abhishekam, dvarapalas and "Jambudvipa"

Dominik Wujastyk dom at uclblr.iisc.ernet.in
Fri Mar 3 22:52:28 UTC 1995

vaxd.sxu.edu!RABE said:
> While showing slides of cosmological mandalas in a class this afternoon, I
> realized I didn't know why the middle earth is called Jambudvipa.  So I told
> the class that probably some who were exchanging citations on Indian herbals
> and ayurvedic texts recently could probably tell me what a Rose-apple is, and
> the reason for its application to the inner continent.

In medical texts, the Jambu is normally taken to be Syzygium cumini
(Linn.) Skeels. (Older name: Eugenia jambolana, Lam.) It has blue-black
plum-like fruits, which can be as big as a pigeon's egg and is called
the Jambul, Black plum or Indian blackberry.

The Rose apple is something different.  Old name Eugenia jambos, Linn.,
but also called Jambu in Sanskrit.

I confess I have been confused by this.  Some months ago I was happily
eating rose apples here in Bangalore, which were easily available in the
market, thinking they were the famous "jambu".  But after a while,
reading the texts available to me, I began to doubt this.  Now I think
that "Jambu" and "Rose apple" are two different fruits.  But I don't
think I've got to the bottom of it yet.



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