Ask a Nerd: Does the Bhagavatam Really Say That the Earth is Flat?

Ask a Nerd: Does the Bhagavatam Really Say That the Earth is Flat?
By Mauricio Garrido PhD (Murali Gopala das)   |  Dec 22, 2021

Question: Does the Bhagavatam actually say that the earth is flat?


This is a query I hear usually from individuals who have learn or have heard concerning the fifth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam . The Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies will quickly be publishing a e book that offers with this challenge in scholarly element, however I may give you my private view having gone by means of the totally different proof. The quick reply is: No, the Bhagavatam doesn’t explicitly say that the earth is flat, although it’s generally interpreted in that method.

The Bhagavatam talks a few cosmic construction referred to as Bhu-mandala (actually, the earth disk/area), which is likely one of the 14 planetary techniques of the Vedic universe. Some descriptions of this area appear opposite to our regular expertise of the world round us. And but, each historically and at present, some individuals interpret this realm as a literal flat earth. Most of the current proof for this interpretation might be discovered on YouTube movies and internet pages. I recommend this can be a simplistic method to respect the Bhagavatam. From a broader perspective, many verses within the fifth Canto look like describing a multi-dimensional view of the universe, with a number of ranges of meanings that we’re persevering with to unpack the evaluation that presently resonates most with me is viewing Bhu-mandala as a 2-dimensional illustration of three-dimensional actuality. This vantage level means that the vertical dimension of the Puranic cosmos might have extra to do with rising proportions of the mode of goodness ( sattva-guna ) than with a spatial dimension: Brahma-loka on the prime with the best quantity of sattva-guna and Patala-loka on the backside with the bottom quantity of sattvaguna. Thus, the moon might be stated to be located additional away from us than the solar, within the vertical dimension, as a result of it takes a better quantity of sattva-guna to get to the “higher-dimensional” moon – if you wish to expertise the dominion of Candraloka and never only a bunch of dusty rocks. Thus from this attitude, our notion of those extra delicate realms would collapse to a single airplane: the airplane of Bhu-mandala. Yet if we might enhance our degree of sattva-guna, we might journey alongside the vertical dimension to those heavenly realms. Therefore, as per this evaluation, Bhu-mandala is just not thought of as a flat earth, however as a 2-dimensional illustration of a 3dimensional actuality inside a multi-dimensional universe.


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