BHUWANA-KOSHA & THE ISLANDS
Below given explanation is taken from Varaha Purana, in which the swayam Bhagavan Varaha Swamy explains to his beloved wife Prithvi or BhooDevi. While explaining Varaha Swamy tells that once Lord Shiva explained about the Bhuloka (upper layer of the Earth), mountains and islands to few of the sages.
The sages started to listen with rapt attention to the description Lord Shiva made of the Almighty Narayana. But, they had few queries in store, so they asked Lord Shiva-- "O Lord of Uma! please tell us about the expanse of the Earth- the situation of mountains and the prominent islands."
Lord Shiva replied--"Bhuloka is situated on the surface of the Earth, while the earth itself is based on Almighty's chest. With the desire of creating the three basic gunas---Sat, raj and Tama, the Almighty Narayan created water first of all and went into 'yoganidra'. Then a lotus flower manifested from HIS navel on which was seated Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma then created his manasputras--Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatakumara all of whom were enlightened souls. Then Lord Brahma created sages like Daksha etc. Daksha's daughter Shatarupa was married to Manu from whom she had two sons--Priyavrata and Uttanpada. Uttanpada had ten sons--Aaghnighna, Agnibahu, Medha, Medhatithi, Dhruva, Jyotishmana, Dyutimana, Havya, Vayushmana and Savana. He had divided the earth into seven islands and presented them to each of his seven sons. Aaghnighna became the king of Jambudweepa whereas Medhatithi, Jyotishman, Dyutiman, Havya, Vayushman and Savan became the rulers of Shakadweepa, Kraunch dweepa, Shalmalidweepa, Gomeddweepa, Plakshdweepa and Pushkar dweepa respectively." Dhruva became the celestial star. Agnibanu was giving separate power.
"Savana had two sons--Dhata and Mahaveeti, who were the rulers of 'Dhatki' and 'Kaumuda provinces respectively. Similarly Dyutimana had three sons--Kusha, Vaidyuta and Jeemutvahana. Jyotishmana had seven sons--Kushala, Manugavya, Peevara, Andhra, Andhakaraka, Muni and Dundubhi. Kusha had seven sons--Udbhida, Venumana, Rathapal, Manu, Dhriti, Prabhakara and Papila."
"Medhatithi too had seven sons--Nabhi, Shantmaya, Shishira, Mukhodama, Nandshiva, Kshemaka and Dhruva. Nabhi's wife was Merudevi, who had given birth to Rishabha. Rishabha was the father of Bharata upon whom the area lying south of Himalaya mountain is named."
"Sumati was the son of Bharata. Bharata, after appointing Sumati as his successor went into the forest to do penance. The names of some prominent kings coming from the lineage of Sumati were Teja, Satsuta, Indradyumna, Parmeshthi, Pratiharta, Nikhata, Unmeta, Abhav-Udgata, Prastota, Vibhu, Prithu, Ananta, Gaya, Naya, Virata, Mahavirya and Sudhimana."
"Sudhimana had one hundred sons. This way the population continued to grow. The four yugas--Satya yuga, Treta, dwapar and Kali occur in a cyclic order. Each of the latter follows the former. A manvantara comprises of 71 chaturyugas."
Dwelling upon the prominent islands, Lord Shiva told the assembled sages---"Jambudweepa is spread in the area of one lakh yojan and it consists of numerous Janapadads. It is inhabited by 'siddhas' and 'charanas' and is blessed with incomparable natural beauty."
'A total number of nine 'Varshas' lie within the territory of Jambudweepa which itself is surrounded by various oceans on all sides. Towards its east and west lie salt water oceans. Some prominent mountains of Jambudweepa are the Himalaya, the sumeru, the Hemakuta and the Nishadha. Territory situated towards east of Sumeru mountain is inhabited by the fair complexioned brahmins. Towards its south live Vaishyas. Shudras live towards the south of Sumeru and the area lying towards its north is inhabited by Kshatriyas."
It's area is approximately twice as compared to Jambudweepa. It is inhabited by virtuous people who are prosperous and who enjoy a long life. They are free from the tortures of old age. This island is covered by oceans on its two sides--Salt water ocean on one side and 'Ksheer Sagar' (Ocean of Milk) on the other.
The mountain ranges lying in the northern part of this island is known as Udayachala while 'Chandragiri is situated in the western part. There are some other mountain ranges like Rajatagiri, Aambikeya, etc situated on this island. Altogether these mountain ranges total seven in number and are known as 'Kula-Parvatas'. Some primonent rivers flowing through this island are Sukumari, Kumari, Nanda, Venika, Dhenu, Ikshumati and Gabhasti. There is a large tree named Shaka in the central part of this island. This is how this island derived it's name.
This island is twice the area of Shaka dweepa. There are seven prominent mountain ranges in this island which are known as 'Kula Parvatas'--- Kumuda, Unnata, Drona, Kanka, Isha, Mahisha and Mandara. There are seven prominent rivers flowing through the various parts of this island--Pratoya, Shiva, Chitra, Chandra, Vidyullta, Varna and Mahati. This island has got its name from Kusha grass which are found in abundance in its central part.
It is twice the area of Kusha dweepa. It has seven prominent mountain ranges--Krauncha, Paavana, Devavrita, Devishtha, Devaananda, Govinda and Pundareeka. There are also six prominent rivers flowing in this island--Gauri, Kumudwati, Ratri, Manojava, Khyati and Pundarika. Krauncha dweepa is surrounded by an ocean of charified butter (ghee) on all its side.
"It is double the area of Krauncha dweepa and covers the 'clarified-butter' ocean from all sides. There are seven prominent mountains as well as seven rivers in this island." This way Lord Shiva disappeared after having finished the narration of all the prominent islands.
OM NAMO NARAYANAYA