Geography of Jambudvipa ||34||
1On hearing of the establishment of the people, the clever and eminent sage asked Suta about the length and extent of the earth.
2The sages enquired: O holy sir, how many continents, or oceans or mountains are there? How many Varsas (sub-continents) are there and what are the rivers in them.
3Explain factually to us in details, the magnitude of the great elements and of the Lokaloka mountain, the circumference, the size and the course of movements of the sun and the moon.
4Suta said: Henceforth I shall explain the length and extent of the earth, the number of oceans and continents in details.
5I shall tell you how many countries (Vardas) there are and what the rivers (are) therein. (Now) I shall tell you the magnitude of the great elements, the Lokaloka mountain range, the circumference, magnitude and the course of the moon and the sun.
6There are thousands of countries and islands in the seven continents. They cannot be described in details with sufficient evidence, even in hundreds of years.
7I shall explain the seven continents along with the moon, the sun and the planets. Men mention their extent and magnitude by guesswork.
8One shall not make conjectures about inconceivable objects and worlds. That which is beyond Prakriti is called eternal.
9I shall describe to you factually Jambudvipa consisting of nine Varsas, Understand its extent and zones in Yojanas.
10-11It extends to a hundred thousand Yojanas. It is full of different rural localities and various splendid cities. It is embellished with the (colonies of) Siddhas, Caranas and Gandharvas and with mountains as well. It has mountains abounding in minerals and variegated rocks. It has many rivers rising from mountains.
12Jambudvipa is immense, glorious and surrounded by nine (Khannas—Zones?) inhabited by living beings. It is encircled on all sides by salt-sea.
13All round Jambudvipa, extending to its entire length, the six mountain systems stretch to the east. They have excellent ridges. They extend to both sides plunging into the eastern and western seas.
14The mountain Himavat is full of snow. Hemakuta is full of gold; Nisadha is golden having the lustre of the midday sun.
15The golden Meru of four colours is known as the highest. Leaping up in symmetrical shapes on all sides it rises up.
16On its sides it has various colours. It is endowed with the attributes of Prajapati. It is born of the umbilical knot of Brahma, of unmanifest origin.
17It is white on the east, hence its Brahmanahood. It is yellow on the south, hence its Vaisyahood.
18On the west it is black like the aloe leaf. It is very hard and renders services to many.
19Its northern side has a natural red colour. Hence its Ksattriya-hood. Thus all its colours are described. Its manifest characteristic are described according to its colour and effects.
20-21The Nila mountain is full of Lapis lazuli’, Svetasrnga, full of gold; Srngavan is of gold but variegated in colour like peacock feathers. These lordly mountains are resorted to by Caranas and Siddhas. Their inner girth is said to be nine thousand (Yojanas).
22It is in the centre of Ilavrta which surrounds it. It extends to nine thousand Yojanas. In the centre of the Meru, there is a smokeless fire.
23The southern and the northern halves of Meru come together like the middle of the sacrificial altar. The seven mountain systems of the seven countries (Varsas) are two thousand Yojanas long and as much high.
24-27Their length is said to be similar to that of Jam- budvipa. The two middling mountains, Nila and Nisadha are a hundred thousand Yojanas in length; the other (four mountains) are shorter (in length) than these. (They are) Sveta, Hemakuta, Himavan, and Sfngavan. Out of these mountains Sveta and Hemakuta are each ninety thousand Yojanas long. (Mountains Himavan and Spngavan) are each eighty thousand in length. There are Janapadas (territories) in between them. The Varsas are seven in number. They are encircled by mountains that are difficult to cross on account of steep precipices. They are crisscrossed by different rivers. It was impossible to travel from one Varsa to another (lit. they were mutually unapproachable). Animals of different species live in them.
28This Varsa deriving its name from Himavatis well known by the name Bharata. Hemakuta is beyond this. It is remembered by the name Kimpurusa.
29Naisadha (Varsa is beyond) Hemakuta. It is called Harivarsa. Ilavrta is beyond Harivarsa (with Meru in the middle).
30Nila is beyond Ilavrta and is well-known by the name Ramyaka. Beyond Ramyaka is Sveta and is well known as Hiranmaya. The Srrigavat is beyond Hiranmaya and it is remembered as Kuru.
31The two sub-continents in the south and north should be known as situated in the form of a bow. Four others are situated lengthwise and the middle one is Ilavrta.
32Vedyardha which is on the hitherside of Nisadha is known as southern Vedyardha and that which is beyond the Nilavan is the northern Vedyardha. On the southern side of Vedyardha there are three Varsas and three on the northern side.
33aMeru should be known as standing in between them and Ilavrta is in the middle of Meru.
33b-34To the south of the Nila and to the north of Nisadha, there is a great mountain stretching to the north named Malyavan. It stretches a thousand Yojanas from Nila to Nisadha. It is glorified as one thirtyfour thousand Yojanas in extent.
35The mountain Gandhamadana should be known as situated to its west. In length and extent it is reputed to be like Malyavan. Meru, the golden mountain, is in the middle of two cirdes. That golden mountain has four colours. It is symmetrical and very lofty.
36In between the two, there is the four-coloured, golden, four-cornered, lofty, excellent mountain Meru. From the unmanifest, the elements of water etc. are born.
37From the unmanifest the great lotus of the earth is evolved. Its pericarp is the four-cornered Meru that is five times great.
38-39O excellent Brahmanas, then all the deities were born. The noble Purusottama was born with his Atman purified by merits earned through many Kalpas previously. Then there was born Mahadeva, the great Yogin, the great lord who is elderly to the universe which he pervades, and who is infinite and formless.
40He has no form evolved out of Prakriti, that is to say no form of flesh, fat or bone; with his Yogic power and lordly nature, he pervades the universe.
41From him as the cause, was born the eternal lotus of the worlds. As the natural sequence of time, it occurred at the advent of the Kalpa (?)
42In that lotus was born the four-faced lord of Devas, Brahma, the chief of Prajapatis, the lord of the universe.
43His creation is the seed of the lotus precisely. The whole of it, along with the creation of the subjects, is mentioned here in detail.
44The lotus that was fashioned by Vishnu grew from his umbilicus. The earth along with the forests and the trees was evolved in the shape of a lotus.
45O Brahmanas, listen to the detailed description of this lotus of the universe and its divisions in due order.
46The four famous great continents are stationed on the petals. The powerful Meru is stationed on the pericarp.
47-48Of its sides of different colours the eastern side is white; the southern is yellow; the western is black; and the northern is red. With variegated colours shining brightly, Meru is established like a king.
49It is as refulgent as the midday sun or the smokeless fire. It is eighty-four thousand Yojanas in height.
50Its depth below the surface of the earth is sixteen thousand Yojanas and at its base it extends also as much. It is situated like an arrow pointing to the east. Its diameter at the summit is thirty-two thousand Yojanas.
51Its girth all round is thrice its lateral extent. The spherical curvature is half of it. It lies in three angles.
52Its extent all round is forty thousand Yojanas. In the angular calculation, it will be eight thousand more.
53In the quadrangular calculation the girth is forty-eight thousand Yojanas.
54That mountain is extremely rich in divine medicinal herbs. It is encircled by auspicious golden worlds.
55All the groups of Devas, Gandharvas, Uragas, Rakshasas and splendid Apsaras, are seen on that lordly mountain.
56That Meru, the purifier of living beings, is encircled by worlds. Four lands are established on its different sides.
57They are Bhadrasva (to the east), Bharata (in the south), Ketumala in the west, and the Kurus in the north. They (Kurus) are the resorts of those who perform pious deeds.
58The pericarp of that lotus is spherical all round extending to ninety-six thousand Yojanas. The internal measurement is eighty-four thousand Yojanas.
59Its filaments extend to three hundred thousand Yojanas in all directions.
60It has four petals to the four quarters, a hundred thousand Yojanas in length and eighty thousand in width.
61Listen attentively to the description of what I had called before the pericarp and know it briefly.
62Atri thought it has a hundred angles or corners; sage Bhrigu, one thousand. According to Savarni; it is octangular, and a quadrangle according to Bhaguri.
63Varsayani opines that it is four-sided; Galava thinks it has the shape of a saucer; Gargya regards it as twisted braided hair; while Krostaki conjectures it to be spherical.
64Each of these sages knew only that side of this lordly mountain which was near him. Only Brahma knows the entire range.
65-66Know that Meru, the most excellent of mountains, is full of gems and jewels. It has various colours and lustres. It is golden and refulgent like Aruna. It is very attractive. It has a thousand knots and ridges, where water flows. It is like a lotus with a thousand petals.
67-70It is full of columns studded with gems and jewels. It has altars decorated with diverse jewels. Festoons of corals and golden pieces adorn it. On festival occasions hundreds of glorious heaven-dwellers moving about on aerial chariots, illuminate all its sides with their lustre. The abodes for Devas are laid in thousands of its beautiful ridges. The four-faced lord of Devas, Brahma, the most excellent among those who know Brahman and the leader of heaven-dwellers, occupies its upper surface.
71-72The various quarters set up on the mountain contain thousands of great Devas capable of bestowing desired fruits. They have occupied the great regions there. Here is a glorious assembly-hall of Brahma, resorted to by several Brahmanical sages. It is known as Manovati in all the worlds.
73The great aerial chariot of lord Isana, having the brilliance of a thousand suns, is there proclaiming its own glory.
74Devas and sages (stay there) near Brahma. The mass of splendour (god Brahma?) is glorified there. I shall describe it to you now.
75The glorious lord of riches, the thousand-eyed Indra, stays here honoured by Devas and the celestial sages of great Yogic prowess.
76Here alone is the region of lord Indra, the great monarch, the lord of the worlds. It is as refulgent as the sun. It is bowed to by all Siddhas.
77Here is the region of Indra endowed with the highest prosperity of the world. It is brightened by the excellent immortal Devas and is ever resorted to by them.
78-80In the second inner ridge, in the intermediate point between the east and the south, is the famous splendid assembly hall that shines like fire. It is very beautiful and lustrous, inlaid with metals of diverse colours. The ground is paved with various gems. It has several pillars made of gold and rising high. There are many gem-studded platforms, secret and hidden excellent apartments on either side. This famous spacious aerial chariot is refulgent and fire-like.
81-82That alone is the great assembly-hall of the Fire god. It is called Tejovati. The Fire-god Vibhavasu, the most excellent (among Devas) and the mouth of all celestial deities, endowed with thousands of leaping flames, is eulogised by Devas and sages, who perform Homas too.
83-84The Fire-god is the intermediary and a distinguished deity of Brahmanas. Though he is indivisible, his splendour is shared by all. He, the lord of splendour, assumes various forms. His diversity both as the cause and effect is perceptible through concentrated mind.
85That Fire-god is respectfully bowed to by noble Siddhas, blessed sages, knowers of the world and worldly affairs and those who assimilate his prowess and exploits.
86In the third inner ridge is a great assembly-hall of Vaivasvata (god of death). It is known as Susamyama.
87In the fourth inner ridge is the great assembly-hall of the intelligent lord Nairytya of squint-eyes. The hall is named Krshnangana.
88Similarly in the fifth inner ridge there is a great assembly hall of Varuna, lord of waters and son of the sun. This hall is named Subhavati.
89In the northern quarter beyond that, in the sixth inner ridge, there is the great assembly-hall of Vayu. It excels all in good qualities. It is called Gandhavati.
90In the seventh inner ridge, there is the assembly-hall of the Moon, lord of the stars. It has raised platforms and altars of brilliant lapis lazuli. This hall is called Mahodaya.
91So also in the eighth inner ridge there is a great assembly-hall of Isana. It is named Yasovati. It has the lustre of the molten gold.
92These splendid assembly-halls are situated in the eight quarters. They belong to the eight chief Devas, Indra and others.
93They are resorted to by the sages, Devas, Gandharvas, Apsaras-s and serpents, who come for worship.
94-96What is known and called by the synonyms of heaven, viz. Nakaprstha, Diva and Svarga, by those who know the Vedas and their ancillaries is this. It is here where Devas live. It is so said in the Vedas. One attains this Devaloka by various observances, restraints, sacrifices or different sorts of meritorious deeds. It is called Svarga also.