Brahmanda Purana Pt. 3 (AITM Vol. 24): Ancient Indian Tradition And Mythology Sale -10%

Brahmanda Purana Pt. 3 (AITM Vol. 24): Ancient Indian Tradition And Mythology

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Brahmanda Purana Pt. 3 (AITM Vol. 24): Ancient Indian Tradition And Mythology
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The present volume contains the Brahmanda Purana, Part II (Chapters 1-43) of the third section, Upodghatapada, of the text in English Translation. This is the Twenty-third volume in the Series which we have planned on Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology.

The project of the Series was envisaged and financed in 1970 by Lala Sundar Lal Jain of Messrs Motilal Banarsidass. Hitherto twenty-two volumes of the Series (comprising English translations of Siva, Linga, Bhagavata Garuda, Narada, Kurma, and Brahmanda Puranas) have been published and released for sale.

The present Volume continues the story of Parasuráma from the previous volume. It records the visit of Parasurama to the hermitage of his father Jamadagni and his review of the battle with king Kirttavirya ending in the latter’s death, his visit to lord Brahmã who advised him to see lord Siva who gave him the protective mantra Trailokya-Vijaya which he repeated for practice at the holy place named Puskara.

On the next visit to lord, Siva Parasurama meets stiff resistance from Vinayaka, son of lord Siva. Vinayaka as a guard is posted at the gate. He would not allow Paraurama to enter the palace at that unusual hour. But in the excess of devotion for the lord, Paraurama can no longer wait and a furious combat ensues between Vinayaka and Parasurãma wherein the former loses his tusk.

Pãrvati is extremely rage. She threatens to desert Siva if the insult is not avenged. All entreaties are of no avail till Rãdhã and Krsna arrive to intervene. Rãdha succeeds in appeasing Parvati. Thus, an unpleasant situation created by an ugly incident is changed for the better. Such incidents are the main parts of the story. They appear to have been inserted later on for establishing harmony among the mutually opposing religious sects. The emergence of Radha as a powerful celebrity who could pacify Pãrvati when others had failed is, in fact, the most significant factor that has been introduced for accomplishing the religious integration of different sects.

As a part of the main story, the Jamadagni episode presents persons of different characters, Jamadagni, by nature, is a peace-loving sage. He is not happy at the cruel slaughter of innocent Ksatriyas. He advises Parasurama to perform penance for twelve years. Parasurama agrees to the proposa1 and starts penance at mount Mahendra. Meanwhile, Sütra, son of Kãrttavirya, goes to the forest on a hunting expedition. He enters the hermitage of Jamadagni and kills the sage. Resuka wife of Jamadagni immolates herself on the pyre.

After completing his course of penance, Parasurama returns to the hermitage of his father. On knowing about the tragic death of his parents he is extremely pained. He goes to Mãhismati and kills Süra. Thereafter, he goes to mount Mahendra and performs penance. Taking advantage of his absence, the Haihayas gather forces and devastate Bhärgavas and their allies. When Paraurama returns, he is informed of their activities. He repeats his expeditions twenty-one times and slaughters Katriyas. He catches hold of twelve thousand katriya kings, kills them at Kurusketra, fills up five tanks with their blood, and offers libations thereof to his deceased forefathers who, however, advise him to desist from violence. Parasurãma performs a horse sacrifice and donates all conquered land as a gift to his preceptor Kayapa.

The rise of the power of Haihayas known as Talajanghas shows that the effect of Rãma’s conquests was temporary. Tãlajañghas recovered their kingdom and drove out the ruler of Ayodhyã who due to blood relation with Jamadagni was an ally of Paraurama.

Furthermore, the account shows that the sages were equipped with knowledge of military science. For instance, king Sagara of Ayodhyã had received his military training under Aurva and attained proficiency in the fire missiles. As a result of this, he extended his dominion as far as Afghanistan. This volume contains the story of Sagara in detail, referring to his horse sacrifice wherein his progeny was destroyed by the fire of sage Kapila’s anger. There are references to Bhagiratha who had brought Ganga from the Himalayas to the northern plains of the country and sanctified the ashes of his ancestors with her holy waters.

The character of Paraurama is portrayed as militant, remorseless, aggressive revengeful and violent. His expeditions against the Haihayas, his conquests of the Earth repeated twenty-one times, and his filling up five tanks a Kurusketra with the blood of Katriya rulers show how far his fury had reached to avenge the death of his father. As for further accounts of his exploits, mention may be made of how he had recovered the submerged land from the sea.

Furthermore, the Section presents the account of some prominent royal dynasties front the birth of Vaivasvata Manu to the Future Savarna Manu. These accounts are common in all Purãnas and they seem to be part of Ur. Purâna.

Chapters 61, and 62 relate to the science of Music. Here the text is full of corrupt readings and obscurities. The corresponding text in the Vayu Purãna is comparatively better and we have accepted readings from the Väyu Purai3a. This has facilitated the work of translation. Still, a lot of confusion will persist till the original text is restored which at present is not possible for want of manuscripts. Besides, the Volume deals with the history of kings of the Ikväku dynasty, marks the extent of their dominions, mentions how an important member of their dynasty attained Brahman hood, states the names of katriyas who attained the status of sages by means of penance (See p. 850), records some interesting legends such as the legend of famous physician king Dhanvantari, the founder of Ayurveda (Indian Medical Science), the episode of the city of Varanasi, how it was colonized by the Rãksasa Ksemaka, how it prospered by the blissful patronage of Nikurnbha—a prominent member’ among the attendants of Lord Mahãdeva and further how it became desolate by the curse of that very goblin, and still further, how lord Mahadeva took up his abode in the city and restored its pristine glory.

The section contains the story of king Yayati, requesting his sons to exchange their youth for a period of 1000 years for his old age. This episode of mythological character is the greatest contribution to the history of the pre-Vedic period. The five sons of Yayati—Yadu, Turvasu, Druhyu, Mu, and Püru are historical personages well known to the Rgveda. The Puranic records maintain the oldest tradition of this dynasty. Ch. 69 of this section recounts the line of Yadu, the eldest son of Yayati—the line which was sanctified by its association with lord Krsna son of Vasudeva, and the foster child of Nanda.

The concluding chapters include the history of some royal dynasties and high personages such as Barhadrathas Pradyotas Sisunagas, Nandas, Mauryas, and Kanvas. For a detailed description of these dynasties, the reader is referred to the introduction to Vol. xxii part I of this Purana.

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