The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes shalmalika, kraunca, kusha and pushkara dvipas and their mountains which is chapter 9 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the ninth chapter of the Svarga-khanda (section on the heavens) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 9 - Śālmalika, Krauñca, Kuśa and Puṣkara Dvīpas and Their Mountains

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1. O illustrious ones, now listen to the account of the northern islands from me who am telling it.

2. There is an ocean having the water of clarified butter; another has the water of curds; then there is an ocean having the water of wine; and one more is an ocean of milk.

3. O best brāhmaṇas, these islands have double the size of one another (as they proceed northwards). O highly intelligent ones, there are also mountains surrounded by oceans.

4-6. In the middle island there is a large mountain (made of) minerals. In the western island there is the mountain Kṛṣṇa, that is the friend (i.e. favourite) of Nārāyaṇa, O brāhmaṇas. There Viṣṇu himself guards divine gems; and there, being pleased, he bestows happiness on creatures. In the centre of the country in the Śaradvīpa there is a cl[?]mp of Kuśa (grass); O brāhmaṇas, the Śālmali (tree) is worshipped in the Śālmalika island.

7-9a. O best brāhmaṇas, on the Krauñca island is the Mahākrauñca mountain, which is a mine of heaps of gems. It is always adored by all the four castes. O brāhmaṇas, then there is the Gomanta mountain full of all minerals, where the glorious, lotus-eyed (Viṣṇu) always lives. The lord Nārāyaṇa, (also called) Hari is always in the company of those who have secured salvation.

9b-11. O best brāhmaṇas, in Kuśadvīpa is the mountain Sunāma (literally, of a good name) which is full of corals and is inaccessible. Another mountain, the golden mountain, is Dyutimān, O best of brāhmaṇas. The third is Kumuda mountain. The fourth mountain is called Puṣpavān, the fifth one is Kuśeśaya. The sixth is Harigiri. These six are the chief mountains.

12-14a. The distance between each of them becomes double (as we proceed from one to another). The first country is Audbhida; the second in Reṇumaṇdala; the third one is Suratha, and the fourth one is known as Lambana. The fifth country is Dhṛtimat, and the sixth country is Prabhākara. The seventh country is Kapila. These seven are in a straight line.

14b-16. O brāhmaṇas, in these gods and gandharvas and (other) creatures are cheerful and sport and enjoy. No man dies in these (divisions). O brāhmaṇas, there are no thieves there, nor the Mleccha tribes. O best ones, the people there are almost white and delicate. O best brāhmaṇas, O very wise ones, I shall describe as I have heard about the remaining islands.

17-20a. O illustrious ones, in Krauñcadvīpa, there is a large mountain called Krauñca. Next to Krauñca is the (mountain) Vāmanaka; next to Vāmana (or Vāmanaka) is Andhakāraka; next to Andhakāra (or Andhakāraka) is the best mountain Maināka, O brāhmaṇas. Next to Maināka, O brāhmaṇas, is the best mountain Govinda. Beyond Govinda is the great mountain Puṇḍarīka. Next to Puṇḍarīka is said to be the (mountain called) Dundubhisvana. Towards the east the distance between any two of the mountains becomes double.

20b-24a. I shall tell you about the countries there. Listen to me who am describing them. The country of Krauñca (i.e. in which Krauñca is situated) is Kuśala; that of Vāmana is Manonuga; O ascetics, the country beyond Manonuga is Uṣṇa. Beyond Uṣṇa is Prāvaraka. Andhakāraka is next to Prāvara. Munideśa is said to be next to Adhakāraka country. Dundubhisvana is said to be next to Munideśa. It is crowded with siddhas and cāraṇas. The men there have almost a white complexion. These regions are said to be resorted to by gods and gandharvas.

24b-32a. In (the island of) Puṣkara there is a mountain called Puṣkara which is rich in gems and jewels. The lord of beings himself moves there. All gods and great sages always wait upon him. O best brāhmaṇas, they worship him with agreeable words. Various gems proceed uninterruptedly from Jambudvīpa. O best sages, due to celibacy, truthfulness and restraint of the brāhmaṇas the span of life and the quality of health of the people in those islands go on doubling (as one goes) on (towards the north). O best ones, I have described to you the countries in which only one religion exists. The lord, the creator himself, having raised the rod of punishment always protects these islands. O brāhmaṇas, he is the king, he is the final beatitude, he is the father and the grandfather. O best brāhmaṇas, he protects the creatures along with the brāhmaṇas and the wise. O glorious ones, the beings here daily eat the food that is ready and that itself approaches them.

32b-41. Beyond that a region called Samā (Or, beyond that a great mountain, the habitation of people) is seen. It is symmetrical and is round on all sides. O best brāhmaṇas, the four quarter-elephants, dear to the world and with their cheeks and mouths in rut, live there. O best sages, O brāhmaṇas, (they are:) Vāmana, Airāvata, Añjana and Supratīka. I do not venture to count their measure. The proportion—breadthwise, lengthwise and heightwise—is ever incalculable. There winds blow irregularly from all directions. O best sages, the elephants take them. They draw them with the very lustrous trunks resembling lotuses. Then they always again quickly let them out in a hundred ways. O best brahmaṇas, the winds (thus) let out by the breathing elephants come (down), and the creatures live (by them). I have described to you the world along with its creation as desired (by you). O best brāhmaṇas having heard this measure of the earth, which gives merit and is agreeable, a rich person gets emancipated, has his objects accomplished, and is liked by the good. His span of life, strength, glory and lustre increase. The (fore-)fathers and grandfathers of him, who, having taken a vow, listens to this when narrated on a parvan-day, are pleased.

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