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:vyāsādimunipraṇīta-vedārthavarṇita-pañcalakṣaṇānvita-śāstram । tatparyyāyaḥ । pañcalakṣaṇam 2 । ityamaraḥ । 1 । 6 । 5 ॥
 
:vyāsādimunipraṇīta-vedārthavarṇita-pañcalakṣaṇānvita-śāstram । tatparyyāyaḥ । pañcalakṣaṇam 2 । ityamaraḥ । 1 । 6 । 5 ॥
 
Purana is that shastra, which written by Vyasa, describes the meanings of Vedas and is comprised of the panchalakshanas.
 
Purana is that shastra, which written by Vyasa, describes the meanings of Vedas and is comprised of the panchalakshanas.
==Etymology==
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==व्युत्पत्तिः ॥ Etymology==
 
According to Shabdakalpadruma, the word Purana is used in the sense of पुरा भवमिति । which means "that which existed in the past" and पुरा नीयते इति । which means "that which takes (you) back (in time)"
 
According to Shabdakalpadruma, the word Purana is used in the sense of पुरा भवमिति । which means "that which existed in the past" and पुरा नीयते इति । which means "that which takes (you) back (in time)"
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The word Purana also indicates that shastra which though containing information about the ancient also pertains to present day. Whereas Itihasa is that shastra which purely refers to descriptions of the past events इतिहासः पुरावृत्तम् इति च ।<ref>Siddhanta Kaumudi with Balamanorama Commentary</ref>
    
Vayu Purana says that it is called Purana because it talks about the past or that which existed in olden times.<blockquote>यस्मात्पुरा ह्यनन्तीदं पुराणं तेन चोच्यते। yasmātpurā hyanantīdaṁ purāṇaṁ tena cocyate। (Vayu. Pura. 41.55)<ref name=":0">Vayu Purana (Uttaratha [https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/वायुपुराणम्/उत्तरार्धम्/अध्यायः_४१ Adhyaya 41])</ref></blockquote>Padma Purana specifically mentions that Puranas speak about the past traditions.<blockquote>पुरा परंपरां वक्ति पुराणं तेन वै स्मृतम् ...५४ purā paraṁparāṁ vakti purāṇaṁ tena vai smr̥tam ...54 (Padm. Pura. 1.2.54)<ref name=":2">Padma Purana (Srshti Khanda 1, Adhyaya 2)</ref></blockquote>Brahmanda Purana says that Puranas are so called because they existed in olden times<blockquote>यस्मात्पुरा ह्यभूच्चैतत्पुराणं तेन तत्स्मृतम् । yasmātpurā hyabhūccaitatpurāṇaṁ tena tatsmr̥tam । (Brah. Pura. 1.1.173)<ref name=":3">Brahmanda Purana (Purvabhaga Adhyaya 1)</ref></blockquote>It therefore appears that originally the term Purana signified an ancient event recounted as a tale or narrative in subsequent generations. Matsya Purana (53.63)<ref name=":1">Matsya Purana ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A3%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D/%E0%A4%85%E0%A4%A7%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%83_%E0%A5%AB%E0%A5%A9 Adhyaya 53])</ref> even records that Puranas have been recounted from across the various Kalpas. This is correlated by many puranic statements that they have been first recollected by Brahma (Kalpa is the time period of one day for Brahma)
 
Vayu Purana says that it is called Purana because it talks about the past or that which existed in olden times.<blockquote>यस्मात्पुरा ह्यनन्तीदं पुराणं तेन चोच्यते। yasmātpurā hyanantīdaṁ purāṇaṁ tena cocyate। (Vayu. Pura. 41.55)<ref name=":0">Vayu Purana (Uttaratha [https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/वायुपुराणम्/उत्तरार्धम्/अध्यायः_४१ Adhyaya 41])</ref></blockquote>Padma Purana specifically mentions that Puranas speak about the past traditions.<blockquote>पुरा परंपरां वक्ति पुराणं तेन वै स्मृतम् ...५४ purā paraṁparāṁ vakti purāṇaṁ tena vai smr̥tam ...54 (Padm. Pura. 1.2.54)<ref name=":2">Padma Purana (Srshti Khanda 1, Adhyaya 2)</ref></blockquote>Brahmanda Purana says that Puranas are so called because they existed in olden times<blockquote>यस्मात्पुरा ह्यभूच्चैतत्पुराणं तेन तत्स्मृतम् । yasmātpurā hyabhūccaitatpurāṇaṁ tena tatsmr̥tam । (Brah. Pura. 1.1.173)<ref name=":3">Brahmanda Purana (Purvabhaga Adhyaya 1)</ref></blockquote>It therefore appears that originally the term Purana signified an ancient event recounted as a tale or narrative in subsequent generations. Matsya Purana (53.63)<ref name=":1">Matsya Purana ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A3%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D/%E0%A4%85%E0%A4%A7%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%83_%E0%A5%AB%E0%A5%A9 Adhyaya 53])</ref> even records that Puranas have been recounted from across the various Kalpas. This is correlated by many puranic statements that they have been first recollected by Brahma (Kalpa is the time period of one day for Brahma)
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One certainly would be awed at the collection of such great texts containing over thousands of slokas, (transmitted over generations) all of which have a few unique (common across Puranas) special characteristics in their content. Several puranas have mentioned पञ्चलक्षणम् ॥ five characteristics of puranas
 
One certainly would be awed at the collection of such great texts containing over thousands of slokas, (transmitted over generations) all of which have a few unique (common across Puranas) special characteristics in their content. Several puranas have mentioned पञ्चलक्षणम् ॥ five characteristics of puranas
 
#Agni Purana (1.14)
 
#Agni Purana (1.14)
#Bhavishya Purana (1.2.4 and 5<ref name=":0" />)
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#Bhavishya Purana (1.2.4 and 5<ref>Bhavishya Purana ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%AD%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%B7%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A3%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D_/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B5_%E0%A5%A7_(%E0%A4%AC%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%8D%E0 Parva 1 (Brahma Parva) Adhyaya 2])</ref>)
#Garuda Purana (1.2.28-29)<ref name=":2" />
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#Garuda Purana (1.223.24)<ref>Garuda Purana ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%97%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%A1%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A3%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D/%E0%A4%86%E0%A4%9A%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A3%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A1%E0%A4%83/%E0%A4%85%E0%A4%A7%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%83_%E0%A5%A8%E0%A5%A8%E0%A5%A9 Khanda 1 (Acharakhanda) Adhyaya 223])</ref>
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#Matsya Purana (53.65)<ref name=":1" />
 
#Vishnu Purana(3.6.25)<ref>Vishnu Purana (Amsha 3 Adhyaya 6)</ref>
 
#Vishnu Purana(3.6.25)<ref>Vishnu Purana (Amsha 3 Adhyaya 6)</ref>
 
#Kurma Purana (1.12)<ref>Kurma Purana (Purvabhaga Adhyaya 1)</ref>
 
#Kurma Purana (1.12)<ref>Kurma Purana (Purvabhaga Adhyaya 1)</ref>
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#Shiva Purana (Vayuviya samhita 1.41)
 
#Shiva Purana (Vayuviya samhita 1.41)
 
#Brahmanda Purana (1.1.37-38)<ref name=":3" />
 
#Brahmanda Purana (1.1.37-38)<ref name=":3" />
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#Brahmavaivarta Purana (
 
Vishnu Purana largely conforms to having all the five lakshanas whereas few other Puranas barely touch upon them. Apart from these topics Puranas predominantly describe about Danas (gifts), Vratas (religious observances), Tirtha (sacred places), and Shraddha (observances for forefathers). The slokas pertaining to the Panchalakshanas are very similar across the puranas with minor variations. Given below is the sloka and explanation for the Panchalakshanas from Matsya Purana.<blockquote>सर्गश्च प्रतिसर्गश्च वंशो मन्वन्तराणि च । वंश्यानुचरितं चैव पुराणं पञ्चलक्षणम् ६५ (Mats. Pura. 53.65)<ref name=":1" /></blockquote><blockquote>sargaśca pratisargaśca vaṁśo manvantarāṇi ca । vaṁśyānucaritaṁ caiva purāṇaṁ pañcalakṣaṇam 65</blockquote>
 
Vishnu Purana largely conforms to having all the five lakshanas whereas few other Puranas barely touch upon them. Apart from these topics Puranas predominantly describe about Danas (gifts), Vratas (religious observances), Tirtha (sacred places), and Shraddha (observances for forefathers). The slokas pertaining to the Panchalakshanas are very similar across the puranas with minor variations. Given below is the sloka and explanation for the Panchalakshanas from Matsya Purana.<blockquote>सर्गश्च प्रतिसर्गश्च वंशो मन्वन्तराणि च । वंश्यानुचरितं चैव पुराणं पञ्चलक्षणम् ६५ (Mats. Pura. 53.65)<ref name=":1" /></blockquote><blockquote>sargaśca pratisargaśca vaṁśo manvantarāṇi ca । vaṁśyānucaritaṁ caiva purāṇaṁ pañcalakṣaṇam 65</blockquote>
 
*सर्गः ॥ Sarga : srsti siddhantas (theories of creation) starting from Brahma (primary creation)
 
*सर्गः ॥ Sarga : srsti siddhantas (theories of creation) starting from Brahma (primary creation)
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*मन्वन्तराणि ॥ Manvantaras: Cosmic cycles of time, origin and lineages of people, creatures in the world during the time of one Manu
 
*मन्वन्तराणि ॥ Manvantaras: Cosmic cycles of time, origin and lineages of people, creatures in the world during the time of one Manu
 
*वंशानुचरितम् ॥ Vamsanucharitam: Legends and anecdotes of various rajas, maharajas and chakravartis.
 
*वंशानुचरितम् ॥ Vamsanucharitam: Legends and anecdotes of various rajas, maharajas and chakravartis.
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=== उपपुराणानां लक्षणं ॥ Upapuranas Lakshana ===
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Brahmavaivarta purana, however, describes the panchalakshanas as the characteristics of the Upapuranas and further describes more than ten lakshanas of mahapuranas. <blockquote>सर्गश्च प्रतिसर्गश्च वंशो मन्वन्तराणि च । वंशानुचरितं विप्र पुराणं पञ्चलक्षणम् ।। ६ ।। एतदुपपुराणानां लक्षणं च विदुर्बुधाः । (Brah. Vaiv. Pura. 4.133.6-7)<ref name=":4">Brahma-Vaivarta Purana ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/ब्रह्मवैवर्तपुराणम्/खण्डः_४_(श्रीकृष्णजन्मखण्डः)/अध्यायः_१३३ Khanda 4 (Shrikrishna Janma Khanda) Adhyaya 133])</ref></blockquote>
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==दशलक्षणानि ॥ Ten Lakshanas of Mahapuranas==
 
==दशलक्षणानि ॥ Ten Lakshanas of Mahapuranas==
Shabdakalpadruma further describes Dashalakshana or ten characteristics of a Mahapurana as follows<blockquote>महापुराणस्य दश लक्षणानि । यथा, सर्गः १ विसर्गः २ वृत्तिः ३ रक्षा ४ अन्तरम् ५ वंशः ६ वंश्यानुचरितम् ७ संस्था ८ हेतुः ९ अपाश्रयः १० ॥</blockquote><blockquote>mahāpurāṇasya daśa lakṣaṇāni । yathā, sargaḥ 1 visargaḥ 2 vr̥ttiḥ 3 rakṣā 4 antaram 5 vaṁśaḥ 6 vaṁśyānucaritam 7 saṁsthā 8 hetuḥ 9 apāśrayaḥ 10 ॥</blockquote><p>The same list as evidenced in Bhagavata Purana, is translated below</p><blockquote>पुराणलक्षणं ब्रह्मन् ब्रह्मर्षिभिः निरूपितम् ।  श्रृणुष्व बुद्धिमाश्रित्य वेदशास्त्रानुसारतः ॥ ८ ॥</blockquote><blockquote>purāṇalakṣaṇaṁ brahman brahmarṣibhiḥ nirūpitam । śrr̥ṇuṣva buddhimāśritya vedaśāstrānusārataḥ ॥ 8 ॥</blockquote><blockquote>सर्गोऽस्याथ विसर्गश्च वृत्तिरक्षान्तराणि च ।  वंशो वंशानुचरितं संस्था हेतुरपाश्रयः ॥ ९ ॥</blockquote><blockquote>sargo'syātha visargaśca vr̥ttirakṣāntarāṇi ca । vaṁśo vaṁśānucaritaṁ saṁsthā heturapāśrayaḥ ॥ 9 ॥</blockquote><blockquote>दशभिः लक्षणैर्युक्तं पुराणं तद्विदो विदुः । daśabhiḥ lakṣaṇairyuktaṁ purāṇaṁ tadvido viduḥ । (Bhag. Pura. 12.7.8-9)<ref>Bhagavata Purana ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AD%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%97%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A3%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D/%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%A8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4% Skanda 12 Adhyaya 7])</ref></blockquote>Summary : Listen (O Saunaka!) with complete attention the characteristics of Puranas as described by the Brahmarshis in conformity to Vedas and Shastras. Those who are experts in puranic lore declare that Purana has the following ten lakshanas
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According to Brahmavaivarta purana, mahapuranas have the lakshanas <blockquote>महतां च पुराणानां लक्षणं कथयामि ते ।। ७ ।। </blockquote><blockquote>सृष्टिश्चापि विसृष्टिश्च स्थितिस्तेषां च पालनम् । कर्मणां वासना वार्तामनूनां चाक्रमेण च ।। ८ ।। </blockquote><blockquote>वर्णनं प्रलयानां च मौक्षस्य च निरूपणम् । उत्कीर्तनं हरेरेव वेदानां च पृथक्पृथक् ।। ९ ।। </blockquote><blockquote>दशाधिकं लक्षणं च महतां परिकीर्तितम् । (Brah. Vaiv. Pura. 4.133.7-10)<ref name=":4" /></blockquote>Srshti, Visrshti, Sthiti, Palana
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Shabdakalpadruma also mentions Dashalakshana or ten characteristics of a Mahapurana as follows<blockquote>महापुराणस्य दश लक्षणानि । यथा, सर्गः १ विसर्गः २ वृत्तिः ३ रक्षा ४ अन्तरम् ५ वंशः ६ वंश्यानुचरितम् ७ संस्था ८ हेतुः ९ अपाश्रयः १० ॥</blockquote><blockquote>mahāpurāṇasya daśa lakṣaṇāni । yathā, sargaḥ 1 visargaḥ 2 vr̥ttiḥ 3 rakṣā 4 antaram 5 vaṁśaḥ 6 vaṁśyānucaritam 7 saṁsthā 8 hetuḥ 9 apāśrayaḥ 10 ॥</blockquote><p>The same list as evidenced in Bhagavata Purana, is translated below</p><blockquote>पुराणलक्षणं ब्रह्मन् ब्रह्मर्षिभिः निरूपितम् ।  श्रृणुष्व बुद्धिमाश्रित्य वेदशास्त्रानुसारतः ॥ ८ ॥</blockquote><blockquote>purāṇalakṣaṇaṁ brahman brahmarṣibhiḥ nirūpitam । śrr̥ṇuṣva buddhimāśritya vedaśāstrānusārataḥ ॥ 8 ॥</blockquote><blockquote>सर्गोऽस्याथ विसर्गश्च वृत्तिरक्षान्तराणि च ।  वंशो वंशानुचरितं संस्था हेतुरपाश्रयः ॥ ९ ॥</blockquote><blockquote>sargo'syātha visargaśca vr̥ttirakṣāntarāṇi ca । vaṁśo vaṁśānucaritaṁ saṁsthā heturapāśrayaḥ ॥ 9 ॥</blockquote><blockquote>दशभिः लक्षणैर्युक्तं पुराणं तद्विदो विदुः । daśabhiḥ lakṣaṇairyuktaṁ purāṇaṁ tadvido viduḥ । (Bhag. Pura. 12.7.8-9)<ref>Bhagavata Purana ([https://sa.wikisource.org/wiki/%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AD%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%97%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A3%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%8D/%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%A8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4% Skanda 12 Adhyaya 7])</ref></blockquote>Summary : Listen (O Saunaka!) with complete attention the characteristics of Puranas as described by the Brahmarshis in conformity to Vedas and Shastras. Those who are experts in puranic lore declare that Purana has the following ten lakshanas
 
#सर्गः ॥ Sarga - the elemental primary creation (subtle)
 
#सर्गः ॥ Sarga - the elemental primary creation (subtle)
 
#विसर्गः ॥ Visarga - the secondary creation (gross)
 
#विसर्गः ॥ Visarga - the secondary creation (gross)
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== References ==
 
== References ==
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<references />
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[[Category:Puranas]]
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