaitabha. They persecuted Brahma. Mahavisnu woke up and killed Madhu and Kaitabha. The thick fat of these Raksasas hardened into the earth. (Devi Bhagavata, Navama Skandha).
3) In the beginning Mahavisnu (Mahavirat Purusa) spread everywhere. In every pore of that Mahavirat who was lying on the surface of the water, there was a Brahmanda. In course of time that Virat obtained mind. That mind stood connected with each of the pores equally. Later from it were formed the "Pancamahabhutas". From their combination was formed the Bhuta called "Maha Prthvi". It was cut into many pieces and each of the pieces was deposited in each pore. It was these Prthvi pieces which became "Bhumis” at the time of creation. At the time of the floods, these Bhumis sank again into those pores as before. In each of these Brahmandas, there are the earth, mountains, forests, oceans, the seven islands, Himavan, Meru, Sun, Moon, Stars and other planets. Also, each of them has its own Brahma, Visnu, Siva and other Devas. Since all the different Bhumis in all the Brahmandas had been formed artificially, they all perish in the floods. (Devi Bhagavata, Navama Skandha).
-- Above text from Page 142, Puranic Encyclopedia - Vettam Maṇi
Prthvi - The characteristic of this padartha is smell. Prthvi is of two kinds, Nitya (eternal) and Anitya (perishable). Nitya is in the form of atom (paramynu) and anitya in the form of Kiirya. They are classified into body, sense organs and objects. (Page 547, Puranic Encyclopedia - Vettam Maṇi)
JIVATMAN (The individual life or soul). The Aparabrahman (which is next to the highest Brahman) that is so minute and subtle is called Jivatman. Parabrahman is God almighty. It is mentioned in Taittiriyopanisad about this aparabrahman as follows : "Tasmad va etasmadatmana akasah sambhutah, akasad vayuh vayoragnih, agnerapah adbhyah prthvi prthivya osadhayah osadhibhyo annam annat purusah sa'va esa puruso annamayah." 'From this Atman came into existence ether possessing the quality of sound. From ether air, possessing the qualities of sound and touch, came into existence. Fire with the qualities of sound, touch and colour came into being from air. From fire, water having the qualities of sound touch, colour and taste came into being. From water earth with the qualities of sound, touch, colour, taste and smell came into existence. Vegetation grew from earth, and from vegetation food, from food semen, and from semen Purusa came into existence. The materialized form of aparabrahman is the body. Its subtle form is the soul. Jivatma or the individual soul is the subtle form of soul dwelling in the materialized form of the aparabrahman. This soul sits in the miniature lotus of heart in the miniature ether. The body which is made of the five elements is the dwelling place of this Jivatma. The individual life exists in every living being. The body originated from food is the outer covering of the Jivatma. This materialized body is also called Annamayakosa (the cask of food). Inside this annamayakosa there is the Pranamayakosa (the chest of the life breaths) . It is stated in the Taittiriyopanisad that this Pranamayakosa is separate from and existing inside the annamayakosa. The Pranamayakosa which exists inside the annamayakosa has the shape of man. The life breath which appears as the inhaling and exhaling breath is the head of the Pranamayakosa. The life breath Vyana is the right wing and Apana is the left wing, ether its soul and Prthvi (the earth) its tail. 2 Inside the Pranamayakosa, there exists the Manomayakosa (the chest of mind), but it fills the entire interior of the Pranamayakosa. The Vijnanamayakosa(the chest of knowledge or understanding) exists inside the Manomayakosa. The Jivatma or the individual life dwells inside this Vijfianamayakosa and pervades the entire body. It is by the activity of Vijnanamayakosa that the Jivatma feels its individuality. Inside the Vijnanamayakosa there exists a fifth kosa (chest) called the Anandamayakosa, which is the immediate covering of Jivatma, and which has no sense of individuality. The three Kosas, Anandakosa, Vijnanakosa and Pranamayakosa together is called Suksmasarira (the subtle body). It must be remembered that Suksmasarira is different from Susuksmasarira (the minute subtle body) . Heart is the abode of the Jivatma. Hrdi (in heart) ayam (this being Jivatma exists). So the name 'Hrdaya' (heart) is meaningful. 1 The Purusa (male being),which sits inside the heart or the Jivatma is as big as the toe according to the Kathopanisad. The Jivatma or the Aparabrahman is without beginning. Even from the past which is beyond our thinking crores and crores of Jivatmans had got into individuals and when the Annamayakosas of the individuals decayed due to death, they abandoned them and entered into new individuals. The author of the Brhadaranyaka gives an explanation to the question why this Jivatma which is as free as air enters the body of man, beast, bird, tree, rock etc. and subjects itself to misery and hardship. "Where does the Jivatma originate from? how does it enter this body?" Jivatma originates from Paramatma (the soul of the universe) . As the shadow pervades the body of a man this Jivatma overshadows this body." Sri Sankaracarya expounds it in another way; he says that the Jivatma is tied to the body by the imagination or desires of the mind.
-- Above text from Page 358-359, Puranic Encyclopedia - Vettam Maṇi