Re: [INDOLOGY] The compound word bhūgola

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at
Tue Jun 26 14:01:49 UTC 2018

In modern Marathi, the word "bhūgola" is used in further extended meaning
of "geography," and the Marathi books on geography routinely use this
word.  However, the word "bhūmaṇḍal̥a" is used in the work of Rāmadāsa in
the 17th century: "समर्थाचिया सेवका वक्र पाहे असा सर्व भूमंडळी कोण आहे."
"Maṇḍaḷa" and "Gola" are also used in Marathi in conjunction with Sūrya.

Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus
Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan
[Residence: Campbell, California]

On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 1:58 AM Toke Lindegaard Knudsen via INDOLOGY <
indology at> wrote:

> 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,
> Toke
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