Brahmanda Purana Pt. 4 (AITM Vol. 25): Ancient Indian Tradition And Mythology Sale -10%

Brahmanda Purana Pt. 4 (AITM Vol. 25): Ancient Indian Tradition And Mythology

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Brahmanda Purana Pt. 4 (AITM Vol. 25): 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 (Ch. 1) opens with the description of the Cosmic deluge (Upasamhara) which starts after the completion of a Kalpa, lasts as long as the night of Brahmà, and dissolves whatever had evolved during the day of Brahmã. Here, as usual, Suta is the chief speaker who on inquiry from the sages describes in detail the process of Abhuta-Samplava—the annihilation of the universe.

As in the other Puranas, here too, the process of evolution as well as of involution is treated in the way of Sankhya the evolution starts with the disequilibrium of Gutas Sattva, rajas, and tamas, whereas the involution I brought about by their equilibrium. The opening chapter explains the three types of dissolution viz Kaimittika (Occasional, pertaining to Brahma), Praktika (pertaining to Prakrti), and Atyantika (the Ultimate, due to the dawning of perfect knowledge). Ch. 2 describes Bhuvanakoa or the different regions of the universe and the abodes of their residents during the period of annihilation. in total annihilation, only the residents of Siva-Loka escape, for they enter into lord Siva himself who being the subtlest Ann is indestructible. The Purãna declares that the dissolution is wrought by the supreme being through the medium of Prakrti. Ch. 3 describes the process of involution of Tattvas at the expiry of a Kalpa. Ch. 4 explains the process of Re-creation of the Universe after the period of dissolution. It describes how the world evolves through the disequilibrium of Gunas and how it is destroyed when the Gunas attain equanimity.

The Upasamhara concludes the Brahmanda Purana. The concluding verses of Upasamhara are compared in the form of epilogues of the other Puranas—a fact that proves conclusively that the Brahmãnija ended with the end of Upasamhara. Moreover, the four Padas—Prakriya, Anuañga, Upodghata, and Upasamhara—cover the five main topics of a Purana, viz. Sarga, Pratisarga, Vathga, Manvantara, and Varhãnucarita, and there is no scope for addition, but, as it stands, the Upasamhara is followed by the episode of Lalitã (Lalitopakhyana) which proves intrinsically that the episode was appended to the Purana by the devotees of Sakti to give it the Sakta coloring. That the Lalita story begins with a fresh benediction (mangaldcara) and that it starts with a different set of interlocutors—sage Agastya and Hayagriva—shows that it was quite an independent work that was added to the Brahmada text. It may also be noted that the Lalità episode ends abruptly, without the characteristic mark of an epilogue.

The Episode is a comprehensive treatise. It consists of 40 chapters, of which thirty are included in the present volume. The remaining ten are included in volume 26 which is the next.

The Episode is put in the Uttarabhaga together with Upasamhära. It is strange that the episode takes the serial number of chapters from Upasamhãra. The Upasamhara consists of four chapters, the episode which follows starts with ch. 5, that is, in continuation of the ch. number of the Upasamhara, evidently to show that it was a part of Brahmanda Purana. Moreover, the arranger of the Purana had to observe the part-wise uniformity in the serial order of chapter numbers. To illustrate, Part I (Plirvabhaea) consists 0” of chapters 1 to 38. Part II (Madhyabhaga) chapters 1 to 74, and part III (Uttarabhaga) chapters 1 to 44. Thus in regard to the numbering of chapters, the Purana maintains a part-wise consistency throughout.

The scene of the episode is laid in Kañci (mod. Kanjeevaram, SW. of Madras), the abode of Siva and Visnu. The town is divided into two parts the Eastern and the Western, called the Visnu-Kanci and the Siva-Kanci. The presiding deity of Siva Kanci is lord Siva Known as Ekamranatha. His consort is Kamaksi. The episode seems to have a Dravidian background as Kanci is mentioned several times.

Lalita is the Sakti of Lord Siva represented by the Symbol. Without her Siva is Sava. The episode opens with the worship of Sakti and the eulogy of her glory (ch.5) Ch.6 narrates the episode of Indra and Durvasas how to surpass cursed Indra for his arrogance when the latter dishonored the garland of flowers which the goddess had offered to Narada and which Narada passed on the Indra as a mark of endearment. Ch. 7 relates to sins accruing from theft and drinking which illustrates how the merit of good action from the theft of property is distributed among the parties concerned. It also records different types of sins current in ancient India permission to non Brahmins both men and women to drink but prohibition to Brahmanas even for worshipping mothers Ch. 8 relates to agamyagamana and cites the esoteric fifteen-lettered mantra of Para Sakti for releasing sinners from all sorts of sins both major and minor. Ch.0 narrates how Indra killed his preceptor. Trisiras or Visvajit on the suspicion of his complicity with Daityas. Mention is also made of the joint venture of Suras and asuras for churning the milky ocean. Ch. 10 gives the list of jewels that were churned out of it. Lord Visnu is said to have assumed the form of Mohini while Siva impassioned by her charm dropped semen giving birth to mahasasta. The chapter introduces the supreme goddess Lalita traces her origin and mentions the purpose of her birth Viz. the killing of Asura Bhanda Chs. 11-12 recount the birth of Bhanda and the building of Sonitapura for his residence. On the instructions of Narada Indra Propitiates Para Sakti while on the advice of Sukra bhanda creates disturbances in Indra’s penance stationed on the chariot Kiricakra record the boasting of Bhanda slaughter of Durmada Kuranda and other asura generals. Chs. 25-28 record how Nitya Saktis repulsed the surprise attack of asuras on the rear. It recounts the slaying of Bhandasura’s sons the exploits of Gananatha the son of the Goddess the slaying of Bhanda’s brothers visukra and Visanga the effects of missiles used by the asuras and those of the counter missiles used by Saktis. It mentions saktis drinking wine and it's after-effects. Ch. 29 describes the discharge of various missiles and their wonderful result in the slaughter of Bhanda the burning of Sunyaka and the total annihilation of the asura army. Ch. 30 deals with the resurrection of the cupid his subjugation of Siva Siva’s marriage with Parvati the birth of Mahasena Karttikeya who later on became the general of the army of Devas and killed the mighty asura, Taraka. The chapter ends with the return of Mahasena Karttikeya to Sripura to serve the Lalita goddess.

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