Book 5: Chapter 20
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 5: Chapter 20: Verses 1-11
Sri Suka resumed : Hereafter the division of Plaksa and the other Dwipas into Varsas is going to be described with (particular) reference to their extent, distinctive character and configuration. Even as Mount Meru is surrounded by Jambudwipa, this Jambudwipa (in its turn) is encircled by a salt ocean, as wide as the Dwipa itself; and the salt ocean too is hemmed in (on the other side) by what bears the name of Plaksadwipa-which is twice as wide as the salt ocean (or two lakh Yojanas wide)-even as a moat may be enclosed by an outer garden. (In that Dwipa) stands an effulgent Plaksa tree-of the same dimensions as the Jambu) (rose-apple) tree (in Jambudwipa)-which is responsible for the name of the Dwipa and at the foot of which dwells the god of fire with seven tongues. Its (very first) ruler, Idhmajihva, (the second) son of Emperor Priyavrata, divided his Dwipa (into seven parts) and, having entrusted (these) seven Varsas (subdivisions) to (the care of) his (seven) sons, bearing the name of the seven Varsas himself attained liberation by being united with the (supreme) Spirit. The Varsas are called Siva, Yavasa, Subhadra, Santa, Ksema, Amrta and Abhaya. The well-known mountains and rivers in those Varsas are severally seven only (one in each). Manikuta, Vajrakuta, Indrasena, Jyotisman, Suparna, Hiranyasthiva and Meghamala are the (principal) mountains forming the boundaries (of the Varsas). (And ) the principal rivers are called Aruna, Nrmna, Angirasi, Savitri, Suprabhata, Rtambhara and Satyambhara. The four classes (of people here) bearing the title of Hamsa, Patanga, Urdhvayana and Satyanga respectively (which correspond to the four castes in Bharatavarsa), are (gradually) able to shake off Rajas and Tamas by bathing in the water of these rivers; they live to an age of a thousand years, possess a form (free from fatigue, perspiration etc.), similar to that of the gods, bear children like the gods and worship the (almighty) Lord, the Soul of the universe, in the form of the sun-god, the gateway to heaven and the veritable embodiment of the three Vedas (being their preserver and teacher, nay, their very theme) through the rituals taught in the three Vedas.
(They repeat the following prayer:)- "We resort to the sun-god, who is a manifestation of the most ancient Lord Visnu and the very Soul of (the Deity presiding over) Satya (regarding all with the same eye, Rta (speaking politely and truthfully), the Veda (that reveals the true nature of both these types of virtue) as well as of good (resulting from righteousness) and evil (resulting from unrighteousness)." In the five Dwipas commencing from the Plaksadwipa, long life, soundness and potency of the Indriyas (the senses of perception as well as the organs of action), strength of mind and bodily vigour, intellectual acumen and bravery are the natural endowment of all men without distinction. Even as Plaksadwipa is surrounded by an ocean of sugar-cane juice, equal (in width) to the Dwipa itself, so does Salmaladwipa, which is double in width (as compared to the Plaksadwipa) shine as enclosed (on the other side) by an equally wide ocean of wine. It is a well-known fact that in that Dwipa indeed there is a Salmali (silk-cotton) tree, of the same dimensions as the Plaksa tree, on which the learned proclaim the existence of the abode of the glorious Garuda (the king of birds), who glorifies the Lord by means of Vedic hymns (which constitute his very limbs) and this tree is considered as responsible for the name of the Dwipa. The (first) ruler of that Dwipa, king Yajnabahu, (the third) son of Priyavrata, divided among his seven sons the seven Varsas (divisions of this Dwipa) bearing the name of the princes----Surocana, Saumanasya; Ramanaka, Devavarsa, Paribhadra, Apyayana and Avijnata. In those Varsas the well-known mountains demarcating the different Varsas and rivers are (severally) seven only viz., the Swarasa, Satasrnga,, Vamadeva, Kunda, Mukunda, Puspavarsa and Sahasrasruti (mountains) and the Anumati, Sinivali, Saraswati ,Kuhu, Rajani, Nanda and Raka (rivers). The (four classes of the) people of those Varsas known by the names of Srutadhara, Viryadhara, Vasundhara and Isandhara, worship with (the recitation of ) Vedic hymns the Lord who is the Soul of the universe in the form of the moon-god-) who is Veda personified.
- The Sruti texts declare that Garuda represents in his person th various parts of the vedas