hi, what are the suggestion of you, the people being active and somewhat knowledgable on mount meru.
i have a question.
i have a prayer in my sadhana that says
may the realms of U, Tsang, Kham , Ngari , Jambudvipa
and all the other three continents and all of theyre subcontinents
( be led along the path by Avalokitesvara
and receive the blessing of taking rebirth in the pure land of sukhavati)
how should i visualize these realms, i only know that Kham is a region in tibet, are also U , Tsang and Ngari.
and what is your opinion, what is jambudvipa. is it meant that its india. and the rest of the continents and theyre subcontinents are part of this earth?
or is it bigger than that, other planets also ?
your thoughts are appreciated. thank you
In this case you should probably ask your Lama how you should visualise it. Otherwise you could look at diagrams, none of which make it look like Jambudvipa is India.
Let me just clarify what Jambudvipa means. Dvīpa is a compound of dvi+ap. Dvi means two, and ap means waters. This means the waters are separated by the land in question, so it could be an island, a continent, or a peninsula - but the commentaries on Abhidharma always explain that it is an island. Jambu refers to a Jambu Tree, or Syzygium cumini, which the commentaries explain is a giant tree at the centre of the island which is 100 yojanas tall, i.e. 800 miles tall. So the word means the Island of the Jambu Tree.
The island is 48,000 miles (6,000 yojanas, assuming a yojana is 8 miles) in perimeter according to the Sarvastivada tradition (which is accepted in the Tibetan tradition) - which is not by any stretch of the imagination India, which is only, in a liberal estimate, about 5,000 miles in perimeter. On the other hand, if you trace a perimeter around all of the continents on earth, you get around 40,000 miles. A yojana is given as about 5-8 miles variously, so 40,000 is right in the ball park. It is thus obvious that by Jambudvipa we are not referring to India, but to all of this world. The planet taken as a whole, and squashed into a flat triangle and placed in an ocean, would fit the description of Jambudvipa perfectly. After all, the other continents in the Abhidharmic worldview cannot be the same as our "other continents" because they now have the Buddhadharma - which only exists in Jambudvipa according to Buddhist cosmology. This only lends further credence to the fact that our world taken as a whole is Jambudvipa.
Once again, visualise how your lama recommends, but I like to visualise it like a cartoon image description of precisely how the commentaries describe it, complete with the mythical beings and immense trees.