ratnākarāś ca ratnaughāṁs
tat-patnyaś cohur ūrmibhiḥ
ratnākarāḥ—the seas and oceans; ca—and; ratna-oghān—various kinds of gems and valuable stones; tat-patnyaḥ—the wives of the oceans and seas, namely the rivers; ca—also; ūhuḥ—carried; ūrmibhiḥ—by their waves; kṣāra—the salt ocean; sīdhu—the ocean of wine; ghṛta—the ocean of clarified butter; kṣaudra—the ocean of sugarcane juice; dadhi—the ocean of yogurt; kṣīra—the ocean of milk; amṛta—and the very sweet ocean; udakāḥ—water.
By the flowing of their waves, the various oceans of the universe, along with their tributaries, the rivers, which are compared to their wives, supplied various kinds of gems and jewels for Hiraṇyakaśipu’s use. These oceans were the oceans of salt water, sugarcane juice, wine, clarified butter, milk, yogurt, and sweet water.
The water of the seas and oceans of this planet, of which we have experience, are salty, but other planets within the universe contain oceans of sugarcane juice, liquor, ghee, milk and sweet water. The rivers are figuratively described as wives of the oceans and seas because they glide down to the oceans and seas as tributaries, like the wives attached to their husbands. Modern scientists attempt excursions to other planets, but they have no information of how many different types of oceans and seas there are within the universe. According to their experience, the moon is full of dust, but this does not explain how it gives us soothing rays from a distance of millions of miles. As far as we are concerned, we follow the authority of Vyāsadeva and Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who have described the universal situation according to the Vedic literature. These authorities differ from modern scientists who conclude from their imperfect sensual experience that only this planet is inhabited by living beings whereas the other planets are all vacant or full of dust.
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