The references to ancient Lands, Islands,and Oceans in the Hindu Purana are intriguing.
The Descriptions are quite vivid in all the Puranas.
One of the main rules for a Purana is the description of the Earth and the Universe.
While there are some differences in the descriptions of the Universe, stories and legends , there is no deviation at all when they speak of the description of the earth and the various Geographical entities on the Earth.
The ancient Tamil classics also confirm this.
There are Fourteen lokas, Dwelling Places described in the Purana.
The Fourteen Lokas.
And The Seven Paatalas (lower worlds) are:
While they lend themselves to philosophical interpretations, there is now evidence from the literature of other cultures like Mayas, Suemrians,TamiEgypt and Greeks.
‘The Hindu traditions speak of Atala, a sunken Paradise lying in the Far East. Atala is one of the seven paradisial Hells (lokas) of the Hindus. These were the archetypes of the Seven Isles of the Blest of the Greeks and of the Seven Atlantic Islands of Medieval Traditions. Atala is often identified with Sutala (“the Foundation Land”) which is the name the Hindus gave to their pristine Paradise. Its name means, in Sanskrit, “nowhere” or, yet, “sunken land”. This etym is the same as the Greek one of Utopia or Erewhon of Gnostic traditions. In other words, traditions of a sunken Paradise such as the Elysium (or Isles of the Blest) of the Greeks, the Amenti or Punt of the Egyptians, the Eden of the Jews and the Dilmun of the Babylonians all spring from that of the Atala or Sutala of the ancient Hindus.’
- Not only Plato, but other contemporary writers such as Herodotus, Aristotle, Hecateus of Miletus and Skylax of Carianda explicitly utilized that name of “Atlantic Ocean”, which indeed dates from before the times of Plato. Plato specifically acknowledges the fact that the name is due to Atlas and the Atlanteans. Earlier authors such as Homer and Hesiod spoke of the Circular Ocean that surrounded the whole (ancient) world and which was the site of some sunken islands or a continent vaguely associated with Atlantis. The notion had come to Greece and Egypt from Indian traditions concerning the Açayana (“World Encircling Ocean”) and the paradisial sunken realms such as the “White Islands” (Saka-dvipa).
- Hindu traditions speak of partly sunken islands of the ocean called by names such as Atala, Patala, Shveta-Dvipa (“Pure Land”) or Saka-Dvipa (“White Islands”). These paradisial islands were the remains of a vast sunken continent which they called Rutas. This sunken continent they sited somewhere in the outer ocean that encircled the (ancient) world. The sinking of this vast continent was ascribed to the collapse of its Holy Mountain, called Meru or Atalas. This collapse also caused the skies to fall and to asphyxiate that paradisial land which subsequently sunk in the (Indian) ocean. It is from this myth of Atala and its Holy Mountain, Atalas, that the Greeks got their myths on Atlas and on Atlantis.
- Greek myths tell the legend of the Atlantides, the seven beautiful daughters of the Titan Atlas, the founding father of Atlantis. The Atlantides are also called Pleiades or Hesperides, and personify the seven Islands of the Blest, which the Greeks obscurely placed in the Outer Ocean (Atlantic). These Islands of the Blest became vaguely confused with the Canary Islands. But after these islands were discovered and proved rather barren, the Atlantic Islands receded to remoter regions, and figured just about everywhere in the ancient maps. But they kept the ancient tradition on the seven islands which were the remains of sunken Atlantis.
- As we said above, the Greeks copied their legends on Atlas and Atlantis from the Hindu ones on Atalas (Shiva) and on Atala, the sunken paradise of the Hindus. As in the Greek traditions, Atalas – whose name is Sanskrit and means “Pillar” – was deemed to be the “Pillar of the World”, just as was Atlas in Greece. Atala was, like Atlantis, a sunken continent destroyed by a fiery cataclysm, and which lay in the Outer Ocean. Since the Greek legend is of Hindu origin and was simply transferred to their western region when the Greeks moved to their present whereabouts, it is idle to quest for Atlantis in the ocean nowadays called Atlantic. Instead, we must seek Atlantis in the ocean which the Hindus called “Ocean of the Atlanteans” or “Western Ocean”, and which is none other than the Indian Ocean.
- The Hindus have many traditions on a sunken continent that was the paradisial region where mankind and civilization first originated. One such was Tripura, “the Triple City”. When we recall the fact that Atlantis was, like Tripura, a triple city with metallic walls and golden palaces, we cannot but conclude that the two traditions, if indeed based on actual fact, refer to the one and same thing. Moreover, as happened with Atlantis, the inhabitants of Tripura were originally extremely pious. But, with the passage of time, they also became evil and perverse, and were destroyed by Shiva. It is because of this feat that Shiva got the epithet of Tripurantaka (“Destroyer of Tripura”). As with Lanka (see below) and Atlantis, Tripura was built upon a mountain so lofty, that it was said to reside in the skies.
- Another Hindu legend on a sunken empire that was the archetype of Atlantis concerns Lanka, and is told in detail in the Ramayana. The saga of the destruction of Lanka by Rama and Hanumant was the original on which Homer’s Illiad was based. Just as the Ramayana tells the story of Lanka and the rescue of Shita, the spouse of Rama kidnapped by the evil Ravana, the Illiad recounts the destruction of Troy and the rescue of the fickle Helen, kidnapped by Paris. Troy, with its bronzy walls and golden palaces was just one of the many allegories of Atlantis. In contrast to the small village discovered by Schliemann in Turkey, the true Troy lay in the Outer Ocean. It was a magnificent capital and sank into the ocean after its destruction and incending in the great war with the “Greeks” of an earlier age. The parallels between Troy and Atlantis are too many to be discarded. And those between Plato’s Atlantis and the Lanka of the Hindus show, in an unequivocal manner, that it is in the Far Orient and the underseas, and not in the Mediterranean region, that we must quest for the real Troy and the real Atlantis.