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Jambudvipa in Hindu Religion

Jambudvipa is the name of one of the seven islands on earth mentioned in Hindu scriptures. It is named after Jambun or rose apple tree. Jambudvipa is interpreted either roughly as the northern hemisphere or the region in Asia with India and adjacent regions and islands. Some scholars are of the view that Jambudvipa is a heavenly place and not on earth.

As per Bhagavad Purana, Jambudvipa is divided into nine regions. Of these only Bharata Varsha is inhabited by human beings. The rest of the eight regions are occupied by celestial beings or by saints and pious persons.

One of the eight regions is known as Illavrat Varsha and it is occupied by Siddhas, Charanas, Gandharvas. The celestial beings that live here have the power to become smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest. The gardens and lakes in the region are the play ground of the celestial beings and their wives. The region is also frequented by Shiva and Parvati.

The people who take birth on Bharatavarsha are divided according to the qualities of material nature – the modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance. Here one takes birth based on one’s past karma. The advantage of being born here is that one can quickly attain spiritual liberation.

Jambudvipa is said to be 100,000 yojanas across. It contains mountains including Himalayas which are 10,000 yojanas high. Trees that grow here are tall nearly 1,100 yojanas including Jambu or Rose Apple Tree. The inhabitants of the region are also large. (1 yojana is around 8 miles)

Lord Shiva is believed to meditate under a huge Banyan Tree in Kailash which is part of Jambudvipa. The banyan tree is 100 yojanas high and its branches are spread over 75 yojanas.

Mango, Rose Apple, Kadamba and Banyan Tree were mostly found in the region.

It must be also noted here that the description of Jambudvipa especially in the Bhishma Parva is not similar to the one found in the Puranas.