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Canto LX - The description of the Earth (concluded)

Mārkaṇḍeya briefly describes the continents, Kimpuruṣa Hari-varṣa, Ilāvṛta, Ramyaka and Hiraṇ-maya, and their inhabitants.


Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

I will tell thee, O brāhman, what the continent Kimpuruṣa is; where men with real bodies live ten thousand years; where men and women are indeed free from sickness and free from sorrow, and there the fig-tree[1] is called ṣaṇḍa; it grows very high, it is like a grove.[2] Those men are always drinking the juice of its fruit; and the women are born with lasting youthfulness and are fragrant as the lotus.[3]

Next to Kimpuruṣa is mentioned Hari-varṣa. There mankind are born of the appearance of gold; they all descend there from the world of the gods, and are shaped like the gods in all respects. In Hari-varṣa all the men quaff fine sugar-cane juice; neither old age afflicts them there, nor do they suffer from decay at all; and they live in truth for the whole of their time free from sickness.

I have mentioned Ilāvṛta, which is in the middle, the continent of Meru. The sun does not burn there, nor do men suffer from decay; and they do not grasp at selfish gains.[4] The rays of tḥe moon and the sun, of the constellations and 9 planets there are the sublime lustre of Meru. Mankind are born there bright as the lotus flower, fragrant as the lotus flower; they feed on the juice of the jambu fruit; and their eyes are as wide as the lotus leaf. And their life there lasts for thirteen thousand years. There is a saucer-shaped expanse in the middle of Meru[5] in Ilāvṛta; therein is the great mountain Meru; thus is made known Ilāvṛta.

Next I will tell of the continent Ramyaka; hearken thereto. And there the green-leaved Indian fig-tree[6] is the lofty tree. And the people there pass their time drinking the juice of its fruit. There the men who eat its fruit live for ten thousand years; they are pre-eminent for sexual pleasures and are pure; they are free from old age and ill odours.

And north of that is the continent famed by name as Hiraṇ-maya; where the river Hiraṇ-vatī gleams with abundant lotuses. Mankind there are born with great strength, full of vigonr, with large bodies, eminently good, wealthy and benign of look.


Footnotes and references:






Utpala-gandhikāḥ ; this-word, neuter, also means a species of sandal of the colour of brass and very fragrant.


Labhante nātma-lābhañ ca; it seems impossible to take these words with raśmayaś candra-sūryayoḥ.


For meru-madhye read meru-madhya.


Nyag-rodha, Ficus indica.