by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222
This page describes the Story of Jambu-dvipa 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’).
One of the Purāṇically famous Saptadvīpas (seven continents). These seven continents are embankments separating the seven seas. Jambūdvīpa, Krauñcadvīpa, Śākadvīpa and Puṣkaradvīpa are included in the seven islands.
Jambūdvīpa has an area of one lakh of yojanas. The island is round like a lotus flower. There are eight long mountain ranges which divide the island into nine countries, which look like nine petals of the lotus flower. Each of these nine countries has an area of nine thousand yojanas. The two countries of the north and south extremities are bowshaped. Four of the remaining seven are longer than the rest. The central country is square. This country is known as llāvṛtta, at the centre of which there is the mountain Sumeru with a height of one lakh of yojanas. This is called Svarṇaparvata (The mountain of gold). The top of this mountain is a great flat place with an area of thirtythousand yojanas. This great plain is ten thousand yojanas above the ground level. On the northern part of Ilāvṛtta lie the three mountain ranges of Nīlagiri, Śvetagiri and Śṛṅgavān, and midway between them the three countries called Ramyaka, Hiraṇmaya and Kuru. On the southern part of llāvṛtta, there are the three mountains of Niṣadha, Hemakūṭa and Himālaya and three countries Harivarṣa, Kimpuruṣa and Bhārata. The mountain Mālyavān lies to the west and Gandhamādana to the east of llāvṛtta. There are two countries Ketumāla and Bhadrāśva having an area of two thousand yojanas each with the two mountains Nīla and Niṣadha as boundaries. At the foot of the mount Mahāmeru, there are the mountains of Mandara, Meru, Supārśvaka, Kumuda and many others. On those mountains big trees like ñāval (syzygium jambolanum) Mākanda (Mango tree) Kaṭambu (Naucka Candamba) banyan etc. grow in plenty. On the top of these mountains there are four lakes, full of milk, honey, juice of sugarcane and sweet water. The devas become prosperous by the touch of the water of these lakes. Besides these parks there are four heavenly parks known as Nandana, Caitraratha, Vaibhrāja and Sarvabhadraka. The women folk of the devas (gods) and Gandharvas (demi-gods) play in these parks, which are convenient for couples to carry on lustful play. A river is formed there, by the juice oozing from the fallen mango fruits. The river is purple coloured and is called Aruṇānadī (river Aruṇā). The goddess named Aruṇā lives here. The famous Jambū tree is in this Jambūdvīpa. (Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 8).