Bhisma Parva, Mahabharata/Book VI Chapter 12
Mahabharata Book VI Chapter 11: English
"Dhritarashtra said,--'Thou hast, O Sanjaya, duly described Jamvukhanda to me. Tell me now its dimensions and extent truly. Tell me also, O Sanjaya, of the extent of the ocean of Sakadwipa, and Kusadwipa, of Salmalidwipa and Kraunchadwipa, truly and without leaving anything and tell me also, O son of Gavalgani, of Rahu and Soma and Surya.'
"Sanjaya said,--'There are, O king, many islands, over which the Earth extended. I will describe to thee, however, only seven islands, and the moon, and the sun, and the planet (Rahu), also. The Jamvu mountain, O king, extends over full eighteen thousand and six hundred Yojanas. The extent of the salt ocean is said to be twice this. That ocean is covered with many kingdoms, and is adorned with gems and corals. It is, besides, decked with many mountains that are variegated with metals of diverse kinds. Thickly peopled by Siddhas and Charanas, the ocean is circular in form.
"I will now tell thee truly of Sakadwipa, O Bharata. Listen to me, O son of Kuru's race, as I describe it to thee duly. That island, O ruler of men, is of twice the extent of Jamvudwipa. And the ocean also, O great king, is of twice the extent of that island. Indeed, O best of the Bharatas, Sakadwipa is surrounded on all sides by the ocean. The kingdoms there are full of righteousness, and the men there never die. How can famine take place there? The people are all endued with forgiveness and great energy. I have now, O bull of Bharata's race, given thee duly a brief description of Sakadwipa. What else, O king, dost thou wish to hear?'" 1 [p. 25]
"Dhritarashtra said,--'Thou hast given me, O Sanjaya, a description of Sakadwipa in brief. O thou that art possessed of great wisdom, tell me now everything in detail truly.'
"Sanjaya said,--'In that island, O king, there are seven mountains that are decked with jewels and that are mines of gems, precious stones. There are many rivers also in that island. Listen to me as I recount their names. Everything there, O king, is excellent and delightful, The first of these mountains is called Meru. It is the abode of the gods, Rishis, and Gandharvas. The next mountain, O king, is called Malaya stretching towards the east. It is there that the clouds are generated and it is thence that they disperse on all sides. The next, O thou of Kuru's race, is the large mountain called Jaladhara. 1 Thence Indra daily taketh water of the best quality. It is from that water that we get showers in the season of rains, O ruler of men. Next cometh the high mountain called Raivataka, over which, in the firmament, hath been permanently placed the constellation called Revati. This arrangement hath been made by the Grandsire himself. On the north of this, O great king, is the large mountain called Syama. It hath the splendour of newly-risen clouds, is very high, beautiful and of bright body. And since the hue of those mountains is dark, the people residing there are all dark in complexion, O king.'
"Dhritarashtra said,--'A great doubt ariseth in my mind, O Sanjaya, from what thou hast said. Why, O Suta's son, would the people there be of dark complexion?'
"Sanjaya said,--'O great king, in all islands, O son of Kuru's race, men may be found that are fair, and those that are dark, and those also that are produced by a union of the fair and the dark races. But because the people there are all dark, therefore is that mountain called the Dark Mountain. After this, O chief of the Kurus, is the large mountain called Durgasaila. And then cometh the mountain called Kesari. The breezes that blow from that mountain are all charged with (odoriferous) effluvia. The measure of each of these mountains is double that of the one mentioned immediately before.
O thou of Kuru's race, it hath been said by the wise that there are seven Varshas in that island. The Varsha of Meru is called Mahakasa; that of the water-giving (Malaya) is called Kumudottara. The Varsha of Jaladhara is called Sukumara: while that of Raivatak is called Kaumara; and of Syama, Manikanchana. The Varsha of Kesara is called Mandaki, and that called after the next mountain is called Mahapuman. In the midst of that island is a large tree called Saka. In height and breadth the measure of that tree is equal to that of the Jamvu tree in Jamvudwipa. And the people there always adore that tree. There in that island are, many delightful provinces where Siva is worshipped, and thither repair the Siddhas, the Charanas, and the celestials. The people there, O king, are virtuous, and all the four orders, O Bharata, are devoted to [p. 26] their respective occupation. No instance of theft can be seen there. Freed from decrepitude and death and gifted with long life, the people there, O king, grow like rivers during the season of rains.
The rivers there are full of sacred water, and Ganga herself, distributed as she hath been into various currents, is there, Sukumari, and Kumari, and Seta, and Keveraka, and Mahanadi, O Kauravya, and the river Manijala, and Chakshus, and the river Vardhanika, O thou best of the Bharatas,--these and many other rivers by thousands and hundreds, all full of sacred water, are there, O perpetuator of Kuru's race, from which Vasava draweth water for showering it as rain. It is impossible to recount the names and lengths 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 sacred provinces. They are the Mrigas, the Masakas, the Manasas, and the Mandagas. The Mrigas for the most part are Brahmanas devoted to the occupations of their order. Amongst the Masakas are virtuous Kshatriyas granting (unto Brahmanas) every wish (entertained by them). The Manasas, O king, live by following the duties of the Vaisya order. Having every wish of theirs gratified, they are also brave and firmly devoted to virtue and profit. The Mandagas are all brave Sudras of virtuous behaviour. In these provinces, O monarch, there is no king, no punishment, no person that deserves to be punished. Conversant with the dictates of duty they are all engaged in the practice of their respective duties and protect one another. This much is capable of being said of the island called Saka. This much also should be listened to about that island endued with great energy." 1
24:1 The Bombay text reads Kimanyat Kathayami te. The Bengal reading is Kimanyat srotumicchasi.
25:1 The Bombay text reads Tatas parena; the Bengal reading is Tatas purvena. I adopt the former.
26:1 Probably this mythical account of Sakadwipa embodies some vague tradition current in ancient India of some republic in Eastern Asia or Oceanic Asia (further east in the Pacific). Accustomed as the Hindus were to kingly form of government, a government without a king, would strike them exactly in the way described in the last two slokas.
Mahabharata Book VI Chapter 12: Sanskrit
1 [धृ] जम्बू खण्डस तवया परॊक्तॊ यथावद इह संजय विष्कम्भम अस्य परब्रूहि परिमाणं च तत्त्वतः 2 समुद्रस्य परमाणं च सम्यग अच्छिद्र दर्शन शाकद्वीपं च मे बरूहि कुश दवीपं च संजय 3 शाल्मलं चैव तत्त्वेन करौञ्चद्वीपं तथैव च बरूहि गावल्गणे सर्वं राहॊः सॊमार्कयॊस तथा 4 [स] राजन सुबहवॊ दवीपा यैर इदं संततं जगत सप्त तव अहं परवक्ष्यामि चन्द्रादित्यौ गरहांस तथा 5 अष्टादशसहस्राणि यॊजनानां विशां पते षट्शतानि च पूर्णानि विष्कम्भॊ जम्बुपर्वतः 6 लावणस्य समुद्रस्य विष्कम्भॊ दविगुणः समृतः नानाजनपदाकीर्णॊ मणिविद्रुम चित्रितः 7 नैकधातुविचित्रैश च पर्वतैर उपशॊभितः सिद्धचारणसंकीर्णः सागरः परिमण्डलः 8 शाकद्वीपं च वक्ष्यामि यथावद इह पार्थिव शृणु मे तवं यथान्यायं बरुवतः कुरुनन्दन 9 जम्बूद्वीपप्रमाणेन दविगुणः स नराधिप विष्कम्भेण महाराज सागरॊ ऽपि विभागशः कषीरॊदॊ भरतश्रेष्ठ येन संपरिवारितः 10 तत्र पुण्या जनपदा न तत्र मरियते जनः कुत एव हि दुर्भिक्षं कषमा तेजॊ युता हि ते 11 शाकद्वीपस्य संक्षेपॊ यथावद भरतर्षभ उक्त एष महाराज किम अन्यच छरॊतुम इच्छसि 12 [धृ] शाकद्वीपस्य संक्षेपॊ यथावद इह संजय उक्तस तवया महाभाग विस्तरं बरूहि तत्त्वतः 13 [स] तथैव पर्वता राजन सप्तात्र मणिभूषिताः रत्नाकरास तथा नद्यस तेषां नामानि मे शृणु अतीव गुणवत सर्वं तत्र पुण्यं जनाधिप 14 देवर्षिगन्धर्वयुतः परमॊ मेरुर उच्यते परागायतॊ महाराज मलयॊ नाम पर्वतः यतॊ मेघाः परवर्तन्ते परभवन्ति च सर्वशः 15 ततः परेण कौरव्य जलधारॊ महागिरिः यत्र नित्यम उपादत्ते वासवः परमं जलम यतॊ वर्षं परभवति वर्षा काले जनेश्वर 16 उच्चैर गिरी रैवतकॊ यत्र नित्यं परतिष्ठितः रेवती दिवि नक्षत्रं पितामह कृतॊ विधिः 17 उत्तरेण तु राजेन्द्र शयामॊ नाम महागिरिः यतः शयामत्वम आपन्नाः परजा जनपदेश्वर 18 [धृ] सुमहान संशयॊ मे ऽदय परॊक्तं संजय यत तवया परजाः कथं सूतपुत्र संप्राप्ताः शयामताम इह 19 [स] सर्वेष्व एव महाप्राज्ञ दवीपेषु कुरुनन्दन गौरः कृष्णश च वर्णौ दवौ तयॊर वर्णान्तरं नृप 20 शयामॊ यस्मात परवृत्तॊ वै तत ते वक्ष्यामि भारत आस्ते ऽतर भगवान कृष्णस तत कान्त्या शयामतां गतः 21 ततः परं कौरवेन्द्र दुर्ग शैलॊ महॊदयः केसरी केसर युतॊ यतॊ वातः परवायति 22 तेषां यॊजनविष्कम्भॊ दविगुणः परविभागशः वर्षाणि तेषु कौरव्यं संप्रॊक्तानि मनीषिभिः 23 महामेरुर महाकाशॊ जलदः कुमुदॊत्तरः जलधारात परॊ राजन सुकुमार इति समृतः 24 रैवतस्य तु कौमारः शयामस्य तु मणी चकः केसरस्याथ मॊदाकी परेण तु महापुमान 25 परिवार्य तु कौरव्य दैर्घ्यं हरस्वत्वम एव च जम्बूद्वीपेन विख्यातस तस्य मध्ये महाद्रुमः 26 शाकॊ नाम महाराज तस्य दवीपस्य मध्यगः तत्र पुण्या जनपदाः पूज्यते तत्र शंकरः 27 तत्र गच्छन्ति सिद्धाश च चारणा दैवतानि च धार्मिकाश च परजा राजंश चत्वारॊ ऽतीव भारत 28 वर्णाः सवकर्मनिरता न च सतेनॊ ऽतर दृश्यते दीर्घायुषॊ महाराज जरामृत्युविवर्जिताः 29 परजास तत्र विवर्धन्ते वर्षास्व इव समुद्रगाः नद्यः पुण्यजलास तत्र गङ्गा च बहुधा गतिः 30 सुकुमारी कुमारी च सीता कावेरका तथा महानदी च कौरव्य तथा मणिजला नदी इक्षुवर्धनिका चैव तथा भरतसत्तम 31 ततः परवृत्ताः पुण्यॊदा नद्यः कुरुकुलॊद्वह सहस्राणां शतान्य एव यतॊ वर्षति वासवः 32 न तासां नामधेयानि परिमाणं तथैव च शक्यते परिसंख्यातुं पुण्यास ता हि सरिद वराः 33 तत्र पुण्या जनपदाश चत्वारॊ लॊकसंमताः मगाश च मशकाश चैव मानसा मन्दगास तथा 34 मगा बराह्मणभूयिष्ठाः सवकर्मनिरता नृप मशकेषु तु राजन्या धार्मिकाः सर्वकामदाः 35 मानसेषु महाराज वैश्याः कर्मॊपजीविनः सर्वकामसमायुक्ताः शूरा धर्मार्थनिश्चिताः शूद्रास तु मन्दगे नित्यं पुरुषा धर्मशीलिनः 36 न तत्र राजा राजेन्द्र न दण्डॊ न च दण्डिकाः सवधर्मेणैव धर्मं च ते रक्षन्ति परस्परम 37 एतावद एव शक्यं तु तस्मिन दवीपे परभाषितुम एतावद एव शरॊतव्यं शाकद्वीपे महौजसि