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What is the shape of Earth according to Hindu scriptures?

It is widely believed that the round shape of Earth was known for a long time. Although, is this mentioned at any specific place?

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In the Aitreya Brahmana of RigVeda 3.44

“The Sun does never set nor rise. When people think the Sun is setting (it is not so). For after having arrived at the end of the day it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making night to what is below and day to what is on the other side…Having reached the end of the night, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making day to what is below and night to what is on the other side. In fact, the Sun never sets….”

Similar verse also occurs in Srimad Bhagvatam 5.21.9 as:

People living in countries at points diametrically opposite to where the sun is first seen rising will see the sun setting, and if a straight line were drawn from a point where the sun is at midday, the people in countries at the opposite end of the line would be experiencing midnight. Similarly, if people residing where the sun is setting were to go to countries diametrically opposite, they would not see the sun in the same condition.

The above verses clearly shows that earth should be of round shape.

It becomes more crystal clear from YogaVasistha MahaRamayana:

Chapter 30 Description of Universe
Rama said, “Tell me sage, why do we refer to up and down, forward and backward, if there is no such thing in space and nature?”

10 Vasishta said:—
There is only one space enveloping all things. The worlds seen in the infinite and indiscernible womb of emptiness are like worms moving on the surface of water.

11 All these bodies that move about in
the world by their lack of freedom are thought to be up and down relative to our position on earth.

12 So when there are ants on an earthen ball, all its sides are reckoned below that are under their feet, and those as above which are over their backs.

13 Such is this ball of earth in one of these worlds, covered by vegetables and animals moving on it, and by gods, demons and men walking upon it.

Thus the shape of earth is round/spherical as per our Scriptures.

Edit Update (Thanks for @Surya for giving link):

Most basically the term earth and Geography are represented by the word Bhugol. Where Bhu stands for land and earth and 'Gol' means round. Some of the refrences are:

न वै महाराज भगवताे मायागुणविभूतेः काष्ठां मनसा वचसा वाधिगन्तुमलं विबुधायुषापि पुरुषस्तस्मात्प्राधान्येनैव भूगाेलकविशेषं नामरुपमानलक्षणताे व्याख्यास्यामः । (SB 5.16.4)


मूर्धन्यर्पितमणुवत्सहस्रमूर्न्घो ।
भूगाेलं सगिरिसरित्समुद्रसत्वम् । (SB 5.25.12)

In above word 'भूगोल (Bhugola) is used. Thus the most basic etymology also proves the fact.

  • 1
    IMO, RigVeda 3.44 is talking about rotation of earth causing sun to rise and set, a flat and square object can also rotate around its axis. It doesn't mean the earth is a sphere it could even be a cylinder. Also, when you are talking about etymology of a word, you probably also need to show if the word also occurs in any of our scriptures - then go on to talk about its etymology. (what's the proof भूगोल isn't a 21st century word?) – sv. May 27 '16 at 18:50
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    @sv thanks for your opinion... I have edited and placed SB verse also to make it more clear... now diameter of 3d object is only of sphere... isn't it?... for the etymological part I have removed it... I'll add it again when I find word Bhugol in our Scriptures.... – Tejaswee May 28 '16 at 0:39
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    @sv. I think गोल or भूगोल is not 21st century word. See any Sanskrit dictionary to know its first usage. – The Destroyer May 28 '16 at 3:54
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    @Tezz you can use this link for references to Bhugola. – Surya May 29 '16 at 12:43
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    @Surya Yes, I saw it in Sanskrit dictionary yesterday. As you know answers here should be based on scripture, not Sanskrit dictionary alone, the citation was lacking earlier and now that it has been updated, the answer is much better. – sv. May 29 '16 at 14:42

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