THE EIGHTH BOOK
On the narration of Plaksa, Sâlmala and Kusa Dvîpas
1-37. Nârâyana said :-- The Jambudvîpa has been described, how it is and what is its width. It is surrounded on all sides by the salt ocean. As Meru is surrounded by Jambudvîpa, so the salt ocean is surrounded by Plaksadvîpa, twice its size. As the ditch is surrounded by gardens, so the salt ocean is surrounded by gardens. As the Jambu tree exists in Jambudvîpa, so the Plaksa tree exists in the Plaksa Dvîpa and of the same size. The name Plaksa Dvîpa is derived from the name of this Plaksa tree. This tree is of a golden colour. Fire exists at its bottom with form incarnate. This is, named Saptajihva. The Ruler of this island is Idhmajihva, the son of Priyavrata. He divided his island into the seven Varsas and distributed them, to each of his seven sons and he himself took refuge of the path of Yoga, so much liked by the Knowers of Self and he got the Bhagavân Vâsudeva. The names of those seven Dvîpas are :-- S'iva, Yavas, Subhadra, Sânti, Ksema, Amrita, and Abhaya. Seven rivers and seven mountains exist respectively in the seven islands. The rivers are :-- Arunâ, Nrimnâ, Angirasî, Sâvitrî, Suprabhâtikâ, Ritambharâ, and Satyambharâ. The names of the mountains are Manikûta, Vajrakûta, Indrasena, Jyotismâna, Suparna, Hiranyasthîva, and Meghamâla. The seeing and drinking the waters of these rivers take away all sins and all darkness due to ignorance. The four castes live here, Hamsa, Patanga, Ûrdhâyana, and Satyânga, corresponding to the four castes Brâhmana, etc. The inhabitants of this Plaksa Dvîpa live for one thousand years and all are of variegated wonderful appearances. They follow the customs
and usages dictated by the Vedas and worship the God Sun for the attainment of Heaven. The mantra by which the worship is done is this :-- We take refuge unto that Sun, Who is the Body Manifest of the Ancient Person Visnu and Who is the Ordainer of Satya (Truth), Ritâ (Straight forwardness), Brahmâ, Amrita (Immortality) and Mrityu (Death); O Nârada! All the persons here live long, of vigorous senses, energetic, powerful, intelligent, enthusiasts, and valorous; everyone gets extraordinary powers of themselves. Next to this Plaksa Dvîpa is the Ikshu Ocean. This Iksu Sâgara surrounds the Plaksa Dvîpa. Next comes S'almala Dvîpa. It is twice as large as Plaksa. This Dvîpa is surrounded by Surâsâgara (the ocean of wine). There is a tree named S'almalî in this island, which is as large as the Plaksa tree. The high-souled Garuda resides on that tree, Yajñavâhu is the Ruler of this place. He was born of Priyavrata; he divided his Varsa into the seven parts and distributed each of them to his seven sons respectively. Now hear the names of these Varsas :-- Surochana, Saumanasya, Ramana, Deva Varsa, Pâribhadra, Âpyâyana, and Vijñâta. Seven mountains and seven rivers exist there respectively. The names of the mountains are :-- Sarasa, S'atas'ringa, Vâma Deva, Kandaka, Kumuda, Puspavarsa, and Sahasra-S'ruti. Now hear the names of the rivers. Anumati, Sinîbâlî, Sarasvatî, Kûhu, Rajanî, Nandâ, and Râkâ; these are the seven rivers. The people are divided into the four castes :-- S'rutadhara, Vîryadhara, Vasundhara, Isundhara. These correspond to the Brâhmanas, etc. They worship the Bhagavân Moon, the Controller of all and the Creator of all the Vedas. They offer food duly in the black and white fortnight to their Pitris. The mantra for their worship is :-- Let Soma, the King of all, be pleased. O Nârada! Next to Surâsâgara is Kus'advîpa, surrounded by Ghritasâgara (the ocean of clarified butter). Its dimensions are twice as large. Here are blades of Kus'a grass, of a very resplendent colour. The name of the Dvîpa is from this Kus'astamba. This bundle of Kus'a, illumines all the quarters with their gentle rays. The Ruler of the Dvîpa is Hiranyaretâ, the son of Priyavrata. He divided the Dvîpa into seven parts and distributed each of them to each of his seven sons respectively. The names of the seven sons are :-- Vasu, Vasudâna, Dhridharuchi, Nâbhigupta, Stutyavrata, Vivikta, and Bhâmadevaka. There are seven mountains forming the seven boundaries and so are the seven rivers. Hear the names of these. The names of the mountains are :-- Chakra, Chatuhs'ringa, Kapila, Chitre Devânîka, Kûta, Ûrdharomâ and Dravina. The names of the rivers are :-- Rasakulyâ, Madhukulyâ, Mitravindâ, S'rutavindâ, Devagarbhâ, Ghritâchyut, and Mantramalikâ. The inhabitants of the Kus'advîpa drink the waters of these
rivers. There are the four castes here Kus'ala, Kovida, Abhiyukta, and Kulaka corresponding to the Brâhmanas, etc. They are all powerful like Indra and the other chief Devas; and all of them are omniscient. They worship the Fire God and perform various good works in honour of Him. Their mantra is this :-- O Fire! Thou carriest the oblations direct to Para Brahmâ. In the sacrifices of the Devas, Thou worshippest that Personal God and offerest to Him whatever are given in oblations, mentioning the respective limbs of His Body. Thus the inhabitants of that Dvîpa worship the Fire God.
Here ends the Twelfth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the narration of Plaksa, S'âlmala, and Kus'a Dvîpas in the Mahâpurânam, S'rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.