The golden coloured peak of Himavan, the seat of Lord Siva.
1) General features.
Meru surpasses even the sun in its dazzling golden brilliance. Devas and Gandharvas attend on it on all sides. It is inaccessible to sinners. There are celestial herbs and serpents at its base. It is Mahameru that keeps heaven in its place by supporting it. The atmosphere there, is always alive with the sweet songs of various kinds of birds. Precious stones are scattered all over its surface. All the 33 crores of gods dwell on the sides of this Mountain.
(Maha-bharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 17).
Saptarsis like Vasistha rise and fall on Mahameru. Maha Visnu and Brahma have their places in Mahameru. Visnu’s place is in the east. There is a special place there for the residence of Maharsis. Those who go to Mahameru never return. The Sun and Moon go round Mahameru everyday.
(Maha-bharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 163) .
There are twenty mountains surrounding Meru. On the eastern side there are two mountains, Jara and Devakuta. On the western side there are two mountains, Pavamana and Pariyatra. On the southern side are the two mountains, Kailasa and Karavira and on the northern side, the two mountains, Trisrnga and Makaragiri. Thus Mahameru shines like the sun in the midst of eight mountains.
In the middle of Meru is situated Brahmaloka, the abode of Brahma in a square extending over 10,000 yojanas. This region is of inexpressible splendour. At eight places around this Brahmapuri, are situated the eight posts or abodes of the Astadikpalas, each of the abodes being 25000 yojanas in extent. Thus there are nine Puris or Cities on the top of Mahameru. They are:-
(1) Brahma’s Manovati in the centre.
(2) Due east of it, Indra’s Amaravati.
(3) In the south-east corner, Agni’s Tejovati.
(4) On the southern side; Yama’s Samyamani.
(5) In the south west corner, Nirrti’s Krsnanjana,
(6) On the western side, Varuna’s Sraddhavati.
(7 ) In the north-west corner, Vayu’s Gandhavati.
(8) On the northern side, Kuvera’s Mahodaya.
(9) In the north cast corner, Isana’s Yasovati.
(Devi Bhagavata, 8th Skandha).
2) Meru and Lanka. Ravana’s place of abode Lanka was really a peak of Mahameru. (For further details, see the previous history of Lanka under the word Kuvera).
3) How Mahameru got its golden colour. The Puranas declare that the sun keeps going round Mahameru. Once, while the sun was thus going round, he wished to take a little rest. He asked permission to place the axle of his chariot for a short while on Mahameru. The mountain agreed to it. The grateful Sungod (Surya) blessed Mahameru that it would thenceforth have golden colour. Until it received this blessing, Mahameru had the colour of ordinary mountains.
4) Other details.
(i) Two daughters named Ayati and Niyati were born to Meru. They were married by Dhata and Vidhata respectively. (Visnu Purana, Part I, Chapter 10).
(ii) Vasistha had an Asrama near Mahameru. (M.B. Adi Parva. Chapter 99, Verse 6).
(iii) Mahameru attends on Kubera in Kubera’s assembly. (Maha-bharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 73) .
(iv) The extensive Jambu Vrksa stands on the southern side of Meru. (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 38).
(v) At the time of Emperor Prthu, the earth was turned into a cow and all living beings obtained all their necessaries by milking her. It was Mahameru who stood as milking man on behalf of the mountains. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 69, Verse 18).
(vi) In Tripuradahana, it was Mahameru which was erected as the flag-staff in Siva’s chariot. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 202, Verse 78) .
(vii) Mahameru presented two Parsadas named Kancana and Meghamali to Subrahmanya. (M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 48) .
(viii) Mahameru once presented heaps of gold to Emperor Prthu. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 59, Verse 1).
(ix) Mahameru is anointed as the King of mountains. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 222, Verse 18).
(x) Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 341, Verse 22 says that Vyasa once stayed on Mahameru with his disciples.
(xi) Sthulasiras and Badavamukha once performed tapas on Meru.
(Maha-bharata 13. Santi Parva, Chapter 342, Verse 59).
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