"The Universe of the Vedas"

BTG Issue: 
November/December 2000 | Vol. 34 No. 6
"At first glance, the cosmology of the Srimad Bhagavatam might seem like fantasy. Here are four ways to make sense of it all."

"The Srimad-Bhagavatam presents an earth-centered conception of the cosmos. At first glance the cosmology seems foreign, but a closer look reveals that not only does the cosmology of the Bhagavatam describe the world of our experience, but it also presents a much larger and more complete cosmological picture. ...

The Srimad-Bhagavatam's mode of presentation is very different from the familiar modern approach. Althought the Bhagavatam's "Earth" (disk-shaped Bhu-mandala) may look unrealistic, careful study shows that the Bhagavatam uses Bhu-mandala to represent at least four reasonable and consistent models: (1) a polar-projections map of the Earth globe, (2) a map of the solar system, (3) a topographical map of south-central Asia, and (4) a map of the celestial realm of the demigods.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu remarked, 'In every verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam and in every syllable, there are various meanings.' (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 24.318) This appears to be true, in particular, of the cosmological section of the Bhagavatam, and it is interesting to see how we can bring out and clarify some of the meaning with reference to modern astronomy."

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