From the Jackets
The main philosophical topics,
which are discussed here, are the
Supreme Reality (Determinate and
Indeterminate nature of Siva) Sakti (as
Supreme Reality, inseparable Power of
Siva Maya-vidya and Avidya and
Prakrti), Pafica Brahman with five functions, Tridevas in various phases, Time.
(finite and infinite) Linga (as symbol of
Siva) soul, theories of Evolution, kinds
of Evalution, bondage and Zilusation
'as well as spiritual (Paths Karma-yoga,
Bhakti-yoga and Jnana-yoga, with
reference to the Puranas ip general and
the Siva Puranas in special.
About the Author
Dr. Raghunath Giri (b. 1931) has obtained his M.A.,
Ph.D., L.L.B. and Acharya Degrees from Banaras Hindu
University. He is the refounder of the Department of
Philosophy in H.G. Kashi Vidyapith and is well known as
distinguished scholar, thinker, writer and orator in the field
of Indian Philosophy. He has participated in various National
and International seminar and conferences in India and
Abroad and presented his research papers. More than hundred
his research papers are published in important English and
Hindi Journals. He has been the Chief Editor of Darsanika-
Traimasika and editor of several Hindi, English and Sanskrita
Journals. His Translation on Bauddha- Tarka-Bhasa of Moks
akara Gupta occupies a-very unique position in the studies of
Buddhist-Logic in Hindi. More than fifty scholars have
completed their research work and obtained Ph.D. Degree
in his supervision.
He is one of the selected few prominent scholars of
Indian Logic (Navya-Nyaya) in India. He is highly respected
by his students who are posted as reader and Professor in
the Departments of Philosophy in various Universities.
About the Book
The Puranas occupy a unique position in the sacred and secular literature
of Hindus, being regarded as next in
importance only to the Vedas [SEP.,
The Puranas are an invaluable help
towards the good life and they are at
the same time an epitome of the Indian
genius. [C.R. Ramswami Aiyar, SEP.,.
The Puranas may be described as
the Encyclopedia of Ancient and
Medieval Hinduism, Religion, Philosophical, Historical, personal social and
Political. [Pargiter ERE X. p. 448].
The present book deals with the
Philosophy of the Puranas and establishes a synthetic philosophical view of
the Puranas. This synthesis is an interpretation of the Vedas and the Upanisads with the materials of the Agamas
and the Tantras and achieved as the
result of modific in the basic Philosophical views of the Agamas and the
Tantras. In this synthesis the Philosophical categories of the Advaita (Brahmadvaita, Sivadvaita and Saktadvaita) the
Vasistadvaita (cit-acit visistadvaita, Siva-
Sakti-visistadvaita and Dvaita (Sesvara
Sankhya yoga, Pasupatas and Saiva-
siddhantas) are harmonized in an integral philosophical view of man, universe
It was a pleasant experience to go through the Preprint copy
of The Philosophy of The Puranas' by erstwhile colleague and friend
Dr. R.N. Giri. Much have been written on the Puranas and I have
seen several theses on Philosophical elements in Puranas. This
present one definitely adds to the work of Puranas, but Dr. Giri's
work is unique in respect to this. He has not over simplified the
Philosophical theory of the Puranas instead he has tried to see the
Puranic synthesis rather in the different way in his synthesized work.
It is not only a synthesis between knowing and believing being
and becoming it is a synthesis worked out in a continuous dialogue
with common people. An average listener in India is fully aware to
metaphysical aspects of this universe and also has a perception of
how man responds to the macro universe around and micro universe within him. Therefore, the present crystalize forms, are a product of continuous interaction of the Puranas.
Dr. Giri has gone into details as to how a new system has
come of encrusted systems and their comprehension of the Puranas,
he also takes an account of rational purposes of different pathways
to God. It was his treatment of Time particularly which is of immense value because studies on these so far have just summary
treatment, Dr. Giri instead, has gone into the creative role of Time
within course. God is not directly the cause of relation between
Prakrti and Purusa. He assumes the form of Time to perform the
function of creation, sustenance and dissolution.
The Puranas try to establish that the Time is essential factor
of creation and dissolution. The treatment of finite time in different ways in different Puranas is very detailed and succinct in this
A Purana is never concerned with the act of creation as an
eternal quest. For most of the Puranas creation is a sport of Supreme Power and this sport regenerates itself from time to time so
that the balance between man and Universe is maintained.
I was deeply impressed by the observation that TIme is mightiest factor in the world where under the sway of Time Brahma
Visnu , Rudra and other Gods all are performing their respective
roles that. Though man is equipped with higher intellignece yet he
is just like a puppet in the hand of time. Every thing in the universe
originates in time, exists in time and is destroyed in time. Hence,
time is called creator, protector-and destroyer of every thing and
every being in this universe.
Dr. Giri, in his treatment of Atman in different Puraras differentiates, different stand points taken by different Puranas regarding the nature of the soul. He has taken into account more or less
known Puranas which have made informations to Atman, but his
treatment regarding Atman is more comprehensive and wholesome.
The Puranic treatment of the three pathways Jnana, Karama
and Bhakti to liberation from death and birth is more or less in
consonance with the ways represented in Srimad Bhagvadgita. Yet
there are certain observations which make a keen perception of
these pathways are found in the Puranas. Dr. Giri has dealt with
them systematically and positively.
Needless to say that Dr. Giri's work is a complete in itself
and is a positive contribution in the field of Puranic Philosophical
studies where Dr. Giri possesses a deep, thorough and clear knowledge and understanding. He can analyse things which are complicated and also identify different kinds of relationship as they are.
He made them fit into the system of Philosophical perspective.
However, I can not hold myself from adding a few points
which are obliquely dealt with, no doubt but which need some more
explanations and clarifications. The Puranas have taken from
Srimadbhagvadgita hierarchy of values off our Purusarhas and socio
ethical values but the Puranas transcends them and projects the
value ofBhakti as the fifth Purusartha. This is not merely a subservience to pod but it is also a compulsion on the part of God to help
Man with His grace so that the purpose of life as Universal Creativity is fulfilled.
Thus the treatment of Bhakti is not amoral or moral treatment. It transcends all ethical values and all Purusarthas. It is also
propounded by almost all the Puranas that there is no greater virtue
than doing good to others and no heinous sin than doing' harm to
others. This perception is revealed only through livi