In the previous episode, we had commenced a very important topic on the “Dveepas”, and how King Priyavrata split the world into seven different “Dveepas” – The “Jambu Dveepa”, “Plaksha Dveepa”, “Shaalmala-Dveepa”, “Kusha-Dveepa”, “Krauncha-Dveepa”, “Shaaka-Dveepa” and “Pushkara-Dveepa”. We’ve also subsequently seen the distance that each of these “Dveepas” cover. We’ve seen that the “Jambu-Dveepa” is at the center of everything and covers a distance of around one lakh “Yojanas”. (1 Yojana = 13.2 Kms or approximately 8 miles). Subsequently all the other Dveepas form concentric circles around the Jambu Dveepa with of course, the seven different oceans in the middle of each Dveepa. All of this together constitute the world in total, and this was what King Priyavrata was ruling.
Thus, in the center of this “Jambu-Dveepa” is a huge mountain called as the “Meru”. This “Meru” mountain is placed exactly at the center of this “Dveepa”, just like how a nail is hammered at the center of a wall. We use this analogy of a nail to describe the “Meru” mountain because of a unique feature that it has. Normally when we see a mountain, we would see that it has a broad base and it starts tapering and narrowing down as the height increases. However for the “Meru” mountain, it is just the opposite. The base of the mountain is very small like a nail, and as the height increases, the broadness would increase. This is quite opposite to what we see today, isn’t it? This is why I had described a nail as an analogy. Just as how a nail has a narrow base and broadens at the top, the Meru mountain has a narrow base and broadens as the height increases. Sage Paraashara describes the diameter details of the Meru mountain. He says that the base portion of the mountain has about 16,000 Yojanas in diameter and the top portion has about 32,000 Yojanas. This is where we can see that it is like a cone, cemented in the center of the “Jambu-Dveepa”. It is in the south of this great “Meru” mountain is where all of us are. We’re living in the center – “Jambu-Dveepa”. Just to make sure that this narrow-based “Meru-Mountain” doesn’t fall down on either sides, there are four more mountains that bear the weight of it in the four directions. This is how the entire world is held in balance by Bhagawan Vishnu. Each of these four mountains have several thousands of “Yojanas” in diameter and are extremely huge in size. Thus, we’ve to remember here that the Jambu-Dveepa is at the center of all the “Dveepas” and the oceans. It is in the center of this “Jambu-Dveepa” is the “Meru mountain”. Surrounding the “Meru mountain” are four other mountains that balance it to stand straight.
Thus, all whatever we’ve seen till now is all about the “Bhoomandala”. Above this “Bhoomandalam” we have the other six “Lokas” called “Bhuvar Lokha”, “Suvar Lokha”, “Maha Lokha”, “Jana Lokha”, “Tapah Lokha” and “Satya Lokha”. These are the six “Lokhas” that are present above the “Bhoomandala” or the “Bhoo Lokha”. Similarly, ,below the “Bhoo Lokha” are seven “Paathaala Lokhas” that go underground. Thus we can see here that the Bhoo-Lokha” is at the center, with seven “Paathaala Lokhas” underground and seven “Lokhas” above. Thus the entire distance that all the fourteen Lokhas put together would cover would come to around 50 crore Yojanas! This is the mammoth size of the world that we’re talking about here. If we compare this mammoth size with what we see at the center of the “Jambu-Dveepa”, we are just a miniscule part of this whole world put together.
Moving on with the narrative of Sage Paraashara thus, we’ve witnessed the King Priyavrata had gifted this “Jambu-Dveepa” to his eldest son, Aagneethra. Now this Aagneethra is going to split this “Jambu-Dveepa” into nine different parts. We’re now going to inch closer towards our “Bhaarata Desha”. We shall now see the split of this “Jambu-Dveepa”. Thus, the split is according to the number of sons Aagneethra had. He had nine sons, and hence the split was into nine. Under these nine divisions, the first division is referred to as the “Bhaarata Varsha”. From now on, each of these nine divisions would be titled as “Varshas”, as we’ve seen the first categorization of Priyavrata to be “Dveepas”. The eldest son of Priyavrata was named as Bharata, and it was to him that the first “Varsha” was handed over. This is why this Varsha obtained the name as “Bhaarata Varsha”. This Bharata had another name called “Naabi”. This Naabi’s generation is what we’re going to see a bit later on, wherein we’re going to witness the interesting story of Jada Bharata. All these for our later episodes, but for now, we’re seeing the emergence of the Bhaarata Varsha.
Now it is time for this Bhaarata Varsha to be split further to form the “Bharata-Kanda”. Now it is in this Bharata Kanda is our today’s Bhaarata Desha situated. This is why we chant in our “Sankalpa Mantra” as
“Jambu-Dveepe Bhaarata Varshe Bharata Kande Meroho Dakshine Paarshve Sakaapthe….”
Thus, to summarize for the benefit of our readers – The Bhoomandala, which comprises of the fourteen Lokhas – Seven above and seven below, the center of all is the Bhoomi, which is split into seven “Dveepas” and amongst which the center of it is the “Jambu-Dveepa”. In the center of this Jambu DDveepa is the Meru Mountain, and to the south of this Meru Mountain is the Bhaarata Varsha, and within this Bhaarata Varsha is the Bharata Kanda, and this is where our Bhaarata Desha (India) lies. So for today, let us get a thorough understanding of these important points and let us wait till the next episode to continue this accord further! Stay tuned! 🙂