Sakadwipa (RE: Rising of the sea and other Migration myths)

Swaminathan Madhuresan smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jan 28 14:39:35 UTC 2000

Dear Prof. Vassilkov & Indologists,

Does the churning of the Milky Ocean elaborated in the
MBh. involve Krishna? What later puraNas other than
the one described in van Buitenan and Dimmitt's purana
collection include Krishna in the Churning of the Milky ocean
producing Surabhi, the divinely cow?

True, MBh places the Meru in the east; But remember reading
a paper on Meru by Ian Mabbett a while ago (in the de Jong
comm. vol.?); Usually locating the meru mt. is so vague;
Tamil saiva puranas locate them in the south or srilanka.
Rajaraja Chola called his temple as Meru; Thiruvi.daimarudhur
mahalingeshvarar temple has a famous meru.

Does the churning of the ocean legend involve more of poetic
fancy, something like the Rama building the Sethu bridge
with monkeys and bears?


--- Yaroslav Vassilkov <yavass at YV1041.SPB.EDU> wrote:
> Though the MahAbhArata really places the ZAkadvIpa continent to the
> east of Meru (XII.14.23), the first ZAkadvIpa (Maga) Brahmans seem
> to come from the NW, acc. to the SAmba legend, related in the SAmba-,
> BhaviSya-, Brahma- and SkandapurANa. In this case the ZAkadvIpa as
> the place of their origin is to be connected rather with the historical
> SakasthAna, i.e. modern Seistan in Eastern Iran. Invited by the KRSNa's son
> SAmba,
> the Magas first settled in Mitravana/SAmbapura/MUlasthAna (=
> historical Multan). They brought with them the pratice of wearing avyanga
> (a corruption of the Avestan term meaning the "sacred girdle of the
> Zoroastrians") and the specific cult of the Sun-God, worshipped under
> his Old Iranian name Mithra, which was later replaced by Middle
> Iranian Mihr/Mehr/Mihir (from whence Indian Mihira). Research done by
> several generations of scholars has revealed the gradual spread of the
> ZAkadvIpa Brahmans over the Indian subcontinent and eventually their
> penetration even into Eastern India. The well-known Indian ethnologist
> P.L.Vidyarthi
> in his brilliant monograph on the city of GayA in Bihar expressed his opinion
> of
> Iranian (Magian) origin of the local ZAkadvIpi Brahmans. The Bibliography on
> the
> problem of Indian Magi (including basic works by R.C.Hazra, K.Hoffman and H.
> von Stietencron)
> see in my article "An Iranian Myth in Eastern India: GayOmart and the
> Mythology of GayA"
> in: Orientalia Suecana (Uppsala), XLVII (1998), pp. 148-149.
>                                                         Ya.V.
Yaroslav Vassilkov (yavass at
> Thu, 27 Jan 2000 16:47 +0300 MSK
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