Mother Earth prayed, “Using His illusory power (māya shakti) composed of the trigunās, the Supreme Lord takes on innumerable forms. With the help of the three attributes of Nature (trigunas), He manifests in various bodies, although inherently He is devoid of traits (nirguna). He eternally rests in His own form. Therefore He is not deluded by the feelings of ‘I and mine’ towards this gross body which is made up of the mind, senses and their presiding deities. As such he is free from afflictions known as likes, dislikes, hunger, thirst, birth and death which arise from these feelings of ‘I and mine’. I offer obeisance to that Supreme Lord.
The Supreme Lord who is the creator, has created me for the purpose of providing shelter to the living beings. He is the Lord who sustains this entire world which is composed of the trigunas. He is independent and Self-illuminating. He has today, in the form of Emperor Prithu, taken up arms and is ready to destroy me. If this Lord has decided to destroy me, then in whom can I seek refuge? There is none to protect me.
In the beginning of creation, with the help of His illusory energy the Supreme Lord created this entire universe composed of movable and immovable objects. The power of this energy is unfathomable. Now with the help of this illusionary energy He has incarnated as Prithu to protect the world and to establish dharma. It is surprising that such Lord now wants to kill me.
People are trapped in illusion and are unable to cross it. They are completely in the grip of the senses and hence are unable to understand His activities. This is undoubtedly true.
The Supreme Lord at first created Brahma. Through him, he ensured the creation of the world. With the help of His illusory energy the non-dual Supreme Lord manifests in the many innumerable forms. Even though He exists in innumerable forms the Absolute Truth is that He is non-dual.
From His illusionary energy (māya shakti), Mahat tattva (cosmic intelligence) emerged. From it came Ahamkara (sense of I-ness). From Ahamkāra came the subtle elements and from them the individual sense organs along with their presiding deities manifested. Through these varied principles (tattva), which are different forms of His illusionary energy, the Supreme Lord creates, sustains and dissolves this entire universe. His energies, which manifest during creation, merge back into Him at time of dissolution. I offer obeisance to this all-pervading Lord Purushottama.
O Lord, You are birthless. You have created this world which consists of the five gross elements, sense organs and mind. In order to take it to greater heights, You incarnated as Adi Varāha swamy (boar). You lifted me up from hell and rescued me. On these vast oceans you have retained me like a boat in which all living entities rest. You, who incarnated as Varāha for the purpose of uplifting me, have now incarnated as Prithu for protecting the inhabitants of earth. Then, why are you creating this fear in me, O Lord?”
Swamiji explains: Here when it is said that Prithu milked the earth, it should be understood that he extracted food grains and crops.
“Now you seek to kill me with your powerful arrows and milk me. Our intellects are clouded due to Your illusion which exists in the form of the trigunas. We are unable to comprehend Your divine activities or those of Your ardent devotees. To be compassionate is inherent nature of valorous persons. With this, their fame increases. O Lord to you I offer my obeisance” prayed Mother Earth.
With this the seventeenth chapter of the fourth canto comes to an end.
Fourth Canto Chapter Eighteen
In this chapter, Emperor Prithu milks Mother Earth.
Maitreya Maharishi continued, “Emperor Prithu’s lips were quivering in terrible anger. In various ways, Mother Earth, who trembled in fear seeing his fury, prayed to him trying to calm him down. With firm determination, she gathered courage. Once again addressing him, she said,
“O Lord, please withdraw your anger and protect me. Please listen to my prayers. Just as a bee collects nectar from different flowers, the wise accept good knowledge from everywhere.
In order to cause well-being of the human beings both in this world and the next, Maharishis who are exponents in Veda and who understand about agriculture, Yagna and other methods, have laid down right practices. Those who follow these practices with dedication and faith easily reach their goal and enjoy the resultant fruits.
Contrary to this those who, knowingly or unknowingly, discard these ancient methods suggested by elders and act according to their individual whims and fancies, will not reap the resultant fruits for their actions. Even after repeated attempts, their efforts do not succeed.
O Lord, the herbs and grains that were created by Lord Brahma at the beginning of creation are now being enjoyed by unworthy, undisciplined and lowly persons. I have experienced this. Moreover, instead of protecting me, kings neglect me. People turned into thieves. Seeing this situation and with the intention that these herbs and grains would be useful in future for the purposes of Yagna and other good deeds, I pulled back into myself these herbs and grains.
As a long time has elapsed since the time I pulled them back, these herbs have now disintegrated within me. In case you wish to get back these herbs, then adhere to the methods prescribed by our ancient Maharishis. O brave king! You are of undisputed valor. You are the savior of all living beings. If you truly desire that the living beings should obtain good nourishing food then arrange for a suitable calf, a milking vessel and a milkman who can milk me. Out of love for my calf, I will yield milk. Through that milk I will fulfill your desires in totality.
Samāṁ ca kuru māṁ rājan deva-vṛṣṭaṁ yathā payaḥ
Apartāv api bhadraṁ te upāvarteta me vibho
O efficient king, I am uneven with ups and downs. Please flatten the rocky surface of the earth”.