four seas ［四海］ ( shi-kai): Also, four great seas or four great oceans. Seas that surround Mount Sumeru to the north, south, east, and west. Actually, the four seas are said to compose one of eight large seas said to encircle Mount Sumeru concentrically. According to the ancient Indian worldview, Mount Sumeru stands at the center of the world and is surrounded by eight concentric mountain ranges. Eight concentric seas separate these eight mountain ranges. The “four seas” refers to four regions of one of these eight seas—the sea that lies between the seventh mountain range and the eighth, or outermost, mountain range. The seventh mountain range is called Nimimdhara, and the outermost range, Chakravāda-parvata, or the Iron Encircling Mountains. This outermost sea, which lies between these two mountain ranges, is a salt-water sea, while the innermost seven seas are fresh water. Moreover, the distance between the Nimimdhara range and the Iron Encircling Mountains is 322,000 yojanas. In this salt-water sea, there are the four continents of Pūrvavideha, Aparagodānīya, Uttarakuru, and Jambudvīpa, located to the east, west, north, and south of Mount Sumeru, respectively. The expression four seas refers to the waters surrounding each of these continents. It also refers to an entire land, region, country, or the entire world.