Chapter 11

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said,–‘Thou hast, O Sanjaya, duly described Jamvukhandato me. Tell me now its dimensions and extent truly. Tell me also, OSanjaya, of the extent of the ocean of Sakadwipa, and Kusadwipa, ofSalmalidwipa and Kraunchadwipa, truly and without leaving anything andtell me also, O son of Gavalgani, of Rahu and Soma and Surya.’

“Sanjaya said,–‘There are, O king, many islands, over which the Earthextended. I will describe to thee, however, only seven islands, and themoon, and the sun, and the planet (Rahu), also. The Jamvu mountain, Oking, extends over full eighteen thousand and six hundred Yojanas. Theextent of the salt ocean is said to be twice this. That ocean is coveredwith many kingdoms, and is adorned with gems and corals. It is, besides,decked with many mountains that are variegated with metals of diversekinds. Thickly peopled by Siddhas and Charanas, the ocean is circular inform.

“I will now tell thee truly of Sakadwipa, O Bharata. Listen to me, O sonof Kuru’s race, as I describe it to thee duly. That island, O ruler ofmen, is of twice the extent of Jamvudwipa. And the ocean also, O greatking, is of twice the extent of that island. Indeed, O best of theBharatas, Sakadwipa is surrounded on all sides by the ocean. The kingdomsthere are full of righteousness, and the men there never die. How canfamine take place there? The people are all endued with forgiveness andgreat energy. I have now, O bull of Bharata’s race, given thee duly abrief description of Sakadwipa. What else, O king, dost thou wish tohear?'”[66]

“Dhritarashtra said,–‘Thou hast given me, O Sanjaya, a description ofSakadwipa in brief. O thou that art possessed of great wisdom, tell menow everything in detail truly.’

“Sanjaya said,–‘In that island, O king, there are seven mountains thatare decked with jewels and that are mines of gems, precious stones. Thereare many rivers also in that island. Listen to me as I recount theirnames. Everything there, O king, is excellent and delightful, The firstof these mountains is called Meru. It is the abode of the gods, Rishis,and Gandharvas. The next mountain, O king, is called Malaya stretchingtowards the east. It is there that the clouds are generated and it isthence that they disperse on all sides. The next, O thou of Kuru’s race,is the large mountain called Jaladhara.[67] Thence Indra daily takethwater of the best quality. It is from that water that we get showers inthe season of rains, O ruler of men. Next cometh the high mountain calledRaivataka, over which, in the firmament, hath been permanently placed theconstellation called Revati. This arrangement hath been made by theGrandsire himself. On the north of this, O great king, is the largemountain called Syama. It hath the splendour of newly-risen clouds, isvery high, beautiful and of bright body. And since the hue of thosemountains is dark, the people residing there are all dark in complexion,O king.’

“Dhritarashtra said,–‘A great doubt ariseth in my mind, O Sanjaya, fromwhat thou hast said. Why, O Suta’s son, would the people there be of darkcomplexion?’

“Sanjaya said,–‘O great king, in all islands, O son of Kuru’s race, menmay be found that are fair, and those that are dark, and those also thatare produced by a union of the fair and the dark races. But because thepeople there are all dark, therefore is that mountain called the DarkMountain. After this, O chief of the Kurus, is the large mountain calledDurgasaila. And then cometh the mountain called Kesari. The breezes thatblow from that mountain are all charged with (odoriferous) effluvia. Themeasure of each of these mountains is double that of the one mentionedimmediately before. O thou of Kuru’s race, it hath been said by the wisethat there are seven Varshas in that island. The Varsha of Meru is calledMahakasa; that of the water-giving (Malaya) is called Kumudottara. TheVarsha of Jaladhara is called Sukumara: while that of Raivatak is calledKaumara; and of Syama, Manikanchana. The Varsha of Kesara is calledMandaki, and that called after the next mountain is called Mahapuman. Inthe midst of that island is a large tree called Saka. In height andbreadth the measure of that tree is equal to that of the Jamvu tree inJamvudwipa. And the people there always adore that tree. There in thatisland are, many delightful provinces where Siva is worshipped, andthither repair the Siddhas, the Charanas, and the celestials. The peoplethere, O king, are virtuous, and all the four orders, O Bharata, aredevoted to their respective occupation. No instance of theft can be seenthere. Freed from decrepitude and death and gifted with long life, thepeople there, O king, grow like rivers during the season of rains. Therivers there are full of sacred water, and Ganga herself, distributed asshe hath been into various currents, is there, Sukumari, and Kumari, andSeta, and Keveraka, and Mahanadi, O Kauravya, and the river Manijala, andChakshus, and the river Vardhanika, O thou best of the Bharatas,–theseand many other rivers by thousands and hundreds, all full of sacredwater, are there, O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, from which Vasava drawethwater for showering it as rain. It is impossible to recount the names andlengths of rivers. All of them are foremost of rivers and sin-cleansing.As heard by all men there, in that island of Saka, are four sacredprovinces. They are the Mrigas, the Masakas, the Manasas, and theMandagas. The Mrigas for the most part are Brahmanas devoted to theoccupations of their order. Amongst the Masakas are virtuous Kshatriyasgranting (unto Brahmanas) every wish (entertained by them). The Manasas,O king, live by following the duties of the Vaisya order. Having everywish of theirs gratified, they are also brave and firmly devoted tovirtue and profit. The Mandagas are all brave Sudras of virtuousbehaviour. In these provinces, O monarch, there is no king, nopunishment, no person that deserves to be punished. Conversant with thedictates of duty they are all engaged in the practice of their respectiveduties and protect one another. This much is capable of being said of theisland called Saka. This much also should be listened to about thatisland endued with great energy.”[68]

Chapter 12
Chapter 10
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