Arrangement of the World (Valleys and Lakes) ||37||
1Suta said: The valleys between Sitanta and Kumunja ranges are noisy with birds and resorted to by innumerable creatures.
2They are three hundred Yojanas in length and one hundred Yojanas in breadth. There is an excellent lake with sweet and pure water.
3The lake extends over the full length of the valley which is embellished with white lotuses of sweet fragrance and great red lotuses of hundreds and thousands of petals.
4Great and unapproachable snakes of huge bodies are found there. The auspicious water is used by Devas, Danavas and Gandharvas.
5The sacred lake called Srisaras is famous here and in heaven. It is filled with clear water. It is a worthy refuge for all embodied beings.
6In the middle of the vast expanse of lotuses there is a lotus which has a crore petal spread on all sides. It has the lustre of the midday sun.
7It is always open and full blown. It never withers. It is tremulous and circular. It has many charming filaments. It is resonant with the buzzing sound of inebriated bees.
8The goddess Lakshmi herself always abides in that lotus. Undoubtedly, the lotus is the abode of Lakshmi in an embodied form.
9On the eastern side of the lake resorted to by Siddhas, there is a charming Bilva forest which is full of flowers, and fruits.
10-12It is a hundred Yojanas in breadth and three hundred Yojanas in length. It is full of thousands of large trees with big trunks and extensive branches and tops half a Yojana in height. The ground is littered with sweet smelling fruits as sweet as nectar, as huge as war-drums, some golden, some green, some pale, some white in colour, all falling down and shattering themselves.
13It is known as Srivana. It is resorted to by Kinnaras, Yaksas and Mahanagas (big serpents).
14It is resorted to by Siddhas who subsist on Bilva fruits. Various groups of living beings (or goblins—Bhutas) always reside in it.
15The goddess Lakshmi herself dwells there perpetually. She is worshipped by (groups of) Siddhas.
16-17In the midst of the leading mountain Vikanka and Manisaila, there is an extensive Gampaka forest, one hundred Yojanas wide and two hundred Yojanas long. It is resorted to by Siddhas and Caranas surrounded by rich and glorious crop of flowers. It appears to be glowing as if it were on fire.
18That forest appears to be yellow with trees with huge trunks and branches blooming with flowers and tops spread about half a Krosa upwards.
19-20The flowers measure two Hastas (cubits) in girth and three Hastas in length. Their pale-yellow filaments contain pollen powder resembling red arsenic. They are always in bloom and sweet smelling. The forest shines with these flowers. It is resonant with the humming of inebriated bees.
21It is resorted to by Danavas, Devas, Gandharvas, Yaksas, Rakshasas, Kinnaras, Apsaras-s and big serpents.
22-23Here is also the hermitage of the holy Lord Kasyapa Prajapati, where Siddhas and Sadhyas are found in large numbers and is (as if) decorated with the sound of Vedic recitations. In the midst of the mountains Mahanila and Kumunja, on the banks of the great river Sukha, resorted to by Siddhas, there is a charming palm forest fifty Yojanas in length and thirty Yojanas in width, with the top reaching a height of half Krosa,
24The Kumuda and Anjana trees have great roots and are very strong. They cluster together without any interstices between them. They are firm, great and circular in shape. Their smell and juice are sweet. This forest is inhabited by Siddhas.
25It is the abode of the auspicious (type of elephants called Bhadrd) Airavata, the Lord of elephants of the great Indra. It is well known in all the worlds.
26-27To the north of the mountain Venuman and Sumedha, there is a big stretch of Durva grass, a thousand Yojanas long and a hundred Yojanas wide, devoid of trees, hedges, creepers, winding plants and all kinds of animals.
28-29Similarly, north of the mountains Nisadha and Deva, there is a big rocky piece of land, a thousand Yojanas long and a hundred Yojanas wide. The ground is devoid of trees and creepers although it is moistened with ankle deep water.
30Thus, in due order, O leading Brahmanas, are described the valleys between the mountains. They are to the east of Meru and are of various shapes and sizes.