Re: [INDOLOGY] The compound word bhūgola

Toke Lindegaard Knudsen toke.knudsen at
Tue Jun 26 14:40:42 UTC 2018

Dear Madhav,

Thank you so much for your note. I noticed this usage of bhūgola in Asoke Chatterjee’s ‘Padma-purāṇa—A Study’:

The word bhūgola must have the same extended meaning of terrestrial geography in Bengali also.

Whether we can use this meaning of the word in passages from the Padmapurāṇa is another question.

Best wishes,

> On Jun 26, 2018, at 16:01, Madhav Deshpande <mmdesh at> wrote:
> 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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