Seven golden mountain ranges

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According to Abhidharma cosmology, seven golden mountain rages (Skt. kāñcanaparvata; Wyl. gser gyi ri bdun) completely enclose Mount Meru. The names of these mountain ranges are, from the closest to Mount Meru to the furthest:

  1. Yugandhara (Skt.; Tib. nyashing dzin; Wyl. gnya' shing 'dzin)
  2. Isadhara (Skt. Īṣādhara; Tib. shol da dzin; Wyl. gshol mda' 'dzin)
  3. Khadiraka (Skt.; Tib. seng dengchen; Wyl. seng ldeng can)
  4. Sudarshana (Skt. Sudarśana; Tib. ta na duk; Wyl. lta na sdug)
  5. Ashvakarna (Skt. Aśvakarṇa; Tib. tana; Wyl. rta rna)
  6. Vinataka (Skt.; Tib. nam dü; Wyl. rnam 'dud )
  7. Nimindhara (Skt.; Tib. mukhyü dzin; Wyl. mu khyud 'dzin)

The second mountain range is half the height of the first one, and the third one half the height of the second one, and so on until the seventh mountain range.

Jamgön Kongtrul writes in his Treasury of Knowledge:

Beyond Mount Meru and completely surrounding it like curtains are seven mountain ranges, each forming a square. These seven golden mountain ranges [are named according to the shape of their peaks]: Yoke, Plough, Acacia Forest, Pleasing-to-the-Eye, Horse's Ear, Bent and Rim. The spaces between [the mountain ranges] are filled with what are known as seven seas enjoyed [by the nagas], the waters of which have eight qualities.[1]

Notes

  1. Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé, Myriad Worlds (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1995), page 110.

Alternative Terms/Translations

  • seven rings of golden mountains

Further Reading

  • Abhidharmakośabhāṣyam by Louis de La Vallé Poussin, translated by Leo M. Pruden (Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, 1988-1990), pages 452-454.