Page:Origin and spread of the Tamils.djvu/106

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NOTES TO LECTURE II 95 of India, the Sky and Earth were personified as husband and wife under the names of Dyaus and Pịthivī, the father and mother of all living creatures. In the Atharva Veda there is a long and beautiful hymn addressed to the Goddess Pythvi. - (See Dikshitar, The Lalita Cult, Madras University). Among the ancient Greeks the true Goddess of the Earth was Gaia or Ge whose name means actual material earth and is constantly used in that sense by writers from the time of Hosiod. Tlie worship of Mother Earth was very ancient at Delphi, at Olympia and at Dodona. The ancient Romans worshipped the Earth Goddess, by sacrificing a pregnant cow. The Earth Goddess was associated with Ceres or Demeter, the Goddess of corn, In Babylonian mythology there was the Earth God Enlil who was associated with the God of the Sky Anu and with the God of water beneath the earth Ea. There were images and clay figures of the God, representing him with human face, long hair and beard. There was also his wife, Ninlil, a Goddess of procreation and fertility, whose name is only a feminine form of Enlil. (J. G. Frazer, Wor. ship of Nature, p. 348). Among the ancient Egyptians, the Earth was personified as a Male God married to the Sky Goddess. He was named as Seb or the Keb and his wife was Nut. He personified both the element Earth and the surface of the Earth on which trees and plants grew. He was identified by the Greeks with Cronus. The chief seat of his worship was at Heliopolis ; i.e., the city of the Sun, where he and his wife laid and hatched a great egg from out of which the Sun God burst out. The Chinese personify and worship the Earth as a mother goddess, the counter-part of the sky or heaven in his capacity