Account of kings, divisions, mountains, rivers, and inhabitants of the other Dwipas, viz. Plaksha, salmala, Kusa, Krauncha, saka, and Pushkara: of the oceans separating them: of the tides: of the confines of the earth: the Lokaloka mountain. Extent of the whole.
IN the same manner as Jambu dwipa is girt round about by the ocean of salt water, so that ocean is surrounded by the insular continent of Plaksha; the extent of which is twice that of Jambu dwipa.
Medhatithi, who was made sovereign of Plaksha, had seven sons, santabhaya, sisira, Sukhodaya, ananda, siva, Kshemaka, and Dhruva; and the Dwipa was divided amongst them, and each division was named after the prince to whom it was subject. The several kingdoms were bounded by as many ranges of mountains, named severally Gomeda, Chandra, Narada, Dundubhi, Somaka, Sumanas, and Vaibhraja. In these mountains the sinless inhabitants ever dwell along with celestial spirits and gods: in them are many holy places; and the people there live for a long period, exempt from care and pain, and enjoying uninterrupted felicity. There are also, in the seven divisions of Plaksha, seven rivers, flowing to the sea, whose names alone are sufficient to take away sin: they are the Anutapta, sikhi, Vipasa, Tridiva, Kramu, Amrita, and Sukrita. These are the chief rivers and mountains of Plaksha dwipa, which I have enumerated to you; but there are thousands of others of inferior magnitude. The people who drink of the waters of those rivers are always contented and happy, and there is neither decrease nor increase amongst them 1, neither are the revolutions of the four ages known in these Varshas: the character of the time is there uniformly that of
the Treta (or silver) age. In the five Dwipas, worthy Brahman, from Plaksha to saka, the length of life is five thousand years, and religious merit is divided amongst the several castes and orders of the people. The castes are called aryaka, Kuru, Vivasa, and Bhavi, corresponding severally with Brahman, Kshetriya, Vaisya, and sudra. In this Dwipa is a large fig tree (F. religiosa), of similar size as the Jambu tree of Jambu dwipa; and this Dwipa is called Plaksha, after the name of the tree. Hari, who is all, and the creator of all, is worshipped in this continent in the form of Soma (the moon). Plaksha dwipa is surrounded, as by a disc, by the sea of molasses, of the same extent as the land. Such, Maitreya, is a brief description of Plaksha dwipa.
The hero Vapushmat was king of the next or salmala dwipa, whose seven sons also gave designations to seven Varshas, or divisions. Their names were sweta, Harita, Jimuta, Rohita, Vaidyuta, Manasa, and Suprabha. The Ikshu sea is encompassed by the continent of Salmala, which is twice its extent. There are seven principal mountain ranges, abounding in precious gems, and dividing the Varshas from each other; and there are also seven chief rivers. The mountains are called Kumuda, Unnata, Valahaka, Drona, fertile in medicinal herbs, Kanka, Mahisha, and Kakkudwat. The rivers are Yauni, Toya, Vitrishna, Chandra, sukla, Vimochani, and Nivritti; all whose waters cleanse away sins. The Brahmans, Kshetriyas, Vaisyas, and sudras of this Dwipa, called severally Kapilas, Arunas, Pitas, and Rohitas (or tawny, purple, yellow, and red), worship the imperishable soul of all things, Vishnu, in the form of Vayu (wind), with pious rites, and enjoy frequent association with the gods. A large salmali (silk cotton) tree grows in this Dwipa, and gives it its name. The Dwipa is surrounded by the Sura sea (sea of wine), of the same extent as itself.
The Sura sea is entirely encircled by Kusa dwipa, which is every way twice the size of the preceding continent. The king, Jyotishmat, had seven sons, Udbhida, Venuman, Swairatha, Lavana, Dhriti, Prabhakara, and Kapila, after whom the seven portions or Varshas of the island were called Udbhida, &c. There reside mankind along with Daityas and Danavas, as well as with spirits of heaven and gods. The four
castes, assiduously devoted to their respective duties, are termed Damis, sushmis, Snehas, and Mandehas, who, in order to be relieved of the obligations imposed upon them in the discharge of their several functions, worship Janarddana, in the form of Brahma, and thus get rid of the unpleasant duties which lead to temporal rewards. The seven principal mountains in this Dwipa are named Vidruma, Hemasaila, Dyutiman, Pushpavan, Kusesaya, Hari, and Mandara; and the seven rivers are Dhutapapa, siva, Pavitra, Sammati, Vidyudambha, Mahhvanya, Sarvapapahara: besides these, there are numerous rivers and mountains of less importance. Kusa dwipa is so named from a clump of Kusa grass Poa() growing there. It is surrounded by the Ghrita sea (the sea of butter), of the same size as the continent.
The sea of Ghrita is encompassed by Krauncha dwipa, which is twice as large as Kusa dwipa. The king of this Dwipa was Dyutiman, whose sons, and the seven Varshas named after them, were Kusala, Mallaga, Ushna, Pivara, Andhakaraka, Muni, and Dundubhi. The seven boundary mountains, pleasing to gods and celestial spirits, are Krauncha, Vamana, Andhakaraka, Devavrit, Pundarikavan, Dundubhi, and Mahasaila; each of which is in succession twice as lofty as the series that precedes it, in the same manner as each Dwipa is twice as extensive as the one before it. The inhabitants reside there without apprehension, associating with the bands of divinities. The Brahmans are called Pushkaras; the Kshetriyas, Pushkalas: the Vaisyas are termed Dhanyas; and the sudras, Tishyas. They drink of countless streams, of which the principal are denominated Gauri, Kumudwati, Sandhya, Ratri, Manojava, Kshanti, and Pundarika. The divine Vishnu, the protector of mankind, is worshipped there by the people, with holy rites, in the form of Rudra. Krauncha is surrounded by the sea of curds, of a similar extent; and that again is encompassed by saka dwipa.
The sons of Bhavya, the king of saka dwipa, after whom its Varshas were denominated, were Jalada, Kumara, Sukumara, Manichaka, Kusumoda, Maudaki, and Mahadruma. The seven mountains separating the countries were Udayagiri, Jaladhara, Raivataka, syama, ambikeya, Ramya, and Kesari. There grows a large Saka Teak() tree, frequented
by the Siddhas and Gandharbas, the wind from which, as produced by its fluttering leaves, diffuses delight. The sacred lands of this continent are peopled by the four castes. Its seven holy rivers, that wash away all sin, are the Sukumari, Kumari, Nalini, Dhenuka, Ikshu, Venuka, and Gabhasti. There are also hundreds and thousands of minor streams and mountains in this Dwipa: and the inhabitants of Jalada and the other divisions drink of those waters with pleasure, after they have returned to earth from Indra s heaven. In those seven districts there is no dereliction of virtue; there is no contention; there is no deviation from rectitude. The caste of Mriga is that of the Brahman; the Magadha, of the Kshetriya; the Manasa, of the Vaisya; and the Mandaga of the sudra: and by these Vishnu is devoutly worshipped as the sun, with appropriate ceremonies. saka dwipa is encircled by the sea of milk, as by an armlet, and the sea is of the same breadth as the continent which it embraces 2
The Kshiroda ocean (or sea of milk) is encompassed by the seventh Dwipa, or Pushkara, which is twice the size of Saka dwipa. Savana, who was made its sovereign, had but two sons, Mahavira and Dhataki, after whom the two Varshas of Pushkara were so named. These are divided by one mighty range of mountains, called Manasottara, which runs in a circular direction (forming an outer and an inner circle). This mountain is fifty thousand Yojanas in height, and as many in its breadth; dividing the Dwipa in the middle, as if with a bracelet, into two divisions, which are also of a circular form, like the mountain that separates them. Of these two, the Mahavira varsha is exterior to the circumference of Manasottara, and Dhataki lies within the circle; and both are frequented by heavenly spirits and gods. There are no other mountains in Pushkara, neither are there any rivers 3. Men in this Dwipa live a thousand years, free from sickness and sorrow, and unruffled by anger or affection.
[paragraph continues] There is neither virtue nor vice, killer nor slain: there is no jealousy, envy, fear, hatred, covetousness, nor any moral defect: neither is there truth or falsehood. Food is spontaneously produced there, and all the inhabitants feed upon viands of every flavour. Men there are indeed of the same nature with gods, and of the same form and habits. There is no distinction of caste or order; there are no fixed institutes; nor are rites performed for the sake of advantage. The three Vedas, the Puranas, ethics, and polity, and the laws of service, are unknown. Pushkara is in fact, in both its divisions, a terrestrial paradise, where time yields happiness to all its inhabitants, who are exempt from sickness and decay. A Nyagrodha tree Ficus( indica) grows on this Dwipa, which is the especial abode of Brahma, and he resides in it, adored by the gods and demons. Pushkara is surrounded by the sea of fresh water, which is of equal extent with the continent it invests 4.
In this manner the seven island continents are encompassed successively by the seven oceans, and each ocean and continent is respectively of twice the extent of that which precedes it. In all the oceans the water remains at all times the same in quantity, and never, increases or diminishes; but like the water in a caldron, which, in consequence of
its combination with heat, expands, so the waters of the ocean swell with the increase of the moon. The waters, although really neither more nor less, dilate or contract as the moon increases or wanes in the light and dark fortnights. The rise and fall of the waters of the different seas is five hundred and ten inches 5.
Beyond the sea of fresh water is a region of twice its extent, where the land is of gold, and where no living beings reside. Thence extends the Lokaloka mountain, which is ten thousand Yojanas in breadth, and as many in height; and beyond it perpetual darkness invests the mountain all around; which darkness is again encompassed by the shell of the egg 6.
Such, Maitreya, is the earth, which with its continents, mountains, oceans, and exterior shell, is fifty crores (five hundred millions) of
[paragraph continues] Yojanas in extent 7. It is the mother and nurse of all creatures, the foundation of all worlds, and the chief of the elements.