In the previous episode, we had continued witnessing details on how Mother Earth is classified and some interesting facts pertaining to a commonly chanted “Sankalpa-Mantra”. We’ve seen the significance of Jamboodveepa, Bhaarata-Varsha and Bharata-Kanda. This gives us some intriguing information on how continents and landmasses co-existed with the ocean comprised of saltwater. Thus, the landmass along with the oceans together constitute the Jamboodveepa, wherein we live. Of course, owing to innumerable geographical changes, we see today that certain land plates have drifted away from a huge landmass to form separate continents like that of present-day Australia, New Zealand, African plate getting separated from the bigger Asian plate, etc. All these changes took place over thousands and thousands of years and is still undergoing changes too. Maybe within the next thousand years we would again witness a major change in our geographical map! 😊
So far thus, we’ve witnessed only one “Dveepa” where we live. This as we know by now, is called “Jamboodveepa”. But is it the only “Dveepa” that the Sanaathana Dharma talks about? “No”! There are six other “Dveepas” that co-exist along with this Jamboodveepa! What are they? Sage Sukhaachaarya lists them out thus:
“Thadh ratha charana nemikrita parikaataaste sapta sandhava!
Jambu Plaksha Shaalmali Kusha Krauncha Shaakha Pushkara sanyaasteshaam!!”
So here we go! The other “Dveepas” that Sage Sukhaachaarya talks about are, Plaksha Dveepa, Shaamali Dveepa, Kusha Dveepa, Krauncha Dveepa, Shaakha Dveepa and Pushkara Dveepa. Apart from this, there are six sets of oceans that exist as part of the six other Dveepas, namely “Shaarodha”, “Ikshudasodha”, “Surodha”, “Dhrutodha”, “Ksheerodha”, Dadhi-mandodha”. We’ve already witnessed that the Jambudveepa is surrounded by the ocean of salted water. The second one, namely the Plaksha Dveepa is surrounded by an ocean comprising of sugarcane juice! The third Dveepa, Shaalmali is surrounded by the ocean of alcohol! Fourth one, Kusha Dveepa is surrounded by the ocean of ghee (Refined form of butter). The fifth one, Krauncha Dveepa is surrounded by the ocean comprising of milk! Sixth one, Shaaka Dveepa is surrounded by the ocean of curd (Another form of milk – commonly known as yogurt). Finally the seventh one, the Pushkara Dveepa is surrounded by the ocean of pure water!
Now having said thus, we might wonder what would be the distance of all these “Dveepas”, isn’t it? So here’s an answer for this question from Sage Sukhaachaarya! He says that the Jambudveepa on which we live, is measured to an area of 1 Lakh Yojanas! (It should be understood by readers that “Yojana” is an ancient form of measurement, which is non-existent today. However, scientific evidences have come to a conclusion that 1 Yojana can be equated to around 13.2 kilometers as per the modern-day measurement standards). The next Dveepa, which is the Plaksha Dveepa is almost double the size of the JambuDveepa, which measures to around 2 Lakh Yojanas. Similarly, the following five Dveepas are all double the size of each of them! In other words, the last Dveepa, which is the Pushkara Dveepa has an area of 64 Lakh Yojanas!
We might see a contradiction here – In today’s scenario if we fly from one end of the world to the other, it hardly comes to around 33,000 to 34,000 kilometers. However, Sage Sukhaachaarya talks of a mammoth size of the Jambudveepa to be close to 13 Lakh kilometers. Perhaps, the world was that big during the time of creation and gradually has it shrunk in size to what we have today? This is one point that can be taken up for further in-depth research and if any of our readers are interested, you’re welcome to share your thoughts on this!
Moving on thus with the story part, this Aagneethra whom we’re currently talking about, had nine sons. Thus, Aagneethra splits this Jambudveepa into nine different parts. This classification is what is termed as “Varsha”, which we touched upon in brief in yesterday’s episode. The “Bhaarata Varsha” which we are part of, comes as part of this classification. So for today, let us understand upto this point. We shall discuss on this sub-classification and many more in the next episode! Stay tuned! 😊