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The verse '5/20/13' in BHAGAVATAM purport states that there are flames on the moon. Is there any other explanation of this verse or if not does it contradict the fact that moon has no flames?

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  • Can you link and paste the verse? Bhagavad Gita does not have such a verse as far as I know.
    – CDR
    Aug 30, 2023 at 22:17
  • Hello! Do you mean Śrīmad Bhāgavata Mahāpurāṇa Canto 5, Chapter 20, verse 13: " Outside the ocean of liquor is another island, known as Kuśadvīpa... Kuśadvīpa is surrounded by an ocean of liquid ghee as broad as the island itself. On Kuśadvīpa there are clumps of kuśa grass, from which the island takes its name. This kuśa grass, which was created by the demigods by the will of the Supreme Lord, appears like a second form of fire, but with very mild and pleasing flames. Its young shoots illuminate all directions."? 5:20:13 isn't doesn't seem like a valid reference for Srimad BG 😵 Aug 30, 2023 at 23:00
  • @Himanshu Raj Welcome to Hinduism SE! I have updated your Q, is this what you wanted to ask? Pls see hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/22982/12304 to know the difference bw Bhagavtam and Bhagvad gita..
    – YDS
    Aug 31, 2023 at 4:11
  • @RubelliteYakṣī . i used translation in place if PURPORT . the purport is 'From the descriptions in this verse, we can make an educated guess about the nature of the flames on the moon. Like the sun, the moon must also be full of flames because without flames there cannot be illumination. The flames on the moon, however, unlike those on the sun, must be mild and pleasing. This is our conviction. The modern theory that the moon is full of dust is not accepted in the verses of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.' I CANNOT PASTE THE WHOLE PURPROT HERE AS IT IS TOO LONG explain this please Sep 2, 2023 at 13:04
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    @HimanshuRaj then paste it in your question. That’s what the question section is for.
    – Adiyarkku
    Sep 3, 2023 at 7:22

2 Answers 2

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Origin of "flame" -Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (“to shimmer, gleam, shine”).similar words vibha, prabha, shobha. So proceeding as per the cool glow sense of the meaning is natural. The mentioned kusa grass with its soft wonderful glow. In the 10th brahman of the Brihadaranyaka the krama-mukti is said, where the soul ascends stage by stage. (In our universe of past, present, future, heavens and hells). The soul which has done good deeds ( correct ritual mentioned elsewhere) ascends to the heavenly region of the moon, and enjoys bliss - of the liquor and the kusa grass, possibly/metaphorically. I am a firm believer in the philosophical and metaphorical value of the soul's journey. Quoted-through Krama-Mukti.

  1. yadā vai puruso’smāl lokāt praiti, sa vāyum āgacchati; tasmai sa tatra vijihīte yathā ratha-cakrasya kham; tena sa ῡrdhvā ākramate, sa ādityam āgacchati; tasmai sa tatra vijihīte yathā lambarasya kham; tena sa ῡrdhva ākramate, sa candramasam āgacchati, tasmai sa tatra vijihīte yathā dundubheḥ kham; tena sa ῡrdhva ākramate, sa lokam āgacchaty aśokam ahimam; tasmin vasati śāśvatīḥ samāḥ. Here, the passage is short. It mentions only a few of the stages, not all those that I mentioned to you just now. ‘When the soul leaves this world it reaches the wind,’ it says. And the wind-god releases the soul from the clutches of the atmosphere. The force of this earth is relaxed and it does not pull you any more downward, as it used to do earlier. As if there is a hole in the atmosphere through which one can pass, the soul visualises a passage. Highly symbolic language is this, again. As large a hole as the size of a wheel of a chariot, is the hole which the soul visualises in the atmosphere, and it passes through it to the realm of the wind. Thence it goes to the region of the sun, who also allows passage, which passage in turn is as wide in diameter as that of a kettledrum. The sun is very large. Many people cannot reach it. He will obstruct the ascent of the soul further, but he allows the movement of the soul onwards if it has practiced meditation, especially on the Vaiśvānara as has been indicated in the earlier section. Then it goes up to the realm of the moon, to which we made reference just now, by a passage which is as wide in diameter as that of a big drum. Sa ῡrdhva ākramate, sa lokam āgacchaty aśokam ahimam; tasmin vasati śāśvatīḥ samāḥ: ‘A sorrowless world is reached where the physical laws do not operate.’ Neither the ordinary psychological laws which bring about sorrow to the mind operate there, nor does any other law pertaining to this world. Such is the blessedness which the departed soul obtains by practice of meditation on the Vaiśvānara, which is the context of the subject on hand. This particular section on meditation, whose object is Vaiśvānara, is here concluded.

In concluding the answer- it is a region ,a loka, or devaloka, shinning, cool, peaceful, opposite of hell, where good souls may go or pass. Some small differences between various Upanishads. But the underlying truth is same

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Translation from WisdomLib
Likewise beyond the Sea of Wine (Suroda) and double its size, lies Kuśa-ḍvīpa which, like the previous (Śālmalī) dvīpa, is surrounded on the other side by the Ocean of Ghee of dimension equal to it (Kuśadvīpa). In that dvipa stands a dump of Kuśa grass planted therein by the Lord. It has given its name to the dvīpa. It (the clump of Kuśa grass) is refulgent like another Fire-god, and it illuminates all directions by the lustre of its tender shoots.

It is trying to imply that there is a cluster of Kusa grass that has been planted on Moon by the Lord. This group of Kusa grass is shining brightly almost like of a Fire-god, and illuminates all directions by its lustre. "appears like a second form of fire, but with very mild and pleasing flames"; I believe it means that the Kusa grass is burning like fire but not in the way fire actually works, most likely a second form of fire distant to the real form of fire. However there is no scientific or empirical evidence of such claim as suggested by Bhagavata Purana 5.20.13. To argue with the fact that Moon does not have any flames is useless since if you are going to take this verse literally then you can also go on asking for proof of a Sea filled with Wine and the Ocean of Ghee that surrounds the Kusa island. I hope that somebody else can answer that how this verse is to be interpreted.

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