Vamana Purana

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According to Manu- "Vedas are primary source of religion" the Puranas, however, are the essence of the religion of Hindu society. Puranas are also regarded as the chief source for the detailed explanation of the Vedas. They, therefore, occupy a significant place in the ancient literature of India. The Puranas have obtained the name of Pancalaksana because their contents generally embrace five topics namely (1) Primary creation or cosmogony, (2) secondary creation, (3) genealogy of gods and patriarchs, (4) reigns of the Manus, (5) history of the solar and lunar dynasties.

Vamana Purana is placed at serial number fourteen in the list of the eighteen Puranas mentioned in various scriptures. But it does not mean that it is of lesser importance than the other Puranas. Although, it is smaller in size, yet it has all the constituents of the other Puranas. Also its style of treatment of the subject matter is clearer and more analytical than the style of other Puranas and Up-puranas. One of its special features is the amazing variations in the famous ancient stories as related in other Puranas. Many of the stories in the Vamana Purana have been written for the benefit of the common man with a view to make them understand the basic elements of cosmology and religion.

Vamana Purana is comparatively small and it contains selfish and useless matter to a lesser extent. This Purana embeds within itself prescriptions of Hindu religion so as to make the lives of people purposeful.

The present edition is a unique edition containing original Sanskrit text along with corresponding English translation verse-by-verse. It also includes an exhaustive introduction as well as a detailed index of verses. The editors have also rendered various foot-notes at appropriate places for clear specification of the Sanskrit proper names used thereof.

 

Introduction

According to Manu- "Vedas are primary source of religion" verse 2.6), the Puranas, however, are the essence of the religion of Hindu society. Puranas are also regarded as the chief source for the detailed explanation of the Vedas. They, therefore, occupy a significant place in the ancient literature of India. The Puranas have obtained the name of Pancalaksana because their contents generally embrace five topics namely (1) Primary creation or cosmogony, (2) secondary creation, (3) genealogy of gods and patriarchs, (4) reigns of the Manus, (5) history of the solar and lunar dynasties.

The definition does not however necessarily signify that the Puranas exclusively deal with these topics only. On the contrary, every Purana dwells at length on one or more particular subjects and in some, these five primary topics occupy a very subordinate position. Puranas are eighteen in numbers. The names of Mahapuranas at the last portion of Srlmadbhagavata has been given as under-

Vamana Purana is placed at serial number fourteen in the list of eighteen Puranas mentioned in various scriptures. But it does not mean that it is of lesser importance than the other Puranas. Although, it is smaller in size, yet it has all the constituents of the other Puranas. Also its style of treatment of the subject matter is clearer and more analytical than the style of other Puranas and Up-puranas. One of its special features is the amazing variations in the famous ancient stories as related in other Puranas.

Its second special features is that inspite of being known as a Saiva Purana, nowhere the importance of Visnu has in anyway been belittled as is the case with some other Puranas. In Vamana Purana, both Siva and Visnu have been placed an almost equal footing. Again, there is not a single sloka which humiliates Visnu. Some Saiva authors have gone even to the extent of stating" A visit to a shine of Visnu is an insult to Siva." In Vamana Purana, on several occasions Siva has gone to Visnu for help and has praised him whole-heartedly.

The Story of Daksa yajna and Sati -

Of all related in Vamana Purana which vary significantly from the stories as related in other Puranas, the story of immolation of San attracts special attention. In Siva Purana, Ramayana and other Purana scriptures, we are told that San had gone to the yajna performed by her father Daksa inspite of not being invited to the ceremony and when she did not find the requisite share of offering for Siva, she cursed all those who had attended such a detestable function and immolated herself then and there. When Siva came to know of this, he sent his attendant Virbhadra to avenge her death. Virbhadra reached the venue of the yajna and demolished the whole structure and put an end to the yajna.

This story has been related in Vamana Purana in a different way. In this Purana it is stated that on coming to know about the humiliation of Siva in the yajfia by Daksa, Sati immolated herself. Relating the story in Chapter IV entitled "War between Hari and Virbhadra", it is sated as under:

"The daughter of Gautama, Jaya had come to Mandracal to pay a visit to Sati, Seeing her all alone, Sati asked her- Why her sister Vijaya Jayanti and Aparajita had not come along?"

Jaya replied, "They have gone with father to the yajna being performed by their maternal grand-father Daksa, I am also going there. But I considered it worthwhile to visit you first. Are you not going there? Is Lord Siva not going there? All Rsis along with their consorts have gone there. All gods have also gone there. Has our maternal grandfather not invited you?"

Knowing such neglect and insult of her husband, and that too by her father, Sati was greatly angered. She was furious and instantly fell on the ground. Immediately she breathed her last at that very spot. Hearing the wailing cries of Jaya, Siva came there. On such tragic death of Sati, Siva was very angry. Immediately, he collected a big gang of his disciples and sent them to the venue of the yajna being performed by king Daksa, under the command of Virbhadra. He went there, fought with the soldiers of Daksa and destroyed the yajna.”

The Story of burning of Kamadeva -

Similarly, new elements have been incorporated in the story of burning of Kamadeva. Traditionally, it is stated as under:

The demon Dvarkasura had vanquished all the Devatas. Later, the gods came to know that none else but the son of Siva born of Parvatt alone can kill Dvarkasura, They were greatly worried as Siva was a celebate. So Indra persuaded Kamadeva to go and fill the mind of Siva with amorous feelings and to prompt him to marry Parvatt. When Kamadeva played his tricks on Siva, he was awfully furious and by activating his third eye, Siva reduced Kamadeva to ashes.

However, this incident has been related in Vamana Purana as under: When Siva was destroying the yajnasala' of King Daksa, Karnadeva shot his strong, passionate and lustful arrows at Siva, he was greatly distressed and in a love-lorn state of mind he wailed for the company of Sati, When he could no longer tolerate his mental torture, he handed over all the three kinds of arrows to Pancalika, the son of Kuber. When Cupid was about to attach Siva again, Siva was greatly upset and ran here and there in the pine forest. There in the forest the wives of Rsis residing there became desirous and lustfully ran after Siva. In that serious situation, the Rsis cursed Siva, "May you loose your linga.' When the linga of Siva fell apart, it stretched from heaven to the Netherlands. Thereupon, both Brahms and Visnu came to that place. They tried to find out the terminal ends of Siva's organ but could not succeed. Thereupon, both of them prayed to Lord Siva for mercy. Siva was pleased by their entreaties and said, "If all the gods honour and worship this linga of mine, I can accept this Linga again. Consequently Lo


Item Code: IDF392
Cover: Hardcover
Edition: 2005
Publisher: Parimal Publication Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN: 8171102573
Language: Sanskrit Text, English Translation, Introduction, Notes and Index of Verses
Size: 9.8" X 7.4"
Pages: 524