In Hindu cosmology, the Earth is said to have seven Dvipas or islands. Many people (myself included) believe that the seven Dvipas refer to the seven continents, which is why Hindu rituals in India refer to Jambu Dvipa, and Hindu rituals in America refer to Krauncha Dvipa. But others believe that Jambu Dvipa or even just Bharata Varsha refers to the entire Earth, and that other Varshas or Dvipas are located on other planets. But I just heard another theory in the 19:30 mark of this interview with Ramana Dikshitar, the chief priest of the Tirumala Venkateshwara temple. Ramana Dikshitar says that Shwetadvipa, which is the abode of Vishnu's Vyuha Vasudeva form (whom I discuss here), is actually located underground. Here is my translation of what he said in Tamil
In our Puranas, Shwetadvipa is something that's spoken about often. It is also said in those works that liberated souls who are in Shwetadvipa, that is Jnanis, Siddhas, they come daily and worship the Lord. It is said say that here Siddha Purushas live, never having sadness, anger, hatred, and other qualities, always happy, always sweet, they live and enjoy. It is said that they are a parallel civilization, that is, they follow our customs above ground, but it is said that underground they have huge, gigantic cities. For these cities, there is said to be large land as well. Certain facts are given, that for these people to come above ground, there are gates in various places, and that when they want to, they come, mingle with humans, and go. It is said that there is a gate in Tibet, that there is one in South America, and that there is a gate in the Pacific Ocean....
If we come to the case of Tirupati, in the time of the Ramayana, it is said that Rama, while going to Lanka in search of Sita, along with Lakshmana and the Vanaras, came here and stayed on the seven hills for three days. On that occasion it is said some Vanaras saw a secret cave in the forest with a gate, and that they went and saw what was inside. It is said that there was great city, and that in the city everyone was, really tall, really happy, and that they were enjoying. It is said that there were really big royal roads, chariots, horses, everything. And it is said that in the middle of the city, in a beautiful palace a Mahapurusha was sitting, and when he saw the Vanaras he said "They are on a divine mission, so don't harm them. Just give then fruits and send them on their way." In the Ramayana it is said that the Vanaras told Rama about all this. That cave is called Vaikuntha Guha. When you look at all this, you can see that Shwetadvipa is real. To this day you can see the mouth of the cave in the forest. I have seen it.
Now the story of the Vanaras seeing Vaikuntha in a cave is described in this excerpt from the Tirumala Sthala Purana, the temple scripture of the Tirupati temple which consists of quotes from various actual Puranas as I discuss here. Does anyone know which Purana this particular story comes from?
But my main question is, what scriptures describe notion that Shwetadvipa is underground and that there are gates to Shwetadvipa on various places on the Earth?And where did Ramana Dikshitar get the information that there are gates in Tibet, South America, and the Pacific Ocean.
Obviously those names wouldn't occur in Hindu scripture, but are there scriptures which mention ancient place names as locations of gates to Shwetadvipa, and did Ramana Dikshitar just give their modern equivalents?