About The Book
Srila Vyasadeva compiled many Vedic literatures out of compassion for the fallen conditioned souls, just to deliver them from the mire of material existence and reinstate them in their rightful position as eternal servitors of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Puranas are presented for the masses of people so that from any condition of life they can gradually elevate themselves to the platform of absolute knowledge and love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This book is a compilation of fascinating histories that are not commonly heard and which broaden our understanding of great personalities well-known to us.
Earlier this year, while going through the summaries of the twelve
Puranas I had written, I was pleased to see how there were many
stories that devotees would find very interesting to read. I also found
that there were numerous speeches by great personalities which
were full of wisdom presented with crisp clarity. Because I always
like to keep my days filled with writing something in relation to Krishna
consciousness, I began this compilation of stories from the Puranas.
Some of these stories are not to be found in the literature
presented by Srlla Prabhupada, and some of these stories are there,
especially in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Why would I include in this
compilation stories already related in Srimad-Bhagavatam? Because
in other Puranas, these stories are sometimes told in greater detail,
and they often provide interesting accounts of great personalities'
A common theme of the Puranas is that a person's present life
is the result of his or her previous actions, and it is one's present
actions that determine one's future birth. Thus, we find in the
Puranas many stories describing a person's existence during
several, or even many, consecutive lifetimes.
Modern societies are so materialistic that people hardly consider the long-term consequences of their actions, nor can the
understand how their present condition of life was caused by their
own previous acts. There are common sayings, such as, "You only go
around once," that indicate how the people of today take this one life
as being all-in-all. Naturally, this is the result of being too much in the
bodily conception of life, and this in turn is caused by ignorance of
one's eternal spiritual nature as a fragmental part and parcel of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.
In previous ages, the people of India heard narrations of the
Puranas from their very childhood and so they naturally understood
their present condition of happiness and distress to be the result
their previous sinful and pious activities. This was an impetus f
them to perform pious acts, and to worship the demigods and
Supreme Personality of Godhead, to insure a bright future.
In these stories, you will many times find that the descriptions
are different from those of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. This natural!
leads to the question, "Why?" In Mahabharata also, there are many
pastimes described much differently than the narrations of th
Bhagavatam. The simple explanation for this is that the Lord appear
again and again, and not just once, as described in the Bhagavad-
gita: paritranaya sedhunam; vinasaya ca duskrtam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya, sambhavami yuge yuge. "To delive
the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish
the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after
A very clear picture of how the same pastime is performed
differently in different millenniums is found in the Vamana Purana,
wherein the story of the birth of the Maruts, which is also found in the
Bhagavatam, is told five times by the sage, Pulastya. These five
narrations describe the appearance of the Maruts in five different
manvantaras, and each telling is very different from the others.
Similarly, the story of the Vamana incarnation is told variously in the
puranas for the simple reason that the Lord appears again and
again, not only in this day of Brahma, but in every day of Brahma,
and not only in this universe, but in each and every universe.
There is another thing that must be said about some of these
pastimes from the Puranas. In this regard, there is this verse from Sri
"Illusory stories opposed to the conclusions of Krishna
consciousness concern the destruction of the Yadu dynasty, Krishna
disappearance, the story that Krishna and Balarama arise from a black
hair and a white hair of Ksirodakasayi Visnu, and the story about the
kidnapping of the queens. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu explained to
Sanatana Gosvami the proper conclusions of these stories."
In the purport to this verse, Srila Prabhupada wrote: "Some of
Lord Krishna's pastimes are mentioned in the Mahabharata as
mausala-lila. These include the stories of the destruction of the Yadu
dynasty, Krishna's disappearance, His being pierced by a hunter's
arrow, the story of Krishna's being an incarnation of a piece of hair
(kesa-avatara) as well as mahisi-harana, the kidnapping of Krishna's
queens. Actually these are not factual but are related for the
bewilderment of the asuras, who want to prove that Krishna is an
ordinary human being. They are false in the sense that these
pastimes are not eternal, nor are they transcendental or spiritual."
Still, the destruction of the Yadu dynasty, Krishna'
disappearance, and the kidnapping of Krishna's queens are al
mentioned in Srimad-Bhagavatam, and so it is not that these stories
are to be avoided, but they must be told in the proper way, a
indicated by the above verse from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.
Regarding the Garga Samhita, it must be said that in his books
Srlla Prabhupada never mentioned it. Still, in his commentary on S
Brhad-bhagavatamrta, Gopiparanadhana Dasa wrote: "The origin
Vedic srutis and their derivative smrtis mostly reflect the genera:
interests of human beings, who strive for material progress, rarely
inquiring philosophically into the purpose of life. The confidential
science of pure devotional service is taught explicitly only in a few
Vedic scriptures little known to the public. Among these rare text
are the Gopsle-tapani: Upanisad, the Narada Pancaratra, the Garga
Samhita, the visnu Purana, the Hati-vamsa Upapurana, the Uttarakhanda
of the Padma Purana, and the Bhagavata Maha-purana"
Although the descriptions of the Lord's pastimes differ in
different renditions, the essential message is the same-that
human birth in Bharata-varsa affords one the best opportunity for
gaining release from the cycle of repeated birth and death by
engaging in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, Sri Krishna. In each and every story of the Puranas, the
conditional life of material existence is condemned as being of no
intrinsic value. In each and every story, the understanding is
propagated that without the mercy of the Lord, nothing of value can
be accomplished. In each and every story, we are made to realize
that we will be forced to suffer or enjoy the results of our activities,
and that sinful activities will lead us to terrible punishment in the
I have selected these stories simply on the basis of how
interesting they might be to the reader, and so I hope you enjoy them.
||The origin of Arjuna and Karna,
||from the Padma Purana
||Narada Muni becomes a qopl, from the
||The birth of King Kuru and the origin
||of Kuruksetra, from the Vamana Purana
||Previous histories of Lord Krsna's
Item Code: NAG780
Publisher: Sri Sri Sitaram Seva Trust
Size: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Other Details: Weight of the book: 375 gms
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