Dowson's Classical Dictionary
of Hindu Mythology] The
infernal regions, inhabited by Nagas (serpents), Daityas, Danavas, Yakshas,
and others. They are seven in number, and their names, according to the
Vishna Purana, are Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Gabhastimat, Mahatala, Sutala,
and Patala, but these name vary in different authorities. The Padma Purana gives
the names of the seven regions and their respective rulers as follow: -- (1.)
Atala, subject to Mahamaya; (2.) Vitala, ruled by a form of Siva called Hatakeswara;
(3.) Sutala, ruled by Bali ; (4.) Talatala, ruled by Maya; (5.) Mahatala, where
reside the great serpents; (6.) Rasatala, where the Daityas and Danavas dwell;
(7.) Patala, the lowermost, in which Vasuki reigns over the chief Nagas or snake-gods.
In the Siva Purana there are eight: Patala, Tala, Atala, Vitala, Tala, Vidhipatala,
Sarkarabhumi, and Vijaya. The sage Narada paid a visit to these regions, and
on his return to the skies gave a glowing account of them, declaring them to
be far more delightful than Indra's heaven, and abounding with every kind of
luxury and sensual gratification.
Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D.
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