The Agni Purana
by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596
This page describes Cosmographical account (bhuvana-kosha) which is chapter 108 of the English translation of the Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas dealing with all topics concerning ancient Indian culture, tradition and sciences. Containing roughly 15,000 Sanskrit metrical verses, subjects contained in the Agni-Purana include cosmology, philosophy, architecture, iconography, economics, diplomacy, pilgrimage guides, ancient geography, gemology, ayurveda, etc.
Chapter 108 - Cosmographical account (bhuvana-koṣa)
1. The seven continents are Jambū, Plakṣa, Śālmali, Kuśa, Krauñca, Śāka and Puṣkara.
2. These continents are surrounded by seven oceans namely, Lavaṇa (salt), Ikṣu (sugarcane juice), Surā (nectar), Sarpiṣ [=Sarpis?] (clarified butter), Dadhi (curd), Dugdha (milk) and Jala (water) of even proportions.
3. The Jambūdvīpa (continent of Jambū) is situated at the centre of continents. The Meru mountain which is the kind of sixteen mountains towers majestically extending to eighty-four (yojanas).
4. The mountain rises to thirty-two thousand (yojanas) above (the earth) and spreads to sixteen thousand (yojanas) under the earth. Its peaks are in the shape of a pericarp of a lotus.
5. Himavān, Hemakūṭa and Niṣadha are in the southern part. Nīla, Śveta and Śṛṅgī are the varṣaparvatas (boundary mountains) in the northern part.
6. Two of the above (mountains) extend to two lakhs (yojanas)at their middle, while the others are ten thousand (yojanas) less. Their altitude is two thousand yojanas and they have an equal breadth at the base.
7. O Twice-born one! Bhārata is the first mountain. Kimpuruṣa is known as the next one. Harivarṣa is the next one to the south of Meru.
8. Ramyaka, Hiraṇyaka and Uttara Kuru are in the north just as the Bhārata (in the south).
9. O Excellent sage! Each one of them is nine thousand (yojanas) in their extent. Ilāvṛta is at the middle. Meru rises up from the centre with its golden peak.
10. O Fortunate one! Ilāvṛta spreads to nine thousand (yojanas) all around Meru. There are four mountains here.
11. They are beams of support for the Meru, each one extending to one lakh (yojanas). (Among these) the Mandara (mountain) is in the east and the Gandhamādana is in the south.
12-13. The Vipula (mountain) is in the west and the Supārśva (mountain) is in the north. The Kadamba, Jambū, Pippala and Vaṭa are the trees in these extending to eleven hundred (yojanas) (serving as) their banners. Jambūdvīpa gets its appellation on account of the Jambū fruit of the size of an elephant.
14. The waters of the river Jambū deposit the golden ores. The Supārśva (mountain lies) on the east of Meru and the Ketumāla (mountain) on the west.
15. The forest of Caitraratha (lies) on the east, Gandhamādana on the south, Vaibhrāja on the west and Nandana on the north. (I shall describe) the lakes herein.
16. (They are) Aruṇoda, Mahābhadra, Śītoda, Mānasa, Sitāmbha, Cakra and Muñja. The mountains known as Keśarācala are in the east.
17-18. The mountains (called) Trikūṭa (group) lie on the south. The Śikhivāsa (group) (lie) on the west. The Śaṅkhakūṭa (group) lie on the north. The abode of lord Brahmā is on the Meru (mountain) extending to fourteen thousand yojanas above. (The abodes) of Indra and other guardian deities are around the abode of Brahmā.
19. The river Sītā, after falling from the feet of (lord) Viṣṇu, washes the lunar region and falls from heavens on the east (on the Bhadrāśva mountain). It falls from Bhadrāśva on the hills below successively and reaches the ocean.
20-21. Similarly, (the river) Alakanandā flows in Bhārata through the south and reaches the ocean after dividing itself into seven branches.
(The river) Cakṣu reaches the ocean on the west. So also (the river) Bhadrā (passes through) the Uttara Kuru (country) and reaches the northern ocean. (The mountains) Mālyavat and Gandhamādana extend upto the Nīla and Niṣadha (mountains in the north and south respectively).
22-27. The Meru (mountain) lies in between them in the shape of a lotus. (The countries) Bhārata, Ketumāla, Bhadrāśva, and Kurus situated outside these boundary mountains are the petals of this lotus of the world. The two boundary mountains Jaṭhara and Devakūṭa extend upto the Nīla and Niṣadha mountains on the north and south. The Gandhamādana and Kailāsa (mountains) spreading in the east and west to eighty yojanas lie in the ocean. The two boundary mountains Niṣadha and Pāriyātra are situated on the west as in the east. (Similarly), the boundary mountains Jaṭhara and others (are situated) around Meru in four directions.
28. O Excellent sage! Abodes of (goddess) Lakṣmī, (lords) Viṣṇu, Agni and Sūrya and other gods are situated in the caves in the mountains Keśara and others.
29-30. They are the abodes of gods on the earth. Sinners do not go there. Lord Viṣṇu resides in Bhadrāśva as Hayagrīva, in Ketumāla as Varāha, in Bhārata in the form of Kūrma (tortoise) and in Kurus in the form of Matsya (fish). Lord Hari is worshipped everywhere in his universal form.
31. In the eight countries Kimpuruṣa and others, there is. no (misery such as) hunger, fear, grief and others. The twenty-four thousand inhabitants live without diseases.
32. There is no imaginary division of time such as the Kṛta (yuga) etc., the division of worlds, waters and clouds. There are seven principal mountains in each one of these countries.
33. Hundreds of rivers rise from them giving rise to sacred waters. I shall describe the sacred spots situated in Bhārata.