Jambudvipa

Posted: 14.06.2010
Updated on: 24.01.2012

Alias

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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