This is the ancient tell and came to us by so many narrators. It was first converse between Garuda, the Pakshiraja and Rishi Galawa, who was the pupil of Vishvamitra, then it was narrated by Narada to Duryodhana in Kuru assembly and again it was narrated to Janmajaya by Vaishmapayna while narrating the Mahabharata in Sarpshtra Yajna. Suta Lomaharshna narrated the same to King Shaunka at Namisharnya.
So, we have the four narrators here Garuda > Narada >Vaishampayna > Soota (the last Narrator).
East (पूर्व ) and South (दक्षिण) is already described by Garuda and now the turn for Western Direction (पश्चिम) which is the adobe of Varuna, the lord of the water.
Suparna aka Garuda said; ” This is the beloved region of King Varuna, the lord of the cows. This kingdom of the waters has always been the source of his powers.
अत्र पश्चादहः सूर्यो विसर्जयति भाः स्वयम् |
पश्चिमेत्यभिविख्याता दिगियं द्विजसत्तम ||२||
At the end of the day, the sun himself sheds his rays here. O supreme among brahmanas! That is the reason this direction is known as the last (Pashchima means west and pashchat means later).
Kashyapa instated Varuna here, to rule over the kingdom of the waters and aquatic creatures. Having drunk the six rasas of Varuna here, the moon becomes young at the beginning of shuklapaksha and dispels darkness.
Vayu vanquished the daityas here and subsequently fettered them. They sleep and sigh here, oppressed by the great nagas. The mountain named Asta (The mountain over which the sun sets – asta) accepts the beloved Surya here and from this, the western twilight spreads.
At the end of the day, night and sleep spread from here, seeming to steal away half the lives of living beings. It was here that Indra aborted the goddess Diti when she was asleep and the masses of Maruts were born from that.
Here, the root of the Himalayas extends as far as the eternal Mandara. Even if one travels for one thousand years, one does not reach the end. Having reached the shores of the golden ocean, near the golden mountain, Surabhi yields milk here.
Here, in the midst of the ocean, can be seen the torso of Svarbhanu (Rahu). Resembling the sun, he tries to kill the Surya and the Chandra (Moon). The loud chanting by Suvarnashira can be heard here. His body hair is golden and he is invisible and immeasurable. On the instructions of the sun, Harimedha’s daughter Dhvajavati was stationed in the sky here and was asked to remain there.
During the day and during the night, the wind, the fire, the water and the sky are freed from any unhappiness that their touch causes. From this point on, the sun travels in a diagonal direction and all the nakshatras enter the Surya circle.
Together with the sun, they circle for twenty-eight nights. Having emerged again from the sun, they have conjunctions with the moon. This is the eternal source of the rivers and the ocean is created from them. The waters of the three worlds are here and this is Varuna’s abode.
अत्र पन्नगराजस्याप्यनन्तस्य निवेशनम् |
अनादिनिधनस्यात्र विष्णोः स्थानमनुत्तमम् ||१७||
अत्रानलसखस्यापि पवनस्य निवेशनम् |
महर्षेः कश्यपस्यात्र मारीचस्य निवेशनम् ||१८||
This is the residence of Ananta, the king of the serpents. This is the supreme residence of Vishnu, who is without a beginning and without an end. This is also the abode of the wind, a friend of the fire. This is the abode of maharshi Kashyapa, the son of Maricha.
Thus, in my description of the directions, I have recounted the western path. O Galava! O supreme among brahmanas! Tell me the direction in which you wish to go?