When Priyavrata drove his chariot behind the sun, the rims of his chariot
wheels created impressions that later became seven oceans, dividing the
planetary system known as Bhu-mandala into seven islands.
Sometimes the planets in outer space are called islands. We have
experience of various types of islands in the ocean, and similarly the various
planets, divided into fourteen lokas, are islands in the ocean of space. As
Priyavrata drove his chariot behind the sun, he created seven different types
of oceans and planetary systems, which altogether are known as Bhu-mandala,
or Bhuloka. In the Gayatri mantra, we chant, om bhur bhuvah svah tat savitur
varenyam. Above the Bhuloka planetary system is Bhuvarloka, and above that
is Svargaloka, the heavenly planetary system. All these planetary systems are
controlled by Savita, the sun-god. By chanting the Gayatri mantra just after
rising early in the morning, one worships the sun-god.
The names of the islands are Jambu, Plaksa, SAlmali, KuSa, Kraunca, Saka
and Puskara. Each island is twice as large as the one preceding it, and each is
surrounded by a liquid substance, beyond which is the next island.
The ocean in each planetary system has a different type of liquid. How they
are situated is explained in the next Slokam.
The seven oceans respectively contain salt water, sugarcane juice, liquor,
clarified butter, milk, emulsified yogurt, and sweet drinking water. All the
islands are completely surrounded by these oceans, and each ocean is equal in
breadth to the island it surrounds. Maharaja Priyavrata, the husband of Queen
Barhimmati, gave sovereignty over these islands to his respective sons, namely
Agnidhra, Idhmajihva, Yajnabahu, Hiranyareta, Ghrtaprstha, Medhatithi and
Vitihotra. Thus they all became kings by the order of their father.
It is to be understood that all the dvipas, or islands, are surrounded by
different types of oceans, and it is said herein that the breadth of each ocean is
the same as that of the island it surrounds. The length of the oceans, however,
cannot equal the length of the islands. According to Viraraghava Acarya, the
breadth of the first island is 100,000 yojanas. One yojana equals eight miles,
and therefore the breadth of the first island is calculated to be 800,000 miles.
The water surrounding it must have the same breadth, but its length must be