Prithivi, aka: Prithivī, Pṛthivī, Prthivī, Prthivi; 16 Definition(s)


Prithivi means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Pṛthivī can be transliterated into English as Prthivi or Prithivi, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

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Pṛthivī (पृथिवी):—Sixth of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Mahimā, according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ) are associated with the (element) earth. Pṛthivī evidently refers to the earth. All these eight mātṛs are characterized as carrying a diamond in their hand. They are presided over by the Bhairava Jhaṇṭa and his consort named Aindryā. Mahimā is the seventh of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents the earth.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Pṛthivī (पृथिवी, “earth”).—The world of the earth is located above the seven pātālas, according to Parākhyatantra 5.61.

The following seven continents (dvīpa) are situated in the earth:

  1. Jambū-dvīpa,
  2. Śāka-dvīpa,
  3. Kuśa-dvīpa,
  4. Krauñca-dvīpa,
  5. Śālma-dvīpa,
  6. Gomeda-dvīpa,
  7. Puṣkara-dvīpa.

They are collectively known as saptadvīpa. Each continent may contain even more sub-continents within them, are round in shape, and are encircled within seven concentric oceans.

The Parākhyatantra is an old Śaiva-siddhānta tantra dating from before the 10th century.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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Prthivī (प्र्थिवी).—Adopted as daughter by the first king Pṛthu; mother of all creatures, of different janapadas, cities, castes, mountains, rivers, etc.;1 50 (100(1/2) crores, Matsya-purāṇa) crores of yojanas in extent; its bādhavistāra begins with yojanāgra which is one crore in every direction from Meru in the middle; three crores of yojanas in all the four directions; the inside circumference of the earth; the Paryāsa equal to the extent of the nakṣatra maṇḍala;2 comprising seven islands and being tributary to the sons of Svāyambhuva Manu.3

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 10. 1, 35; Vāyu-purāṇa 42. 78-81; 50. 2-4; 63. 3-4. 74. 30.
  • 2) Ib. 124. 12; Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 68-75.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 166. 6; 258. 11. Vāyu-purāṇa 33. 4-5.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Pṛthivī (पृथिवी).—Various essences extracted from, by different classes of beings, following Pṛthu's example;1 also Dharā; first milked by Brahmā; in the Vaivasvata epoch, Prthu milked her.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 18. 13-27.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 20. 1-4; 21. 12; 37. 3, 12-20; III. 3. 34; 5. 79; IV. 2. 11 and 18.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Pṛthivī (पृथिवी) refers to an aspect of nṛsiṃha (‘man-lion’), according to the Vihagendra-saṃhitā 4.17, which mentions seventy-four forms (inlcuding twenty forms of vyūha). He is also known as Pṛthivīnṛsiṃha or Pṛthivīnarasiṃha. Nṛsiṃha is a Tantric deity and refers to the furious (ugra) incarnation of Viṣṇu.

The 15th-century Vihagendra-saṃhīta is a canonical text of the Pāñcarātra corpus and, in twenty-four chapters, deals primarely with meditation on mantras and sacrificial oblations.

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

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Pṛthivī (पृथिवी) refers to “earth” and is mentioned in a list of 53 synonyms for dharaṇi (“earth”), according to the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga) of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia).  The Dharaṇyādi-varga covers the lands, soil [viz., Pṛthivī], mountains, jungles and vegetation’s relations between trees and plants and substances, with their various kinds.

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Vaisheshika (school of philosophy)

Pṛthivī (पृथिवी, “earth”) refers to one of the nine substances (dravya) according to the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika school of philosophy (cf. Vaiśeṣikasūtra 1.1.5, Saptapadārthī, Tarkabhāṣā and Bhāṣāpariccheda). Pṛthivī is the first substance mentioned in all the lists of substance. Annaṃbhaṭṭa has defined earth as that where smell exists gandhavatī pṛthivī. He has not however, explained the definition elaborately. But here the suffix vat must mean to exist in the relation of inherence (samavāya). Otherwise the definition will be over-pervasive to time and space. For smell is related with time through temporal (kālika) relation and with space through spatial (daiśika) relation. That is why, here the inherent relation is to be accepted. Hence, Viśvanātha has clarified the definition of earth (pṛthivī) as the inherent cause of smell or odour.

Kaṇāda (Vaiśeṣikasūtra 2.1.1) states that earth (pṛthivī) has four qualities—colour, taste, odour and touch. Praśastapāda states in his Bhāṣya (Praśastapādabhāṣya) that earth has colour, taste, smell, touch, number, magnitude, separation, conjunction, disjunction, remoteness, proximity, weight, fluidity and velocity. Earth (pṛthivī) has many kinds of colour like whiteness, blackness etc. (cf. Nyāyasiddhāntamuktāvalī) There is six kinds of taste, viz., sweet, sour, salt, bitter, pungent and astringent. Earth has two kinds of smell, good and bad. Earth also possesses the quality of neither hot nor cold and touch which is generated by the action of fire (cf. Praśastapādabhāṣya).

Earth (pṛthivī) is mainly divided into two kinds:—nitya (eternal) and anitya (noneternal). Śivāditya, Praśastapāda, Viśvanātha etc. also uphold the same view. Nitya means that which is not counter positive (pratiyogī) of destruction. That means eternal is that which is not destroyed. Non-eternal (anitya) is the opposite, i.e., it is the counter positive of destruction. That non-eternal is that which can be destroyed. That eternal is that which is not the counter positive of both prior non-existence and non-existence pertaining to destruction. Non-eternal is the counter positive of both these types of non-existence. The atoms of earth are eternal while things produced from earth-atoms are noneternal. Non-eternal things are composed of parts.

Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories (vaisesika)
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Vaisheshika (वैशेषिक, vaiśeṣika) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. Vaisheshika deals with subjects such as logic, epistemology, philosophy and expounds concepts similar to Buddhism in nature

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General definition (in Hinduism)

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Pṛthivī (पृथिवी, “earth”) refers to one of the lokapañcaka (fivefold worlds), defined in the Taittirīya-āraṇyaka 7.7.1. The lokapañcaka, and other such fivefold divisions, are associated with the elemental aspect (adhibhūta) of the three-fold division of reality (adhibhūta, adhidaiva and adhyātma) which attempts to explain the phenomenal nature of the universe. Adhibhūta denotes all that belongs to the material or elemental creation.

The Taittirīya-āraṇyaka is associated with the Kṛṣṇa-yajurveda and dates from at least the 6th century BCE. It is composed of 10 chapters and discusses vedic rituals and sacrifices (such as the mahāyajña) but also includes the Taittirīya-upaniṣad and the Mahānārāyaṇa-upaniṣad.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āraṇyaka

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

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1) Pṛthivī (पृथिवी) refers to the element “earth”, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLIX. Accordingly, “the earth (pṛthivī) itself is very extensive (vistīrṇa), it supports the ten thousand things and is very solid (dṛḍha). This is why the Buddha says here that in order to know fully the number of subtle atoms (paramāṇu) contained in the earth (pṛthivī) and the Mount Sumerus of the trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātu and in order to know the respective part beings hold in regard to their actions, it is necessary to practice the perfection of wisdom”.

By cultivating the Prajñāpāramitā, this great earth (mahāpṛthivī) is reduced to its subtle atoms (paramāṇu). Because the earth element (pṛthivī) possesses color (rūpa), odor (gandha), taste (rasa) and touch (spraṣṭavya), it is heavy (guru) and does not have activity (kriyā) on its own.—Because the water (ap-) element has no taste (rasa), it is superior to earth (pṛthivī) by means of its movement (calana).—Because the fire (tejas) element has neither odor (gandha) nor taste (rasa), it is superior to water in its power (prabhāva).—Because the wind (vāyu) element is neither visible (rūpa) nor has it any taste (rasa) or touch (spraṣṭavya), it is superior to fire by means of its movement (īraṇa).—The mind (citta) which has none of these four things [color, taste, smell and touch] has a still greater power.

2) Pṛthivī (पृथिवी, “earth”) according to a note at chapter 51.—According to the canonical sūtras (Dīgha; Kośavyākhyā), the earth (pṛthivī) rests upon the water (udaka) or Circle of waters (abmaṇḍala); the water or Circle of waters rests on wind (vāyu); the wind rests on space (ākāśa); space does not rest upon anything.—In this summary, there is no mention of gold (kañcana) or diamond (vajra). Later scholasticism, particularly that of the Sarvāstivādins (Kośa; Kośabhāṣya) gives more details: [...] The earth of gold (kāñcanamayī  supports the earth (pṛthivī), the universe of four continents encircled by the cakravāda which gives it the shape of a wheel.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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Pṛthivī (पृथिवी, “earth”) refers to one of the five types of immobile beings (sthāvara), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 2.13. The sthāvara is a type of empirical (saṃsārī) soul, or sentient (jīva). The state of empirical souls due to the rise of ‘stationery-body-making karma’/ sthāvara-nāmakarma, having only one type of sense organ namely body and which cannot move around freely are called with stationery bodies (sthāvara), eg., pṛthivī.

What is the meaning of earth (pṛthivī)? The crust of the earth having hardness as its own nature but no consciousness is called earth. What is meant by earth-bodied living beings? These are the living beings that have earth as their body. How many types of earth are there? There are four types of earth namely earth, earth-bodied, life in earth body and life tending towards an earth body.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 2: the Category of the living
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Pṛthivī.—cf. Prakrit sava-puṭhaviyaṃ (CII, Vol. I, p. 87, text line 7); used to indicate the dominions of the Maurya emperor Aśoka, versions other than Dhauli (Rock Edict V) having sarvatra vijite (i. e. ‘everywhere within the dominions’) in its place. Cf. Jambudvīpa. Note: pṛthivī is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

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pṛthivī (पृथिवी).—f S pṛthvī f (S) The earth. 2 Earth considered as one of the five elements. catussamudravalayāṅkitapṛthvī The sea-girt earth.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

pṛthivī (पृथिवी).—f pṛthvī f The earth.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

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Pṛthivī (पृथिवी).—[cf. Uṇ.1.184]

1) The earth; (sometimes written pṛthivi also). पृथिव्यां त्रीणि रत्नानि जलमन्नं सुभाषितम् (pṛthivyāṃ trīṇi ratnāni jalamannaṃ subhāṣitam).

2) Ground, soil.

3) The earth considered as one of the nine substances or five primary elements.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pṛthivi (पृथिवि).—f.

(-viḥ) The earth: see the next.

--- OR ---

Pṛthivī (पृथिवी).—f. (-vī) The earth. E. prath to be famous, Unadi aff. ṣivan, fem. aff. ṅīp, and the vowel substituted for the semi-vowel; also with the anti-penultimate vowel changed to a, pṛthavī; or dropped altogether, pṛthvī; or without the fem. aff. pṛthivi .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

Search found 156 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Pṛthivīpāla (पृथिवीपाल).—m. (-laḥ) A king, a sovereign, a ruler. E. pṛthivī the earth, and pāla...
Pṛthivīpati (पृथिवीपति).—m. (-tiḥ) 1. A king, a sovereign. 2. A drug, commonly Rishabha. 3. Yam...
Pṛthivīcāla (पृथिवीचाल).—m. (compare Sanskrit bhūmi-cala, and Pali mahā-bhūmicālo, Mahāvaṃsa 17...
Pṛthivīparpaṭaka (पृथिवीपर्पटक).—m. (so read with Index; text °parvaṭaka; Mironov °paryaṭaka, v...
Pṛthivībhṛt (पृथिवीभृत्).—m. a mountain. Pṛthivībhṛt is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the t...
Pṛthivīkampa (पृथिवीकम्प).—an earthquake. Derivable forms: pṛthivīkampaḥ (पृथिवीकम्पः).Pṛthivīk...
Pṛthivībhuj (पृथिवीभुज्).—m., Pṛthivībhuj is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms pṛthiv...
Pṛthivībhuja (पृथिवीभुज).—a king. Derivable forms: pṛthivībhujaḥ (पृथिवीभुजः).Pṛthivībhuja is a...
Pṛthivīmaṇḍala (पृथिवीमण्डल).—the circuit of the earth. Derivable forms: pṛthivīmaṇḍalaḥ (पृथिव...
Pṛthivīpālaka (पृथिवीपालक).—m., Derivable forms: pṛthivīpālakaḥ (पृथिवीपालकः).Pṛthivīpālaka is ...
Pṛthivīśukra (पृथिवीशुक्र).—a king. Derivable forms: pṛthivīśukraḥ (पृथिवीशुक्रः).Pṛthivīśukra ...
Pṛthivīnarasiṃha (पृथिवीनरसिंह) is short for Pṛthivī, one of the aspects of nṛsiṃha (‘man-lion’...
Pārthivāgni (पार्थिवाग्नि, “fire of ether”):—One of the five elemental fires (bhutāgni...
Pṛthivītala (पृथिवीतल).—the surface of the earth. Derivable forms: pṛthivītalam (पृथिवीतलम्).Pṛ...
Pṛthivīruha (पृथिवीरुह).—a tree; पवमानः पृथिवीरुहानिव (pavamānaḥ pṛthivīruhāniva) R.8.9. Deriva...

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