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Varaha Purana Pt. 1 (AITM) – Vol. 31: Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology (HB) | J.L. Shastri (Author) | MLBD Publications

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 Hardcover – 1 January 2017

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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)

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