Formation of Madhyaloka
It has a broad and long Rajju. Mountain Meru is at the centre of the middle world. The continent Jambudwipa surrounds it in the form of a circle; its diameter is 1, 00,000 Yojnas. A ring-formed ocean surrounds the Jambudwipa, the ocean of salt (Lavanoda), its diameter being 2, 00,000 Yojnas. The continent Dhataki-khanda joins them, again in the form of a ring; its diameter is 4, 00,000 Yojnas. Dhataki-khanda is again bordered by a circular ocean, this again by a circular continent, and thus follow countless continents and oceans one after the other, finally up to Swayambhuramana-continent and Swayambhuramana-ocean which washes around the whole middle world.
Continents of Madhyaloka
The continents of the middle-world have their names from their characteristic mark which are peculiar to them, like the trees which grow on them, etc. The oceans are named after the liquids which their water resembles, although it surpasses them by its outstanding quality.
The Jambu Continent has many rivers. It has six mountain ranges of different colours crossing the Jambu Continent from east to west. Of all the continents, Jambudwipa is the most significant and it is described in detail by Jains, firstly because it is in the centre of the whole world, and secondly because it is believed that India and the whole earth exists on it.
Classification of Jambu Continent
The Jambu Continent is divided into seven regions or countries. The seven regions are: Bharata, Airavata, Hemavata, Hairanyavata, Hari, Ramyaka and Videha. Each region is presided over by a deity named after the region itself. Bharat is in the south and Airavata is in the north, both of similar size and constituents.
1. Bharata Varsa: Bharata Varsa is a Karma Bhumi, i.e., a land in which human beings have to work and in which all sorts of Karmas can be bound. The periodical change of 6 eras takes place in it.
2. Hemavata Varsa: The zone Hemavata Varsa lies to the north of Himavan Mountain; it is four times bigger than Bharata Varsa. Hemavata Varsa is a Bhogabhumi, i.e. a land in which human beings live only the life of pleasure and live on the fruits of the wonderful "wishing tree", because the Susama-Dusama era prevails here forever.
3. Hari Varsa: Hari Varsa lies on the northern side of Haimavata Varsa. It is separated by Mahahhnavan Mountain. It is four times broader than the former. The conditions of life here are better than in Hemavata, because Susama era prevails here forever.
4. Videha Varsa: The Nisadha mountain separates Hari Varsa from Videha Varsa. It is the largest of all zones. Meru (Mandara) lies in the centre of Videha, and to some extent, it is the centre and the navel of the whole Jambudvipa. The mountain has a shape of a truncated cone which is ascending in three ledges; the first ledge consisting of stones, the second of silver, and crystals and the third of gold. The two main rivers Sita and Silod flow at the foot of Meru.
The land of Devakurus lies in the south of Meru between the mountains Saumanasa and Vidyutprabha; the land of Uttarakurus to the north of Meru between the land of Uttarakurus to the north of Meru between the Mountain Gandhamadana and Malyavan. These two regions are the most fortunate on the whole Jambudwipa, because the conditions of Susama-Susama period are permanent.
The land Purva Videha lies to the east of Meru, and Apara Videha to the west. Each one of these is divided into several provinces and is rich in mountains, rivers and cities whose names are given by Jains in all details. The general condition in both the Videsh resembles those in the human world.
5. Tamyaka Varsa: The zone Tamyaka Varsa, bordered by Nila Mountain, comes after Videha Varsa. It is an exact counterpart of Hari Varsa. Its middle-mountain is called Gandhapati; its main rivers are Narakanta and Nari.
6. Hairanyavata Varsa: Hairanyavata Varsa which is separated by Rukmi Mountain from Ramyaka Varsa is exactly like Hemavata. The name of its mountain is Malyavan; its rivers are called Svarnkula and Rupyakula.
7. Airavata Varsa: Finally Airavata Varsa, the northern-most zone of Jambudwipa. This is separated from Hairanyavata by Sikhar Mountain which is completely like Bharata Varsa. Its mountain is Vijayardha; its rivers Rakta and Raktoda.
The Dhataki continent washed by Lavanoda from the other side is described in the same manner as Jambudwipa. So also Kaloda-ocean with its black and tasty water like the Salt-ocean. Only its dimensions are double. Thus Dhataki-khanda has 12 big mountains, 14 zones etc.
Puskara continent surrounded by Black Ocean is divided into two equal rings by Manusottara Mountain which spreads across its whole centre. Human beings live nowhere beyond Manusottara only the Goddesses' live there. The heavenly bodies do not move here, but remain always at the same place.
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