[INDOLOGY] The compound word bhūgola

Toke Lindegaard Knudsen toke.knudsen at hum.ku.dk
Tue Jun 26 08:57:41 UTC 2018

Dear all,

I’m interested in the compound word bhūgola (and related terms, such as bhuvo golam, dharāgola, mahīgola, etc.). The word gola means ‘ball’ or ‘globe,’ and the compound word bhūgola means ‘the earth’s sphere.’

The compound word bhūgola is used in the sense of ‘earth-sphere,’ ‘the earth’s sphere’ in astronomical texts since at least the Āryabhaṭīya (composed in 499 CE).

I’m looking for uses of this compound word in texts and contexts other than the astronomical tradition of India. So far I’m aware of these instances:

(1) The compound word bhūgola occurs in the some purāṇas. The Bhāgavatapurāṇa uses it five times; the Narasiṃhapurāṇa uses it twice; and the Brahmāṇḍapurāṇa uses the equivalent term mahīgola once.

(2) Four philosophical texts use the compound word:
  (a) Mokṣopaya (10th century) has dharāgola and bhūgola (Roland Steiner kindly helped me with the references from this work)
  (b) Tattvacintāmaṇi (12th century)
  (c) Nyāyasudhā (14th century)
  (d) Saṃkhyasūtravivaraṇa (a late commentary)

(3) The Gopālatāpanyupaniṣad (13th century or later) uses the compound word bhūgolacakra.

(4) The Gītagovinda (12th century) uses the compound word once.

(5) The Harivaṃśa uses it in one verse (a star-verse).

(6) Some Bengal Vaiṣṇava works use the compound word; for example, the Gopālacampū of Jīva Gosvāmin (16th century) uses bhūmigola once; Rūpa Gosvāmin (16th century) uses the compound word as well.

Does any of you know of other instances of the compound word bhūgola outside of the astronomical tradition? I’d greatly appreciate learning of instances I’ve missed.

Many thanks in advance.

With all best wishes,

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