Varaha Purana – Part 2: Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology – Vol. 32 (HB) | J.L. Shastri (Author) | MLBD Publications


 Hardcover – 1 January 2017

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Although difficult to comprehend in the first reading, both to the people in the east and west trained in the modern methods of learning, this book leaves an undeliable marks and impressions that linger and recycle in the mind suggesting that there is something unique and novel that needs to be pursued. The book lays down an alternative original framework and template for enquiry of human mind. The framework is generic based on the Sankhya philosophy and school of thought. It elaborates on the fundamental notions such as (Prakriti, Mahat, Ahankar, Rita and Satya, Bramha and Prajapatis, the universe creation, sphota, tanmatras, panch mahabhutas, purush, yagna, kala, pralaya etc) and endeavours sometimes unnecessarily labours to link them to what we butk now in modern physics. In its own right, the framework is sufficiently exciting to be pursued to eventful conclusion. The framework is far more than encompassing the physics alone.

Modern physics, as we understand, deals with matter, at all locations, and in all its aspects including its state, composition, characterization, properties such as magnetic, electric etc, energy states levels and forms, evolution and transformation, motion and dynamics interactions and force fields and so on so forth. The basic settings, as assumed and occasionally verified, allow to sometimes build exacting relationships between cause and effect, while for some others the relationships are at best approximate and for yet others the situations could even be paradoxical.

Conventional approach understands this as events occur at all possible length and time scales and according as their importance contributes to the net outcome. Integrating the chain of such events together spanning a range of scales as wide as 10-12 to 1012 has always been a problem. The curse of dimensionality and presence of nonlinearity may as well be the creation of our own basic premises and perception. The question is: Can the alternative approach propounded here pave the way? If so-how does one quantify the causal relation and predictability? Shri. K. D. Verma, the author, has laid down the foundations using an unobstructing and free flowing language.

I am sure this will excite the nascent minds to take it further. The type set is free of trivial errors and the book-even, if not understood clearly by all uninitiated person like me, is certainly a pleasure to read. It compels one to continue to think. – Dr. B D Kulkarni, Director, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune.The Puranas are classified as Vaisnava, Brahma or Saiva according to the degree of quality, sattva, rajas or tamas which they possess in prominence.

Judged by this standard the present Purana belongs to the Vishnuite class. Majority of the verses relate to Visnuite rituals, stotras or anecdotes. The Purana eulogizes the ten incarnations of Vishnu and proclaims that a devotee attains identity with the lord by reciting and listening to his praise. A number of chapters describe the initiation of devotees to Visnuite order. The Purana prescribes initiation not only for the Brahmanas but also for the Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras.

The Purana records a number of religious vows which a devotee should observe at certain holy places for attaining his desire. Men-tion may be made in this context of Dvadasi Vrata observed on the twelfth day of the bright fortnight of each month of the year, the ritual being related to the ten incarnations of Visnu, Padmanabha being the eleventh and Dharani (Earth) the twelfth. The Purana contains a number of hymns in praise of Visnu, addressed to his specific forms, under particular names such as Matsya, Varaha and Kurma. There is hymn in prose called Brahmaparamaya stotra which was uttered by the Asvins in praise of Visnu.

Though predominantly Visnuite in character, the Purana talks highly of lord Siva, describing his origin, exploits, the destruction of Daksa’s sacrifice in particular. The Purana is emphatic about the identity of Trinity, a single entity assuming manifold forms such as Visnu, Brahma, Siva and others.

Besides the worship of Trinity we find the cult of Mother Goddesses as the distinct feature of this work. These Mothers are allied to Siva and their origin is traced to the fury of Siva, the purpose being the destruction of asuras.

In the miscellany of topic we can include the glory and greatness of holy centres, gifts of cows, enumeration of sins and their expiation, causes of sufferings in hell and of enjoyment in heaven. Finally this Part describes Sraddhakalpa (the institution of obsequal rites and rituals).

J.L. Shastri (Author)

MLBD Publications

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