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Sailing to Jambudwipa

Tuesday, 22 December 2015 / Published in Articles / 5,139 views

By Mayesvara dasa

The Vedic Planetarium in Mayapur, West Bengal, India (presently well under construction as of December 2015), is an attempt to depict the map of the Universe according to the ancient Vedic literature, primarily the Fifth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam as translated and presented by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Canto 1, chapter 5, verse 11 of Srimad-Bhagavatam predicts that this literature will bring about a revolution in the impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization
(janatagha-viplavo). To this end, the Mayapur Vedic Planetarium, which is based on the Srimad Bhagavatam’s cosmography, is one of Srila Prabhupada’s main projects to counteract the prevailing materialistic world view of life and the cosmos.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam’s depiction of the universe,however, immediately creates a clash of world-views that most people may prefer to avoid, and that includes many of the followers of the Vedas who either don’t understand, or can’t conceptualize the Srimad-Bhagavatam’s depiction of Earth and its relation to the greater universe. We have all grown up with an image of Earth as a rotating ball in space, and we’re pretty happy with that. But how did we get that image and conception of a globe into our heads? Is the globe-shaped Earth an authentic image, and is the Earth truly a round planet rotating in space around the sun? Will it come to be, that one of the most earth-shattering events in our life is the discovery of the real nature of Earth itself? What will the Mayapur Vedic planetarium reveal? To quote from the Book of Revelations, a Christian book of prophecy:

And I saw a new heaven and a new Earth, for the first heaven and the first Earth were passed away (Rev 21.1)

Will the Mayapur Vedic Planetarium reveal a new looking Earth? Or will it look like the one that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) has been presenting ever since the first photographs of Earth taken in 1969, reputedly taken from outer space as the Apollo spacecraft made its way to the moon? This subject can be of interest to all of us; not only because we certainly ought to know the location and shape of the Earth that we live on, but also because the position and shape of the Earth has wider implications in regard to the world views we will adopt, created by either a materialistic or transcendental perspective. We have on our hands a clash of world-views that is truly mind-blowing. *Sailing to Jambudwipa; The Mayapur Vedic Planetarium and the Flat Earth According to Srimad Bhagavatam* can be found in the link below:


Only with yoga-siddhis can one sail to Jambudvipa

(this is a response by Nitai-Chandra dasa on the above article ‘Sailing to Jambudvipa’, a flat earth pasanda.)

Demigods and thus their realms are invisible, so scripture states.

Vedanta Sutra 2.1.25
devâdivaditi loke

deva-adi-vat – like devas and the rest; iti – thus; loke – in the world. [God, though invisible, is the creator of the world,] just as the devas, [although invisible,] are seen to work in the world.

COMMENTARY.(Govinda bhasya– Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana)
Devas like Indra and the rest are invisible, yet we see their activities, such as the production of rain, etc. in the world. Similarly, though God is not perceptible in the world, He is the unseen creator of it.
Another translation. (The Lord though invisible, is the creator of the world,) just as the gods too (though invisible, are seen to work) in the world. (i.e. to produce rain and so on)

Sri Madhvacarya’s anubhasya on this verse: 25. Like the gods and other (beings, i.e., spirits) and also as observed in the world, (Para-Brahman may act unperceived). (That He is) not given in our perception is not an argument against the existence of the Lord who is the real doer and the cause of the soul’s activity. For like the gods, etc., He is possessed of powers by which He does everything unperceived. Even in the world, similar powers of being invisible, etc., have been observed to be possessed by spirits too. Then it is no matter for wonder that the Supreme Lord possesses such powers. The Brihat Samhita says, “Scriptural statements should never be rejected by a course of reasoning. All reasoning is truly such, only when it is helpful in reconciling the conflicting statements. Otherwise it is no reasoning at all. Hence no difficulty arises as to the belief in God who is invisible.

Sri Ramanujacarya’s sribhasya: 25. And as in the case of the gods and so on, in (their) world.
As the gods and similar exalted beings create, each in his own world, whatever they require by their mere volition, so the Supreme Person creates by his mere volition the entire world. That the gods about whose powers we know from the Veda only (not through perception) are here quoted as supplying a proving instance, is done in order to facilitate the comprehension of the creative power of Brahman, which is also known through the Veda.

The gods abide in the highest Lordship, and not in what is wretched, in accordance with the scriptural text: ‘Evil, verily, does not approach the gods’ (Brhad Aranyaka Upanisad. 1.5.201).
(Vedanta-Sutra. 2. 4. 16. VEDANTA-KAUSTUBHA)
Thus, bhauma-svarga’s matter is not the matter of our earth planet.

Madhvacarya in his anubhasya on vedanta-sutra 2.4.23 quotes Brihat Samhita thus : ” Earthly bodies consist of earth by half; in the other half three parts are of water, and the remaining one part only is of fire; and let it be understood that this is the proportion in general. Further there is difference of proportion in every individual. In the body of the celestials one-half consists of fire.”
Our comment: One will not be able to see their form and abodes due to their effulgence, besides their being subtle and invisible for earthly eyes. The qualities – guna’s – of the material elements on the demigod level are on the average 100’s of times or at least 100 times better then the qualities of gross matter on the earth planet. This we know from the anandavalli of the Taittiriya Upanishad (2.8): “One endowed with human bliss, an emperor with the entire world under his domination, being eligible for the fruits of learning he becomes known as the controller. He may be said to be a young one, energized by Vishnu. The enjoyment of the heavenly beings (gandharva’s) is hundred-fold more. Hundred-fold of these super human (manusya-gandharva) bliss would be the divine (divya) gandharva bliss. Hundred-fold bliss of the divya-gandharva bliss would be the bliss of the ancestors – pitrs – in their long enduring worlds. Hundred-fold bliss of the ancestors in their long enduring worlds would be the bliss of those who are born as gods – ajanata-devatas -. Hundred-fold bliss of the bliss of those who are born as gods would be the bliss of those who are born as gods by performing actions – karma-devatas -. Hundred-fold bliss of the bliss of those who are born as gods by performing actions, would be the bliss of the administrative gods. Hundred-fold bliss of the bliss of these controlling gods would be the bliss of their headman, Indra. Hundred-fold bliss of the bliss of Indra, would be the bliss of Brihaspati. Hundred-fold bliss of the bliss of Brihaspati would be the bliss of Prajapati (Brahma). Hundred-fold bliss of the bliss of Prajapati, would be the bliss of Brahman.” (this is as a drop of the ocean of Krishna bliss, then the bliss of Para-Brahman is unlimited.)

In Vishnu Samhitâ, Chapter 19 we read:
(19) The Devas, are invisible deities and the Brâhmanas are visible deities.
(20) The Brâhmanas uphold the world.
(21) By the favour of the Brâhmanas, Devatâs reside in the Div (celestial region).

Some more quotes from the Bhaktivedanta vedabase:

SB 1.16.3
devā yatrākṣi-gocarāḥ

devāḥ—the demigods; yatra—wherein; akṣi—eyes; gocarāḥ—within the purview.

Mahārāja Parīkṣit, after having selected Kṛpācārya for guidance as his spiritual master, performed three horse sacrifices on the banks of the Ganges. These were executed with sufficient rewards for the attendants. And at these sacrifices, even the common man could see demigods.

Purport: It appears from this verse that interplanetary travel by the denizens of higher planets is easy. In many statements in Bhâgavatam, we have observed that the demigods from heaven used to visit this earth to attend sacrifices performed by influential kings and emperors. Herein also we find that during the time of the horse sacrifice ceremony of Mahârâja Parîksit, the demigods from other planets were visible even to the common man, due to the sacrificial ceremony. The demigods are not generally visible to common men, as the Lord is not visible. But as the Lord, by His causeless mercy, descends to be visible to the common man, similarly the demigods also become visible to the common man by their own grace. Although celestial beings are not visible to the naked eyes of the inhabitants of this earth, it was due to the influence of Mahârâja Parîksit that the demigods also agreed to be visible.”

“Prajâpati: In the early days of science, about three, four hundred years ago, Śrîla Prabhupâda, many of the early scientists were persecuted by the Church for their discoveries. So since that time, the scientists have declared war on religion, and they have been doing their best to try to disprove all religious things.
Prabhupâda: What they have discovered? These four hundred years, the scientists said that there is no God?
Prajâpati: No, they were… One scientist, Galileo, he was making all kinds of inquiries into saying that the earth is round and so many things, and the Church of that day, the rascal priests, they put him to death because he was saying things that were not in the scriptures. Since that time, especially the last hundred years, the scientists are…
Prabhupâda: No, the thing is that it is the government’s duty to see that nobody is rascal, either the scientist is rascal or the priest is rascal. There must be real understanding. That is government’s duty. Otherwise, if the priest says, “The scientist speaking against religion; therefore he should be hanged,” so that is not good government. Government must see that whether the scientist is speaking the truth. That sense must be there. Yes, world is round. That is fact. Goloka.
In Vedic literature it is Bhū-gola, jagad-aṇḍa. These words are there. We can see also it is round, jagad-aṇḍa. The universe is round. And Goloka, or Bhū-gola. Bhū-gola, the earth is round. So the Vedic literatures… Therefore their knowledge is also imperfect, because they do not refer to the Vedic literatures. It is already there. Bhū-gola. Bhū means the earth; gola means round. It is already there. And the geography’s called, according to Sanskrit, it is called Bhū-gola. Long, long ago, before Galileo. (Morning Walk, 9 December, 1973 Los Angeles)

“Prabhupâda: There is a control… Just like here, in this planet, when you go up, you see it is ball, but in this ball there are so many controlling deities here also. President Johnson, prime minister of India, this and that and so many things. But when you go up you see just like a ball. So when you come here you find… Similarly, from the distance of ninety millions of miles you can see the sun just like a ball, but it is not ball. It is a, it is a far, far greater than this planet, and there are cities and there men and there are persons and there are everything.” (Lecture Bg 2.12, 1966)

Srila Prabhupada in his translating always speaks of the planets as globes in space. The Bhumandala plane idea is advanced knowledge – it is the model or structure the demigods perceive, and which the TOVP displays – , which he didn’t present often. It is an invisible, non-gross reality. His Grace Sadaputa dasa writes: “The cosmology of the Fifth Canto was controversial during the period of the 1600’s, when Vamsidhara was active.” From the commentaries on the fifth canto Srimad Bhagavatam the Puranas and the books specifically on astronomy we see there were various statements and figures, since the figures of the Bhagavatam are for the model the devas see and the figures of surya siddhanta and siddhanta siromani is for humans. In the other puranas then Bhagavatam the perspectives are mixed.
In other words, it is a difficult subject. Vamsidhara is one of the commentators on the Srimad Bhagavatam. He wrote extensively on the cosmology of the Srimad Bhagavatam. And he solved the puzzles, as we have written in our
That acarya’s, or anyone other than the Lord can theoretically have occasional mistaken notions is admissible, see:
Commentary by Vijayadhvaja Tirtha SB 5.16.7: But how can the description that one lakh (100,000) yojanas is the extent of the island and the same is the height of Meru be clear in the light of the statement of ParâŚara that Meru is 84,000 yojanas tall? The reply is, “That cannot be known as “it is thus,” since it cannot be described in words, nor inferred or debated. Even highly learned people, although seeing it, do not know the nature and form of Meru.” This sums up the difficulty and also it is plausible that ParâŚara could have been mistaken. The mention that Indra saw it as circular while Brhaspati saw it as pentagonal also means that deities like Indra etc. also could be mistaken. It may well be questioned that, “Is it not preposterous to suppose that sages who see past, present and future can mistake things? How could ParâŚara having attained divine knowledge by the grace of the Lord, say untrue things?” But since it is established in the light of other authorities, the fact that anyone other than the Lord can theoretically have occasional mistaken notions is admissible.
We prefer to state that this is Krishna’s lila as we have explained in

Here, for example a sloka where the word globe is mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

SB 3.23.43. p.

prekṣayitvā bhuvo golaṃ
patnyai yāvān sva-saṃsthayā
bahv-āścaryaṃ mahā-yogī
svāśramāya nyavartata

prekṣayitvā—after showing; bhuvaḥ—of the universe; golam—the globe; patnyai—to his wife; yāvān—as much; sva-saṃsthayā—with its arrangements; bahu-āścaryam—full of many wonders; mahā-yogī—the great yogī (Kardama); sva-āśramāya—to his own hermitage; nyavartata—returned.

After showing his wife the globe of the universe and its different arrangements, full of many wonders, the great yogî Kardama Muni returned to his own hermitage.

PURPORT: All the planets are here described as gola, round. Every planet is round, and each planet is a different shelter, just like islands in the great ocean.

Here the Bhagavatam descriptions on the horizontal (taking the sun’s course as the parallel) bhumandala’s bhauma-svarga: (we will
sometimes add our commentary).

5.16.13-14 ||
On these four mountains are four huge lakes, filled with milk, honey, sugarcane juice, and pure water respectively. The celestial beings such as the Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Gandharvas who use those waters naturally possess perfections of mystic yoga. There are also four celestial gardens named Nandana, Caitraratha, Vaibhrājaka and Sarvatobhadra.
Another translation. Between these four mountains are four huge lakes. The water of the first tastes just like milk; the water of the second, like honey; and that of the third, like sugarcane juice. The fourth lake is filled with pure water. The celestial beings such as the Siddhas, Câranas and Gandharvas, who are also known as demigods, enjoy the facilities of those four lakes. Consequently they have the natural perfections of mystic yoga, such as the power to become smaller than the smallest or greater than the greatest. There are also four celestial gardens named Nandana, Caitraratha, Yaibhrâjaka and Sarvatobhadra.

Our comment. The demigods enjoy heavenly sense objects, not the lower matter of our earth planet, as we don’t enjoy e.g. the food of the cats dogs hogs. According to the Taittiriya Upanisad 2.8.1 the happiness on Indra-loka is 10^14 better then the highest happiness on Earth. Thus Indra and his places of living and enjoying are not the gross, inferior matter of the earth planet.

The best of the demigods, along with their wives, who are like ornaments of heavenly beauty, meet together and enjoy within those gardens, while their glories are sung by lesser demigods known as Gandharvas.
Our comment. Not just some upadevas come here, but the best of the devatas.

5.16.16 Commentary by Śri Bhagavatprasadacarya : ‘Wherein’ indicates “in which divine gardens” great demigods, along with the best of divine damsels, enjoy themselves while their praises are sung by groups of subordinates.

5.16.18 From drinking the water of the River Aruṇodā, the bodies of maidservants of Śiva’s wife, who are the wives of Yakṣas, become fragrant, and the wind, fragrant from touching their bodies, perfumes the entire atmosphere for ten yojanas around.
Another translation. The pious wives of the Yaksas act as personal maidservants to assist Bhavâni, the wife of Lord Siva. Because they drink the water of the River Arunodâ, their bodies become fragrant, and as the air carries away that fragrance, it perfumes the entire atmosphere for eighty miles around.
Commentary by Vîrarâghava
Describes the river Arunodâ-by consuming whose juice, the wives of Pârvati’s attendants emit fragrance from their body (limbs). The wind carries this fragrance up to ten yojanas [80 miles] all around.

|| 5.16.20-21 ||
The mud on both banks of the River Jambū-nadī, being moistened by the flowing juice, by a reaction with the air and the sunshine, produces huge quantities of gold called jambū-nada, which the devatās use for ornaments. All the devatās and their youthful wives wear this gold in the form of golden crowns, bangles and belts.
Another translation :The mud on both banks of the River Jambū-nadi, being moistened by the flowing juice and then dried by the air and the sunshine, produces huge quantities of gold called Jâmbū-nada. The denizens of heaven use this gold for various kinds of ornaments. Therefore all the inhabitants of the heavenly planets and their youthful wives are fully decorated with golden helmets, bangles and belts, and thus they enjoy life.

Commentary by Vîrarâghava:
Unto where it flows over Ilâvrta, the mud on both banks of it, being mixed with the juice becomes the gold named Jâmbūnada, due to the contact of wind and sun. This gold is always used for making the ornaments for divinities. This gold is worn in the form of crowns etc. by demigods along with their divine damsels.
Commentary by Śri Bhagavatprasâdâcârya …. Unto where it flows in Ilâvrta, up to that; the soil on both banks, mixed with the juice of the river, becomes the famed gold called as Jâmbūnada, due to the effect of wind and sun, which is always used for making the ornaments of demigods. U, ha, vâ, va—well-known as “invaluable.” Which—Jâmbūnada, used by demigods, etc. with their wives, make into jewelry like crowns, etc. and wear, indeed.

Our comment. HG Sadaputa comments: “The clothes, food, dwellings, airplanes, and other paraphernalia of the demigods must be just as invisible to us as the demigods themselves. (Imagine what it would be like to see a suit of clothes being worn by an invisible demigod!) In other words, the demigods live in a complete world that is invisible to us but perfectly visible to them. They can travel to our world since they are endowed with suitable mystic powers, and advanced yogîs can travel to their world. However, humans with ordinary senses cannot perceive the demigods or their gardens and cities. This sums up what we mean by a higher-dimensional world.” (Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy 8)
The gold of the Bhauma-svarga is of the same quality as Siva, Parvati and the demigods wearing the gold; subtle and invisible.
Therefore Indra preached to Krishna and Satyabhama in Harivamsa that this parijata (desire) tree is not for the earthly mortals. ”If the mortals are able to enjoy the benefits of the celestial pArijAta tree on earth, there will be no impetus for them to lead a pious life in the hopes of attaining a heavenly abode…humans will be considered equal to the demigods, and the earth will be considered as good as heaven.”
We don’t see Indra’s world with our telescopes. (SB 8.5.12-22) Nor in SB 5.26 we read how the hells are subtle, but we do read in SB 3.30.20 : yAtanA-deha Avrtya ‘’The yamadhutas put him in a body suitable for punishment, bind him with ropes by the neck, forcibly take him away.” We don’t see this with our gross eyes.
Sukadeva Gosvami speaks from another dimension, not always specifying about which dimension he speaks. We read eg in the 10 th canto : “I have heard from authoritative sources that the Yadu family employed 38,800,000 teachers just to educate their children.
Who can count all the great Yadavas, when among them King Ugrasena alone was accompanied by an entourage of thirty trillion attendants?”
Commentary by ViŚvanâtha Cakravartî : “This great number is being spoken of by Sukadeva Goswami, the speaker of Bhagavatam, from the remembrance of the continuous ongoing nitya-lila of the Lord in Goloka Vrindavan, and not from the pastimes that happened on earth.”

|| 5.16.22 ||
Five rivers of honey, each about five vyāmas wide, which flow from the hollows of the tree called Mahākadamba growing on Supārśva Mountain fall from the top of Supārśva Mountain in the western direction and gives pleasure to itself and the whole of Ilāvṛta-varṣa.
Commentary by ViŚvanâtha Cakravartî:
Āyāma means a vyāma. A vyāma is the space produced by extending the two arms and the fingers. The width of each river is five vyāmas. Another version has panca-vyāma-pariṇāhāḥ. It feels pleasure itself by hearing the praises of the people.

|| 5.16.23 ||
The air carrying the scent from the mouths of those who drink that honey perfumes the land for a hundred yojanas around.

|| 5.16.24 ||
Similarly, on Kumuda Mountain there is a great banyan tree, which is called Śatavalśa. Flowing down from its branches are many rivers fulfilling all desires such as milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, molasses, food, clothing bedding, seats and ornaments. These rivers, flowing down from the top of the mountain to the northern side of Ilāvṛta-varṣa, give happiness to Ilāvrṭa.

|| 5.16.25 ||
The residents of the material world who enjoy the products of these flowing rivers have no suffering such as wrinkles, grey hair, fatigue, foul smelling perspiration, old age, disease, untimely death, cold, heat, loss of luster, or troubles. They all live their whole life with unlimited happiness.
Commentary by Virarâghava for texts 24-25: Similarly, the banyan tree named Śatavalsa, grown on Kumuda mountain, has, emerging from its trunks, milk, curd, honey, ghee, brown sugar, food items, clothes, beds, seats, and jewels. These rivers (nadîs), are falling from the summit of Kumuda, to the north of Ilâvrta, making the residents of that region healthy and happy. This is elaborated as such: “Consuming the offerings of these nadls, people don’t undergo any diseases such as skin diseases, graying of hair, tiredness, infirmities, and mental states like light-headedness, sorrow, desire, hatred, fear, haughtiness, mistake, lunacy, grief, ignorance, greed, pride, avarice, envy. The consumers remain fit life-long.”
Commentary by Śri Giridhara Lâla Downward flowing, streaming with milk etc., all these rivers (nadas), granting all the wishes, descend from the peak of Kumuda mountain, to the north of Ilâvrta.
Commentary by Śri Bhagavatprasâdâcârya Thus, emerging downwards from the branches of the great Banyan tree, grown on the Kumuda mountain, known as SatavalŚa, are boon-granting rivers (nadas) descend from the peak of Kumuda, streaming milk, curd, honey, ghee, jaggery, rice, etc. and various types of clothes, beds, seats, jewels etc. flow to the north of Ilâvrta.

|| 5.16.28 ||
In the middle of the summit of Meru is the township of Lord Brahmā. Each of its four sides is calculated to extend for many thousands of yojanas. It is made entirely of gold, and therefore learned scholars and sages call it Śātakaumbhī.
Another translation. In the middle of the summit of Meru is the township of Lord Brahmâ.
Each of its four sides is calculated to extend for ten million yojanas [eighty million miles]. It is made entirely of gold, and therefore learned scholars and sages call it Śâtakaumbhi.

|| 5.16.29 | Surrounding Brahmapurî in all directions are the residences of the eight principal governors of the planetary systems, beginning with King Indra. These abodes are similar to Brahmapurî but are one fourth the size.
Our comment. The devas on Meru parvata are invisible for us, just as Meru is also.

5.17.1 ….Through the hole, the pure water of the Causal Ocean entered this universe as the Ganges River. Having washed the lotus feet of the Lord, which are covered with reddish powder, the water of the Ganges acquired a very beautiful pink color….
Commentary by Vijayadhvaja Tîrtha : …Though naturally pure white, the water becomes blossom reddish by washing the red lotus-like feet of Lord Hari, combined with the saffron dust of His lotus-feet…
Commentary by ViŚvanâtha Cakravartî
At the time of Vāmana avatāra (tatra), by stepping over the earth with his right foot (vikramataḥ) and from throwing his left foot in the air, he cause all places up to the top of the universe to tremble, up to the layer of prakṛti (where the guṇas are pacified), as related by Brahmā: trisāmyasadanād urukampayānam. (SB 2.7.4) Thus the spiritual steam of water of the Kāraṇa Ocean, outside of the eight layers of the universe, descended to Dhruva-loka (divaḥ mūrdhani).
Our comment. The ganges has 3 aspects– adhi daivika (the devi Ganga), adhyatmika, adhibhutika.
The gross form we see, comes from the Himalayas, which is ice water. The Ganges water described here in Bhagavatam is the invisible-for us– river which joins the ice water Ganges at its (ice) source and purifies us. The
description in these pages of Bhagavatam, is the demigods vision of the planets and bhu-mandala, the Ganges descends through; we don’t see the very beautiful pink/saffron color of the Ganges.

|| 5.17.4 ||
After purifying the seven planets near Dhruva-loka, the Gangā’s water, carried on the path through the heavens, where are also throngs of celestial airplanes, inundates the moon and finally reaches Lord Brahmā’s abode atop Mount Meru.
Commentary by Śridhara Svâmi. Then descending through the heavenly (aerial) route, bustling with the traffic of many hundreds and thousands of aircraft, drenching the moon’s disc, the river falls onto the abode of Brahmâ atop Mount Meru. The traffic of planes (denoting the path of performers of rituals) is below the station of the seven sages as indicated by describing the bustle after them.
Commentary by Śri Giridhara Lâla. The traffic jam of planes of those performing rituals and reaching their destination is below those of the seven sages.
Visvanatha bhasya.Deva-yānena means the path in the sky. Below the seven sages, the places are filled with those who perform karma-yoga. Thus tataḥ indicates “below, lower down” and sankula (crowd) indicates the many karma-yogīs. Flooding the moon planet, the Gangā descends to the abode of Brahmā situated on the top of Meru.
Our comment. We don’t see the aircrafts of these karma-yogis along with the subtle Ganges.

|| 5.17.11 ||
Among the nine varṣas, the tract of land known as Bhārata-varṣa is understood to be the field of karma and the other eight varṣas are known as “heaven on earth,” places to enjoy the remainder of pious acts after leaving Svarga.
There are three types of Svarga: heavenly, earthly and subterranean. These eight varṣas are the places of earthly heaven. ( Visvanatha bhasya)

|| 5.17.12 ||
In these eight varṣas, human beings like devatās live ten thousand years according to earthly calculations. They have the bodily strength of ten thousand elephants. They have wives who conceive once in the last year of their lives, after sexual enjoyment of the couples, excited by thunderbolt bodies possessing strength, youth and fragrance. There the happiness is like that of Treta-yuga.

|| 5.17.13 ||
There, the chiefs of devatās, their glances and minds attracted by the playful glances and smiles of beautiful women because of their desire, amuse themselves freely with ingredients supplied by their followers in pastimes such as water sports in clear lakes resounding with the sounds of various groups of bees, swans, water hens, cranes and kāraṇdavas excited by the fragrance of a variety of blooming lotuses growing in valleys between the mountains, which have hermitages and pleasant gardens splendid with trees and creepers whose branches are bent down by the abundance of fruits and flowers of all seasons.
Another translation: In each of those tracts of land, there are many gardens filled with flowers and fruits according to the season, and there are beautifully decorated hermitages as well. Between the great mountains demarcating the borders of those lands lie enormous lakes of clear water filled with newly grown lotus flowers. Aquatic birds such as swans, ducks, water chickens, and cranes become greatly excited by the fragrance of lotus flowers, and the charming sound of bumblebees fills the air. The inhabitants of those lands are important leaders among the demigods. Always attended by their respective servants, they enjoy life in gardens alongside the lakes. In this pleasing situation, the wives of the demigods smile playfully at their husbands and look upon them with lusty desires. All the demigods and their wives are constantly supplied with sandalwood pulp and flower garlands by their servants. In this way, all the residents of the eight heavenly varsas enjoy, attracted by the activities of the opposite sex.
Commentaries on 5th Canto Commentary by Śridhara Svâmi Yatra ha – in which varsas; leading deities along with their main groups of servants = being served well, enjoy at will. In which places? In all continents amid breathtaking valleys, forests and gardens with dwellings beautified by flowers, trees and creepers. There, stimulating romance, pure water lakes various types of lotus flowers blossom and spread their fragrance, royal swans swim, honeybees hum and divine damsels cavort and attract the mind
Commentary by Viraraghava : The masters of the demigods, being served well by the leaders of groups of their respective servants, enjoy at will in this varsa
Commentary by Vijayadhvaja Tîrtha : Where = in which varsas, lords of demigods sport at will. In which places? Where trees have bent-down branches and creepers due to a wealth of flowers, fruits, sprouts, etc. born in all seasons. These trees are very distinct from those in Bhârata-khanda and make lustrous, beautiful hermitage dwellings, rain-causing hill-valleys, (both sides being tall and the middle being low). In pure water sources like ponds, with fragrant, blossomed, various forest lotuses, pleasing royal swans, delightful humming black bees (this is adjective of pond), their minds and eyes are attracted by the amorous dalliances of sensuous, divine nymphs.

Commentary by Śri Giridhara Lâla : There on eight continents, even the masters among the demigods such as Indra are served well by garlands, sandal paste and servants while they enjoy water-sporting with beautiful damsels.
Our comment: ‘The masters of the demigods’ come here, since it is as their realm.

|| 5.17.15 ||
In the tract of land known as Ilāvṛta-varṣa, the only male person is Lord Śiva. No other male exists there. One who knows about Durgā’s curse does not enter there. If any foolish man dares to do so, he turns into a woman. I shall explain this later.
Another translation: In the tract of land known as Ilâvrta-varsa, the only male person is Lord Śiva, the most powerful demigod. Goddess Durgâ, the wife of Lord Śiva, does not like any man to enter that land. If any foolish man dares to do so, she immediately turns him into a woman. I shall explain this later [in the Ninth Canto of Śrîmad-Bhâgavatam] Commentary by Virarâghava : Lord Rudra is the only male person living (no other male member lives) there. This is because Bhavânî, his wife, cursed that any man entering there, even unknowingly, would become transformed into a woman.
Our comment: Siva and His abode are invisible.

5.17.21 (Visvanatha bhasya) He does not know the universe which is situated somewhere on one of his hoods. Because he is situated below bhū-mandala measuring 493,400,000 yojanas, his hoods are not wide enough to hold it. However persons situated there can see that by his inconceivable energy, his hoods become unlimited in dimension, and thus Bhū-maṇdala appears like a mustard seed. That is actual, not an illusion. This is an example of his astonishing unlimited nature just mentioned.
Our comment: ‘persons situated there can see’, we don’t see.

5.20.2 As a moat around a fort is sometimes surrounded by gardenlike forest, the saltwater ocean surrounding Jambūdvīpa is itself surrounded by Plakṣadvīpa, whose breadth is twice that of the saltwater ocean (200,000 yojanas). On Plakṣadvīpa there is a plakṣa tree as tall as the jambū tree on Jambūdvīpa, after which the island gets its name. There is a blazing, upward fire with seven flames. ( This seems to be the pippala tree. The dimensions of the Jambhū tree are mentioned in SB 5.16.12 as 1100 yojanas high and 100 yojanas wide.)

|| 5.20.8 ||
On Śalmalīdvīpa there is a śālmalī (silk-cotton) tree, from which the island takes its name. That tree is as broad and tall as the plakṣa tree—100 yojanas broad and 1,100 yojanas tall. Learned scholars say that this gigantic tree is the residence of Garuda, the king of all birds, who chants prayers.

In Śākadvīpa there is a big śāka (teak) tree, from which the island takes its name. Its fragrance scents the entire island.

|| 5.20.29-30 || On Puṣkaradvīpa there is a great lotus flower with 100,000,000 pure golden petals, as effulgent as the flames of a fire. That lotus flower is considered the sitting place of Lord Brahmā.
The lotus has 100,000,000 of gold shining with blazing flames.
In the middle of that island is a great mountain named Mānasottara, which forms the boundary between the inner side and the outer side of the island. Its breadth and height are 10,000 yojanas.

5.20.34 Beyond the ocean of sweet water and fully surrounding it, is a mountain named Lokāloka, which divides the countries that are full of sunlight from those not lit by the sun.
Another translation. Beyond the fresh water ocean (tataḥ) is the Lokāloka Mountain, circular in shape (paritaḥ), is between (antarale) the places with light from the sun and other luminaries, and the places without light. It separates the two areas.

|| 5.20.37 ||
That mountain has been created by the Lord in all eight directions extending up to the end of the three worlds in height. The rays of the sun, of other planets up to Dhruvaloka, and of the stars spread throughout the three worlds, but cannot spread beyond the mountain. That is the height of the mountain.
The mountain extends up to the end of bhūr, bhuva and svaḥ in eight directions. How high and wide is it? From the obstruction it creates (yasmāt), the rays of the sun and other planets up to Dhruvaloka spread light everywhere, but cannot go beyond the mountain. That is its height and breadth. Because it extends as high as Dhruvaloka, it defines the limit of the three worlds. (footnote: Dhruvaloka is 3,900,000 yojanas above the earth. It is above Svarga and below Maharloka. Maharloka is 13,900,000 yojanas above the earth. The breath or width is said to be the same in the commentary by using the dual case. However from the commentary of the next verse and verse 42 say that the width of Lokāloka is 82,200,000 yojanas. Perhaps there is a mistake and the meaning is” the extent of the height is up to Dhruvaloka.”) The distance between Sumeru and the end of Lokāloka is one fourth of the diameter of the universe, or 41,100,000 yojanas.
Our comment: We don’t see the sunlight being blocked somewhere. This is the sun the demigods see. That also explains that the diameters of sun and moon given in SB 5.24.2 don’t match with the figures of our human calculations. The sun has two aspects– subtle and gross – at the same location, as we have a subtle and a gross body at the same location, one – the gross – visible, the subtle one invisible.

5.22.15 Commentary by Śrî Giridhara Lâla:
“Saturn’s chariot is also described, “Shani moves slowly in his chariot drawn by horses born from the akasha [the sky] of variegated color.”

HG Mayesvara prabhu pondered in his ‘sailing to Jambudvipa’, how Jambudvipa, which has nine varsas, was ruled by the Pandavas. We asked His Holiness Bhanu Swami, who translated Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti’s rendering of the Bhagavatam. Persons with great powers empowered by the Lord could/can rule the whole area.
How they traverse from the gross egg of clay round earth planet to the subtle flat planes of Jambudvipa, it is not a continuum? And one is round, the other is flat, one is gross , the other subtle, then they change that gross body earth form to subtle to be visible in these flat planes and relate with these subtle beings.
Then going back to the earth planet they again shift back from subtle to gross and move through space?
If they have such powers it is possible.
Our comment: Arjuna went also to Indraloka.

Thus the Bhagavatam’s Bhu-mandala, Jambudvipa till LokAloka mountain, are Bhauma-svarga’s, heavenly areas, inaccessible for humans. You can only sail there with yoga-siddhis.

Hare Krishna Nitai-Chandra dasa

A lecture on 5th Canto from Ishan Gaura das

Bharata-varsa is a Flat Island Floating on the Salt-water Ocean

SB.5.30 Translation

While so excellently ruling the universe, King Priyavrata once became dissatisfied with the circumambulation of the most powerful sun-god. Encircling Sumeru Hill on his chariot, the sun-god illuminates all the surrounding planetary systems. However, when the sun is on the northern side of the hill, the south receives less light, and when the sun is in the south, the north receives less. King Priyavrata disliked this situation and therefore decided to make daylight in the part of the universe where there was night. He followed the orbit of the sun-god on a brilliant chariot and thus fulfilled his desire. He could perform such wonderful activities because of the power he had achieved by worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


The sun that illuminates our tiny island of Bharata is like a light-bulb or a reflection—it is herein referred to as ‘a brilliant chariot’. It is estimated to be some three thousand miles above sea-level and constantly circumambulates in three circles. The moon we see is similarly a reflection of the original, which is situated in Bhuvar-loka. In his purport to this verse Srila Prabhupada writes the following:

Modern materialistic scientists sometimes present themselves as knowing all the ingredients of the sun, yet they are unable to offer a second sun like Maharaja Priyavrata’s.

Although Maharaja Priyavrata devised a very powerful chariot as brilliant as the sun, he had no desire to compete with the sun-god, for a Vaisnava never wants to supersede another Vaisnava. His purpose was to give abundant benefits in material existence. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks that in the months of April and May the rays of Maharaja Priyavrata’s brilliant sun were as pleasing as the rays of the moon, and in October and November, both morning and evening, that sun provided more warmth than the sunshine.

It is clear by this verse that Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura understood that there are two suns; one of them created by Priyavrata Maharaja near to the beginning of time.

At the time of Priyavrata the universe we know as Bhu-mandala was one island, thus the sun that Priyavrata was dissatisfied with is some 96 million miles from our island of Bharata. When its light was blocked by Sumeru Hill the side opposite to the sun was in darkness or shade for a long period. Priyavrata wanted to alter this situation, thus he made another sun which acts to reflect the light of the real sun and follows its exact course in miniature, thus we see 1:360 perfect alignment with Bharata and Puskaradvipa.

That scientists of Bharata say the earth is a globe that spins on its axis at 1,00mph is a lie, or at best a serious error in judgment. What is most unfortunate is that our Vedic Planetarium team also think that our earth of Bharata is a globe. Prabhupada stated that bhu was a globe, but this bhu-goloka refers to the universe, which is a globe. The Bhagavatam describes Jambudvipa as an island that floats on the sea of salt-water. Bharata-varsa is a part of Jambudvipa. That complete island is flat, as well as being round in shape.

The people controlling our Earth at present state that Earth is some eight thousand miles in diameter. Contrary to this, Bhagavatam affirms that it is some 72 thousand miles from south to north and it is much more going from east to west (closer to 5-6 hundred thousand miles in diameter). It is not possible for the rest of Bharata to be baron, thus other humans must live very close by. Indeed Sukadeva entitled Chapter 18 ‘The Prayers Offered by the Residents of Jambudvipa’ and separately entitled Chapter 19 ‘A Description of the island of Jambudvipa’. There are nine islands in Jambudvipa, thus there are nine prayers offered. These are spread over Chapters 17, 18, & 19 with Chapter 19, A Description of the island of Jambudvipa, having two separate prayers for two separate inhabitants, the Kimpurunas and the humans of Bharata.

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12 Responses to “Sailing to Jambudwipa”

  1. venugopal das says :

    Quite a long read over the past three days…..but well worth it. Thank you. I most definitely agree with you that the nature of the TVOP must be presented as the Bhagavatam describes it and must also have logical and scientific explanations somehow displayed in order to make it understandable and credible for all those visiting.

  2. Tim says :

    Mayesvara prabhu brought this to my attention recently, so I looked at several Youtube videos on the topic of the “Flat Earth”. It was a shock and surprise to discover quite a number of people over the past year posting videos giving empirical evidence to suggest that the very thing we’re standing on is a huge flat plane, and not the smaller quickly-spinning sphere that is believed. I’m planning to do my own experiments some time, but anyone with a boat, a telescope (or sometimes this isn’t needed), a clear day and a city with some landmarks can go out to sea 50 or 70 miles and do some calculations. If the Earth is a sphere of X radius and your landmark is a certain height, you can calculate whether you should be able to see this landmark – or whether it should have curved out of sight, due to curvature of the Earth. So it seems multiple people have done this kind of thing at several locations, and still find they can see the such-and-such landmark of a certain height (when one would expect it to be out of sight on a globe). So this is one out of 100s of evidences.

  3. Nitaichandra says :

    Srila Prahupada often ridiculed the Bible and Christianity for being old-fashioned and not scientifically updated by stating that the Earth is flat. Now you want to introduce this as Vedic?
    We have explained on this site that the subtle disc of Bhu-maṇdala is grossly a system of globes floating in space.See

    Paramahamsa: For example in the Bible they quote that the world is flat. So therefore when they found out the world is round, they say, “Oh, scripture is false.”
    Prabhupāda: Yes.
    Paramahamsa: Scientists, they have proven the truth that the world is round. Therefore scientists…
    Prabhupāda: Yes. That must be, therefore the scriptures must be transcendental. Nonsense scripture, and people become nonsense. So except Vedic literature, all nonsense scripture. They are not scripture. Manufactured. This Bible was manufactured by the saint, this saint, that, according to their imagination. It was not spoken by Lord Jesus Christ. What was spoken by Jesus Christ, that they ignore: “Thou shalt not kill.” They kill. Nobody is following Christian principle; neither Bible is perfect. But that, if we say, we will be shot. (Morning Walk
    May 13, 1973, Los Angeles)

    Prabhupāda: They have no answer. As soon as I asked this question… Yesterday also, last, that television, he also asked the same question. He has purchased all our books. So “Why this Christian religion is declined?” And “Why it will not? Why you are violating?” He could not answer. He could not answer. He will violate… All, many Christian priests ask me this question, and as soon as they put this question, they stop. They stop. They cannot answer. “Why you are killing? The first order is ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ and why you are killing?” They cannot answer. I asked them two questions. “Why unlimited God shall have only one son? And why you are killing?” They cannot answer. Or you answer?
    Umāpati: No.
    Prabhupāda: The earth was flat. They believed that the world is flat. So how much imperfect knowledge they have got. So imperfect knowledge, how long it can go? Just like we are going to challenge all these rascals that life is grown out of matter. We are going to challenge. It is not a fact. So how long you can cheat people? For hundred, two hundred, thousand years, but you cannot cheat for all the time.
    (Morning Walk
    May 15, 1973, Los Angeles)

  4. Nitaichandra says :

    Brahmānanda: In the Bible there are so many things that were…, about the world that were mistakes, and then, by their scientific knowledge, they found the real fact. Like they say the earth was flat…
    Prabhupāda: Bible may be wrong, but we are talking generally. So if you are scientist, you can say the right thing. But why should you deny God?
    Brahmānanda: Well, if the book of God has made mistake, then we don’t have any faith…
    Prabhupāda: Book of God… Then throw it. Kick it out. But I say that you are scientist. How you can deny God? That is our proposal. The so-called book of God, you throw away. But you are scientist. How can you deny the existence of God? Why you are misleading? Bible misleading, that’s all right. Why you are misleading? That is our point.
    Cyavana: For so many centuries they took the Bible to be the authority.
    Prabhupāda: All right, throw it away. You are scientist…
    Cyavana: They won’t.
    Prabhupāda: You are a scientist. How you can deny God? Then what kind of scientist you are? The Bible has done wrong. Throw it away. I have no objection. But you are scientist. How you can deny God? And that is our point. Come to this logic, that “How we can deny God?” You are speaking that from chemical combination life is formed. Do it in the laboratory. You cannot do it. Why you are propagating false propaganda? (Morning Walk -October 2, 1975, Mauritius)

    Prabhupāda: So if you don’t accept Aquarian Gospel authority, who cares for your Bible? At least Aquarian Gospel has been written by some Christian. It is not outsider.
    Harikeśa: They say he was a drunk.
    Prabhupāda: But you are a mad. He is drunk, and you are mad. Where is the difference? So, if we can go? [break] It was a statement that the earth is flat. Eh? Where it was stated the earth is flat?
    (Morning Walk—October 26, 1975, Mauritius)

    Prabhupāda: So long. As soon as there is five thousand years, they will correct. The Christians, they used to say that the world is flat. So what is the value of their words? There is no value. You do not try to compromise with others. (Room Conversation—July 5, 1976, Washington, D.C.)

    Formerly these rascals were believing sun is dead at night. The Christians believed like that. Is it not? Some of the Christians believed that at night, sun is dead. And the world is square, flat. This is their knowledge.(Room Conversation—January 21, 1977, Bhubaneswar)

  5. mayesvara dasa Dublin says :

    Om Sahana Vavatu Sahanau Bhunaktu
    Sahaveeryam Karavavahai
    Tejas Vinavati Tamastuma vidwishavahai
    Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi.

    Om May we all be protected. May we all be nourished. May we all acquire the capacity to understand the scriptures. May our study be brilliant and not give rise to hostility. Om peace, peace, peace.

    The shanti mantra seeks blessings from Krishna for a conducive relationship, without which communication of any subject matter is difficult.

    Dear Nitaichandra Prabhu. Thank you for your kindly responding to the paper Sailing to Jambudwipa. Unfortunately you have not replied to any of the specific points I mentioned in the paper. I would appreciate that you carefully read through the paper and then state your specific reasons for disagreeing with any of the arguments presented for the flat Earth concept of Srimad Bhagavatam.

    You have presented some conversations from Srila Prabhupada in which he seems to explicitly reject the concept of a flat Earth. I am aware of these statements and have discussed this issue in section 2.6 of the paper. In order to appreciate the argument I am making there, it would be considerate to read the earlier parts of the paper in order to understand the context.

    If I could respond to the one statement that you did make:

    “We have explained on this site that the subtle disc of Bhu-maṇdala is grossly a system of globes floating in space.”

    May I please inquire where is it stated in any of the Puranas and specifically Srimad Bhagavatam that the subtle disc of Bhu-mandala is manifested grossly as a system of globes in space. Can you please send me some verse reference where such a concept is described? Thank you!

    Y.S Mayesvara dasa

  6. Nitaichandra says :

    What is in the subtle dimension of the bhumandala is islands or land regions in the form of rings with, in-between each ring, ring-shaped oceans of salt water (lavanoda), sugar cane juice (iksura), strong drinks (suroda), ghi (ghrtoda), milk (ksiroda), yoghurt (dadhyoda) and very tasty sweet water (svadudaka). All these oceans have the same fluidity as water.

    At the centre is Jambudvipa (dvipa means: island). It is divided in nine varsas (planets, provinces ) and one of them is bharata-varsa. The gross earth planet is in the gross dimension of this subtle bharata-varsa. The gross bharata-varsa is the (only) planet where the bharata (light) of the Veda can and does fully shine.
    The other varsas and dvipas of the bhu-mandala are called bhauma-svarga or paradisiacal areas in the bhumandala. The description of these heavens and life there is in S.B. 5.16.12-25 and S.B. 5.20. The inhabitants of these varsas are at least part-time devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhauma-svarga and the oceans in-between are not visible with gross senses; they are higher dimensional. However, these dimensions are connected with each other.

    The perigee (the point situated nearest the earth in the orbit of a celestial body around the earth) of the orbit of Venus coincides with the outer coast of the ocean of ghee (clarified butter). The perigee of Mars is the inner coast of the ocean of milk. The perigee of Mercury is the outer coast of the ocean of milk. The perigee of Venus is the inner coast of the ocean of sweet water. The apogee (the point of the orbit of the moon, or a planet or a satellite that lies the farthest of the earth) of the planet Mars is the outer coast of the ocean of sweet water. The apogee of Mercury is Manasottara (see the map). The perigee of Jupiter is the inner edge of Kancana Bhumi (the golden land SB 5.20.35). The apogee of Saturn is the adrsya drsyaka giri, the Lokaloka-parvata (drsya means visible and loka inhabited; parvata or giri means mountain).

    If the ring-shaped oceans and lands would be gross matter, Venus Mars Mercury Jupiter Saturn would crash into it. Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn move in the gross level of this Bhu-mandala, as we have our gross and subtle body at the same location but at differing reality levels.

  7. Nitaichandra says :

    The moon has also a gross and subtle region.
    Vayu Purana 53.46:
    ‘The sun’s ray called susumna develops the declining moon. It is said to be exerting power (to the moon) laterally and from above.’
    Linga Purana 57.73
    ‘The sun’s position is above. The moon is lower.’
    Narada purana 2.54.154
    ‘In a solar eclipse the moon obscures the sun. In a lunar eclipse the shadow of the earth obscures the moon.’
    Along with this, Rahu appears, remaining invisible, according to
    Visnudharmottara Purana 42.40-41
    The lord Hari-Vishnu said to me (Rahu) : ‘O Demon you will be a planet and will be worshiped. At the time of periodic change of the moon, you will cover the moon and the sun. You will be the idol of darkness and invisible and move in the opposite direction. O Demon, the moon will be covered by the shadow of the earth and the sun will be covered with the moon. When you will rise, O best of the Demon, you will always get a share in the good deeds of bathing, chanting and performing sacrifice, donation, shraddha ceremony, and the worship of gods at the time of eclipse.’
    Visnudharmottara Purana 106.20-23
    ‘20. The pole, the son of Uttanapada is stated to be Vishnu, attached to which the crowd of the heavenly winds and lights are made to twin round. 21. The orbit of the seven rishis (the great Bear) is stated to be always below that…
    22-23. Below that is the ‘Bha” circle and below is Saturn. Below that is the Sun and below him is stated to be Venus. Below that Mercury, while below him is the moon.’
    Varahamihira’s Brihat Samhita Chapter 4 – On the moon’s transit.
    By the sun’s rays one half of the moon that is always beneath the sun is illuminated, while the other half becomes dark by her own shadow just as one half of the pot exposed to the sun is.
    Varahamihira’s Brihat Samhita Chapter 5 – On Rahu’s course.
    At the lunar eclipse the moon enters the shadow of the earth, and at the solar eclipse she enters in front of the the sun’s disc. The moon situated below and moving from the west obstructs the solar disc like the cloud.

  8. Nitaichandra says :

    According to the Surya Siddhanta:
    The sun is 108 sun diameters from the earth and the moon is 108 moon diameters from the earth.
    The distance bhu-mandala to sun is 100.000 yojanas, and to the sun is 200.000 yojanas. Thus what is this Bhu-mandala and this egg of Earth?
    The complete picture or understanding is given in the Srimad Bhagavatam 5.20.38 commentaries. Srila Prabhupada quotes the Sanskrit of the commentary of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, but he does not give the English translation. Here it is.
    “Lokaloka’s distance from Meru is one quarter of the measurement of Meru to the universal shell (bhu-golasya). Since the earth like the sun is (approximately) situated in the center of the upper and lower halves of the universe, like the heavens (or the diameter of the moon and the sun plane to the edge of the universe), the earth plane also is 500,000,000 yojanas in diameter to the edges of the universe. A quarter of that is 125,000,000 yojanas. That is the extent (radius) of the raised mountainous area of Lokaloka. (The exact distance is different.)
    However, the earth surface is 493,400,000 yojanas across (according to the dimensions given in this chapter). From the middle of Meru to the middle of Manasottara is 15,750,000 yojanas. From the middle of Manasottara to the other shore of the fresh water ocean is 9,600,000 yojanas. The golden land measures 15,750,000 yojanas. The total measurement from the middle of Meru to the Lokaloka Mountain is then 41,100,000 yojanas. The distance from one side of the Lokaloka to the end or other side of the Lokaloka mountain i.o.w the broadness of the ring mountain is 82,200,000 yojanas. This dimension is mentioned in verse 42 with the words yo ‘ntar-vistarah and yad bahir lokalokacalat. (Total is 123,300,000 yojanas from Meru to end of Lokaloka. That is the meaning of the verse.) The distance outside of Lokaloka is the same. And the distance is the same on the other side of Meru as well. Thus it is said that 125,000,000 yojanas (approximately) is the measurement from Meru to the end of Lokaloka.
    Thus bhuloka is 493,400,000 (note1) yojanas with the oceans, islands and mountains. There is thus a space of 1,700,000 yojanas from the bhumandala till the universal shell all around. Because of this Sesa holds up the earth and the elephants of the directions steady it. (note 2) To explain the dimensions in any other way would make the descriptions mentioned here useless, since it has been mentioned that the diameter to the shell of the universe is 500,000,000 yojanas. It would also be impossible for Varaha to lift up the earth (bhu-mandala) which has sunk in the Garbodhaka Ocean during Caksusa Manvantara, if bhu-mandala was 500,000,000 yojanas in diameter.”
    (Notes (translator HH Bhanu Swami):
    1. 493,200,000 according to my calculation.
    2. If the mandala touched the edges of the shell of the universe, it would not move downwards at all.)

  9. Nitaichandra says :

    Then another commentator Sri Vamsidhara takes this from the commentary of Visvanatha on this verse and further writes, quoting the book ‘goladarsa’ , that there is a small earth, the egg of clay and the big earth, bhu-mandala, the terrestrial sphere or area of planets, shaped like a huge thick disc going from one side of the universal egg to the other side.
    The bhu-mandala has the earth planet in the gross dimension. And other seas, lands or planets as its subtle or heavenly dimension, bhu-svarga.
    The top of the bhu-mandala is shaped like the whorl of a lotus or an upside down bowl.
    The Srimad Bhagavatam (or paramahamsa samhita) is a scripture for paramahamsas (nirmatsaranam satam 1.1.2) demigods and sages. They live in spiritual, devata and muni/risi – lokas or planets. See SB 3.2.6.
    They speak about the 14 planetary systems and not maybe specifically about this clay egg, a very small part of one of these 14 planetary systems, namely the bhu-mandala. Mandala means round disk.
    The sun is 100.000 yojanas above the Bhu-mandala. That does not mean that the distance from the/our earth planet to the sun is 100.000 yojanas because in SB 5.21.7 Sukadeva Goswami says that the sun travels in a circle whose length is 95.100.000 yojanas. And the center of this circle– Meru- is close to this earth planet.
    The sun and moon are circling around Mountain Meru, the central pole of the universe. The sun and moon are part of the svarga mandala, a plane vertically above the bhu-mandala plane. There are 14 such mandala regions, together occupying all the space in the universe from the top to the middle of the universe. The lower part of the universe is the Garbhodaka ocean.
    The distances between the moon, sun and earth in these planes are given in the Puranas, I quoted above. These are approximately the same as modern science gives them. The distances of the *planes* are given in the Srimad Bhagavatam. The Srimad Bhagavatam doesn’t give the distances of our familiar earth globe to sun and moon.
    The distances between bhu-mandala and moon and sun, and earth and moon and sun are very different because the earth and the moon are circling around Meru close to this Meru, while the sun circles at about 1/4th of the radius Meru-wall of the universe.
    The moon is therefore closer to the earth then the sun. But the moon circles around Meru on a higher level vertically-taking bhu-mandala as the horizontal plane-then the sun in this svarga-mandala and is therefore vertically higher and above the sun counting vertically from the bhu-mandala plane.
    The Sun and moon also have their demigod realm which is subtle or another dimension on the same location. Just as we have our gross and subtle body at the same place.

  10. Nitaichandra says :

    The bodies of the devatas are not of only gross matter visible for us.
    “Although celestial beings are not visible to the naked eyes of the inhabitants of this earth, it was due to the influence of Maharaja Pariksit that the demigods also agreed to be visible.” (SB 1.16.3 purport)
    “The moon attained an invisible form which sustains gods and man and these sixteen deities, as also the trees and plants. His visible form Rudra bore on His head.” (Varaha Purana chapter 35.12-13)
    And this subtle region Srila Prabhapada described as icy (SPL 14-10-76) “The moon is covered with ice, to explain why the moonshine is so pleasant. Moon-rays are very soothing, and we find in many places describing the pleasing effect of the moon, nitai-pada-kamala, koti candra-susitala, ye chayaya jagat judaya. This is because the moon must be covered with ice.” Thus, in Garga Samhita canto 2, chapter 5 text 13 we read: “With his ice-weapon Soma (the moon-god) struck Bakasura. Tormented by the cold, the demon fainted, but then again he stood up.”

    Devotees laugh at the childish idea of a flat earth:
    (13-10-75 conversation Durban)

    “Prabhupāda: No, but you are not believing Bible. Bible, they say that the earth is square. So nobody is believing. So one point is sufficient, that it is not perfect. One point is sufficient.
    Harikeśa: [laughing] It says the earth is square?
    Prabhupāda: Yes, they… They say it. Formerly they believed that.
    Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Probably does.
    Harikeśa: Oh, you mean flat.
    Prabhupāda: You’ll fall down. If you go very far, you’ll fall down. Just like a child thinks.”

  11. mayesvara dasa Dublin says :

    Thank you Nitaichandra Prabhu for the response. Again you have made a ‘response,’ but unfortunately, not a single reply to any of the specific arguments that I presented for a flat Earth in the paper Sailing to Jambudwipa. In order for me to have a proper dialogue with you and not simply have to listen to a monologue, I would appreciate that you actually read the paper through. The fact that you are not addressing any of the particular arguments that I presented suggests that you have not even taken the time to read the paper. If you don’t read the paper then you have no right to criticize the concept that I’m presenting. If you don’t read the paper how will you know what I’m trying to say? Instead you have ‘responded’ with a barrage of quotations that are not even relevant to the specific question that I asked.

    I am willing to engage in a dialogue with you but only on this basis: that if you are going to find fault in the arguments that I have presented, then I want to know that you have actually taken the time to hear the argument. Are you willing to do that? If so, then please read through the paper. Then, please select the arguments from each chapter of the paper in which I have argued that Srimad Bhagavatam describes a flat Earth. Then present your own counter-argument. But please don’t simply send me another list of quotations without first demonstrating that you have listened to and comprehended the arguments that have been made.

    Forgive me for saying, but your initial responses to this paper seem very much in the mode of passion. It seems you have picked up on the words ‘flat-Earth’ and without respectfully considering the research on which the arguments for a flat-Earth have been made, you have automatically assumed they must be wrong because that’s what you been taught so far. Well you may be in for a very big surprise!

    So my first question to you is this: are you willing to actually read through this paper and address the specific arguments that I have made? If not, then I don’t see any further point in discussing the topic with you because it seems you are merely intent on presenting your particular point of view without first respectfully considering another.

    Y.S Mayesvara dasa

  12. mayesvara dasa Dublin says :

    Nitaichandra Prabhu, in your original post you wrote:

    “We have explained on this site that the subtle disc of Bhu-maṇdala is grossly a system of globes floating in space.”

    I inquired from you where is it stated in any of the Puranas – and specifically Srimad Bhagavatam – that the subtle disc of Bhu-mandala is manifested grossly as a system of globes in space. In your answer you did not supply a relevant quotation from any of the Puranas. Instead you continued with the assumption that this is indeed the case. You said for example, that the seven islands and oceans of Bhu-mandala are in a subtle dimension. And that “the gross planet Earth is in the gross dimension of this subtle Bharata-varsha.” So I’m going to repeat my question again: Where in the Puranas and specifically Srimad Bhagavatam is there a description of a division between a subtle Bharata-varsha and a gross Bharata-varsha which you say manifests as a globe Earth in space? Please send me the Canto, chapter, and verse…

    The many quotations that you sent are completely irrelevant to the specific question asked. It’s as though you didn’t even hear the question and proceeded to tell me everything you assume to know about the universe. Please be specific.

    This division of a subtle Bhu-mandala that manifests grossly as physical planets is simply speculation. You have no scriptural basis for this at all.

    I will come back to other quotations you made from Sri Vamsidhara but first please supply the relevant verses from Srimad Bhagavatam’s fifth canto in regard to a subtle Bhu-mandala manifesting grossly as planets.

    Y.S Mayesvara dasa