Modern Blasphemy: Earth is Not a Globe
BY: MAYESVARA DASA
Mar 04, 2016 IRELAND (SUN) Part One.
The following is a response to an article by Rajasekhara dasa Brahmacari entitled "Flat Earth Theory - Completely Flattened", posted on Sampradaya Sun February 25 2016. It is also a response to an article by Krishna dasa entitled "Bhu-mandala".
There are many objections to the Flat Earth theory raised by Rajasekhara Prabhu in his article, so I will have to split this response into different parts. The following paper or Part One will give some context to this discussion, and explain what the Srimad Bhagavatam actually describes to be the shape, situation and location of Earth to the rest of the Vedic Universe.
Without being clear on the Srimad Bhagavatam's description of Earth we will have no basis to evaluate and judge information about the Earth coming from non-Vedic sources. In later parts we can discuss anomalies in the globe conception, arguments for a flat Earth, and of course, Srila Prabhupada's quotations on the subject.
"It is surprising that someone who claims to understand Vedic science would support their theory with wholly unscientific evidence. Obviously Mayesvara has no genuine scientific understanding judging by the evidence he is presenting in support of his 'Flat Earth' speculation. In fact he appears to be an intellectual midget posing as some kind of spiritual colossus with his concocted version of Shrimad Bhagavatam 'As It Is'. This is simply a deceitful trick to influence innocent minds that his version of the Bhagavatam is somehow bona-fide and on the same level as Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As Is Is."
The difficulty for anyone hearing this concept of a flat Earth for the first time is that a whole set of conditioned responses are immediately set into motion. Next to the cross, the globe is perhaps the most iconic image in the modern world. To question the authenticity of the globe is the modern blasphemy. Rajasekhara Prabhu, you believe in the globe, but have you personally went out into outer space to see what it really looks like? I don't think so! So let's just stop for a moment and consider our smallness and lack of personal experience. Rajasekhara Prabhu you have not personally seen the globe with your own eyes. Isn't that interesting. Now you may think that you have seen the globe, but really, all that you've ever seen is an image of the globe that has been presented to you by government agencies such as NASA, the education system, and various media channels (we'll come to the other world space agencies presently). So, here you are, unquestioningly believing the education and the images that you have been presented all your life about the nature and shape of the Earth, and along comes Mayesvara dasa to inform you that the whole thing is fake and that you've been lied to. So what does the false ego say? The false ego says: who is the upstart guy Mayesvara that thinks he knows something more than me and the rest of the world to question the very shape and nature of the planet we live on. Obviously he must be 'a midget trying to be a colossus' because how otherwise could Rajashekhara das brahmacari be subject to such a colossal deception as to think the world is round when it is actually flat.
But remember you have never personally seen the world from outer space with your own eyes; so for the moment, a least exercise just a little humility that maybe you don't know as much as you think you do. And please exhibit just a little curiosity in regards to what I'm trying to communicate because the nature of the Lord's illusory energy is vast, and you cannot say that you've seen the end of it: na vai maharaja bhagavato maya-guna-vibhuteh kastham
"The great Rsi Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, there is no limit to the expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's material energy." (SB 5.16.4)
Just possibly, the globe Earth concept is part of the Lord's maya that he now wishes to remove with the construction of the Mayapur Vedic planetarium which will reveal the true form of Bharata-varsha as it rests on the great horizontal plane of Bhu-mandala. Why the true form of Bharata-varsha has been hidden will take some time explain, so I ask the reader to bear with me.
Rajasekhara Prabhu, when I presented you with just one of the many videos analyzing just a few of the many examples in which NASA had faked the pictures of the Earth, you immediately lapsed into Stockholm Syndrome, defending your mental captors whilst stigmatizing a good Christian person (Rob Skiba) as demoniac simply because he wants to remove the delusion from the eyes of the world by exposing the massive deception that NASA has perpetrated against you and your 7.4 billion brethren:
"Rather than quote from demons and what he sees on You-Tube, Mayesvara should concentrate on bona-fide shastric souces of information"
In the same breath Rajasekhara Prabhu appeals to the same demoniac non-shastric, non-bonafide sources to support his globe:
"However, I say forget NASA, what about the Indian Space Mission (ISRO) & their photographs of the Earth. What about the Chinese & Japanese Space Missions, what to speak of the Russians, who were the first to put a man in Earth's orbit. You can only 'orbit' an 'orb', not a flat plain. The Russians say the Earth is a round globe. All these countries, India, Japan, China, and Russia, have sent probes to the moon. No one has reported a 'Flat Earth'. On the contrary, they have all agreed that the Earth is a round globe...What about all the countries that have also launched satellites into Earth's 'orbit' including; Britain, Germany, France, Brazil and even North Korea, to name just some. ...They are in fact unanimous that the Earth is a round globe."
So you trust the world's governments that are collectively responsible for 42 million abortions a years, and the slaughter of approximately 50 billion animals. The largest industries in the world are connected to war, intoxication, and illicit sex, all aspects of Kali-yuga government Do you not believe Srila Prabhupada when he says that world is presently run by asuras, and that truth is not found in them na satyam tesu vidyate (Bg 16.7).
THE APPEARANCE OF THE HOLY NAME
For what reason do you think the incarnation of the Holy Name has appeared in the world? Srila Prabhupada explained on numerous occasions that the external reasons for the Lord's present appearance in the world are the same as those that precipitated His appearance 5,000 years ago. The following verse and purport are an example of many such statements:
"When the world is overburdened by unnecessary military arrangements and when various demoniac kings are the executive heads of state, this burden causes the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (SB 10.1.17)
As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (4.7):
yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham
"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I appear Myself." When the residents of this earth become atheistic and godless, they descend to the status of animals like dogs and hogs, and thus their only business is to bark among themselves. This is dharmasya glani, deviation from the goal of life. Human life is meant for attaining the highest perfection of Krishna consciousness, but when people are godless and the presidents or kings are unnecessarily puffed up with military power, their business is to fight and increase the military strength of their different states. Nowadays, therefore, it appears that every state is busy manufacturing atomic weapons to prepare for a third world war...rogues and thieves in the guise of protectors arrange for a voting system, and in the name of democracy they come to power by hook or crook and exploit the citizens. Even long, long ago, asuras, persons devoid of God consciousness, became the heads of state, and now this is happening again. The various states of the world are preoccupied with arranging for military strength. Sometimes they spend sixty-five percent of the government's revenue for this purpose. But why should people's hard-earned money be spent in this way? Because of the present world situation, Krishna has descended in the form of the Krishna consciousness movement. This is quite natural, for without the Krishna consciousness movement the world cannot be peaceful and happy."
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.1.17 and Purport)
Srila Prabhupada explains here that just as the asuras had gained control over the Earth 5,000 years ago, so now 'this is happening again.' Of course, Krishna has ultimate control over all aspects of material existence, but since he allows the living entities to exercise free will, the asuras naturally become stronger at certain points thereby creating massive disturbances in the world. Such is the present condition of the world. When irreligion or 'Satanic influence' becomes prominent, at that point Krishna appears to re-establish dharma. Hence the appearance of the Sound Incarnation of Godhead or Nama Avatar:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare
As will be explained over the course of these various replies to Rajasekhara Prabhu's article, the globe Earth deception is actually part of asuric science to hide the actual feature of Krishna's creation. It is part of the same asuric science which teaches that creation came from a big bang, and that life evolved by chemical evolution. The temple of Vedic Planetarium in Mayapur Vedic Planetarium is based on the theological cosmography of Srimad-Bhagavatam and is one of Srila Prabhupada's main projects to counteract the prevailing materialistic world view of life and the cosmos.
THE EARTH ACCORDING TO SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM
The Srimad Bhagavatam's depiction of the universe, however, immediately creates a clash of world-views that most people may prefer to avoid, and that includes many of the followers of Srila Prabhupada who find it difficult to understand or conceptualize the Srimad-Bhagavatam's depiction of Earth and its relation to the greater universe. We have all grown up with an image of Earth as a rotating ball in space, and we're pretty happy with that. But how did we get that image and conception of a globe into our heads? Is the globe-shaped Earth an authentic image, and is the Earth truly a round planet rotating in space around the sun? Will it come to be, that one of the most earth-shattering events in our life is the discovery of the real nature of Earth itself?
Ok, so before we look at the evidence of the Earth's shape from the world's space agencies that Rajasekhara Prabhu finds so credible, let's go immediately to our own shastric sources of information; because as followers of Krishna, our understanding of Earth ultimately comes from Srimad Bhagavatam, not the American, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or even Indian Space agencies. At least Srila Prabhupada instructed that the Temple of Vedic Planetarium in India should be built according to the version of Srimad Bhagavatam. Once we are clear on what Srimad Bhagavatam is explaining, we will be in a better position to evaluate and judge the authenticity of the images and description of Earth coming from these various governments and space agencies.
The problem as I see it, is that most devotees do not understand the Vedic cosmology, particularly the shape and location of Earth on the Bhu-mandala; and the few who do understand it, do not have the requisite faith to present as it is. I use the term as it is, not because I'm trying to put myself on a level with Srila Prabhupada as Rajasekara Prabhu accuses me of doing, but because Srila Prabhupada taught us to take the straightforward meaning of Srimad Bhagavatam and not to speculate or interpolate on the text.
So how does Srimad Bhagavatam describe our Earth? Our particular universe is divided across the middle by a flat horizontal plane called Bhu-mandala, which literally means the Earth circle. In Vrindavana, for example, pilgrims go on the Vraja-mandala parikrama which refers to walking around the holy places of Sri Vrindavana dhama in a circular motion. Vraja-mandala is thus a circular area on a horizontal surface. Like-wise, Bhu-mandala is a huge horizontal circle that divides the universe into higher and lower planetary systems. There are altogether fourteen planetary systems in the universe; six planetary systems are above Bhu-mandala and seven below it. Bhu-mandala itself has various divisions of land and oceans stretching for millions of miles along its four billion mile diameter. This huge horizontal plane dividing the universe from higher and lower levels is basically what the Vedas describe as Earth. What we call our 'Earth' is situated in an area of Bhu-mandala called Bharata varsha. Bharata-varsha is a just a tiny part of the Earth circle and is not the total Earth itself. The total Earth area is called by the name Bhumi or Bhu-mandala. Bharata-varsha is a place name of an area within the Earth circle or Bhu-mandala. They should not be confused.
So where is Bharata-varsha located on the Earth circle? Srimad Bhagavatam explains:
"The planetary system known as Bhu-mandala resembles a lotus flower, and its seven islands resemble the whorl of that flower. The length and breadth of the island known as Jambudvipa, which is situated in the middle of the whorl, are one million yojanas [eight million miles]. Jambudvipa is round like the leaf of a lotus flower." (SB 5.16.5)
[One mistake to be noted here for our BBT editors is that Jambudwipa is only 100,000 yojanas in breadth (800,000 miles) not eight million as in the above translation. This figure of 800,000 miles is confirmed in later verses]. In any case, here Sukadeva Goswami describes that Bhu-mandala has seven main islands, and the central island (where we are) is called Jambudwipa. We learn later in Sukadeva Goswami's description that these seven islands stretch for millions of miles from the centre of Bhu-mandala. It is a little difficult to conceptualize this description, but basically, if one was to look down from above the North Star onto the great plane of Bhu-mandala, it would look like this from above with seven concentric islands surrounded by seven oceans; the following images are from Vedic Cosmos by Danavir Goswami:
Such an image may not mean much, or seem relevant to anyone looking at it for the first time; but basically it is depicting the huge circular horizontal plane of Bhu-mandala on which the continents of our own Earth rest. In the above sloka from Sukadeva Goswami he says that Jambudwipa is the name of the first or central island of Bhu-mandala. The name Jambudwipa is relevant to us because that's where we are situated. Sukadeva Goswami describes Jambudwipa as 'round like a lotus leaf' (samavartulau—equally round, or having a length and breadth of the same measurement; yatha—like; punkara-patram—a lotus leaf)
Now before we present a computer generated image of Jambudwipa itself, let's just be clear what Sukadeva Goswami means by comparing its shape to 'round like a lotus leaf,' and why this shape is relevant to a discussion about the flat Earth. What does a round lotus leaf look like? Well here is one:
A lotus leaf is round and flat like a plate, not round like a ball. So according to Srimad Bhagavatam, Jambudwipa is round like a lotus leaf, and Bharata-varsha (where we are), rests on the same flat plane as the rest of Jambudwipa. In other words, according to Sukadeva Goswami, the continents of our Earth rest on a horizontal plane; they do not curve around a globe-like circular ball. Indeed there is no place in Srimad Bhagavatam where Sukadeva Goswami describes Bharata-varsha as a globe in space. We will come back to this point presently.
So keep this image of the lotus leaf in mind as we turn now to Jambudwipa. The image is very appropriate because Jambudwipa is a round circular continent surrounded by water.
"Jambudvipa is also surrounded by an ocean of salt water. The breadth of Jambudvipa is 100,000 yojanas [800,000 miles], and the breadth of the saltwater ocean is the same." (SB 5.20.2)
So what does Jambudwipa look like? The following image of Jambudvipa is again from a documentary called Vedic Cosmos by Danavir Goswami. Looking from above, Jambudvipa looks something like this with the golden Mount Meru in its center:
Here we can see why Sukadeva Goswami's comparison to a lotus leaf is very appropriate. The 800,000 mile round island of Jambudwipa is like the lotus leaf and it is surrounded by water in the form of the salt water ocean. This ocean also has a breadth of 800,000 miles and completely surrounds Jambudvipa in a huge circle. Past the blue ocean, we can see the start of another concentric circle representing a further island (dvipa). A series of these concentric circular islands and oceans continue for millions of miles along this central part of the 4 billion diameter plane of Bhu-mandala. Eventually one comes to the shell of the universe which is round-shaped like an egg and encloses everything within it.
In the above illustration we can also notice various lines going from east to west along the circular island. These represent various mountain ranges that divide Jambudwipa into nine sections called varshas in Sanskrit.
"In Jambudvipa there are nine divisions of land, each with a length of 9,000 yojanas [72,000 miles]. There are eight mountains that mark the boundaries of these divisions and separate them nicely." (SB 5.16.6)
Ok, so thus far we have been informed that Jambudwipa is a huge circular island continent that is 800,000 miles in breadth, and divided into nine sections that are 72,000 miles long. Now where is our Earth situated on this great Island? First let us note that directions in the universe are measured from Mount Meru which marks the very centre of the universe. Mount Meru is again situated in the very center of Jambudwipa in a place called Ilavrta-varsha. So as we move south away from Meru, we pass Hari-varsha, then Kimpurusha varsha, until we eventually come to Bharata-varsha:
"Similarly, south of Ilavrta-varsha and extending from east to west are three great mountains named (from north to south) Nisadha, Hemakuta and Himalaya. Each of them is 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles] high. They mark the boundaries of the three varshas named Hari-varsha, Kimpurusha-varsha and Bharata-varsha [India]."
The continents of our known Earth are thus located in a varsha (region) of Jambudvipa called Bharata-varsha which is on the southern side of the great circular island. For most people (and that includes devotees) the above image and description appears alien and irrelevant because we have not been taught to recognize the location and shape of Earth on this kind of map or illustration. We have been presented with images of Earth as a lonely globe in dark space, not a place located on a horizontal plane and surrounded by a huge land mass and an ocean that continues for 800,000 miles. We have been taught that we live on a globe and that the globe Earth has been circumnavigated and fully explored. The truth that Srimad Bhagavatam explains is very different. If we take a closer look at a map of Jambudvipa, we can see its division into nine regions:
First note the very wonderful symmetrical arrangement of Jambudwipa. Indeed like everything else in Krishna's creation, symmetry is prominent in the layout of the universe itself. The above diagram shows an aerial view of the circular island of Jambudvipa with Bharata-varsha (where we are) in the south. The black lines that cross the image represent huge mountain ranges that divide one varsha from another. These mountain ranges dividing Jambudvipa are more clearly illustrated in the image below:
The above picture shows Jambudvipa with the golden Mount Meru in the center. The rows of mountains around its base rise to a height of 80,000 miles. These huge mountain ranges divide Jambudvipa into nine varshas (regions). Earth is one of nine islands situated in the area called Bharata-varsha which is depicted in the bottom right of the illustration.
THE DIVISIONS OF BHARATA VARSHA
So now let us take a closer look at Bharata-varsha itself. The description of Bharata-varsha is given in the 5th Canto of Srimad -Bhagavatam, in sections of the Mahabharata, as well as in other Puranas (Vedic history). Bharata-varsha has a total land area of 72,000 miles and sits in the southern region of the larger area of Jambudvipa (800,000 miles). Just as Jambudwipa is divided into nine sections, so Bharata-varsha itself is further divided into nine sections of which our Earth is only one part. This is described in various Puranas such as Vishnu Purana, Brahmanda Purana, and Markandeya Purana. In the Markandeya Purana it is stated:
"Kraushtuki spoke. Adorable Sir! Thou hast fully described this Jambudvipa…Therefore tell me, O brahman, about this Bharata in detail, and what are its divisions, and how many they are, and what is its constitution accurately; it is the country, and what are the provinces and the mountains in it, O brahman?
Markandeya spoke. Hear from me the nine divisions of this country Bharata they must be known as extending to the ocean, but as being mutually inaccessible. They are Indra-dvipa, Kaserumat, Tamra-varna, Gabhastimat, and Naga-dvipa, Saumya, Gandharva and Varuna; and this is the ninth dvipa among them, and it is surrounded by the sea. This dvipa is a thousand yojanas from south to north."
Srila Prabhupada's quotes from the Siddhanta-Siromani to confirm the existence of these divisions of Bharata-varsha: see Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, 2.10)
In the above quote from the Markandeya Purana, Markandeya Rsi says that the region of Bharata-varsha which we know as Earth is 8,000 miles from north to south and is completely surrounded by the sea. To the east and west of our Earth re eight other areas of Bharata-varsha presently unknown to us. Markandeya Rsi's measurement of the Earth's diameter is very close to the modern calculation of approximately 7,920 miles, and his depiction of the Earth being completely surrounded by water is, of course, exactly how Earth can be experienced by any of us living here. For the vast majority of us who have not yet taken a ride on a rocket ship or a UFO to confirm by personal experience whether the Earth is round or flat, we can at least experience by direct perception that wherever we go by land, sea, or air, the horizon below us is always flat.
THERE IS NO CURVATURE ON THE EARTH
One can take an airplane, for example, from London to Mumbai which is 4,460 miles away; and one will travel at the same distance of 30,000 feet above the surface of the Earth for the entire 9 hour journey. In other words, one flies across a completely horizontal surface for nine hours. This is true for any flight from end of the world to the other – one flies parallel to a horizontal surface for the entire journey. For the record, airplanes do not factor for any curvature of the Earth (as evidently there is none).
We should note also that water always finds a level; and since 70% of the Earth's surface is water, it should be understood that the water levels on all the oceans of the world are on the same horizontal level. Rajasekhara Prabhu pointed out that the Panama Canal requires locks because there is a 20 cm difference between the mean water level of the Atlantic Ocean on one end of the canal and the Pacific Ocean on the other end. There are indeed very slight differences in water levels here and there due to wind and current action, but one glaring mistake we have to point out in Rajasekhara Prabhu's argument is that he seems to have overlooked the small fact that if the Earth is indeed globe-shaped then it will have a huge curvature on its surface. We can calculate the rate of curvature drop over a 48 mile area (the length of the Panama Canal) and it certainly amounts to more than a measly 20 centimetres. The curvature drop rate over an area of 50 miles is actually 1,666.6 feet, not 20 centimetres.
So let us first look at the method for calculating the Earth's curvature. The Pythagorean Theorem gives approximately 8 inches per mile as the curvature on a sphere 25,000 miles in circumference. This is a generally accepted formula. However, simply giving the curvature in inches per mile can be misleading. If it was just 8 inches for every mile that would make a calculation for a downward sloping straight line rather than a curve. To calculate the Earth's supposed curvature we must also use spherical trigonometry, and figuring a 25,000 mile circumference ball, 8 inches is correct, but varying inversely with the square of the mile. This means that calculation is squared for each successive mile because on a round globe each mile is curving away from the other, not just sloping (obviously the further one travels on a circle, the more one is going to dip). Thus, after 2 miles the curvature drop would be 32 inches; after 3 miles 72 inches; 4 miles 128 inches; 5 miles 200 inches; and so on.
The following table will show at a glance the amount of curvature, in round numbers, in different distances up to 100 miles. The rule, however, requires to be modified after the first thousand miles.
From this table we can see that every mile has a curvature drop of a certain amount of feet which would make seeing objects in the distance impossible. If the Earth were truly a globe, then from wherever one stands, the Earth would be curving in all directions and things in the distance would fall below one's line of sight. When a car on a motorway, for example, goes around a bend it disappears from one's vision; the same should be true for objects and places that are tens or hundreds of miles away from one's horizon line, that is, they should disappear from one's line of vision as they disappear around the circumference of the Earth. This, however, is not the fact; distant shorelines, landmarks, lighthouses, ships, etc., can all be seen on the horizon when according to the mathematical formulas for calculating the curvature of the Earth, they should have fallen hundreds or thousands of feet below one's line of vision. As mentioned, when things do eventually fall away from sight this is due to the vanishing point on the horizon and not because of so-called curvature. Think of an airplane that drops below our horizon line even though it continues to fly at 30,000 feet above the Earth's surface. Railway lines are another example of something that disappears in the horizon, even though they lie on a flat surface. The absence of a curvature drop on the horizon line clearly indicates a flat Earth rather than a curved Earth. The example of the Suez Canal to prove the non-curvature of the Earth was missed on Rajasekhara Prabhu completely:
"Mayesvara's first piece of evidence in support of his 'Flat Earth' theory is the 'lock-less Suez Canal', which is perhaps the only canal out of many millions in the world where locks are not required. The scientific explanation is very simple. There are no locks on the Suez Canal because the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Oman, both have the same mean sea level and the land in between is a flat desert plain without hills and just a few meters above sea level. Therefore, the Suez Canal does not require locks because the water level between the two oceans is constant."
Firstly, my usage of the term 'flat Earth' comes from the description of Bharata-varsha's location at the southern side of Jambudwipa. Jambudwipa rests on the horizontal plane of Bhu-mandala, the great 'Earth circle' that divides the universe into higher and lower divisions. According to this description, the continents of our Earth are lying on a horizontal plane and not curving around a floating globe in space.
Secondly, flat-Earth does not mean an absence of highlands and lowlands, so obviously most canals in the world will still require locks as the boats go from highland to lowland and vice versa. I provided the example of The Suez Canal as an example of the non-curvature on the Earth's surface. You have missed the point of the argument entirely. If you are on a globe then it's curving, right! It's a big curve! And you can work out the calculation for the curvature on a ball of 25,000 miles in circumference. If the Earth was a curved shape like a globe, then over a length of 120 miles (the length of the Suez Canal) there would be a curvature drop of 9,600 feet from one side of the canal to the other. But the Suez Canal runs for 120 miles without any curvature at all. It's completely horizontal from one end to the other. There are numerous other examples of areas in the world which are completely flat for thousands of square miles.
Again, we should take note that water always finds a level; and since 70% of the Earth's surface is water, it should be understood that the water levels on all the oceans of the world are on the same horizontal level. The slight differences in water levels here and there are due to wind and current action, but otherwise ships sail across the same horizontal level from one end of the world to the other. One sails from London to Australia along the same flat surface of the sea. The ships do not curve around a ball. The disappearance of ships on the horizon line is due to a phenomena called the vanishing point and is not due to any curvature on the Earth. We can explain this further in later posts if the discussion continues.
We should also carefully note that the above description by Markendaya Rsi that the Earth is part of a series of islands completely surrounded by sea, is completely at variance with the idea that the Earth is a planet and completely surrounded by space (not water).
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PANDAVAS OVER JAMBUDWIPA
So according to Markandeya Purana and Vishnu Purana, as well as other Puranas, Bharata-varsha has a total area of 72,000 miles and is divided into nine areas of which our Earth is but one part measuring 8,000 miles from north to south. Neither India, nor even the entire surface of our known Earth can therefore be identified as the full extent of Bharata-varsha. If Bharata-varsha is measured at 72,000 miles then obviously there are more parts to it that we are not presently aware of. This concept makes no sense on a globe model of the Earth but it is perfectly reasonable on a flat Earth model. It means that to the east and west of Earth's continents there are more land areas belonging to Bharata-varsha; and to the north of Earth's continents is the next varsha of Jambudvipa known as Kimpurusha-varsha. Our Earth is 1,000 yojanas or 8,000 miles from south to north. Theoretically, therefore, when we get to the northern part of our Earth, we are almost in reach of Jambudvipa itself. According to Srimad Bhagavatam we are in fact part of Jambudvipa, but are just separated by water and other mental and physical obstructions imposed by devas.
The Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata states that only 5,000 years ago, the Pandavas were ruling this entire area from their capital in present day India. Now we no longer have access to this area. Srimad Bhagavatam specifically states that only 5,000 years ago, Maharaja Yudhisthira's sovereignty was over the whole of Jambudvipa:
"News even reached the celestial planets about Maharaja Yudhisthira's worldly possessions, the sacrifices by which he would attain a better destination, his queen, his stalwart brothers, his extensive land, his sovereignty over the planet earth, and his fame, etc." (SB 1.12.5)
Maharaja Yudhisthira is one of the eternal associates of Krishna that periodically incarnate on the Earth in order to re-establish dharma. Yudhisthira along with his four brothers Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva are known as the Pandavas. Together they serve Krishna's mission to annihilate the demons when they become a burden on the Earth. In the above verse the Sanskrit word for Yudhisthira's sovereignty over the planet Earth is jambudvipadhipatyam. The place name of Jambudvipa is clearly mentioned. King Yudhisthira's sovereignty was over the whole of Jambudvipa, not just India which is in Bharata-varsha. Srila Prabhupada translates the above verse jambudvipadhipatyam (SB 1.12.5 ) as Yudhisthira's 'sovereignty over the planet Earth.' Srila Prabhupada would translate words in that way because he had the understanding that Earth was a much larger domain that what we experience now. Srila Prabhupada may have used the nomenclature of the day to call Earth a planet, but what Srimad Bhagavatam means by planet, and what NASA depicts as a planet are two entirely different things. This understanding makes sense when we consider the more detailed description given in Mahabharata of the Pandavas conquest of areas in Jambudvipa on behalf of their brother Yudhisthira. For example, we hear of Arjuna conquering Kimpurusha-varsha and taking tribute from the residents of Hari-varsha. This is an area of hundreds of thousands of miles. The details of the conquest of Jambudwipa are given in section 1.8 of "Sailing to Jambudwipa".
In another fascinating purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.16.12, one will see how Srila Prabhupada uses the words 'Earth', 'world', and 'Jambudvipa' interchangeably to describe the vast territories of Jambudvipa covering hundreds of thousands of miles that were conquered by Maharaja Pariksit the grandson of Arjuna who ruled the empire after Yudhisthira.
The verse in question narrates the conquest of Maharaja Pariksit over Jambudvipa, naming specific places. These are not place names within India; they are the place names of Jambudvipa. Bharata-varsha (where our Earth is situated) is mentioned almost incidentally. One should note again that these areas of Jambudvipa cover an area of 800,000 miles:
"Maharaja Pariksit then conquered all parts of the earthly planet—Bhadrasva, Ketumala, Bharata, the northern Kuru, Kimpurusha, etc.—and exacted tributes from their respective rulers." (SB 1.16.12)
These verses from Srimad Bhagavatam prove conclusively—at least to followers of Vedic history or Puranas—that what we know as the Earth was once connected to the rest of the 800,000 mile island of Jambudvipa. Such a conception completely rules out, and immediately demolishes, any idea of the Earth being a globe rotating in empty space. We should also immediately reject the many foolish explanations that try to place these huge areas of Jambudvipa either within India and its surrounding area, or within the Earth itself. Speculations abound in this regard and display a complete lack of faith and understanding of Vedic cosmology. These speculations most probably began with the first English translators of the Vedic texts and their complete misunderstanding and distortion of the text has unfortunately been repeated verbatim by most if not all Hindu commentators on Vedic geography in the modern age. Completely ignoring the huge land measurements ascribed to Jambudvipa in the various Vedic literature, foolish speculators try to interpret these areas as regions in and around India.
It is very difficult for the conditioned mind to accept (without speculation or interpolation) what the Vedic texts describe as a huge land mass to the north of our land and oceans. But even if one cannot accept the truth of the Srimad Bhagavatam's description, at least one should have enough intellectual integrity to accurately represent what the text is describing rather than trying to interpret the text to make it conform to one's very limited understanding of reality.
LOOKING AT THE EARTH THROUGH THE VEDIC SATELLITE (SHASTRA CAKSUSHA - THE EYE OF SCRIPTURE)
Of course, texts from ancient scriptures mean nothing to those opposed to, or completely disbelieving in the Vedic authority, but if any sincere follower of Vedic authority has any doubts on the matter of the greater Earth region described in the Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata, I suggest undertaking a serious study of the hoax that NASA has pulled over the eyes of the world for the last 50 years in its presentation of the Earth as a globe rotating in space. Once one sees through the deception that NASA has created, the Srimad-Bhagavatam's description of the greater Earth begins to make sense. The fake Earth images from outer-space began with the fake moon landings of 1969-72. NASA's adventures in space are the longest running sci-fi movie in history; but very few realize it is all just a movie. Welcome to the Truman Show (a 1998 movie about a man who lives in a film studio without knowing it). Movies aside, it should not be thought that Sukadeva Goswami is some pious but ultimately primitive Indian sage, who was limited in his conception of geography and cosmology due to not being able to see the 'real' Earth through the lens of a modern technologically-advanced satellite from deep in outer space. No! There are no satellites in outer space. It is a hoax! But the colossal nature of the hoax will take time to establish. You can start by having a look here.
So what does Earth look like on a flat Earth model? A close up of Earth's position in Bharata-varsha is shown in the illustration below:
Before we begin to explain the above image, I would like to immediately point out that I believe the depiction of the Earth as a globe here is wrong. In fact, the paper "Sailing to Jambudwipa" was written as a response to this conception and I refer the reader to this link, which presents the argument in greater detail.
An important point to note, however, is that the above illustration from Vedic Cosmos correctly shows Earth's relation to Jambudvipa as it is described in the Puranas. The animated image of a globe-shaped Earth floating on water and surrounded by other land features is, of course, a shock to the mind accustomed to perceive images of the Earth as a lonely globe floating in dark, empty space. However, the idea presented in the above image (based on the Puranas description of other land areas within the vicinity of our Earth's continents and oceans) is not something that any of us can personally confirm or deny. Which one of us, for example, has personally gone into outer space to confirm the actual position of Earth as a rotating globe in space? And which one of us has personally crossed the Arctic and Antarctica regions to see if there is actually more land to be discovered? All of us rely on images of Earth from agencies such as NASA. In section 2.2 of Sailing to Jambudwipa these official images are called into question. Although most people would not feel any need to call these images and accounts into question, a follower of Srimad Bhagavatam has to call these images into question because according to Srimad Bhagavatam there are indeed other lands and other humans in the vicinity of the place we call Earth. They rest on the same salt water oceans as our own. Theoretically, if we set a northern course, we could sail to Jambudvipa on the same ocean. The recent expose of NASA's so-called images of Earth by members of the flat-Earth society not only uncovers the greatest hoax in history, but opens up a whole new understanding and appreciation of Srimad-Bhagavatam's flat-Earth concept.
The above image from Vedic Cosmos of the globe-shaped Earth floating on Jambudvipa's salt water ocean would appear credible and acceptable to the intelligence if it simply depicted the continents of Earth as lying flat on the salt water ocean, not floating like a ball on top of it. The correct depiction of Earth lying flat will resonate with the soul's innate comprehension and intuition of the truth of Krishna's creation. Such a depiction would actually correspond with our perception of reality; for as we fly or sail over land and oceans we find Earth to be perfectly flat in all directions. There is no observable or measurable curvature of the Earth anywhere.
It appears from the above image from Vedic Cosmos video that the actual description of Bharata-varsha given in Srimad Bhagavatam has been interpolated to fit a pre-conceived and ill-conceived notion of the Earth according to NASA – an image that has been indelibly marked in our minds as the authentic image of Earth's shape. Here, by the way, we have a spectacular clash of world views which is not a debate for the faint-hearted. If NASA's claim to be photographing Earth from outer space is authentic, then according to the followers of Srimad Bhagavatam they would show other regions of land in the vicinity of Earth's continents - these being the eight other regions of Bharata-varsha that stretch over an area of 72,000 miles on the same salt water ocean as our own. From an even further distance in space they would see the huge circular island of Jambudvipa itself, and looking even further from outer space they would see the huge tracts of land forming the other concentric islands surrounding the central island of Jambudvipa. It has to be one or the other. Either both NASA and other space agencies are lying, cheating, and deceiving people with their so-called images of a globe Earth rotating in dark empty space, or the Srimad Bhagavatam is a nice fairy story to entertain its Vedic followers with nothing more than fantastic myths and legends.
In the above image from Vedic Cosmos we see the small Earth with the other islands of Bharata varsha to the east and west. To the north is the great Himalaya Mountain. This mountain range divides Bharta-varsha from neighbouring Kimpurusha-varsha. This Himalaya is obviously not the one we know in India. This Himalaya is 72,000 miles long and rises to a height of 80,000 miles high. The distinction between these two mountains is very important in our understanding of the flat Earth model of Srimad Bhagavatam.
MIS-TRANSLATIONS AND MISUNDERSTANDING OF VEDIC TEXTS
The original Christian translators of Vedic texts were lacking in both faith and understanding of the Vedic Cosmos; being thus unable to accommodate the idea of a mountain that is described as 80,000 miles high and 72,000 miles long, they simply dismissed it as mythological and assumed that the Himalaya separating Bharata-varsha from Kimpurusha-varsha must be referring to the one in India. In fact they did the same thing with all the place names of Jambudwipa – they simply dismissed the huge measurements of Jambudwipa as mythological and tried to squeeze this 800,000 mile area of Jambudwipa into the small area of India. Thus Jambudwipa simply disappeared into mythology; and the Hindu scholars have been dutifully following this erroneous understanding ever since.
We see this erroneous understanding even in our own cosmological scholars in ISKCON. For example, a simple question can be raised: "If Bharata-varsha is part of the huge island of Jambudwipa, then where is the rest of Jambudwipa to be seen from our tiny little ball globe?" Being unable to reconcile the description of Srimad Bhagavatam's huge flat-Earth concept with the modern understanding that Earth is a globular plant floating in dark lonely space, the answer is usually given that Jambudwipa is not visible to our senses because it is in another dimension. But Jambudwipa is not in another dimension. The rest of Jambudwipa can be found to the north of our known Earth continents, in other words, across the Arctic. This is how Sukadeva Goswami describes it: To the north of Bharata-varsha is the great Himalaya that brings us onto the rest of Jambudwipa. This makes sense if we consider the Earth as resting on a horizontal plane that continues beyond our known Earth area; however, it makes absolutely no sense if we stick to the illusion that we are on a 25,000 mile round ball in space.
SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM DOES NOT DESCRIBE BHARATA-VARSHA AS A GLOBE-SHAPED PLANET IN SPACE
Now please carefully note here: Nowhere in Srimad Bhagavatam is the place that we know as Earth (Bharata-varsha) described as a planet floating in space as we have been indoctrinated to believe both by non-Vedic and so-called Vedic sources. The following is a post from Uttamasloka Prabhu a disciple of Srila Prabhupada that clarifies the point:
In the 5th canto there is the description of the sky and outer space, ie: the antariksa. There are two chapters - 21-22 - which describe the motion of the sun and other planets - grahas. Nowhere in those chapters is there any mention of 'earth', or Bhu-mandala, or Bharata-varsa being one of the grahas/planets in the antariksa. Why not?
Because 'earth' is not a globe in the antariksa, or it would have been clearly described as such and included with the other planets orbiting around Meru. But it is not. The only planets mentioned are: sun, moon, rahu, mercury, venus, mars, jupiter and saturn. That's it.
The antariksa is clearly described as being above Bhu-mandala and as being the same in length and breadth as Bhu-mandala, ie: 4 billion miles in diameter. The celestial svargas are also described as being the same size, length and breadth-wise, and they are positioned above the antariksa. The antariksa is thus 'above' Bhu-mandala and 'below' the celestial svargas - in between them both.
The positions of the planets relative to one another are also given. They are stacked up vertically in the antariksa along with the stars/constellations. There is no mention about an 'earth globe' being part of this arrangement or that it is in the antariksa. Nothing whatsoever. Why not? Earth is also not described that way in chapter 23 which describes the form of the dolphin.
So if the earth is a globe, then where exactly is it 'floating'? Why is its position in the antariksa not mentioned at all? And there is certainly no mention of it 'spinning' or hurtling through space along with the sun and other planets. The sun moves clockwise around Meru, as do the other planets and constellations and the kala-cakra. So how does the sun cause night and day for the so-called earth globe if it is floating 'somewhere' above Jambudvipa and it isn't spinning at 1,000 mph? And why are we assuming that Bharata-varsa is a globe but not the other 8 varsas of Jambudvipa? How is it that they are part of the flat round area of Jambudvipa, which is described as being flat and 'round' like a lotus leaf, but Bharata-varsa deviates from that for no particular reason?
And what about the lower seven realms, which are clearly described as 'subterranean', and accessible via tunnels located on Bhu-mandala? Are we to believe that they are within the so-called earth globe? That isn't likely since their dimensions are given as 80,000 miles in height and breadth and each one is 80,000 miles below the other. That clearly cannot be within an earth globe that is 8,000 in diameter. And they are not described as grahas either. They don't orbit Meru, nor are they in the antariksa.
We cannot simply conclude that the earth, ie: Bharata-varsa, is a globe simply because the word bhugola is found in the texts. All of the relevant information must be properly reconciled to arrive at the final and correct conclusion.
GOING TO THE NORTH OF THE WORLD
So if Earth is not described as a planet in space, then how is it described? Well quite simply, it is described as being part of the same terrain as the rest of Jambudwipa. For comparison think of Australia which is also a continent completely surrounded by water and divided into six states. As one travels from the south to the north of Australia, one proceeds from Victoria through New South Wales to Queensland; and although one passes through different states, one still traverses the same horizontal plane. The same is true when heading from the south of Jambudwipa to the north. Bharata-varsha is in the south and even though one travels north through Kimpurusha-varsha and Hari-varsha and finally to Mount Meru in the center, this is all situated on the same horizontal plane. According to the description of Srimad Bhagavatam, if we, for example, were to keep travelling north across the Arctic, we would not be going north around a globe; rather our compass would keep pointing north (past the so-called north pole) and we would keep going along the same horizontal plane until we came to the mainland of Jambudwipa. The compass would keep pointing north because that is the direction of Mount Meru. Meru (not the so-called North Pole) is the central point in the greater Earth (or Bhu-mandala) from which all directions are measured.
One mental problem we all have with the idea of going to the north of the world is that we are all accustomed to looking at a globe; we have thus been led to believe that going north means moving in a vertical direction around the top of a ball. However, one can also go north on a horizontal plane. A city has it's northern and southern end, as does an entire country. If I go from the south of London to the north of London or from the south of England to the north of England, I traverse on a horizontal plane not a vertical one. We need to start re-orientating our intelligence to understand directions according to Srimad Bhagavatam.
According to Srimad Bhagavatam, if we were to keep travelling north across the Arctic, the first thing we would meet is the huge 80,000 mile high Himalaya that separates our Bharata-varsha from the next part of Jambudwipa which is called Kimpurusha varsha. Earth's situation to the rest of Jambudwipa looks like this:
WHY FAKE THE GLOBE?
Both Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata assert that the Pandavas were entering into this area and indeed governing all of his vast area of Jambudvipa from their capital in India. Access to Jambudwipa was possible at that point, but about 5,000 years ago we entered into the Kali-yuga period (the age of fighting and hypocrisy) and our particular place in Bharata-varsha became isolated from the mainland of Jambudvipa. It is mentioned in various Puranas that the yugas (four repeating cycles of time that bring about variations in people's mind, behaviour, and environment) only affect Bharata-varsha and not the other varshas of Jambudvipa were pious people live happily enjoying the results of their previous karma. For that reason we are put into a kind of quarantine. As the Kali-yuga progressed, the Vedic empire was broken up, people in different parts of the world became isolated, and the whole atmosphere degraded. Consequently the Vedic knowledge was withdrawn, including knowledge of our relation to the other parts of our world as well as the greater knowledge of the world's relation to Jambudwipa. Jambudwipa became the stuff of mere myth and legend: the Greek Olympus; The Nordic Asgard; the Buddhist Shambhalla.
Rajasekhara Prabhu asked why would anyone fake the globe. Actually the deception starts with Mayadevi herself. The general ignorance and materialism prevailing in Kali-yuga is part of maya's arrangement to further facilitate the soul's illusion of a life devoid of God. In Kali-yuga the crude and base desires of the human beings are allowed free reign. Knowledge of the soul, God, and the creation is gradually covered over so that the more perverse aspects of material existence can be experienced, and their severe karmic reactions ignored by the materialistic people destined to take birth at this time. Knowledge and experience of God's wide creation along the Bhu-mandala and throughout the universe is withdrawn and the expanded flat Earth is gradually replaced by such illusions as the globe model. The globe model is a spell-like speculation that literally traps one in a bubble—a prison planet floating alone in lifeless Godless empty space. Since there is no God, whoever controls the prison planet controls your being. Such are the fearful illusions that follow as a result of turning from God and the truth. The materialist is given over to the deceptions, untruths, and illusions created by atheistic agencies such as NASA. Such agencies are empowered by the Lord's own maya potency to bewilder souls adverse to God consciousness. The deceivers, however, are themselves subject to the greater deception of maya:
"The killer of the soul, whoever he may be, must enter into the planets known as the worlds of the faithless, full of darkness and ignorance." (Sri Isopanishad, mantra 3)
The sankirtana movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is a brief chance in the onward march of Kali-yuga for the soul to take advantage of the Vedic knowledge and to re-establish his eternal relationship with God. The Vedic planetarium is a very important project of the sankirtana movement to enlighten the people in Earth's region of Bharata-varsha about their real position in the cosmos, and ultimately about their real home in the Kingdom of God.
JAMBUDWIPA IS NOT IN ANOTHER DIMENSION
So let us put aside for a moment what we assume the Earth to look like, and just take in the actual description of Bharata-varsha. If we present the Earth as a globe in space, it means we haven't listened to, comprehended, or represented (re-presented) the actual description given by Sukadeva Goswami and the other Vedic sages who provide geographical descriptions of Bharata-varsha in many places throughout the Puranas. At least from the descriptions of Earth provided, we are not hearing anything that remotely resembles a globe-shaped planet.
The problem for most of us in conceptualizing what Earth looks like is because we have been convinced that we are on NASA's ball in space. If we are to believe Srimad Bhagavatam and take Sukadeva Goswami at his word, then we are actually not that far from our earthly neighbours on Bharata-varsha, and from our more pious neighbours on Jambudvipa. In reality we are only a few thousand miles away. We are surrounded by the same salt water ocean. Think about that; the salt water ocean surrounding Jambudvipa is the same salt water ocean that surrounds our own continents. This is because we are actually part of Jambudvipa, but just separated by ocean and ice (Arctic and Antarctica). The idea that Jambudwipa is in another dimension and not visible to our senses is defeated by the following verse from Srimad Bhagavatam:
Similarly, the branch of the Ganges known as Alakananda flows from the southern side of Brahmapuri [Brahma-sadana]. Passing over the tops of mountains in various lands, it falls down with fierce force upon the peaks of the mountains Hemakuta and Himakuta. After inundating the tops of those mountains, the Ganges falls down onto the tract of land known as Bharata-varsha, which she also inundates. Then the Ganges flows into the ocean of salt water in the south. Persons who come to bathe in this river are fortunate. It is not very difficult for them to achieve with every step the results of performing great sacrifices like the Rajasaya and Asvamedha yajnas. (SB 5.17.9)
So here it is explained that the same sacred Ganges water that is seen by Brahma at Brahma Puri (atop Mount Meru) is likewise seen by ISKCON devotees in Mayapur. Like Brahma, we offer obeisances to Ganga in Mayapur before taking a dip three times. Where is the Ganga that flows through Mayapur coming from? She is coming from the transcendental realm via the southern side of Brahmapuri which rests on the top of Mount Meru. Where does she flow to? She flows into the ocean of salt water in the south? What is the ocean of salt water. It is the 800,000 mile ocean that surrounds Jambudwipa. That is our salt water ocean. It is not in a different dimension or 'higher realm' or anything of the sort. It is the same salt water we swim in, and sail upon; it's just that we only get to see a small part of it. But it is otherwise clearly within our dimension and physicality. If we were to keep sailing on the salt water ocean in any direction we would reach other parts of Bharata-varsha and Jambudwipa. At the present moment a 'superior force' to quote Prabhupada prevents us from going further.
THERE IS MORE EARTH TO BE DISCOVERED
Tamala Krishna: They go due west and they hit India from Los Angeles, but according to our calculation, that's not possible.
Prabhupada: You can go further, but you cannot go. That is condition. You are restricted. The same, that you are bound up. If an animal can go further... But he cannot, because he is bound up. Ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate [Bg. 3.27]. He is thinking, "I am free." He is not free. So what is the value of his education? This is the real point.
Tamala Krishna: They'll want to talk about another point.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Tamala Krishna: They'll want to talk about the point that the point on their compass that points west while they're flying in the airplane, and they keep it going west, and they eventually land in India from Los Angeles.
Prabhupada: You are flying west or east—you do not know. You are controlled.
Tamala Krishna: They say, "No, our compass shows it. And you accept the compass."
Prabhupada: That's all right. You are going west, but do you think where you think that the west is end, that is not end. You can go further.
Tamala Krishna: They say it never ends because we're going around the planet.
Prabhupada: No, that is his dog's mentality, going round. That is dog. He is thinking that "This is the area. Now I..." He's controlled by superior power, that "You cannot go." An example is... There are so many. There are so many stars, moons, and we'll go there. But he cannot go.
Tamala Krishna: They say, "We accept this premise, that we are limited."
Prabhupada: But then limited, you cannot say final.
Tamala Krishna: "But we say within our limited means we can understand that..."
Prabhupada: And limited means if you understand that "I am bound up. I am going round the law," that is all right. But don't say that "Beyond this limit there is nothing."
Tamala Krishna: No, they don't.
Tamala Krishna: But supposing that within this limit we accept that we are limited.
Prabhupada: That is all right.
Tamala Krishna: But we say that we're going west and...
Prabhupada: That's right, west up to this point, rascal, not more than that. Why don't you understand this? West you have gone. That's all right. But up to this point, no more. You cannot go. You don't say that there is no more after this western...
...That you can go further, but you cannot go. Therefore you are thinking, "This is end of the position." The same dog mentality. He is within that small area. He is thinking, "There is no more, other space." That example is another, that bull. His eyes are closed, and he crushes the oil mill, going. He's thinking he is going three hundred miles.
Tamala Krishna: They keep the eyes blinded so he won't...
Tamala Krishna: ...understand what's going on.
Prabhupada: Because in one place, simply going round, going round, it makes one mad. So those eyes are closed. He is thinking, "This is the end of world." …Kupa-manduka, the frog in the well, he is thinking that "This is the whole water area."
Tamala Krishna: Then what is it? If it is not what I am thinking, then what is it?
Prabhupada: That I am explaining. Take it.
Tamala Krishna: But we can't explain it. That's the problem.
Prabhupada: No, no, why cannot explain?
Tamala Krishna: That's the problem…They can go from New York, that direction, or they go from Los Angeles, the other way. Either way, they come to India, and they say, "That proves the world is round 'cause we can go like this or we can go this way." But we say, "No, you can only go this way." But the compass shows I am going due east...
Prabhupada: So we don't say differently. You can go this way.
Tamala Krishna: But we don't say that. Because there's no round, we say... Simply it's a lotus. It's not...
Prabhupada: No, I... It is the same example. Just as animal is bound up, so he's going this round or this round, the same thing. But you cannot go beyond that.
(Discussion about Bhu-mandala, July 3, 1977, Vrndavana)
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
In the above conversation, Srila Prabhupada agrees with Tamala Krishna Goswami that from America one can go to India either in a westerly or easterly direction, but he insists this circumnavigation of the Earth is not the limit of going east or west. One can go further east and west, but like an animal bound to a stake with a rope and with blinkers on his eyes, he is kept moving in a limited circle; and that's all the animal gets to experience of a much greater environment.
Taking this example, I would argue that we are similarly like the animal bound within a limited jurisdiction and blinkered to the vision of the greater Jambudvipa. We can go further east and west but we are restricted by certain illusions, diversions, and indeed physical obstructions that prevent us from doing so. By the way, one can go around the world on the flat earth. Like this:
Or fly around like this:
Rajasekhara Prabhu wrote in his article "Flat Earth Theory – Completely Flattened":
"Contrary to Mayesvara's claim, there is no flat plain that is 72,000 miles long anywhere to be seen. 72,000 miles is almost one fourth the way to the Moon. Not even the millions of airline pilots flying to every point on the compass have ever reported such an incredible phenomena as a 'Flat Earth' that is 72,000 miles long. The airline industry navigates the entire Earth based on the Earth being a round globe, otherwise they could never circumnavigate the entire globe as they do every day if the Earth was flat. Their planes would simply go off course and never reach their destination."
Rajasekhara Prabhu, have you not read Srimad Bhagavatam? Or is it that you do you not believe Srimad Bhagavatam? It is stated quite clearly that Bharata-varsha is 72,000 miles long:
"In Jambudvipa there are nine divisions of land, each with a length of 9,000 yojanas [72,000 miles]. There are eight mountains that mark the boundaries of these divisions and separate them nicely." (SB 5.16.6)
"Similarly, south of Ilavrta-varsha and extending from east to west are three great mountains named (from north to south) Nisadha, Hemakuta and Himalaya. Each of them is 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles] high. They mark the boundaries of the three varshas named Hari-varsha, Kimpurusha-varsha and Bharata-varsha [India]." (SB 5.16.9)
Here Sukadeva Goswami explains that Bharata-varsha is one of the nine varshas of Jambudwipa and the length of Bharata-varsha is 72,000 miles. To the north of Bharata-varsha is a mountain called Himalaya which is 80,000 miles high and separates Bharata-varsha from our neighbour Kimpurusha-varsha. Obviously none of this fits into your globe understanding. So why do airplanes not fly further afield if Bharata-varsha is actually 72,000 miles long? They do not fly further because certain karmic obstructions imposed by devas prevent us from travelling further. And why do satellites from outer space not show the great scale of the Flat Earth? Quite obviously because they don't have satellites in space. So Rajasekhara Prabhu what is required from you is not taking time out to write another post denouncing me; rather you should take time out to embark on some serious research in order to understand the colossal deception that has been perpetrated by NASA.
They have not and will not go into outer space.
UNITING THE UNIVERSE WITH HARINAMA SANKIRTAN
So let's recap: According to the above description by Markandeya Rsi, there are eight other land areas of Bharata-varsha (covering an area of 72,000 miles) somewhere in the vicinity of our known Earth's oceans. Although 'mutually inaccessible' they are not far away. Of course this only makes sense on a flat Earth model with expanded planes. It makes no sense from the perspective of a globe. We shall explain with examples in later posts why this globe image is actually an artificial creation from the special effects department of NASA. We live on a flat Earth, and there is a lot more to be discovered or rather re-discovered. This is the version of the Puranas and the one most consistent with the science that proves the Earth is on an expanded flat plane, not a rotating ball in space.
Somehow, we've become separated from the mainland of Jambudvipa. The possibility of rediscovering it exists, and it doesn't involve taking spaceships to other Earth-like planets that are similarly floating in space. We do not need rocket ships to find the other regions of Jambudvipa because according to Srimad Bhagavatam we are not on a rotating globe-shaped planet at all. We are already standing on part of the flat 800,000 mile circular island of Jambudvipa, and are literally only a few thousand miles away on the same stretch of salt water ocean that surrounds our continents from the mainland of Jambudvipa. We have difficultly to conceive of this because of the ball Earth concept.The Temple of Vedic planetarium is meant to enlighten the world about the real facts of Krishna's creation. As the world becomes purified by Nama Sankirtan, and the asuric influence in the world is destroyed, I would foresee that a physical connection with Jambudwipa will be re-established. This is predicted by Srila Prabhupada in the following purport:
"One may raise the question how all three worlds became inundated with love of Krishna, since Caitanya Mahaprabhu performed kirtana only in the Navadvipa area. The answer is that Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself. The entire cosmic manifestation results from the Lord's first setting it in motion. Similarly, since the sankirtana movement was first set in motion five hundred years ago by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's desire that it spread all over the universe, the Krishna consciousness movement, in continuity of that same motion, is now spreading all over the world, and in this way it will gradually spread all over the universe. With the spread of the Krishna consciousness movement, everyone will merge in an ocean of love of Krishna." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 13.32)
THE FLAT EARTH MOVEMENT AND ISKCON
The flat Earth idea is usually equated with primitive and pre-scientific ideas. A common expression to equate certain ideas with stupidity is to say, "And people used to think the world was flat." In most people's minds, a flat Earth conjures up pictures of boats falling off the edge. However, almost all ancient cultures and religions (including the Vedic culture) taught that the world was flat and motionless, and that the sun and moon rotated around the stationary Earth. This system is referred to as the geo-centric system. The opposing idea of Earth as a moving planet rotating the sun began to take hold in the modern era with Copernicus (1473-1543), Galileo (1564-1642), and Newton (1642-1726). This movement of the Earth around the sun is referred to as the heliocentric system. The word comes from the Greek words helios (sun) kentron (center). Although the heliocentric view of Earth rotating around the sun has always been contended, it was the idea that one the day. Until now…
In just a few years, there has been an almost instant revolution in ideas about the flat Earth with an accompanying explosion of interest in the concept. It has been perhaps one of the most popular internet topics of 2015 and will continue to gain momentum in the coming years. Actual science in the sense of empiric observation, hypothesis, and demonstration has now come back to take the side of a geo-centric and flat Earth model. There have been some truly revolutionary books and documentaries produced which blow apart many of our ideas about the globe-shaped Earth. Interestingly, part of this revolution has involved taking a hard look at the authenticity of the photos and videos from the Apollo moon-landings (1969-1972), as also those subsequent images and videos circulated by NASA that depict the Earth as a rotating ball is space. Srila Prabhupada denounced the moon-landings as a colossal hoax and the subsequent images of Earth provided by NASA are clearly part of the same deception.
It is also interesting timing that this revolution in thinking about the flat Earth is occurring simultaneously with the construction of the Mayapur Vedic Planetarium whose cosmology clearly describes an expanded flat-Earth called Bhu-mandala. Many centuries of Western astronomical propaganda has instilled a false belief in all of us that a flat-Earth concept is un-scientific and idiotic; moreover, satellite images of a globe-shaped Earth taken from outer space are presented as conclusive proof that the Earth is round not flat. As will be explained in later posts, however, no such authentic image or video of a globe-shaped Earth rotating on its axis in outer space actually exists. The images we've been presented of the globe-shaped Earth have either been clearly exposed as fake, or as openly admitted by NASA, merely computer generated images of Earth pieced together from composites of photos of land areas taken from so-called 'low orbit.' Basically what you see of the Earth from supposed outer-space is no more what you see of Earth when looking out of an airplane window; namely, some land, sea, and clouds with a flat horizon in all directions. The curved lens camera used on NASA's images is a simple and disingenuous method to create a round or curved shape to the land below. In actuality, the horizon is flat in every direction as can be directly perceived by anyone from a height of 35,000 feet whilst sitting in an airplane. Amateur cameras sent to a height of 120,000 feet also show the same flat horizon and no curvature anywhere. If studied carefully, with respect and without fear and prejudice, the many exposes of NASA's deceptive imagery of Earth, as well as the hundreds and thousands of scientifically presented arguments for the flat Earth model will help support the Srimad-Bhagavatam's depiction of an expanded flat Earth.
The concept of a flat Earth is a huge paradigm shift and raises many questions which I can't hope to answer here. For those interested, I refer the reader to the various websites, books, and documentaries available on-line which present evidence and arguments for the flat Earth concept. Perhaps a good introduction is Eric Dubay's 200 Proofs that Earth is not a Spinning Ball which can be read on-line. A word of caution is necessary though in searching through the thousands of available videos debating the subject. Amidst the many compelling arguments presented for the flat Earth from various sources, there are also certain limitations and inevitable speculations (at least from the perspective of anyone who accepts the Srimad Bhagavatam as the ultimate authority). It is difficult for advocates of the flat Earth, for example, to understand the exact shape and location of the flat Earth in relation to the rest of the universe. Where is its edge? What does it rest on? What lies beyond the boundaries of the flat Earth? The sun and moon are also placed much closer to the Earth than in the Srimad-Bhagavatam's description. One therefore, has to exercise caution in reading through these arguments, appreciating that sincere as one may be in arguing for a flat Earth, one of the four defects of conditioned nature is the inevitability of making mistakes. Apart from that, there are many hundreds of sound arguments presented in favour of a flat Earth. Indeed, where the flat Earth advocates excel, is in demonstrating the impossibility of Earth being a round ball floating in space. Thus the strength of the arguments in these books and videos lies not in presenting what Earth looks like (which is highly speculative in the absence of an overall Vedic perspective) but in pointing out incongruities of the rotating globe-shaped Earth idea. Inspiring also is the courageous and revolutionary spirit present in those persons challenging the politics and spirit behind the round globe Earth concept presented first in the modern era by Copernicus and solidified recently by NASA. The flat-Earth society, as well as the rest of the world, are not yet aware of what lies beyond the perimeter of our known Earth. It is the duty of the TOVP to inform them.
The flat-Earth concept is a huge and highly relevant internet debate that exploded in 2015 and I believe Krishna has inspired and empowered it to coincide with the opening of the Mayapur Vedic Planetarium. Many of the arguments presented by supporters of the flat Earth lend support to Srimad-Bhagavatam's description that Earth is flat land on a flat plane; it is not spinning in space like a ball. I feel we have much to learn from this debate that will aid in our own understanding of how to properly depict Earth according to the Srimad-Bhagavatam's description.
In part two of this presentation we can look at the quotations from Srila Prabhupada on the globe and the flat-Earth provided by Rajasekhara Prabhu.