Jambudvipa

Published: 14.06.2010
Updated: 24.01.2012
Alias(es)
Jamboodweep, Jambu Dwipa, Jambūdvīpa

According to Jain cosmology, Jambūdvīpa (The island of the rose apple tree) is at the centre of Madhyaloka, or the middle part of the universe, where the humans reside. Jambūdvīpaprajñapti or the treatise on the island of Roseapple tree contains a description of Jambūdvīpa and life biographies of Ṛṣabha and King Bharata. Trilokasāra (Essence of the three worlds), Trilokaprajñapti (Treatise on the three worlds), Trilokadipikā (Illumination of the three worlds) and Kṣetrasamasa (Summary of Jain geography) are the other texts that provide the details of Jambūdvīpa and Jain cosmology. Madhyaloka consists of many continent-islands surrounded by oceans, first eight whose names are:

Continent/Island Ocean
Jambūdvīpa Lavanoda (Salt - ocean)
Ghatki Khand Kaloda (Black sea)
Puskarvardvīpa Puskaroda (Lotus Ocean)
Varunvardvīpa Varunoda (Varun Ocean)
Kshirvardvīpa Kshiroda (Ocean of milk)
Ghrutvardvīpa Ghrutoda (Buttermilk ocean)
Ikshuvardvīpa Iksuvaroda (Sugar Ocean)
Nandishwardvīpa Nandishwaroda

Mount Meru is at the centre of the world surrounded by Jambūdvīpa, in form of a circle forming a diameter of 100,000 yojanas.

Jambūdvīpa continent has 6 mighty mountains, dividing the continent into 7 zones (Ksetra). The names of these zones are:

  1. Bharat Kshetra
  2. Mahavideh Kshetra
  3. Airavat Kshetra
  4. Ramyak
  5. Hairanyvat Kshetra
  6. Haimava Kshetra
  7. Hari Kshetra

The three zones i.e. Bharat Kshetra, Mahavideh Kshetra and Airavat Kshetra are also known as Karma bhoomi because practice of austerities and liberation is possible and the Tirthankaras preach the Jain doctrine. The other four zones, Ramyak, Hairanyvat Kshetra, Haimava Kshetra and Hari Kshetra are known as akarmabhoomi or bhogbhumi as humans live a sinless life of pleasure and no religion or liberation is possible.

File:Jambudvipa.JPG
Image depicting map of Jambudvipa as per Jain Cosmology

References

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Bharata
  2. Bhogbhumi
  3. Jain Cosmology
  4. Jambūdvīpa
  5. Jambūdvīpaprajñapti
  6. Karma
  7. Kshetra
  8. Mahavideh
  9. Meru
  10. Mount Meru
  11. Tirthankaras
  12. Ṛṣabha
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