Ras Bihari Lal and Sons

Stories from the Brahma–vaivarta Purana

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From the Jacket:

The eighteen major puranas are the Brahma, Padma, Visnu, Siva, Linga, Garuda, Narada, Bhagavata, Agni, Skanda, Bhavisya, Brahma-vaivarta, Markandeya, Vamana, Varaha, Matsya, Kurma and Brahmanda Puranas.

The Brahma Purana consists of ten thousand verses, the Padma Purana of fifty-five thousand, Sri Visnu Purana of twenty-three thousand, the Siva Purana of twenty-four thousand and Srimad Bhagavatam of eighteen thousand.

The Narada Purana has twenty-five thousand verses, the Markandeya Purana nine thousand, the Agni Purana fifteen thousand four hundred, the Bhavisya Purana fourteen thousand five hundred, the Brahma-vaivarta Purana eighteen thousand and the Linga Purana eleven thousand. The Varaha Purana contains twenty-four thousand verses, the Skanda Purana eighty-one thousand one hundred, the Vamana Purana ten thousand, the Kurma Purana seventeen thousand, the Matsya Purana fourteen thousand, the Garuda Purana nineteen thousand and the Brahmanda Purana twelve thousand. Thus the total number of verses in all the Puranas is four hundred thousand, Eighteen thousand of these, once again, belong to the beautiful Bhagavatam.

It is known that of the eighteen major Puranas, six are for those in the mode of goodness, six are for those in the mode of passion, and six are for those in the mode of ignorance. Although there may be different opinions as to which puranas belong to which group, Srila Prabhupada writes as follows in a purport of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: The Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, Mahabharata, Pancaratra and original Ramayana are all considered Vedic literature. The Puranas (such as the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, Naradiya Purana, Visnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana) are especially meant for Vaisnavas and are also Vedic literature.

 

Back of the Book:

Sri Brahma-vaivarta Purana is one of the eighteen principal Puranas, as stated in the Twelfth Canto of the Bhagavatam: Sages expert in ancient histories have declared that the Puranas, according to their various characteristics, can be divided into eighteen major Puranas and eighteen secondary Puranas.

In Brahma-vaivarta Purana, many very interesting details of familiar stories are found that are not seen elsewhere. There are many stories that explain the circumstances leading up to well-known occurrences, as well as previous lives of well-known personalities, shedding light on how they came to be in that condition. There is also a description of the marriage of Radha and Krsna, performed by Brahma.

Purana consists of four parts-Brahma-khanda, Prakrti-khanda, Ganapati-khanda, and Krsna-janma-khanda. The Krsna-janma-khanda is the largest, comprising about half of the entire work. Although the Vrndavana pastimes are narrated in this khanda, they are briefly described in comparison with what is found in Srimad-Bhagavatam. There are interesting details not found elsewhere, however, including the previous lives of many prominent characters.

This volume presents the Brahma-vaivarta Purana in story form, condensed so that the reader’s interest will be held.

 

Introduction:

 

Sri Brahma-vaivarta Purana is one of the eighteen principal Puranas, as stated in the Twelfth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam: Sages expert in ancient histories have declared that the Puranas, according to their various characteristics, can be divided into eighteen major Puranas and eighteen secondary Puranas. The eighteen major Puranas are the Brahma, Padma, Visnu, Siva, Linga, Garuda, Narada, Bhagavata, Agni, Skanda, Bhavisya, Brahma-vaivarta, Markandeya, Vamana, Varaha, Matsya, Kurma and Brahmanda Puranas. The Brahma Purana consists of ten thousand verses, the Padma Purana of fifty-five thousad, Sri Visnu Purana of twenty-three thousand, the Siva Purana of twenty-four thousand and Srimad-Bhagavatam of eighteen thousand. The Narada Purana has twenty-five thousand verses, the Markandeya Purana nine thousand, the Agni Purana fifteen thousand four hundred, the Bhavisya Purana fourteen thousand five hundred, the Brahma-vaivarta Purana eighteen thousand and the Linga Purana eleven thousand. The Varaha Purana contains twent-four thousand verses, the Skanda Purana eighty-one thousand one hundred, the Vamana Purana ten thousand, the Kurma Purana seventeen thousand, the Matsya Purana fourteen thousand, the Garuda Purana nineteen thousand and the Brahmanda Purana twelve thousand. Thus the total number of verses in all the Puranas is four hundred thousand. Eighteen thousand of these, once again, belong to the beautiful Bhagavatam.

It is know that of the eighteen major Puranas, six are for those in the mode of goodness, six are for those in the mode of passion, and six are for those in the mode of ignorance. Although there may be different opinions as to which Puranas belong to which group, Srila Prabhupada writes as follows in a purport of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: The Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, Mahabharata, Pancaratra and original Ramayana are all considered Vedic literature. The Puranas (such as the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, Naradiya Purana, Visnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana) are especially meant for Vaisnavas and are also Vedic literature.

Srila Prabhupada confirmed this while lecturing on Srimad-Bhagavatam in Paris in 1974: Krsna advised Arjuna, traigunya-visaya veda nistraigunyo bhavarjuna. The Vedas deal with these three gunas- the sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. So, for one who is in the sattva-guna, there are six Puranas. Sattva-guna, tamo-guna, rajo-guna. There are eighteen Puranas. Some of them are for persons who are situated on the modes of goodness, and some of them are for the persons who are in rajo-guna, and some of them are for persons in tamo-guna. Just like in the Vedic sastras, there is also recommendation to worship goddess Kali. That is for the tamo-guna, not for the sattva-guna. For the sattva-guna, there is the Visnu-Purana, Brahmanda-Purana, Brahma-vaivarta-Purana, Bhagavata- Purana. Because knowledge has to be given to everyone, according to his capacity.

In Brahma-vaivarta Purana, many very interesting details of familiar stories are found that are not seen elsewhere. There are many stories that explain the circumstances leading up to well-known occurrences, as well as previous lives of well-known personalities, shedding light on how they came to be in that condition. There is also a description of the marriage of Radha and Krsna, performed by Brahma. This may be a point of contention in some circles, but it was placed before Srila Prabhupada for his judgment while he was on a morning walk in Nellore in South India in 1976:

Acyutananda: In South India there are very few Radha-Krsna devotees. And what they have is from some Puranas, the marriage of Radha and Krsna. They perform Radha-Krsna kalyana, marriage.

Tamala Krsna: Is that bona fide, Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: Yes.

That Brahma-vaivarta Purana is a Vedic literature worthy of being read by present-day devotees was clearly indicated by Srila Prabhupada while conversing with disciples in Bhuvanesvara in 1977:

Prabhupada: That will be nice. I was training, but they have not become so expert. As I am doing Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, they could do Padma Purana, Brahma-vaivarta Purana in the same way, but our students are not so expert.

Purana consists of four parts-Brahma-khanda, Prakrti-khanda, Ganapati-khanda, and Krsna-janma-khanda. The Krsna-janma-khanda is the largest, comprising about half of the entire work. Although the Vrndavana pastimes are narrated in this khanda, they are briefly described in comparison with what is found in Srimad-Bhagavatam. There are interesting details not found elsewhere, however, including the previous lives of many prominent characters.

This volume presents the Brahma-vaivarta Purana in story form, condensed so that the reader’s interest will be held.

 

Contents

 

Introduction 09
Brahma khanda 15
Prakriti khanda 65
Ganapati khanda 143
Sri Krsna-janma-khanda 185

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