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Vayu Purana – Purva Kandha 49-56

Vayu Purana

Purva Kandha 49-56

– 49 –

Description of Plaksa Dvipa and other Dvipas

1Suta said: O excellent Brahmanas, I shall describe the Plaksa-dvipa precisely but succinctly. Listen to it as I narrate it exactly.
2Its extentis twice that of Jambudvipa. Its circumference (perimeter) is thrice its breadth. This briny sea is surrounded by that continent.
3The people over there are righteous and have a great longevity. There is neither famine nor fear of old age and ailments.
4There are seven mountains and seven rivers there also. They are splendid sources of precious stones. I shall mention their names.
5In the seven continents, Plaksa and others, there are seven great and steep mountains established in all directions.
6I shall first mention the seven great mountains in the Plaksa Dvipa. The first is Gomedaka resembling a cloud. The country too is named Gomedaka after the name of this mountain.
7The second mountain named Gandra is full of medicinal herbs. For the preparation of Amrta (nectar) (gods) As vim Kumaras planted the medicinal herbs here.
8The third is named Narada. It is an impassable mountain of great height. It was on this mountain that the sages Narada and Parvata were born.
9The fourth mountain is called Dundubhi. On this mountain, formerly a drum was beaten by the Devas, the sound of which killed living beings. The Salmala tree by its drum Rajjudara full of ropes slays the Asuras.
10The fifth is named Somaka where the nectar was collected formerly by Devas. It was taken away by Garucja for his mother.
11The sixth is named Sumanas and also Rsabha. The demon Hiranyaksa was killed by Varaha on this mountain.
12The seventh mountain is Vaibhraja. It is great and glittering like crystal. Since it shines with rays, it is known as Vaibhraja.
13-14I shall mention the names of the countries of these mountains in due order. The first country is Gomeda. It is a peaceful country (where fear is quelled.) The country of Candra is Sikhara; that of Narada is Sukhodaya; that of Dundubhi is Ananda; that of Somaka is Siva; that of Ksemaka is Rsabha; and that of Vaibhraja is Dhruva.
15In these countries Devas, Gandharvas, Siddhas, and Caranas reside, and are seen playing about.
16The rivers flowing into the sea, in this continent, are seven, one for each country. I shall mention the names of these rivers known as the seven Gangas.
17These rivers along with thousands of their tributaries flow (towards the ocean). They are always in flood with abundant water, as the rain-god Indra showers (rains) profusely.
18-19The people in these realms drink from these rivers and are delighted. The seven rivers are Subha, Santavaha, Pramoda, Siva, Ananda, Dhruva and Kshemaka. There the people are righteous. They observe the duties and rules of their castes and stages of life.
20They are all free from ailments. They are strong and never suffer from illness. Among them there is no (influence of) Utsarpini (evolutionary) and Avasarpini (involutionary) eras.
21There is no division of time based on the peculiarities of the four Yugas. The condition of Treta Yuga is perpetually prevailing there.
22In the five continents beginning with Plaksa, the activities of the seasons accord with those of the (particular) continent.
23The people live for five thousand years. They are handsome, well-dressed, strong, and free from sickness.
24In the continents beginning with Plaksa and ending with Saka, happiness, longevity, strength, beauty, health and virtue are exquisite.
25Plaksadvipa is large and glorious. It abounds in riches and foodgrains. It is endowed with divine medicinal herbs and fruits. It has many kinds of plants and herbs.
26There are thousands of domestic and wild animals there. O excellent Brahmanas, the details of Plaksa Dvipa are covered by the details of Jambu Dvipa. (Just as Jambu Dvipa is named after Jambu tree) Plaksa Dvipa derives its name from the Plaksa tree thereof.
27-28The deity (Siva) is worshipped in the centre of this continent. The continent is surrounded by the sea of sugarcane- juice. Thus the situation of Plaksa Dvipa with its extensiveness (etc.) has been explained. Now listen to the description of Salmala Dvipa in brief and in due order.
29The third among the Dvipas is the excellent Dvipa Salmala. The ocean of sugarcane juice is encircled by the Salmala Dvipa. It is twice Plaksa Dvipa in extent.
30There also, in its countries, there are seven mountains and rivers. They should be known as sources ofprecious stones.
31The first mountain is named Kumuda. It is as refulgent as the sun. Its peaks are rocky and abound in all minerals.
32The second mountain there is famous by the name Unnata. It envelops the heaven by its peaks, full of yellow orpiment.
33The third mountain thereof is known as Balahaka. With its peaks of collyrium, it stands enveloping the sky.
34The fourth is named Drona where the strong medicinal herbs Visalyakarani (remover of darts or splinters) and Mrtasanjwani (that which resuscitates the dead) are found.
35The fifth mountain is Kanka of excessive height. It is covered with trees and creepers endowed with divine flowers and fruits.
36The sixth mountain is Mahisa resembling clouds. A fire, born of water and known as Mahisa, exists there.
37The seventh mountain is called Kakudman. Indra himself showers innumerable gems there. This is the procedure to be performed in Prajapatya rite in honour of Prajapati.
38There are seven mountains in the Salmala Dvipa. They are bedecked in jewels. I shall now describe the seven auspicious countries (Varsas) associated with them. The first (Varsa) is Sveta connected with mount Kumuda, and the second is Lohita connected with Mt. Unnata.
39-40The Varsa associated with Balahaka and Jimuta and that with Drona is Harita, that of Kanka is Vaidyuta, that of Mahisa and that of Kakuda is Suprabha. These are the seven countries and their seven mountains. Now know the rivers there.
41Pani, Toya, Vitrisna, Candra, Sukra, Vimocani and the seventh (river) Nivrtti are the rivers of their respective countries.
42There are hundreds and thousands of adjacent rivers which cannot be enumerated. They are to be believed (taken for granted) by one who wishes to know them.
43-44Thus the locus of Salmala Dvipa has been described to you. Like the great Plaksa tree in Plaksa Dvipa, there is a Salmali (silk-cotton) tree in the middle of the Dvipa which is named after it. It is surrounded by the ocean of wine equal to Salmala (dvipa) in extent.
45O knowers of Dharma, now listen to the description of the people in the northern continents. Understand as I relate to you in accordance with what I have heard.
46I shall describe the fourth continent Kusa Dvipa succinctly. The ocean of wine is surrounded on all sides by this continent (Kusa).
47It is twice the extent of Salmala. There are seven mountains there. Listen as they are being described to you.
48-50The first mountain in the Kusa Dvipa is known as Vidrumoccaya; the second is Hema; the third is Dyutiman, a mountain resembling clouds; the fourth is Puspavan; the fifth is Kusesaya; the sixth is Hari; and the seventh is Mandara. The word Manda means waters and Mandara means that which splits the waters.
51-52The distance between these mountains is twice their magnitude. The first country is Udbhida; the second is Venumandala; the third is Svairathakara; the fourth is Lavana; the fifth is Dhytimat; the sixth is Prabhakara; and the seventh is Kapila. These are the seven countries and mountains.
53In these Varsas Devas, Gandharvas, Prabhas, Prajapatis are seen residing and sporting about.
54In these countries there are neither robbers nor Mlecchas. The people are mostly fair in complexion. They die according to seniority in age.
55Here also are the seven rivers which are auspicious and which dispel sins. The chief of them are Pavitra, Santati, Dyutigarbha and Mahi.
56Hundreds and thousands of others are known as their branches. They flow on as Indra showers in plenty.
57The Kusa Dvipa is surrounded by the ocean of ghee. In extent it is equal to Kusa Dvipa.
58Thus the position of Kusadvipa has been described to you. Now I shall explain the extent of Kraunca Dvipa.
59It is remembered to have twice the area of Kusa Dvipa. The ocean of ghee is encircled by this continent.
60In this continent the chief mountain is Kraunca. The next after Kraunca is Vamana and the next after Vamana is Andhakara.
61After Andhakara comes Divavrit. After Divavrit comes Divinda.
62After Divinda is the great mountain Pundarka. After Pundarka is the mountain Dundubhisvana.
63These are seven bejewelled mountains of Kraunca Dvipa. They abound in fruit trees and a number of creepers.
64The Varsa mountains are twice in height as compared with the previous ones. Now I shall mention the names of the Varsas. Listen and understand them.
65-66The mainland-tract of the Kraunca mountain is Kusalin; that of Vamana is Manonuga. Beyond Manonuga is the third land tract Usna. Beyond Usna is Pravaraka and beyond Pravaraka is Andhakara. Beyond Andhakara is Muni Desa.
67Beyond Muni Desa is Dundubhisvana full of Siddhas and Caranas. There the people are mostly fair in complexion.
68There also the rivers are seven innumber one for each country. They are Gauri, Kumudvati, Sandhya, Ratri, Manojava, Khyati and Pundarka. These seven appear as Ganga divided into seven rivers.
69Other rivers flow into these or nearby and meet the ocean. They are large and flow with great volume of water.
70The glorious Kraunca Dvipa is surrounded by the ocean of whey which is equal to Krauncadvipa in extent.
71-72Thus Plaksa and other continents have been briefly described to you. It is impossible to describe the growth, decay (creation and annihilation) and other details of these continents even in hundreds of years.
73I shall henceforth explain the features of the entire Saka Dvipa exactly as they are. Listen as I recount them precisely.
74Its extent is twice that of Kraunca Dvipa. It encircles the ocean of whey.
75All the countries there are very sacred. People die only after a long life. There is neither famine nor fear of old age and sickness.
76There also are seven bejewelled mountains which as well as the rivers are the sources of gems and precious stones. Listen to their names.
77The first mountain, called Udaya, extends to the east. It is golden and is the abode of divine sages and Gandharvas. Hence it is like Meru.
78-79Clouds rise and pass pouring down showers. There is a great mountain Jaladhara where Indra showers plenty of water. There in the rainy season people get ample showers.
80There is mountain Raivataka raised by god Brahma. It is here that the Star Revati is always established in the heavens.
81Beyond that there is a very great mountain called Syama. It was due to it that people got dark complexion from the outset.
82Next is the massive mountain Astagiri, full of silver. The next mountain is Ambikeya, an impassable snowclad mountain.
83Next to Ambikeya is Ramya where all medicinal herbs grow. It is called Kesari and the winds blow on it.
84-86Listen to the names of the countries of these mountains in due order. The country (Varsa) of the mountain Udaya is Udaya well known as Jalada. The second Varsa, that of Jaladhara is Sukumara; that of Raivata is Kaumara; that of Syamais Manicaka; the splendid Varsa of Asta is Kusumottara; of Ambikeya is Modaka; and that of Kesaras is Mahadruma.
87The extent, magnitude, length and breadth of this continent are as those of Saka dvipa(?) A great tree called Saka (teak) grows in its centre and is worshipped by the people.
88Devas, Gandharvas, Siddhas and Caranas are visible and play about here in the midst of people.
89The people (in the countries thereof) are virtuous and observe (the distinctive rules of) their respective four castes (Varnas). There are seven rivers flowing to the sea, one in each Varsa and these seven rivers are remembered as the’ seven streams of Ganga.
90-91The first river is known by the names Sukumari, Ganga, Sivajala; and Anutapta, the second is known as Kumari, Siddha and Sati; the third is designated as Nanda and Parvati.
92The fourth is Sivetika which is also remembered as Tridiva; the fifth is known as Iksu as well as Kratu.
93These seven great Gangas of auspicious waters sanctify all the people residing in Saka dvipa every year.
94There are thousands of others rivers joining them. They have abundant of waters since Indra showers rain profusely.
95It is impossible to enumerate their names and magnitudes. These excellent river are very holy. The joyous people drink from them.
96-97O Samsapayana, this continent is very extensive. It is like a wheel, covered by rivers and cloud-like mountains wonderful and variegated with minerals and decorated with jewels and corals. The cities are of various shapes. They abound in flourishing and prosperous people.
98The continent is full of trees laden with flowers and fruits. It is flourishing with wealth and foodgrains. It is surrounded by the ocean of milk equal in size to it.
99-100The land-tracts amongst those mountains are seven in number. They are holy and splendid. The people thereof abide by the rules of castes and stages of life and admit no mixture of castes or stages of life. Since they do not swerve from the path of virtue, they are invariably happy.
101They are neither greedy nor deceptive and neither jealous nor malicious. There is no loss of fortitude nor adverse results. Everything is natural with them.
102No tax is raised. No punishment is meted out. There is none to punish. They know of virtue by natural righteousness. They protect one another.
103This much and no more can be mentioned about the residents of this continent. I shall now describe the seventh continent Puskara. Please listen.
104The ocean of milk is surrounded by Puskara Dvipa, which is twice the Saka Dvipa in extent.
105There is only one glorious mountain called Mahasila having lofty peaks full of variegated jewels.
106This great mountain with wonderful and variegated ridges and precipices stands in the eastern half of the Dvipa. Its circumference is twenty five thousand Yojanas.
107-109Its height is thirty-four thousand Yojanas. The excellent Manasa mountain encircles half this Dvipa. It stands on the seashore looking like the newly risen moon. Its height is fifty thousand Yojanas. Its girth too is so much. This mountain Manasa is on the western half of the Dvipa.
110In fact the two mountains constitute but a single mountain with peaks and ridges divided into two. It is surrounded by the ocean of fresh water.
111-112The whole mountain-range spreads over the full extent of Puskara Dvipa. There are two holy and splendid provinces in that Dvipa on either side of the mountain Manasa. The Mahavita Varsa is exterior to the mountain while Dhataki is the interior.
113The people there live up to ten thousand years with splendid health and happiness. They have attained mental Siddhis.
114In the two countries (Varshas) the forms and features and the span of life are similar. There is no distinction of high and low among them. In appearance and conduct of life all of them are equal.
115None defrauds (anyone); none is jealous. There are neither thieves nor fear nor imprisonment nor punishment, nor greed nor illegal acceptance of gifts.
116There is neither truth nor falsehood nor virtue nor evil nor the rules of caste nor the stages of life. There is no trade, no cattle breeding, no business enterprise.
117The lore of the three Vedas, the system of civil and military administration, acts of service to others in return for payment, wounding others with harsh words or sharp implements— these are absent in the two Varsas of Puskara.
118There are no rivers, no rainfall, neither bitter cold nor oppressive heat, no vegetation, no water, no mountains, no rivulets.
119-120The season is perpetually the same as in Northern Kurus. The people are happy, devoid of old age and exhaustion. This is the condition in Dhataki and Mahavita countries. Thus the entire situation in Puskara Dvipa has been nararted.
121Puskara is surrounded by the ocean of sweet water equal in extent to that continent.
122The seven continents are encircled bythe seven oceans. The ocean immediately adjacent to a continent encircles it.
123The relative increase in the size of the continents and oceans should be known thus. Since they have abundant increase of waters, the oceans are called Samudras.
124Since in the land-tracts the four groups of people and sages live, they are called Varsas. They afford happiness to the people.
125The word Rsi is derived from the root Risi. The root ‘Vrisi’ means the continuance of energy. Since the land-tracts afford continuance of energy they have the designation Varsa.
126In the bright half, when the moon waxes, there is high tide in the ocean. When the moon wanes in the dark half and sets there is low tide.
127In the bright fortnight, the ocean gets filled with water by itself. In the dark fortnight, the ocean recedes by itself.
128Just as water in a cooking pot boils up by its contact with fire, similarly water in the vast ocean swells in quantity and magnitude.
129The increase and decrease of water is of fixed quantity, neither more nor less in the bright and dark fortnights at the rise and setting of the moon. The increase and decrease in the ocean again is the result of the waxing and the waning of the moon.
130It is observed that the increase and decrease of (the level of water in) the ocean is up to five hundred and ten angulas. This (increase and decrease) is seen (occurring) on the parvan days.
131The term dvipa (island) is so called on account of waters being on either side. They are surrounded on all sides. As it is a store-house of waters, the ocean is called Udadhi.
132Mountains without knots and peaks are Giris. Those with knots are Parvatas. Hence in the Plaksa Dvipa, Gomeda, having knots is called a Parvata.
133The great Salmali (silk-cotton) tree is worshipped in the Salmala Dvipa. In the Kusa Dvipa, a stump of Kusa grass is worshipped. Hence the continent is called by its name (viz. Kusa).
134In the Kraunca Dvipa, the mountain Kraunca stands in its centre. The tree in Saka Dvipa is Saka (teak). (Hence) the dvipa (continent) is named after it.
135In the Puskara Dvipa, the Nyagrodha tree is worshipped by the people. The great lord in Puskara is Brahma, the lord of the three worlds.
136Brahma, the Prajapati, lives there along with Sadhyas. The Devas numbering thirtythree, along with sages worship him. The most excellent of the Devas is worshipped there.
137-138Various gems and precious stones are obtained in Jambu Dvipa. In all these continents people observe truth, celibacy and self-control. Thereby, their health and span of life is increased twofold.
139In the above-mentioned two sub-continents of Puskara Dvipa, god Brahma himself protects the subjects who are (as if) adorned with good people.
140The supreme ruler Brahma, the lord of three worlds, holds the rod (Dan da) of chastisement (to govern them). He is their lord, Vishnu, Siva, father and grandfather.
141(Their) food comes to them automatically without any effort on their part. The people always take that nutritious food of six tastes.
142The great ocean of sweet water encircles the Puskara Dvipa on all sides.
143There is a great world beyond it. The ground is golden and flat as if it is a single slab. It is twice (?) in extent.
144Beyond that there is a mountain. At the end of the boundary, there is a circular horizon. It is both lighted (on the hither part) and dark (on the rest). It is called Lokaloka.
145Its height is ten thousand Yojanas. Its hitherward side is bright and its side beyond is dim (dark).
146Its breadth is as much (as its height). It can rise above the earth (to any height) according to its will.
The word ‘loka? in ‘aloka? is understood in the sense of illumination (the bright interior side) and indicates the world. And ‘Niraloka? is the dark, external side.
147The illuminated part extends to (the world or the area where people live). Beyond that, it is surrounded by water. The Niraloka (the dark part and portion beyond) covers the Cosmic Egg.
148-149Within the Cosmic Egg there are the worlds, viz. Bhur i.e. the earth consisting of seven continents, Bhuvar, Svar, Mahar, Jana, Tapas and Satya. This much constitutes the world which can be known. Beyond that, there is the end of the world.
150-151The cosmos is shaped like the new moon on the western horizon (at the beginning of the bright half) when the sun is in the Aquarius Zodiac. There are thousands of crores Cosmic Eggs like this, above, below and on all sides. They are caused and pervaded by the seven effects of Prakriti (viz. the elements, Mahat and Bhutadi).
152They support one another. The later is ten times bigger than the former. They are caused and pervaded by one another.
153All round this Cosmic Egg, there is a ‘solid’ sea. With its waters it holds the Cosmic Egg.
154Outside the solid water, on all its sides and above, the ‘solid’ fire holds and supports it.
155The fire stands like an iron ball circular and globular in shape. It is supported and held all round by solid wind. The solid wind supports the ether as well.
156Bhutadi (Cosmic Ego) holds and supports the Ether. Mahat (Cosmic Intellect) supports the Cosmic Ego and is itself pervaded and supported by the infinite Unmanifest (Prakriti).
157The infinite Unmanifest (Prakriti) is subtle and divided into ten. It is infinite, immobile (with no Soul). It has neither beginning nor end.
158It is beyond everything. It is terrible. It has no support. It is free from ailments. It is many thousand Yojanas in distance. It is covered with darkness (Tamas).
159It is darkness itself. It is devoid of light. It is unlimited. It does not occupy space. Even Devas cannot comprehend it. It is devoid of activity.
160There is a great, famous, refulgent shrine of Siva at the end of darkness and the Ether and hence at the very border. It is well-known for its splendour.
161They say that spot is inaccessible even to Devas. It lies in the premises of the great lord of Devas.
162In the universe, the worlds getting the light and heat of the sun and the moon, are called Lokas. There is no doubt about this.
163There are seven worlds beneath and seven above the Earth. O Brahmanas, there are seven pathways of the wind and god Brahma’s abode.
164From Patala to heaven there is a fivefold course. This is the extent of the Universe. This is the ocean of the worldly existence.
165The activity of the Universe with neither beginning nor end goes on like this arising from different types and groups of people. This unsteady activity of the Universe is really wonderful.
166The physical creation of this is very extensive. It cannot be comprehended even by the blessed Siddhas who know things even beyond the scope of sense-organs.
167-168O excellent Brahmanas! There is no limit, decline or end to the magnitude of (the elements, viz.) Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Mahat, Tamas, the infinite, omnipresent Lord Isvara. While enumerating the names of the Lord (Siva), I have mentioned this before.
169The Lord who is called by the name Siva has been glorified to you. He pervades everything and is worshipped in all places.
170He is worshipped on the earth, in rasatala, ether, wind, fire, seas and heaven. There is no doubt in this.
171He is to be realized through penance as the Lord of great splendor. This great God, the great Yogin has divided himself in various forms. He, the Lord of the worlds, is worshipped in various ways in all the worlds.
172Thus the worlds originating from one another support one another by the relationship of the supporter and the supported or as the effects of their cause.
173The elements earth etc. are the evolutes covered up by one another. They enter into one another, the lesser into the greater.
174Since they penetrate one another, they have attained stability. Formerly they were without special features. But by intermingling they became possessed of speciality. The earth, fire and the wind, these three are separately and accurately ascertained.
175Their accurate ascertainment is specially noticed by the decline in attributes and essence. The accurate determination of the rest is not observable due to their subtleness.
176Aloka is beyond all the Bhutas (elements). They are discernible separately only in the illuminated Ether (Akasa).
177Just as in a big vessel smaller vessels are placed and are mutually supported by it though separate from each other, similarly the separateness of the elements is internal within the illuminated Ether (Akasa).
178All these four elements are consecutively bigger, the later bigger than the former. The creation can function as long as the elements exist.
179The perfection (creation) of creatures is regarded as being within (i.e. based on) Bhutas (elements). The creation of effects cannot take place without Bhutas.
180The Bhutas being of the nature of effects are restricted. The entities e.g. the Mahat (Cosmic Intellegence etc.) are of the nature of causes.
181Thus, O Brahmanas, the arrangement of this earth with seven continents and oceans has been explained to you along with their divisions precisely as they are.
182-183The cosmic form of Pradhana (the Unmanifest Nature) which has been described (lit. enumerated) to you by its extents and zones, is only a partial modification. Its cosmic form is the abode of the Lord to whom belongs the whole Universe. In this way, the elements have interpenetrated each other.
184Only this much of established arrangement (of the Universe) can be explained by me. O King, only this much need be heard in regard to the constitution and arrangement of the world.
185The seven Prakritis support one another. There are many Prakritis above and below and on all sides. I shall explain them to a little extent.
186O excellent Brahmanas, now I shall describe the position of the luminaries, the boundaries, the horizon and sub-horizon of the earth.

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