It is well known that several scriptures in Hinduism declare that the shape of earth is not flat.

So Hindu scriptures refute the idea of a flat earth.

Are there any statements explicitly from Mahabharata stating that earth is not flat?

Note that I am not asking for the exact shape of earth from any scripture. I am asking for statements only from Mahabharata that refute the flat shape concept of earth.

1 Answer 1



There is a statement in Mahabharata that refutes the idea that earth is flat in shape.

The bold portion of the following conversation between Vyasa and Kunti confirms that earth is not a flat body.

'Vaisampayana continued, 'Vyasa, the son of Satyavati, thus comforting the Pandavas, led them into the town of Ekachakra. And the master also comforted Kunti, saying, 'Live, O daughter! This son of thine, Yudhishthira, ever devoted to truth, this illustrious bull among men, having by his justice conquered the whole world, will rule over all the other monarchs of the earth. There is no little doubt that, having by means of Bhima's and Arjuna's prowess conquered the whole earth with her belt of seas, he will enjoy the sovereignty thereof. Thy sons as well as those of Madri--mighty car-warriors all--will cheerfully sport as pleaseth them in their dominions. These tigers among men will also perform various sacrifices, such as the Rajasuya and the horse-sacrifice, in which the presents unto the Brahmanas are very large. And these thy sons will rule their ancestral kingdom, maintaining their friends and relatives in luxury and affluence and happiness.'

[SECTION CLVIII, Hidimva-vadha Parva, Adi Parva, The Mahabharata]

Vyasa, while describing the earth, told that the earth contains seas as its belt. Thus, conforming that earth is not flat.

  • 1
    Not sure how this conveys that earth is not flat? Also what is the sanskrit text?
    – Prakash K
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 12:56
  • @PrakashK मेखला spokensanskrit.org/… is the word used in Sanskrit, which means belt/ gridle/ wasit-band. It is used for non-flat surfaces only (especially spheres).
    – hanugm
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 15:05
  • 4
    It also is used to denote boundaries, not necessarily non-flat surfaces. like vedi-mekhalA which means boundary of the sacrifical altar (vedi). So all i am saying is that, its not conclusive.
    – Prakash K
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 9:37
  • 1
    Well, it can be interpreted that way. :-) unless ofcourse there is some shastric-nyaya which makes it clear that this cannot be used for flat surface boundary.
    – Prakash K
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 13:58
  • 1
    Telugu poets usually describe the earth as Brahmanda Aakaram, to be in shape of a humongous egg. It is mentioned in Vedas.
    – Narasimham
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 21:28

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