Studying the Structure of the Universe
In this chapter there is a description of various islands, beginning with Plakṣadvīpa, and the oceans that surround them. There is also a description of the location and dimensions of the mountain known as Lokāloka. The island of Plakṣadvīpa, which is twice as broad as Jambūdvīpa, is surrounded by an ocean of salt water. The master of this island is Idhmajihva, one of the sons of Mahārāja Priyavrata. The island is divided into seven regions, each with a mountain and a large river.
ataḥ paraṁ plakṣādīnāṁ pramāṇa-lakṣaṇa-saṁsthānato varṣa-vibhāga upavarṇyate.
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; ataḥ param—after this; plakṣa-ādīnām—of the island named Plakṣa and others; pramāṇa-lakṣaṇa-saṁsthānataḥ—from the angle of dimensions, particular characteristics and form; varṣa-vibhāgaḥ—the division of the island; upavarṇyate—is described.
The great sage Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Hereafter I shall describe the dimensions, characteristics and forms of the six islands beginning with the island of Plakṣa.
jambūdvīpo ’yaṁ yāvat-pramāṇa-vistāras tāvatā kṣārodadhinā pariveṣṭito yathā merur jambv-ākhyena lavaṇodadhir api tato dvi-guṇa-viśālena plakṣākhyena parikṣipto yathā parikhā bāhyopavanena; plakṣo jambū-pramāṇo dvīpākhyākaro hiraṇmaya utthito yatrāgnir upāste sapta-jihvas tasyādhipatiḥ priyavratātmaja idhmajihvaḥ svaṁ dvīpaṁ sapta-varṣāṇi vibhajya sapta-varṣa-nāmabhya ātmajebhya ākalayya svayam ātma-yogenopararāma.
jambū-dvīpaḥ—Jambūdvīpa, the island named Jambū; ayam—this; yāvat-pramāṇa-vistāraḥ—as much as the measure of its width, namely 100,000 yojanas (one yojana equals eight miles); tāvatā—so much; kṣāra-udadhinā—by the ocean of salt water; pariveṣṭitaḥ—surrounded; yathā—just as; meruḥ—Sumeru Mountain; jambū-ākhyena—by the island named Jambū; lavaṇa-udadhiḥ—the ocean of salt water; api—certainly; tataḥ—thereafter; dvi-guṇa-viśālena—which is twice as wide; plakṣa-ākhyena—by the island named Plakṣa; parikṣiptaḥ—surrounded; yathā—like; parikhā—a moat; bāhya—external; upavanena—by a gardenlike forest; plakṣaḥ—a plakṣa tree; jambū-pramāṇaḥ—having the height of the jambū tree; dvīpa-ākhyā-karaḥ—causing the name of the island; hiraṇmayaḥ—magnificently splendorous; utthitaḥ—rising; yatra—where; agniḥ—a fire; upāste—is situated; sapta-jihvaḥ—having seven flames; tasya—of that island; adhipatiḥ—the king or master; priyavrata-ātmajaḥ—the son of King Priyavrata; idhma-jihvaḥ—named Idhmajihva; svam—own; dvīpam—island; sapta—seven; varṣāṇi—tracts of land; vibhajya—dividing into; sapta-varṣa-nāmabhyaḥ—for whom the seven tracts of land were named; ātmajebhyaḥ—to his own sons; ākalayya—offering; svayam—personally; ātma-yogena—by the devotional service of the Lord; upararāma—he retired from all material activities.
As Sumeru Mountain is surrounded by Jambūdvīpa, Jambūdvīpa is also surrounded by an ocean of salt water. The breadth of Jambūdvīpa is 100,000 yojanas [800,000 miles], and the breadth of the saltwater ocean is the same. As a moat around a fort is sometimes surrounded by gardenlike forest, the saltwater ocean surrounding Jambūdvīpa is itself surrounded by Plakṣadvīpa. The breadth of Plakṣadvīpa is twice that of the saltwater ocean—in other words 260,000 yojanas [1,600,000 miles]. On Plakṣadvīpa there is a tree shining like gold and as tall as the jambū tree on Jambūdvīpa. At its root is a fire with seven flames. It is because this tree is a plakṣa tree that the island is called Plakṣadvīpa. Plakṣadvīpa was governed by Idhmajihva, one of the sons of Mahārāja Priyavrata. He endowed the seven islands with the names of his seven sons, divided the islands among the sons, and then retired from active life to engage in the devotional service of the Lord.
śivaṁ yavasaṁ subhadraṁ śāntaṁ kṣemam amṛtam abhayam iti varṣāṇi teṣu girayo nadyaś ca saptaivābhijñātāḥ; maṇikūṭo vajrakūṭa indraseno jyotiṣmān suparṇo hiraṇyaṣṭhīvo meghamāla iti setu-śailāḥ aruṇā nṛmṇāṅgirasī sāvitrī suptabhātā ṛtambharā satyambharā iti mahā-nadyaḥ; yāsāṁ jalopasparśana-vidhūta-rajas-tamaso haṁsa-pataṅgordhvāyana-satyāṅga-saṁjñāś catvāro varṇāḥ sahasrāyuṣo vibudhopama-sandarśana-prajananāḥ svarga-dvāraṁ trayyā vidyayā bhagavantaṁ trayīmayaṁ sūryam ātmānaṁ yajante.
śivam—Śiva; yavasam—Yavasa; subhadram—Subhadra; śāntam—Śānta; kṣemam—Kṣema; amṛtam—Amṛta; abhayam—Abhaya; iti—thus; varṣāṇi—the tracts of land according to the names of the seven sons; teṣu—in them; girayaḥ—mountains; nadyaḥ ca—and rivers; sapta—seven; eva—indeed; abhijñātāḥ—are known; maṇi-kūṭaḥ—Maṇikūṭa; vajra-kūṭaḥ—Vajrakūṭa; indra-senaḥ—Indrasena; jyotiṣmān—Jyotiṣmān; suparṇaḥ—Suparṇa; hiraṇya-ṣṭhīvaḥ—Hiraṇyaṣṭhīva; megha-mālaḥ—Meghamāla; iti—thus; setu-śailāḥ—the ranges of mountains marking the borders of the varṣas; aruṇā—Aruṇā; nṛmṇā—Nṛmṇā; āṅgirasī—Āṅgirasī; sāvitrī—Sāvitrī; supta-bhātā—Suptabhātā; ṛtambharā—Ṛtambharā; satyambharā—Satyambharā; iti—thus; mahā-nadyaḥ—very large rivers; yāsām—of which; jala-upasparśana—simply by touching the water; vidhūta—washed off; rajaḥ-tamasaḥ—whose modes of passion and ignorance; haṁsa—Haṁsa; pataṅga—Pataṅga; ūrdhvāyana—Ūrdhvāyana; satyāṅga—Satyāṅga; saṁjñāḥ—named; catvāraḥ—four; varṇāḥ—castes or divisions of men; sahasra-āyuṣaḥ—living for one thousand years; vibudha-upama—similar to the demigods; sandarśana—in having very beautiful forms; prajananāḥ—and in producing children; svarga-dvāram—the gateway to the heavenly planets; trayyā vidyayā—by performing ritualistic ceremonies according to Vedic principles; bhagavantam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; trayī-mayam—established in the Vedas; sūryam ātmānam—the Supersoul, represented by the sun-god; yajante—they worship.
The seven islands [varṣas] are named according to the names of those seven sons—Śiva, Yavasa, Subhadra, Śānta, Kṣema, Amṛta and Abhaya. In those seven tracts of land, there are seven mountains and seven rivers. The mountains are named Maṇikūṭa, Vajrakūṭa, Indrasena, Jyotiṣmān, Suparṇa, Hiraṇyaṣṭhīva and Meghamāla, and the rivers are named Aruṇā, Nṛmṇā, Āṅgirasī, Sāvitrī, Suptabhātā, Ṛtambharā and Satyambharā. One can immediately be free from material contamination by touching or bathing in those rivers, and the four castes of people who live in Plakṣadvīpa—the Haṁsas, Pataṅgas, Ūrdhvāyanas and Satyāṅgas—purify themselves in that way. The inhabitants of Plakṣadvīpa live for one thousand years. They are beautiful like the demigods, and they also beget children like the demigods. By completely performing the ritualistic ceremonies mentioned in the Vedas and by worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead as represented by the sun-god, they attain the sun, which is a heavenly planet.
According to general understanding, there are originally three deities—Lord Brahmā, Lord Viṣṇu and Lord Śiva—and people with a poor fund of knowledge consider Lord Viṣṇu no better than Lord Brahmā or Lord Śiva. This conclusion, however, is invalid. As stated in the Vedas, iṣṭāpūrtaṁ bahudhā jāyamānaṁ viśvaṁ bibharti bhuvanasya nābhiḥ tad evāgnis tad vāyus tat sūryas tad u candramāḥ agniḥ sarvadaivataḥ. This means that the Supreme Lord, who accepts and enjoys the results of Vedic ritualistic ceremonies (technically called iṣṭāpūrta), who maintains the entire creation, who supplies the necessities of all living entities (eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān) and who is the central point of all creation, is Lord Viṣṇu. Lord Viṣṇu expands as the demigods known as Agni, Vāyu, Sūrya and Candra, who are simply parts and parcels of His body. Lord Kṛṣṇa says in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā (9.23):
“Devotees who worship the demigods with firm faith worship Me also, but not according to regulative principles.” In other words, if one worships the demigods but does not understand the relationship between the demigods and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his worship is irregular. Kṛṣṇa also says in Bhagavad-gītā (9.24), ahaṁ hi sarva-yajñānāṁ bhoktā ca prabhur eva ca: “I am the only enjoyer of ritualistic ceremonies.”
It may be argued that the demigods are as important as Lord Viṣṇu because the names of the demigods are different names of Viṣṇu. This, however, is not a sound conclusion, for it is contradicted in the Vedic literatures. The Vedas declare:
candramā manaso jātaś cakṣoḥ sūryo ajāyata; śrotrādayaś ca prāṇaś ca mukhād agnir ajāyata; nārāyaṇād brahmā, nārāyaṇād rudro jāyate, nārāyaṇāt prajāpatiḥ jāyate, nārāyaṇād indro jāyate, nārāyaṇād aṣṭau vasavo jāyante, nārāyaṇād ekādaśa rudrā jāyante.
“The demigod of the moon, Candra, came from the mind of Nārāyaṇa, and the sun-god came from His eyes. The controlling deities of hearing and the life air came from Nārāyaṇa, and the controlling deity of fire was generated from His mouth. Prajāpati, Lord Brahmā, came from Nārāyaṇa, Indra came from Nārāyaṇa, and the eight Vasus, the eleven expansions of Lord Śiva and the twelve Ādityas also came from Nārāyaṇa.” In the smṛti Vedic literature it is also said:
“Brahmā, Śambhu, Sūrya and Indra are all merely products of the power of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is also true of the many other demigods whose names are not mentioned here. When the cosmic manifestation is annihilated, these different expansions of Nārāyaṇa’s potencies will merge into Nārāyaṇa. In other words, all these demigods will die. Their living force will be withdrawn, and they will merge into Nārāyaṇa.”
Therefore it should be concluded that Lord Viṣṇu, not Lord Brahmā or Lord Śiva, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As a government officer is sometimes accepted as the entire government although he is actually but a departmental manager, so the demigods, having achieved power of attorney from Viṣṇu, act on His behalf, although they are not as powerful as He. All the demigods must work under the orders of Viṣṇu. Therefore it is said, ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya. The only master is Lord Kṛṣṇa, or Lord Viṣṇu, and all others are His obedient servants, who act exactly according to His orders. The distinction between Lord Viṣṇu and the demigods is also expressed in Bhagavad-gītā (9.25). Yānti deva-vratā devān. .. yānti mad-yājino ’pi mām: those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, whereas the worshipers of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Viṣṇu go to the planets in Vaikuṇṭha. These are the statements of the smṛti. Therefore the idea that Lord Viṣṇu is on the same level as the demigods is in contradiction to the śāstras. The demigods are not supreme. The supremacy of the demigods is dependent on the mercy of Lord Nārāyaṇa (Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa).
pratnasya viṣṇo rūpaṁ yat
amṛtasya ca mṛtyoś ca
sūryam ātmānam īmahīti
pratnasya—of the oldest person; viṣṇoḥ—Lord Viṣṇu; rūpam—the form; yat—which; satyasya—of the Absolute Truth; ṛtasya—of dharma; brahmaṇaḥ—of the Supreme Brahman; amṛtasya—of the auspicious result; ca—and; mṛtyoḥ—of death (the inauspicious result); ca—and; sūryam—the demigod Sūrya; ātmānam—the Supersoul or origin of all souls; īmahi—we approach for shelter; iti—thus.
[This is the mantra by which the inhabitants of Plakṣadvīpa worship the Supreme Lord.] Let us take shelter of the sun-god, who is a reflection of Lord Viṣṇu, the all-expanding Supreme Personality of Godhead, the oldest of all persons. Viṣṇu is the only worshipable Lord. He is the Vedas, He is religion, and He is the origin of all auspicious and inauspicious results.
Lord Viṣṇu is even the Supreme Lord of death, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham). There are two kinds of activity—auspicious and inauspicious—and both are controlled by Lord Viṣṇu. Inauspicious activities are said to be behind Lord Viṣṇu, whereas auspicious activities stand before Him. The auspicious and the inauspicious exist throughout the entire world, and Lord Viṣṇu is the controller of them both.
In regard to this verse, Śrīla Madhvācārya says:
There are many lands, fields, mountains and oceans throughout the creation, and everywhere the Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshiped by His different names.
Śrīla Vīrarāghava Ācārya explains this verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as follows. The original cause of the cosmic manifestation must be the oldest person and must therefore be beyond material transformations. He is the enjoyer of all auspicious activities and is the cause of conditional life and also liberation. The demigod Sūrya, who is categorized as a very powerful jīva, or living entity, is a representation of one of the parts of His body. We are naturally subordinate to powerful living entities, and therefore we can worship the various demigods as living beings who are powerful representatives of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although the worship of the sun-god is recommended in this mantra, He is worshiped not as the Supreme Personality of Godhead but as His powerful representative.
“O Nāciketā, the expansions of Lord Viṣṇu as the tiny living entity and the Supersoul are both situated within the cave of the heart of this body. Having entered that cavity, the living entity, resting on the chief of the life airs, enjoys the results of activities, and the Supersoul, acting as witness enables him to enjoy them. Those who are well-versed in knowledge of Brahman and those householders who carefully follow the Vedic regulations say that the difference between the two is like the difference between a shadow and the sun.”
In the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.16) it is said:
“The Supreme Lord, the creator of this cosmic manifestation, knows every nook and corner of His creation. Although He is the cause of creation, there is no cause for His appearance. He is fully aware of everything. He is the Supersoul, the master of all transcendental qualities, and He is the master of this cosmic manifestation in regard to bondage to the conditional state of material existence and liberation from that bondage.”
Similarly, in the Taittirīya Upaniṣad (2.8) it is said:
“It is out of fear of the Supreme Brahman that the wind is blowing, out of fear of Him that the sun regularly rises and sets, and out of fear of Him that fire acts. It is only due to fear of Him that death and Indra, the King of heaven, perform their respective duties.”
As described in this chapter, the inhabitants of the five islands beginning with Plakṣadvīpa worship the sun-god, the moon-god, the fire-god, the air-god and Lord Brahmā respectively. Although they engage in the worship of these five demigods, however, they actually worship Lord Viṣṇu, the Supersoul of all living entities, as indicated in this verse by the words pratnasya viṣṇo rūpam. Viṣṇu is brahma, amṛta, mṛtyu—the Supreme Brahman and the origin of everything, auspicious and inauspicious. He is situated in the heart of everyone, including all the demigods. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (7.20), kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ prapadyante ’nya devatāḥ: those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto the demigods. People who are almost blind because of lusty desires are recommended to worship the demigods to have their material desires fulfilled, but actually those desires are not fulfilled by the material demigods. Whatever the demigods do is done with the sanction of Lord Viṣṇu. People who are too lusty worship various demigods instead of worshiping Lord Viṣṇu, the Supersoul of all living entities, but ultimately it is Lord Viṣṇu they worship because He is the Supersoul of all demigods.
plakṣādiṣu pañcasu puruṣāṇām āyur indriyam ojaḥ saho balaṁ buddhir vikrama iti ca sarveṣām autpattikī siddhir aviśeṣeṇa vartate.
plakṣa-ādiṣu—in the islands headed by Plakṣa; pañcasu—five; puruṣāṇām—of the inhabitants; āyuḥ—long duration of life; indriyam—soundness of the senses; ojaḥ—bodily strength; sahaḥ—mental strength; balam—physical strength; buddhiḥ—intelligence; vikramaḥ—bravery; iti—thus; ca—also; sarveṣām—of all of them; autpattikī—inborn; siddhiḥ—perfection; aviśeṣeṇa—without distinction; vartate—exists.
O King, longevity, sensory prowess, physical and mental strength, intelligence and bravery are naturally and equally manifested in all the inhabitants of the five islands headed by Plakṣadvīpa.
plakṣaḥ sva-samānenekṣu-rasodenāvṛto yathā tathā dvīpo ’pi śālmalo dvi-guṇa-viśālaḥ samānena surodenāvṛtaḥ parivṛṅkte.
plakṣaḥ—the land known as Plakṣadvīpa; sva-samānena—equal in width; ikṣu-rasa—of sugarcane juice; udena—by an ocean; āvṛtaḥ—surrounded; yathā—just as; tathā—similarly; dvīpaḥ—another island; api—also; śālmalaḥ—known as Śālmala; dvi-guṇa-viśālaḥ—twice as big; samānena—equal in width; surā-udena—by an ocean of liquor; āvṛtaḥ—surrounded; parivṛṅkte—exists.
Plakṣadvīpa is surrounded by an ocean of sugarcane juice, equal in breadth to the island itself. Similarly, there is then another island—Sālmalīdvīpa—twice as broad as Plakṣadvīpa [400,000 yojanas, or 3,200,000 miles] and surrounded by an equally broad body of water called Surāsāgara, the ocean that tastes like liquor.
yatra ha vai śālmalī plakṣāyāmā yasyāṁ vāva kila nilayam āhur bhagavataś chandaḥ-stutaḥ patattri-rājasya sā dvīpa-hūtaye upalakṣyate.
yatra—where; ha vai—certainly; śālmalī—a śālmalī tree; plakṣa-āyāmā—as big as the plakṣa tree (one hundred yojanas broad and eleven hundred yojanas high); yasyām—in which; vāva kila—indeed; nilayam—rest or living place; āhuḥ—they say; bhagavataḥ—of the most powerful; chandaḥ-stutaḥ—who worships the Lord by Vedic prayers; patattri-rājasya—of Garuḍa, the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu; sā—that tree; dvīpa-hūtaye—for the name of the island; upalakṣyate—is distinguished.
On Sālmalīdvīpa there is a śālmalī tree, from which the island takes its name. That tree is as broad and tall as the plakṣa tree—in other words 100 yojanas [800 miles] broad and 1,100 yojanas [8,800 miles] tall. Learned scholars say that this gigantic tree is the residence of Garuḍa, the king of all birds and carrier of Lord Viṣṇu. In that tree, Garuḍa offers Lord Viṣṇu his Vedic prayers.
tad-dvīpādhipatiḥ priyavratātmajo yajñabāhuḥ sva-sutebhyaḥ saptabhyas tan-nāmāni sapta-varṣāṇi vyabhajat surocanaṁ saumanasyaṁ ramaṇakaṁ deva-varṣaṁ pāribhadram āpyāyanam avijñātam iti.
tat-dvīpa-adhipatiḥ—the master of that island; priyavrata-ātmajaḥ—the son of Mahārāja Priyavrata; yajña-bāhuḥ—named Yajñabāhu; sva-sutebhyaḥ—unto his sons; saptabhyaḥ—seven in number; tat-nāmāni—having names according to their names; sapta-varṣāṇi—seven tracts of land; vyabhajat—divided; surocanam—Surocana; saumanasyam—Saumanasya; ramaṇakam—Ramaṇaka; deva-varṣam—Deva-varṣa; pāribhadram—Pāribhadra; āpyāyanam—Āpyāyana; avijñātam—Avijñāta; iti—thus.
The son of Mahārāja Priyavrata named Yajñabāhu, the master of Sālmalīdvīpa, divided the island into seven tracts of land, which he gave to his seven sons. The names of those divisions, which correspond to the names of the sons, are Surocana, Saumanasya, Ramaṇaka, Deva-varṣa, Pāribhadra, Āpyāyana and Avijñāta.
teṣu varṣādrayo nadyaś ca saptaivābhijñātāḥ svarasaḥ śataśṛṅgo vāmadevaḥ kundo mukundaḥ puṣpa-varṣaḥ sahasra-śrutir iti; anumatiḥ sinīvālī sarasvatī kuhū rajanī nandā rāketi.
teṣu—in those tracts of land; varṣa-adrayaḥ—mountains; nadyaḥ ca—as well as rivers; sapta eva—seven in number; abhijñātāḥ—understood; svarasaḥ—Svarasa; śata-śṛṅgaḥ—Śataśṛṅga; vāma-devaḥ—Vāmadeva; kundaḥ—Kunda; mukundaḥ—Mukunda; puṣpa-varṣaḥ—Puṣpa-varṣa; sahasra-śrutiḥ—Sahasra-śruti; iti—thus; anumatiḥ—Anumati; sinīvālī—Sinīvālī; sarasvatī—Sarasvatī; kuhū—Kuhū; rajanī—Rajanī; nandā—Nandā; rākā—Rākā; iti—thus.
In those tracts of land there are seven mountains—Svarasa, Śataśṛṅga, Vāmadeva, Kunda, Mukunda, Puṣpa-varṣa and Sahasra-śruti. There are also seven rivers—Anumati, Sinīvālī, Sarasvatī, Kuhū, Rajanī, Nandā and Rākā. They are still existing.
tad-varṣa-puruṣāḥ śrutadhara-vīryadhara-vasundhareṣandhara-saṁjñā bhagavantaṁ vedamayaṁ somam ātmānaṁ vedena yajante.
tat-varṣa-puruṣāḥ—the residents of those tracts of land; śrutadhara—Śrutadhara; vīryadhara—Vīryadhara; vasundhara—Vasundhara; iṣandhara—Iṣandhara; saṁjñāḥ—known as; bhagavantam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; veda-mayam—fully conversant with the Vedic knowledge; somam ātmānam—represented by the living entity known as Soma; vedena—by following the Vedic rules and regulations; yajante—they worship.
Strictly following the cult of varṇāśrama-dharma, the inhabitants of those islands, who are known as Śrutidharas, Vīryadharas, Vasundharas and Iṣandharas, all worship the expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead named Soma, the moon-god.
prajānāṁ sarvāsāṁ rājā-
ndhaḥ somo na āstv iti
sva-gobhiḥ—by expansion of his own illuminating rays; pitṛ-devebhyaḥ—unto the pitās and the demigods; vibhajan—dividing; kṛṣṇa-śuklayoḥ—into the two fortnights, dark and light; prajānām—of the citizens; sarvāsām—of all; rājā—the king; andhaḥ—food grains; somaḥ—the moon-god; naḥ—toward us; āstu—let him remain favorable; iti—thus.
[The inhabitants of Śālmalīdvīpa worship the demigod of the moon in the following words.] By his own rays, the moon-god has divided the month into two fortnights, known as śukla and kṛṣṇa, for the distribution of food grains to the pitās and the demigods. The demigod of the moon is he who divides time, and he is the king of all the residents of the universe. We therefore pray that he may remain our king and guide, and we offer him our respectful obeisances.
evaṁ surodād bahis tad-dvi-guṇaḥ samānenāvṛto ghṛtodena yathā-pūrvaḥ kuśa-dvīpo yasmin kuśa-stambo deva-kṛtas tad-dvīpākhyākaro jvalana ivāparaḥ sva-śaṣpa-rociṣā diśo virājayati.
evam—thus; surodāt—from the ocean of liquor; bahiḥ—outside; tat-dvi-guṇaḥ—twice that; samānena—equal in width; āvṛtaḥ—surrounded; ghṛta-udena—an ocean of clarified butter; yathā-pūrvaḥ—as previously with Sālmalīdvīpa; kuśa-dvīpa—the island called Kuśadvīpa; yasmin—in which; kuśa-stambaḥ—kuśa grass; deva-kṛtaḥ—created by the supreme will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tat-dvīpa-ākhyā-karaḥ—giving the island its name; jvalanaḥ—fire; iva—like; aparaḥ—another; sva-śaṣpa-rociṣā—by the effulgence of the young sprouting grass; diśaḥ—all directions; virājayati—illuminates.
Outside the ocean of liquor is another island, known as Kuśadvīpa, which is 800,000 yojanas [6,400,000 miles] wide, twice as wide as the ocean of liquor. As Śālmalīdvīpa is surrounded by a liquor ocean, Kuśadvīpa is surrounded by an ocean of liquid ghee as broad as the island itself. On Kuśadvīpa there are clumps of kuśa grass, from which the island takes its name. This kuśa grass, which was created by the demigods by the will of the Supreme Lord, appears like a second form of fire, but with very mild and pleasing flames. Its young shoots illuminate all directions.
From the descriptions in this verse, we can make an educated guess about the nature of the flames on the moon. Like the sun, the moon must also be full of flames because without flames there cannot be illumination. The flames on the moon, however, unlike those on the sun, must be mild and pleasing. This is our conviction. The modern theory that the moon is full of dust is not accepted in the verses of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In regard to this verse, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says, suśaṣpāṇi sukomala-śikhās teṣāṁ rociṣā: the kuśa grass illuminates all directions, but its flames are very mild and pleasing. This gives some idea of the flames existing on the moon.
tad-dvīpa-patiḥ praiyavrato rājan hiraṇyaretā nāma svaṁ dvīpaṁ saptabhyaḥ sva-putrebhyo yathā-bhāgaṁ vibhajya svayaṁ tapa ātiṣṭhata vasu-vasudāna-dṛḍharuci-nābhigupta-stutyavrata-vivikta-vāmadeva-nāmabhyaḥ.
tat-dvīpa-patiḥ—the master of that island; praiyavrataḥ—the son of Mahārāja Priyavrata; rājan—O King; hiraṇyaretā—Hiraṇyaretā; nāma—named; svam—his own; dvīpam—island; saptabhyaḥ—unto seven; sva-putrebhyaḥ—his own sons; yathā-bhāgam—according to division; vibhajya—dividing; svayam—himself; tapaḥ ātiṣṭhata—engaged in austerities; vasu—unto Vasu; vasudāna—Vasudāna; dṛḍharuci—Dṛḍharuci; nābhi-gupta—Nābhigupta; stutya-vrata—Stutyavrata; vivikta—Vivikta; vāma-deva—Vāmadeva; nāmabhyaḥ—named.
O King, another son of Mahārāja Priyavrata, Hiraṇyaretā, was the king of this island. He divided it into seven parts, which he delivered to his seven sons according to the rights of inheritance. The King then retired from family life to engage in austerities. The names of those sons are Vasu, Vasudāna, Dṛḍharuci, Stutyavrata, Nābhigupta, Vivikta and Vāmadeva.
teṣāṁ varṣeṣu sīmā-girayo nadyaś cābhijñātāḥ sapta saptaiva cakraś catuḥśṛṅgaḥ kapilaś citrakūṭo devānīka ūrdhvaromā draviṇa iti rasakulyā madhukulyā mitravindā śrutavindā devagarbhā ghṛtacyutā mantramāleti.
teṣām—all those sons; varṣeṣu—in the tracts of land; sīmā-girayaḥ—border mountains; nadyaḥ ca—as well as rivers; abhijñātāḥ—known; sapta—seven; sapta—seven; eva—certainly; cakraḥ—Cakra; catuḥ-śṛṅgaḥ—Catuḥ-śṛṅga; kapilaḥ—Kapila; citra-kūṭaḥ—Citrakūṭa; devānīkaḥ—Devānīka; ūrdhva-romā—Ūrdhvaromā; draviṇaḥ—Draviṇa; iti—thus; rasa-kulyā—Ramakulyā; madhu-kulyā—Madhukulyā; mitra-vindā—Mitravindā; śruta-vindā—Śrutavindā; deva-garbhā—Devagarbhā; ghṛta-cyutā—Ghṛtacyutā; mantra-mālā—Mantramālā; iti—thus.
In those seven islands there are seven boundary mountains, known as Cakra, Catuḥśṛṅga, Kapila, Citrakūṭa, Devānīka, Ūrdhvaromā and Draviṇa. There are also seven rivers, known as Ramakulyā, Madhukulyā, Mitravindā, Śrutavindā, Devagarbhā, Ghṛtacyutā and Mantramālā.
yāsāṁ payobhiḥ kuśadvīpaukasaḥ kuśala-kovidābhiyukta-kulaka-saṁjñā bhagavantaṁ jātaveda-sarūpiṇaṁ karma-kauśalena yajante.
yāsām—of which; payobhiḥ—by the water; kuśa-dvīpa-okasaḥ—the inhabitants of the island known as Kuśadvīpa; kuśala—Kuśala; kovida—Kovida; abhiyukta—Abhiyukta; kulaka—Kulaka; saṁjñāḥ—named; bhagavantam—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; jātaveda—the demigod of fire; sa-rūpiṇam—manifesting the form; karma-kauśalena—by expertise in ritualistic ceremonies; yajante—they worship.
The inhabitants of the island of Kuśadvīpa are celebrated as the Kuśalas, Kovidas, Abhiyuktas and Kulakas. They are like the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras respectively. By bathing in the waters of those rivers, they all become purified. They are expert in performing ritualistic ceremonies according to the orders of the Vedic scriptures. Thus they worship the Lord in His aspect as the demigod of fire.
parasya brahmaṇaḥ sākṣāj
jāta-vedo ’si havyavāṭ
yajñena puruṣaṁ yajeti
parasya—of the Supreme; brahmaṇaḥ—Brahman; sākṣāt—directly; jāta-vedaḥ—O fire-god; asi—you are; havyavāṭ—the carrier of Vedic offerings of grains and ghee; devānām—of all the demigods; puruṣa-aṅgānām—who are limbs of the Supreme Person; yajñena—by performing the ritualistic sacrifices; puruṣam—to the Supreme person; yaja—please carry oblations; iti—thus.
[This is the mantra by which the inhabitants of Kuśadvīpa worship the fire-god.] O fire-god, you are a part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, and you carry to Him all the offerings of sacrifices. Therefore we request you to offer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead the yajñic ingredients we are offering the demigods, for the Lord is the real enjoyer.
The demigods are servants who assist the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one worships the demigods, the demigods, as servants of the Supreme, carry the sacrificial offerings to the Lord, like tax collectors collecting revenue from the citizens and bringing it to the government’s treasury. The demigods cannot accept the sacrificial offerings; they simply carry the offerings to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As stated by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ: ** since the guru is a representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he carries to the Lord whatever is offered to him. Similarly, all the demigods, as faithful servants of the Supreme Lord, hand over to the Supreme Lord whatever is offered to them in sacrificial performances. There is no fault in worshiping the demigods with this understanding, but to think that the demigods are independent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and equal to Him is called hṛta-jñāna, a loss of intelligence (kāmais tais tair hṛta jñānāḥ [Bg. 7.20]). One who thinks that the demigods themselves are the actual benefactors is mistaken.
tathā ghṛtodād bahiḥ krauñcadvīpo dvi-guṇaḥ sva-mānena kṣīrodena parita upakḷpto vṛto yathā kuśadvīpo ghṛtodena yasmin krauñco nāma parvata-rājo dvīpa-nāma-nirvartaka āste.
tathā—so also; ghṛta-udāt—from the ocean of clarified butter; bahiḥ—outside; krauñca-dvīpaḥ—another island, known as Krauñcadvīpa; dvi-guṇaḥ—twice as big; sva-mānena—as the same measurement; kṣīra-udena—by an ocean of milk; paritaḥ—all around; upakḷptaḥ—surrounded; vṛtaḥ—surrounded; yathā—like; kuśa-dvīpaḥ—the island known as Kuśadvīpa; ghṛta-udena—by an ocean of clarified butter; yasmin—in which; krauñcaḥ nāma—named Krauñca; parvata-rājaḥ—a king of mountains; dvīpa-nāma—the name of the island; nirvartakaḥ—bringing about; āste—exists.
Outside the ocean of clarified butter is another island, known as Krauñcadvīpa, which has a width of 1,600,000 yojanas [12,800,000 miles], twice the width of the ocean of clarified butter. As Kuśadvīpa is surrounded by an ocean of clarified butter, Krauñcadvīpa is surrounded by an ocean of milk as broad as the island itself. On Krauñcadvīpa there is a great mountain known as Krauñca, from which the island takes its name.
yo ’sau guha-praharaṇonmathita-nitamba-kuñjo ’pi kṣīrodenā-sicyamāno bhagavatā varuṇenābhigupto vibhayo babhūva.
yaḥ—which; asau—that (mountain); guha-praharaṇa—by the weapons of Kārttikeya, the son of Lord Śiva; unmathita—shaken; nitamba-kuñjaḥ—whose trees and vegetables along the slopes; api—although; kṣīra-udena—by the ocean of milk; āsicyamānaḥ—being always bathed; bhagavatā—by the greatly powerful; varuṇena—the demigod known as Varuṇa; abhiguptaḥ—protected; vibhayaḥ babhūva—has become fearless.
Although the vegetables living on the slopes of Mount Krauñca were attacked and devastated by the weapons of Kārttikeya, the mountain has become fearless because it is always bathed on all sides by the ocean of milk and protected by Varuṇadeva.
tasminn api praiyavrato ghṛtapṛṣṭho nāmādhipatiḥ sve dvīpe varṣāṇi sapta vibhajya teṣu putra-nāmasu sapta rikthādān varṣapān niveśya svayaṁ bhagavān bhagavataḥ parama-kalyāṇa-yaśasa ātma-bhūtasya hareś caraṇāravindam upajagāma.
tasmin—in that island; api—also; praiyavrataḥ—the son of Mahārāja Priyavrata; ghṛta-pṛṣṭhaḥ—Ghṛtapṛṣṭha; nāma—named; adhipatiḥ—the king of that island; sve—his own; dvīpe—in the island; varṣāṇi—tracts of land; sapta—seven; vibhajya—dividing; teṣu—in each of them; putra-nāmasu—possessing the names of his sons; sapta—seven; rikthā-dān—sons; varṣa-pān—the masters of the varṣas; niveśya—appointing; svayam—himself; bhagavān—very powerful; bhagavataḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; parama-kalyāṇa-yaśasaḥ—whose glories are so auspicious; ātma-bhūtasya—the soul of all souls; hareḥ caraṇa-aravindam—the lotus feet of the Lord; upajagāma—took shelter at.
The ruler of this island was another son of Mahārāja Priyavrata. His name was Ghṛtapṛṣṭha, and he was a very learned scholar. He also divided his own island among his seven sons. After dividing the island into seven parts, named according to the names of his sons, Ghṛtapṛṣṭha Mahārāja completely retired from family life and took shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord, the soul of all souls, who has all auspicious qualities. Thus he attained perfection.
āmo madhuruho meghapṛṣṭhaḥ sudhāmā bhrājiṣṭho lohitārṇo vanaspatir iti ghṛtapṛṣṭha-sutās teṣāṁ varṣa-girayaḥ sapta saptaiva nadyaś cābhikhyātāḥ śuklo vardhamāno bhojana upabarhiṇo nando nandanaḥ sarvatobhadra iti abhayā amṛtaughā āryakā tīrthavatī rūpavatī pavitravatī śukleti.
āmaḥ—Āma; madhu-ruhaḥ—Madhuruha; megha-pṛṣṭhaḥ—Meghapṛṣṭha; sudhāmā—Sudhāmā; bhrājiṣṭhaḥ—Bhrājiṣṭha; lohitārṇaḥ—Lohitārṇa; vanaspatiḥ—Vanaspati; iti—thus; ghṛtapṛṣṭha-sutāḥ—the sons of Ghṛtapṛṣṭha; teṣām—of those sons; varṣa-girayaḥ—boundary hills of the tracts of land; sapta—seven; sapta—seven; eva—also; nadyaḥ—rivers; ca—and; abhikhyātāḥ—celebrated; śuklaḥ vardhamānaḥ—Śukla and Vardhamāna; bhojanaḥ—Bhojana; upabarhiṇaḥ—Upabarhiṇa; nandaḥ—Nanda; nandanaḥ—Nandana; sarvataḥ-bhadraḥ—Sarvatobhadra; iti—thus; abhayā—Abhayā; amṛtaughā—Amṛtaughā; āryakā—Āryakā; tīrthavatī—Tīrthavatī; rūpavatī—Rūpavatī; pavitravatī—Pavitravatī; śuklā—Śuklā; iti—thus.
The sons of Mahārāja Ghṛtapṛṣṭha were named Āma, Madhuruha, Meghapṛṣṭha, Sudhāmā, Bhrājiṣṭha, Lohitārṇa and Vanaspati. In their island there are seven mountains, which indicate the boundaries of the seven tracts of land, and there are also seven rivers. The mountains are named Śukla, Vardhamāna, Bhojana, Upabarhiṇa, Nanda, Nandana and Sarvatobhadra. The rivers are named Abhayā, Amṛtaughā, Āryakā, Tīrthavatī, Rūpavatī, Pavitravatī and Śuklā.
yāsām ambhaḥ pavitram amalam upayuñjānāḥ puruṣa-ṛṣabha-draviṇa-devaka-saṁjñā varṣa-puruṣā āpomayaṁ devam apāṁ pūrṇenāñjalinā yajante.
yāsām—of all the rivers; ambhaḥ—the water; pavitram—very sanctified; amalam—very clean; upayuñjānāḥ—using; puruṣa—Puruṣa; ṛṣabha—Ṛṣabha; draviṇa—Draviṇa; devaka—Devaka; saṁjñāḥ—endowed with the names; varṣa-puruṣāḥ—the inhabitants of those varṣas; āpaḥ-mayam—Varuṇa, the lord of water; devam—as the worshipable deity; apām—of water; pūrṇena—with full; añjalinā—folded palms; yajante—do worship.
The inhabitants of Krauñcadvīpa are divided into four castes, called the Puruṣas, Ṛṣabhas, Draviṇas and Devakas. Using the waters of those sanctified rivers, they worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead by offering a palmful of water at the lotus feet of Varuṇa, the demigod who has a form of water.
Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says, āpomayaḥ asmayam: with joined palms the inhabitants of the various sections of Krauñcadvīpa offer the sanctified waters of the rivers to a deity made of stone or iron.
āpaḥ puruṣa-vīryāḥ stha
tā naḥ punītāmīva-ghnīḥ
spṛśatām ātmanā bhuva iti
āpaḥ—O water; puruṣa-vīryāḥ—endowed with the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; stha—you are; punantīḥ—sanctifying; bhūḥ—of the planetary system known as Bhūḥ; bhuvaḥ—of the Bhuvaḥ planetary system; suvaḥ—of the Svaḥ planetary system; tāḥ—that water; naḥ—of us; punīta—purify; amīva-ghnīḥ—who destroys sin; spṛśatām—of those touching; ātmanā—by your constitutional position; bhuvaḥ—the bodies; iti—thus.
[The inhabitants of Krauñcadvīpa worship with this mantra.] O water of the rivers, you have obtained energy from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore you purify the three planetary systems, known as Bhūloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarloka. By your constitutional nature, you take away sins, and that is why we are touching you. Kindly continue to purify us.
“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego—all together these eight comprise My separated material energies.”
The energy of the Lord acts throughout the creation, just as heat and light, the energies of the sun, act within the universe and make everything work. The specific rivers mentioned in the śāstras are also energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and people who regularly bathe in them are purified. It can actually be seen that many people are cured of diseases simply by bathing in the Ganges. Similarly, the inhabitants of Krauñcadvīpa purify themselves by bathing in the rivers there.
evaṁ purastāt kṣīrodāt parita upaveśitaḥ śākadvīpo dvātriṁśal-lakṣa-yojanāyāmaḥ samānena ca dadhi-maṇḍodena parīto yasmin śāko nāma mahīruhaḥ sva-kṣetra-vyapadeśako yasya ha mahā-surabhi-gandhas taṁ dvīpam anuvāsayati.
evam—thus; purastāt—beyond; kṣīra-udāt—from the ocean of milk; paritaḥ—all around; upaveśitaḥ—situated; śāka-dvīpaḥ—another island, known as Śākadvīpa; dvā-triṁśat—thirty-two; lakṣa—100,000; yojana—yojanas; āyāmaḥ—whose measure; samānena—of equal length; ca—and; dadhi-maṇḍa-udena—by an ocean containing water resembling churned yogurt; parītaḥ—surrounded; yasmin—in which land; śākaḥ—śāka; nāma—named; mahīruhaḥ—a fig tree; sva-kṣetra-vyapadeśakaḥ—giving the island its name; yasya—of which; ha—indeed; mahā-surabhi—a greatly fragrant; gandhaḥ—aroma; tam dvīpam—that island; anuvāsayati—makes fragrant.
Outside the ocean of milk is another island, Śākadvīpa, which has a width of 3,200,000 yojanas [25,600,000 miles]. As Krauñcadvīpa is surrounded by its own ocean of milk, Śākadvīpa is surrounded by an ocean of churned yogurt as broad as the island itself. In Śākadvīpa there is a big śāka tree, from which the island takes its name. This tree is very fragrant. Indeed, it lends its scent to the entire island.
tasyāpi praiyavrata evādhipatir nāmnā medhātithiḥ so ’pi vibhajya sapta varṣāṇi putra-nāmāni teṣu svātmajān purojava-manojava-pavamāna-dhūmrānīka-citrarepha-bahurūpa-viśvadhāra-saṁjñān nidhāpyādhipatīn svayaṁ bhagavaty ananta ā-veśita-matis tapovanaṁ praviveśa.
tasya api—of that island also; praiyavrataḥ—a son of Mahārāja Priyavrata; eva—certainly; adhipatiḥ—the ruler; nāmnā—by the name; medhā-tithiḥ—Medhātithi; saḥ api—he also; vibhajya—dividing; sapta varṣāṇi—seven divisions of the island; putra-nāmāni—possessing the names of his sons; teṣu—in them; sva-ātmajān—his own sons; purojava—Purojava; manojava—Manojava; pavamāna—Pavamāna; dhūmrānīka—Dhūmrānīka; citra-repha—Citrarepha; bahu-rūpa—Bahurūpa; viśvadhāra—Viśvadhāra; saṁjñān—having as names; nidhāpya—establishing as; adhipatīn—the rulers; svayam—himself; bhagavati—in the Supreme Personality of Godhead; anante—in the unlimited; āveśita-matiḥ—whose mind was fully absorbed; tapaḥ-vanam—in the forest where meditation is performed; praviveśa—he entered.
The master of this island, also one of the sons of Priyavrata, was known as Medhātithi. He also divided his island into seven sections, named according to the names of his own sons, whom he made the kings of that island. The names of those sons are Purojava, Manojava, Pavamāna, Dhūmrānīka, Citrarepha, Bahurūpa and Viśvadhāra. After dividing the island and situating his sons as its rulers, Medhātithi personally retired, and to fix his mind completely upon the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he entered a forest suitable for meditation.
eteṣāṁ varṣa-maryādā-girayo nadyaś ca sapta saptaiva īśāna uruśṛṅgo balabhadraḥ śatakesaraḥ sahasrasroto devapālo mahānasa iti anaghāyurdā ubhayaspṛṣṭir aparājitā pañcapadī sahasrasrutir nijadhṛtir iti.
eteṣām—of all these divisions; varṣa-maryādā—acting as the boundary limits; girayaḥ—the big hills; nadyaḥ ca—and the rivers also; sapta—seven; sapta—seven; eva—indeed; īśānaḥ—Īśāna; uruśṛṅgaḥ—Uruśṛṅga; bala-bhadraḥ—Balabhadra; śata-kesaraḥ—Śatakesara; sahasra-srotaḥ—Sahasrasrota; deva-pālaḥ—Devapāla; mahānasaḥ—Mahānasa; iti—thus; anaghā—Anaghā; āyurdā—Āyurdā; ubhayaspṛṣṭiḥ—Ubhayaspṛṣṭi; aparājitā—Aparājitā; pañcapadī—Pañcapadī; sahasra-srutiḥ—Sahasra-śruti; nija-dhṛtiḥ—Nijadhṛti; iti—thus.
For these lands also, there are seven boundary mountains and seven rivers. The mountains are Īśāna, Uruśṛṅga, Balabhadra, Śatakesara, Sahasrasrota, Devapāla and Mahānasa. The rivers are Anaghā, Āyurdā, Ubhayaspṛṣṭi, Aparājitā, Pañcapadī, Sahasra-śruti and Nijadhṛti.
tad-varṣa-puruṣā ṛtavrata-satyavrata-dānavratānuvrata-nāmāno bhagavantaṁ vāyv-ātmakaṁ prāṇāyāma-vidhūta-rajas-tamasaḥ parama-samādhinā yajante.
tat-varṣa-puruṣāḥ—the inhabitants of those tracts of land; ṛta-vrata—Ṛtavrata; satya-vrata—Satyavrata; dāna-vrata—Dānavrata; anuvrata—Anuvrata; nāmānaḥ—having the four names; bhagavantam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vāyu-ātmakam—represented by the demigod Vāyu; prāṇāyāma—by the practice of regulating the airs within the body; vidhūta—cleansed away; rajaḥ-tamasaḥ—whose passion and ignorance; parama—sublime; samādhinā—by trance; yajante—they worship.
The inhabitants of those islands are also divided into four castes—Ṛtavrata, Satyavrata, Dānavrata and Anuvrata—which exactly resemble brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra. They practice prāṇāyāma and mystic yoga, and in trance they worship the Supreme Lord in the form of Vāyu.
yo bibharty ātma-ketubhiḥ
pātu no yad-vaśe sphuṭam
antaḥ-praviśya—entering within; bhūtāni—all living entities; yaḥ—who; bibharti—maintains; ātma-ketubhiḥ—by the functions of the inner airs (prāṇa, apāna, etc.); antaryāmī—the Supersoul within; īśvaraḥ—the Supreme person; sākṣāt—directly; pātu—please maintain; naḥ—us; yat-vaśe—under whose control; sphuṭam—the cosmic manifestation.
[The inhabitants of Śākadvīpa worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Vāyu in the following words.] O Supreme Person, situated as the Supersoul within the body, You direct the various actions of the different airs, such as prāṇa, and thus You maintain all living entities. O Lord, O Supersoul of everyone, O controller of the cosmic manifestation under whom everything exists, may You protect us from all dangers.
Through the mystic yoga practice called prāṇāyāma, the yogī controls the airs within the body to maintain the body in a healthy condition. In this way, the yogī comes to the point of trance and tries to see the Supersoul within the core of his heart. Prāṇāyāma is the means to attain samādhi, trance, in order to fully absorb oneself in seeing the Supreme Lord as antaryāmī, the Supersoul within the core of the heart.
evam eva dadhi-maṇḍodāt parataḥ puṣkaradvīpas tato dvi-guṇāyāmaḥ samantata upakalpitaḥ samānena svādūdakena samudreṇa bahir āvṛto yasmin bṛhat-puṣkaraṁ jvalana-śikhāmala-kanaka-patrāyutāyutaṁ bhagavataḥ kamalāsanasyādhyāsanaṁ parikalpitam.
evam eva—thus; dadhi-maṇḍa-udāt—the ocean of yogurt; parataḥ—beyond; puṣkara-dvīpaḥ—another island, named Puṣkaradvīpa; tataḥ—than that (Śākadvīpa); dvi-guṇa-āyāmaḥ—whose measurement is twice as great; samantataḥ—on all sides; upakalpitaḥ—surrounded; samānena—equal in width; svādu-udakena—possessing sweet water; samudreṇa—by an ocean; bahiḥ—outside; āvṛtaḥ—surrounded; yasmin—in which; bṛhat—very big; puṣkaram—lotus flower; jvalana-śikhā—like the flames of a blazing fire; amala—pure; kanaka—gold; patra—leaves; ayuta-ayutam—possessing 100,000,000; bhagavataḥ—greatly powerful; kamala āsanasya—of Lord Brahmā, whose sitting place is on the lotus flower; adhyāsanam—sitting place; parikalpitam—considered.
Outside the ocean of yogurt is another island, known as Puṣkaradvīpa, which is 6,400,000 yojanas [51,200,000 miles] wide, twice as wide as the ocean of yogurt. It is surrounded by an ocean of very tasteful water as broad as the island itself. On Puṣkaradvīpa there is a great lotus flower with 100,000,000 pure golden petals, as effulgent as the flames of fire. That lotus flower is considered the sitting place of Lord Brahmā, who is the most powerful living being and who is therefore sometimes called bhagavān.
tad-dvīpa-madhye mānasottara-nāmaika evārvācīna-parācīna-varṣayor maryādācalo ’yuta-yojanocchrāyāyāmo yatra tu catasṛṣu dikṣu catvāri purāṇi loka-pālānām indrādīnāṁ yad-upariṣṭāt sūrya-rathasya meruṁ paribhramataḥ saṁvatsarātmakaṁ cakraṁ devānām aho-rātrābhyāṁ paribhramati.
tat-dvīpa-madhye—within that island; mānasottara—Mānasottara; nāma—named; ekaḥ—one; eva—indeed; arvācīna—on this side; parācīna—and beyond, or outside; varṣayoḥ—of tracts of land; maryādā—indicating the boundary; acalaḥ—a great mountain; ayuta—ten thousand; yojana—eight miles; ucchrāya-āyāmaḥ—whose height and width; yatra—where; tu—but; catasṛṣu—in the four; dikṣu—directions; catvāri—four; purāṇi—cities; loka-pālānām—of the directors of planetary systems; indra-ādīnām—headed by Indra; yat—of which; upariṣṭāt—on the top; sūrya-rathasya—of the chariot of the sun-god; merum—Meru Mountain; paribhramataḥ—while circumambulating; saṁvatsara-ātmakam—consisting of one saṁvatsara; cakram—wheel or orbit; devānām—of the demigods; ahaḥ-rātrābhyām—by the day and night; paribhramati—moves around.
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 [80,000 miles]. On that mountain, in the four directions, are the residential quarters of demigods such as Indra. In the chariot of the sun-god, the sun travels on the top of the mountain in an orbit called the Saṁvatsara, encircling Mount Meru. The sun’s path on the northern side is called Uttarāyaṇa, and its path on the southern side is called Dakṣiṇāyana. One side represents a day for the demigods, and the other represents their night.
The movement of the sun is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.52): yasyājñāya bhramati saṁbhṛta-kāla-cakraḥ. The sun orbits around Mount Sumeru, for six months on the northern side and for six months on the southern. This adds up to the duration of a day and night of the demigods in the upper planetary systems.
tad-dvīpasyāpy adhipatiḥ praiyavrato vītihotro nāmaitasyātmajau ramaṇaka-dhātaki-nāmānau varṣa-patī niyujya sa svayaṁ pūrvajavad-bhagavat-karma-śīla evāste.
tat-dvīpasya—of that island; api—also; adhipatiḥ—the ruler; praiyavrataḥ—a son of Mahārāja Priyavrata; vītihotraḥ nāma—named Vītihotra; etasya—of him; ātma-jau—unto the two sons; ramaṇaka—Ramaṇaka; dhātaki—and Dhātaki; nāmānau—having the names; varṣa-patī—the rulers of the two tracts of land; niyujya—appointing; saḥ svayam—himself; pūrvaja-vat—like his other brothers; bhagavat-karma-śīlaḥ—being absorbed in activities to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead; eva—indeed; āste—remains.
The ruler of this island, the son of Mahārāja Priyavrata named Vītihotra, had two sons named Ramaṇaka and Dhātaki. He granted the two sides of the island to these two sons and then personally engaged himself in activities for the sake of the Supreme Personality of Godhead like his elder brother Medhātithi.
tad-varṣa-puruṣā bhagavantaṁ brahma-rūpiṇaṁ sakarmakeṇa karmaṇārādhayantīdaṁ codāharanti.
tat-varṣa-puruṣāḥ—the inhabitants of that island; bhagavantam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; brahma-rūpiṇam—exhibited as Lord Brahmā being seated on the lotus; sa-karmakeṇa—for fulfillment of material desires; karmaṇā—by performing ritualistic activities according to the Vedas; ārādhayanti—worship; idam—this; ca—and; udāharanti—they chant.
For the fulfillment of material desires, the inhabitants of this tract of land worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead as represented by Lord Brahmā. They offer prayers to the Lord as follows.
yat tat karmamayaṁ liṅgaṁ
brahma-liṅgaṁ jano ’rcayet
ekāntam advayaṁ śāntaṁ
tasmai bhagavate nama iti
yat—which; tat—that; karma-mayam—obtainable by the Vedic ritualistic system; liṅgam—the form; brahma-liṅgam—which makes known the Supreme Brahman; janaḥ—a person; arcayet—must worship; ekāntam—who has full faith in the one Supreme; advayam—nondifferent; śāntam—peaceful; tasmai—unto him; bhagavate—the most powerful; namaḥ—our respects; iti—thus.
Lord Brahmā is known as karma-maya, the form of ritualistic ceremonies, because by performing ritualistic ceremonies one may attain his position and because the Vedic ritualistic hymns become manifest from him. He is devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead without deviation, and therefore in one sense he is not different from the Lord. Nevertheless, he should be worshiped not as the monists worship him, but in duality. One should always remain a servitor of the Supreme Lord, the supreme worshipable Deity. We therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto Lord Brahmā, the form of manifest Vedic knowledge.
In this verse, the word karma-mayam (“obtainable by the Vedic ritualistic system”) is significant. The Vedas say, svadharma-niṣṭhaḥ śata janmabhiḥ pumān viriñcatām eti: “One who strictly follows the principles of varṇāśrama-dharma for at least one hundred births will be rewarded with the post of Lord Brahmā.” It is also significant that although Lord Brahmā is extremely powerful, he never thinks himself one with the Supreme Personality of Godhead; he always knows that he is an eternal servitor of the Lord. Because the Lord and the servant are identical on the spiritual platform, Brahmā is herein addressed as bhagavān. Bhagavān is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, but if a devotee serves Him with full faith, the meaning of the Vedic literature is revealed to him. Therefore Brahmā is called brahma-liṅga, which indicates that his entire form consists of Vedic knowledge.
tataḥ parastāl lokāloka-nāmācalo lokālokayor antarāle parita upakṣiptaḥ.
tataḥ—from that ocean of sweet drinking water; parastāt—beyond; lokāloka-nāma—named Lokāloka; acalaḥ—a mountain; loka-alokayoḥ antarāle—between the countries full of sunlight and those without sunlight; paritaḥ—all around; upakṣiptaḥ—exists.
Thereafter, 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.
yāvan mānasottara-mervor antaraṁ tāvatī bhūmiḥ kāñcany anyādarśa-talopamā yasyāṁ prahitaḥ padārtho na kathañcit punaḥ pratyupalabhyate tasmāt sarva-sattva-parihṛtāsīt.
yāvat—as much as; mānasottara-mervoḥ antaram—the land between Mānasottara and Meru (beginning from the middle of Mount Sumeru); tāvatī—that much; bhūmiḥ—land; kāñcanī—made of gold; anyā—another; ādarśa-tala-upamā—whose surface is just like the surface of a mirror; yasyām—on which; prahitaḥ—dropped; padārthaḥ—a thing; na—not; kathañcit—in any way; punaḥ—again; pratyupalabhyate—is found; tasmāt—therefore; sarva-sattva—by all living entities; parihṛtā—abandoned; āsīt—was.
Beyond the ocean of sweet water is a tract of land as broad as the area between the middle of Mount Sumeru and the boundary of Mānasottara Mountain. In that tract of land there are many living beings. Beyond it, extending to Lokāloka Mountain, is another land, which is made of gold. Because of its golden surface, it reflects light like the surface of a mirror, and any physical article that falls on that land can never be perceived again. All living entities, therefore, have abandoned that golden land.
lokāloka iti samākhyā yad anenācalena lokālokasyāntarvar-tināvasthāpyate.
loka—with light (or with inhabitants); alokaḥ—without light (or without inhabitants); iti—in this way; samākhyā—designation; yat—which; anena—by this; acalena—mountain; loka—of the land inhabited by living entities; alokasya—and of the land not inhabited by living entities; antarvartinā—which is in the middle; avasthāpyate—is established.
Between the lands inhabited by living entities and those that are uninhabited stands the great mountain which separates the two and which is therefore celebrated as Lokāloka.
sa loka-trayānte parita īśvareṇa vihito yasmāt sūryādīnāṁ dhruvāpavargāṇāṁ jyotir-gaṇānāṁ gabhastayo ’rvācīnāṁs trīḹ lokān āvitanvānā na kadācit parācīnā bhavitum utsahante tāvad un-nahanāyāmaḥ.
saḥ—that mountain; loka-traya-ante—at the end of the three lokas (Bhūrloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarloka); paritaḥ—all around; īśvareṇa—by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa; vihitaḥ—created; yasmāt—from which; sūrya-ādīnām—of the sun planet; dhruva-apavargāṇām—up to Dhruvaloka and other, inferior luminaries; jyotiḥ-gaṇānām—of all the luminaries; gabhastayaḥ—the rays; arvācīnān—on this side; trīn—the three; lokān—planetary systems; āvitanvānāḥ—spreading throughout; na—not; kadācit—at any time; parācīnāḥ—beyond the jurisdiction of that mountain; bhavitum—to be; utsahante—are able; tāvat—that much; unnahana-āyāmaḥ—the measure of the height of the mountain.
By the supreme will of Kṛṣṇa, the mountain known as Lokāloka has been installed as the outer border of the three worlds—Bhūrloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarloka—to control the rays of the sun throughout the universe. All the luminaries, from the sun up to Dhruvaloka, distribute their rays throughout the three worlds, but only within the boundary formed by this mountain. Because it is extremely high, extending even higher than Dhruvaloka, it blocks the rays of the luminaries, which therefore can never extend beyond it.
When we speak of loka-traya, we refer to the three primary planetary systems—Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ and Svaḥ—into which the universe is divided. Surrounding these planetary systems are the eight directions, namely east, west, north, south, northeast, southeast, northwest and southwest. Lokāloka Mountain has been established as the outer boundary of all the lokas to distribute the rays of the sun and other luminaries equally throughout the universe.
This vivid description of how the rays of the sun are distributed throughout the different planetary systems of the universe is very scientific. Śukadeva Gosvāmī described these universal affairs to Mahārāja Parīkṣit as he had heard about them from his predecessor. He explained these facts five thousand years ago, but the knowledge existed long, long before because Śukadeva Gosvāmī received it through disciplic succession. Because this knowledge is accepted through the disciplic succession, it is perfect. The history of modern scientific knowledge, on the contrary, does not go back more than a few hundred years. Therefore, even if modern scientists do not accept the other factual presentations of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, how can they deny the perfect astronomical calculations that existed long before they could imagine such things? There is so much information to gather from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Modern scientists, however, have no information of other planetary systems and, indeed, are hardly conversant with the planet on which we are now living.
etāvāḹ loka-vinyāso māna-lakṣaṇa-saṁsthābhir vicintitaḥ kavibhiḥ sa tu pañcāśat-koṭi-gaṇitasya bhū-golasya turīya-bhāgo ’yaṁ lokālokācalaḥ.
etāvān—this much; loka-vinyāsaḥ—the placing of the different planets; māna—with measurements; lakṣaṇa—symptoms; saṁsthābhiḥ—as well as with their different situations; vicintitaḥ—established by scientific calculations; kavibhiḥ—by learned scholars; saḥ—that; tu—but; pañcāśat-koṭi—500,000,000 yojanas; gaṇitasya—which is measured at; bhū-golasya—of the planetary system known as Bhūgolaka; turīya-bhāgaḥ—one fourth; ayam—this; lokāloka-acalaḥ—the mountain known as Lokāloka.
Learned scholars who are free from mistakes, illusions and propensities to cheat have thus described the planetary systems and their particular symptoms, measurements and locations. With great deliberation, they have established the truth that the distance between Sumeru and the mountain known as Lokāloka is one fourth of the diameter of the universe—or, in other words, 125,000,000 yojanas [1 billion miles].
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has given accurate astronomical information about the location of Lokāloka Mountain, the movements of the sun globe and the distance between the sun and the circumference of the universe. However, the technical terms used in the astronomical calculations given by the Jyotir Veda are difficult to translate into English. Therefore to satisfy the reader, we may include the exact Sanskrit statement given by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, which records exact calculations regarding universal affairs.
tad-upariṣṭāc catasṛṣv āśāsvātma-yoninākhila-jagad-guruṇādhiniveśitā ye dvirada-pataya ṛṣabhaḥ puṣkaracūḍo vāmano ’parājita iti sakala-loka-sthiti-hetavaḥ.
tat-upariṣṭāt—on the top of Lokāloka Mountain; catasṛṣu āśāsu—in the four directions; ātma-yoninā—by Lord Brahmā; akhila-jagat-guruṇā—the spiritual master of the whole universe; adhiniveśitāḥ—established; ye—all those; dvirada-patayaḥ—the best of elephants; ṛṣabhaḥ—Ṛṣabha; puṣkara-cūḍaḥ—Puṣkaracūḍa; vāmanaḥ—Vāmana; aparājitaḥ—Aparājita; iti—thus; sakala-loka-sthiti-hetavaḥ—the causes of the maintenance of the different planets within the universe.
On the top of Lokāloka Mountain are the four gaja-patis, the best of elephants, which were established in the four directions by Lord Brahmā, the supreme spiritual master of the entire universe. The names of those elephants are Ṛṣabha, Puṣkaracūḍa, Vāmana and Aparājita. They are responsible for maintaining the planetary systems of the universe.
teṣāṁ sva-vibhūtīnāṁ loka-pālānāṁ ca vividha-vīryopabṛṁhaṇāya bhagavān parama-mahā-puruṣo mahā-vibhūti-patir antaryāmy ātmano viśuddha-sattvaṁ dharma-jñāna-vairāgyaiśvaryādy-aṣṭa-mahā-siddhy-upalakṣaṇaṁ viṣvaksenādibhiḥ sva-pārṣada-pravaraiḥ parivārito nija-varāyudhopaśobhitair nija-bhuja-daṇḍaiḥ sandhārayamāṇas tasmin giri-vare samantāt sakala-loka-svastaya āste.
teṣām—of all of them; sva-vibhūtīnām—who are his personal expansions and assistants; loka-pālānām—who are entrusted with looking after the universal affairs; ca—and; vividha—varieties; vīrya-upabṛṁhaṇāya—for expanding the powers; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; parama-mahā-puruṣaḥ—the foremost master of all kinds of opulence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahā-vibhūti-patiḥ—the master of all inconceivable potencies; antaryāmī—the Supersoul; ātmanaḥ—of Himself; viśuddha-sattvam—having an existence without contamination by the material modes of nature; dharma-jñāna-vairāgya—of religion, pure knowledge and renunciation; aiśvarya-ādi—of all kinds of opulence; aṣṭa—eight; mahā-siddhi—and of great mystic perfections; upalakṣaṇam—having the characteristics; viṣvaksena-ādibhiḥ—by His expansion known as Viṣvaksena and others; sva-pārṣada-pravaraiḥ—the best of personal assistants; parivāritaḥ—surrounded; nija—His own; vara-āyudha—by different types of weapons; upaśobhitaiḥ—being decorated; nija—own; bhuja-daṇḍaiḥ—with stout arms; sandhārayamāṇaḥ—manifesting this form; tasmin—on that; giri-vare—great mountain; samantāt—all around; sakala-loka-svastaye—for the benefit of all the planetary systems; āste—exists.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the master of all transcendental opulences and the master of the spiritual sky. He is the Supreme Person, Bhagavān, the Supersoul of everyone. The demigods, led by Indra, the King of heaven, are entrusted with seeing to the affairs of the material world. To benefit all living beings in all the varied planets and to increase the power of those elephants and of the demigods, the Lord manifests Himself on top of that mountain in a spiritual body, uncontaminated by the modes of material nature. Surrounded by His personal expansions and assistants like Viṣvaksena, He exhibits all His perfect opulences, such as religion and knowledge, and His mystic powers such as aṇimā, laghimā and mahimā. He is beautifully situated, and He is decorated by the different weapons in His four hands.
ākalpam evaṁ veṣaṁ gata eṣa bhagavān ātma-yogamāyayā viracita-vividha-loka-yātrā-gopīyāyety arthaḥ.
ā-kalpam—for the duration of the time of creation; evam—thus; veṣam—appearance; gataḥ—has accepted; eṣaḥ—this; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ātma-yoga-māyayā—by His own spiritual potency; viracita—perfected; vividha-loka-yātrā—the livelihood of the various planetary systems; gopīyāya—just to maintain; iti—thus; arthaḥ—the purpose.
The various forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, such as Nārāyaṇa and Viṣṇu, are beautifully decorated with different weapons. The Lord exhibits those forms to maintain all the varied planets created by His personal potency, yogamāyā.
In Bhagavad-gītā (4.6) Lord Kṛṣṇa says, sambhavāmy ātma-māyayā: “I appear by My internal potency. “The word ātma-māyā refers to the Lord’s personal potency, yogamāyā. After creating both the material world and spiritual world through yogamāyā, the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally maintains them by expanding Himself in different categories as the Viṣṇu mūrtis and the demigods. He maintains the material creation from beginning to end, and He personally maintains the spiritual world.
yo ’ntar-vistāra etena hy aloka-parimāṇaṁ ca vyākhyātaṁ yad bahir lokālokācalāt; tataḥ parastād yogeśvara-gatiṁ viśuddhām udāharanti.
yaḥ—that which; antaḥ-vistāraḥ—the distance inside Lokāloka Mountain; etena—by this; hi—indeed; aloka-parimāṇam—the width of the tract of land known as Aloka-varṣa; ca—and; vyākhyātam—described; yat—which; bahiḥ—outside; lokāloka-acalāt—beyond Lokāloka Mountain; tataḥ—that; parastāt—beyond; yogeśvara-gatim—the path of Yogeśvara (Kṛṣṇa) in penetrating the coverings of the universe; viśuddhām—without material contamination; udāharanti—they say.
My dear King, outside Lokāloka Mountain is the tract of land known as Aloka-varṣa, which extends for the same breadth as the area within the mountain—in other words, 125,000,000 yojanas [one billion miles]. Beyond Aloka-varṣa is the destination of those who aspire for liberation from the material world. It is beyond the jurisdiction of the material modes of nature, and therefore it is completely pure. Lord Kṛṣṇa took Arjuna through this place to bring back the sons of the brāhmaṇa.
dyāv-ābhūmyor yad antaram
koṭyaḥ syuḥ pañca-viṁśatiḥ
aṇḍa-madhya-gataḥ—situated in the center of the universe; sūryaḥ—the sun globe; dyāv-ābhūmyoḥ—the two planetary systems Bhūrloka and Bhuvarloka; yat—which; antaram—in between; sūrya—of the sun; aṇḍa-golayoḥ—and the globe of the universe; madhye—in the middle; koṭyaḥ—groups of ten million; syuḥ—are; pañca-viṁśatiḥ—twenty-five.
The sun is situated [vertically] in the middle of the universe, in the area between Bhūrloka and Bhuvarloka, which is called antarikṣa, outer space. The distance between the sun and the circumference of the universe is twenty-five koṭi yojanas [two billion miles].
The word koṭi means ten million, and a yojana is eight miles. The diameter of the universe is fifty koṭi yojanas (four billion miles). Therefore, since the sun is in the middle of the universe, the distance between the sun and the edge of the universe is calculated to be twenty-five koṭi yojanas (two billion miles).
mṛte ’ṇḍa eṣa etasmin yad abhūt tato mārtaṇḍa iti vyapadeśaḥ; hiraṇyagarbha iti yad dhiraṇyāṇḍa-samudbhavaḥ.
mṛte—dead; aṇḍe—in the globe; eṣaḥ—this; etasmin—in this; yat—which; abhūt—entered personally at the time of creation; tataḥ—from that; mārtaṇḍa—Mārtaṇḍa; iti—thus; vyapadeśaḥ—the designation; hiraṇya-garbhaḥ—known as Hiraṇyagarbha; iti—thus; yat—because; hiraṇya-aṇḍa-samudbhavaḥ—his material body was created from Hiraṇyagarbha.
The sun-god is also known as Vairāja, the total material body for all living entities. Because he entered this dull egg of the universe at the time of creation, he is also called Mārtaṇḍa. He is also known as Hiraṇyagarbha because he received his material body from Hiraṇyagarbha [Lord Brahmā].
The post of Lord Brahmā is meant for very highly elevated, spiritually advanced living beings. When such living beings are unavailable, Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, expands Himself as Lord Brahmā. This takes place very rarely. Consequently there are two kinds of Brahmās. Sometimes Brahmā is an ordinary living entity, and at other times Brahmā is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Brahmā spoken of here is an ordinary living being. Whether Brahmā is the Supreme Personality of Godhead or an ordinary living being, he is known as Vairāja Brahmā and Hiraṇyagarbha Brahmā. Therefore the sun-god is also accepted as Vairāja Brahmā.
sūryeṇa hi vibhajyante
diśaḥ khaṁ dyaur mahī bhidā
rasaukāṁsi ca sarvaśaḥ
sūryeṇa—by the sun-god within the sun planet; hi—indeed; vibhajyante—are divided; diśaḥ—the directions; kham—the sky; dyauḥ—the heavenly planets; mahī—the earthly planets; bhidā—other divisions; svarga—the heavenly planets; apavargau—and the places for liberation; narakāḥ—the hellish planets; rasaukāṁsi—such as Atala; ca—also; sarvaśaḥ—all.
O King, the sun-god and the sun planet divide all the directions of the universe. It is only because of the presence of the sun that we can understand what the sky, the higher planets, this world and the lower planets are. It is also only because of the sun that we can understand which places are for material enjoyment, which are for liberation, which are hellish and subterranean.
sūrya ātmā dṛg-īśvaraḥ
deva—of the demigods; tiryak—the lower animals; manuṣyāṇām—and the human beings; sarīsṛpa—the insects and the serpents; sa-vīrudhām—and the plants and trees; sarva-jīva-nikāyānām—of all groups of living entities; sūryaḥ—the sun-god; ātmā—the life and soul; dṛk—of the eyes; īśvaraḥ—the personality of Godhead.
All living entities, including demigods, human beings, animals, birds, insects, reptiles, creepers and trees, depend upon the heat and light given by the sun-god from the sun planet. Furthermore, it is because of the sun’s presence that all living entities can see, and therefore he is called dṛg-īśvara, the Personality of Godhead presiding over sight.
In this regard, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says, sūrya ātmā ātmatvenopāsyaḥ. The actual life and soul of all living entities within this universe is the sun. He is therefore upāsya, worshipable. We worship the sun-god by chanting the Gāyatrī mantra (oṁ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ tat savitur vareṇyaṁ bhargo devasya dhīmahi). Sūrya is the life and soul of this universe, and there are innumerable universes for which a sun-god is the life and soul, just as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the life and soul of the entire creation. We have information that Vairāja, Hiraṇyagarbha, entered the great, dull, material globe called the sun. This indicates that the theory held by so-called scientists that no one lives there is wrong. Bhagavad-gītā also says that Kṛṣṇa first instructed Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god (imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]). Therefore the sun is not vacant. It is inhabited by living entities, and the predominating deity is Vairāja, or Vivasvān. The difference between the sun and earth is that the sun is a fiery planet, but everyone there has a suitable body and can live there without difficulty.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fifth Canto, Twentieth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled, “Studying the Structure of the Universe.”
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