THE PADMA PURANA (Ten Volumes)

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Part I

 

Preface

This is the first part of the Padma Purana in English translation and the thirty-ninth volume in the series on Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology. It comprises the first thirty-three chapters of the first section called Srstikhanda or the Section on Creation of the Purana which is very huge in size. This Purana, as it appears in the Venkaesvara edition which this translation follows, consists of seven big sections or Khandas, namely, Srsti, Bhumi, Svarga, Brahma, Patala, Uttara and Kriyayogasara and is said to contain 55000 verses, though the actual number is much less. The translation of the whole Purana is planned to run into as many as ten volumes of the present size and may take some years for its completion.

The Padma Purana takes its name after the Primordial Lotus from which god Brahma, the Creator, was born. Dr. Deshpande has given a brief Khanda wise summary of the Purana in his Introduction which appears in this volume. As the 'Contents' show, the reader will find herein and enjoy some very interesting accounts and stories, such as that of the churning of the ocean by the gods and demons, the destruction of Daksa's sacrifice by god Siva, the chopping-off of Brahma's fifth head by the same god, the drinking-up of the ocean by the sage Agastya and so on. A very amusing story appears in Chapter 13, of how Brhaspati, the preceptor of gods, impersonates Sukra, the preceptor of demons, and how he corrupts and demoralizes the latter by preaching heretical doctrines to them with a view to make the gods who were very often defeated by the demons in war, victorious over them. A good portion of this Part is also devoted to the glorification of Pukara as a sacred place of pilgrimage. A number of fasts and vows are recommended and the merits of observing the same are described in detail.

The project of this series was envisaged in 1970 by the late Lala Sundar Lal Jam of Messrs. Motital Banarsidass. Thirty- nine volumes of the series including the present one have so far been published and others are in progress. Complete sets of eleven major Puranas viz, Agni Bhagawata, Brahma Brahmanda Garuda, Kurma, Linga, Narada, Siva, Vardha and Vayu are already available many of which have been reprinted over an over again.

It is our pleasant duty to put on record our sincere thanks to Dr. R.N. Dandekar and the UNESCO authorities for their kind encouragement and valuable help which render this work more useful than it would otherwise have been. We are extremely grateful to Dr. N.A. Deshpande for translating the text. We are also thankful to all those who have been helpful in our project.

 

Introduction

Originally the word Purana seems to have been understood in the sense of an 'old legend' but it is variously explained by different Puranas. YouPurana says that it is called Purana because it lives in the past or it breathes ancient times Brahmanda Purana says that it is so called since it existed in olden times. Padma Purana offers the following explanation: pint (V.2.53) It is called Purana because it desires or likes the past. It is, in other words, interested in the past, and there for describes the past. Thus these explanations suggest that the Purana literature deals with the past. Matsya Purana (53.63), in fact, describes the Puranas as 'containing the records of past events'. It therefore appears that originally the term Purana signified an ancient tale or narrative. Such tales existed prior to Vedas. This seems to be the meaning of such statements as (Padma I.1.45). Various traditions also accept the sacredness of Puranas. Atharva Veda refers to Puranas in the singular at XI.7.24 and XV.6.10-11. Satapatha Brahmana (XI.5.6-8) also mentions Itihasa-purana as one word. It gives Purana the status of Veda. Taittiriya Arazyaka (11.10) refers to Puranas and Itihasas. Gautama Dharmasutra (XI.19), Kautilya's Arthajastra (V.6, p.257), and Stuctis like Mane (111.232) refer to Puranas. Mahabhjrata refers to Puranas both in the singular (at Adiparvan 5.2, antiparvan 208.5 etc.) and in the plural (at Striparvan 13.2). Mahabharata also men tion by name Matsya Purana (in Vanaparvan 185.53). It is not proved beyond doubt whether Atharva Veda XI.7.24 refers to actual books by the word Purana. Thus it is not certain when actually Puranas as books came to be referred to. Puranas themselves say that originally there was one Purana only (Vdyu I.60.61 Linga Padma V.1.45) later on they came to be divided into 18 (Padma V.1. 51-52).

Amarasimha the author of the Amarakosa gives the following verse explaining the characteristics of a Purana.

This definition is also found in some of the Puranas like Vdyu 4.10-11 Varaha 2.4 Sarga creation Pratisarga - recreation after dissolution of the world Vamsa dynasties of gods the sun and the Moon and the patriarchs Manvantra the vast periods of time so called after a Manu Vamsa nucaritadeeds and history of the descendants of the solar lunar and other dynasties. But the Puranas do not fully conform to this description. Some contain many more topics while some barely touch these five topics at some length. It has been shown that these five characteristics occupy less than three percent of the extent of the Puranas that have come down to us. It is only Visnu Purana that largely conforms to this description but even it also contains other religious and social topics Dana (gifts) Vrata (religious observances). Tirtha (sacred places) and Sraddha (rites in honor of the dead ancestors) occupy a bulk of the contents (at least one lakh slokas) of the extant Puranas. The Pancalaksana description therefore does not properly cover their contents. So it is mantianed that the Pancalaksana definition is applicable to Uparanas and the Dasalaksana definition to Mahapuranas. The Dasalaksana definition runs as follows.

In addition to the topics like sarga this definition includes Vrtti (means of livelihood) Raksa (protection i.e. incarnation of God for protection of devotees) Samstha (four kinds of Laya) Hetu (jiva the soul that is subject to avidya and the collects karman) and apasraya (Brahman the refuge go Individual souls). Matsja Purana (53.66-67) says that in addition to these ten characteristics Purai3as also deal with such topics as the glorification of Brahman, Visnu, the Sun, Rudra, preservation and dissolution of the world, the four goals of human life, like Dharma, Artha etc. But even this Matsya description is not adequate, since Puranas have undergone re-editions, due to the addition of fresh matter, substitution of existing matter, and omission and modification of it. As Haraprasad Sastri observes (Journal of the Behar [and Orissa] Research Society, XIV, p.329), "Anything old may be the subject of a Purana, and it covers all the aspects of life."

The characteristics like Sarga are discussed in various Puranas: Brahma (1.3), Brahm4nqa (11.8-13), Vayu (4-6), Padma (1.3) discuss Sarga. Brahma (2.32-37), V4nu (1.2ff) deal with Pratisarga. V4yu (99), Visnu (IV), Karma (1.20-25), Bhagocata (IX and XII) treat Vartias; while Visma (111.1.2), Karma (1.51) deal with Manvantaras.

Puranas are divided into two categories: Mahapuranas and Upapuranas. The number of Puranas is stated to be eighteen. As Kane observes, "The number 18 was probably due to the fact that the number is prominent in several connections as regards Mahabharata. The Bharata war was fought for 18 days, the total of the vast armies engaged in the conflict came to be 18 aksauhinis, the epic has 18 parvans, the Gita also has 18 chapters" History of Dharmasastra, Vol. V, p. 842) - This list of 18 Mahapuranas is given in almost every Purana (see e.g. Padma IV.100.51-54). The order of Puranas that is generally accepted by the tradition is: (1) Brahma, (2) Padma, (3) Vizu, (4) Vayu, (5) Bhagavata, (6) ,Naradiya, (7) Markandeya, (8) Agni, (9) Bhavisya, (10) Brahmavaivarta, (11) Varaha, (12) Linga, (13) Skanda, (14) Vamana, (15) Karma, (16) Matsya, (17) Ganscia, and (18) Brahmanda. Some place Devibhdgavata (or Kalinpurana) in place of (Vaisnava) Bhagavata and Siva in place of Vayu. But give is not looked upon as a Mahakuraza. Dealbhagavata has the following couplet to help memorize the names of the Puranas: refers to the two puranas the names of which begin with they are and similarly the word signifies the two Puranas the anmes of which begin with they are and the names of others Puranas are to be memorized similarly.

The controeversy like the claim of Siva Purana to be a Mahapurana is tired to be set at rest by taking their number to be 19 or 20.

 

Part II

 

Preface

Here is part II of the Padma Purana in English translation being the 40th volume in the series of Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology (AITM). It comprises the remaining 49 chapters viz. chaps. 34-82 of the first Srstikhanda or the section on creation which is now complete.

The reader would like to have some idea of the contents of this part at the outset. As unual this part also contains a number of well known narratives such as those of Rama Siva-Parvati Nrsimha Garuda, Ganesa the rape of Ahalya Visnu's incarnation in the from of Varaha the descent of Ganga etc. the birth stories of Kapila Vajranga Parvati Karitikeya and a number of demons such as madhu and Kaitabha are also found in this part. The long drawn war between gods and demons is described graphically in detail in several chapters some prominent generals of the latter mentioned by name being Kalanemi Taraka Namuci, Muci Kalakeya, Kaleya, tareya Devantaka Durdharsa Durmukha Madhu and Vrtra. Finally gods come out victorious with the slaying of Hiranyaksa by Visnu.

Several stories occurring in this part are related for the inculcation of religious and pious deeds as well as moral virtues e.g. adoration of parents devoton to the performance of duties pertaining to one's caste and stage of Sraddha etc. in this connection mention may be made of the Stories of Kings Sveta Aksaya and Danda of Muka Tuladhara Adroha Pativarta Vaisnava, Sevya, Mandavya etc.

The reader will also find here a number of hymns of gods Braham, Visnu, Siva, Ganapati the sun the Moon etc. composed for the benefit of the devotees. Rites are described for the appeasement of evil planets. Great merit has been attached to benevolent deeds such as digging wells and tanks planting trees constructing bridges drinking water to pilgrims and travelers etc. some chapters are devoted to the praise of Rudraksa Tulasi and Dharti. An interesting and noteworthy feature of this part is the mention of sinful tribes such as Nagnakas, Avackas, Kuvadas, Kharpas, Darunas probably some heretical religious sects of India and more importantly of foreigners such as hairless and beardless Yavanas cow eating Turuskas and Mlecchas obviously referring to the historical event of foreigners invasion of India especially by the Muslims. This event gave rise to the glorification and worship of cows which came to be considered as sacred as Agni and Brahmans all the Three together with the Vedas Spoken of as born form Brahma's Mouth.

 

Part III

 

Preface

This is the third part of the Padma Purana translated into English and the 41st Volume of the Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology series. Herein are included Chapters 1-90 of Bhumikhanda or the Section on the Earth which is the second of the seven sections into which the Purana is divided.

The reader would naturally expect, as the name 'Bhumikhanda' suggests, a description of the geography and history of the Earth in this section, but will actually find nothing like that. And this is true about all the sections. As a matter of fact, the names of the sections here as well as in the other Puranas are just arbitrary, having in the present shape no relevance to the contents. Perhaps in the remote past or originally they had a relevance but in the course of time their logical structure was lost and a lot of interpolation made them all alike dealing with similar topics irrespectively of the names assigned.

As usual, this part contains a number of well-known legends, especially those of Vena, Prthu and Yayati, and also the off- repeated myths of the slaying of the demons Bala and Vrtra, Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa, the birth of Maruts, the anecdotes of Iksvaku's hunting, Diti's wailing and the like.

The section begins with the story of Sivasarman and his virtuous Sons whose devotion to parents is put to severe test and finally established as constant and firm. The glorification of devotion to parents (Pitrbhakti) is again taken up in chapters 63 and 84 and parents are given as high a status as that of a sacred place of pilgrimage in chapter 62. One will find allegorical description of body and soul in chapters 7 and 8. In the story of Suvrata (Ch. 11) four kinds of Sons nit described followed in the subsequent chapters by the enumeration of the basic virtues and the post-mortem status and suffering of the virtuous and sinners respectively. The virtue of dana (charity) is highly praised and treated of in detail along with a description of those who deserve it and the fruits of making gifts to Brahmanas and other deserving persons. The fruits of nityadana (regular charity) and naimittikadan (occasional charity) are described in detail separately.

Devotion to god Visnu is a recurring theme of this section though it is also said that all the gods of the Hindu trinity Brahma Visnu and Siva are equal. To propitiate Visnu a number of vows are enjoined and the recitation of a hymn containing a hundred names of the god is recommended as giving salvation in chapter 87. Yayati is mentioned as the greatest patron of the Vaisnava faith. It was during his reign that Vaisnavism enjoyed the greatest propularity.

Chapter 37 countains an adverse reference to Jainism. There a heretic who is none else but a follower of Jina is described who is dead against the vedic religion who by his radical doctrines turns king Vena away from the practice of Dharma and makes him a sinner leading ultimately to his total ruin.

 

Part IV

 

Preface

In this IV part of the Padma Purana are included the remaining chapters, 91-125, of the second section, Bhumikhanda, and the whole of the third section, Svargakhanda, having 62 chapters in all.

Our observation that the names of the sections have little relevance to the contents is further corroborated in this part. One may look, for example, at the contents of the Svargakhan4a. The second chapter of it treats of creation and should logically go to the first section, Srstikhanda. Chapters 3-9 deal with the division of the earth into islands (dvipas), their mountains, rivers, countries and their population etc., which are more appropriately the topics of Bhumikhanda. Again, almost all of the remaining chapters of this section deal with the holy places of India, the merits acquired by visiting them, taking a bath, performing charities, offering pindas to the manes and worship to gods, and the codes of conduct laid down for the various castes and stages of life as well as do's and don'ts in respect of eating etc., which being very much 'earthly' matters logically belong to the Bhumikhanda.

Some conflicting statements about the size and structure of the Purana are also found in this part. For example, the Bhumikhanda, chapter 125, says that the number of verses in the Purana was 52000 in Treta, 22000 in Dvapara and 12000 in Kali, while the Svargakhatzc1a, chapter 1, gives a static figure of 55000. And similar is the case with the sections of the Purana. According to the Bhumikhanda, chapter 125, the Purana has five sections only, viz. Srsti, Bhumi, Svarga, Patala and Uttara, thus leaving Brahma and Kriyayoga, whereas the Svargakhaz4a, Chapter 1, enumerates six sections, viz., Adi, BhUmi, Brahma, Patala, Kriya and Uttara. In this latter list the names of Srsti and Svarga (its own name!) are missing and an unfamiliar name 'Adi' appears. In the last chapter (62), however, the name for this section occurs as 'Ad-svarga', which would imply that this, i.e. Svargakhanda, was the first section of the Purana, thus refusing any locus standi to the Srstikhanda.

Now a few words about the contents. The reader will find some new and interesting anecdotes and stories here extolling holy places such as Pukara, showing the efficacy of a bath in the rivers Reva, Ganga etc. or of Visnu's name, and glorifying worship of some god, e.g. Visnu or Siva, or some virtuous conduct. Subahu's story shows that a gift of food, especially to a Brahmana, is the best charity, and is even superior to penance. The stories of Asokasundari (II. 102ff), of Kamoda (II. 118ff) and of the five gandharva maidens (III. 22ff) have a good deal of dramatic interest. The story of J-Iemakm3dala and his two wicked sons (ITT. 30ff) shows the efficacy of the river Yamuna.

Pilgrimage to holy places is treated of in great detail. Next in importance is the code of conduct prescribed for the celebate student, the householder, the anchorite and the ascetic (III. 51ff). Do's and don'ts in respect of eating etc. are minutely discussed. Giving shelter and food to Brabmanas is considered highly meritorious. Gift of a cow to a brahmana at Prayaga is supposed to liberate not only the donor but also his son, wife and servants. Worshipping brahmanas is shown to be superior even to bathing at a holy place. Mother is spoken of as the most venerable person and maligning others the greatest sin for which there is no atonement. A brahmana not responding to salutation is condemned as Sudra and one is advised not to salute him. Protection of even such insignificant insects as lice and bugs is prescribed.

Third in length is the description of the earth's geography which to a large extent seems to be a product of imagination rather than of a scientific survey, as is obvious from the highly exaggerated figures given therein. To take a few examples: The height of the Jambu tree which lends its name to the Jambudvipa, is said to be one thousand and a hundred yojanas (1 yojana= 8/9 miles); the Malyavat mountain measures fifty thousand yojanas; the span of human life in the Bhadrava country is said to be ten thousand years. The reader will find many more interesting descriptions here.

 

Part V

 

Preface

This is Part V of the voluminous Padma Purana and Volume 43 in the series of Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology. It comprises the whole of section IV named Brahmakhanda (chapters 1-26) and part of Section V named Patalak-haic1a (chapters 1-67).

Let us here give a brief outline of the contents of this part. The Brahmana deals mainly with various aspects of Visnu Bhakti or devotion to god Visnu. Out of its 26 chapters as many as 19 preach devotion to Visnu directly in most and indirectly in a few, strengthening it with the help of short anecdotes and stories.

Devotion to Visnu is recommended as the quickest and surest way to liberation in this Kali age. No pilgrimage, no bathing in Ganga, in short, nothing else need be done by such a devotee. The characteristics of a devotee of Visnu are described in vv. 21-32 of chapter 1. The story of a thief named Dandaka shows how a solitary and insignificant act performed once destroyed even his gravest sins committed in the past, and the one of a pious Brahmana Vaikuntha and a rat shows how an accidental act of brightening the flame of a lamp burning in a Visnu temple on the part of the rat liberated it.

Observing a fast on a Jayanti day is strongly advised. The merits thereof and awful results incurred by its non-observance are described in detail. Six meritorious Jayantis are mentioned, Krsnajanmastami and Radhastmi being the two most prominent ones.

Ekadasi is said to be Visnu's day and importance of fasting on this day is greatly emphasized, Various means Of winning he favor of god Visnu are described in chapter 16.

Worship of Tulasi plant, offering its leaves to the deity, wearing a rosary of Tulasi wood round one's neck and a garland of Tulasi leaves are praised as highly efficacious in destroying one's sins and freeing oneself from the clutches of Yama's messengers. Uttering Visnu's name is regarded highly meritorious and leading to Vaikuntha.

Some minor themes of this Section include deeds responsible for sonless ness, birth of a daughter, of a good son, and for stillbirth; churning of the ocean as initiated by a curse of sage Durvasa who is reputed to become furious for very flimsy reasons; protection offered to a brahmana as highly meritorious, illustrated by the story of sage Vivamitra and how he averted a tragedy by offering himself as a victim in a Naramedha sacrifice in place of a brahmana boy; pacificator acts recommended for saving oneself from sins incurred by indulging in illicit intercourse and eating feces, drinking urine, sipping wine etc.; and importance of keeping a promise.

The Patatakhaic1a devotes its first 68 chapters to the ever well-known Ramayana story, out of which all but the last are included in this Part. This is a Vai5r3ava theme par excellence, as Rama was an incarnation of Visnu born for the divine purpose of eliminating the demons headed by Ravana.

Most of these chapters from Eight onwards describe Rama's Horse Sacrifice. Chapters 12-53 narrate a number of interesting episodes associated with the Horse's journey over the whole of the earth, including the various thrilling battles that Satrughna's army had to fight to free the Horse from the rival kings who for some reason came to challenge the supremacy of Rama. In chapter 54 the ascetic boy Lava binds the Horse, and chapters 60-66 describe the crushing defeat suffered by Satrughna's army at the bands of the two ascetic brothers Kusa and Lava.

Incidentally, chapters 55-59 describe the washerman's scandalous talk about Sita heard and reported to Rama by the spies and the consequent banishment of Sita and birth of Kusa and Lava in the hermitage of sage Valmiki under his own loving care, who at an appropriate moment discloses the identity of the two sons of Sita to Rama who then owns them as his heirs. Sita after a lot of persuasion returns to Rama and the Horse Sacrifice is happily concluded even without the victim who miraculously gives up his equine form at Rama's touch and assumes a divine form.

 

Part VI

 

Preface

This forty-fourth volume in the series of Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology comprises the sixth part of the Padma-Purava containing the remaining chapters (68-117) of the fifth section of the Purana, viz. Patalakhanda.

Like the foregoing parts this part also contains a number of interesting topics and a good variety of fascinating stories and anecdotes characterized by fine dramatic qualities and poetical fancy and flavor. The most dominating themes are the worship of god krsna or Visnu and the importance of the month of Vaisakha for Visnu worship, and the worship of Siva and his Phallus, and the efficacy of sacred ash therein. Some striking observations of the Purana in this part ate noted here.

Krsna is the Supreme Being and the three gods of the Trinity are equal to a croreth of a croreth (i.e. insignificant) part of his feet.

The purification of Visnu's devotees is accomplished in twelve ways, viz, purification of the feet by going found the idol with devotion etc., purification of the hands by taking leaves and flowers etc. for his worship, purification of speech by describing his virtues etc., that of ears and eyes by listening to stories of Krspa, witnessing his festival etc., and of the head, of the heart, of the nose and so on in ways described in ch. 78.

Worship of krsna is of five kinds, viz. Abhiganiana, Upadana, Toga, Svadhyaya and liya as explained in ch. 78.

Thirty-two offences against Visnu such as going to the Lord's temple in vehicles, drinking spirituous liquor etc. are described in ch. 79.

Five sacred rites are prescribed for a devotee of Visnu, such as marking the body with a mark of conch etc.

While the first three castes should worship in the manner laid down in the scriptures, women and Saudras who are exempted from this should propitiate Visnu by uttering his name.

In addition to the common flowers used in worship to please Visnu eight internal flowers are described in ch. 84 such as harmlessness control of senses etc. A few flowers are also mentioned.

Devotion is said to be of various kinds in ch. 85 viz (1) mental (2) of Speech and (3) of body and again (1) Secular (2) Vedic and (3) Spiritual.

The name of Ganga is said to be very efficacious in destroying sings. If a man at a distance of thousands of Yojanas remembers Ganga he even though a sinner obtains the highest position.

In ch.90 beauty good character truthfulness nobleness religious merit sweetness internal and external purity devotion to husband service to him patience and affection have been called the eleven ornaments of a woman.

in ch. 94 it is said that there is no other worthily recipient than Brahmans there is no god higher than Visnu no holy place like Ganga no prayer like Gayatri no vow like that of Dvadasi no friend like wife no virtue like compassion no happiness like freedom no asrama like that of a householder no better conduct than truthfulness no greater pleasure than contentment and no better month than vaisakha.

 

Part VII

 

Preface

With the publication of this seventh part of the Padma Purai3a we have now made available forty-five volumes in the AITM series to the students and scholars of Indology. This part comprises chapters 1-81 of the sixth and the largest section, viz. Uttarakhanda of the Padma Purana, consisting of a total of 255 chapters. Though the existing text of the Purana is complete in seven sections, the Kriyayogakhanda being the last, the present section in chapter 1, vv. 66-70 enumerates only five sections as belonging to the Purana, omitting thus two sections, viz, the Brahma and Kriyayoga. It appears that originally there were only five sections, the Uttarakhanda, as the name itself indicates, being the last one, but later two more sections were added. As to the period of time when this was done, Winternitz opines that it was perhaps after the composition of the Bhagavata.

The major themes of this part are the birth, adventures and ultimate defeat and death of the demon Jalandhara in chapters 3-18 and a description of the Ekadasi and other vows in chapters 30-70 and 77. There is a duplication of two names, viz. Putrada Ekadai and Kamada Ekadasi, as the former occurs as the title of two chapters, 41 and 55, and the latter as that of chapters 47 and 63. This could be taken as one among the indications of the multiple authorship of the Purana.

The reader will find the following information's gleaned from this part especially instructive.

The gods Siva and Visnu are not different but identical. "Visnu is Siva and Siva is Visnu." We can say that they are only functionally two but existentially one, and this has been emphasized by the Purana frequently elsewhere also as an answer perhaps to the controversy arising from the appearance of divergent warring sects in course of time.

Ridiculing gods, their images and religious and sectarian practices associated with their worship due to egotism, particular sectarian learnings etc. is strongly disparaged. A Brahmana indulging in this is declared to be a candela and one is said to undergo a very despicable birth for thousands of years in the form of worms in feces.

Muttering God's names is recommended as especially efficacious in this age for freeing oneself from sins and attaining the highest spiritual position. A man obtains by repeating the names of Visnu in the Kali age what he obtains by meditation in the Krta age by performing sacrifices in the treat age and by worshipping Visnu in the Dvapara age. The thousand said that the thousand names are equal to the single name Rama.

The authors of the Purana has a good sense of humor as is proved on many occasions when we meet a ludicrous or incongruous situation in this part as well as elsewhere. God Brahma is usually made a laughingstock on account of his beard. Once Brahma takes the child Jalandhara in his lap when the latter catches his beard which the former is unable to free form his hand this naturally makes the child's father Ocean laugh. In another situation Siva fashions a disc out of the tejas contributed by gods and sages for the destruction of the mighty demon Jalandhara.. Siva gives that disc into Brahma's hands for inspection and appreciation. He seeing that the beard of Brahma is burnt by the sparks issuing from the powerful weapon laughs and takes it quickly back. Brahma is again made a butt of laughter when Kirtimukha a hungry attendant of Siva proceeds to eat Brahma but is warded off by Siva. Perhaps this indicates that the cult of this god of the Trinity had already declined and lost its popularity long before this Purana was composed while the Saiva and Vaisnava cults were still very much thriving.

There are so many passages in this part which show us against the popular belief of there being one Nandin that at least two Nandins existed in Siva's entourage one the chief of Siva's attendants and a general of his army and the other the bull Siva's vehicle. Siva said to Nandin the chief of his attendants. You should kill the brave great demon Jalandhara in Battle again. Then hearing the words of Parvati Siva said to Virabhadra quickly make ready my bull.

 

CONTENTS
Part I
 
PREFACE VII
ABBREVIATIONS XI
INTRODUCTION XIII
PADMA PURANA: SECTION I: SRSTIKHANDA  
1. Introductory 1
2. Contents of the Section on Creation 7
3. Kinds of Creation 17
4. The Birth of Laksmi 31
5. Destruction of Daksa's Sacrifice 40
6. Birth of Devas, Daityas, Birds and Serpents etc. 46
7. Description of Manu Periods 51
8. Description of the Solar Race 60
9. General Rules of Sraddha Performance 71
10. The Greatness of Pitrs 86
11. A List of Sacred Places 96
12. The Dynasty of Yadu