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According to this ISKCON article: https://krishna.org/the-flat-earth

The Srimad Bhagavata Purana's cosmology of the universe involves a flat Earth.

So there is no ball earth floating in space in the Bhagavatam.

So it appears the flat earth people are heading in the right direction but they are really not much better than the scientists. In scientific terms they are worse than the globe earth people because the globe earth people have a working model [which is wrong of course…] but they do have a practical working model which does predict most of what we observe happening around us. The globe earth model is a wonderful and ingenious model built by some of the most intelligent scientific brains. Unfortunatly it is wrong…

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    Don't take it seriously. The author says " I am not aware of anyone on the planet at this point in time who is able to understand the Bhagavatam’s description of the universe to the extent they can actually grasp how it works and where we are situated within it in sufficient detail" and then he goes on to speculate. When it is very clear that earth is a globe, why should one contradict it? There is a book which deals with Bhagavata cosmology from modern perspective, it does a fair job. amazon.in/Bhagavata-Cosmology-Vedic-Alternative-Modern/dp/… – user2612 Feb 27 at 13:03
  • @VivekAditya Oh wow that book came out very recently, in 2019? – Ikshvaku Feb 27 at 22:20
  • @VivekAditya The book is also $200 US dollars. That is expensive. – Ikshvaku Feb 27 at 22:21
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    It is only 200 rupees which is around 3 dollars. It is recent one, he did a lot of study into these and then wrote the book. – user2612 Feb 28 at 3:01
  • @VivekAditya Oh ok 200 rupees. I just saw the number 200 and assumed dollars since I live in the US. – Ikshvaku Feb 28 at 13:09
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No, Srimad Bhagavatam doesn't say.

The reason I think the author suggests a flat earth is because of his background either from Christianity/Islam.

Trying to understand puranic consmology especially from Modern cosmology perspective is really challenging and not easy. The reason is the way puranas describe things is quite different.

Even Ayurveda, a medical branch deals in terms of jataragni, 3 doshas to analyse body etc.. Modern Medicine deals with body in different way. Trying to make sense of one from other view is not easy.

Modern science divides constituents of air in terms of argon, oxygen, nitrogen etc..Ancient methods divide air in terms of functions like apana, samana, prana, etc..

Actually both approaches are quite different and making sense of one from another is sometimes not possible.

I personally think it is better not to mix up both.

But, we can say that puranic cosmology had complex cosmological view not like just earth being flat etc.. as in bible or quran.

For eg: universes are described egg like in Brahma Samhita:

https://www.vedabase.com/en/bs/5/14

praty-aṇḍam evam ekāṁśād ekāṁśād viśati svayam sahasra-mūrdhā viśvātmā mahā-viṣṇuḥ sanātanaḥ

https://www.vedabase.com/en/bs/5/35

eko 'py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭiṁ yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham- govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

Bhagavatam says:

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/21/8-9/

The living entities residing on Sumeru Mountain are always very warm, as at midday, because for them the sun is always overhead. Although the sun moves counterclockwise, facing the constellations, with Sumeru Mountain on its left, it also moves clockwise and appears to have the mountain on its right because it is influenced by the dakṣiṇāvarta wind. 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.

This should give us idea how it was a complex model.

We don't have any ancient supplementary works explaining Puranic cosmology surviving and that makes it even more difficult to understand it.

The purpose of puranic cosmology is to understand the greatness of supreme lord.

Similarly there is Virat Rupa description in 2nd Canto, though Virat rupa is just a concept and thus imaginary form, it is described so that even a materialist can understand the greatness of supreme lord. Especially it was suggested that that form be meditated those who can't understand spiritual form of the Lord.

SB 2.5.42:

bhūrlokaḥ kalpitaḥ padbhyāṁ bhuvarloko ’sya nābhitaḥ svarlokaḥ kalpito mūrdhnā iti vā loka-kalpanā

Others may divide the whole planetary system into three divisions, namely the lower planetary systems on the legs [up to the earth], the middle planetary systems on the navel, and the upper planetary systems [Svarloka] from the chest to the head of the Supreme Personality.

SB 2.2.14: Unless the gross materialist develops a sense of loving service unto the Supreme Lord, the seer of both the transcendental and material worlds, he should remember or meditate upon the universal form of the Lord at the end of his prescribed duties.

SB 2.7.53: The Lord’s activities in association with His different energies should be described, appreciated and heard in accordance with the teachings of the Supreme Lord. If this is done regularly with devotion and respect, one is sure to get out of the illusory energy of the Lord.

SB 5.16.3: When the mind is fixed upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His external feature made of the material modes of nature — the gross universal form — it is brought to the platform of pure goodness. In that transcendental position, one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, who in His subtler form is self-effulgent and beyond the modes of nature. O my lord, please describe vividly how that form, which covers the entire universe, is perceived.

Bhagavatam says these are 10 topics in it and just to described 10th item(Asraya Tattva, Sri Krishna), other items are described directly or indirectly in different ways.

SB 2.10.1: Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there are ten divisions of statements regarding the following: the creation of the universe, subcreation, planetary systems, protection by the Lord, the creative impetus, the change of Manus, the science of God, returning home, back to Godhead, liberation, and the summum bonum.

SB 2.10.2: To isolate the transcendence of the summum bonum, the symptoms of the rest are described sometimes by Vedic inference, sometimes by direct explanation, and sometimes by summary explanations given by the great sages.

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The mapping of physical entities can't be directly compared to the lokas and their motion. For an example, Sri Hari Vishnu live in Go loka which is the top-most or in the North of all the adhyatmic lokas. However, the physical location can be mapped to the Capricon Constellation or the Makar Rashi. Also, if you join Makar Rashi and Earth, you may or may not see Sun and Moon in between the path (given the fact that Chandra Loka is upper than Prithvi Loka and Surya Loka is further above Chandra Loka).

Also, going according to several gyanis and scholars,(Don't remember the name) who have discussed several facts told in the Bhagwat Geeta, the lokas told in the series of adhyatmic lokas could be reached physically after a long journey(even swarg and vaikunth are physically reachable as thought by few), but you won't match to the gunas of that loka and hence won't be able to continue life similar to the natives.

Hence, I conclude to say that please don't infer physical locations according to that told according to the divine order in general. However, you need to distinguish in some cases that the distance or location given is actually physical or divine. For example, the distance from Earth to sun in the Hanuman Chalisa is the physical one.

I maybe wrong and I would indeed like to know more for where I'm wrong and would like to impove my knowledge and therefore open for constructive criticism.

  • Go loka is vedas other meaning Veda us Go – Prasanna R Feb 28 at 7:53
  • @Prasanna R didn't get your point – Varun Chhangani Feb 28 at 9:53
  • Veda=Go so bhagavan Vishnu/Krishna/Rama is prethipadya that is know by vedas or reciding in vedas and which is apourseya, which will always be there even after pralaya.. – Prasanna R Feb 28 at 10:08
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    "the distance from Earth to sun in the Hanuman Chalisa is the physical one." Yes but this distance is wrong. "However, you need to distinguish in some cases that the distance or location given is actually physical or divine". That is really vague. Why mention a non physical distance? – Wikash_hindu Mar 30 at 7:02
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The site you have shared Krishna.org is not the official website for ISKCON and it is not sharing the complete understanding of the topic. Puranic cosmology is deep and complex subject. Many scientist in ISKCON have studied Srimad Bhagavatam and put together many books. The leader amongst them was HG Sadaputa prabhu. Here is small article which explains in summary how Srimad Bhagavatam says that Earth is more than flat plane or globe. http://www.krishna.com/universe-vedas

Quote from the article:

The Srimad-Bhagavatam presents an earth-centered conception of the cosmos. At first glance the cosmology seems foreign, but a closer look reveals that not only does the cosmology of the Bhagavatam describe the world of our experience, but it also presents a much larger and more complete cosmological picture. I’ll explain.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam’s mode of presentation is very different from the familiar modern approach. Although the Bhagavatam’s “Earth” (disk- shaped Bhu-mandala) may look unrealistic, careful study shows that the Bhagavatam uses Bhu-mandala to represent at least four reasonable and consistent models: (1) a polar- projection map of the Earth globe, (2) a map of the solar system, (3) a topographical map of south-central Asia, and (4) a map of the celestial realm of the demigods.

If you are really serious about studying the Vedic cosmology which is a fascinating subject, then I recommend getting Mysteries of the Sacred Universe

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