(Last Updated on : 27/02/2010)
Vishnu Purana has described the concept of earth and its contents. The text has explained all the features that are present in the earth. The earth consists of seven islands namely Jambu, Plaksha, Salmali, Kusa, Krauncha, Saku and Puskara and they are severally girt by seven great seas: the sea of salt water (Lavana), of sugar-cane juice (Ikshu), of wine (Sura) of clarified butter (Sarpi), of curds (Dadhi), of milk (Dugdha) and of fresh water (Jala).
Jambudwipa is situated in the centre of all these seas and in the centre of that island is situated the golden mount Meru, which is eighty-four thousand yojanas in height. On the South Sumeru are the mountains Himavaha, Hemakuta
and Nishadha and on its north are the Boundary Mountains namely Neela, Sweta and Sringhee. The two mountain ranges situated in the centre are a hundred thousand yojnas in extent. The mountains are two thousand yoyanas in height and breadth.
Vishnu Purana narrates that the first country on the south of Sumeru is Bharata, then Kimpurusha and then Harivarsha. It has been mentioned in the Purana that each of the country extends to around nine thousand yojnas. The golden mount Meru is situated in the centre, and the country Bharata extends nine thousand Yojonas in each direction from four sides of the mountain. In order to fortify Mount Meru four mountains were created as buttresses, each ten thousand Yojonas in elevation. The mountain that is situated towards the east is called Mandara
, the one on the north is called Gandhamadana, that on the west is called Vipula and the one on the south is called Suparswa.
According to the Purana on the mountain stand several Kadamba trees, Jambuv trees, Pippal trees and Vata trees. The trees were eleven thousand yojonas in height. In fact the trees stood as banners on the mountains. Jambu trees produce fruits and the island Jambudwip has been named after the Jambu tree. Vadraswa is situated on the east of Meru and Kettimala on the west. And in the middle of these two Varshas, is situated Ilabrita, on the east is the Chaitrarath forest on the south Jlandhamadana, on the west Baibhraju and on the north the forest called Nandana.
While discussing the concept of earth Vishnu Purana has stated that on the four sides of Meru there are four tanks the water of which is consumed by the celestials namely Aruunda, Mahabhadra
, Sitoda and Manasa
. There are some mountain ranges like the filaments from the root of the lotus on the east of Meru namely Sitanta, Mukunda, Kurari, Malyavau and Yaskauia.
The Purana narrates that there is a vast city, named after Lord Brahma
, extending for fourteen thousand Yojonas, and the city is celebrated in the region of the celestials. In various quarters there are situated various countries of Indra
and other deities. It has been said that Ganges falls from heaven into the city of Lord Brahma and falling there the river divides itself into four branches namely Ska, Alakakanda, Chakshu and Vadra.
Alakananda flows southwards to the country of Bharata and dividing herself into seven branches on the way, falls into the ocean. Chakshu crossing over all the western mountains and passing through the county of Ketumia also falls into the ocean. And Vadra traversing the northern mountains and passing, through the country of Uitarakuru, falls into the northern ocean.
Vishnu Purana in its description about the contents of the earth has said that Meru is situated between the mountains Nila and Nishada and between Malyavan and Gandhamadana. The countries of Bharata, Ketumia, Vadrashwa and Kuru, lying outside the mountains, are like petals of the lotus. Jathara and Devaknta are two mountainous ranges extending northward and southward and connecting the mountain Nila and Nishada. The two mountains Gandhamadana and Kailasha extend towards the east and west for eighty Yojonas.
Vishnu Purana has described that the valleys situated in the bosom of those mountains are frequented by Siddhas and Charanas and there are many picturesque cities and forests, containing the palaces of Lord Vishnu
, Goddess Lakshmi
, Lord Agni
, Lord Surya
and other deities.
The concept which is resonated in the Vishnu Purana is that Lord Vishnu, who is the lord of all and everything, resides everywhere in his universal form. The tool of the world is the supporter of all things.
Finally in conclusion it has been said that in the eight countries there is no grief, exhaustion, anxiety or hunger. All the subjects are devoid of fear freed from all inflictions and live for ten or twelve thousand years. Indra does not send rain there and people live upon the water of the earth and there is no distinction of Satya, Treta and other successive cycles. In each of these countries there are seven principal mountainous ranges from which hundreds of rivers have originated.