The Mahabharata Home
"Dhritarashtra said,--'Tell me, O Sanjaya, thou of great intelligence, of the regions to the north and the east side of Meru, as also of the mountains of Malyavat, in detail. 3
"Sanjaya said,--'On the south of the Nila mountain and the northern side of Meru are the sacred Northern Kurus, O king, which are the residence of the Siddhas. The trees there bear sweet fruits, and are always covered with fruits and flowers. All the flowers (there) are fragrant, and the fruits of excellent taste. Some of the trees, again, O king, yield fruits according to (the) will (of the plucker). There are again some other trees, O king, that
are called milk-yielding. These always yield milk and the six different kinds of food of the taste of Amrita itself. Those trees also yield cloths and in their fruits are ornaments (for the use of man). The entire land abounds with fine golden sands. A portion of the region there, extremely delightful, is seen to be possessed of the radiance of the ruby or diamond, or of the lapis lazuli or other jewels and gems. 1 All the seasons there are agreeable and nowhere does the land become miry, O king. The tanks are charming, delicious, and full of crystal water. The men born there have dropped from the world of the celestials. 2 All are of pure birth and all are extremely handsome in appearance. There twins (of opposite sexes) are born and the women resemble Apsaras in beauty. They drink the milk, sweet as Amrita, of those milk-yielding trees (already mentioned). And the twins born there (of opposite sexes) grow up equally. Both possessed of equal beauty, both endued with similar virtues, and both equally dressed, both grow up in love, O monarch, like a couple of chakrabakas. The people of that country are free from illness and are always cheerful. Ten thousand and ten hundred years they live, O king, and never abandon one another. A class of birds called Bharunda, furnished with sharp beaks and possessed of great strength, take them up when dead and throw them into mountain caves. I have now described to thee, O king, the Northern Kurus briefly.
"I will now describe to thee the eastern side of Meru duly. Of all the regions there, the foremost, O king, is called Bhadraswa, where there is a large forest of Bhadra-salas, as also a huge tree called Kalamra. This Kalamra, O king, is always graced with fruits and flowers. That tree again is a Yojana in height and is adored by Siddhas 3 and the Charanas. The men there are all of a white complexion, endued with great energy, and possessed of great strength. The women are of the complexion of lilies, very beautiful, and agreeable to sight. Possessed of radiance of the moon, 4 and white as the moon, their faces are as the full-moon. Their bodies again are as cool as the rays of the moon and they are all accomplished in singing and dancing. The period of human life there, O bull of the Bharata's race, is ten thousand years. Drinking the juice of the Kalamra they continue youthful for ever. On the south of Nila and the north of Nishadha, there is a huge Jamvu tree that is eternal. Adored by the Siddhas and Charanas, that sacred tree granteth every wish. After the name of that tree this division hath ever been called Jamvudwipa. O bull of Bharata race, a thousand and a hundred Yojanas is the height of that prince of trees, which touches the very heavens, O king of men. Two thousand and five hundred cubits measure the circumference of a fruit of that tree which bursts when
ripe. In falling upon the earth these fruits make a loud noise, and then pour out, O king, a silvery juice on the ground. That juice of the Jamvu, becoming, O king, a river, and passing circuitously round Meru, cometh to the (region of the) Northern Kurus. If the juice of that fruit is quaffed, it conduces to peace of mind. No thirst is felt ever after, O king. Decrepitude never weakens them. And there a species of gold called Jamvunada and used for celestial ornaments, very brilliant and like the complexion of Indragopoka insects, is produced. The men born there are of the complexion of the morning sun.
"'On the summit of Malyavat is always seen, O bull of Bharata's race, the fire called Samvataka which blazeth forth at the end of the Yuga for the destruction of the universe. On Malyavat's summit towards the east are many small mountains and Malyavat, O king, measures eleven thousand 1 Yojanas. The men born there are of the complexion of gold. And they are all fallen from the region of Brahman and are utterers of Brahma. They undergo the severest of ascetic austerities, and their vital seed is drawn up. For the protection of creatures they all enter the sun. Numbering sixty-six thousand, they proceed in advance of Aruna, surrounding the sun. Heated with the sun's rays for sixty-six thousand years, they then enter the lunar disc.'"
16:3 Many of the Bengal texts incorrectly read Merorapyyantaram for Merorathottaram.
17:1 This sloka beginning with mani and ending with prabham is omitted in the Bombay text, I don't think rightly. If anything that seems to be a repetition is to be omitted.
17:2 i.e. "have fallen away from a celestial state."
17:3 In sloka 13, the Bengal texts read Bhayanakas for mahavalas. In 15 Mudhabhishekas for Purvabhishekas; is substituted in the Bombay text. In 1 again the Bombay text reads Subhas for drumas.
17:4 The Bengal texts have Chandrabhasa for Chandraprabha. The difference is not material.
18:1 Both the Burdwan and the Bombay editions read Panchashat (five and six). The Bengal texts generally have panchasat (fifty).
Next: Section VIII