The Position of the Higher World ||38||
1-6Narada said: O descendant of Kuru, the Sun’s disc is a hundred thousand Yojanas from the earth . The (height) of the chariot of the Sun is nine thousand Yojanas. The shaft of the chariot is proclaimed as twice that (i.e. 18,000 Yojanas). The axle (of the chariot) of the Sun is fifteen million seven hundred thousand Yojanas long. It has one wheel (i.e. year) fixed to it. It is described to have three navels (i.e. three parts of four months each), six tyres (viz. six seasons) and five spokes (?) There is a second large axle twenty-four thousand and five thousand five hundred (Yojanas) long (? 29,500), O son of Pandu. The magnitude of the axle of the chariot is (equal to) the magnitude of the two half-yokes(?) The shorter axle and that half-yoke is fixed on the Polar Star. The second axle on the left is placed on the Manasottara mountain . The horses are the seven chandas (Vedic metres). Listen to their names from me:
7Gayatri, Brihati, Usnik, Jagati, Tristup, Anustup and Pankti; thus, the metres, the horses of the Sun, have been re-counted.
8Since the Sun is always present, there is actually no rising or setting of the Sun. The appearance and disappearance of the Sun are called by the names ‘rising’ and ‘setting’.
9Standing in the city of Sakra and others, he touches the three cities. Therefore, stationed on the side of the triangle it is diffused everywhere as the cities are stationed in the form of a triangle(?)
10In the beginning of the northern transit, the Sun goes to the zodiac of Makara (Capricorn). Thereafter he goes to Kumbha (Aquarius) and Mina (Pisces) zodiacs as well as others too.
11When he has passed over three of these zodiacs, he has the equinoctial transit. Then the Sun makes the day and the night equal to each other (in duration).
12Then the night becomes shorter and the day longer. Then at the end of Mithuna (Gemini) he reaches his climax.
13-16After reaching the zodiac Karkataka (Cancer) he begins the transit to the South. Just as the external ring of the potter’s wheel whirls quickly, so also in the course of the Southern transit the Sun moves quickly. On account of the excessive velocity, he moves with the support of the path of the wind. Hence, he passes over a great deal of ground in a short period. Just as the middle part of the potter’s wheel moves slowly so also, during the Northern transit the Sun moves slowly. Hence, he covers a smaller ground in the course of a greater period.
17During dusk and dawn, the (demons) Mandehas desire to swallow the Sun . O Phalguna, this is a curse of Prajapati (Brahma) to the demons.
18(On account of the curse) they have never ending successive bodies and death (thereof) everyday. Therefore, the battle between them and the Sun is extremely terrible.
19As the Brahmanas perform the Sandhya prayer always, those sinners are burnt by the waters sanctified by Gayatri which they pour down.
20-22Those who do not perform the Sandhya rites are ungrateful. They fall into the Raurava hell. Every month a separate Sun goes ahead with the horses, the sages, Gandharvas, Raksasas, the celestial damsels, the Gramanis (leaders) and Serpents. The following are said to be the twelve Adityas: Dhata, Aryama, Mitra, Varupa, Vivasvan, Indra, Pusan, Savitri , Amsa, Bhaga, Tvastri and Vishnu. They are the Suns in the months beginning from Caitra.
23-27Beyond the abode of the Sun is the disc of the Moon. It is stationed a hundred thousand Yojanas (from the Sun). It is said that his chariot has three wheels. There are ten horse shaving the lustre of jasmine flowers. They have been yoked both on the left and the right side. A hundred thousand Yojanas from the Moon high above shines the entire stellar zone. It is proclaimed that the constellations (stars) are fourteen Arbudas (1 Arbuda = 108) eighty Jaladhis (1 Jaladhi = 1018) and twenty crores. Budha (Mercury) is two hundred thousand Yojanas above the stellar zone. The chariot of the son of the Moon (i.e. Budha) is evolved from Vayu and Agni. It is fitted with eight reddish brown horses having the velocity of wind.
28Usanas (Venus) is said to be stationed two hundred thousand Yojanas beyond Mercury. The chariot of Sukra is fitted with eight horses originating from the earth.
29It is proclaimed that two hundred thousand Yojanas above Mars (Bhauma) is stationed the preceptor of gods (Brihaspati or Jupiter). To his golden chariot are yoked eight yellowish white horses .
30Sauri (Saturn) is stationed two hundred thousand Yojanas above Brihaspati. To his chariot are yoked eight brindled and spotted horses.
31The horses of Svarbhanu (Kahu) are eight in number. They resemble bees and are grey-coloured. They are yoked only once and they draw the chariot. They are always stationed beneath the Sun.
32It is said that the zone of the Seven Sages (the Great Bear) is a hundred thousand Yojanas above Saturn. Dhruva (the Pole Star) is stationed a hundred thousand Yojanas above the Great Bear.
33Dhruva is the pivot (central point) round which the entire group of the luminaries moves. Dhruva is fixed at the tail of a collection of stars in the formation of Gangetic porpoise.
34aThey say that this Sisumara (i.e. collection of stars in the form of the Gangetic porpoise) is the immutable form of Vasudeva, the Atman.
34bO Phalguna, all this is tied to Dhruva by aerial cords.
35It is said that the extent of the disc of the Sun is nine thousand Yojanas. It is proclaimed that the extent of the disc of the Moon is twice that of the disc of the Sun.
36Svarbhanu (Rahu) is equal to them and moves beneath. He assumes the form of a circle and lifts (casts) up a pure shadow of the earth (?).
37-39Venus has a mass that is one-sixteenth of that of the Moon. It should be known that Brihaspati (Jupiter) is one-fourth less than Venus. Mars, Saturn and Mercury are one-fourth less than Jupiter. There are stars with various widths such as five hundred Yojanas, four hundred, three hundred, two hundred, hundred, one Yojana and even half a Yojana but not smaller than that. The Bhumiloka, i.e. Bhurloka can be traversed on foot.
40-42The space between the earth and the Sun is proclaimed as Bhuvarloka . The space between Dhruva and the Sun is fourteen Niyutas (Niyuta = ten thousand crores) of Yojanas. This is called Svarloka by those who ponder on the configuration and structure of the universe. The space above Dhruva, a crore of Yojanas away, is glorified as Maharloka. Two crore Yojanas away from it, is the Janaloka where the four Sanas (i .e. Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara) live. Four crore Yojanas beyond it is what is called Tapas Loka.
43-45aIt is in the Tapas Loka that Devas named Vairajas live. They are free from the fear of being burnt. Six times that distance away from Tapas Loka, shines Satya Loka where Apunarmarakas (‘those who do not die again’) live. It is called the world of Brahma. A matchless, auspicious and splendid abode shines eighteen crore eighty five lakh (Yojanas) above that.
45b-46The three worlds named Bhuh, Bhuvaha and Svah are Kritaka (‘created ones’). The three worlds Jana, Tapas and Satya are Akritakas (uncreated). It is said that Maharloka is in between the Kritaka and the Akrtaka worlds.
47-48It becomes void at the close of the Kalpa. It is not destroyed completely. These seven worlds that have been mentioned are attained by merits. They know that these worlds can be attained through performance of sacrifices, charitable gifts, Japas, Homas, pilgrimages to holy spots and multitudes of holy rites mentioned in the Vedas and other (scriptural texts).
49From the top of the Cosmic Egg, a holy current of water flowed down and flooded all the worlds. Ganga came to mount Meru.
50-52Then it flowed over the whole of the earth and entered the nether worlds. The goddess stationed on the top of the Egg always stays at the entrance. She is surrounded by crores and crores of goddesses and Pingala (Siva). That splendid goddess stationed there protects the Egg always. She who has great strength and valour, kills multitudes of vicious people. (Now) Listen to the seven Skandhas (Layers) of the winds and how they are stationed:
53-54The first Vayu called Pravaha has, after enveloping the earth, been stationed in the zone of clouds. It is very powerful and it carries (with it) the clouds. The clouds which are made of smoke and heat are filled with the waters of ocean. They become blue-coloured and they shower plenty of rain, O descendant of Bharata.
55The second one is Avaha by name. It is fixed to the disc of the Sun. The Solar disc tied with Dhruva by means of that (wind) is able to whirl.
56The third one named Udvaha is fixed to the body of the Moon. Tied with Dhruva by means of that wind, the disc of the Moon whirls.
57The fourth one, Samvaha by name is stationed in the stellar zone. United with Dhruva by means of gaseous cords, the stellar zone whirls.
58The fifth wind named Vivaha is fixed with the Planets. United with Dhruva by means of this wind, the group of Planets (is able) to whirl.
59The sixth wind named Parivaha is stationed in the zone of the Seven Sages (the Great Bear). The Seven Sages wander in the firmament after being bound with Dhruva by means of this wind.
60-61The seventh wind named Paravaha is united with Dhruva. The Dhrauvya Cakra (i.e. the circle known after Dhruva) was established by this. O descendant of Bharata, others too have been established by this (wind). It is by resorting to this wind that the ten thousand sons of Daksha, the Prajapati, went to the end of the quarters quickly.
62Thus these forty-nine (seven times seven) sons of Diti (known as Maruts) continuously blow on, going everywhere and carrying (i.e. bearing) everything.
63-64Above Dhruva is the place devoid of the Sun, stars and constellations. They are always sustained and established by their own splendour, by their own power. Thus, the worlds above (the earth) have been recounted to you. Listen to the nether worlds from me.