by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222
This page describes the Story of Bharata included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).
The Bhāratavarṣa was constituted of nine islands at that time in the following positions: In the centre was Ilāvṛta and to the east was Bhadravarṣa. To the south-east was Hiraṇyaka and to the south was Bhārata. To the southwest was Hari and to the west was Ketumāla. To the north-west was cambaka and to the north was Kuruvarṣa. Beautiful Kiṃpuruṣa varṣa stood to the north-east of Ilāvṛta. There was neither the passage of time nor the fear of ageing or death in any of these continents excepting Bhāratavarṣa.
This Bhāratavarṣa itself is a group of nine islands each separated from the other by oceans and thus made not easily accessible between each other. Indradvīpa, Kaśerumān, Tāmraparṇa, Gabhastimān, Nāgadvīpa, Kaṭāha, Siṃhala and Vāruṇa are the eight others and the ninth is this island of Bhāratavarṣa. This island is called Kumāra also. On the eastern boundary of this island live Kirātas, on the western side, Yavanas, on the southern boundary Āndhras and on the north Turuṣkas. In the Centre live the Brāhmins, Kṣatriyas, Vaiśyas and Śūdras. The eight sacred mountains of this place are Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, Śuktimān, Ṛkṣaparvata, Vindhya and Pāriyātra. There are several other mountains also in Madhyapradeśa. They are: Kolāhala, Vaibhrāja, Mandara, Durddhara, Vātadhūma, Vaidyuta, Maināka, Sarasa, Tuṅgaprastha, Nāgagiri, Govardhana, Ujjayanta, Puṣpagiri, Arbuda, Raivataka, Ṛṣyamūka, Gomanta, Citrakūṭa, Kṛtasmara, Śrīparvata and Koṅkaṇa. This place is inhabited by Āryas and Mlecchas. The rivers which they use for drinking water are the following:
Sarasvatī, Pañcarūpā, Kālindī, Hiraṇvatī, Śatadru, Candrikā, Nīla, Vitastā, Irāvatī, Kuhū, Madhurā, Hārarāvi, Uśīrā, Dhātakī, Rasā, Gomatī, Dhūtapāpā, Bahudā, Dṛṣadvatī, Nisvarā, Gaṇḍakī, Citrā, Kauśikī, Vadhūsara, Sarayū and Lohitya. All these rivers originate from the base of Himavān. Those originating from Pāriyātra are: Vedaśmṛti, Vedasvanī, Vṛtraghnī, Sindhu, Parṇāśā, Nandinī, Pāvanī, Mahī, Śarā, Carmmaṇvatī, Lūpi, Vidiśā, Veṇumatī, Citrā and Oghavatī. Those flowing down from the Ṛkṣaparvata are: Śoṇa alias Mahānada, Narmadā, Surasā, Kriyā, Mandākinī, Daśārṇa, Citrakūṭā, Devikā, Citrotpalā, Tamasā, Karatoyā, Piśācikā, Pippalaśreṇī, Vipāśā, Vañjjulāvatī, Satsantajā, Śuktimatī, Cakriṇī, Tridivā, Vasu, Valguvāhinī. From the base of Vindhya flow down the following rivers: Śivā, Payoṣṇī, Nirvindhyā, Tāpī, Veṇā, Niṣadhāvatī, Vaitaraṇī, Sinībāhu, Kumudvatī, Toyā, Revā, Mahāgaurī, Durggyā and Antaśśivā. Those originating from the base of Sahya are the following great rivers: Godāvarī, Bhīmarathī, Kṛṣṇā, Veṇyā, Saridvatī, Viṣamādrī, Suprayogā, Vāhyā, Kāverī, Dugdhodā, Nalinī, Vārisenā, and Kalasvanā. Those arising from Śuktimān are the following: Kṛtamālā, Tāmravarṇī, Vañjjulā, Utpalāvatī, Śunī and Sudāmā. All these rivers are very sacred and are considered to be absolvers of sins, mothers of the universe and wives of oceans. There are bad rivers also besides these.
The Madhyapradeśa comprises the following states: Matsya, Kuśūdra, Kuṇḍala, Pāñcāla, Kosala, Vṛka, Śaka, Barbara, Kaurava, Kaliṅga, Vaṅga, Aṅga and Marmaka. The states lying to the north are the following: Ābhīra, Śāṭhyadhānaka, Bāhlīka, Vātadhāna, Abhīra, Kālatoyada, Aparānta, Śūdra, Pahlava, Kheṭaka, Gāndhāra, Yavana, Sindhu, Sauvīra, Bhadraka, Śātadrava, Lalittha, Pārāvata, Mūṣika, Māṭhara, Urukadhāra, Kekaya, Daṃśana, Kāmboja, Darada, Aṅga, Lokika, Veṇa, Tuṣāra, Bāhya, Todara, Ātreya, Bhāradvāja, Prasthala, Daśeraka, Lambaka, Tāvakārāma, Cūdika, Taṃgaṇa, Alasa, Ālibhadra, Kirāta, Tāmasa, Haṃsamārga, Supārśva, Gaṇaka, Kūlūta, Kurhika, Cūrṇa, Ūrṇapāda, Kukkuṭa, Māṇḍavya and Pāṇavīya. Those lying to the east are the following:
Aṅga, Vaṅga, Madgurava, Antarggiri, Bahirggiri, Pravaṃga, Vāṃgeya, Māṃsāda, Baladantika, Brahmottara, Prāvijaya, Bhārgava, Āṅgeya, Marṣaka, Prāgjyotiṣa, Vṛṣaddhra, Videha, Malla, Tāmraliptaka, Magadha and Ānanda. The states lying to the south are the following: Puṇḍra, Kerala, Cola, Kulya, Jānuka, Mūṣikāda, Kumārāda, Mahāśaka, Mahārāstra, Māhiṣika, Kaliṅga, Ādīra, Vaiśikya, Āraṇya, Śabara, Pulinda, Vindhyaśaileya, Vidarbha, Daṇḍaka, Paurika, Sārika, Aśmaka, Bhogavardhana, Naimika, Kuntala, Āndhra, Udbhida and Nalakāraka. The western states are: Śūrppāraka, Vāridhāna, Durga, Cālīkaṭa, Pulīya, Sunīla, Tāmasa, Tāpasa, Kāraskara, Bhūmi, Nāsikānta, Sunarmmada, Dārukaccha, Sumāheya, Sārasvata, Vātsiya, Surāṣṭra, Āvantya and Ārbuda. The follwoing states lie adjacent to Vindhya: Kārūsa, Ekalavya, Mekala, Utkala, Uttamarṇa, Daśārṇa, Gopta, Kikarava, Tosala, Kosala, Traipura, Khelliśa, Turaga, Tuṃbara, Vahela, Niṣadha, Anūpa, Tuṇḍikera, Vītihotra and Avanti.
There are a few more states which lie attached to mountains: Nirāhāra, Haṃsamārga, Kupatha, Taṃgaṇa, Khaśa, Kaṭha, Prāvaraṇa, Ūrṇa, Āplaṣṭa, Suhūhuka, Trigartta, Kirāta, Tomara, Saśikha and Adrika. (Chapter 13, Vāmana Purāṇa).
(See the map of Paurāṇika Bhārata).