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VoL XXIV, No. 1 ] 


(Half-yearly Bulletin of the Parana-Department) 

With the financial Assistance from the Ministry of Education, 

Government of India 




Annual Subs. Inland Rs. 50/- 

Foreign 5 


Dr. R. K. Sharrna 

Deputy Educational Advisor (Skt.) Govt. of India and Director^ 
Kendriya Sanskrit Sansthana, New Delhi. 

Dr. R. N. Dandfekar 

Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pane- 

Dr. R. C. Haara 


Ram Slmnkar Bhattacharya 

M.A., Ph.D., Vyakaranacharya 

Ganga Sagar Rai, M. A., Ph. D. 
Giorgio Bonazzoli, M. A. (Milan), M, Th. (Rome) 
Shrish Chandra Datta, M. A., Dip. Ed. (Edin.). 

*i*-Hi<w>ir|; ^ 

Autlwrs are- responsible for their views, which do ' 
hind the Editors and the Trust. 

Authors are requested to use standard system of transliteration 
and phonetic spellings when writing Sanskrit words in Roman letters. 
They are also- requested! to use- DevanSga-rl letters for Sanskrit 
Slokas and prose passages, 


Vol. XXIV., No. 1] *frePTOPZI^j: [January 30, 1982 

i Contents 


[Eulogy of Savitrl by Visnu] 1-6 

With Notes by R. S. Bhattacharya; 

2. The DevI-Mahatmya in Greek : D. Galanos' 


ratarencTTOi ^JTT^TcTETiT; sVo WnTR^^SFTT^^K:] 7-40 

By Dr. Siegfried A. Schulz\ 

Deptt. of Modern Languages and Literature, 

The Catholic University of America, 

Washington D. C. 20064 U.S.A. 

3. The Words sEfi^fl and srfr^zflT Their 
Derivation and Interpretation 

[5iTF5r^Tf^^TSG^ gzftfM^ azTT^^TT ^] 4 1 -G 2 

By Dr. R. C. PlaZra', 

P 555/B Panditiya Road Ext., Calcutta 700029 

4. Visnudharmottara Purana on Aristas 

f fercor^^fki^Fir srfVOTt 1%^^] 63-78 

By Dr. Lallanji Gopal\ 

Professor of Ancient Indian History, 

Culture and Archaeology, 

Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005 

5. Krsjia a^ a Portion of the Supreme^ 

[q^Rr^?zit5T^Rr: f^ir:] 79-90 

By Dr. Noel Sketh: 
Inst. of Philosophy and Religion, 
Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune 41 1014 

Vedic-Puranic Vinculum [%?1^TI^: 3q\s\^ g^nr] 91-100 
By Dr.S. K. Lai; 
Centre of Advanced Study in Sanskrit; 
University of Poona, Ganeshkhind Pune 411007 
7. The Universality and Supremacy of 

Bhakti-Yoga, [vrfTfizft^^T ?rawtt^^ ^^f%5rrFiI^ ^] 101-127 
By Dr. Sitbliash Anand\ Papal Seminary, Poona 411014 

8. The Sahyadri-khanda : Style and Context 
as Indices of Authorship in the 


By Dr. Stephen Plyllyer Levitt; 

150-04: 77th Road 

Flushing, New York 11367 U.S.A. 

9. Schemes in the Pjirana&jFCTsrFypfgT* SR^q?IT l T f l ? P l TT'.]l46-l 89 
By Dr. Giorgio BonaZZ&li; 
All India Kashiraj Trust 

30. Is Kapila, the Founder of the Samkhya-system, 
Identical with the Destroyer of the Sons of the 
King Sagar a ? 

By Dr. R> S. Bfiattacharya, 

D. 38[8 Houz Katora, Varanasi 

Notes and Comments 

1 1 . Location of the Naimisa forest pPwiTiiRirf^f^rf^:] 208-217 
By O. P. Bharadwaja\ Chandigarh 

Obituary [sTTsnT^T^f] 

12. Shri Anand Swarup Gupta 218-225 
By Dr. Gangti Sagar Rai 

13. Activities of the All India Kashiraj Trust 

t^^ i ^^Er-^rrfsrcnrMTTfl^sr ^ii^T^^K^^] 226245 


[Welcome address by H. H. Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti 
Narain Singh s Chairman, Reception Committee to 
the Vth World Sanskrit Conference] 246-247 

15. Book-Review 

Samba-Parana (Hindi Translation) 248 

Reviewed by Dr. Ganga Sagar Rai 


nfiwr fl 


: srcwi 


. wnwn IVOMV-W; 

113. ) I 




Once Brahma began to perform a sacrifice. As Savitri, his 
wife, was busy with her household duties, she delayed in coming 
to the sacrificial ground. Consequently Brahma asked Indra to find 
a girl whom he could marry in order to perform the sacrifice 
Accordingly Indra brought Gayatrl, a cowherd girl (gopatakatiyti) 
and Brahma married her. 

Having come to know about the second marriage of her hus- 
band 9 Savitri became highly enraged and cursed the gods, namely 
Indra, Rudra, Agni and others. Visnu tried to propitiate Savitri by 
uttering the aforesaid eulogy. She, being pleased, bestowed on 
Visnu the boon that he would be unconquerable and also dear to 
his parents in all his incarnations 3^ TO ^fl fmTOR*:, 120), 

It is wellknown that Savitri and Gayatrl have been variously 
depicted in the Puranas and allied literature, They are regarded 
not only as identical but also as friends. In some places they are 
mentioned as the wives of Brahma and in a few places as his daugh- 
ters. A somewhat similar relation of Savitri to Sarasvatl is also 
found in the Puranas. 1 We refrain here from disclosing the esoteric 
meanings of these Puranic statements. 

Brief explanations of the important expressions in this stotra 
are given below. (As the sentences are easily understandable full 
translations of the verses a.e not given here). 

(vocative case) It may be explained in tw 
ways : (1) Savitri is identical with the group (of three) consisting of 
W, *pq an <* &\ J and -2) Savitri is identical with yr, ^, ^ 
as well as with spft. The first interpretation has its" basis in such 
Vedic statements as nj^ftfa m *ft fan ( Jai, Up. Br. 2, 9, 7) 
and iptfftT (i. e. 35^: ) angWR[ *ri fan* tfftflror: (Kau, 
Br. 6. 12). There are a number of interpretations of these three 
expressions (called uyahrtis). They are usually taken as representing 

1. Vide the paper 'Conception of Sarasvatl in the 

by Shn Ananda Swarup Gupta (Purana IV. I) for various 
conceptions of Savitri, Gayatri and Sarasvatl 

JAN. -1982] 

the three regions, namely the earth ( <|ffcr^V ), atmosphere 

and heaven ( feO ; cp. q5rr ( i. e. ^J^T^:) szTT^^R 1 ^ sfrpr: (Tai. 
Br. 2.24.3). 

In the second interpretation trayt (a group having three 
parts) stands for trayi vidya i. e. the lore concerning the three kinds 
of mantras* namely re, yajus and saman. Usually trayt refers 
to that part of the Veda which deals with the sacrificial acts 
(karmakanda) as distinct from the Upani?adic part which deals 
with jnanakanda; vide iSrldhara's comment on Bhagavata 10.8.45 
) which clearly points out the distinction 

between the contents of the trayt and of the Upanisads. Trayt is also 
used in the sense of the four Vedas in authoritative works. 

f*T5rftFT (vocative case) Both tarip* and tarayf mean a raft 
or a boat. 'You are like the boat to cross difficulties or calamities 
(i, e. the sorrowful world)'. Durga has been taken here as a noun; 
it may be taken as an adjective also (the noun samsara being under- 
stood). Expressions having a similar sense 2 are often found to have 
been used in connection with deities and spiritual teachers. 

y-lHtlf ^r<ift The sevenfold division of speech seems to be an 
established idea of ancient sages as it is found in the Asyavamlya 
hymn of the &g-Veda TR^iT srffcf*nft^ 3p""3rer^JT foT^ *TH ^Fft: 
(1.164.24). According to Sayana they are the seven metres. 8 One 
may take the seven svaras (namely fa^ja, etc.) as the seven forms of 

r Savitri is said to be identical with all stutifastras- 

Since there is no Sastra (treatise) dealing with eulogies, the word 
seems to be a corrupt form of the original reading. We are 
inclined to read the word as 5gfa*ltflllftT a reading which is in 
conformity with the context. Stutis (i. e, stotras) and iastras are 
wellknown in the field of Vedic sacrificial acts. A iastra is defined as 
; ( a laud that is sung to a melody) and a stotra as 
a laud that is only recited);vide Purvamlmamsa 

2. Gp. ^^TTT^fV^r, OTTofagrfT, ?T<iifcritd, etc - 

3. Gp- 3^: ^rr at *re ^TT arfrr ^ ^^ (RV. 10.71. 

3) *They brought speech (vac), dealt her forth in many 
places; seven singers make her tone resound in contrast,' 

xxlv -> NO- \ 

autras 2.1 13, 10.4.49, 7.2,17 with commentaries). 4 Since 
belongs to a stotra and always follows a stotra, the word iastra 
seems to have been used after the word sluti (i. c. stotra). It is 
quite likely that ignorant scribes changed the word f astro, to the 
wellknown word fiastra 5 

r the word 5WEf^T in its usual senses of characteristic, 
sign, defining attribute, etc. does not yield a good sense. On 
account of its placing with words expressive of Vedic matter, it is 
justified to take this word as referring to the teAyfl/;a-works (i. e. 
works bearing the word lakfaija in their names) dealing \vith Vedic 
subjects. A list of such works are found in the Atharvaparisista, 
Besides these we have independent works of a similar nature, such 
as Matralaksana etc. Savitri is identified here with the laksana 
works i. e. with the subjects dealt with in these works. 

& TOTTCTOt *TfTOT The word ^^ (ending in ar) is found 
in Puranic literature in the place of the strictly grammatical form 
*Tfa*^- As ^rfarcr^ literally means 'to be about to become or come 
to pass', we may take it here in the sense of 'the goal to be acquired 1 
(with the help of the fmras) or 'the thing to be proved, established 
or expounded 5 (by thetestras). Most probably the reading is corrupt 
and we may correct it to mwnfrr S^TOTOT^, 'you are the scholia of 

ince Savitrt is identical with Sarasvati, 
she is considered as having white complexion, 

T The expression SJTHTT (a compound word) 
in connection with SRTT^ ia grammatically indefensible, though 
such compounds are often met with in the Puranas and the poetical 
works. One would prefer to read TOI^VflipntRT (one whose face 
resembles the moon). 


q^mT^ : QTOqRT *$*:. Sastras are recited by the 
hotr priest and his assistants. The re used in a fiastra is 
called tesya (Sankara's bhasya on Br. Up. 3.1.7). 
5. Bhagavata-p. 3.12.37 (second half), evidently reads 
though we find ?FT^ in a few editions of this Purana. 

JAN. 1982] 

^T5I% *You shine on the breast of the 
dear with the help of the light of the moon'. The significance of 
this sentence is not quite clear. *[f^rfr*r may be the same as *pHW-^P 9 
the moon. To mention Savitri's existence on the moon does not 
serve any purpose. Moreover, there is no reason for stating 5TRift*T- 
ST^FTO as a means for Savitri's shining (^T5T%) on the moon. Even if 
we take ^fr y fUftf in the sense of 'on the mark of the deer as found 
in the moon*, yet no better sense is expressed. A conjecture may 
be hazarded that since the mfganka (deer mark) is believed to be 
the shadow of the earth, 6 it must have been supposed as devoid of 
light and as such it was necessary to mention ^rf^rK^Tsr^rTCT in order 
to make the act of shining (?T^r) possible. 

Most probably ^fcufKRi' *s a corrupt reading. May we correct 
it to f[TT*ifr;ffl ? In this reading no difficulty arises. A necklace 
(hara) may aptly be described as wftRfofRspTCl (one which shines like 
the rays of the moon). 

s;a57 -An ear-ring (^^5^f spi^K^ ^3^, oantanavl on 
SaptaSatI 2.24). 

Savitri is said to be identical with siddhi, fddhi> etc. It is a 
figurative statement. In fact, she (i. e. her grace) is the means of 
acquiring siddhi etc. Such figurative statements are always found 
in eulogies. 

f%fe, perfection; sgfe, increase, abundance or wealth; mki, 
renown or precisely renown on account of righteousness; sometimes 
klrti is said to be that renown which i3 unknown to oneself 
(sTTcflTCteT f^ fryKf eptfa:, Sankara on Chan. Up. 3.13.4). 

sfr, prosperity, fortune, majesty; ^fa, offspring, race, 
lineage; it also means 'continuous flow', i. e. the unendmgflowjrf 
the mundane existence; *I% reflection, ratiocination : 
srrer: (Sankara on Chan. Up. 7.18.1). 

[^-Usually the juncture of the three divisions of the day 

(i. e. morning, noon and evening) is called sandhya. Savitri is figu- 
ratively identified with these periods. The religious act performed 
~- 6 . Tr^PRT ^SOTT W&S& (The comm. Trikandacintamani on 

^^ ' 

the word *TFi Amarakofia 1.3.14). 

[VOL. xfciv., NO. i 

at the aforesaid three divisions is also called sandhyZ, and Savitrl 
may be considered as identical with this act. The word may be 
directly applied to Savitri if it is derived as fl^V ^TRT (to be 
worshipped in sandhyd}. 

A dark night. Usually it is taken in the sense of 'the 
night of destruction at the end of the world'; vide the commentaries 
on Saptatetl 1.59. 7 It also means *the fourteenth day of the dark 
half of Karttika associated with the fifteenth day of a lunar month' 

Star ^TRt S'Tfaft' gTT 'As a sxta is ihe dhZrini of 
the karsukas so you are the dharim of the bhdtas*. Karsuka must be 
derived from karsu with the suffix. ka (ssnfasfl fl). The long if in 
karfS is shortened by %SOT: (Pa. 7.4.13). The only meaning of /carfff 
that may be conceived here is varta, which must be taken in the 
restricted sense of kffi only and not in the senses of the tending or 
or rearing of cattle (pafupaland) and trade (vanijya) as has been 
stated by the comm. Trikandacintamani on Amara 3.3.222. Stta is 
the track or line of a ploughshare, or a ploughed land; it also means 
the forepart of a plough ({[OTf), Dharim one that sustains, pre- 
serves or supports, ijgrs are either the living beings or the five 
elements. Thus the significance of the simile becomes clear. Most 
probably ^* is a scribal error for ^'PP, ploughman, cultivator. 

Ram Shankar Bhattacharya 







i I 

* We apologize for not reproducing diacritical marks in the 
transliteration of Greek words [Ed,] 

8 ^KIT^ PURSfclA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 1 

A native of Athens (Greece) and resident of VaranasI from 

about 1793 until his death in 1833, Demetrios Galanos (b. 1760) 1 

was closely linked to the Banaras Raj through his friendship with 

Munshi Sital Singh 2 who may have inspired him to translate some 

of the important Sanskrit works. In Galanos* "Last Will and Testa- 

ment" a passage reads, "I also will and desire that out of the eight 

hundred Rupees now in the hands of Moonshey Seetul Singh, four 

hundred be paid to any person or persons duly Authorized to receive 

the same for a piece of ground in the Church yard for my burial...." 

and the Indikon Metaphraston Prodromes D. Galanou (i. e. "Forerunner 

ofD. Galanos' Indian Translation"), Athens, 1845 contains an 

epitaph allegedly composed in Hindustani by Munshi Sital Singh, 

"a wise Brahmin (!), friend and teacher" which reads in translation 

(from Greek) : "Woe, a hundred times ! Demetrios Galanos has 

gone away from this world to the eternal monads. Woe me ! weeping 

and wailing have I said it. I am out of myself. Ah, he has gone 

away, the Plato of this century I" (p. XXX) 

While we do not, at present, know much about Galanos* life- 

1. For more details see : S. A. Schulz, "A Greek in India: 

Galanos" Bharati (B. H. U., College of Indology) 9, II 
(1965/66) 8 '-102; id.: 'Demetrios Galanos (1760-1833): 
A Greek Indologist" Journal of the Am. Oriental Soc. 89.2 
(1969) 339-356; id. : "Demetrios Galanos, a Greek Scho- 
lar in India" German Scholars on India, vol. II (New Delhi 
1976) 251-263. 

2. Comparatively little is known about Munshi Sital Singh. 

Sketchy details regarding Sital Singh appear in the 
History of Benares Raj (in Persian) on pp, 342 and 543 
(Lucknow, no date). Born in 1776 (?) he entered the 
services of Raja Udit Narain Singh as a "musaheb" about 
1816, was an accomplished linguist, administrator, a 
master in the knowledge of "Hikmat" and a great poet 
who wrote under the name "Bekhud". H. H. Wilson in 
teuguHu Sects of the Hindus (published posthumously in 
1861) reprint ed. E. R. Rose (Calc. 1952) p. 4, says, . . 
I have derived from the groundwork of the whole account 

L 1 ' 6 ' ^ e L k o etch of the RdW Sec*-" in Asiatic 
^searches 1828 and 1832] from two works (in Persian) 
one by Mathura Nath, a librarian of the Hindu College 
I Varanasi] and the other .... was compiled by Sital Singh 
MunshMo the Raja of Banaras", He died on December 


style and the circle of friends whom he frequented, 8 he cannot be 
called a philosopher in the sense of Plato when we judge Galanos 
according to the writings which were bequeathed to and are kept at 
the National Library of Greece at Athens.* There he appears as an 
extraordinarily well-educated man who was not only familiar with 
the writings pertaining to the Greek- Orthodox faith and the Chris- 
tian Church, 5 but also with the ancient classical world, as well as 
with a number of foreign languages. 

Unfortunately, there are very few original Sanskrit texts in the 
Galanos collection of manuscripts, the bulk of which consists of 
Greek translations of a variety of Sanskrit works, and of materials 

3. According to Bishop Heber (Narrative of a Journey Through 
the Upper Provinces, 3 vols. (London, 1828) Galanos "was 
a partner in a Greek house in Calcutta, but is now [i.e. 
1824] said to have retired from business .... [He] is a well- 
informed and well-mannered man .... living on his means, 
whatever they are, and professing to study Sanskrit .... 
[I] was much struck by the singularity and mystery of 
his character and situation. He is a very good scholar in 
the ancient language of his country, and speaks good 
English, French, and Italian. His manners are those of 
a gentleman, and he lives like a person at his ease. He 
has little intercourse with the English, but is on very 
friendly terms with the principal Hindoo families .... So 
few Europeans, however, who can help it, reside in India, 
that it seems strange that any man should prefer it as a 
residence, without some stronger motive than a fondness 
for Sanscrit literature, more particularly since he does 
not appear to meditate any work on the subject". 
(I, 436). 

4. In Galanos* last will all his "Sanskrit Books, Writings, 

translations and Meninski's Dictionary in three volumes* 
were given and bequeathed "to the principal Academy 
at Athens". Gennadios in a 43-page reprint of the Greek 
periodical Hellenismos, Feb. April 1930, maintains that 
the Galanos materials went first to London and reached 
Greece only in 1837, four years after G.'s death. The 
manuscripts were assigned the official numbers 1836-55. 
Doyrga is the third part of Ms. No. 1842. Cf. JAOS, 89.2 
(1969) 339-347 for detailed description. A very cursory 
description appeared in Giornale delta Societa Asiatic* 
Italiana XXVI (1912), 179-81 by P. E. Pavolini. 

5. Galanos' training was that of a future priest of the Greek- 
Orthodox faith. He attended the Seminary attached to 
the monastery of St. John Theologos on the island of 
Pattnos. For more details see ibid. pp. 348 ff. 

10 **W puRStfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. l 

for Sanskrit-Greek dictionaries. When evaluating D. Galanos* 
Devimakatmya translation, this writer had to rely on the Sanskrit 
texts provided by two modern Indian scholars of great repute. 6 

The Greek title of our book is (in transliteration) : Doyrga 
Metaphrastheisa ek toy Brachmanikoy para Demeirioy Galanoy, Athenaioy 
(L e. : Durga, transl. from the Brahmanic language by Demetrios 
Galanos, an Athenian) now published for the first time in Greek 
and enriched by introductory remarks and observations, at the 
expense and under the care of George K. Typaldos, Inspector of the 
Public and University Library; Athens, 1853. The publisher dedica- 
ted this seventh (and last) volume of Galanos translations to His 
Majesty. Otto I, King of Greece. 

1. Typaldos' observations and notes (pp. 5 39) 

At the very outset of his notes, Typaldos announces that, in 
spite of his earlier promise (in vol. VI, p. 4 : Hitopadefa t 1851) he 
would not be able to publish the Bhagavata purana translation by 
Galanos, since many chapters had either not been translated or were 
lost in transit, and since the cost of publishing this book estimated 
at 5,000 drachmas "would tax me beyond my means." 7 

Typaldos mentions several times the short description and 
survey given by Eugene Burnouf in Journal Asiatique IV (1824), 24; 
51 : "Analyse et extrait du Devi Mahatmyam, fragment du 
Marcandeya Purana," and Ludwig Poley's Lathi translation of the 

a) V. S. Agrawala, Nfat^R'Kn! The Glorification of the 
Great Goddess, All-India K&shiraj Trust, Ramnagar 
(Varanasi) 1963. 

b) Svami Jagadlgvarananda, The DevtmSkatmyam or 

Ditrga-SaptatatI, Sri Ramakrishna Math (Madras, 
1955). In both versions, Sanskrit texts and En g Us la 
translations vary remarkably little except that the 
SJ. edition stretches the counting of dlokas to 70O, 
while Ag.'s edition shows 577 (Gal. has 578 Greek 

Xoni 111 ' 5 ( hencefortn abbreviated as Gal}. E. Burnouf 
(1801-52) published only parts Mil of the Bh. -P. ou histo- 
mpoetiqae de Krickna (Paris 1840-47); M. Hauvette- 
Besnaultand P. Roussel completed the French translation 
much later (Paris, 1884 and 1898). 


same which appeared 1831 in 1 Berlin. 8 The Greek editor also refers 
the reader to the introductory remarks in previous Galanos books, 
which contain general information, culled from the works of 19th 
century European Indologists and "litterateurs." 9 

There are also these learned references : to Holy Scripture; 
to the early Christian writers and Fathers of the Church, (Eusebius, 

8. The note in Ag.'s "Preface" (p. I) is misleading. L. Poley; 
although it matters little, was a German scholar whom 
Bopp, in a letter written on MarchSl, 1832 to Burnouf's 
father, recommended as "un ancien eleve" Of. E. Windisch, 
Geschichte der Sanskrit-Philogie und Indischen Altertumskunde 
I (Strassburg, 1917) 94 f. Poley 5 s book was published in 
Berlin. The Roman numbers should read MDCCGXXXI 
(i. e. 1831). 

9. JE. g. a) Friedrich Adelung*s Bibliotheca Sanscrita, Literature 
der Sanskritsprache (St. Petersburg, 2/1837). Adelung*- 
book he cheerfully admitted that he did not know Sanse 
krit abounds with egregious mistakes, but contains somt 
useful information, culled from the works of the grea- 
philogoists; b) the French Mythologie des Indous" arrang- 
ed by the canoness Lady de Polier from authentic manu' 
scripts brought from India by the late Colonel de Polier' 
(a native of Lausanne, Switzerland, who was for years in 
the services of the East India Company), Paris, 1809; 
c) Catalogue des manuscrits sanscrits de la bibliotheque imperi- 
ale "With notes on the content of most of the works, etc." 
(Paris 18O7) by A. Hamilton and L. Langles (pp. 54 61 
about the Markandeya Purana d.)- Strangely enough, also 
Louis-Mathieu Langles (1763-1824) had, apart from 
Persian, no deeper knowledge of Oriental languages 
(Windisch., op cit. p. 205); d) Christian Lassen (1800 
1876) who encouraged Typaldos to publish Galanos' 
works and whose extraordinary Indische Alterthumskunde 4 
vols. (1847 62) took into account and digested all the 
important writings on Indological subjects; e) the Rev. 
Gaspare Gorresio (1808 91), a student of Burnout s and 
renowned for his Ramayana edition and Italian translation, 
based on a Bengali recension : Ramayana Poema Indiana 
di Valmici* Testo Sanscrito secondo i Codici Manoscritti della 
Scuola Gaudana, 12 vols. ^Paris, 18431970). Cf. Windi- 
sch 3 op* cit. pp. 145 Mso Angelo de Gubernatis (1840 
19l3)Afeteriaux pour servir a I 'Histroire des Etudes Orientales 
en Ttaliff (Turin, 1876). De Gubernati's Piccolo Enciclopedia 
Indiana (Turin, 1967) is dedicated C 'A Gaspare G. a primo 
editore, primo traduttore in Europa del poema il Rama- 
yana". On p. 19 of Gub. *s Cenni sopra alcuni Indtanisti 
vivsnti CFlorence, 1872) Galanos and the notorious Gap- 
tain Kaiphala (cp. 7^0589, 2 [1969] pp. 340, 350 ff.) 
are mentioned. 

12 TOTO pui?Xi>iA [VOL. xxrv., no. 1 

St. Augustine, John Chrysostomus, John of Damascus, Basil, At- 
hanasius, Theodoretos, Origin, Clement of Alexandria); to the 
"founder" of Neo-Platonism, Plotinus (205270 A. D.); to the 
Apolhdori Bibliotkeca, the great storehouse of mythological material, 
theogonies, and Greek chronicles (a book wrongly attributed to 
Apollodoris of Athens, 2nd cent. B. G.); to Philostratos, the Greek 
Sophist from the island of Lemnos who allegedly wrote the romantic 
life story of Apollonius of Tyana, an ascetic and miracle worker of 
the 1st cent. A. D.; to Hesiod's Theogony which is an account of the 
origin of the (Greek) world and the hirth of the gods; to the Greek 
historian Herodotus* to Plutarch (horn around 50 A. D.), the fa- 
mous story-teller and sketcher of characters; to the mythical Or- 
pheus (who supposedly lived before Homer) and "his" Argonautica, 
an epic poem dealing with the expedition of the Argonauts; to the 
Historical Library (40 volumes) by Diodorus Siculus, a Sicilian histo- 
rian, contemporary of Julius Caesar, and widely- travelled in Asia, 
Africa and Europe; to Lucianus, a Greek satirist born in Syria (2nd 
cent. A,D.), known for his merciless exposure of human foibles, and 
most certainly not a favorite of the earlier Christians whose saints 
and traditions he mocked. 10 Typaldos also refers to Homer (Od. II, 
545; IL XIX, 8794) and to Plato's dialogues, "Timaeus" (on the 
mythical island of Atlantis) and "Phaedrus", Socrates' devoted 
pupil. There is also mentioned a verse from Euripides' drama 
Melannipe T. does not say whether from Mel. Captive or MeL 
Sapiens "Just as heaven and earth were one form, before they were 
ripped asunder. They built everything and sent forth to the light : 
trees, winged creatures, wild animals which the brine nourishes, 
and the race of the mortals." Frequently, T. also refers to the cos* 
mogony of the ancient Persians as described in the Zend-Avesta, the 
study of which had been initiated at his time in Western Europe. 
(He quotes from a book by Roun-Dehesh (p. 19), to which this 

10, Typaldos cites Lucian's treatise "On the Syrian Goddess" 
where the peculiar cult of pillar climbing is described. 
1 hat cult "may have influenced the holy Syrian stylite 
monks, who lived for years on lofty pillars". Gf. H. A. 
Musurillo, The Fathers of the Primitive Church (New York 
1966;p, 108. 


writer has no access. 11 ) Twice he quotes from Dupuis* Religion 
Universelle 13 ; the half title of its German translation (Stuttgart, 1839) 
describes the work as presenting "the historical development of 
superstition and the control exercised by priests in all nations at all 
times", while an English translation (New York, 1849) characterizes 
Dupuis 9 book as an "explanation of an apocalyptical work of the 
initiated in the mysteries of the light, or sun, adored under the 
symbol of the lamb of spring, or the celestial ram...." 

There is also a somewhat cryptic note (p. 13, repeated p. 14) 
on "Stephanos ho Gobaros" with reference to Photius' Bibliotheke 
(Codex 232, p. 289; Berlin edition.) 18 

11. The book is not mentioned in J. Darmesteter's very thoro- 
ugh "Introduction" of The Zend-Avesta (Oxford, 1895 : 
Sacred Books of the East) Critical bibliography pp. XIII 

12. Charles Francois Dupuis (17421809); the full title of the 
seven volumes + atlas is Origins de tous les cultes, ott t Religion 
universelle Paris, 1 795, with many later editions. La Biog- 
aphie Universelle ou Diet ionnaire Historique (Paris. 1834) vol. 
IV, 455 condemns that work (in transl. : ) "as being one 
of the most impious productions in recent times, worthy 
of being relegated to oblivion, because of its indigestible 
erudition which reigns there, and because of the vague 
incoherence, the arbitrariness and absurdity of its system". 
Volumes HI, IV and V deal with Sun worship, Religious 
Mysteries, and Mythology. However, Typaldos quotes 
from vol. I (on "Religions"), II ("Early Astronomy") and 
III ("Sun Worship"). 

13. Photius (about 820 891 A. D.), twice Patriarch of Cons- 
tantinople) then relegated to a monastery, is the author 
of the Bibliotheke, also known as "Myriobiblon". i. e. 
"thousands of books" in which he gives excerpts and 
contents of and critical comments on books of his era; 
some of these books are not preserved and known only 
through Photius" encyclopedic work. Also Stephanus 
Gobarus* rather obscure book is described there. Photius 
calls it insignificant and put together only to impress the 
reader : in regard to Galanos 1 translation Typaldos' ref- 
erence to St. G. is irrelevant. He was a Monophysite 
monk (about 550 A. D.) who like Cyril of Alexandria, the 
founder of this schismatic and heretical movement within 
the Eastern Orthodox Church, held that because of the 
preponderance of the divine nature over the human in 
Jesus Christ, the latter possessed only one(mone}i.e. divine 
nature (physis). Cf. : A. von Harnack, "The *sic et non* 
of St, G". Harvard Theological Review 16, (1923), 205-234; 
(with compl. translation). 

14 StT"iiT PURXtfA [VOL. x*iv., NO. I 

2. Galanos 9 Greek Translation : "Doyrga" 

As mentioned previously, the Galanos manuscripts kept at 
Atheng Library do not contain the Sanskrit text from which Galanos 
translated into Greek. Any inferences as to the text he used can be 
made only from the wording in the Greek translation. For the pur- 
poses of this study, the Greek version has been compared with V. S. 
Agrawala's ^ m ^^ "The Glorification of the Great Goddess 
(Ramnagar VaranasJ, 1963) and Svaml JagadL&varananda's Th* 
DwT.MahStmyam or frt Durga-faptatat* (MyUpore-Madras, 195DJ, 
Sanskrit texts and English translations 14 

Chapter I. Galanos' Greek version omits the customary 
greetings to Gaiidika and does not mention the circumstances in 
which Markandeya addresses his disciple, or explain the names of 
persons and of the various family lineages (transliteration of 
Sn^rfaT., ^T:, SW, EpteTfa^fafT: : Soarokissas, Saitra, Soyratas, 

The King Suratha, now deprived of his reahn, sees the hermi- 
tage of the Saint VaSistha (not of the twice-born Medhas) who from 
now on is referred to only as "the Saint" (ho hosios), even though 
the Sanskrit text calls him at times $fa. The brave chief-elephant's 
name ffSTO is omitted, and the merchant who appears on the scene 
is simply called (in transliteration") : Vaisseas after he has introduced 
himself as (trsl. : ) Sammades, also Samaddes, In verse 37 (Ag. I, 36; 
SJ. I. *19) Galanos translates T^jqftsnj'n^T: as s four-legged animals, 
reptiles and fowl'* and leaves out the honorific term *'O Tiger 
among men*' in the following verse. Instead of "Knower of 
Brahman** (Ag. I. 46; SJ. I. 62) Galanos translates **O foremost 
among recognisers of God/' "Prajapati Brahma" is translated as 
dtmiwrgos (Creator, Progenitor), and "JanSrdana" simply as 
Vinu. Brahma's song of praise (Gal. 1. 54-68; Ag. 54-67; SJ. 73- 
87) starts out as "I praise you, divine Nidra" which is explained izx 
a note : "Yoganidra is called the sweet and deep sleep and tfcie 
Goddess as the Guardian of sleep 1 ' and a subsequent note adds, 
<f and she is thus also understood to be Matter (Hyle) itself." The 
names STfT and STO appear in Greek transliteration, but 

14. Henceforth abbr. as (Ag,+ verse), (SJ.), (Gal.). 


as "sacrifice", <W ufcT^FT as "every one of the vowel elements", 

as * "ambrosia", and "you are the eternal syllable OM and the three- 

fold verse meler" (Gal. 55). "You are every one of the consonant 

elements > which cannot be pronouced without the vowels. You are 

Savitri herself, you the great Goddess and Mother." (Gal. 56) 

This verse was apparently greatly simplified and has become much 

more lucid than SJ.'s version I. 74 : "You are half a matra, 

though eternal. You are verily that which cannot be uttered speci- 

fically" or Ag. I. 55 : "The eternal half-matra is also thyself, 

which being of universal connotation is difficult to be expressed 

through utterance." Agrawala ignores the mention of Savitri and 

the supreme 5p=r?ft in his Sanskrit text, Gal. 58 has for *f[|f^H?<Tl*?T 

("the totality of the world form is thyself" Ag. 57) simply o panto- 

morphe, "O you one of all forms." While Gal. 59 (Ag. 58, SJ. 77) 

translates all appellatives into Greek (great Wisdom, Matter, Intel- 

lect, Remembrance, Madness (i. e. paranoia}, Great Goddess and 

"great strength of the gods" (instead of "asuri"), the following ve- 

rse, after the mention of "the Power behind Everthing," the Power 

bringing together the three qualities on which Galanos (or the 

editor) does not elaborate the Greek author mentions Devi's other 

appellatives in their Sanskrit forms : the terrible Kalatre (obvious 

misprint for Kalaratri), Mah3r3tre and Mohar3tre (Gal. 60). Also 

without any explanation, there is in Gal. 61 : "You are Sre (!rl), 

you are the ruler (kyria for w 0") ** followed by Greek descriptions : 

"You are modesty, you are the intellectual and perceptive power, 

you are diffidence, encouragement ( rhosis ), joy, pleasure, and for- 

bearance." Verse 63 of the Galanos translation is again greatly 

simplified : "You are the most beautiful of all; you are better 

than everything perceptible and intelligent; you are the great 

Kyria." Also verse 66 (Ag. 65; SJ. 84) varies from the two English 

versions : "Who would be able, O Goddess, to praise you, the very 

same matter from which we have our body; myself, Vinu and 

Siva." The two asuras (Maddou and Kaitabba) are called "giants" 
(Gal. 67, 68). 

In Gal. 69 ( Ag. 68; SJ. 89 ) the translation for ^aft ?rnr*ft 
Ag. calls her the Goddess Tamasi (Darkness) is "Goddess of 
Sleep"; for t^ "creator" Galanos uses Brahma. In the follow- 
ing verses <5RT?r is pantokrator 1 * i. e. ("omnipotent") Visnu and 

15. This is a non-classical word, denoting exclusively (the 
Christian) God Almighty. 

16 "J^PJfJ PURXJfcIA [VOL, XXIV., NO. 1 

^ft is "God Visnu" who, in Galanos* words "boxed and 
wrestled" (I. 73) with the "giants." Instead of the epithet %5RT 
Galanos uses Visnu again. Both Ag. I. 76a sfftft ?^ 9^ *J3T ^WT^IOT- 
*c*J^T^ft: and Gal. I, 77 translate this verse approximately the same: 
* c We are pleased with the battle you have given us, and death 
from you is praiseworthy to us," while SJ. omits it completely. 

Chapter II. Like the modern translators, Galanos uses Indra's 
name instead of "Destroyer of castles" (^"<r^{:) and calls the Asuras 
"anti-divine giants." In the Galanos description of Mahisa's new 
authority usurped from the Gods, there is a mixture of Greek my- 
thological names (Helios = Surya, Pyr Agni, Aer = Vayu, Selene = 
Candra) and Sanskrit names like Indra and Varuna. (Gal. II. 5; 
Ag. II. 5; SJ. II. 6^. When the gods become angry a great fire issues 
forth from their mouths (Gal. II. 9-17) while in Ag.'s translation 
it is ''fierce heat" and in SJ.'s version (II, 9-19) "a great light." In 
the course of enumeration of body parts produced by the light or 
fire, Galanos apparently has overlooked that Devi's fingers stem 
from the light of the Vasus; (Gal. II. 15). MMIM^Pf ^5RTT is trans- 
lated "Out of the fire of the Brahmin creators and patriachs," while 
TTsnff denotes Agni here (II. 16). In the following verse, fOTT is 
the Goddess (Thea). Agrawala's explanatory and transitional sen- 
tence (II. 19a) : flat ^TT *%&&* e^rrfa ?qT?qT^TfH *r "Then the gods 
gave her each his own weapon" is omitted by Gal. (and also in SJ.'s 
version). Instead of using the appellatives fiRTP^*, ="Pinakawi- 
elder" (Ag. 19) Galanos simply calh the god "Siva" and instead 
of Krsna uses Visnu (Gal. II. 19). Indra, first called "lord of the 
devas" and then S^TTST "the one with a thousand eyes," is simply 
mentioned by his main name (Gal. II. 21); (also SJ. II. 22 ignores 
the second epithet). Yama's "dead dealing rod" spT?55^ is simply 
called "Kala's rod" without any further explanation, as are 
Brahma's gifts "Aksamala" and "Kamandalu," the strirg of beads 
and the water-rot, objects with rather ominous connotations. (Gal. 
II. 22). In II, 24 Galanos has the milky ocean, the galaxy give 
the Goddess only a string of pearls and two non-aging and non- 
decaying garments; he does not mention : a divine crest-jewel, a 
pair of ear-rings, bracelets, a brilliant half-moon ornament, armlets 
for all arms, a pair of shining anklets, a matchless necklace 


and excellent rings for all fingers. (Ag. II. 24-26; SJ. II. 25-29) 
Galanos leaves that to Vifivakarman (II, 25-6) who in the subsequ- 
ent verse furnishes her with the shining axe and other weapons. 
The mountain f^T^T^ is called "Himaos" (II. 29) and ipnfrq "the 
Lord of Wealth" simply Kubera. 

The boisterous laugh of the Goddess is translated by the 
onomatopoeic word kagchasma, "loud, derisive laughter" (II. 31). 
gsTO*. the sages, or Rsis, are called "Saintly Brahmins" (II. 34). 
Instead of ''three worlds" for ^sfcpT Gal. (II, 35) uses Pan 
(= "Universe"), but two verses below (II. 37) he uses (for frfo^) 
"the threefold Cosmos," which is filled with her spendour; although 
the text describes how the Goddess accomplishes it (by scraping the 
sky with her pointed diadem, by bending the earth with her foot- 
step and by shaking the netherworld with the twang of her 
bowstring Galanos 1 order is different) the Greek text is not very 
clear on this. II. 40 mentions the fourfold army commanded by 
"Samaras" ( = Camara), but does not explain that '"four-fold" 
means comprised of cavalry, charioteers, elephant-soldiers and 
foot-soldiers, a fact which would have been of some interest to 
Galanos* European contemporaries. The weapons Galanos mentions 
are mostly of Homeric vintage; only one (II. 47: rhomphaia a 
scimitar used by the Turks and Arabs) is a foreign (Thracian ?) 
word, introduced by Plutarch and then designating Goliath's sword 
in Biblical Greek. In II, 58 the trident (triaind) usually associated 
with Neptune is mentioned. 

A major divergence from SJ.'s Sanskrit-English versions 
(II. 60) and from Ag.'s English translation (II. 59) is found in 
Galanos' verse II. 59; while the latter translates : " Other giants, 
enemies of the gods, when rushing toward the Goddess like falcons 
toward the bird (in translit. Greek : "Kbs hierakes ep* ornin-") gave 
up their ghosts on the field of battle, their entire bodies riddled 
with many arrows." SJ.'s translation of ^ingiprf^ir: "resembling 
porcupines" appears correct, but Ag. J s Sanskrit version has f^frr- 
^sprftT. resembling falcons" which is obviously an error, since he 
translates the word as "resembling porcupines". 

Chapter III. At the beginning of the third chapter, there is one 
of the rare notes Galanos provided. III. 2 reads s' '[The great Titan] 


rained showers of arrows on the Goddess, just as the cloud showers 
rain on Meru" which is explained : "Golden is Mount Meru (spelled 
'Meroe'), golden also the Goddess; the cloud is black, and black 
also the Titan." 

The Goddess* awe-inspiring roar pR (Gal., Ag. III. 11) is in 
Galanos' translation a rather disappointing 'M", ie yet it breaks 
the spear hurled at her. Two verses later, the lion is depicted as 
"boxing and wrestling on the elephant's midhead.'* As in 10 
(Ag. III. 10; SJ. III. 11) where Camara's epithet facRTR^ "tor- 
menterofthe thirty-three (gods)" is omitted, Galanos also leaves 
out the proper name Parame^varl (III. 18, Ag. ibid.\ SJ. III. 19) 
and calls her "that three-eyed great lady," using the trident, 

Chapter IV. In chapter IV. 3 Galanos adds to the names of 
gods mentioned in Ag. IV. 3 and SJ. IV. 4 (Bhagavan Visnu, 
Brahma and Kara) fesa the serpent king who is also referred to as 
"ananta"-; instead of Kara, Galanos uses the more familiar form Siva, 
and he has the goddess asked to concentrate her mind on "the salva- 
tion (soteria} of this cosmos," a rather Christian concept which finds 
an echo in Galanos' translation of *jfo,d as "reason for Immor- 
tality" (aiiia...,tes athanasias) and "those in quest of immortality" 
in IV. 8 (A*. IV. 8; SJ. IV. 9). The sixth verse was greatly 
simplified by Galanos : *'You are the beginning, and the boundless 
and unalterable matter. Even though you have three qualities, 
you are nevertheless without quality and without passion; and you 
are incomprehensible even to Visnu and Siva, You are the sup- 
port of all, and the practical and material cause of all beings." 
When compared with the original Sanskrit text and the somewhat 
confusing Ag. (IV. 6) and SJ. (VI. 7) renditions, the Galanos 
version is almost a Western interpretation. 

In addition to what was said above in regard to "salvation" 
and "immortality [of the soul]" there are, in Gal. IV. 8-9 (same 
in Ag.; SJ. 9-10) two more Judaeo-Christian concepts which, it 
would seem, appear by design: "Sophia" forfsRTT and "logos" for STScf. 
Both terms could have been expressed in many other ways (0. . 
vidyZ=*toeidenai t episteme, gnosis phronesis, sophrosyne ; Sabda = lexis, 

16. An exclamation expressing pity, envy, contempt.,. also in 
Zttfem I !? warnin e s (Liddle & Scott, Greek-English 


rhema, mytkos). Sophia, first recognized as an attribute of God, was 
later identified with the Spirit of God. 17 As to logos, we need 
mention only the opening verse of the gospel according to St. John: 
"In the beginning was the Word (logos); and the Word was with 
God, and the Word was God." 

To give an example of Galanos* Greek rendition a few verses 
of chapter IV are translated here almost verbatim : 

8. You, O Goddess, are that divine and supreme Wisdom 

(Sophia} which is the cause of immortality and so hard to 
attain. You become accessible to those holy Brahmins 
desirous of immortality, through hardy (Spartan-like) 
training and asceticism, to those who mortify their 
senses and concentrate their minds on things divine and 
live their lives without passions. 

9. You are the Word (Logos) itself, you are the source of the 
pure J&g-and Yajurvedas and of the Samaveda which is 
praised as being melodious and clear-toned (ligyros}. You 
are the ineffable (thespesia) Triad of the Vedas. You are 
the entire organization and guidance in the conflict and 
life of the Cosmos. You are the deliverer from the 
terrors of the Cosmos. 

10. You, O Goddess, are Sarasvatl herself, (omitted here : 
"by whom the essence of all scriptures is com pre- 

17. It would be tempting to suggest that G. might reflect here 
on Philo's (of Alexandria, a Jewish Hellenist 25 B. C. 
40 A. D.) writings in whose allegorical commentary on 
the Old Testamental Genesis, biblical figures become 
virtues personified (in the sense of the "prakrtis"). Logos 
the nature of which is Sophia, very much in concert with 
the concept of the Stoics, becomes the saviour and guides 
those who engage in Spartan-like training (Gal. : sklera- 
gogia), asceticism like the munis or G. *s "holy Brah- 
mins" and in ecstasy, to God. See : Paulys Realencyclo- 
padie der class. Altertttmswissenschaft XX, 1 (1941), 1 50. 
Unfortunately Philo's works are not listed in I. Sakkelio- 
nos s The Patmian Library (Athens, 1890; also Charles 
Diehl "Le tresor et la bibliotheque de Patmos au comme- 
ncement du 13e siecle", Byzant. Zeitschrift I (1892), 488 
525 does not mention Philo. (The if land of Patmos where 
G. had his ecclesiastic training would have been the most 
likely place for him to learn about Philo who never was a 
favorite of Christian theologians.) 

[VOL* xxw., 

hended"). You are the only boat across the endk 
ocean of this Cosmos. You are Sri who lives in ibt* 
heart of Vismi (instead of : "Kaitabha's foe"), You 
are Gaurl who is half of Diva's (instead of "moon-cres- 
ted") body. 

11. It was so strange that, although the Titan linsteadof: 
Asura Mahia) saw your face which was cheerful awl 
resplendent and beaming like the translucent moon, liU'- 
pure gold, that, nevertheless, the Titan swayed by ang^r 
would have wanted to strike it. 

12. But it was even stranger that the Titan did not tak* 
flight immediately when he saw your face then, full fti 
wrath, with lowered eyebrows, and red like the just nov, 1 
rising moon. For, who is able to breathe life when he has 
seen the enraged god of death ? 

13. May you be gracious, O Goddess : for when you 
cheerful, you create life at once. But when angry, 
destroy whole nations and tribes. This has become 
already from the fact that the immense army ol the giant 
Mahisa perished. 

Galanos' translation of IV. 19 is different from Ag. *s, ani 
agrees with SJ. *s (IV. 20) : "The eyes of the Titans were not 
blinded by the sparkling lustre" of the various weapons borne hy 
Durga~"since they also beheld your immortal face on the forehead 
of which there lies also the immortal half-moon*' (giving out c&nl 
rays). In IV. 20 Agrawala leaves about half of the Sanskrit text un- 
translated; SJ.'s full version (IV. 21) is also translated by Galano* : 
("For it is your intention, O Goddess, to make the works of the evil- 
doers undone). Your beautiful form is inconceivable (akatanaefaf$ 
and incomparable (asygkritos). Your power is the destruction **f 
the Titans. But you also show pity towards enemies." 

"Nandana's grove" (Ag. IV. 27; SJ. 29) is simply translated at 
"the paradise oflndra" (Gal IV, 27), and also the various nam*** 
of the Goddess are again simplified : (31) Mahefivari is expressed .~i 
"Great Ruler" (nugale Dtspoina), (32) Ambika who is called "the 
one with a resplendent face" (o agl<tt>prosope) is omitted. (33) 
Bhadrakall is "the beautiful Goddess" (fcife thta). There is a slight 


divergence in the last two Galanos verses of chapter IV, when 
compared with Ag.'s and SJ. *s versions. "Now, listen, how again 
in the body of GaurT she became the benefactress of the gods by the 
deaths of Surnbha and Niumbha, the chiefs of the evil Titans, and 
through the salvation of the human race and of the gods. For I will 
tell you everything how this came about." 

Chapter V. In chapter V, there is a slight difference in the 
distribution of verses and Galanos 1 count does not coincide with that 
of Agra wa la's edition. The last verse (Gal. 5; Ag. 6; SJ. 7) contains 
an interesting translation of Vinumaya= "the material and creati- 
ve power of Visnu" (ten hyliken kai poietiken dynamin toy Visnoy) which 
they praised, (Ag. translates <*[: as the goods "stood before her 1") 
In the following verse "Reverence to the great and good Goddess ! 
Reverence forever to the brilliant matter (tei aglaai Hylei)*" the 
latter expression is Galanos* translation of yygfl TfTffTZT, what SJ. V. 
9 calls, "the primordial cause and sustaining power'*. Dhatrl, in the 
following verse, is ingeniously translated by Galanos as Tithene 
("nurse" in Homer's Iliad 6, 389; rarely "mother") which is formed 
from the same Indo-European root* dhe. The Greek version of Ag. 
V, 9 and S J. 1 1 is somewhat shorter : fe We do reverence to the one 
who is welfare herself and prosperity as well as perfection of those 
who worship her, who is the force of the Titans and the good 
fortune of Kings." 18 

A note from the editor (p. 29) states that verse V. 9 ( - Ag. 10, 
SJ. 12) is missing in G.' s manuscript. This verse 19 is the fourth in 
the sequence of altogether thirty-six verses in which the gods procl- 
aim and extol the virtues and qualities, practical and spiritual, of 
the Great Goddess. In general, Galanos follows the sequence; 
except that he omits one verse (Ag. V. 27; SJ. 59-61) where it is 
said that the Goddess "abides in all beings in the form of activity 

18. Perhaps a mistake in the Greek translation, which should 
read : "to the nairrti (i. e. misfortune) and laksml" (i. e. 
good fortune) of Kings, The Greek text has an explana- 
tory note : "Sarvane is a paronym for Sarva's wife, i. e. 

19. To DurgS who guides us in difficult situations, who is the 
essence and procreator of all things, who is knowledge 
(Ag. : Fame) who is blue-black as well as smoke-like (in 
complexion . 

22 <TTO^ PURStfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. i 

* He also uses three expressions for "all beings" 20 , 
Galauos also leaves out cdrfcfl^q (Ag. V- 23; SJ. 47-49) "in the 
form of peace", but adds a new quality in V. 27 (eysplagchnia => 
goodness of heart). 

Footnotes in the following narrative of the &si (Greek: ffosios) 
explain that the gods did not know that the woman who came here* 
to bathe in the waters of the Ganges was not an ordinary woman, 
but the Goddess Parvatl hereself. Galanos also points out that the 
poet ''etymologizes** the word^Tojja, (qrfcr) meaning "thylax"** 
sheath, box, frame, from which "KauSiki" is formed. Kubera's 
treasure *fTT*r is circumscribed as "this great and inexhaustible 
treasure" (Gal. V. 48; Ag. 49; SJ. 96). Prajapati's chariot in thv 
following verse is described as having formerly belonged to the 
"progenitor and patriarch Dak$a" (who is not always identical with 
Prajapati), In V. 50 (Ag. 51; SJ. 98) Galanos names "the spearhead 
of death", i. e. Utkrantida, and adds thanatephoros "carrying death" 
and specifies ^fc^M^ aa "Hydromedontos Varouna" (of the water- 
king Varuna). In the following verse, Agni's garments are purified 
by fire, which is different from Ag. 52, where they do not catrh 
fire. Sugrlva (Gal. 53; Ag. 54; SJ. 101) is called "apostolos", although 
there are Greek words with less Christian connotations (e. g. pompos t 
metaggelos], Galanos mentions "Outsaisrava" ^Uccaifrsravas in V. 
60; Ag. 61; SJ. 110), but in the following verse only the Gandharvrm 
appear by name; the Nagas are called only "subterranean snakes/ 1 

Chapter VI. -VII. There are hardly any differences in ttu- 
translations of Chapter VI by Galanos and by Ag. and SJ., except 
for the infinitely greater empathy shown in Galanos' satirical 
portrayal of the tea sing Goddess and her reported pronounce- 
ments, starting with V. 66 (Ag, 67; SJ. 117) until UK? 
enemies "beheld her, the smiling 31 Goddess, sitting upon the 

20. Gal. V. 11 : en hapasi tois cysi; "beings", called 

("matter"). 12 20 : (ft)... hapasi tois empsychois; 

a soul" called aisthesis ("perception"). 21 31 : (en.^ 

hapasi tois anthropois; "human beings". 

21. Galanos uses rare verb forms as they appear in similar 
situations in the Iliad I, 490 (where Leto smilingly 
"meidiosan" punishes Artemis) and in Aristophanes" 
comedies. Gf. Horace's Satires I, 1, 24 : Quamquam 
ridentem dicere verum=*'To tell the truth, yet with a 
smile". Also cp, Oa\ XX, 301 about "Sardonic smile". 


Lion on the towering golden peak of the King of the Himalayan 
mountain". (Gal. VII. 2; Ag. 2; SJ, 3). When she finally becomes 
angry and takes on the form terrible to behold, which is 
called Kale, there is a note by Galanos: "Kale, i. e. Black is 
the symbol of death." Another note in VII. 17 (Ag* 17; SJ. 18) 
tells the reader that (the numerous disks disappearing in Kali's 
mouth looked like numerous solar orbs disappearing into the 
midst of a cloud) "the cloud is black; and black is also Kali's body". 
Kali, holding Ganda's head and Munda's body in her hands, goes 
to KauSikl (Gal. VII. 22), not to Candika (Ag. 22; SJ. 23); also in 
VIII. 10 (Ag. 10; SJ. 11) KauSiki appears instead of Gandika. 

Chapter VIII. When the battle begins in earnest, the so-called 
"superior devas" Brahma,, Siva, Visnu, Indra and (Ag. VIII, 12: 
Karttikeya; SJ. 13 : Guha) Skanda (Gal. 11) offer their Saktis (in 
Galanos' translation: dynamis=* strength) to the Goddess Kauiki (in 
Ag. and SJ. : Candika). "The strength of Brahma or, as it is called : 
Brahmanl, came seated on a divine chariot harnessed to swans, and 
held in her hands the Aksasutra and the Kamandalu.*' (Gal. VIII. 
14). There are notes which explain that "Aksasoutra is the name of 
string of pearls (Kombologion) and Kamandalou is the waterjar 
(prockoe); they are the characteristic signs of Brahma; his vehicle is 
the swan, his chariot yoked to swans." Also to the next verses, (Gal. 
VIII. 16-18; Ag. 15-17; SJ. 15-17) describing in detail the "dyna- 
no is" of Siva, KumSra and Visuu, notes are affixed which repeat 
the content of the self-explanatory verses : "The vehicle of Jiva is 
the bull (tayros)i the adornments on her wrists worn like bracelets, 
and on her neck like a collar are snakes, and the half- moon on her 
forehead; her weapon is the trident**. "Skanda (s) who is the God 
of war, is also called Koumara (s); his vehicle is the peacock (taos), 
his weapon is the spear." And Vaisnavl, the "dynami*" of Visnu is 
seated on the Garuda, which is explained : "Visnu's vehicle is the 
Oarouda (s)." afl errant and Hi<faj)r (VIII. 18; 19) are circumscribed 
each as "dynamis" of Vi?nu, having then assumed the incomparable 

22. It is difficult to believe that Galanos would have written 
such insignificant repetitive notes. The aksamald and kama- 
ytfatu in Gal. II. 22 (Ag., SJ. 23) were not explained. It 
is impossible at present to check the Athenian manuscript, 
but it may be safely assumed that the editor provided at 
least these particular notes. 


(aneikastorfi bodily form of a boar, and that of a lion-man, scattering 
the stars by the violent shaking of the mane. Aindri does not sit on 
the lord of elephants, hers is white or shining, and KauSikl emitted 
a bark, like (really : w/a=with) many other hyenas or jackals 
(kynolykos). Siva, whose dark-coloured matted locks are not menti- 
oned by Galanos (VIII. 23) is asked by the Goddess to go as her 
envoy (presbys] to the Asuras. Thus ^ in the case of the Asura 
Sugnva (Gal. VI. 53; Ag. 54; SJ. 102) is translated as "apostolos"** 
messenger, or in an ironic allusion to the Christian sense : "someone 
to bring the good spell", while "presbys" means 'an elder preferred 
to power and dignity." In VIII. 38-39, 44, 49 (Ag. ibid.; SJ. 39-40, 
45, 50) Galanos circumscribes the iTRpT as "army formation of the 
Goddesses" (tagmata ton Theainon] and the name of Raktablja which 
appears there, is explained in a note : "Raktabejas = blood seed; 
this i* the Way the poet gives the etymology of the word." Like 
A^rawala, Galanos abstains from ridiculing the fearridden devas 
which it would seem is clearly intended here : ........^fu^l 

(At?. 52; SJ. 53). 28 He has KauSikl, raising the din of war (pole- 

moklon&s) and seeing the despondent Gods, tell Kali to open her 

mouth wide,...(G*l. 52). The very last verse of the tenth chapter, 

where the erstwhile frightened gods now derive great pleasure from 

the fall of bloodless Raktablja, attests once more to a very disdain- 

ful portrayal of them and of their matrka* which are only their 

extensions : they dance, driven to frenzy by the blood (which by the 

way is not there, since all of it has been swallowed by GamundS). 

Galanos significantly chooses the passive perfect participle of the 

verb bakcheyo (to express i^ffl; "puffed up with pride, haughty" 24 ,) 

an allusion to the secret mysteries of Dionysos in ancient Athens, 

known in Rome as Bacchanalia. Although these rites have much in 

common with Tantric practices, Galano's choice of "bebakcheymenos 

toi haimati 9 * (like Bacchus driven to frenzy by blood) is certainly 

23. Ag. VIII. 52 : "Seeing the gods dejected, Candika excl- 
aimed impetuously and spoke to KalI.... M But she actually 
laughed at them. It would seem that 

is also a rather contemptuous and disdainful expression. 

24. G. Cappeller, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary (Strassbur e> 
1891) p. 392. * 


not complimentary, but attests to his insight into shared mytho- 
logical relationship i. 25 

GBapter IX. The "okta selenos aspis toy Soymbba" (not of 
NiSumbha as in Ag. 10; SJ. 12) is described in a note as "moonfaced 
ornaments made of bronze or gold, fixed on the shield." But two 
verses later (IX. 12) Galanos has NiSumbha (not identified as 
Danava) attack the Goddess again who crushes his dart with the 
blow of her fist (pegmes)**. Galanos indicates that NiSumbha falls 
because he has become unconscious (ek leipothymias} in IX. 15 
[where the Sanskrit text and the English translation just say that 
"he fell to ground." (Ag. 15; SJ. 17) Here only in verse 27 (SJ. 29) 
does the reader realize that, when NiSumbha regains consciousness]. 
The Goddess' clanging of the bell ' 'destroys the braveness and pride 
of the entire army of the Titans", (Gal. 18), and in the following 
verse " the lion emitted a roar louder than that of a rutting (or 
maddened) elephant j and this sound filled heaven and earth and all 
(instead of < e ten") directions* 9 . Ag. *s and SJ".s English renditions 
(IX. 19 , 21 resp.) are more precise, at least according to their 
Sanskrit texts: "there the lion's roar made the elephants give up their 
violent rut". When Kali strikes the earth with both her hands, the 
noise she makes drowns out all the "previous sounds" which are 
specified in a note : "that made by the conch, by the sounds of the 
bow string, of the bell, and those made by the lion's roaring.*' (Gal. 
20) This note seems somewhat superfluous, particularly when the 
term Sivaduti (IX. 21; Ag. ibid.; SJ. 23) is not explained. We reme- 
mber that the Goddess sent Siva as her data to the Asuras (VIII. 
23; S J. 24) whence her name which is first used in VIII. 37; SJ. 38. 
(She laughs violenty, the Asuras fall and are devoured by her.) 

25. Dionysos, also known as Bacchus, Bromios, lacchus, was 
a son of Zeus, and visited, according to the legend, Asia 
and Africa, I 1 or details, cp. Larousse Encyclopedia of Mytho- 
logy (New York, 1960) pp. 178 182. Originally, only 
female initiates had access to these fertility rites, at which 
human and later on merely animal sacrifices were offered. 
There were, reportedly, sexual orgies and debaucheries. 
Nonnos, a Greek poet and resident of Egypt (5th cent. 
A. D.) wrote a long, highly polished epic about these 
practices, Dionysiaca(ed. Kochly, Leipzig, 1858) which is 
one of our chief sources of knowledge. 

26$ Obviously a printer's mistake for pygme "fist'* (ei, oi. eta, 
iota and ypsilon are all pronounced as long i in Modern 

26 5O*m~PUR5i$A [VOL* xxiv,, NO. 1 

"givaduti" appears in verses IX. 21 (SJ. 23); 35, 39, (SJ. 37,41) 
and XI. 19 (SJ. 21) always in situations where the epithet would 
not suggest the origin of the name. It would seem that Galanos 
intended to spell out the might of KauSikX (Ambika) and the indign- 
ities to which the gods were subjected when, in IX, 22 (Ag. ibid., 
SJ. 24) he translates : "Kaudk!" forcefully shouted : 'stop, stop, 
you evildoer l,,..the gods staying in the heavens, screamed : 'Victory 
victory to you'. 27 Gal. 28 has "the leader of the Titans, having 
become ten thousand-armed 91 (instead of the Danuja-Lord [SJ. 30], 
son of Diti envelop the Goddess KauSiki with "just as many disks," 
and calls the tormentor or "afflictor" of the gods (Ag. 31, SJ. 3)) 
simply "anti-god" (antitheos). The sanctified water sprinkled by with the recitation of mantras (met* epoides} caused others 
to bs chased away (Gal. 36), or Ag. 35 : to be "finished". 

Chapter X. {Kumbha's slain brother is simply characterized as 
homopnoun ("of kindred spirit") (Gal. X. 1). When accused of fight- 
ing with the strength of others, Devi, ignoring the trembling (Aryan) 
gods, says that these (goddesses) are "forms of myself*' iffirflrOT , 
Greek : aporrkoiai= "flowing off, afflux, emanations") while all the 
gods and the Titans or Asuras are looking on, a terrible fight begins. 
The Goddess by simply uttering the g^rc again translated by "A* 9 
(Gal. X. 9) easily (ejmaros) destroys the missiles. There is a note in 
regard to Sumbha's "shield which shone like the ray- throwing 
sun : Golden was the shield like the red (and gold) sun." (Gal. 13) 
When the Goddess is lifted high up by the Asura, she fights even 
there fr^TTTT (Ag, 18, SJ. 22) "without any support", evidently 
meaning : no gods (who restricted themselves to cheering only) or 
matrkas assisted her. But Galanos (X. 18) adds "podon" <f without 
the support of her feet," i. e . floating, and this awesome battle "fills 

27. The first verb, anekraxe "she cried out, lifted up her 
voice" as in Old Testament, Judges 7, 20, said of warriors 
ready to attack"....and they cried : The Sword of toe 
Lord....'* For the shouting of the gods, Galanos used. 
ekraygasan "they barked, croaked", when used of man, 
as in the Greek version St. John 18, 40 : [When Pilate 
asked the Jewish rabble if they wanted him to release 
Jesus] "Then cned they all again, saying, Not this man, 
but Barabbas". Galano's choke of words was quite 
conscious; he could have used expressions far more cur- 
rent, like boao, anaboao, anaphonto, phtheggomai, anorthia&o 
(most of these expressions contain an element of nleadine 
for help). * 


the gods in the sky and the holy Brahmins [instead of 'Siddhas and 
Munis' ] with astonishment. 

The last two Galanos verses show a slight divergence in the 
sequence of manifestations of joy over the slaying of the Asura 
leader. They read in translation : 

26. The heavenly (creatures) then 
breathed calmly. The sun became 
bright and beautiful (kalliphegges). 
The fire burned peacefully (hesychos)* 
The cries for help (boai) from all 
parts of the world had ceased. 

27. When this one (i. e, Titan) had 
been removed, the Gods all together 
rejoiced greatly from their hearts. 
The Gandharvas sang sweetly. Others 
of them sounded musical instruments, 
and the Apsaras danced. 

Chapter XI. While the Sanskrit text mentions the Katyayani 
form of Devi, Galanos simplifies the name again and calls her "that 
Goddess". For the first time, the god Agni is described in a note, 
which does not sound authentic : **Agnis is called the God of Fire, 
and the fire itself. He is also the chief deity (ephoros) and the organ of 
the voice (phonetikoyY*. (p. 55). Instead of "Mother of the universe" 
(Ag. XI. 2; SJ. 3) Galanos has the unusual expression Pantanassa 
("Ruler of All") 38 who is also the "ruler of all things animate and 
inanimate" (empsyckon, apsychon). Instead of "inviolable valour" 
(Ag. 3; SJ. 4) 29 Galanos (3) has "unsurpassed in strength" (anhype- 
rblete ten dynamin) and "by you all this is being nourished and its 
thirst quenched". XI. 4 again has "megaleHyle ("important matter*') 
for JTTOT> a nd paranoia is being brought to the entire world "by this 

28. "Anassa" 3 somewhat rare in Epic poetry (Od.3,380; 6,175), 
more common in (lyrical) poetry; is usually reserved for 
prayers to the Goddess Athena. Following Patristic usage, 
Galanos employs here the analytic form 5 hileos eso, Pant- 
anassa. ("Be gracious, Queen") instead of Homeric 
* f anass' hilethi" (perfect imperative form of hilemL) 

29. Ag. XI, 3b : "By thee, who existeth in the form of water, 
all this Universe is filled. O thou inviolable in the 

28 ^nj FURSJgA [ VOL. xxiv.i NO. 

your Hjple 9 O Goddess. When you become well disposed, you are the 
reason for redemption ". The Greek world "lytrosis" is almost exclu- 
sively used in Christian writings : "salvation, ransoming, redemp- 
tion". Gal. XI. 5 (Ag. ibid-, SJ.6) seems to be based on a somewhat 
differnt Sanskrit version. In translation it reads : 

XI. 5 You, O Goddess, are the very image of knowledge and science. 
You are the every one of the beautiful and august women in. 
the Cosmos. Of you alone O Goddess, the universe is full. 
You are every word (logos) in the Veda, and in other books, 
[every word] which is fitting for the composition of a song in 
praise. What then could there be a soag in praise of you ? 

6. Since you are a Goddess, about whose secret the entire world 
has been informed (diathryllomene) that you are everything, and 
that you have given (us) heaven and immortality (athanasia =* 
qfe) what fitting words could there be to proclaim you by 

hymns ? 

Also in verse 7, the expression "heaven and immortality" is 
used by Galanos to translate ^fmif, while Ag. 6, 7 uses "svarga/ 
heaven and final emancipation from existence"; SJ. 7, 8 translates 
"enjoyment" (for svarga) and "liberation" (for both mukti and 
apavarga). Verse XI. 8 in Greek is far less precise than the Sanskrit 
text (as presented by Ag., and SJ. X, 9) : 

8. O Narayanl, the protrectress of change in everything in. 
the sense of time, and the power behind the destruction 
of the universe, reverence is to be paid to you. 

Also XI. 9 seems to be somewhat simplified : 

9. O, better than all good (people), illustrious accomplisher 
of all desires, the refuge to be wished for, three-eyed 
(for Tryambaka) Gauri, reverence etc. 

SJ. XI. 11 translates ijurrsrJT igW*& as "You are the substra- 
tum and embodiment of the three gunas", Galanos 9 (XI. 10) tran- 
slation : "You holder of virtues, triad of qualities," is closer to 
Ag. (ibid) "abode of good qualities, who consists of good qualities'*. 
Galanos* "triad" is a halfhearted attempt at an interpretation^ 
but a note t: that effect is again lacking. (Cp. Ag., p. 214 . In 
XI. 12 there is no indication that "the water which you sprinkle 


from the pitcher" is anything special (i. . dipped in Kufia grass) 

Vut a note for XI. 14 (Ag. ibid., SJ. 15) explains, that "Kaumarl 

is the force (dynamis) of Kumara who is Skanda (s). His vehicle 

is the peacock, his standard the rooster. According to mythology 

a. certain Titan in the form of a rooster was pierced by Skanda's 

spear, who holding high the spear with the pierced rooster strutted 

j ubilantly in a procession". A more useful note, but rather terse 

for the Greek reader is the identification of one of the chief leaders 

of the Daityas mentioned in XI. 17 : the note says simply : "hiravya- 

/cafipu". Like SJ. (XI. 21), Galanos leaves out "O Camunda, who 

grindest shaven heads", a sentence added by Ag. XI. 20 (probably 

because munda means 'bald'). In the following verse where 

X,aksmiis being praised as, among other virtues, being nourish- 

ment (aft : rhostike dynamis fortify ing power), Maharatri and Svadha 

remain untranslated, but ^sfalTT (Ag. 21; SJ. 22 : 'Great Illusion 9 ) 

is expressed as "great ignorance", and in verse 22 the sequence of 

the Goddess' qualities is : "O Intelligence, O Sarasvati, O Chosen 

one, O Triad of Qualities, O Everlasting One", and an incomplete 

enumeration when compared to the Ag. and SJ, texts (22, 23 reap.)- 

In the case of Gal. XI. 23 where the Sanskrit text used by Ag. 

contains an additional verse, Galanos" translation follows SJ. (24) : 

23. O Goddess, ruler over everything, you are everything 
and almighty, save us from dangers.. ...... 

Also in the following verse where Ag. XI. 25 has 
i; "May [thy countenance] guard us from all created things 1" 
while SJ. 25 has ^^RTS from all fears". 80 Galanos (24) shows 
"from all danger", as he does in XI. 25 where the triad should 
protect us from danger. The bell of the next verse "should 
protect us from evil, as the mother would (protect) her children" 
(26). The Goddess has kept her name Katyayanl (24), but for 

30. tftfg- means "fear, danger" ^3 = "being". Confusion 
reigns supreme here : First Ag. translates tff% as "created 
thing" and SJ, translates ^ as "fear", i. ., both are 
wrong in their translations. Then, in the following verse 
where in both Sanskrit texts tftfa appears, they both use 
S'fear'* correctly. 


[VOL. xxrv., NO. 1 

Bhadrakall (27; Ag. 26; SJ. 26) Gal anos uses the Greek adjectival 
form deimalea "O fearsome one". Gal. 28 adds to "those who set 
their hopes on you, become a refuge for others" refuge and salvation 
(soteria) for others, also in 33. There are significant changes and 
simplification in the Greek version of verse XL 30 "In regard to 
the Vedas, to scientific knowledge (episteme), to cognition (grusis) 
of essence, and to every practical aspect of the law, who but you 
makes the universe steer into trouble (prospatkeia) as if into absol- 
utely dark chaos". 81 This Greek verse has an accompanying note 
which paraphrases and elucidates the original translation : "This 
implies the recitation of the Vedas, as well as the act of acquiring 
knowledge, scientific knowledge, the cognition of essence, all the 
practical aspects of law, of sacrifice, fasting and prayer. Never- 
theless, the universe (kosmos), because of your Maya (HyU) is made 
to stray into upheaval, as if into the darkest labyrinth"', If this 
explanatory note was indeed written by Galanos, which cannot be 
ascertained, his original Sanskrit text must have been at variance 
with that of Ag. and SJ., since the Galanos translation, even when 
read with the note, is different, if not incomplete. 

In Verse 33, the Greek simplifies calamities tf which have 
sprung from the maturing of portents" (Ag., SJ. 34) to "calamities 
which have arisen because of the sins". In response to the God- 
dess* promise of a boon, the gods ask, in the translated Greek 
version (XI, 36) : O Queen of all, effect the removal of all evils 
from the three worlds and, in the same manner, the destruction 
of all our enemies 1 ", 83 

The time predicted by the Goddess, in which the two Asuras, 
Sumbha and NiSumbha, will be born, the twenty-eighth Yuga, is 
translated by Galanos (XI. 37) as : "Towards the end of the 
twenty-eighth Tetraktys of the Aeons, in the dynasty of Manu, which 

31. Gp. SJ. 31 : '-Who is there except you in the sciences, 
in the scriptures, and in the Vedic sayings that light the 
lamp of discrimination ? (Still) you cause this universe 
to whirl about again and again within the dense darkness 
of the depths of attachment." 

32. Ag. XI, 37 : " M .. W e ask for the pacification of all the 
afflictions of the three worlds." 


is to be called Vaivasvata". 88 In Verse XI. 44 (Ag. 45; SJ. 48) 

\vhich is frequently cited as proof and et one very clear example of 

plant theophany" in the cult of the (pre-Aryan) Indian goddess, 

iDurga, 84 Galanos translates the name Sakambharl into Greek 

JLachanotrophos** "bearer of vegetables", but the name of the Asura 

who causes the drought and is slain by the Goddess is not Durgama 

(Ag. 46; SJ. 49), but in transliteration Doyrgas', she will then be 

known as Goddess (Thed) Doyrga. She will kill the Rakasas 

(daimonas) to ensure the safety of the saints and ascetics (instead of 

"Munis" : XI. 46) and will then be known as the Terrible Goddess 

(Bhima-DevIeaPAn'Ate Thed}} to kill the evil-doer, the Titan Aruna, 

she will "metamorphose" herself into a swarm of bees (eis esmon 

Bombylion) and be then known as Bombylia ($TT*Rt} , and the note 

explains, unnecessarily again : "which is a swarm of bees". In 

the last verse (XI. 50) Galanos leaves out **then I shall become 

incarnate again"; "Thus, whenever terrible things are wrought by 

the Titans (instead of the Danavas) then I shall effect the destruc- 

tion of the bitterest enemies". 

Chapter XII. iTTfR*^^ (Ag. 3; SJ. 4) is translated as ex- 
hairetos Megalourgia (Gal. 3 : "choice achievement, or magnificence") 
likewise in the following verses, e.g. 6 : where it is called "the 
dwelling place of good fortune" q^ src^ztf *T^ (Ag. 6; SJ. 7). 
Verse 7 (Ag. ibid.; SJ, 8) is more specific than the Sanskrit text, 
winch speaks only of "the threefold natural calamaties". The 
Greek text when translated says : "This Megalourgia stops all the 
bad things, which arise from the great plague (loime) and the terri- 
ble things (which come) from God, from man, and from the body". 
A note is added which says : "The bad things stemming from the 
body are the diseases; from man : murder, captivity, robbery; from 
God : floods, droughts, dearth, firestorms, and sundry things". In 

33, Tetraktys, a term coined by Pythagoras is the "name for 
the sum of the first four numbers, i. e. 10 ( = 1 + 2+3+4)"; 
also "the four terms (6:8:9:10) of the proportion corres- 
ponding to the chief musical intervals". (See Liddell & 
Scott, Greek-English Lexicon II, 1781.) The reason why 
Galanos _ chose this obscure term is unknown, unless 
obfuscation in conjunction with the term "aeons" _ was 
the very purpose of his choice of words. 

34. M. Eliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion. Meridian Book 
No. 155 (Cleveland, N. Y. 1963), p. 280. 

32 *<Hn'K PDRSl^A [VOL; XXIV., NO. 1 

verse XII. 8 Galanos does not translate STTZRT^ *W (Ag, ibid., SJ. 9) 

as "in my shrine" but rather *'In whose house this is recited conti- 

nuously, as is proper .... I will always be present there". Also the 

next verse differs slightly : (Gal. 9) All of this must be chanted 

and heard, in accordance with the proper rites...." To verse 10, 

where the Goddess indicates that she will accept sacrifices offered 

not only by the initiated, but also by non-initiates, there is a note 

added : "Even when a person does it imperfectly because he does 

not know (how to do it) I shall accept it" (p. 63). While Ag. XII. 

II and SJ. 12 mention only the great annual worship during the 

&arad season, Galanos has it "in the late autumn as well as in 

spring" (Kata to phthinoporon kai kata to ear). A new word appears 

here (XII, 13, 14, 15, 18; XIII. 1) for m^Rtq Megaleiotes "grand- 

ness, splendour, majesty." The propitiatory ceremony 

(Ag. XII. 15; SJ. 16) is translated by en pasei teletei "in the entire 
ceremony 9 '. 85 srTSttT^rfa^TRt of children "seized by child-grabbing 
evil spirits" is translated into Greek "of children possessed by 
Harpies and Vampires" (harpy iokatochon kai lamiokatochon brephon). 6 * 
A note added to this sentence, says that, according to mythology, 
certain female demons, who were Putana, Dakim, and Sakini seize 

35. ID modern Greek, the word he telete means et ceremony, 
festival 3 '. In ancient Greek it usually refers to the 
Dionysian mysteries, i. e. the initiation rite. (Liddle & 
Scott, Greek-English Lex. //, 1770 f.) 

36. HaTpyiai were originally the goddesses of the devastating 
storms, symbolizing the sudden and total disappearance 
of men. Later they were represented as half-birds, half- 
maidens, and as spirits of mischief. The so-called Harpy- 
Monument dated about 500 B, G., now in the British 
Museum, shows Harpies carrying off the daughters of 
Pandareus (Homer, Od. XX. 78 ff). 

Lamiai are legendary vampires represented as having 
the head and breast of a woman and the body of a snake. 
They were fond of young persons" blood, and used disgu- 
ises to attract their victims. When they had sated their 
appetites, their form was hideous; their faces glowed like 
fire; their bodies were smeared with blood; and their feet 
appeared of iron or of lead. They were thought to be 
roaming through Africa and Thessaly where they way- 
laid unwary travellers. The Lamiai figured prominently 
in the nursery-legends of antiquity and were objects of 
terror to the young. Aristophanes (444-388 B. G.) men- 
tions the Lamiai in his satire The Wasps (line 1177) a 
play dealing with the Athenian passion for lawsuits. 


children from their births up to the age of five, and drink their 
blood" (p 65). 

Gal. XII. 18 reads in translation : 

This very grandeur of mine, when invoked becomes the 
force which removes all evils, which turns away the evil spi- 
rits, as well as [such things] which are responsible for the 
intercession [demanded of me]. 

While Ag. XII. 19 and SJ. 20f translate the Sanskrit passage 
as "This entire Mahatmya (or glorification) of mine draws a person 
very near to me....** Galanos' translation stresses a different aspect: 
XII. 19f "Just as much joy and pleasure as I derive when the whole 
work is chanted for me in the proper manner, I also derive from 
sacrifices offered to me, from flowers, from waters (hydasi for a^sif ), 
from gay spectacles, all kinds of luxuries and sweet wines, offer- 
ed every day in the course of a whole year". A note explains "gay 
spectacles" as being "choruses and musical instruments'*. "Luxu- 
ries (tryphemata) are magnificent banquets (lamprai klinai) as well as 
beautiful garments (ta aglaa amphia} and sweet wines (glykasmata)" 
i.e., all ingredients of and for the orgiastic Dionysiac festival. The 
"chores*' is its chief element; Galanos' choice of rather rare words 
like klinai for banquet, amphia for garments is no mere coincidence. 

When the JjLsi (Hosios) relates how qr?ratft 'M^^r ^afTOflT 
disappears before the very eyes of the gods, Galanos (.XII. 29) 
calls her he obrimoergos ekeine Thea "that Goddess doing strong 
deeds, but the word obrimoergos does it always in a bad sense, 
doing deeds of violence or wrong, especially against the gods". 87 
Perhaps this somewhat pejorative characterization of the Goddess* 
deeds was not intentional. 

The remaining daityas went away to Patala (Ag. XIII 31; 
SJ. 35), but Galanos marches those "Titans" to the Tartarus, as 

37. Liddell & Scott, II, 1 196 : Iliad V, 403 is cited where a 
variant reading exists for the word obrimoergos, Aristarchus' 
aisyloergos which means "doing unseemly, evil, godless 
things". Op. cit* I, 43; II, V, 403 reads in translation: 
"Rash man, perpetrator of violence, who does not account 
for his evil deeds, yet he knows well that his arrows he 
has angered the Gods who hold Olympus". (Said of 
Diomedes, Tydeus' son.) 


34 S* 1 ^ PURStfA [VOLi XXIV., NO. 1 

Zeus threatened to do with the Greek gods 88 . In keeping with the 

stylistic preference for active-voice constructions, Galanos translates 

verse 33 (Ag. 33; SJ. 37 : "By her, this universe is deluded "*ft^) : 

''Because of this Goddess all (people) in the universe lose their wits 

(paranousiri). Yet she herself creates all this (universe) when entrea- 

ted and p leafed (aitetheisa te kai hestheisa) she gives divine knowle- 

dge, and prosperity". The special term ^TT^ i. *. Brahma's egg, 

is not explained, but given the feminine gender for unknown 

reasons : he Brachmanda which is ' full of this Goddess Kali who also 

becomes the All-destroyer at the end of the world (en tei synteleiai toy 

aionos, XII. 34). In verse 36, Galanos retains the antithesis Laksml 

and AlaismI; a footnote explains : eydaimonia for the first, and 

kakodaimonia (misfortune) for the second name. In the last verse, 

Galanos translates as "a virtuous inclination to do good works" 

(klisin agathen for : *ft *ff rf% SPT ). 

; XIIL " The Maya of V *WU J is again translated as 

he hyltke dynamic "the material force", an expression used elsewhere 

and <nSwft as "grand queen" (megah despoina), who gives man 
luxuries (tryphas), heaven and immortality (aihanasia for what Ag. 
calls Moksa). [Gal. XIII. 1-3; Ag. ibid.; SJ. 1-5) The si, de- 
scribed as 5?if?ra?nr (Ag. A', SJ. 6) is called "the all-blessed and the 
most self-disciplined saint" (paneydaimon and egkratestatos). 8 * King 
and merchant then perform "austerities (askesis for 5PT*0, to have 
a view of the Goddess and they recite privately (mystikos) the hymns 
in the Veda directed to the Goddess (Gal. 7). The Devtsiikta 
(Ag. 6; SJ. 9) is not mentioned by its title. Their offerings, in 
Galanos' version, consist of flowers, incense and fire; water is not 
included. The world-supporting Candika, referred to as the "cos- 
mos-nourishing (kosmthrepteira) Goddess", appears to them, not in 
a visible (roqf) f ornij (Ag . 9 ; SJ. 12), but bodily (somatikos, Gal. 10). 

33. In book VIII of the Iliad, Zeus warns that "I shall take 
and hurl [any disobedient god] into murky Tartarus, far, 
far away* wherft th< re is the deepest abyss beneath the 
earth; the gates are made of iron and the threshold of 
bronze; it is as far beneath Hades as heaven is above 
earth. Then you will realize, whether and in what way I 
am the mightiest of all gods. (II. VIII, 13-16). 

39. Panejdaimon is a Byzantine honorary title, also used for 
the city of Constantinople as the centre of the Eastern 


The merchant, probably in anticipation of his profound wish, is 
called f*R?5?r (Ag. 10; SJ. 14), but Galanos omits "the delight of 
your family", and calls him VaiSya ( Baissea, 11). The King asked 
for an unchangeable (ametaptotos) kingdom. The wise merchant 
who "had contempt (katagnous) for all the things in the world, asks 
for knowledge of essence (gnosin ton onton),* which puts away the 
clinging of the soul to the body and its passions and self-conceit 
(prospatheia and oiesis). 

In XIII. 15 and 18, Galanos provides the Greek equivalent of 
God Vivasvat and Surya : Helios, and the merchant is promised 
(not as in SJ. 15 : "Supreme knowledge shall be yours, for your 
self realization.") "that gnosis will be yours for the enjoyment of 

Conclusion : 

As in the case of his other translations, published and unpub- 
lished, Galanos did not make an express attempt at explaining or 
interpreting the Devtmahatmyam. He simplified the text a little : he 
ignored the various appellatives of Hindu deities which point to 
events in their past or to particular qualities something that might 
have confused his uninitiated Greek readers even further and 
called them by their principal names. E. g. Siva instead of "wiel- 
derofthe Pinaka", the Goddess' various Sanskrit names are re- 
presented in the Greek as "Mother", "Goddess and Queen" (Thea 
kaiKyna}' y for Gandika he writes "Terrifying Queen" (II. 24 : 
phobera Kyria); instead of "Lord of the Thousand Eyes J9 , Galanos 
simply writes "Indra" (H, 21) and for the terms munis, siddhas, 
rsis, maharsis he has only "holy Brahmins", the Asuras are called 
"Giants 1 ' or "Titans," Varuna and Agni "the God of the atmos- 
phere" (Aer) and "The God of Fire" (P?r). 

When compared with the English versions of the 

by Agrawala and Svami Jagadi^varananda, the Greek trans- 

40. Implying higher, esoteric knowledge as in I Ep. Corinth. 
8, 7; 10 : "However, there is that knowledge not in every 
man" gnosis is a multifaceted word in Orthodox theo- 
logy. SJ. XIII. 18 : "Then the wise merchant also, whose 
mind was full of dispassion for the world, chose that 
knowledge which removes the attachment (in the form of) 
'mine* and 'IV The term prospatheia is also used for 
"mamatva" (I. 11) and "moha" (I. 39). 

36 nit PURXJ^A [VOL. XXIV., NO. 1 

lation by Galanos shows a few divergences, but on the whole the 
content is the same, as can be expected. What is so radically di- 
fferent is the stylistic finesse which the Greek text manifests, com- 
posed by an accomplished master of his native tongue, 

There may not be many biographical data on which to base a 
valid characterization of this Greek exile in Varanasi 41 , but a close 
scrutiny of the Greek text at hand reveals a man of extra-ordinary 
erudition, reflection and sensitivity. These qualities, of which Ty- 
paldos, the editor, was very much aware, seem to have prompted 
him to write the long-winded introduction, about thirty-five pages 
which, unfortunately, has little to do with Galano's Dcvimahatmyam 

The Greek used by him is essentially the traditional idiom in 

which the (Greek) Fathers of the Church wrote their voluminous 

treatises, and in which Galanos had received his theological train- 

ing, i. e. "Patristic Greek". But this translation reveals also his 

background in the knowledge of antiquity and mastery of the early 

(Epic) and classical idioms (prose and poetry). There are many 

rare grammatica 1 forms and words mostly from Homer's epics 

and it is in the Galanos 1 judicial and balanced choice of words that 

the attentive reader can sense some of the author's reflections and 


There are learned allusions to the Judeo-Ghristian traditions 
which were already mentioned in our analysis of individual passages 
in the text Logos, Sophia; soteria "salvation", lytrosis "redemp- 
tion", athanasia "immortality" for mukti, eysplagchnia "goodness of 
heart", Pantokrator ''Omnipotent", Kyria and Despoina for the Lady 
and Goddess, apostolos "messenger" versus pnsbys "envoy", anti- 
theos "anti-god", askesis "austerities" hesychos "peacefully", mystikos 
"mystically, in secret'*, gnosis ton onton "knowledge of essence". 
But there is no indication whatever that Galanos thought of the 
Goddess Kali in terms of the mother of Jesus, Mary, who is often 

41. On the tombstone of a friend who had lived in Galanos 1 
house and was buried near Galanos 1 grave-site he had the 
following inscribed : 

Sacred to the memory of Peter FederofF, a Native of 
Russia who died in the Prime of his Life on the 4th Jany. 
XENO PETRO TO ROSSO. (Xenos meaning foreigner, in 
the sense of exile.) 


depicted as a dark-complexioned, almost black- faced woman in 
traditional Byzantine art. After all, Mary, though also mystifying, 
does not have any of the terrifying aspects of the Goddess which 
are necessary to eradicate the evils in the world. In Christian 

theology, Mary is not the mover; she is considered only Mediatrix 
and Corredemptrix. 

But a close examination of the Greek vocabulary also reveals 
the metaphysical aspects which Galanos perceived in this hymn in 
praise of the Great Goddess. His Greek translations for Mahamaya 
are M egale Hyle, for may a hyfo 4 '*, for 6akti dynamis and for rupa 
eidosi all these words are technical terms for the basic principles 
Aristotle employs when he analyzes the nature and purpose, as well 
as realization of the world. For the genesis of any creature 
"matter" (fiyle), "actuality" (energeia), and "form" (eidos) are 
necessary. "Matter" merely possesses the "potential" (rfjynflmw), 
but the "form" alone is the decisive instrument, the formative 
principle which leads to the realization (entelecheia) of the "poten- 
tial" which inherently possesses this possibility : the realization of 
felicity (eudaimonia) or infelicity (kakodaimonia). 

In Gal. IX. 22 (cp. note 27) we noted how the Goddess 
"shouted forcefully" (anekraxe like a determined warrior) while 
the gods, defeated, bewildered, "screamed" (ekraygasan 9 like the 

42. The word hyle originally means : forest, woodland; also 
brushwood, undergrowth, firewood, timber; the stuff of 
which a thing is made, (probably wooden) material. 
Aristotle was the first to use hyle as a philosophical term, 
denned as >c that which is fit to underlie origin and 
decay" (to hypokeimenon geneseos kai pkthoras dektikoni 
Aristotle De Generations et Corruptione, 320 a 2) or "that 
from which (something) originates" : to ex hoy gignetai 
(id, Metaphysica, 1032 a 17). It is a passive entity or 
substance with inherent qualities or potentials which 
must be awakened and guided by an outside agency of 
actuality (energeia} and form (eidos). Depending on the 
(good or bad) quality of the outside agency, hyle is thus 
the source of chance and defect since it is subject to 
unpredictable outside interference with its proper 
intrinsic finality. In a felicitous case, the passive matter, 
awakened and moved by the purest form, the divine 
spirit (nous} gradually loses ita original nature and finally 
takes on the ideal form of its erstwhile agency. See 
Aristotle's Metaphysics^ Greek and Engl., Loeb's Classical 
Library (Oambr., Mass.; London 1947) (Book XII, pp. 
123-175; also Aristotle, De la Generation et de la Corruption^ 
texte etabli et traduit. par Charles Mugler (Paris, 1966). 

38 ^TT^ PURXtfA [ VOL. XXIV., NO 

Jewish rabble demanding Christ's death). And quite often it i 
not clear whether the Goddess' derisive laughter (kagchasma) an< 
haughty sneers are directed only toward the doomed Asuras, anc 
not also toward the gods who are depicted in this hymn as a pitifu 
lot (V. 3). The Asuras will not even allow them to enjoy tin 
customary sacrificial offerings. Dejected and helpless they pra} 
to MegaleHyl***, the great creator and conqueror of Maya ai 
times referred to as paranoia and place at Her disposal theii 
potentials (sakti=^/iamw) a their characteristic weapons, orna- 
ments and qualities, all of which they inherently possess, bul 
cannot use. The gods now constitute an amorphous dark mass 01 
matter (hyle) praying and waiting to be rescued from this all-perva- 
sive chaos "by the material and creative force of Visnu" (V. 5), 
Their concentration, given expression to by the appearance of a 
blazing light filling the entire space with brightness (II. 11) 
produces at first the abstract form, then the invincible concrete 
form of the Goddess. She personifies "the great force behind the 
gods" (megale dynamis ton theori), energeia and eidos> the active 
formative principles, the manifestations of which are enumerated 
in Gal. V. 13-34** : She is the eternal immovable mover Hyle and 
energeia (actuality) at the same time, the force of the Cosmos 
(phyjis toy Pantos), the great reason (megale sfnesis); She is the 
constructive force (systatih dynamis) which first awakens, then 

43 Ironically, Aristotle's favorite examples for his formula 
(that form is the essential element in the realization of 
the potential capacity of matter) are man and woman. 
The male is the active, formative principle, while the 
temale is the passive matter. This concept originates in 
observation of the biological functions, where the female 
ovum waite to be activated by the male sperm. The 
embryo is the form of the ovum, but it is also the matter 
W * hild form emer fies; the child is the 

ms man emerges as the ultimate form. 

Similarly, the Goddess "incomprehensible even to Vinu 

* <*>. 

mattem (fit n*iAu4.*\ . . * * -*** i., tvaci a.ui;e, in 
of m Q " e ( ^ ^eL Per faS ng i t *v 6 Bpecies ' ta the form 


moulds and shapes amorphous material of which she is part to a 
specific figure and purpose, thus restoring order in the Cosmos, 
and thereby re-instating the defeated gods to their former posi- 
tions under the Goddess" guidance; they become, according to 
the Aristotelian scheme, an integrated and now purposeful part of 
Her. This scheme underlies the aim and purpose of the Sanskrit 
hymn as well, as can be ascertained from the advice given to the 
king and the merchant : "If you are in trouble, turn your prayers 
and devotion to Me I" And also Aristotle's theory of cyclic change 
(Metaphysics, ch. XII, VI) fits perfectly with the Goddess* predic 
tion that there will be other upheavals p 'Ag., XI, 38-51). At the end 
of the struggle once briefly in Gal., Ag. III. 41, and X. 25-27; 
XI. 1 when peace and the Goddess prevail, there are reminisce- 
nces of Aristotle's siderial "harmony" (De Mundo, VI 399, a, 12 f.): 
"They all together, singing in symphony and moving round the 
heaven in their measured dance, unite in one harmony whose cause 
is one (God) and whose end is one (cosmos) : it is this harmony 
which entitles the All to be called "order and not disorder". 

The present writer is of course not prepared to avow that the 
Devfmakatmyam is the work of an ingenious thinker, poet and 
mythographer solely inspired by Aristotle's theorems and ideas; 
That is the impression which a close reading of Galanos' Greek 
translation, however implicitly, conveys. But there are other consi- 
derations (textual criticism, evaluation and analysis of our text by 
means of principles found in the various dardanas of Indian philo- 
sophy, problematic historical constellations, etc.) with which this 
very limited article cannot deal. 

As was noted in the detailed analysis of the thirteen chapters, 
there are many words and grammatical forms taken from the Greek 
Epic and Classical works, a fact which is evidence of Galanos* 
tnowledge of Greek mythology, and which prompted Typaldos to 
write his multifaceted introduction. Bat apart from the use of 
words like Gigantes and Titanes (for the Asuras) Galanos* Doyrga 
does not contain any direct reference either to the "Battle of the 
Giants" (gigantomachia) which is often confused with the "Battle of 
the Titans" (titanomachia)** , or to the Minoan culture and civiliza- 
tion (mainly on the island of Crete) where in ancient times, religion 

45. The Giants had sprung from the drops of blood of the 
mutilated (castrated) Uranos (i. e. Heaven). Gaia (i. e. 
Earth) was the mother of these human monsters who had 

40 ^T*! PURXtfA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 1 

centered upon a goddess, or group of goddesses, whose attribute 
was a double axe (labrys), with male deities in a subordinate role. 

Since Galanos did not indulge in any speculation on the 
origin and ultimate meaning of the Deulm3k3tmyam, the present 
writer who has endeavoured to offer a philological analysis of 
Galanos 5 Doyrga translation will also abstain from any such 
attempt. But he may be permitted to mention the names of two 
men whose comments and translations he found very interesting 
and enlightening : 

(1) Gavali Vankata Ramasswami, who published one of the 
earliest English translations of the Devlmahatmyam under the title: 
The Supta-sati or Chundi'pat, being a portion of the M arcundeya Purana. 
Transl. from the Sanskrit into English with explanatory notes. 
Calcutta, 1823. (Re-edited, Bombay, 1868) This book may have 
been in the possession of Galanos when he translated the Sanskrit 
hymn into Greek. 

Heimich Zimmer, The King and the Corpse, Tales of the 
SouVs Conquest of Evil (BolHngen Series XI; New York 1948) pp. 
239-306 with translations from the Kalika Purana : "Four Episodes 
from the Romance of the Goddess". 

id. t Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization (Bollin- 
gen Series VI; New York, 1946) pp. 189-221 : "The Goddess". 

id. : Maya., der indische Mythos (Zurich, 1952) with an abridg- 
ed German prose translation of theDevfmak3tmyam, pp. 409-421. 

legs like serpents and feet formed of reptiles' heads. They 
attacked the gods assembled on Mount Olympus. A 
prophecy had predicted that only a human could rescue 
the gods. Heracles or (Latin) Hercules was their saviour. 
When he was unable to slay one of the giants* leader, the 
goddess Athene revealed to Hercules that the giant was 
unvulnerable as long as he stood on the soil which had 
given him birth. (Cp. Ag. I. 76 where the Asuras tell 
Vinu : " may slay us in a place where the earth is 
not covered by the flood'*.) At the end, gods are victorious. 
According to the ancient mythographers. Hesiod and 
Apollodorus i^both mentioned in Typaldos' introduction 
to Doyrga) the Titans were of the same origin as the 
Giants and fought against the Olympian deities. When 
Titans were overcome, they were hurled down into an 
abyss below Tartarus where the Hekatonc heir es ("Hundred- 
handed") guarded them. 

Also divine and semi-devine beings like Prometheus, 
the Sun and the Moon (Helios, Selene : Gal., Ag. I and 2; 
II. 5) all descendants of the Titans, are called Titanes. 




t *idi[n 



: ( l jfT^V f 
grr^ff ^5^1- (?) 



These two extremely puzzling words are often found used as 
names or epithets respectively of Rudra (or Rudra-^iva) and his 
'sister* or 'wife', mostly in the post-$g Veda Vedic works as well as 
in the extant Epics, Purauas etc; and, as will be evident from the 
following pages, there is great difference of opinion among ancient 


42 ^cm PURSJ^A [VOL. xxiv., NO. 1 

authorities as regards the formation and meanings of these words, 
particularly the former one. But, as these derivations and inter- 
pretations are not beyond serious objections, we have found it 
necessary to examine their formations critically and, thus, to see 
whether we can find out their original and correct meanings. 

(a) 59*3^ 

This is a hitherto obscure word occurring only once in the JJ.g, 
Veda, in the following verse (7.59.12) : 


which, as its contents, its irrelevant position in the said JJ-g-Vedic 
hymn, and the lack of its Pada-patha show, is undoubtedly 
spurious, but which has been given most relevantly, for citation in 
the Tryambaka-homa for attainment of Rudra's grace, in all the 
extant Samhitas of the Ta/tiroeda, viz. in Vs 3.60, TS, MS 
1.10.4 (25, p. 84), KS 9.7 (32, p. 76), and KKS 8. 10 (p. 87), the 
last-mentioned two works reading ^fzPTfrpJT^ 5 for a ^fe3^T^*, 
in the second pada. This verse occurs also in &Br without 
any variation in reading. 

It is hardly necessary to say that 'v&qtf is a compound word 
having *fo* (meaning 'three') as its first member; but insurmoun- 
table difficulties arise with regard to its second member, which, 
from a consideration of the form of the compound, may be taken 
to be 'STTSTT', 'sn=r ; 'm*' %HWT'. Unfortunately no scholar, early 
or late, has yet been found to have come forward to tell definitely 
what this second member actually is and means and why or to 
suggest its derivation. It is a fact that from the &g-Vedic times or 
even earlier the word 'sr?St 9 which, as the words 'amme' (meaning 
'nurse') in German, 'swwna* in old German, and a few similar 
other show, must have had an Indo-European origin 1 , came to be 

1. The words c an^!% f a^, 'w$ 9 3 V*T' 9 'an^ 3 etc., used for 

'mother' in the South Indian languages of non-Aryan (or 
Dravidian) origin, need not be taken to be the source of 
the Vedic word C 3t*3f , which, as well as *3p*rr* (meaning 
'father^), must bave had natural origin, being the earliest 
words which a child can pronounce instinctively, for the 
first Ume after birth, to call its nearest relations on earth. 
viz., its mother and father. 

JAN., 1982] THB WORDS BZfl^ff AND affair 43 

used to mean f mother', and this use was sanctioned universally by 
all the Sanskrit lexicographers including Amara-sitp.ha. But 
neither the &g<Veda and the other Vedic works nor the early Sans- 
krit lexicons (such as the Amara-Koia^ avata-Kofa etc.) know the 
word 'sTRr', 'sr^aV, and 'sn^Pf*. Still, evidently in view of the fe- 
minine word 'ars^T* 3 , of the enigmatic compound '^H* 1 applied 
to Rudra in the Yajur-Veda, and of the fact that Epic 3 and Puranic 
Siva, who is taken to be identical with Vedic Rudra, is said to have 
three eyes, some Indian authorities (including a few lexicographers 4 ) 
take 'SIT^' (the masculine form of '3F3T 1 ) to mean 'father* and 
to mean 'father' or 'eye'; and 3 consequently, the word 
is taken by some to mean 'the father of the three (gods or 
words)' or 'one having three eyes'. Thus., in his English translation 
(II, p. 123, No. 403). of Bhattoji-DIksita's Siddhanta-Kaumudt S. G. 
Vasu renders 'wjrre* as 'the father of three worlds'; in commenting 
on ^.V 7.59. 12 Say ana takes this word to mean '(Mahadeva) the 
father of the three (gods) Brahman, Visnu and Rudra, 5 and in his 
commentary on TS he explains it as 'one whe has three 
eyes, 6 in commenting on VS 3.58 and 3.60 Mahldhara explains 
this word in a similar way to mean one having three eyes 7 ; accor- 
ding to NUakanljha this word occurring in Mbk 12.284.12 and 89 8 

2- As this word ends in ff 3TT 5 and means 'mother', it is taken 
to be based on a supposed masculine word 'sn^"* which is 

consequently, taken, without any authority or reason, to 
mean 'father'. 

3. See, for instance, Mbh. (Vanga. ed) 7.201.11 and 49 ( = 
Poona cr. ed. 7.173. 11 and 38-39), and 13.17.128 ab 
(Poona cr. ed. 13.17,124 cd. reading ^rq: for 'fa<aHn ; a ); 

Vayu-p. (Anss ed.) 29.124, and 25,2; and so on. 

4. Such as Hemacandra, who, in his Abhidhana-Cintamagi, 
gives. tf ^r* as the synonyn for f sn=^f 9 (neuter). 

5. '^furorr H^lR|W{J*U a TT^ *fiW faWj Sayana. 

6. 'sfifbr dW'+'ifa ^rrfar TOT sr^ft irwr 8 ?^ sayana. 

7. See Mahidhara's Com. ' 


8. For these verses see Mbh (Poona cr. ed.), Vol. 

parvan, Part III, App. I, No. 28, lines 178-9 (at p. 2059) 
and lines 334-5 (at p. 2069) respectively. 

44 ^T - PURStfA t v L - XXIV., NO. 1 

as an epithet of &va, respectively means 'one with respect to whom 
the scriptures, teachers, and (acts of) meditation are the three eyes 
(i. e. means of knowledge), 9 and 'one whose three eyes are those 
bearing the names of the (three) Vedasf; 10 and the Devi-p. says 
that goddess Ambika (i. e,, Durga) is called 'szri^TT', because the 
Moon, the Sun, and Wind are her three eyes. 11 The Mahabharata, 
on the other hand, says that as iSiva, the lord of the universe, 
'betakes himself to (or pervades) the three divine (entities, .viz,) 
Heaven, Waters and Earth', he is called ^^^P*. 13 In explaining 
how Rudra came to be called c f*m/j the Brahmanda-p. (Venkat 
ed.), 1.9.2b-6) says : 

afarsft: srfcRfc^- ?g: tffrrfl 3^: s*r: Il2b 
srrcfta fsn^iNr : srwrftre* qsssifSrfrr: I 



: 116 

But very peculiar is the statement made in this matter by 
ihefatapat/ia-Brahmaya 13 , which in its section on Tryambaka-homa, 
prescribes the offer, to Rudra, of his due share of the oblations 


:' Nilakantha) 
(But this interpretation cannot be accepted as plaus- 
ible, because in this verse of the MahabhSrata there is the 
word T^rPT* immediatly after 'sq^reppi', thus showing 
definitely that 'ifr' and 'ansnfl' are not synonymous. 


11. Derf-P. CVahga. ed.) 37. 6 

Mbh 7. 201. 130 (=Poona cr. ed. 7. 173. 89) 


3 * " ^ ^ ^rnr: ef w*i 1^*141 3 TO^ ^y^ (^ 3.57)" 

2.6.2,9. * 

, 19821 THE WORDS T*^P AND sram 45 

with the citation of the Mantra "This is thy share, O Rudra; gracio- 
usly accept it together with thy sister (who is) ambika, Svaha 1" and 
then says : 

"Ambika, indeed, by name is his (Rudra's) sister; (and) this 
share is his together with her (as a sharer); as this share is his 
together with a woman (^ft, as a sharer), therefore (these oblations) 
are named in^^iT:; (and) thus (he) delivers from Rudra's power 
those offspring who have been born to him". 14 

In this statement we fail to understand why the oblations 
shared by Rudra originally with his 'sister Ambika 1 (a woman- 
fft) are called 'WTEWT: 1 (and not 'wrfT^JT: 'or *lf4-H>i:'), what the 
Satapatha-Brahmana actually means by the word 'dlH*' or 'spc^RT* 
(occurring in *ifss[G{rt:) and how and why the offspring born to 
the offerer of the said oblations are delivered from Rudra's power. 
As a matter of fact, this is a highly confused statement based on a 
complete misunderstanding of the words c 3rfT3TEpT* and 'sqs^P*, 
so much so that this Brahmana and no other Vedic work,, gives 
out 'arfr^fj evidently an epithet, as we shall see below, definitely 
as the 'name* (TTT^) of Rudra's 'sister ' (?^|) and makes Keith go 
so far as to say, without rhyme or reason, that 'Ambika. as the sister 
of Rudra* *seems to derived from the epithet Tryambaka* 15 So, 
there is hardly any doubt that the said statement is the result of a 
serious confusion with regard to the meaning particularly of the 
obscure word '^M-wsjq?'; and as at least one more palpable instance 
of a similar confusion has been cited by us elsewhere 16 in connection 
with the possibility of the Vedic Aryans* contact with the Assyri- 
ans or Assyro-Babylonians in a fairly early Vedic period, we cannot 
overlook it easily. 

Following the authorities referred to above and also similar 
others and in view of the lines. "CTB 

14. "arfisrapT ^ t similar 

TTT, 3^ *TT 3T^*T STSfT 

15. A. B. Keith, Religion and Philosophy of the Veda and 
Upanifads, p. 144. 

16. In our article on the source or origin of J^g- Vedic Rudra, 
which is awaiting publication. 

46 W* PURS$IA [VOL. xiiv., NO. i 

[or sffrsreiT ^*TT) etc - occurring in the extant 
Samhitas and Brahmanas of the Yajur-Veda^ 7 (in some of which the 
word 'srfRW appears to have been taken, as in the Satapatha- 
Brahmana mentioned above, to be the name ofRudra's sister), 
modern scholars interpret the compound 'sqr^^j 1 as one having 
three mothers, three sisters, three wives, or three eyes. Thus, 
according to Arbrnan, Louis Re CLOU and D. R. Bhandarkar this 
word means Rudra 'who has three mothers*; 18 to Macdonell its 
"meaning appears to be 'one who has three mothers' in allusion to 
the three-fold division of the universe 1 ', 19 Keith takes it to mean 
one having three wives, sisters or mothers, and says, without explai- 
ning its second member, that in it there is possibly "an allusion to 
the three divisions of the universe* or *the epithet refers to the god 
either as connected with three seasons, or as connected with the 
three worlds, heaven, air and earth, as in the case with the Maruts 
..... ,,.'; ao to Griffith it is a name of Rudra as having three wives, 
sisters or mothers, or three eyes; ai and so on. But we are constrai- 
ned to say that none of these interpretations has the least claim to 
plausibility Neither the ^g^Veda nor any of the other Vedic 
Samhitas and Brahmaiias says anywhere, directly or indirectly a that 

17, The line '<rq- ^ 33 qrTO:' etc. occurs in VS 3.57, TS, 
KSQ.7 (29, p. 76) and 36.14 (25-27, p. 362), KKS 8.10 

(p. 87), MS 1.10.4 (22-27, p. 84) and 1.10.20 (48-50, p.95), 
TBR., and $Br 

For the line %^ ^ ^g^ ^ufHfrl' etc. see KS 36. 14 
(25-27, p. 362} t MS 1.10.20(48-50, p. 95), and TBr 1.6.1O.4 
(v,l. '^r^ sft drcm(M*frr SSRTT')* About this line as occurring 
a little differently (L e. without mention of 'sn^ 1 ) in the 
$atapathfrBrahma$a ( we shall say later. 

18. E. Arbman, Rudra (Uppsala, 1922) p. 296 ff.; L. Renou. 
Vedic India, p. 63 ( 125); D. R. Bhandarkar, Some Aspects 
of Ancient India Culture 9 p. 42. 

19. A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology ', p. 74. 

20. A. B. Keith, Taittirfya SaMita (English translation), 
p 118, note 2; and Religion and Philosophy of the Veda and 
Upanisads, pp. 143, 149. 

21. R. T. H. Griffith, r/w Text of the White Tajur-Veda 
(Vajasaneyi-Samhita, English translation) 3.58 (note at 
p. 28). 

JAN., 1982] THE WORDS rspfl AND 


Vedic Rudra ever had three mothers 22 , sisters, wives or eyes, 23 or 
was the father of any group of three deities, the Maruts, of whom 
Rudra is repeatedly called the father in the 1$.g~Veda t being many 
more in number than three. As a matter of fact, the Vedic 
Samhitas are completely silent about the mention either of even a 
single mother, sister or wife of Rudra or of her name. 3 -* Of the 
Brahmanas it is only the fatapatha ( which gives a story of 
the birth, from the Dawn (g^) by the year (shR^) and the sea- 
sons (q^T^?)> ^ a k v (fj*TR)> who cried for names immediately 
after his birth and was consequently given by Prajapati as many as 
eight names including 'Rudra', which was the first. 25 But even in 
this Brahmana there is no mention of Rudra's three mothers. 

Stories, similar to that given in the Satapata *Brahmanha> are 
to be found in many of the present Puranas also, but in these works 

22. Taking, like Ludwig, Geldner and others, the word 

*f*T*TTdl* in $V 3.56.5 to mean 'he who has three mothers', 
Macdonell (Vedic Mythology > p. 74) feels inclined to find 
in it the g- Vedic response to Rudra's 'three mothers',. 
But we must not ovelook the facts that 'f^TflFdl* having 
the accent in the first syllable, is a Tatpurusa Compound, 
and not a Bahuvrihi, and means, as Vehkatamadhava 
and Sayanacarya say, * c the measurer of the three (worlds) s 
and not 'he who has three mothers*, and that neither in 
the said verse nor in any other of the same Siikta there is 
any mention of Rudra or the slightest reference to this 

23. It is a fact that in AV 11.2.3,7 and VS 16.7 Rudra is said 
to be 'thousand- eyed* 5 but this is evidently due to his 
past J5.g-Vedic identification with Agni. 

24. Although, as we have already said, the "fag-Veda often 
calls Rudra the father, and sometimes the progenitor, of 

the Maruts, and the latter the sons of PrSni (cf. ' 

%V 1.23.10, 38.4, 85.2, etc.), Prfini is never said to be 
Rudra's 'wife.' 

Even if PrSni be taken to be the wife of Rudra, the 
latter is nowhere said to have three wives. 

25. This story must have been based on the facts that Rudra 
came to be identified with Agni in the post-J?.g- Vedic 

days, that Agni has been called ^pTTC J in R.V 5.2.1 , and 
that every day, throughout the year and in all the seasons, 
fire was kindled by the Vedic Aryans early in the mor- 
ning for performance of sacrifices, 

48 *3*w PURXtfA [VOL. xxrv. f NO. 1 

there is no mention of the Dawn, the Year and the Seasons; on the 

other hand, a child, called 'Kumara Nila-lohita* or simply *Nfla- 

lohita', is said to have appeared all on a sudden in (Rudra ) 

Mahadeva's lap and to have received from Brahman the name 

'Rudra' and seven others. 20 Although ia the present Epics and 

Puranas, Vedic Rudra, being amalgamated with iva (a god of 

popular origin), has lost much of his Vedic character and gained 

many additions to his person and activities, these works also are 

completely silent about his three mothers. 

From what has been said above it is evident that the interpre- 
tation, hitherto given by scholars, early or late, of the word *Hrf> 
are all completely unauthorised and have consequently no basis to 
stand upon. Under these circumstances we shall have to try in 
our own way to determine its meaning, and, for this, we shall have 
to look to the %.g-Veda first of all. 

We have already said that '*MH*' is a compound word pre- 

sumably having 'arRT', 'a^r*, 'sF&G* or ap^PT as its second mem- 

ber. Although, in the Rg-Veda, we do not found 'ap^ or 'sn^T 1 

the word 'ap^' (evidently the vocative singular of 'saF^f) is there. 

Besides this, the J&g-Veda has two other words (presumably derived 

From the same root or base), viz., 'srfN* (and its derivatives* srf*^- 

fl^TT* and e n^f) and i 3p^^\ i n the Samhitag of the TaJur-Veda 

there is a third one, viz., ' 

Of the words occuring in the R.g-Veda we find C 3rffc^' used in 
the form 'arfTScf*^ (feminine vocative-singular of superlative of 
' in #V 2.41.16 running as follows : 

V wfo 

and it occurs in the form 'BTKPI:' (nominative plural) in 7 1.23. 
which runs thus : 

26. BTahmaaHa-p. I 10.3 ff. and i.5. 72 ff.; Vayu-p. 27. 3ff. 
and Li0.73F.; Visqu-p. (Vanga. ed.) i.7.8fF, and i.Q.ff.; 
Padma-p. (Anss ed., Srsti-kha^da) 3,162-168ab and 188ff; 
Karma-p. ^Ail-Iadia Kashiraj Trust ed.) i.7.24rrTand i. 10. 
18cd ff,; Litiga-p, (Calcutta ed,) 1,6,1 Iff.; and so on. 

JAN., 1982] TH3 WORDS 9IH=^P AND 3rfi^7T 49 

<P?: II 

In explaining the former verse (RV 2.41.16) Sayana takes 
' to mean '*nq<Tt ^ ('best of mothers') and thus, ' 

to be synonymous with 'TT^' ('mother') but in his commentary on 
the latter verse (RV 1.23.16) he explains 'sp^nr:' not simply as 
C TT?R;:' ('mothers*; but as 'qr?T*rTqfaT STiq-: 1 ('waters deserving the 
place of mothers") and quotes Kau/ttaki-Brahmana 12.2, which says 
that in the verse 'arssrat ZTFcSScTfa;:' (l&V 1.23.16) it is 'STR:' ('waters') 
which have been called 'srwrzr:' ('mothers') by way of praise. 27 
Again, at the very outset of his commentary on this Rg-Vedic verse 
(sp^zft *Triwif*r:j etc.) as occuring in Atharva-Veda 1.4.1 Sayana 
says that, "like the word *3TKTT f 9 the word 'srfssr* also is well-known 
in the Veda as denoting 'mother,*; and then, after referring 
toF2. 41.16 (srfFsrart ?T?fa^, etc.) and KBr. 12.2. (mentioned 
above) as his authorities, he interprets 'sn^nr:' not simply as *-Hld<:' 
but as *flTq^[rtT 3TFT:' (i. e. 9 waters that attained the position of 
mothers). Thus, following the Kaufsttaki-Brahmatta Sayana takes 
this word to have been used in the sense of 'mothers' for praise of 
'waters' (snT') which are relevant in the said Qg-Vedic verse as well 
as in a few others of the same Sukta. We are now to see how far 
this interpretation can be used relevantly in explaining IJ.F". 1.23,16 
?^ fce| ft : 9 etc.) quoted above. 

From Sayana's commentaries on this verse as occuring in the 
Rg-Veda (1.23.16) and the Atharva-Veda (1.4.1) we understand that 
he construes it as follows : 


As we have already seen, Sayana takes 'apftw:' to mean 
(or, ^T^^rT:) STT 1 ?:' ('waters which are mother-like*) by 

;' he means 'i^^fTf?Tft ap^^: T ('beneflcial or serviceable female 
relations") or '^rpTFir:' ('sisters 3 ) because, as he says, 'in the 
(sacrificial) act under performance (waters) are helpful like 


| Sayana *s com. on &V 1.23.16* 

50 qtif^-Pu RStfA [VOL. xxrv,, NO, 1 

sisters 1 , 28 and he interprets the expression '^SRWyTT TO:, rather 
queerly, in his com. on $.V> 123.16 as ..... Hl^ftR ?*ti TO.... 
*mf3ij ZT>SW*CZT:' ('associating in cows etc-.-milk furnished with the 
tasteof sweetness') and, a bit differently, in his com. on AV.lA.l as 

('furnishing with their own sweet taste the objects of sacrifice such 
as Soma-juice etc. or ghee which is milk in a changed form'}. So, 
following Sayaaa's construction and explanation of the said verse 
we may translate it thus : 

"The mother-like (waters), the sisters (or, beneficial female 
relations) of the (priests or sacrifices) desiring (performance of 
their Soma aB ) sacrifice, go by (their) paths, putting (in cows etc.) 
milk furnished with sweet taste [or, associating payas with (their) 
taste of sweetness]". 

In interpreting the said verse (F 1.23.16) Mudgala follows 
Sayanavery faithfully; but Skanda-svamin's interpretation ofit, 
though being generally the same as that of Sayana, has the 
pecularity in that it takes ^ to be water brought from a stream 
and kept ovetnight in a special vessel called ^*&tt (meant 
for keeping water for sacrificial and other religious purposes)* and 
<T^ to be the same as Soma-juice.^ According to Venkatama- 
dhava the expression 'fntfriyn ^ means <^ ^ ^^4 

*<p^: ('thoroughly associating the visible water with sweet 

Following more or less the interpretations of the scholiasts 

tra . Sisters of priestly mini, 

trantg, mingling their sweetness with the milk". 

28. . ^ ^ ^^ 
Sayana's com. on AV 1.4.1. 

29. ThM^^li'^WWhid^^ 
AV 1.4.1 


Svamin's Com. 

JAN., 1982] THE WORDS Ini> AND SrP^fT 51] 

It has already been said that this verse also occurs in L4.1, and 
Whitney and Griffith translate it as follows : 

"The mothers go on their ways, sisters of them that make 
sacrifice, mixing milk with honey" (Whitney). 

"Along their paths the Mothers go, Sisters of priestly mini- 
strants, blending their water with the mead." (Griffith). 

As Ludwig, Grassmann, Geldner and others 9 renderings of 
this verse are not very materially different from those of Whitney 
and Griffith, we need not mention them here. 

But it is hardly necessary to say that these interpretations and 
translations are not at all satisfactory or convincing. If 'srfN 1 * mean 
simply 'mother', as these scholars say, then the 'waters 3 being called 
'arrgtr;* and thus being conceived as 'the mothers* of the priests or 
sacrificers desiring performance of their (Soma) sacrifice, are again 
called their 'sfTTRi' (sisters or other female relations). This conce- 
ption of double relation of the same object (viz. waters) with the 
same persons (viz., the priests or sacrificers) for the same functions 
of the former (i. e. t waters) is extremely awkward and also absolu- 
tely unnecessary, because the mothers generally and naturally 
render much greater service to their sons than the sisters to their 
brothers, thus leaving no scope for the latter. According to Sayana, 
'waters', like sisters, are helpful in a (sacrificial ) act under perfor- 
mance'; but can the sisters "put in cows etc. milk furnished with 
sweet taste* (as Sayana and Mudgala say), or have they got (or do 
they carry) any sweet taste of their own (cf. ^^flrzhT ^I'^K^H'), with 
which they can sweeten the objects of sacrifices such as Soma-juice 
or ghee (as Sayana says) or does the special kind of water with 
which they mix the Soma-juice, form a part of their own self 
as Skanda-svamin says), or can they add sweet taste to 

water (as Venkatamadhava says), and, if so, how ? As the said 
interpretations of 2J.F" 1.23.16 raise these abnormal questions but 
fail to enable us to give suitable replies, there is hardly any doubt 
that all these difficulties arise from the wrong interpretation of this 
verse, particularly of the word 'srw^:* used in it. If we set aside 
the other objections, the very presence of the word 'siHTT: in the 
said verse shows that 'afWpq 1 : 9 cannot mean 'mothers'. So, for gett- 

52 <jTT*nT PURXJA [VOL. xxi Vi, NO. 1 

ing to the other possible meanings of this word ('arr^') we should 
derive it, as Sayana has done, from the Atmanepadl root *3ff 
(i. e* '3&s meaning 'to roar', e to sound, .srfe Sist) with the Unadj 
suffix 5 (meant for denoting the subject) in accordance with the 
Unadi-sutra 'tffi ?:' (4.138), but we must take it primarily to be an 
epithet meaning (that) which roars or makes sound and secondarily 
to mean, by convention in rare but relevant cases, those which have 
this epithet, viz., water and mother. Thus, like *arT?r' (derived 

from -^an^ to sound, and meaning 'water') , 'f^ 1 (derived from 
to roar, and meaning e river') and many other similar words, 
' is derived from its basic root 'arfsr' (i. e . 'sT*^' to roar, to 
sound) and conventionally taken, like 'ST fig 1 ' s to mean 'water 3 , perhaps 
because water is found to create sound in various ways by falling 
on earth as rain and hail, by flowing in strong currents in rivers 
and fountains, by creating water-falls, by giving rise to lightning 
and thunder and so on. Convention also requires 'arfisr' to mean 
'mother', as scholiasts rightly say, evidently because a naturally 
affectionate mother (even among the lower animals) has to make 
particular sounds to warn her little children against dangers 
or to call them to her side for their safety. But in the 
matter there is a remarkable difference between the meanings of 
the words '3r**rff', '^R 1 , *3T*f* etc., on the one hand, and those of 
*arfo', on the other. Whereas in case of the former words their 
conventional meanings come to the forefront, thus pointing very 
prominantly to the material objects taken by convention to be de- 
noted by them and throwing their literal meanings into the back- 
ground, in the case of the latter (i. e., the word 'erfa"') its literal 
meanings are more prominent and inseparable even though it is 
used in the conventional sense. As to the word 'af^T* (meaning 
'mother*) it may be said that, being uttered instinctively for the 
first time by a little child incapable of speaking, this word had a 
natural origin and did not stand in need of being derived from a 
root. So, its meaning 'mother', unlike those of C 3rp^' a word de- 
rived from the root *3jf5T J i. e. *ar^ , is direct and natural and has 
got no idea of any root at its base. As human civilization made 
its progress, there was an ever-increasing attempt to express ideas 
not only by finding new words for them but also by forming kindred 
words on the roots or bases of those already in use in society; and 

JAN., 1982] THElwOXDS VEF3& AND BrfersfJT 

it is hardly necessary to say that these derived words, even though 
used to mean some particular things by convention, could not, in 
many cases, get over the meaning of their roots or bases. 

That the conventional meaning 'mother* given to "arfN"' has, 
at its basis, its etymological meaning of roaring or sounding is 
quite evident from %V 8. 72. 5, which gives a very nice poetic 
description of a bright lightning- flash from a cloud in the sky and 
the closely following thunder, through the imagery of a brightly 
white newborn calf running unobstructed af cer its birth and its 
mother lowing as if in appreciation of the extraordinary exploit of 
her child. This verse says : 

?r * i 

["The running calf, shining bright here (in the sky), finds 
none to check (it, and) wants (its) roaring (mother) to praise it"]. 

The word 'sFSzrq 1 in this verse is the Accusative singular of 
, the alternative feminine form of 'arfisr' derived with the 
addition of^q; (>)in accordance with the Varttika "$ftEpr*RfTfifT:" 
under Panini's r ule "s^rfoTO" (4.1.45). As the lightning-flash is 
closely followed by the thunder, and as the calf (in the form of the 
lightning-flash) does not want its mother (in the form of the cloud) 
to look silently at it like a dumb spectator but expects her to be 
vociferous in full appreciation of its highly creditable work, the 
word *afs^' has the underlying meaning of 'roaring', which, here, is 
of the first importance. 

Although we know of the literary use of the root *gffgr> ( i. e> , 
ap^;) meaning 'to roar", 'to sound* in the Vedic or non-Vedic 
literature, the &g- Vedic verse quoted above bears sufficient evidence 
to the great antiquity of the said in-lying meaning of the root ' 
( i. e., 'arrsj;' ). 

From what has been said above it is evident that we should 
take the word 'apSR:', in %V 1.23.16 to mean 'the roaring (waters)', 
and with this meaning of this word we should translate the said 

verse thus : 

"The roaring (waters), the (singing) sisters (or, female 
relations) of the (priests or sacrifices) desiring (performance of 

[VOL. xxiv., NO. I 

their Soma-) sacrifice, go by (their) paths, mixing milt witb 
Soma-juice J> . 

As a matter of fact, a careful study of the %g-Veda shows that 

in the early g-Vedic period, when the females in the Vedic society 

enjoyed much greater freedom, the Vedic Aryans took, at least in 

the family rites, the active assistance of their sisters and other near 

female relations, who helped the male members by extracting juice 

from Soma plants founded particularly in mortars, 82 by bringing 

water in jars from rivers etc., 33 by mixing milk with Soma-juice 

kept in jars (sf^sr) or vats (^07), by diluting the mixture properly 

with water if necessary, and by doing similar other works possible 

for them. From the %g-Veda we learn that, while thus working, the 

Vedic females used to sing songs. 5 * But with the progress of time 

the Aryan females came gradually to be deprived of this right of 

active co-operation in religious matters and were pushed into the 

background. From the said Sg-Vedic verse it appears that at the 

time of its composition the females of the Vedic society were no 

longer allowed to take active part, like males, in the performance 

ol Vedic, particularly Soma, sacrifices. So the roaring waters, 

moving along their particular paths leading to the jars or vats 

containing Soma-juice, are said to be doing, like the singing 

sisters or female relations (of older days), the work of mixing milk 

proportionately with Soma-juice (which is often called TO in the 

X*Vla).** It is hardly necessary to say that abnormal consum- 

ption of Soma-juice ia the different spheres of individual, social, 

rehguMis and political life of the Vedic Aryans made Soma practi- 

cally a rare thing even in the late % g .Vedic period, and the result 

was that, with the progress of time, people felt more and more the 

necessity of diluting Soma-juice with water to meet the demand. 

This is evrfently whyin the said ftg-Vedic verse 'the roaring waters' 

(and not the singing sisters or female relations of the priests or 

sacrifices) have been said to mix milk with Soma-juice. 

We have already seen that 'erffe^ formed by adding the Unadi 
suffix g to ^ (i . e . 3^ primarily 

32. See #? 1,28*3-4; 1,89.3. 

33. Of,, for instance, RV 1.191.14. 

34. Cf., for instance,, #V 1.92.3. 

35. See, for instance, $r 4.26.5, 4.27.5, 6,20.3, 8.69.6, and so 

., 1982] THE WORDS azpaiif; AND srfcnffT 55 

sound'. Consequently, *srfr^t', which in %.V 2.41.16, is one 
the epithets of the river SarasvatI, must be taken to mean 'the 
roarer' or 'the best of those having roaring (waters)' 86 , and this 
finds strong support in the fact that in the said verse (i. e. 
2.41.16 which contains the epithet 'diflsld^ 1 ) SarasvatI has been 
as 'an^' (*O mother*) and that in a good ^number of &g- 
verses this river has been extolled for her mighty flood, high 
s l>eed, surging waves, and loud roaring. 87 

Our statements made above make it clear that the Atmane- 
root 'gjfa' (i. e. 'an^'), may safely be taken to mean e to roar', 
sound*. So, the words 'sn^'j tf 8n=qr*/3n^^' and 'spR^r 1 ma y be 
of follows : 

(literally meaning 'roarer* 'maker of sound'). 

re: i Vrtsr (i- e. Vsn^;) + (=F?ffT) BT^; (>BT, by Panini's 

3.1.134 - 

(literally meaning 'roar', 'sound'). 

may, by convention, mean "father", because, like a mother, 
a father also not rarely makes sound to control his children. 

*3T*^T' (meaning, by convention, 'mother^. '3f*3 3 (masculine, 
meaning 'father' by convention) with the feminine suffix 

36. This second meaning we may have if we take 'srfiq'^' to be 
equivalent to 'arffcnT^' just like 'STCR^IIT' which, an epit- 
het of a river in W 10.75.7, is equivalent to '3^*^^ 
(according to Sayana) or 'arMRflam' (according to 

37. See, for instance, $V 1.3.12 (SarasvatI, a huge mass of 
water ^ BTDT:), 6.52.6 (swelling with rivers) 7.36.6 
(mother of floods/ swelling with water the roaring streams), 
7.95.1 (moving swiftly and surpassing all other streams in 
her greatness), 7.96.1 (the mightiest of rivers), 7.96.5 
(high waves) and so on. 

56 TOOpJ PURXfclA. [VOL. XXfV., NO. 1 

' (meaning 'sky'). 3T^ 5TS^ ^tf?T sp^ ^RT an^R?? I 
+ P ( > sr) I (It is well known that STT^RT is qrs^ror, i. e. has 
'sound' as its attribute), 

'sn^' (meaning *one who habitually roars or makes sound'). 

srferfj" srfs^g' sfoyjj ar^T sfaarTsnfl: i Varfsr + 

Cf. Panini's rule 3.2.146 

[meaning e one who causes (something) to roar or 
sound'] snsrzrfa ^ 5>F&fo %fo ^Sf^: I i}%fa + frr + 

As 'an^sp' may be derived in the said two ways, Sip^fr' may 
be analysed thus : 

M) f^ Tf^r^crftsr^ sn^r: (qilgqFRy.*) ne who roars (or 
makes sound) i^ the three (regions, viz., earth, air and 

(ii) spTTun- ( I TrrszT5?rfT?5T^?rTiT) 3{i^r: Oa^nT*:) one who 
makes the three (regions, viz., earth, air and heaven) roar 
or sound (with his roaring). 

That Rudra controls the three regions, viz., the earth, air and 
heaven, and fills these with his roar, is known from a number of 
RgVedic verses, such as R.V 1.114.5, 1.122-1, 2.1.6, 5.41.3 and 
8.20.17 (in which Rudra has been called the extremely powerful god 
of heaven), 7,46.2 (which says that Rudra thinks of the earthly 
beings through his lordship and of the heavenly ones through his 
imperial sway), 7.46,3 (in which it is stated that Rudra's blazing 
art, i e. the lightning-flash, passes by the earth after being hurled 

down f rom heavens), J 0.92.5 (which says that as Rudra proceeds, 
at ta lm hl?h speed and ^^.^ frequendy and v . oientiy . n ^^ 

mermediate region, viz., the sky, floods rush forward and cover up 
the extensive earth), and so on. 

I * Sh U u ld be me *aed here that although in &V 6,49.10 
has been called 'the father of the universe 

must not 

7 worlds)Ij because in case 

JAN., 1982] THE WORDS Slp^Ep AND BTfHfrt 57 


This word is the feminine form of 'sn^^r' meaning '(habitual) 
roarer or maker of sound*, and for its derivation we are to look to 
Panini's rule 7.3.44 sreZTZTsqra *FTq fr^VlId ^M*j,M-. So, in its origin, 
it is an epithet meaning 'one (a female) who roars or makes sound 

The earliest use of this word is found in connection with 
Tryambaka-homa (in Sakamedha in Rajasuya) in the extant Samhi- 
tas and Brahmanas of only the Tajur-Veda. As we have said above, 
the $atapatha-Brahmana gives it out to be the *name' (fTTT) of Rudra's 
sister. 88 But, strangely enough, this statement of this Brahmana 
lias express support neither of any of the Samhitas of the Tajur-Veda 
nor of the Taittirfya- Brahmana, although these works, as their word- 
ings show 30 , appear to have, as regards *3fft^^iT 5 , th e same view as 
that of the Satapatha Brahmana. So, the idea that 'sctfteff} 9 is the 
name of Rudra's sister, must have had a much earlier beginning. 
But who was this 'grfwiTT* and whence did she come ? 

As we have already seen, the J$.g-Veda does not say anywhere 
that Rudra ever had a father, mother, sister or wife. As a matter 
of fact, this Veda and also the Sama-Veda and the Atharoa-Veda are 
completely silent about anyone, divine or non-divine, called 
arfN'sn' 9 nor do they use the word ^ft^T* at all. Even in the 
Samhitas and Brahmanas of the Tajur-Veda there is no mention of 
*srf^T J anywhere beyond the particular passages on Tryambaka 
lioina. So, great doubt arises as to the authenticity of the statement 
of the Satapatha-Brahmaya as regards 'arfj^fT 9 . As, thus, 'arf^spT* 
as a personal being, divine or otherwise, was non-existent or 
un traceable in the pre Satapatha-Brahmana period, it appears that 

38. See $Br. ^ 

39. Gf. "cpsr ?T ^swr:, ?I1 ^arsfisnpaiT 5f ?p^ J ' VS 3.57, TS, MS 1.10.4 (22, p. 84-v. 1. < 

pqT 9 )and 1.10.20 (4850, p. 94 v. I. as in 1.10.4), KS 9.7 
(29, p. 96 v. 1. omits. '^) and 36.14 (25-27, p. 362). 
.OTS'S.IO (p. 87;, TBr 


the obscure word "w^ 1 (containing the part 'sn*T*' of unknown 
meaning) made 'srffc^' equally obscure and also problematic, arid 
confusion arose about it long before the period of the Satapat o 
Brahman It is a fact that the Kathaka-Samhita (in * ditterent 
passage), and also the Taittirtya-Brahmana, say definitely t 
*r^ (the Autumn Season) is Rudra's 'sister'* but the confusion 
as regards 'arf^T 9 being long-continued and deep-rooted, persisted 
and could not be got rid of very easily, and this is f^^*^* 
unique and undoubtedly wrong passage of the Maitrayap*^ f > 
v/hich, unlike those of the Ksfhdka-Sa&hita and the Tai ^rv^ 
Brahmava referred to above, gives out 5H^ (Autumn Season) to e 
the source of Rudra's origin (xffir) end his 'sister' (^^r) to be 
'srfi^T 3 ^ l Thi S wrong statement of the Maitrayafn-Sathhit* shows 

40. See KS 36.14 (25-27, p. 362) 51^ ^ *&& ^flTSfrOT, 

^ew ^rfinw sfor- TRr 1 6.10,4 

41. See M5 1.10.20 (48-50, p. 94) 

For the corresponding passages of the 

(36.14) and the Taittirfja-Brahmaffa ( see tne 

immediately preceding foot-note, 

It is to be noted that, by giving out 'STK^ (the Au- 
tumn Season) to be 'the source of Rudra's origin' v55W 
Jflfir:) and his 'sister* fcmr) to be f 3ffN^T' 3 the said pas- 
sage (1,10.20) of the Uaitmani-Samhita unlike those sm 
the Katliaka-Swahita and the Taittirtya-BrZhmWa (reteiro 
to above) clearly differentiates 'STC^ from Rudra's 'sister 
s tf 5R^' is thus distinguished from Rudra's '^^ 
and as Rudra is said to follow the latter (cf. the 
pronoun 'qm**) in her train, Rudra cannot be said reaso- 

nably to ( kill most in STT^, So, the word '2Tu%:' i * he 
said passage of the M aitrayaqi*Stohhita, which is wanting 
in the other two passages quoted above (in fn. 40), must 
have been added wrongly and has, consequently, to be 
omitted for giving it a better sense. Here we cannot 
overlook the fact that a little after the said passage of the 

MaitT5j?a&J-$(irfrhit3 says: tt, ^ 

io*j THE WORDS ^SITF AND atf*^ 59 

that the obscure and problematic word 'arF^HPT' made it extremely 
difficult even for ancient authorities to determine correctly the 
mutual relation between 51*^ *n? and srfisRTT and the result waa that 
5PC^ (the Autumn Season) was taken by some to be Rudra's sister 
and by others to be the source of his origin (i. e. s his mother), 
while all of these ancient authorities appear to agree in taking 
arfr^pr to be the name of Rudra's sister, totally overlooking the 
fact that there is no trace of any personal being, divine or other- 
wise, called srfi^r in any of the Vedic works earlier than the 
extant Samhitas and Brahmanas of the Tajur-Veda, in which, as we 
have already said, the word 'srfrsnFT 5 occurs for the first time in 
connection with Tryambaka-homa. Under these circumstances we 
feel it necessary to try to explain, in a relevant and reasonable way, 
the said passages of the extant Samhitas and Brahmanas of the 
Tajur-Veda in which there is mention of the word ( 

We have shown elsewhere that Vedic Rudra was a highly 
mischievous and destructive god, and that his widely popular name 
*Rudra s (meaning 'Howler', 'Roarer') was originally not a name 
but a most prominent epithet of his. Similarly, the word *5TC^' 
derived from V*Z (meaning 'to kill 9 , *to destroy', e to tear asunder*, 
'to injure') with the Unadi suffix 'sffe' (^'s^') is an epithet (in 
the feminine gender) meaning 'that which kills, destroys or injures', 
but it is used as the name of the Autumn Season, because, coming 
immediately after the rains, this Season causes various kinds of 
diseases such as cough, fever etc. and is thus between creative of 
sufferings of human beings andT destructive of human life. 42 Like 
Rudra, ^n^ ( the Autumn Season) also is a roarer, because, during 
this season, clouds roar and pour out their last vestige of water, and 
the ambitious conquerors' hosts attack enemy-States by raising 

3T i4flS"c|U|t-4K 5rat: snrra^, etc." in which, as well 
as in the corresponding passage of KS 36.14(25-27, p.362), 
a mountain (ftrfr) has been said to be the source or origin 
(zfrtH :) of Rudra. 
42. Gf. Sayana's com. on TS (1.8,6.1-2) 'sTOfiTSyt ff 

<pron PURXtf A [VOL. xxiv NO. i 


war-cries and making people wail for their life and property. 48 
It is, therefore, quite in the fitness of things that the Autumn 
Season has been named 'STT^ and called Rudra's sister (*TO) 
described as srfe^T (meaning 'roaring'). As it was a popular belief 
that, being the creator of all kinds of human sufferings consequent 
upon destruction of property and diseases and death, Rudra caused 
also these in Autumn most extensively in company with his roaring 
sister Sarad, some of the Samhitas of the rajur-Veda, as well as the 
Taittirlya-Brahmana, have the following lines : 

["This, O Rudra, is thy share; with (thy) roaring sister enjoy 

["Verily Autumn is Rudra's roaring sister; following her this 
(god) moves about; consequently, this (god) kills most in 
Autumn"], and 

["Autumn, indeed, is the roaring sister of this (god Rudra); 
(together) with her this (god) kills"]. 

From what has been said about it is evident that the word 
'arfe^T* occurring in the said passages of the Yajur-Veda Sarhhi&s 
and the Taittirija-Brakmafa is an epithet (and not the name) of 
Rudra's sister and means a '(female) that roars 1 . 

In his commentary on T$ Sayana interprets 'arl^TO* 
as *ff[fe^T"j (injurious, maleficent) 47 but, as this interpretation has 
got no authority in its support, it cannot be accepted as 

43. More in r ormation on this point will be given on another 

44. For mention of the texts con taming this line see fhs. 
39 and 38 above. 

45. KS 36.14 (25-27, p. 362). 

46. TBr. 1,6,10.4 

47. For the text of Sayaua*s com. see fn. 42 above. 

JAN., 1982] THE WORDS SEp^T AND aiPM^T 61 

As we have seen above, it is only the fatapatha-Brahmana 
(, 13) which gives out 'arfs^PT* to be the name of Rudra's 
sister, keeping completely silent about *5TC^% This statement of this 
Brahmana with complete silence about %?;5' must be due, firstly, 
to the extreme obscurity of the meaning of this word as well as of 
that of 'szn^' 48 and, secondly, to the wrong text of the Maitrayam- 
Samhita (1.10.20) in which the Autumn season (?P^) has been said 
to be the source of origin (zftfa) of Rudra. Besides these there 
seems to be another no-less-serious reason, but this we intend to 
state with full details on another occasion. 

Although the said statement of fatapatha-Brahmaga as regards 
'arfr^PT* must be taken as wrong, the posterity blindly followed it, 
with the result that a mother-goddess named Ambika came into 
being and became the object of wide popular worship. 


AnSS. = AnandaiSrama Sanskrit series (Poona) 

AV = Atkarva-Veda (Saunaka Samhita) 

Com. = Commentary. 

Ed. = Edition, or edited by. 

KBr KausJtaki-Brahmana. 

KKS = Kapisthala-Kaiha-Samhita (of the Tajur-Vedd) 

ed. Raghu Vlra, 1932. 

KS Kafhaka-Samhita (ed. Svadhyaya-Mandala 


48. That the meaning of ^H^ was an insoluble problem to 
the ancient authorities, is evident from the extremely 
hazy and enigmatic statements made by them in connec- 
tion with it in Sfir (quoted above in fn. 14) and 
in-firS 1 . 36.14(25-27, p, 362) and M S 1.10.20 (48-50, p. 95), 
which say respectively : 


t ^ft ^JMIHJ, d^MI^ *4W*r, n^r t 


62 flUIH-PURXtfA [VOL XXIV., NO. 1 

Affift = Mahabharata (Vahga. ed. unless otherwise 

- Mato5jayl*SaAkif3 (of the TajwVtda) ed. 
Svadhyaya-Mandala 1942. 

Pouna cr. ed. = p OOI ia critical edition (published by the 
ABORI, Poona). 


= Taittiriya-Samkita (of the Tajnr-Veda), 

Svadhyaya-Mandala, 2nd ed. 
Vanga = Vangavasi Pre^s, Calcutta. 
Vtukat. = Venkateivara Press, Bombay. 


= VtjuuujiMits (of the WkMaju 
d. Nirnaya Sagara Press, Bombay, 1922. 




( = ^j^^fa^frat) IWvf wr 


snfr?iT fefe^'T I 

f : 1 

i ares <-MH>'I<*: 
$000 anr ^r Priffe: i K 

o-^oo ^fScTi'irT 5 ^ T^RT^T^tS^T^; Vo o-^oo 

In a recent study 1 Dr. Ramesh Chandra Srivastava has 
analysed those portions of the Visnudharmottara Purana which contain 
material on medicinal science. He has concluded that these cha- 
pters dealing with Ayurvedic material are based on the Astnngasofi 

1. Visyu Dharmottara Purapa Ka CikitsS Vaijrlanika Adhyayana. 
Unpublished thesis approved for the Ph. D. degree of 
Banaras Hindu University, 1981. 

64 [VOL. xxiv., NO. 1 

a.a He has indicated the parallels particularly 
whnhe analyses passages on basic principles. 8 Dr. Srivastava 
has listed verses which the Visnudharmottara PurSya has common 
with the AgnipurZ$a but he has not prepared any such list of 
verses common to the Vi^udharmoitara and the Aftatgasafigraha. In 
the section on art/fas Dr. Srivastava merely explains the nature of 
the various indications. He has not pointed out parallels from 
the AstatigasaAgraha or any otiier medicinal text. It seems that he 
is conscious that there is no close parallel between the VifQudhar* 
mottara and the medicinal texts so far as the arista: are concerned. 

The account of the ariffas in tbe Visnudkarmottara Puraya, 
khanda III, Chapter 238 has its own unique nature. It has certain 
features which bring it closer to the passages on arisfas described 
m the context of Yoga in the Dtvaladharmasittra*, Makabforata* and 
Vfyu , MaTarfeya* and Linga* Pur^os. On the same hand, the 
close connection of the chapter in the Vi^udharmottara with the 
system of Ayurveda is also evident. 

We can, for the sake of convenience, divide the chapter into 
two sectKms. The first runs upto verse 23; the second includes 
verses 24 to 33. The first records the premonitory signs for death 
after a specified period. Though most of the indications on arisfas, 
generally speaking, can ultimately be traced to the ancient teste on 
Ayurveda, winch have a very detailed account, the manner in which 
they occur m the V wudharmottara has a distinctive character. The 
medicinal texts also in some casea indicate death after a specified 
period But a connected and consolidated account, in which the 

Tone dt Cre d S6 fi g if dUaUy fr m "^rtoone ^nth and then 
to one day and finally to immediate death, is not to be found in 

2. Ibid, pp. 17, 349. 

3. Ibid, Chapter II. 

4. Ibid, pp. 379-92, 


6. (Critical edition) itiparva, 305. 

7. Chapter XIX, 

8. Chapter 43. 

9. I. 91. 


the Ayurvedic texts. The Visnudharmottara shares this feature with 
the Devaladharmasutra, Mahabharata and the Puranas. If we compare 
the relevant verses in the Visnudharmottara with the passages in these 
texts, we find that no single verse in the Visnudharmottara was borro- 
wed in full from any of these texts. Most of the indications, 
sometimes in identical or similar words, occur in one or the other 
text. But the author of the Visnudharmottara seems to have intro- 
duced definite changes. At places he adds new signs, while at 
others he drops some of the signs. There is some difference in as 
much as he mentions the same indication to refer to death after a 
different period of time. 

Now we may analyse the indications for different periods in 
the Visnudharmottara noting their parallels in other texts. As the 
Lingapur3na is known to have borrowed its account of the aristas 
from that in the VayupuTana 1 - , we have not noted the parallels with 
the Lingapurdna, Likewise, the account in the Mah3bharata is very 
summarised and brief and has very limited cases of parallels. 
Hence, we have not indicated the similarities with the verses in 
the Mahabharata. 

(1) Verse 4 It refers to the death of a person after a year, if 
he sees the light of the moon in the day time, or the shadow of 
the moon and the sun (respectively in daytime and night) and their 
setting. 11 There is nothing to match it in the Devaladharmasutra, 
Mahabharata t Vayupurana MZTkandeyapurana*-* or any of the texts on 

(2) Verse 5 It refers to the death of a person after a year 
if he sees the light of fire in the sky, or the dhruva (star) or the 
arundhatt star which is not visible to others. 18 It is similar to MP 
2, VP 2 and Devala 2. These texts have the additional expression 

10. R. G. Hazra, Studies in the PurSnic Records on Hindu Rites 
and Customs, p. 96. 

zff *rsr snTRftf ftrensja: i 

5Pfte^T fR OTT 1 1 

1 2. Hereinafter Devaladha rmasiitra, Vayupurana and Markandeya- 
puraya have been abbreviated as Devala, VP and MP. 

13. ^*rrtf sr*rr 3^jf^ ^f errcnr^Rft^ i 

c re*re*Tf BTT^zfa? ^JcZJJ ^AH^IW ^5tlM<^ II 


66 <\*m - PUKXtf A [VOL. XXIV., NO. 1 

fomaccksjam which seems to have inspired verse 4 of the 

(3) Verse 6 'He, who does not see the light of other lumi- 
nous objects, is said to die in the eleventh month 1 . 14 The indica- 
tion for the eleventh month in the other texts also concerns lumi- 
nous objects, but differs considarably in the wording. 

(4) Verse 7 c He, who in the night in the dream emits urine 
or stool (of the colour of) gold or silver, goes to the residence of 
Yama in the tenth month'. 15 Its parallel is Devala 5, VP 4, and 
MP 4, with the difference that these texts place mZtrajy, purfsam first 
and suoar&arfi rajatarp later and have pratyak$am for nifi. It is, 
however^ nearer to VF and MP than to Devala, which adds prabham 
to suvaraara/ata and mentions it as a premonitory sign for death in 
the ninth month. 

(5) Verse 8 'By seeing demons, ghosts, goblins or dk$as or 
other supra-sensory beings the death is certain in the ninth month/ 16 
The VP does not have any indication for the ninth month, nor does 
it have anything of this type listed elsewhere. The first line of MP 

5 and the second line of Drvala 4 resemble this verse. It is to be 
noted that the line in the MP contains a reference to the cities of 
the gandharuas, but Devala mentions it in the other line. 

(6) Verse 9 *He, who becomes weak (even when) taking 
large quantity of rich food or becomes bulky even though not eating, 
attains death in the eighth month,* 1 * In this case also we do not 
find in other texts any parallel mentioning this indication or refer- 
ring to the premonitory sign for death in the eighth month. Devala 

6 aad MP 6 are similar to it in mentioning death after the eighth 
month on the basis of sudden bulkiness or thinness. But there is 

14. OT*uni*wi**taf 3PFTT 






no reference to food or fasting as the factor. Instead we have an 
additional mention of morbidity in the natural form of the man. 

(7) Verse 10 e He, whose whole foot appears to be split up 
or deformed in dust or mud, attains death in the seventh month.' 18 
This indication appears alike in Devala 7, VP 5, and MP 7 t hut 
with some difference in the wording. The Vis$udharmottara adds 
the words asakalatp, and oikftarft for padam, whereas the other texts 
have agratafy pr*f at <> ^pi (MP has parspySih p3dasy3gre). The MP 
verse is slightly more akin to the Vi/nudharmottara verse. 

(8) Verse 11 *The twice-born, on whose head verily pearch 
crow, hawk and other carnivorous birds, is declared to die in the 
sixth (month).' 19 This indication is recorded by Devala 8, MP 8 
as well. The Visnudkarmottara inserts the word dvifah and para- 
phrases fyena for gfddhra. Of the three texts Devala is the nearest. 
The VP replaces khagafy for paksipafr, while the MP has several 
changes; it uses vayasafa for kakah and inserts two new words ICakolah 
and nzlah* 

(9) Verse 12 'He, from whose body dust, having the colour 
of the powder of cowdung, is rubbed off (and who sees) the morbid 
form of the shadow of his own body, attains death in the fifth 
(month). Jao Its parallel is to be seen in Devala 9, MP 9 and VP 7. 
Of the three, Devala comes nearest to the present verse. The other 
two mention this indication for death in the fourth or fifth month. 
The 6rst part of the indication, as given in the first line, also differs 
from what the other texts record, but here also Devala has a little 
more resemblance. It may be noted that the expression gomajacurna- 
bham can be traced in the account of aristas found in the medicinal 
texts. 21 

18. TO 



blWjHIvwit*! 1 $*<$ ^Vf+nPwlq; II 


g *j^Tr^ n 

21. Caraka, Indriya, 12.3; Bhela, Indriya, 9,1. 

68 S^** PuRfttfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. \ 

(10) Verse 13 The indication is mentioned in a single line. 
It says that a man, having seen lightning in a cloudless sky, defini- 
tely dies in the fourth month. 22 It has its parallel in Devala 10, 
MP 10 and VP 10. MP and VP mention It as referring to the 
person living for three or two months and record another premoni- 
tory sign in the first part of the second line. The second part of the 
first line in the three texts adds the detail that the lightning rests in 
the southern direction (daksiparp difamaJritarp). The first part of the 
lice is completely identical with its counterpart in MP. 

(11) Verse 14 'The noble twice-born, who knows his 
dkama, having seen the rainbow in water or the sky as non-existent, 
definitely dies in the third month.' 38 Devala 10 mentions a different 
premonitory sign for death in the third month. The first of the 
two indications noted by the V ' isnudharmottara is recorded by Devala 
12 as sign for death by the second month. MP 10 and VP 8 record 
it along with the preceding sign for death in two or three months. a4 
The phrasing of the ind 'cation is nearer to that in Devala than the 
one found in VP. 

16 e lf, without any disease,, the eyes 
e eyes appears to be dislocated and the 
t brings death within a month.* 3 * The 
1 a month recorded in Devala, MP and 
$ut, the indications under discussion are 
! for a man whose life is over. Of the 
blance in expression. 

fsrcd ^snj u 

seeing of the rainbow in the night. 
T fff 



efective. Aoaghattana means agitation, 
stirring round. But the parallel passa- 
' have sravet which means oozes or flows. 
irison with MP and VP passages would 
line refers to ears. 


(13) Verse 17 (line a) 'If a man smells foul odour from his 
own body, he dies within a fortnight 1 . 26 This indication is mention- 
ed by MP 12 and VP 10 in greater details. In Devala 15 it is 
brief and is mentioned as a premonitory sign for death within 
twelve days. 

(14) Verse 17 (lines b and c) 'The very fortunate man, who 
does not see his own image in the eyes 01 others, verily sees Yama 
within twelve days.' 27 The indications for death after twelve days 
as listed by Devala, MP and VP differ from this. MP 23 and VP 
21 later mention this very sign as indicating that the death of the 
person is imminent. In both these Pura$as it is the second line of 
the verse which is parallel to the first line of the Visnudharmottara. 

(15) Verse 18 A man knowing dharma, who does not smell 
the odour of an extinguished lamp, definitely sees Yama (lit. the son 
of Sun) within a week. 1 as None of the three texts, E>evala, MP and 
VP, mentions any indication for death within a week. But both 
the Purapas list this sign later on (MP 23 and VP20) as indicating 
imminent death. 

(16) Verse 19 *If the chest, feet and head of a person, im- 
mediately after bath or besmearing (with oil or unguent), quickly 
dries, his death is indicated after three days.' 29 TJie two Pur3yas 
do not mention any indication for death within three days. Devala 
does list one for this period, but it differs from the one mentioned 
by the Vifnudkarmottara. This sign is listed by Devala and MP as 
indicating death respectively after a month and twelve days, 80 The 
wording of the indication is nearer to that in MP. However, all 
these three texts refer to a person taking his bath 

2 e. 


1 1 


1 1 

29. TO: Rrar^facerczT ^TRfinsri *r%^ n 
tor" g'^ft^f TOT '*Ti[T^rc<imrf3refg; \ \ 

30. VP 19 refers to the severe pain in heart after the person 
has taken his bath. 

70 iTtnn PUHXJ^A [VOL. xxiv., NO. 1 

The reference to the person taking his bath and besmearing 
himself (st&tSnttliptasya) occurs in the medicinal texts. 81 

(17) Verse 20 'If a person has red freckles on his cheeks and 

has morbidity in his colour, his death is ordained to occur within a 

day and a night.** a The other three texts do not record any sign 

to indicate death after the period specified here. The sign of red 

boils (piiaka) on the cheek (ffltf^z), however, is recorded by Devala 

16andVP23> by the first to indicate that the person will live for 

four days and by the second that the death is imminent. But the 

other sign of morbidity in colour is not mentioned by any of these 

texts. The rnedicianal texts do prominently mention morbidity of 

colour (wr#aoikf*f) as a premonitory sign. 83 

(18) Verses 21 and 22 'He, who does not hear the sound 
when, the ears are closed with fingers, does not see the face in a 
stainless mirror and sees the agents {purufas ) (of Yama) who have 
approached, is ordained to die immediately.* 8 * Of the three indi- 
cations, the first is recorded alike by Devala 18, MP 28 and VP 27, 
the MP passage being the nearest. The second indication also 
occurs in these three texts (Devala 13, VP 9 and MP 11 ), of which 
the first two are nearer to the Vispudhdrmottara passage than ihe last 
one. But, in all the three texts it indicates death after a month. 
There is nothing in Devala to resemble the third indication. But 
MP 20 and VP 17 have a remote connection; they mention fierce 
purufas hitting the person with stones in dream, indicating immi- 
nent death. 

(19) Verse 23 The verse is not properly phrased. It men- 
tions premonitory signs for death after two days and thus does not 
appear in a proper sequence of enumeration. The most reasonable 

3L Caraka, Indrtya, 2.22; 546; 12,5; Bhela, Indriya, 11.19; 
Sttfruta, Satra, 3S.IO. 

Yihit* I* powlbiy a 


translation of the verse, as it is, will be : When the smoke on the 
head is destroyed, which may be caused by getting wet by water, 
and the bending (or breaking) of nose, death, is ordained after two 
days'. 86 None of the three texts has a parallel verse. The author 
possibly tried to incorporate as many indications as possible and, 
in the process, did not care for repetition. We notice here three 
signs. The first is the appearence of smoke on the head of a person. 
It is mentioned by Devala 14 as indicating death after a fortnight. 
The second possibly refers to the hair not standing up even when 
wet with water. This occurs in Devala 18, VP 11 and MP 14, the 
first mentioning it, as in the Vispudharmottara t to indicate death 
after two days. The third is only a revised form of the indication 
mentioned in verse 16 of the Vifpudharmottara discussed earlier, 
Thus, the present verse seems to be based on Devala. 

The second part in the chapter dealing with aristas in the 
Vi/nudharmottara is without any parallel in the other texts. This is 
because, whereas the other texts deal with ariftas in connection 
with Yoga, the Visnudharmottara emphasises their medicinal aspect. 
The Vtfaudharmottara has given a wide coverage to topics falling 
within the scope of Ayurveda. In suffixing verses 24 to 33 to its 
account on ari/tas, it possibly wanted to emphasise its distinction 
from the other texts and to bring it closer to the medicinal texts. 

The introductory verses 2 and 3 of the Visnudharmottara 3 * are 
clearly written after SuSruta, Sutra, 30.3 87 . They spell out the 
approach of the author of the Vis^udharmottara. He seeks to record 
signs expressed in abnormal changes in intelligence, senses and 
body. The medicinal concern is revealed further by verse 24 which 
refers to the approaching death of both a healthy and a sick person. 

*l4 \\ 


The text reads pravrtte in place of prakrler and vikfti for 
oikftir in v. 2. 

37. gijUfrlWiffrfeg sr^tf^ftnff^q; ' 

IWrtr 3 II 

72 ^^TT^ PURSJfclA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 1 

It is to be noticed that in the first part also the Visnudkarmottara 
omits many indications, which have a supernatural character, and 
emphasises symptoms in the form of changes in body, senses and 

Verses 24 to 33 refer to the sudden tendency on the part of 
the different senses to behave opposite to their normal character 
(cesia-viparyaya).** The Astangasangraha devotes chapter 10 of the 
Sartraslhana to indications of morbid behaviour (vikftehavi/fianfya). 
But it does not have verses or expressions identical with those in 
the Visffudharmottfira. However, verses 26 to 28 of the Visnudharmo* 
ttara seem to present more elaborately and effectively what the 



; i 



* I 


rinted text in the first line of verse 25 
jlace of Khararii o&. 


Astangasangraha says in verses 3 and 4. 30 Likewise, the idea con- 
tained in verse 33 of the Vifnudkarmottara has its parallel in verse 7 
of the AstSngasangraha^ Indications detailed in verses 29 to 31 of 
the Vifnudharmottara are very briefly implied by the second line of 
verse 8 of the AstangasaAgraha.*' 1 

This same subject has been treated in the chapters entitled 
tndriy3nika in the Carakasamhita (Indriya, ch. IV) and JBhelasarhkitS 
(Indriya, ch, VII) which are identical except for minor variations in 
reading (possibly caused by the corrupt form of the text the Bhela- 
sarfihita) and the absence in the Bhelasarhhita of verses 14 and 20 of 
the Cardkasamhita. SuiSruta deals with this subject in chapter 30 of 
the Sittrasthana entitled pancendriyartha-vipratipatti in which morbi- 
dity in respect of sound (verses 4-6), touch (verses 7-10), taste 
(verses 11-12), smell (verse 13) and sight (verses 15-23) are referred 
to. But there is no significant similarity in the details of the signs 
or the wording. We are inclined to identify the Cardkasatxthita and 
JBhelasamhita as the source from which the Visnudkarmottara derived 
its information for verses 24 to 33. The relevant portions in the 
-AsfBAgasa&graha, except for verses 3 and 4, referring to morbidity in 
visual perception, are so brief and devoid of details that they could 
not have been the prototype for the Vifnudharmottara verses. Another 
reason for regarding the Carakasamhita and the Bhelasarithita as the 
prototype in emphasising this aspect of the arts fas is the fact that 
they duly introduce the subject bringing out its significance (Garaka 
verses 5 and 6; Bhela verses 3 and 4), and also add a concluding 
verse to summarise the point (Garaka verse 26; Bhela verse 22). 
Both these texts 42 alike have several verses on the morbidity of the 
five senses and list a large number of symptoms on whose basis the 

9. q^fl ^rffW* RT*Tre7T5Tfr T zft 


1 1 


IT: tfssifmgt *t Scfrsfir *rr 1 1 
4i. ^TPsnsrFrsrf^RKr^ aft 

42. In the following discussion we have not referred to the 
verse in the Bhelasamhita to avoid repetition, the Caraka- 
satfihita being older and better known. 

74 3 ?:Tqn !""~ PUR5J S IA fVDLs XXIV., NO. 1 

indications mentioned in the Visnudharmottara could have been 
formulated, in some cases by using similar expressions. Thus, verse 
25 of the Visaudharmottara reminds us of verse 23 in the Caraka- 
samhita** The Carakasamhita has twelve verses on morbidity of 
visual perception 44 , which could have inspired verses 26 to 28 of 
the risnudharmottara. Likewise, the CardkasarhhitS has one verse 
each on the morbidity of teste 45 and smell 46 , which could have 
formed the basis for the two verses (29 and 30) on this point in the 
VisnudhaTmottara. Further, Verse 33 in the Visgudharmottara can be 
matched by verse 19 of the CarakasawhitS.^ 7 

We have not much to choose between the Carakasarhhita and the 
Ehflasamhita for being regarded as the base for verses 24 to 33 in 
the risftudharmottara, because both have identical verses. Our 
preference for the Carakasamhita is partially due to the fact that it 
is older of the two and has a better reputation as an authority 
on the subject. There is an additional consideration in favour 

43. IndriyanJka, IV. 23- 

1 1 
44-. We may mention in particular the following passages : 

fSfi?ri 5F5T% ^Tlft II 


: trer?j 'TT'nT'ss^r n ? ^ 

r: flrsf im^q^wqTT II 

45. Ibid, IV. 22 

46. Ibid, IV. 23, quoted above. 

47. Ibid, IV. 19 

\ \ 

vrr 5*TT ttf 



of our suggestion. The Carakasamhitn^ in view of the importance 
of the indications under discussion, includes some of them in its 
summary of the information in the earlier chapters, which it 
gives in chapter 12 (verses 40 to 61). It is significant that verse 
58 in this narrative,* 8 without any parallel in the Bhelasa&hita, 
matches verse 24 in the V is nudhar mottara. We may further note 
that a passage in the pufpitaka indriya chapter (Indnyasthana t 2) 
of the Carakasamhita**, though referring to the smell of the body 
of a morbid person (and not his morbid smell sense), employs 
expressions reminding us of lines 30 b and 31 a of the Visnudhar- 
mottara. But chapter (II) entitled pusptya in the indriyasthSna of the 
Bhelasamhitcl does not contain any passages similar to it. 

But, the desire on the part of the author of the Visnudhar- 
mottara to distinguish it from earlier texts mentioning ariftas can 
be seen in the two new verses (31 and 32) inserted in the second 
part of its narrative, though their presence is not justified by the 
avowed scope specified in verse 24. They mention that in the case 
of imminent death there is a juxtaposition of fear and fortitude 
and at the time of death there is a breathing out. 

Thus, we see that the chapter on arisfas in the Vifttudhar- 
mottara is not based on any particular text. Being of direct rele- 
vance to a physician and his patient, aristas were first considered 
in all their details by texts on medicine. The Yoga school of 
philosophy adopted the account of aristas to suit its own require- 
ments. It was in this context that the aristas are noted in the 
Mah3bh2rata 9 Devata-dharma-sutra, Vaj>u~puraya Markaygeyapuraya 
and Linga-puraya. Of these the Litiga-purZya copies the Vayu-pwana. 
The account in the Mahdbharata, does not have any close resemb- 
lance with the Visyudhar mottara version. The first part of the 
account in the Visnudharmottara has resemblances and borrowings 
alike from the Devala-dkarmasiitra, Vsyu-purSya and Marka$deya- 
pur'Sna.. It is not possible to choose one of these three as the source 

45. STS^TOff^ *Ff 

49. St&rf qfe q-TSf: ^ ^ ^qg- S^ II ?o 



from which the Visnudharmottara borrowed, though we find that on 
some details the Devala-dharmasfitra seems to have contributed a 
little more than the other two. We will not discuss here the 
possibility of all these three sources themselves deriving their 
information from a common source and to identify it. so 

In its account the Visgudharmottara seems to have given a 
arger medicinal emphasis, borrowing expressions occurring in 
medicinal texts. The second part of its narrative is clearly outside 
the influence of the three texts under the Yogic tradition and was 
most likely drafted on the basis of the Carakasamhita (and the 
Bhelasamhita}, though showing familiarity with the text of the 
Susrutasatfihita as well. 

We may briefly correlate these inferences with the opinions 
expressed about the date of the composition of the Visnudharmottara. 
A later date between A. D. 628 and 1000 was suggested by Winter- 
nitz. B i The most recent view of P. V. Kane s * also favours a date 
between A.D. 600 and 1000 with the possibility of passages being 
added in later periods. Earlier, Buhler had suggested that the text 
was composed before A. D. Basing themselves on the por- 
tions dealing with painting, Stella Kramrisch^ has placed the 
text between the fifth and seventh centuries. On the basis of a 
luller discussion of a wider range of evidence, R. C. Hazra dates 
the text between A, D. 400 and 500. 

We are in general agreement with the view suggesting that the 
different portions in an encyclopaedic work of the nature of the 
VWitdhcrmotttra are to be assessed separately for determining their 
chronology and that in its Ayurvedic material the Vifnudharmottara 

of Vagbhata." As 

50. We are attempting it separately in another article. 

51. History of Indian Literature, /, p t5 $ 0m 

52. History of D format ostra, Vol. V,, p. 910 

53. Indian Antiquary, XIX (1890), p 408 

' 349- 


sixth century and the first quarter of the seventh century 57 will be 
generally acceptable as the date for portions which contain Ayur- 
vedic material. 

But chapter 238 of Khanda III of the Visnudharmottara is 
evidently an exception to this general inference. It has to be dated 
after the Devala-dharmasietra, Vayupurana and Mar^a^deya-purana on 
the one hand and the Carakasamhita and the Sulrutasamhita on the 
other. Following R. G. Hazra B8 , chapter 43 of the Markandeya- 
purana is to be dated later than A. D. 200 but before the latter half 
of the fifth century. According to Hazra the relevant portions of 
the Vayupurana are an improvement upon the Markattfeyapurana 
and hence are to be dated later stilL He further suggests that they 
were interpolated after A.D. 400 when the Vayu and BrahmZgda were 
separated. 69 For the Devaladharmasutra we favour the time-bracket 
c. 400 B. G. to A. D. 200. 

Opinion is sharply divided on the question of the chronologi- 
cal stratification of the Carakasamhita. Its indriyastkana section, in 
which we find an account of the ariftas, was not retouched by 
Drdhabala. It was originally written by Agniveaa, the disciple of 
A trey a, and was revised by Garaka. The Chronology Committee 
of the National Institute of Sciences of India, after a due considera- 
tion of all possible evidence, accepted A. D. 100 as the date for the 
composition of the Carakasathhita^ The Susrula-samhita also had 
several stages of revision and elaboration. Whatever the date of 
the elder Sufiruta, the later one, who revised the original text, is 

57. R. C. Srivastava, Op. cit.> p. 17. 

58. Studies in the Puranic Records on Hindu Rites and Customs, 
pp. 10-11. This agrees with Pargiter, Markajufeya-Puraya 
(English translation), Introduction, p. xx. 

59. Ibidy p. 15. S. N. Roy, Historical and Cultural Studies in 
the Purayas, pp. 197-208 supports Hazra on the basis of 
the Buddhist influence, sectarian nature and incongruous 
and inconsistent plan of chapters 1 1 to 20. He, however, 
holds that even uptill the seventh century the Vayu and 
Brahmanda PurSyas formed one text. 

60. R. C. Majumdar in D. M Bose, S. N. Sen and B. V. 
Subbarayappa (Ed.), A Concise History of 'Science in India, 
p. 223. Garaka was the name_ of a physician at the court 
ofKaniska. P. V. Sharma, Ayurveda ka vaijHanika itihasa, 
p. 113 places Garaka in the second century B. G. 


[VOL. xxiv., NO. i 

generally placed in the second century A. D. el The Chronology 
Committee of the National Institute of the Sciences of India has 
decided to place Nag3.rjuna*s redaction of the text between the 
third and fourth centuries A. D. 02 The Bhelasamhita acquired its 
present form in the seventh century. 68 But it clearly contains much 
that is old and authentic, going back to the period of the Br3h- 
maqas** The late date for the revision of the text does not affect 
our chronological discussion as the Visnudharmotlara chapter does 
not show any exclusive connection or dependence on the Bhelasam- 

Considering all this we need not push the date of the chapter 
on arista in the Visnudharmottara Puraya to the sixth-seventh centu- 
ries. A date between A. D. 450 and 500 will meet the require- 
ments of the case. 

61. P. V. Sharma, loc, cit. t p, 75. 

62. R, C. Majumdar, he. cit.> p. 223. 

63. P. V. Sharma, he. cit., p. 13L 

64. R. C* Majumdar, fa c . cit t , p. 



: i 


Both in the Visau Purdna (ViP) and the Bhagavata Purana 
(BhP), Krna is identified with the supreme Being. 1 In fact, in 
the BhP, Kr?na is distinguished from the gods, seers and other 
descents (aoatara\ who are merely portions (amid) or smaller parts 

* Paper presented at the Fifth World Sanskrit Conference, 
Varanasi, October, 1981, 

The names of the commentators of the Bhagavata Purana 
frequently referred to are abbreviated thus : GD = Giri- 
dharalala, GS Gangasahaya, JG = JIva Gosvamin (Hi s 
three commentaries : Ks = Kr ama-sandarbka 3 'VtVaisnava- 
tofirtJ, Bks = #r/zfl* krsyasandarbha), RR=Radharamana- 
dasa, SD = ^ukadeva, Ss = l^ridhara Svamin, VB = ValJa- 
bha, VG Vfcvanatha Cakravartin, VD = Vamfiidhara, 
VJ=Vijayadhvaja, VR => Vlraraghava. 

1. Eg., ViP 5. 1. 34-35; 18.53; 23, 32. BhP 10. 10. 33; 13. 55; 
16. 40; 28 6; 48.19; 84.20; 85.39. Cf. my doctoral thesis, 
"The Divinity of Krsna according to the Harivarfita, the 
Visnu Purana and the Bhagavata PuTana* t (Harvard 
University, '1980), pp. 143-145, 149-154, 

80 rr-rwt.^ 


Wate)ofthe Puntsa, but Krsna is the Lord (bhagavan) himself 
(1^.28). However, in several passages in the ViP and the BhP, he 
is described as a descent of a part (<Mt) of the supreme Light 
LI. e. 5 Brahman] or of Visiju or of the Lord (bhagavan,)* Moreover, 
he is even referred Lo as a part of a part (aftto*fe, amia-btega)* 
n this paper I shall analyse the various attempts by commenta- 
tors to explain away Krsiia's being considered as a portion of the 

(i; K r? na as a part in the Vi?U PurSpa 

the ViPj and then take up the 
a detailed consideration.* ^S, on ViP 5.1.2, maintains 

tnat Krsna Is the supreme Brahman, but is called a portion be- 
cau*e he descend, ^ *K. i: form Q 

P 5.1,2-3, points out that the terms 

-tion s are used metaphorically due to 

limited. But it is not that Krsna's 

3 to have a universal form, to possess 

he ViP : 1.2 and 32; 2.4; 7.47; 172 
5; ^3.24; 29.25; in the BhP : 2.7.26; 
2; and from Boot 10 : 1.2; 2. 18 and 
37; 38.32; 41.46; 43.23; 48.24. 
9 and 16; 10.10.35. 

the ViP: (1) V isnupurZnam with the 

idhara called Svapmkafa, ed. by Jiva- 

i, Gilcutta : Sarasvati Press, 1882; 

'am, with the commentary of Ratna- 

called Vaisnavakiitacandrika, Bombay, 

For the BhP I have used : (1) 

wia-mparya-nirnaya ed. by Bannanje 

'a-mStti granthafy, vol. 3, Udupi : Sarva 

orrmittee, 1980. 

fl with the commentary of Ganga- 
'arfliapraksfika ttka, ed s by Pandeya 
res t Pandit Pustakalaya, Sam vat" 2002 

with various commenta- 
Vol Sj 1.9 and 1 1-12, 
Sarhvat 2O22 [1965] 
other than Bk. 10; 
ab, with several 
jby Sri Nityasvarupa Brahma- 

Bk I0 n na PreS3 ' Saii ^vat 1963- 


all powers and to be the Lord himself. With regard to Krsna's 
being called a 'portion of a portion*, $S t on ViP. 5,1.3, offers the 
following explanation: Vinu is, as it were, the portion of the highest 
Brahman, and when Visnu descends in the form of a human being, 
the latter form is, as it were a the portion of Visnu. In this sense, 
Krsna can be regarded as a portion of a portion. 

(ii) Kj*?^ta as a part in the Bhfigavata Purftpa 

Kr?a is the Lord himself 

Taking up the BhP, let us first consider 1.3.28 ai tte. cam{akala[i 
putasafr kfsnas tu bhagavan svayam. Some commentators state that 
an amta is a more important part than a kala, and many more dis- 
tinguish Krsna, the Lord, from the amfas and kalas.* JG points 
out that the word e tu* distinguishes Krsna from all the ariJas, kalas 
and the Purusa. Or the word f tu* taken in the sense of *exclusively% 
indicates that the statement 'Krsna is the Lord himself 1 is an 
emphatic and exclusive (savadharana} fruti which supersedes all 
other frutis. 

JG argues that Krsna, the subject (anuvadya) of the sentence, 
was already mentioned as the twentieth avatara (1.3.23), while the 
Lord (bhagaoaTi), the predicate (uidheya), is mentioned only here 
(1.3.28). So, in accordance with the rule that the predicate should 
not be uttered without mentioning the subject, it is Krsna who is 
the Lord, and not the Lord who manifests himself as Krsna. In 
this connection, however, it should be noted that in 1. 3.23 7 the 
Lord is already mentioned as a subject there. The word 'jpoyam', 
JG continues, also points to the fact that Krsna is not a mani- 
festation of the Lord, nor is Krsna's being the Lord a superimposi- 
tion (adhyasa). 8 

According to JG one should not consider Krsna as an 
[ordinary] avatara even though he is mentioned as one in the con- 
text (prakarana) of avataras (1.3.23), for the later statement that he 
is the Lord cancels the previous one in accordance with the principle 

5. 63, GD, GS, JG (Ks), RR, SD, VB, VG, VD, VJ and VR. 

6. VG also mentions this. 

7* rSma-kfSffaviti bhuvo bhagavan aharad bharam. 
8. So also VG. Madhva also points out that svayam refers to 
the ultimate (m&lariipin) Lord himself, 


82 ^Inj PURXfclA [VOL* XXIV., NO. 

that what is mentioned earlier has less force than what is mention- 

ed later. Or the statement 'Krsna is the Lord himself, being 

considered a fruti t sublates the statement of his being an avatara, for 

the latter is only a prakaraga 9 which has lesser force than a huti. 

VC and GS use the same argument to , invalidate passages that 

speak of Krsna as a portion of the Supreme, by asserting that 

they are merely prakarayas or lingas. They add that the Jruti 

'Krsna is the Lord himself is a paribh&ss-sfitra, i. e., an assertion, 

which, although occuring in one place, illuminates the whole f astro, 

[the BhPJ, like a lamp in a house. It is mentioned once only and is 

not repeated, Thus, according to JG, Krsna's being mentioned 

as an avatara refers to his descent in his essential character (svartl- 

pastha) into phenomenal glory (prakrta-vaibhava) in order to generate 

a special bliss in his own servants. 9 As VC puts it, it is in order 

to bestow his grace. 

as a part 

Let us now examine how the various commentators attempt 
to reconcile the passages of the BhP which speak of Krsna as a 
part of the Supreme with the belief that Krsna is the Lord him- 
self. 10 The first argument is that such passages cannot be taken 
literally because otherwise they would contradict the principal 
statement that Krsna is the Lord himself. 11 The mention of 

9. JGhas further discussion on this topic in his Krama- 
sandarbha. See S. K. De, The Early History of the Vaisnaw 
Faith and Movement in Bengal, 2nd ed., (Calcutta : Firma 
iT ? ukh P adh y a ya> 1961), pp. 314-325. Incidentally, 
in nis Ks, JG states that, since Balarama is mentioned in 
the company of Kr$aa in 1.3.23, Balarama too is not 
a part of the Purusa. But JG himself, as we shall see 
later, at tunes refers to Balarama as a portion of the 

10. The commentators do not explain away every single in- 
stance. At times they are silent. Eg., Madhva on most 
of the passages; VJ on 10.1.2; SS, VJ, JG (Ks and Vt) 
on.0.2.16;JG(K s ) and Sud'ardanasGri on 10.2.18; gS 
VJ, SD on 10.2.41; gs, JG (Ks and Vt), VJ on 10.10.35; 
oo, vj ana Sudar&anasuri on 10 20 48- fSs VT nS 

7vj on lX J 38.fl 

on i-4i-4; as, vj on 10. 



Krna as a part-manifestation is due to the limited perception of 
ordinary people, 12 or to Foster Devaki's and YaSoda's maternal 
affection, 13 or he takes on a limited form, as it were, to show his 
grace to his devotees. 14 

Often the instrumental (e. g. amtencfy is interpreted to mean 
'together with* some other being which is considered to be a part 
or a part of a part. For example, Krsna descended together with 
Balarama, who is a portion of the Supreme. 16 Krsna is also 
said to be accompanied by other portions such as Sankarsana, 
Pradyumna and Aniruddha, ia Purusa and others, 17 parts like 
Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, 18 Brahma, Rudra, etc. 1 * the portions of 
the devas who descended among the Yadus, 30 Yudhisthira, Arjuna 
and others, 31 the cowherds, Ysdavas and others, 22 Prakrti;** or 
they are simply called his portions without be specified. 24 

At times the instrumental is interpreted to mean *by means 
of, but without implying that Krna is a portion. Thus Krsna 
descends by means of (the knowledge in the form of) his decision 
(sankalpa ) to be born, the decision being considered as an amia or 

12. SS, JG (Vt)on 10.1.2; VB on 10.26.23; see also SD on 

10.26.23: VG, SD, GS on 10.43.23. 

13. VG on 10.2.9. 

14. &S 3 GSon 10.2.18. 

15 &S, VD, VR, SD, VB on 2.7.26; VR, SD, GD on 3.2.15; 
JG (Ks and Vt), VR, GS on 10.1.2; VR on 10.2.9; JG 
(Vt), VG, GS on 10.2.41; VR on 10.10.35; Sanatana 
Gosvamin, JG (Vt and Bks), VR, VB, VG, KiiSoriprasada, 
Dhanapatisuri, SD, GS, on 10.33.27; SS, VR, VG, GS 
on 10.48.24; VD, RR, VR, JG (Ks), VG, SD, GD, GS 
on 11.7.2. 

16. GD, GS on 2.7.26. 

17. VD, JG (Ks) on 3.2.15. 

18. VD, VG on 3.2.15. 

19. VG on 10.10,35; in 3.2.15, VD and VJ interpret the in- 

strumental to mean 'by Brahma', i. e., Krsna was re- 
quested to descend by Brahma who is a portion. 

20. GS on 3. 2. 15. 

21. SD on 10.33,27. 

22. JG(Vt)on 10.41.46. 

23. iSS, GD, GS on 3.2. 15, See also VB on the same. 

24. VD, RR, JG (Ks) on 3*2.15. See also VB and Puru- 

?ottama on the same. 

84 ^trant PURXtfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 1 

kala or am!a-bhaga** Other such portions are Krsna's bliss 
(ananda), 2 * his kriya^akti^ his divine form (diDya-vigraha)^* or 
Pradyumna. 20 

VB offers some peculiar interpretations which no other com- 
mentator gives. For instance, Krsna is referred to as a part be- 
cause he occupies a section of the womb of Devakf. 80 QrKr?na's 
descent is 'atfrJena' because he does not become manifest everywhere, 
but only in a particular part of the world, viz., the house of 
Devaki.31 Or Krsna is the fullness, but he uses only that much 
part of himself as is required to save those whom he has come to 
save. 33 

Kyfaa and Balarftma as parts 

Some passages indicate that both Krsna and Balarama are 
portions of the Supreme. Let us observe some of the interpretations 
offered by the commentators in this regard, One is that Krsna 
takes on two forms, viz., Krsna and BalarSma, by dividing his 
oxvn form (mtftibheda). But this does not mean that .Krsna is 


32, 10.41.4603' ' ' 35> W ' 3 ^ 27 ' I0 ' 38 - 

26. VB on 10.38.32. 

27. VB on 10.41.46. 

28. VR. on 10.1.2. 

eV 10.2.41. 


32* VB on 10.43,23. 


the moon; 87 when construed with 'hare ft* 9 which means the moon, 
the two kalas are the phases of the moon; 38 they are the two avataras, 
Krsna and Balarama, without implying that Krsna is a part; SQ 
the two hairs (i. e,, symbolically Krsna and Balarama) with 
which the Lord descends. 40 These two hairs are referred to in 
2 7.26, where it is said that the one with the white and black hair 
(sitakrfnakefa) was born by a part (kala) of himself. Referring also 
to ViP 5 1.59-60, several commentators 41 point out that these two 
white and black hairs symbolize Balarama and Krsna respectively. 
VB thinks 'sitakrsqakeSa refers to Sankarsana, but feels that the 
four-fold \vyuha~\ Lord Is suggested. JG maintains that the word 
kefa (hair) does not indicate a part (amid), but it rather means 
lustre (awfu). By displaying his two kefas, Narayana showed his two 
lustres, viz., V^sudeva and Sankarsana. 

Explanation of compound words 

Since the hair may suggest that Krsna is a part, some of 
the commentators* 2 , notably VD, go to great lengths, giving several 
alternative interpretations of the words kalaya sitakj-sgakefa (2.7.26^, 
using all their grammatical skill. For instance, (1) According to 
VG, VD and GD, sita is &va, kftna is Visnu, ka is Brahma, which 
yields sitakfsqaka. Then, they continue, is the lord (jtfa} of 
these three (tesam), so that we finally get sitakfsyakeia. (2) Or 
kalaya is taken to mean 'skilfully 1 and sitakfsnaketa is interpreted 
to mean the one who has bound (sita} his black hair. 48 (3) Or in 
VD's somewhat different interpretation, which keeps the above 
meanings of kalaya and sita, the term krsna in the compound 
sitakffnakeJa is interpreted to mean e of Krsna* (kr/ySyaji), i. e., of 
Radha, so that kalay3 sitakfsnaketa means 'the one who has skilfully 
tied the hair of Radha'. (4) Or according to SD it means the one 
who has partly (kalaya) white and black hair. (5) Or, according to 

37; SD on 10.20.48. 

38. VG, GS on 10.20.48. 

39. GS on 10.20.48. 

40. VB on 10.20.48. For his understanding of these two hairs 

see his comment on 2.7.26. 

41. Eg., &5, VR, JG (Ks), VO. 

42. VD, VG, SD, GD^ JG. 

43. Rupa Gosvamin in his Bhagavatamfta as quoted by VG. 

See also a partly similar interpretation by GS, 

6 ^trqjj PURXtfA fvOL, XXIV, NO. I 

VD, kalaya sita, taken as a vocative in which sita means *old', is 
interpreted to mean *O old partial auatara\ and is addressed to 
Narada. The remaining kftyakeSa (the black-haired one) refers to 
Krsna, (6) Or VD takes the negative V from kalaya to yield 
asita when prefixed to sita, and asita is interpreted to mean adharma t 
Then kanaka is interpreted as f the one who removes', from karsati= 
uddharati. The final element, &a t means lord or protector. Si 
asitakr/ftake/a means the one who is the protector of those who 
remove adharma. (7) VD further outdoes himself in the following 
interpretation. Kalaya is taken as a nominative fern, ending word, 
and is analysed as 'far', meaning 'water', plus 'fayd 9 , meaning that 
which dissolves (ke=*jale ttyate iti), so that kalaya means 'one who 
dissolves into the water*, and the one who thus dissolves is supposed 
to be the earth. Now the one which is attached (sita) to that earth 
(kalaya) ;is the Govardhana mountain. The term */?** is explained 
to mean the one who lifts (kar?ati= uddharati) the Govardhana 
mountain. He has still to explain the last element, viz,, kea, which 
is interpreted to mean 'the one who lies (Sete) in the water (kg=jale) t 
i. e., Visim. Hence kalaya sitakrwakefa comes to mean *Vinu who 
lifts the Govardhana mountain that is attached to the earth*. There 
are many more permutations and combinations, but these are suffi- 
cient to give an idea of how the commentators proceed. Another 
compound 'acyutaMap (the portion ofAcyuta), in 10.2, 18 is inter- 
preted by SS, JG (Vt), VG S SD and GS to mean 'the one who is 
not depraved of his parts' (cyutirahita aMa ai/varjadafo fiuya), i- e., 
means 'the integral one', 'the complete one 9 /" 

and Arjuna as parts 

In 4.1.59, two parts (*) of ^ Lo r 4 Hari, interpreted to 
refer to Nara and NaiSyana, are B aid to have come (ag#a) as the 
two Krw interpreted to mean Arjuna and Kr^a, According to 
VR, Nara and Narayana descend in theform (&&) df Arjuna and 
Kr?na, But most of the commentators expkm,. ijiat Nara and 
Narayana enter Arjuna ^ Krsna, ^^ ^wwer that 

whlle Nam 

44. See abo a similar explanation by Vfc, Vj, iateVprets the 
compound as the a*te of Hari, b^a^ %at Reword 



himself. 48 SD distinguishes three Nar&yanas. The Primal Nara- 
yana, who is Kr$na himself; the second, who is the Purusa; and 
the third, who is a part (arhia) of the Pttrtifa, descends as the seer 
Narayana in the family of Dharma. Now we are faced with the 
problem, viz., who is this Krsna into whom Narayana, the ami a of 
Hari enters. It seems to me that VC, VD and RR had this ques- 
tion in mind when they claimed that the two aw fas (parts), Nara 
and Narayana, enter Arjuna and Krsna, who are their atfiiins 
(wholes or sources). In order to defend their position that Krsna 
is the <zr/trt, and not the amfa, they are forced to also make Arjuna 
an aarfin. RR states that, since Arjuna is the companion of Krishna, 
Arjuna, is an amfin of Nara, who is his am&a t yet it is Nara who 
enters as an aveJa into Arjuna just as rivers enter into the ocean. 
So in order to preserve Krsna *s being an any Jin, they even go to 
the extent of making Arjuna too an ami in. But they have to imme- 
diately recant and say that Nara enters Arjuna by his avefa, while 
at the same time they want to maintain that Krsna is Narayana 
himself, or superior to Narayana as Purusa and as the seer. 

Different construing of words 

We have seen some examples of how the commentators divid e 
o,nd connect various parts of compound like sitakrs naket a* Let us 
now see some examples of how the commentators construe words 
differently so as to show that Krsna is not a portion (arhfa). In 
10.1.2 instead of construing 'arhfena 9 with ( aoatJraasya*, VG connects 
it with 'viffnob*, interpreting Visnu to be an arhta of Krsna as 
present in Vaikuntha. 40 Alternatively, VG connects 'atfifena* with 
^Jarhsa* to yield the meaning 'tell me partially the deeds of Krsna*, 
as no one can relate them fully. 47 In 10.2. 16 instead of linking 
*am$abhagena* with 'Sviv&fa 9 , VR supplies 'j&asya* to agree with 
c &nakadundubhetf and construes C awabh3gena* with 'jatasya*. So the 
Lord entered the mind of Vasudeva (Anakadundubhi), who was 
fcorn as a part of the devas 9 who, in turn, are parts of the Lord. 
Hence amfabhaga is interpreted to mean 'part of a part*, but it 
refers to Vasudeva, not to Krsna. In 10.2.41, instead of connecting 

45. So also Madhva. 

46. tatrSvatiryasya vfrySyi katkaya. Kasya, amiena visyofr, yah 
kkalvamiena vaikunihe vts$ur bhavati, yasyaika, mfo visnuh 
tasya pBryasyetyartfiafr. 

47. This construction is also mentioned by SD and GS. 

88 ^ I " I9Mr>PDR Ktf A [ VOLi XXIV ' N0t 

with 'kuksigatatf, JG (Vt) supplies 'bkavet* to go with 
'bkavaya* and relates 'atf/fena* with 'bkavaya bhave?. So he derives 
the following sense : That Krsna, who could bring about our 
welfare by his parts like Matsya, ASva, etc., has himself entered 
your womb, is indeed fortunate. In 10,33.27 instead of construing 
? with *avatfraff\ several commentators 48 read * ami ma* with 
h , saying that he is the Lord of the world, viz. VinUj 
by a part of himself, but he himself has his full glory. Similarly, 
JG(Vt), in 10.41.46, construes 'awhna* with 'jagaialj. k3ranam* t indi- 
cating that Krsna is the cause of the world by a part of himself, 
In 10.20. 48, VB, instead of taking 'kalabhyam' with 'hartb/ reads 
'bhtih nitaram hareh> i. e., earth which belongs entirely to Hari; and 
he adds that it is Sankarsana who is the part (kola]. JG (Vt and 
Ks), VC, SD and GS divide 'kalabhyam* into kal3 and abhy^ 
understanding kala not as a part but as fakti (power), which is the 
earth. So we ohtain the following : Hari's kafa, viz., his power, 
namely the earth, shone with these two (abhyatri), viz., Krsna and 
Balarama. VD in 1 L7.2, instead of construing am^ena^ with avaff* 
ryah links it with *nispaditam 9 and connects 'afesatah with 'avatfrqoh 
so that the resulting meaning is : I have partially accomplished 
the task entrusted to me by the gods for which I have descended 
fully. The work is only partially completed because the destruction 
of the Yadu clan still remains to be done. 

as part of a part 
In 10. 2. 9. and 16, and 10, 10. 35 Krsoa can be considered 
to be a part of a part (affdabhdga). We shall now see how by giving 
different meanings to the element bhaga, the commentators free 
Krsna from being called a portion. For instance, in 10. 2. 9, 
afMabhagena is interpreted as *by that nature (svaritpeya) in which 
there is the entry (bfiaga = bhajana**praue{a) of the amfas Q Another 
explanation is *by that form by which the ami as, i. e., theyftwwor 
Brahma and others receive from Krna their share (bhaga) of 

48. JG (VtS Kiaorlprasada, Ramanarayana, Dhanapatisdn, 
See also V3. KUoriprasada gives an alternative explana- 
tion according to which he supplies api and reads ax&JetW 
dharmSdi-sthapanaya iti kimuta svayam bhagavattoena iti* 

(If dharma can be established even by a part, how much 
more by the entire Lord !) 

49. JG (Vt and Ks), VG. See also a similar interpretation in 


the four purusarthas in accordance with their dispositions.' 60 VB 
interprets it to mean 'by the division (bhagena = vibhSgena) of the 
fourfold afhtas of Puruottarna, viz., Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Prad- 
yumna and Aniruddha*. He adds that the word s bhagc? is used 
in the singular to show that the Pradyumna-part alone is involved 
in becoming a son. )S gives five alternative explanations, one of 
them being c he who presides (bhaga = bhajate = adhitifthali) over 
all by means of his powers (arnaih=$aktibhih). In 10. 2. 16 SD 
interprets it as *in the form of being considered as a son (bh3gena=* 
putratayfi bhajantyena rapeya) of DevakI and Vasudeva, who are his 
parts (amta). GS gives the following explanation in 1 0. 2. 3 5 : By 
means of that full form in which there is the manifestation (bh3ga = 
pradurbhSva) of the partial aaatSras 

Violence to the meaning of the word 'part 9 

Finally we must mention that occasionally a commentator 
coolly ignores the word am&a or even takes it to mean ami in. Thus 
VR, dropping the word ami a in 10.26.33, just comments, *I con- 
sider Krsna to be Narayana himself. JG (Ks and Vt) and VG 
take arirfa here to mean not aveSa but aoefin, so that his comment 
reads, * e l consider Krsna to be the source of the power of Nara- 
yana (tacckaktyavefinam).* 

We have thus seen the various techniques and devices used by 
the commentators, who even go so far as to offer rather far-fetched 
interpretations to defend what I think is a later understanding of 
the divine nature of Krsna. ai The passages that speak of Krsna 
as a part or a part of a part of the Supreme are so numerous, 
that it is difficult to accept that they are all superceded by the 
single statement that Krna is the Lord himself. It seems to me 
that we have here a remnant from an older tradition harking back 
to the time when Krsna came to be identified with Visnu, and as a 
descent(avatara} of Visnu, was considered his portion. Later, through 
the process of *sanskritization,' Vai^navism became more Vedantic, 

50. JG, VG, GS, SD. See also SD on 10.10.35. 

51. Nowhere does the BhP use the word 'p&ryavatara. On 

the other hand, the commentators frequently mention 
Krsna's being the c fullness\ T Eg., VR on 1.3.28, says 
that Krsna isa p&rnavat3ra. Jlva Gosvamin, on 1.3*28, 
goes even further and states that Krna is the avatar in* 


EUREKA [VOL. xxw., NO. i 

identifying Krsna and Visnu with Brahman, which manifests 
itself as Vinu, Krsna, $iva and the like. But there are also 
passages in the BhP where Krsna is not merely a manifestation ol 
Brahman but is Brahman. These earlier and later traditions exist 
side by side in the Vai?nava texts. In the BhP we find the initial 
attempt to deal with these conflicting traditions by explicitly 
asserting that, while other gods and beings are portions of the 
Purusa, Ky?na h the Lord himself. It is only in the tradition 
after the BhP which is that of our commentators that Krna*s 
absolute supremacy is more fully established. For example, in the 
Brahmavaivarta Puraga* 2 Vinu, who has a universe in every pore of 
his skin, is merely a sixteenth portion of Krgna. 

52. Srtbrahmavaivartam Makapuranam^ 2 vols. (Bombay : Srivei 

katefivara Press, Samvat 1938 [1931], 


S. K. LAI, 


fn g 

: i 

The Puranas are the indispensable aids in the interpretation 
of the Vedas, their legends and mythology. Conversely, much of 
the Puranic legend and mythology is found, at least in its germinal 
stage, in the Vedic texts. That is, Vedic and Puranic mythology 
may be regarded as a two-way traffic. A number of Vedic divini- 
ties and the mythology connected with them are noticed to have 
found fuller expression in the Puranic texts. They have prolifera- 
ted in different dimensions, and have encompassed around them 
many more elements of diverse nature. 

Visnu and Siva, the two very important divinities of the 
Puranic amalgam, around whom Vainavism and 3aivism revolve, 
are found in the oldest extant Veda, the JjLgveda, But it is generally 

92 TjqiT PtfRfifcTA [VOL, XXIV., NO, 1 

averred that these two divinities were not so very important gods 
in the Vedic official religion. It is believed 1 that Visiui was .1 
tf god of great eminence among the masses of the Aryan nomads 
and was not particularly liked by the orthodox family of the Vedic 
poets." He has the traits of phallus worship. On the other hand, 
Siva was a very prominent god of pre-Aryan non- Vedic people. 2 It 
was only in the course of mutual assimilation and give and take. 
between the Vedic and non-Vedic, that these two gods asserted 
themselves and came into prominence in the Vedic fold through 
two different channels : Vi$nu through the super-imposition of 
solar traits on him and his consequent identification with Indra; 8 
and Siva, also a pre- Vedic non-Aryan god connected with phallus 
worship, through Agni after having been re-christened as Rudra,* 
However, this assimilation was not exercised without trimming 
much of the original nature and function ofVisnu and &va and 
making them conform to the Vedic thought-pattern. 

In spite of this ideological inclusion of {Siva and Visnu in the 
hierarchical Vedic religion, their pristine connection with fecundity, 
*iJity f procreation, and phallus continued to survive in peoples' 
the faint traces of which can be seen even in the &gveda, In 
of time, the decline and the origi- 
S erebeingrelegatedt ^background, and when 
f m de ,T Htaduiaa,. -as taking its firm 
nd&Va ' SUrfaced conspicuously and 
channels : Vaianartam and Saivism. 

these two isms were 
ofl '^t there used to be bitter 
. M Vai?1 > avism and Saivi sm . S It is in 

an d to & D attern P thas been made to bridge 
Bought in 1 kiud T 7 ap f reciable extent, the Puranas glor- 

t* their ingenious m*^*^ ^^ the two Conflicting 

bnn g"Jg these two gods together 


and making them complementary and not contradictory to each 
other. The lead given by the Puranic texts was followed by many 
Gupta and other kings and there thrived a number of temples where 
the idols of divinities belonging to both the isms were installed and 
worshipped amicably. This paper deals with one of the many 
measures by which this very important religious and social achieve- 
ment was accomplished by the Puranas. 

A study of some of the Puranic legends reveals that in order 
to have a sort of rapprochment between these two isms, the Puranic 
mythologists sought for a link divinity that could function as a 
vinculum between Vaisnavism and Saivisim and found a divinity, 
namely, Ratri (J?.V 10.127) that served their purpose very well. But 
before we take up the characteristic features of this divinity which 
attracted Puranic mythologists to pick her up from among a host 
of many other important female divinities in the Vedic mythology, 
we should mention, in brief, three legends which contain in them 
the divinities of Vaisnavism and Saivism. 

1. The legend of Madhu and Kaifabha 6 

In the Hindu cosmogonic speculations, it is believed that at 
the end of an eon the entire creation of Brahma is destroyed by 
devastating floods. Visnu goes into his cosmic sleep and so do all 
other gods. When Visnu is still under the deep influence of Yoga- 
nidra (cosmic sleep), Brahma springs forth from his navel and 
appears on the lotus growing from the navel of Visnu, Looking 
around the vacuum created by the surging waters, a flash of desire 
comes to his mind to create the universe anew. The moment he 
contemplated this re-creation, two demons, Madhu and Kaitabha, 
sprang forth from the ear of Visnu and rushed to devour Brahma. 
Brahma looked around for succour but found no one except Visnu 
who also was in slumber under the deep influence of Yoganidra, 
Brahma realised that unless Visnu is released from the grip of 
Yoganidra, and kills the demons, his very life was in danger to 
speak nothing of the re-creation. Thus thinking, he began to pray 
to Yoganidra who had overpowered Visnu. Being pleased by his 
supplications, Yoganidra left Visnu and stood aside. Visnu got up 
and saw the two demons about to devour Brahma. He challenged 

6, DevlM. 1,49 fj DevIbhP 1.6; 7. 

94 3*1^ PURXtfA [VOL. xxiVi, No. i 

them and a fierce fight between Visnu and the two demons ensued. 
Mighty as the two demons were, Visnu could not overpower them. 
Finding himself unable to vanquish the demons, he remembered 
his own potent power, namely, Visnumaya. She deluded the 
demons, and they were then killed by Visnu. Brahma then 
engaged himself in the job of re-creation of the universe. 

The above legend brings forth two divinities, Yoganidra and 
Visnumaya who helped Visnu in annihilating the inimical forces 
of nature symbolized by Madhu and Kaitabha who hindered the 
smooth functioning of Brahma. Undoubtedly these two female 
divinities are purely Puranic. But their counterpart, though in 
rudimentary form, can be found in the Vedic mythology. But 
before we do so, let us examine another legend mentioned in tbe 

2. The legend of Snmbba and Ni^umbha 7 

These two fierce demons defeated Indra and all other gods. 


The gods retreated to the Himalayas. There, they implored 
Vinumaya to help them in their plight. At that moment Parvati, 
consort of Siva, came there to bathe in the Gahga. She enquired 
of the gods about the object of their prayer. With these words of 
hers, a girl instanly sprang forth from her body. She came later to 
be known as KauSifcl, having been born from the kofa (sheeth) of 
Parvati. In the meantime, Canda and Munda, the two servant* 
of the demons Sumbha and Nidumbha, saw the exceedingly charm* 
ing KauSikl and reported her presence to their masters. 
became infatuated with her and sent a messenger to 
asking her to marry either him or his younger brother, Niumbhri. 
KauSiki retorted that she would marry only the man who would 
conquer her in a fight. Hearing this, Sumbha despatched a xntghty 
fighter, Dhumralocana, to bring the impudent girl to him. But tlifc 
mighty Dhumralocana was killed by the slender Kauaiki. There- 
after, Sumbha and NiSumbha sent Ganda and Munda to punish the 
impudent girl and to drag her to him. On approaching these two. 
the goddess became infuriated and there instantly sprang forth K&U 
from her forehead. Again a fierce battle commenced between K&k 
and the demons. The demons were killed by Kali, Kumbha now 
became alarmed and realised the prowess of the Devi Kaudiki. He 
7. Devi M. 5-10. 


mobilized a huge army. In the meantime, the fakti of goddess 
Kaugiki sprang forth from her, and also iaktis of other gods, namely, 
Brahma, Visnu, Siva, Karttikeya, Indra, Varaha, and Nrsimha also 
sprang forth, and joined her. The (nameless) Sakti of Kauiki sent 
fiva as her emissary to the two demons to warn them that they 
must instantly release the gods and their property. And thus that 
takti got the name Sivadutl. The two demons did not heed the 
warning and attacked. There commenced a pitched battle between 
Sumbha and NiSumbha aod other demons on one side and KaugikI, 
Kali, Sivadutl, and all the /afaz'jofthe gods on the other. Ulti- 
mately, all the demons were annihilated and the gods were 

This legend brings forth the following divinities : 1 . ParvatI, 

2. KaufiikI, 3. Kali, 4, Sivadutl, and 5. the faktis of the gods. 
Before we discuss their origin and importance let us describe a 
third legend bearing on our topic. 

3. The legend of Tftrakftsura 8 

The mighty demon Taraka tormented all the gods and usurp- 
ed their property. The gods approached Brahma for his advice 
and help. Brahma assured them that a son of Siva and ParvatI 
would kill the demon. The gods retired. Brahma then, contem- 
plated that in order to beget a son who would be able to kill the 
demon, ParvatI had to practise rigorous penance in order to acquire 
physical strength to bear such a mighty child. He therefore con- 
trived a plan. He asked the goddess Ratri to enter into the womb 
of Menaka,, Himalaya's wife, and darken the colour of the child. 
After the marriage of ParvatI with Siva, Siva would taunt her for 
her black complexion; she would feel offended, and resort to penance 
to change the black colour of her body. Another reason which 
Brahma mentioned to Ratri for this kind of affinity between her 
and ParvatI was that Ratri had to destroy the demons in the uni- 
verse which she could accomplish only after coming into some 
kind of close contact with Parvati 9 , and thereby inheriting some of 
the demon-destroying quality of hers. 

Thus instructed by Brahma, Ratri covered the embryo of 
Menaka with her black hue and changed the colour of the child 

8. DevIM. 5 F -, MatsyaP 152-155. 

9. This indicates that ParvatI belongs to the group of 
goddesses of inimical nature. 

96 TOOT*! PURStfA [VOL. xxiv.j NO, 1 

into black. Consequently Parvati was born black and was named 
by her parents as Kali or Kalika (blacky). In due course, Parvati 
and iva were married. As Brahma had planned, liva once teased 
Parvati for her black complexion. Parvati felt offended and at 
once proceeded for penance to change her black colour. In the 
meantime, it so happened that a demon named Adi transformed 
himself into a damsel and entered the apartment of Siva, for- 
getting that there was a curse on him that he would be killed 
whenever he transformed himself into any other form. Siva killed 
the demon. However, when Parvati heard this, she misunderstood 
the whole affair and felt so disgusted and furious that wrath came 
out of her mouth in the form of a lion. Parvati was just about to 
enter the mouth of the lion, when Brahma appeared before her 
and granted her the desired boon of obtaining a fair complexion. 
His plan had thus succeeded. The dark skin was at once separated 
from the body of Parvati and was converted into its original form 
of Ratri. She is known by the name of KauSikl, for she was born 
from the sheeth (kofa) of Parvati. Brahma further told her that 
since she had become blessed by the contact with Parvati and had 
partaken an aftfa of hers, she would also be known as Ekanam^a, 

This legend refers to three female divinities : 1. Parvati, 2, 
Ratri, and 3. KauSikT or Ekanamda. 

The sum total of all the female divinities referred to in the 
above three legends is : 

1. Yoganidra, 

2. Kalaratri, 

3. Visnumaya, 

4. Parvati, 

5. Ratri, 

6. Kali, 

7. Kauaikl, 

8. EkanamSa 

The above mentioned divinities, on the basis of the three fore- 
going legends, can be tabulated as under : 

R Stri Ratri-f- Parvati 

, L_ I 

1. Yoganidra 2. Kalaratri 

n ara :>. Kalaratri 2. Visnumaya 
(All connected with the Vismi-group) 

1. Kali 2. KauSiki 3, 
(All connected with the iva-group) 


From among these two groups, Parvatl was originally a 
mountain deity as her name {Parvata-*patvata-*parvatt<=* *a mountain 
dweller 1 ) indicates. Most of the mountain and tribal deities were 
inimical goddesses and were worshipped to ward off and protect 
from demons, goblins, evil-spirits, etc. Conversely, such godde- 
sses were also regarded as divinities of fertility and procreation. 
Similar must have been the case with Parvatl. Further, iSiva was 
also a prominent tribal god of pre-Vedic India. Significant features 
of Siva were (are) : 1. his connectian with phallus, fecundity, 
and procreation, 2. his connection with demons, goblins, and 
evil-spirits, etc,, i. e., malignant forces. 

In the post-Vedic period, during the age af religious reawak- 
ening, and mass assimilation of independent divinities of different 
tribes and cults with the divinities of Neo-Brahmanism, Parvati 
was united with Siva because of their identical qualities. They 
became universal parents (cf. jagatafr pitarau vande pSrvat tparame- 
faarau). That is to say, apart from their predominant postion in 
$aivism and Tantrism, what is important from our point of view 
is that the demon-destroying and fertility-nature of Parvatl still 
continues in her. It is Parvatl who, in her incarnation as Kali 
or Durga or KauJikl or Vindyavasinl, destroys the demons. Again, 
it is Parvatl who is worshipped by women to obtain a husband and 
children (refer to Sita's gaurj-piijana in the Rzmzyana). 

The second divinity of the above group, namely Ratri, 
has a different story. She was originally a Vedic goddess. 

There are altogether six hymns, one in the gveda (10, 127) 
and five in the Atharvaveda (3.10; 19.47-50) which celebrate 
Ratri. One important feature of Ratri in the J^gveda is that 
she is described as jagato niveJim, one who gives rest to the entire 
world (&V. 1.35.1; AV. 9.3.37; Khila 4.2.3). She provides a 
comfortable house (AV. 9.3.17; &B. where all beings enjoy 
their nightly rest (SB. People desire to sleep in her lap 
without any fear and worry, while she keeps a watch over men, 
their cows and horses (AV. 19.47.9). Even the gods sleep in her 
wide lap ($V. 10.70.6). 

Another important feature of Ratri is her close connection 
with the sun. It is said that the sun possesses two forms : bright 


and dark (V. 10.37.3; 6.9,1). The one shines during the day, th<* 
other is dark during the night (&V .1.215.5; VS. 33.38). Whatever 
light is in the sun> the same light is in the night also (AV. 4.18.n. 
Day and night are regarded as the two daughters of the su n 
. 6,49.3). 

The motherly aspect of Ratri is also hinted at in Vedic 
literature. She is the mother of Usas (V. 1.113.3)and also of the 
sun (Rohita) (AV. 13.3.36). 

Nevertheless, the fact that the demons, goblins, and evil spirits, 

etc. wander and become more active during the night has not 

remained unnoticed by the Vedic poets. She is prayed to 

protect people from all difficulties human, natural or super- 

natural. She is prayed to protect men from demons (Ppp. 13.10.2; 

AV. 8.2.20) and from the fierce creatures on the mountain (AV. 1& 

48.3). She is implored also to keep the wolves and the thieve* 

away (E.V. 10.127,6) and protect men from snakes, wolves, and 

other fierce animals (AV. 19.47.8; 50.1). It is important to note 

that in AV. 19.49.4, it is said that the shining Ratri has taken 

upon herself the splendour (varcas) of a lion, a tiger, a horse, and 

men and she transforms herself into many forms. In AV. 19.50.2, 

the poet wishes that the sharp-horned draught oxen of Ratri protect 

men in their difficulties. 

Because of the belief that the inimical forces and demons 
prevail during the night, Ratri came to be regarded as an evil in 
Brahmanic texts. The nightly darkness is the darkness of death 
(AB. 4.5; KB. 17.6;9; GB. 2.5.1). The demons and the Raksasas 
gather in the night (TS.; SB. The Asuras delight 
m the night (& MarkP 48.1f mentions that while Praja- 
pau was engaged in meditation, the particles of darkness produced 
' Prajapati ** off tb *t body of his which was composed 

has o W Uld lead to conclude that 1. Ratri 

u^ 1 ^ ^ t0 ^ U be ^s .- 3. she is connec^ 
^ 801 ^ ^ * l -*P*> -to. fron, .^hoznshe 
has some traits of fertility and procreation. 

nent 11 "^ because of these promt- 

n to be associated with Visnu and 


(Siva. By virtue of her solar traits and motherly aspect she was 
aligned with Visnu. On the other hand, her other traits, namely, 
her destroying the malignant forces plus her motherly aspect led 
her to be united with Siva, a god of identical character and 

The darkness of Ratri which has been referred to as being 
associated with the anarchic forces has been personified in the 
Puranic mythology as Kalaratri which does not seem differ enent 
from Ratri in the Vedic mythology. This Kalaratri has her sway 
over the entire universe during the pralaya.* The other feature of 
Ratri, i. e., her giving rest and bringing sleep to all beings, was 
personified as Yoganidra . 

By the time of the Puranas the solar character of Visnu was 
fully developed and established. Ratri, because of her solar 
connection in the J&gveda, came to be associated with Visnu. In 
the ELgveda, it is the solar god Indra, who with the help of his 
rnaya brings forth the universe (&V. 6.47.18). But in the Puranas, 
it is the solar god Vi?nu who is the lord of this ma}>3. 
Kalaratri is said to be Vis.numaya (DevlM. 1.53;5.13; KalikaP, 
5.14; 6.9), The all-creative primeval goddess is known by the 
name of Visnumaya among the people (DevlM. 5,12) Without 
the consent, help, and cooperation of Vi?numaya, nothing can be 
produced. This is clear from the legend of the demons Madhu 
and Kaitabha. 

The selfsame Ratri has been associated with Parvatl (iSiva- 
group) also as is evident from the legend of Kumbha and NLiumbha, 
and Tarakasura. The reason for such association must have been 
her demon-destroying nature and that of Parvatl with whom she 
was connected. 

Whereas the solar affiliation of Ratri in the gveda was in- 
strumental for her connection with Visnu, iier other features, via,, 
darkness and demon-destroying nature were conducive to her being 
associated with Parvatl who too was originally an inimical goddess. 
That Brahma asked Ratri to cover the embryo of Menaka so that 
Parvatl is born black and thereby be endowed, due to the contact 
with Parvatl, with an added vigour to destroy demons points 
towards this assumption. 

10. Refer to Visnu's cosmic sleep and emergence of Madhu 
and Kaitabha. 




Conclusion : 

On the basis of the above conspectus, we can have a clear 
picture of Ratri: 

Solar connection and motherly aspect 

Connected with Visnu as Visnum&ya, 
Yoganidra, Kalaratri, etc. (Puranas), 

Ratri ( Vedic );' 

Demon-destroying nature and motherly 
aspect (ggvedaj, _ 
Connected with Parvati (Siva-group) 
as Kauiikl, Kali, Ekanam^a, etc. 

The Vedic Ratri thus served as a unifying force, a vinculum, 
in the Purinic mythology to bridge the gulf between Vaisnavism 
and Saivism because of her twofold character in the Rgveda : 

1, Solar connection, and 2. demon*destroying nature. 
Visnumaya, Kalaratri, Yoganidra, Kaufiiki, Ekanam^a, Kali, Siva- 
duti, may be regarded as different emanations of the Vedic Ratri, 





snpft fa^fcft ( ?) fo 


The Bhagavata-purana, 1 which claims to be an infallible help 
to the spiritual pilgrim, a propounds bhakti as the highest dharma 
of man. 8 In this article we shall discuss two questions : (1) Does 
the BhP propose the bhakti-yoga to all men and women, whatever 
be their social status ? In other words, we shall see how the bhakti 
yoga stands in relation to the varva-a$Tama-dh&rma. (2) Does the BhP 
give any preference to the bhakti-yoga vis-a-vis the other traditi- 
onally accepted ways of attaining realization ? To put it differently, 
is the bhakti-yoga one among other m3rgas equally accepted by the 
BhPy or does the BhP give to it some special significance ? 

1 : Bhakti .the Universal Way to God 
Certain limitations of the Varna-ataama-dharma 

The traditional understanding of dharma was to a large ex- 
tent intimately linked with the two concepts of varpa and 

1. Henceforth abbreviated as BhP. 

2. Gf. S. Anand, 'The Bhagavata-purana : A Guide for 
the Sadhaka", Pur3ya XX. 1, pp. 71-86, 

3. Gf. S. Anand, "Bhakti the Bhagavata Way -to God , 
Puraya XXII. 2, pp. 187-211, 

4. Gf. P. V. Kane, History of Dharmafastra (Poona, Bnan- 
darkar Oriental Research Institute, 1968), vol. I, p. 3. 

102 ^TT PURStfA [VOL. XXIV., NO. I 

In its earliest form, the uarna-structure of society may have been a 
purely socio-economic phenomenon. Gradually, however, it acqui- 
red a religious significance, and the iSudra was the greatest loser. 
He was not allowed to study the Veda. The Veda could be studied 
only by one who had been duly initiated through the upanayana- 
samskara. The Sudra was debarred from all samskaras, except 
uivaha. He could not be present even when the Veda was being 
recited. Therefore, the only airama open to him was the g3rha$thjaj* 

The afiatna-approach to life in its final development divided 
life into four stages. The first two were mainly concerned with the 
things of this life. Manu teaches that only after a man has dischar- 
ged his debt to the seers> to the fathers, and to the gods, should he 
think of moksa.* Medhatithi, who ''most probably flourished 
between 825 and 900 A. D,," commenting on Manu-smrti 6,97, 
remaiks that the &Qdra by serving the Brahmins and by fulfilling 
his household duties, acquires the fruits of all the atramas, except 
moksa.* Moksa can be acquired only by the proper observance of 
the fourth aframa, i. e ., sa&nySsa 9 Kane, while discussing the 
relation between the /wj*r*/ia-doctrine and the tframa-system 
seems to agree with Medhatithi in his understanding of the tradi- 
tional stand of the Dharma^astras. 10 

Bhakti : a call to all men and women 

The BkP clearly states that birth alone cannot be the source 
of man's greatness. That one is born in a high caste is no guarantee 
that one dear to the Lord," He i. not pleased with anything 
^aUalls short of selfless fafaj. Consequently, without bhakti, a 

"Kan^~ O/,. <*. (1974), vol. If. pt. 1, pp. 154-64. 
tya vidhivad vedan putrarhlcotpadya dharmatafc, 
a ca fciktitafc yajSair mano mokse nivetoyet. 6.36. 
7. Kane : Op. dt., J, p . 533. 

a ^W Patyotpadanena C a sarva.ramaphalad, labhate 
^parivrajakaphalam varjayitva. 

* * ' A "'" ll ' l > P- 163. 

10. Cfr, Ibid,, pp, 422-*. 

11. nabm dvijatvam devatvam T itvani vaauratmaiah 

pa ^ 

malaya bhakty, hariranyad vidambanam. 7.7,52b. 


noble birth, even in the family of a /?*", is of no avail. 13 Just as a 
high birth confers no privileges, so too, a low birth does not 
disqualify the vSudra. The BhP has something very consoling to say 
of the origin of the j5udra : 

Service, which is needed to attain dharma, was born from the 
feet of the Lord. In the days of old the &udra was born for 
this service. By fulfilling this he pleases the Lord. 14 

Thus, far from being disadvantaged by his birth, the udra 
seems to be in a better position, because his calling to service is help- 
ful and necessary towards the fulfilment of the Law. Krsna, too, has 
a very favourable attitude towards the Sudra. He directs Nanda to 
give the outcastes a share of the sacrifice. 16 

Contrary to the stand taken by the authors of the Dharrna- 
lastras, the BhP teaches that all men and women can attain per- 
fection, 16 because all men can love the Lord, even the so-called 
"dog-eaters." 17 To be a saint one need not be born in the family 
of a dm/a. Like Satyafeama Jabala of old, 18 Narada was the son of 
a maid-servant, 1 9 born to her as a result of being cursed to be 
born a !udra s ao and he probably did not know who his father was. 
Yet, he was a great saint, 31 honoured by all the gods.* 2 Vadura, 

13. rsayo'pi deva yusmatprasangavimukha iha samsaranti. 

14. padbhyam bhagavato jajSe SuSrusa dharmasiddhaye, 

tasyam jata& pura iSudro yadvrttya. tusyate harifr. 3.6.33. 
All quotations from the BhP are my own translation. 

15. See 10.24.28. 

16. daiteya yabsaraksamsi striyafr 3drab vrajaukasah, 

khagS mrgah papajlvak santi hyacyutatam gatalj. 7.7.54. 

17. bhaktyaham ekaya grahyafe firaddhaya'tma priyalj satam, 

bhaktih punati manni|tha fivapakan api sambhavat. 


dvapaka is considered to be *'a man of a very low and 
degraded caste. 9 * V, S. Apte, The Students' Sanskrit- 
English Dictionary (Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1970), 
p. 567, 

18. Chdndogya-upanisad 4.4. 

19. See 1,5.23. 

20. See 7.15.72. 

21. maha-bhagavata, 2.9.41b. 

22. sura-pujita, 1.4.31b. 

104 ^^T^J PURXtfA [VOL. XXIV., NO. I 

too, was a ^Qdra. 23 Yet, Yudhithira addressing him says : 

O Lord, devotees of the Lord like you are made holy by the 
Lord who dwells in your heart. You in turn sanctify all the 
holy places. 34 

To be a saint one need not receive upanayana, the samskSra by 
which a Hindu becomes a dvija. Suka did not receive it, 35 yet, he 
was 9 great devotee of the Lord, 2 B fully dedicated to Him. a7 To 
scale the heights of holiness one need not study the Veda. Suta had 
not studied the Veda, 28 but he was no poorer for that, being 
accounted a great devotee of the Lord. 3 

If God-realization is the goal of all men, and of women, 
irrespective of their caste, then it follows that the means thereto 
should be equally available to all. According to the DharmaiSastras, 
one could begin the brahmacarya-aframa the student life only after 
receiving the upanayana. Therefore only men of the first three 
castes could enter on spiritual discipleship. Women and Sudras 
were debarred. But Krsna opens the doors of spiritual discipleship 
to a!!, even to the 3udras and to women. Winding up his teaching 
to Uddhava, he tells him : 

You may impart the teaching I have given to you only to a 
man who is free from the faults I have indicated above, pro* 
v:ded he is devoted to the Brahmins, is loved by you, and is 
pure and pious. You may also impart this teaching to women 
and Sudras provided they have devotion. Once a person has 

23. He was actually Yama, born as a Sudra, also due to a 

curse. See 3.5.20. 

24. bhavadvidha bhagavatas tlrthabhutalj svayath vibho, 

tlrthlkurvanti tlrthani svantafesthena gadabhrta. I A3. 10. 

25. an-upeta, 1,2.23. 

26. bhagavata-pradhana, 2.3.25a. 

27. vasudeva-parayana, 2.3. 16a. 

23- snatamanyatra chandasat. 1.4.13b. 

When the sages justify themselves for choosing Suta to 
narrate to them the story of Krsna, they underline his 

wide earmn gi But the texts he has mastered are only 


JWtt-texts SeB j a 6 
29. bhagavat-pradhana. 1.18.15a, 


really understood this teaching nothing else remains to be 
known. 80 

Thus the Sudras and women are eligible to receive the fulness 
of spiritual discipleship. 31 The Veda was a closed book for the 
jSudra. It could not even be recited in his presence* The BhP t 
which claims to be the very essence of the Vedas, 82 offers itself to 
all who care to study it with reverence. 88 The BhP lays the grea- 
test stress on satsatiga as a means to holiness. 84 The saint is open 
to all men, ready to accept anyone. 85 Thence satsanga is a univer- 
sal sacrament. All types of men and women reach the heights of 
holiness through satsanga.** Satsanga nullifies all social disquali- 
fications. 87 Bhakti makes up for the lack of all the other means, 
which are available to the privileged ones alone. 88 Indeed, an 

30. etair dosair vihmaya brahmanyaya priyaya ca, 
sadhave ucaye bruyad bhaktih syacchudrayo?itam. 
naitad vij3aya jijnasorjnatavyamavaSisyate. 1 1.29.3 l-32a. 

31. For a complete discussion on the concept of spiritual 
discipleship as expounded by the BhP^ cf. S, Anand : 
"Spiritual Discipleship as Described by the Bhagavata- 
purana," Indian Theological Studies > XV- l a pp. 21-55. 

32. akhila-Sruti-sara, 1.2.3a. 
sarva-veda-anta-sara, 12.13.12a. 

33. vipro' dhltyapnuyat prajnam rajanyodadhimekhalam, 

vaidyo nidhipatitvam ca ludrah suddhyeta patakat. 

34. Krsna calls satsanga the greatest secret (parama-guhya). See 

11. 11.49a. For a complete discussion on the concept of 
satsanga as taught by the BhP, cf. S. Anand : (< Satsanga : 
The Company of Saints", in C. M. Vaddakkekara (ed.) : 
Prayer and Contemplation (Bangalore, Asirvanam, 1980), 
pp. 273-310. 

35. sarva-bhuta-sama, 11.2,52b. 

36. See 11.12.2-9. 

37. dauskulyam^dhim vidhunoti Digram mahattamanam abhi- 

danayogah. 1.18. 18b. 

38. Devahuti addresses her son, Kapila, considered to be an 

avatara : tepus tapaste juhuvufr sasnu rarya brahmanucur- 
natna grnanti ye te. 3.33.7b. 

Similarly, some Brahmins who at first refused to honour 
the request made by Krsna, eulogize their wives favoured 
by him : 

106 S^OTJ PURXJfcEA [VOL, XXtV., NO, 1 

outcaste, provided he is a bhakta, is superior to a Brahmin, who 
may be adorned with many qualities but bereft of 

The universalistic stand of the BhP is founded on the belief 
that Hari, being the soul of all, 40 looks upon all without partia- 
lity.* 1 He has no favourites, nor is He against anyone. 43 But 
this does not mean that He is indifferent towards His devotees, far 
from it. The bhakte is most dear to Him. Krsna tella Uddhava 
that he is dearer to Him than Siva, Brahma, and even S 

Though the BhP has a universalistic attitude, it does not 
totally reject the traditional respect shown to the Brahmin* 
?abha, considered to be an avatara of Hari, instructs his people 
thus : 

I find no being equal to, much less higher than, the Brahmin 
I gladly accept the offering made through the Brahmin, 
provided it is accompanied with faith. Such an offering 
surpasses the 

To give gifts to the Brahmins seems to be better than to offer 
a sacrifice ! Krsna himself teaches the greatness of the Brahmin, 
but he insists that this greatness is more the consequence of moral 
greatness than of birth alone : 

nasam dvijatisamskaro na nivaso guravapi, 
na tapo natmamimamss na Saucam na kriyab 
athapi hyuttamasloke krsne yogefivarefivare, 

na casmakam samskaradimatamapi 

39. viprad dvi^adgunayutad aravindanabha- 
manye tadarpitamanovacanehitartha. * 

pranam punati sa kula* na tu bhurimanat. 7.9. 1 

40. sarva-atmaj 1.9,21 a. 

41. sama-dr4, ibid, 

42. na yasya, kaficiddayito' sti karhicid 
dvesya^ca yasmin visama matirnrnam. 1.8 29b. 

vmSMSw? kunatal * P a ram tu, 
atefm^ fcfi? 1 ^ Prahutam firaddhayaham 
ateamikamamnatathagnihotre. 5.5,23. 


By his very birth, the Brahmin is superior to all beings, more 
so if he is endowed with penance, learning, contentment, 
and devotion to me. 45 

The real Brahmin is characterized by a spirit of forgiveness;* 8 
he is calm, considerate to the poor and needy, and looks upon all 
with an impartial eye. 4 * Since it is moral greatness that consti- 
tutes the real Brahmin, anyone who leads a life of virtue and 
bhakti can become a Brahmin. 48 Here the BhP seems to give in to 
the factual religious dominance of the Brahmins, but not quite, 
because by in tro ducting the moral and religious consideration in 
the concept of Brahminhood, it implicitly passes a judgement on 
the practice then prevalent. 

Bhakti and temporal involvement 

The sarfinySra-aframa which was particularly suited for the 
quest of moksa according to the opinion commonly held by the 
Dharmadastra writers demands that a man renounces everything, 
even his house, so that he is obliged to go from place to place, to 
be a parivrat. In the first two atramas man fulfilled the first three 
purusdrthas : dharma, artha, tcama. Only in the third did he think of 

The BkP ', however, teaches that supreme bhakti is possible 
while being involved in things mundane. Temporal commitment 
is not incompatible with holiness for one who is detached. King 
Dhruva, while he continues to rule his kingdom, while he continues 
his quest for art ha, kdma, and dharma^ has his senses fully under 
control, 50 his mind immovably fixed on the Lord. 61 Similarly, 

45. brahmano janmana reyan sarvesam praninamiha, 
tapasil vidyaya tus^yE kimu matkalaya yutafr. 10.86.53. 

46. Jamadagni to his son, Para6urama, after the latter slew 

King Arjuna : vayam hi^brahmanas tata ksamayarha- 
natam gatat- 9.15.39a. 

47. brahmanab samadrk anto dlnanam samupeksakafe. 

4. 14.41 a. 

48. Speaking of the sons of $sabha, the BhP remarks : 

karmaviauddha brahmana babhuviib- 

49. trivarga-aupayika, 4.12.14b. 

50. avicalaindriya 4.12.14a 

51. acalita-smrti, 4.12.8b. 

108 rt FURStfA [VOL. xxrv., NO 1 

we have the instance of king Prthu, foremost among the great, 52 
He has fully attained the heights of perfection, his mind being 
completely fixed on the Lord. 53 Yet he continues to exercise his 
royal power, fulfilling all his duties, that too in a thorough man- 
ner. 54 This is possible only when one has his feet firmly on this 
earth. The story of Sudama is one of the most moving episodes in 
the BhP. In him we see the possibility of great sanctity within the 
garhasthya-afrarna. He is fully detached from sensual objects, calm, 
and self-possessed. BB Hence, though fulfilling the duties incum- 
bent upon him as a householder, he does not get attached to things 
of this world. 60 

Once again the BhP finds the justification for this stand in the 

mystery of God Himself. He creates and sustains everything; He 

leads all creation to its goal: yet. He Himself remains unattached, 

fully free 57 This is true also with regard to His avatara, Lord 

Krsna, who moves about in the world, fully detached, seeking noth- 

ing but the good of the world. 58 This is possible because God has 

in Himself all fullness; He does not need to seek it outside Himself, 

So, too, the bhakta has in his heart the Lord Himself. What else 

does he need to look for ? 68 As God is one who has His purpose 

always fulfilled, so, too, the bkaka is happy with what he has. BO 

If he gets involved in the world, it is not out of personal interest.* 

but because the Lord wants him to do so. 61 Only in. this context 

52 ..... dhuryo mahatam.. 4.33.49a. 

53 ..... atrnanyavasthitalj. 4.22.49b. 

54. karmani ca yathakalam yathadeSam yathabalam, 

yathocitam yathavittam akarod branmasa'tkrtam. 4.22.50. 

55. virakta indriyartheu praiantatma jitendriya^i. 10.80.6b. 

56 Kr&na, praising his friend, Sudama, tells him : 
prayo grhesu te cittamakamavihatam tatha, 
naivatiprlyase vidvan dhanesu viditam hi me. 10.80 29. 

57. sa va idam vidvamambghalflalji srjatyavatyatti na 
sajjate* smin. 1.3,10a. 

58. Krsna tells Sudama : 

kecit kurvanti karmani kamairahatacetasalj, 
tyajantak prakrtir daivfr yathaharii lokasamgraham. 
10.80.30. --'__ 

59. Ihate bhagavanlto no hi tatra visajjate, 

atmalabhena pun>artho uavaBidanti ye* nu tarn. 8.1.15. 

60. nija-labha-tusta, 1.19.25b, 

61 ..... ^varecchayadhinivefiitakannadhikarat.... 5. 1,23. 


does temporal involvement become part of the service rendered to 
the Lord. fla However, the BhP is also aware that this combination 
of temporal involvement and the quest for perfection is difficult. 
Like Brahma, man has to pray that while being involved in the 
world his heart may be fixed on the Lord. 08 The Lord by His grace 
will definitely sustain His sincere devotee. fl4 Thus, bhakti, by puri- 
fying man, makes his secular involvement selfless, and thereby more 

Conclusion t Bhakti as s&dhflra^a dharma 

The BhP does not reject outright the varna-dharma. It gives a 
special place of honour to the Brahmin, but it also re-defines Brah- 
minhood in accordance with its central teaching. The real Brahmin 
is the bhaktdy and all men, and even women, can be bhaktas. Simila- 
rly, the BhP does not reject the division of human life into four 
states, but asserts that bhakti, the dharma of the paramahamsas> QS 
is beyond all Sframas i 6B and therefore attainable in every state of 
life. Bhakti, then, is the sadharapa-dharma, the universal dharma. It 
cuts across all strata of society and all stages of life, Bhakti gives 
meaning to all other dharmas and fulfils it, as Suta tells the sages of 
Naimisaranya : 

O best among the twice-born, to please the Lord is the perfe- 
ction of dharma, properly fulfilled by men, according to their 
varna and 5 

62. Brahma, tells Svayambhuva-Manu : 

param SuSrusanam raahyam syat prajaraksaya nrpa, 
bhagavamste prajabhartur hrsikeSo' nutusyati. 3.13.12. 

63. Brahma , when commissioned by Visnu to create the world 
prays that while doing so, he may remain free from all 
attachment: his mind fully fixed on the Lord. See 2.9,28-9. 

64. Brahma, whose prayer is heard, is given this assurance by 
Visnu : nanakarmavitanena praja bahvlfr sisrk?atalj, 

natmavasidatyasminste varslyan madanugrahafr. 

65. Gf. Anand : "The Bhagavata-purana : A Guide for the 
Sadhaka." 79-82. 

66. sarva-a^rama-namaskrta, 1.3. 13b. 

67. atal? purnbhir dvijalretha varnaSramavibhagaSak, 
svanusthitasya dharmasya samsiddhir harito?anam. 1,2.13. 

FURAtfA [VOL. XXlt., NO. 1 

Hence, a man may fail to observe his sua-dharma, and yet 
suffer no loss, provided he has bhakti\ on the other hand, a man 
who observes svadharma but has no bhakti has everything to lose. 06 

II : Bhakti the best way to God 
Uddhava 9 s question 

In his instruction to his devoted pupil, Uddhava, Krsna tells 
him that in order to help man attain his ultimate goal, he, Kr ? na, 
has propounded three yogas, namely, karma-, jnana-, and bhafai-yoge. 
Besides these there is no other way man can reach his goal. 80 The 
BhP is thus well aware of the three traditional ways to self-realiza- 
tion. The question that troubles Uddhava is whether man is free 
to choose any of these or if one of them is superior to the other 
two. 70 We shall now try to see what the BhP has to say on this 


Bhakti and the Karma-marga 

The Mimaihsa-sntras of Jaimini define dkarma as "a desirable 
goal or result that ia indicated by irjunctive passages." Kane 
oeiieves that here dkarma means "such rites as are conducive to 
^PPfflewaiMlareeiuoliiedbyVedicpaBsagcB.'^* In interpreting 
forma in terms of religious rites, Kane takes his cue from gabaras- 
vami who in his commentary on the Mlmamsa-sutTOs* explains that 
tne object of the injunction is (religious) action. The MImamaL 
school of thought divides religious rites into three kinds. The &* 
tormas are those rituals that man was obliged to perform every day, 

68* tyaktva svadharmam caranmmbujam harer 
onajannapakvo* tha patet tato yadi, 
yatrakva vabhadramabhiidamu?ya kim 
ko varthaapto' bhajatam svadharmatafe, 1.5.17. 

on karnaa ca bhakti^ca nopayo'nyo'sti kutra cit. 


71 utaho ekamukhyaS. 1 1.14.1. 

71. c^danftlakfanartho dharmah. 1 1 2 

?$ " 


The naimittika-karmas are those rituals that had to be performed 
\vhen some definite occasion arose. The kamya-karmas were left to 
the choice of the individual. He performed them when he wanted 
to achieve some definite purpose. 74 

The BhP opens with a sacrificial scene. It makes a sutble dero- 
gatory remark about the sacrificial system. The sages who asked 
Suta to narrate to them the story of Krsna tell him : 

We are engaged in this sacrificial action, even though we are 
not sure of its outcome. The smoke rising from the fire is 
soiling us. But you quench our thirst by offering us the sweet 
honey flowing from the lotus feet of the Lord. 75 

Not only is the sacrificial system devoid of assurance, but it 
leaves the participants soiled by the smoke ! A stronger rejection 
of the sacrificial system is voiced by Yama in his instruction to his 
servants after they return empty-handed on being repelled by the 
messengers of Visnu from dragging away Ajamila 7 : 

The Vedas attract man by their sweet and flowery speech. 
Man's understanding gets clouded on hearing them, and then 
without much discernment he engages in ritual action, not 
realizing the greatness of the divine name, as his mind is 
confused by the divine m5j>5. 77 

Here the involvement in the sacrificial action is attributed to 
ttie delusion brought about by may3. A man who concentrates on 
the sacrificial structure, convinced of its omnipotence, does not 

74. Gfr. Misra : op. cit. t pp. 119-20. 

75. karmanyasmin nanavase dhumadhumratmanam bhavan, 

apayayati govindapadapadmasavam madhu. 1.18.12. 

Elaborate sacrificial performance required the assistance of 
a purohita. The BhP does not seem to have much respect 
for this office either. Being deserted by Brhaspati, the 
gods request Vifivarupa to be their priest. The latter is 
reluctant, because the priesthood is condemned by virtu- 
ous men, and only a fool is happy with it. See 6.7.35-6. 

76. For the details of the story of Ajamila, see 6.1-3. 

77. prayena veda tadidarn na mahajano'yam 
devya vimohitamatir bata mayayalam, 
trayyam jadlkrtamatir madhupuspitayam 
vaitanike mahati karmani yujyamanaljL. 6.3.25. 


[VOL. xxrv,, NO. I 

realize the glory of the bhekti-marga.'' * The reward of sacrificial 
action is perishable 79 , and concerns the first three purusarthas only 8 

and as such, it is the source of rebirth. 81 

The BhP is well aware of the traditional belief in the doctrine 

of sacrifice. In a lengthy passage it gives the various benefits to be 

obtained by sacrificing to the different Vedic deities, and concludes 

thus : 

A man with a great understanding, whether he is free from all 
desire, or wishes to possess all, or longs for mokfa alone, 
should worship with intense devotion the supreme Puru?a. 
For the realization of the supreme goal for all worshippers is 
had when they experience a steadfast devotion to the Lord. 
This is possible only through the company of the saints. Ba 

The BhP, thus, in very clear terms states that by bhahti alone 
can man attain all the benefits of the different ya/#as; that bhakti is 
the supreme yajna; that bhakti is the real goal of allyajas. 

This attitude of the BhP is well illustrated in the episode of 
Bali. 83 He was a Daitya. By faithfully serving his preceptors he 
had attained great gifts. He conquered the whole world, and even 
ousted Indra from his kingdom. Aditi, the mother of the gods,, 
seeing the sad plight of her son, advised by her husband, worships 
Visnu, to obtain a son who would be a match for Bali. In the 
meanwhile, the humiliated Indra is told that only Visnu can come 
to his rescue. He betakes himself to Visnu. In answer to his 
prayer, Visnu condescends to be born of Aditi. This is his Vamana- 
Then dressed as a Brahmin lad, he goes to the sacrificial 

78. From the total context of the story of Ajamila, is obvious 

that Yaraa is contrasting the bhakti-marga with the karma- 

79. ksayisnu, 7.7,40a, 

80. traivargika-karma, 2,4.4a. 

Bl. evam nrn*m kriyayogah sarve samsrtihetavah " 

ta evatraavinaSaya kaipante kalpitab pare, 'l 5.34. 

82. akamal) sarvakamo va moksakama udaradhl^, 

twrena bhaktiyogena yajeta purusam param. 

ttavanevayajatam iha nil^reyasodayah, 

bhagavatyacalo bhavo yad bhagavatasangatak. 23.10-11. 

83. The story of Bali is found in 8, 15-23, 


hall of Bali and asks for some gift. Sukra, Bali's preceptor, sensing 
the danger, advises him against granting the wish of Vamana. But 
Bali, not wishing to break his promise, insists on giving to Vamana 
whatever he may ask. Vamana asks for three paces of land. Bali, 
seeing no difficulty, grants the request. Vamana covers the whole 
earth in one stride, with the second he measures the heavens. Since 
nothing more is left for the third step, Bali is bound and taken to 
hell. Then Vamana tells Sukra to complete the half-performed 
sacrifice. To this ukra replies : 

O Lord, you are the Lord of all action, the Lord of all sacri- 
fices, nay, you are the very embodiment of sacrifice. Bali has 
worshipped you with all his being. How, then, can his sacri- 
ficial action remain incomplete ? The recitation of your 
sacred name makes reparation for all sacrificial defects 
whether these defects be due to faulty mantra or ritual, or 
improper time or place. 84 

Gould the offering of such a generous soul like that of Bali 
remain incomplete ? Thus it is only when karma is surrendered to 
the Lord that it becomes fruicful. 86 It is bhakli that makes this 
detachment possible. 

Karma is an initial requirement. The real import of the 
Vedas is not to impose karma t but to free man from Karma. 6 * Man 
reaches this stage only when he performs the action enjoined by the 
Vedas in a spirit of surrender. 87 Hence it is only when he has 
matured in bhakti that he can abandon the karma-marga. 86 It is for 
this reason that Narada, who is considered to be a great teacher of 

84. kutas tatkarmavai?amyam yasya'karmevaro bhavSn, 

yajaeo yajnapurusafr sarvabhavena pujitah. 
mantratas tantrataa chidram dedakalarhavastutah, 
aarvam karoti nUchidram namasamklrtanam tava. 

85. See above, note 81- 

86. parok$avado vedo' yam anu2.sanam, 

karmamoksaya karmani vidhatte hyagadam yatha, 1 1.3.44. 

87. vedoktamevaih kurvano nissango'rpitamiSvare, 
nais.karmy5.rn labhate siddhim rocanartha phalagrutifr. 

88. tavat karmani kurvltiv na nirvidyeta yavata,^ 

matkathafiravanadau va Sraddha yavan na jayate. 11.20.9. 


1 1 4 cM' PURSJ$A [VOL* xxrv. t NO, I 

the bhakti-yoga, is also the one who teaches naifkarmya (actionless- 
ness). 89 We can easily understand this stand of the BhP if we bear 
in mind that the Lord is the heart of the sacrifice. 90 

Action is but the indication of a deeper disposition. It is this 
inner disposition that gives meaning to our action. But when the 
inner attitude has reached a great depth then action becomes in 
effective : it cannot convey the depth of the attitude. Then the 
best course of action is to cease from all action. So too, in spiritual 
life, bhakti is the highest fulfilment of man. It alone gives meaning 
\ to karma. Consequently, when through intense bhakti, a man is in 
'deep communion with Him who is the Lord of karma and yajna^ 
then all action becomes superfluous. 

Then silence, not merely of words, but of the total human 
endeavour, is the best expression of that inner depth. Then this 
silence speaks more loudly than words and actions, because the 
Lord is beyond all human expression, and our silence is the most 
profound proclamation of his ineffability, of his transcendence. It 
is this that lies behind the instruction of Krsna to Uddhava : 

O Uddhava, put aside your concern for what the law lays 
down or prohibits, nor be too worried about what you do or 
do not do, about what you have learnt in the sacred books 
and what you have still to learn. Gome to me a for I am the 
one refuge of all beings. By surrendering yourself totally to 
me you will have no reason to be afraid. sa 

But silence and actionlessness are difficult for man as they 
hurt his pride, reminding him of his own inherent poverty. Hence 
only the grace of the Lord can help man TO accept this attitude, as 
Narada tells King Praclnabarhis : 

89. trtlyam rsiaargam ca devarsitvam upetya sab, 

tan tram satvatam. acas.ta nai?karmyetm karmanam. yatafr, 

90. yajSa-hrdaya, 4,9.24a, 

91. Visiiu is also called yajna-UAga, (3.13. \3*) t yajtia-purusa 
(3J3.23b) yajHa-bhavana (3.13.34a), and yajfta-miirti 

92. tasmat tvam uddhavotsrjya codanath praticodanam, 
pravyttatii ca nivrttam ca Srotavyain firutameva ca. 
mam ekameva aranam atmSnam sarvadehinam, 

i sarvatmabhavena maya sya hyakutobhayab- 



When a man, who contemplates the Lord with his whole self, 
receives His grace, then he puts aside his attachment for this 
world as well as his faith in the Veda. 98 

Man can fully put aside himself and all his efforts only when 
sustained by the grace of God he realizes that God can do much 
more for him than he can even think of. Only in this attitude of 
loving trust will man be prepared to face his own poverty, his own 
helplessness to help himself. 

Bhakti and the JnSna-mftrga 

The IjLgvedic seers approached the devas with gifts, hoping to 
be blessed in return. As the sacrificial system developed, it acqui- 
red more importance than the devas themselves. Not only man, but 
even the devas were in need of the sacrifice. If they won a fight 
against the asuras, it was because they knew the art of sacrifice. 
Even Prajapati, after he is exhausted by his creative activity, needs 
to be revived by a sacrifice. Thus the sacrifice became an "omni- 
potent world-principles.'" 4 If the sacrifice was so important, then 
the man who knew the mystery of the sacrifice, the man who knew 
the connection of the sacrifice with the world, was considered to be 
great. 95 Just as the sacrifice had supplanted the devas, so too, in 
the course of time, the knowledge of the world-principle embodied 
in the sacrifice became more important than the sacrifice itself, and 
eventually the sacrifice was ignored. This attitude finds its most 
zealous advocates in the Upanisads. 

The Upani?ads repeat the refrain found in the Brahmanas : 

**He who knows " Knowledge is of two types : para and apara. 

It is the former that leads to moksa. Celibacy, penance, yoga and 

93. yada yam anugrhnati bhagavan atmabhavitah, 

sa jahati matim loke vede ca par ini?thi tarn. 4.29,46 

94. 5. K. Belvalkar and R. D. Ranade : History of Indian 
Philosophy (Poona, Bilvakunja Publishing House, 1927), 
vol. II, pp. 65-6. 

95. In the Brahmanas we often find references to the man 
who knows : 

.... yago ha bhavati ya evarh vidvan. $atapatha*br3hmana 

.... sa yasya haivam vidu?ab Ibid. 

... evametad veda, Ibid. 

.... yasyaivam vidualj.. Ibid. 1.4.1,35, etc. 

116 qfonr puRXtfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 1 

study are directed towards the acquisition of this para-vidya. The 
disciple has to be instructed by a worthy teacher, but he must also 

i * f I ft 

personally assimilate the teaching by constant meditation. 
In his instruction to Uddbava, Krsna tells him : 
Only those who have been perfected through knowledge and 
discernment know my highest state. Therefore the jnanin. is 
very dear to rne. By his knowledge he sustains me. Penance, 
pilgrimage, recitation of prayer, alms, or the other means of 
sanctification cannot help man to attain that perfection which 
even a small fraction of knowledge can. 97 

From these lines one may get the impression that the BhP 
affirms the supremacy of the jHana-marga^ But even a casual reading 
of the whole chapter from which these lines have been taken will 
make it quite clear that the jnana spoken of here is penetrated 
through and through with bkakti. The lines that immediately 
follow this passage make it quite clear : 

Therefore, O Uddhava, having come to know (me as) your 
Self through knowledge, and being equipped with knowledge 
and discernment, being full of devotion, worship me. 98 

The stand of the BhP with regard to the jnana-marga is similar 
to that with regard to karma-marga, i. e. t jfiana is meaningful only in 
relation to blwkti. This explains why Vyasa, who has studied every- 
thing, feels like one who has not yet attained his goal. 09 This is 
because knowledge, however great, is by itself futile. 100 

96. Gf, S. Anand : "The Upanisadic Theology of Salva- 
tion", Paths-Marga, III-2, pp. 12-5. 

97. jnanavijSanasamsiddhafc padam res.tham vidurmama, 
J3am priyatamo* to me jHanenasau bibharti mam. 
tapas tlrtham japo danarii pavitranltarani ca, 

nalam kurvanti tarn siddhirb ya jSanakalaya krta. 11. 19. 3-4 
_98, tasmaj jSinena sahitam joatva svatmanam uddhava, 
jaanavijHanasampanno bhaja mam bhaktibhavitat>. 

Emphasis mine. 

99. Finding Vyasa sad at heart, Narada expresses his surprise 
to him : 

jijSasitam adhltam ca yat tad brahma sanatanam 
, ad^Pi socasya tmanam akrtartha iva prabho. 1 .5.4. 
1 00. naiskarmyam apyacyutabhavavarjitam 

na Sobhate jnanamalam uiranjanarri. 1.5.12. 


JfiSna is a preparation for bhakti. It is by jftana that man 
realizes that Hari is the Lord of all, the most worthy of love. It is 
by jfiana that man sees the futility of everything else. 101 On the 
other hand, the BhP also teaches that it is by bhakti alone that man 
can reach the knowledge of the highest reality : 

Just as an ignorant man does not understand the behaviour of 
an actor doing wonderful things with his mind and words, so 
too a man of poor intelligence cannot by all his skill under- 
stand the name, manifestation or doings of the Lord. Only 
that man who with constant and sincere devotion reverences 
the scent coming from the Lotus-feet of the Lord can under- 
stand His ways, of that Lord who holds the discus and of 
whose power there is no end. 102 

No human effort can reveal the mystery of God, The Lord Himself 
imparts this knowledge which is a great secret. Visnu tells Brahma : 

Under my instruction receive the most secret knowledge to- 
gether with discernment and whatever is helpful for it. By my 
grace you will truly come to know me as I am, my true nature, 
my form, quality and action. 108 

To know the Lord man has to come to Him in bhakti, and the 
.ord by His anugraha reveals Himself to his bhakta.^ ^ The bhakta 
expresses his love by serving the devotees of the Lord and thus 

101. The Pracetasas request Narada to instruct them in that 
wisdom which will reveal reality to them and help them 
to cross the ocean of death and rebirth. Narada in his 
instruction tells them of the futility of everything else 
other than Hari. See 4^31.7-25. Note the bhakti-tone, 

102. na easy a kacinriipunena dhatur 
avaiti jantufr kumanisa utifr, 
namani rupSni manovacobhifr 
santaiivato natacaryamivajnat. 
sa veda dhatuljL .padavlm parasya 
durantavlryasya ratban.gap9.neb, 
yo'mayaya santatayaauvrttya 
bhajete tatpadasarojagandham, 1.3.37-8, 

103. jSanam paramaguhyam me yad vijSanasamanvitam, 
sarahasyam tadangaih ca grhana gaditam mays, 
yavan aham yathabhavo yadrupagunakarmakat, 
tathaiva tattvavijoanam astu te madanugrahat. 2.9. SO- 1. 

104. madjbhaktab pratibuddhartho matprasadena bhuyasa, 

* 3.27.28a. 

[VOL. xxrv., NO. 1 

becomes worthy of God's revelation. 105 By love and God's grace 
inan get? an intuitive grasp of the highest reality. 1 " 8 

The reason for this stand of the BhP is not difficult to see. If 
the knowledge that brings perfection is about the highest reality, 
then it has to be penetrated by bhakti. According to the BhP, 
Krsua himself is the supreme reality. 107 He reveals himself as a 
<;reat lover. It is he who calls the gopis to himself, but they cannot, 
even when allowed intimacy with him., claim him to be their own in 
such a way as to possess him. He remains forever the Lord, free to 
reveal or veil himself, If he reveals himself, it is only within, the 
context of love. It is only when through love he has entered the 
heart of man that he unveils his face. 108 The knowledge that 
brings holiness and eventually salvation is not the knowledge of a 
Tuing which man can arrogantly invade, but the knowledge of him 
w-ho is fully free, and before whom man must stand in humility and 
reverence as before a mystery. It is the knowledge born of personal 
communion which is impossible without love and grace. If this 
knowledge leads to atma-darfana, then it is not the stare of an 
indifferent, unconcerned onlooker, but the contemplation o a 
lover. 109 

With reference to the teaching Kapila gave to his mother, 
Devahuti, S. Bhattacarya has this to iay : 

105. jnanam vifiuddham paramar thamekam 
anantaram tvabahir brahma satyam, 
pratyak praSautam bhagavacchabdasamjSam 
yadvasudevam kavayo vadanti. 
rahaganaitat tapasa na yati 

na cejyaya nirvapanad grhad va, 

na cchandasa naiva jalagnisuryair 

vina mahatpadarajo' bhisekam. 5.12.11-2 

106. yfeudevc bhagavati bhaktiyoga^ prayojitafe. 

107 u *Sy** JSanam ca yad ******. 1.2.7 

108. hrdi 

. 3 .5.4b. 

^^ 1 -2.12. 

i. the same as harMarJana. Se e 1.6. 16-7 


While the Bhagavata disowns the claim of the path of action 
as an independent method, it has the unique catholicity to 
consider the path of knowledge and the path of devotion on 
equal footing. This is what the great saint Kapila has to say 
on this issue : The Paths of knowledge and devotion are 
equally good, for any one of them can take the purusa to 
Purw/a. 110 
The verse in particular which he has in mind reads thus : 

O daughter of Manu, bhakti and yoga have both been explained 
by me. By following one of them a man may attain the 
Supreme Purusa. 111 

It does not seem to me quite correct to evaluate a work mainly on 
the basis of one isolated verse, ignoring the overall trend. Further, 
we have shown that in the BhP jftana is essentially linked with 
bhakti, and is the result of divine grace. Also, the fact that two 
ways are available to reach one and the same goal is no indication 
that both are equally good, If that were so, we might as well stop 
travelling by train and go back to our bullock-carts ! Again, the 
text referred to does not explicitly speak of the jftana-marga^ but of 
joga. We shall show that according to the explicit teaching of the 
BkP, bhakti-mSrga is superior to yoga. Lastly, Bhattacarya is not 
quite consistent with his own stand. In the second volume of his 
study on the BkP, he has one chapter entitled 'The Sovereignty of 
the Path of Devotion 1 , 112 where he says * 

The Bhagavata seems to have dislodged both rituals and 
knowledge from their status of dharrna and appropriated it 
instead in favour of devotion. 118 

Bhakti and Yoga 

In the BhP 3 the word yoga is found in the plural. 11 * It is thus 
used both in the general as well as in the specialized sense. The 
BhP speaks of bhaktiyoga^* Krsna uses the word to mean the 

110. Op. cit. 9 vol. II, p. 11. 

111. bhaktiyogasca yoga<5ca maya manavyudiritafc, 
yayor ekatarenaiva purusah purusam vrajet. 3.29.35. 

112. Gf. pp. 107-30.' 

113. p. 109. 

114. drsta yogah prayuktaSca....4.18.13b. 

115. See3.29.35K 

120 "JOTf^ PURStfA [VOL, XXIV, NO. 1 

three m2rgas.*' i * On the other hand, the word is also used to indi- 
cate the asta-atiga-yogaJ-'L' 1 We are now faced with the question : 
Can atfa-anga-yoga as taught by its earliest proponents afford to 
ignore the bhakti-marga as propounded by the BhP ? 118 

The Toga-sutra speaks of tivara-pranidhana.' 1 ' 1 * The Vyasa- 
bhafya explains it as bhakti^ and as the offering of all action to 
ISvara, the supreme teacher. 121 Dasgupta is of the opinion that 
these are two different ideas expressed by the same term. He 
writes : 

This word (tfvara-pratiidhana), according to the commantatora, 
is used in two senses in the first and second books of the 
Patanjala Yoga aphorisms. In the first book it means love or 
devotion to God as the one centre of meditation, in the 
second it is used to mean the abnegation of all fruits of 
actions to !$vara, and thus tfoara-prapidhana in this sense is 
included under 

116. yogastrayo maya proktal?* 11.20,6a. 

117. yamadibhiry ogapathailj 3.27.6a. 

11.15 speaks of the various siddhis obtained by yoga. 

118. The earliest systematic presentation of the asia-anga-yoga 
is found in the Toga-siftra, attributed to Patanjali and 
written between 300 A. D. and 500 A. D. It has a btosja 
supposed to have been written by Vyasa between 650 and 
850 A. D. Cf. J. H. Woods : The Toga-System of Patanjali 
(Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, rep. 1972), pp. xvii-xxi. 
Dasgupta accepts the traditional view that the same 
Patanjali wrote the Maha-bhasya on Panini*s Sutras.^ well 
as composed the Toga-MtTas, Gf. S, N. Dasgupta : A 
History of Indian Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 

1952), vol, I, pp. 226-38. 

119. Isvarapranidhanad va. 1.23 See also 2.1, 32, 54. 

120. pranidhanadbhaktiviSesad. Vy3sa-bh3fya on 1,23. 

121. Livarapranidbanam sarvakriyanam paramaguravarpanam 
tatphalasannyaso va. Vyasa- bkafja on 2.1. This is 
repeated without any fundamental change in the comment 
on 2.32 and 2.45. 

122. Toga as Philosophy and Religion (Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass 
rep. 1973), p. 161. 


However, Bhoja, who flourished in the eleventh century A. D., 12a 
does not seem to accept this distinction. * Thus in the two earliest 
proponents of the affa-aaga-yoga we do have the notion of bhakti as 
the surrender of action with its fruits to Isvara, who is viewed as 
the supreme teacher. 

The Toga-satra defines yoga as "the restriction of the fluctuat- 
ions of the mind-stuff. The result of this restriction is that 
''then the seer (that is, the self ), abides in himself." 12 * The BhP 
is aware of this definition of yoga. 19 '' Kapila begins his discourse 
of the afta-aAga-yoga with these words : 

O Princess. I shall explain to you the characteristics of yoga 
with some aid to concentration. By this process your mind, 
having become tranquil, will follow the right path, 128 

After finishing his discourse on yoga, he tells his mother that 
he has explained the bhakti-yoga and the asta-anga-yoga and that by 
one of these two man can reach the supreme Purusa. 1 ** From this 
it may appear that according to the BhP both the aforesaid yogas 
are equally good. We have already noted that this was the conclu- 
sion arrived at by Bhattacarya. But we have to examine the issue 
in the total context of the BhP. 

The BhP clearly states that the goal of yoga is not merely the 
cessation of mental unrest, but to make man pleasing to Visnu, 180 
so that he can concentrate and experience the communion that is 

123. Cf. V. Karnatak : Vyakhyakaron kt Dfsti se Patarijal- 
Togastftra ka Samtkfatmak Adhyayan (Benaras, Hindu 
University, 1974), Bhifmika, p. 27. 

124. Bhoja explains ifoara~praxidh3na as sarva-kriya-arpaqa 
already in his comment on 1.23, while Vyasa does it only 
in his comment on 2.1. This explains Dasgupta's 

125. yogaficittavrttinirodhab. 1.2. (tr. Woods) 

126. tada drastulj svarupe* vasthanam. 1.3. (tr. Woods) 

127. E. g. : esa vai paramo yogo manasaJj samgrahafc smrtalj. 
lL20.21a. paro hi yogo manasa^ samadhih. 11.23.46b. 

128. yogasya lakanam vaksye sabijasya nrpatmaje, 

mano yenaiva vidhina prasannatfa yati sat path am. 3.28.1. 

129. See note 111. 

130. ta eva niyamak saksat ta eva ca yamottamak, 
tapo dan am vratath yajno yena tugyatyadhoksajalj. 


122 ?* puRXA 1 VOL? XXIV ' N0i 

characterised by love. 181 It is precisely because yoga is subservient 
to bhakti that Narada can direct Vyasa to recollect the wonderful 
deeds of Visnu with the help of samadki.** 2 The mental calm aimed 
at by yoga is attained through the eight-fold process beginning with 
thej^ffwf. 188 The SAP clearly teaches that the self will not attain 
peace so effectively by the afta-ariga-yoga as by bhakti. Narada, 
wanting to encourage the frustrated Vyasa, shares with him his 
spiritual experience. He has learnt by experience that s 

A heart overcome by passion and greed does not attain peace 
by the practice ofyama and other limbs of yoga as effectively 
it does through the devotion to the Lord. 18 * 

Thus, not only is mental calm a preparation for the fullness of 
bhakti, but this mental calm is not possible without bhakti.* 05 It is 
for this reason that when Krsna ennumerates the yamas and niyamas 
he includes therein such elements as faith (Jraddha) and pilgrimage 

As we have already noted, the Yoga-sutra does speak about 
devotion. 187 But M. Eliade believes Ifivara has a ^comparatively 
small" role in the .yoga-process and the bhakti spoken of in the 
Toga-sStra and the Vyasa-bha?ya is an "extremely rarefied, extremely 
intellectual devotion;" thetfzwzra of the Toga-sutva is a "macroyogin" 
deprived of all emotions. If he finds a place in the Sutras, it is not 
because the Sfctrakara was personally convinced that he should 
be there, but simply because he had to take note of the fact that 

131. bhafctUaksana-yoga, 2.1,21, 

132. urukramasyakhilabandhamuktaye gamSdhinanusraara 

tadvicetitam. 1.5.13b. 
1 33. yamaniyam3sanapranayamapratyaharadharanadhyanasa- 

madhayo 1 stavangSni. Yoga-sutra 2.29. 

134. yamadhibhiryogapathaitkamalobhahato nmnuk, 
mukundasevaya yadvat tatha" tmaddha na amyati. 

135. See 11.16,42-44. 

136. See ll.I9.33-35a. 

137. To be exact, the Toga-sHtra does not speak of bhakti, but 
only of Koara-prapidkana, Vyasauses the word bhakti only 
once, in his comment on 1,23. 


people at least some of them practised bhakti. 198 It should also 
be noted that in the Toga-s&tra tfvara-prayidhana is but one of the five 
niyamas** 9 and samadhi can be attained by other means as well. 140 

In the BhP Visnu occupies a unique position. He is not merely 
the lord nfyoga and universal teacher, 141 but the ultimate goal of 
man, being most worthy of his love. 1 * 2 Hence without bhakt i the 
affa-aAga-joga is futile, as Krsija tells Mucukunda : 

O King, the mind of those practising the pr3$3y3ma and the 
other yogic aids, but who are devoid of bhakti, is seen to be 
repeatedly disturbed as their passion has not yet been sub- 

Thus according to the BAP, bhakt i is not one of the means 
which the yogi is free to choose. It is the basis of all yoga, and no 
other way is as good as bhakti *** The bhakti advocated by the BhP 
is not merely an intellectual disposition, but involves the whole 
man, 14 - 5 and as such centres round the avatara. The Yoga-siitra 
and the Vyasa-bha$ya have nothing to say about this concept. 148 
Since bhakti for Vismi is the highest goal of human activity, the 
bkdkta can afford to ignore the supernatural powers associated with 

138. Toga i Immortality and Freedom (London, Routledge and 
Kegan Paul, 2nd ed., 1969), pp. 73-6. 

139. iaucasamtosatapa^svadhyayeivarapranidhana'ni niyamafr. 

140. iSvarapranidhanad va. 1.23. Note carefully the particle u3. 

Vyasa introduces this sutra thus : kimstaemadeva" sannat- 
amafr samadhir bhavati, athasya labhe bhavatyanyo* pi 
kaScidupayo na veti. 

141. yoga-iSvara, 1.8.43b; akhila-guru, ibid. 
142 prethalj san preyasamapi. 3.9.42a. 

143. yuSjananamabhaktanam pranayamadibhir manalj, 
akslnavasanam raj an drsyate punar utthitam. 10.51.61. 

144. na yujyamanaya bhaktya bhagavatyakhilatmani, 
sadrfio' sti 6iva}j pantha yoginam brahmasiddhaye. 3,25.19. 

145. Cf. Anand : "Bhakti : the Bhagavata Way to God'% pp. 

146* Vacaspati Misra, Bhoja and some other commentators, 
following the Toga-sHtra, maintain a silence with regard 
to the concept of avatSra* Vijnanabhiku and Nage$abhafta 
deny it, for tfoara is beyond all action. Na^fiyanatirtha 
admits the doctrine of au&tara. Gf. BLarnatak : Op cit. 9 
pp. 116*7. 

i 24 STT PUREST A (vo:u xxiv., NO. t 

* 7 indeed, he has to be fully detached from them, lest in 
being attached to them, he may miss the real goal of his struggle. 1 * 8 

The BhP goes beyond the goal set by the Toga-siftra. The 
calming of one's self cannot be a goal in itself, because that would 
mean a vacuum. The mind can only reach complete calm when " 
attains its highest object, and this is God. According to the Bh? t 
God can be fully attained only through nirgupa-bhakti. Since God 
completely fulfils man, the bhakta needs nothing else, not even the 

Bhakti as the best mftrga 

From the above discussion we can now summarize what the 
BAP has to say to the question ofUddhava. The BhP not only 
states that the other margas remain incomplete without bhatoi, but 
also avers that all the margas find their consummation only when 
they lead to bhakti. This is not merely our conclusion, but is expli- 
citly stated by the BhP : 

For a man who has come into this world there is no other way 
more favourable than that which leads to steadfast devotion 
to Lord Vasudeva. 150 

Thus b/iakti is the end to be achieved by following the 
mJrgaj. 161 We have also noted that for tbeyogi> bhakti is the best 
path. 1 e a This explains why Narada, conErming the teaching 
given to Dhruva by the latter'e mother, tells him : 

The way shown to you by your mother will help you to attain 
the highest good ; Vasudeva is the Lord. Worship him witl 

147. asta-ariga-anupravrtta-aifivarya, 3.25.37a. 

H8. yada na yogopacitasu ceto mSyasu siddhasya visajjate'nga, 

ananyahetusvatha me gatih syad atyantiki na mytyuhasalj 


149. Earlier we have discussed how bhdkti leads to atma-tufti 
Cf. Aaand j art. *., 207-8. We may also note that th 
BhP speaks of bhakti as 3tma-pras3dinf (1.2.22b). 

150. See above, note 70. 

151. na hyato'nyak dyah pantha viSatat sams? tSlviha, 
vasudeve bhagavati b^ktiyogo yato bhavet. 2.2.33. 

152. See above, note 

your mind fixed on him. 158 

Thus bhakti to Vasudeva is the best means to attain the high- 
est goal of man. Just as the fire burns down the wood, just as 
the sun dispels the darkness, so too bhakti removes sin. 15 * Bhakti 
breaks the knot of ignorance. 1 " By bhakti man can more easily 
overcome his nature, 166 his natural inclinations, 1 * 1 ' his senses. 158 
Only when a man's heart is filled with love for the Lord, can he 
easily renounce the world, 169 can he overcome all his desires. 160 
In short, by bhakti man attains all those spiritual benefits made 
available to him by other spiritual means. No wonder then, that 
Krsna concludes his exposition of the three margas with this assu- 
rance : 

Whatever a man can obtain by rituals, penance, knowledge, 
renunciation, yoga, alms-giving, or by other pious exercises, 

153. jananyabhihitak panthak sa vai niljsreyasasya te, 
bhagavan vasudevastam bhaja tatpravanatmana. 4.8.40. 
Srldhara Svamin, the most authoritative commentator on 
the BhPy has this to say on the verse just quoted : niljSrey- 
asasyabhipretarthasya panthalj ko* sEvityata ha bhaga- 
vanvasudevo'ta eva tarn bhaja. 

Thus Vasudeva is both : the goal and the way to the goal ! 

154. kecit kevalaya bhaktya vasudevaparayanab. 
agham dhunvanti kartsnyena niharamiva bhaskarafc. 

yathagnilj susamrddharcib karotyedhamsi bhasmasat, 
tatha rnadvisaya bhakti ruddhavainamsi krtsnadalj, 

155. tvam pratya^atmani tada bhagavatyananta 
ananoamatra upapannasamasta^aktau, 
bhaktim vidhaya paramlth Sanakairavidya 
granthim vi^hetsyasi mamahamiti praru4ham. 4.11.30. 

156. ,... jitva prakrtim balistham, 3.5.46a. 

157. tada rajastampbhavat kamalobhadayaSca ye, 

ceta etairanaviddham sthitam sattve prasjdati. 1.2.19. 
rajas-tamas-apaha-bhakti. 1.5.28b. 

158. badhvamano'pi madbhakto vi?ayairajitendriyah, 
praya^i pragalbhaya bhaktya visayair nabhibhGyate, 


1 59. yasudeve bhagavati bhaktiypgat prayoj itafe, 
jana,yatya^y vair^gyam joauam ca yadahaitukam. 1.2.7. 

160. niljisprhaljt sarvakamebhyal^ kf?napadabjaBevaya. I,12.l4b. 

126 <ppjjjj_ PURXfcU t^OL. X3tlV NO, 

all that can be attained easily by my devotees through th 

Conclusion : Bhakti, the goal of spiritual dlscipleship 

In the Indian tradition the concept of spiritual discipleship 
is very conspicuous. Already in the Atharva-veda we have the earliesl 
reference to it. iaa What is the goal of discipleship ? Wecaa 
now answer the question with full confidence. As the BhP presents 
bhakti as the best means to attain God, the best internal disposition 
to experience Him, it follows that the goal of spiritual disci- 
pleship cannot be anything else than bhakti. Lest there be any 
doubt on this matter, the BhP makes its mind quite clear. 18 * 
HiranyakaSipu fondly questions his son about the best lesson he 
has learnt. 164 Prahlada's answer is clear and simple : 

To hear about Visnu, to sing about Him, to remember Him, 
to touch His feet, to offer gifts to Him, to bow to Him, to be 
a slave unto Him, to be a constant companion for Him, to 
surrender oneself totally to Him, in short, the ninefold devo- 
tion to Visnu, that I believe to be the best lesson a man can 
learn. 16 * 

Prahlada finds nothing better for man to learn than the nine- 
fold bhakti to Visnu, The highest learning is to be imparted only 
to a pupil who has really proved himself. Thus, only when the 
sages are pleased wi th the devoted service, maturity and genuine 

161 . y at karmabhiryattapasa jSanavairagyatafica yat, 
yogenzt danadharmena fireyobhiritarairapi, 
sarvam madbhaktiyogena madbhakto labhate'Sjasa. 

162. See 11.5, This hymn is a eulogy of brakmacarya. The 
teacher is the spiritual mother of the brahmacSrJ (verse 3). 

163. Gf. Anaud : "Spiritual Discipleahip as Described by the 
Bhagavata-PurSna." -- 

164. uttama-adhlta, 7.5.22*. 

165. 4rava$aifc klrtanam visnot smaranam padasevanam 
arcanaife vandanam dasyam Bakhyamatmanivedanam, 
iti pumsfirpita vi?nau bhaktUcennavalaksana 
kriyate bhagavatywldhR tamnanye'dhltamuttamam. 


faith of Narada, do they impart to him the most secret knowledge, 
the knowledge imparted to them by the Lord Himself. 166 Thus 
an initial bhakti is required from the aspirant before he can be 
accepted as a pupil. This initial bhakti can make up for all other 
defects, thus enabling all even women and &udras to qualify for 
spiritual discipleship, as Kr$na told Uddhava. 167 

166. jSanarfi guhyatamam yattat sakgadbhagavatoditam, 
anvavocan gamigyantalj krpaya dinavatsalafc. 1.5,30. 

167. sadhave fiuca> e bruyad bhaktilj syacchGdrayoitam 






I >tfrn uii^ r WT 



i ^SR^TT^T sprit 

r ** of the 

the Jfanayogakhatfa of the 

JAN., 1982] THE SAHYXDRIKHAtfrjA 129 

purfya, perhaps with some rearrangement. 1 Within this there is 
interpolated a large section on the origin of ksatriya groups in 
the Mysore area. The second part, the uttar3rdha t uparibh3ga ) or 
uttararahasyo, is devoted entirely to the origins of brthmarta groups 
in the area. It can be divided into four sections. These discuss 
respectively the origins of the major brShmana groups in the Mysore 
area, the introduction of tbrahmanas from the north into the area 
by the 4th c. Kadamba king Mayuravarman, the origin of groups 
of brshmanaa of Harijan status in the area, and the god Para&u- 
Rama. The latter is a god of particular reverence in the Mysore 
region. He generally is identified as a god of brahmano. descent who 
was so enraged by ksatriyas lording over brShmanas that he cut 
down the k/atriyas 21 times, calculated 7x3. This calculation can 
be understood to indicate entirety, thereby indicating the thorough- 
ness of his action. 

In the manuscript colophons of sections of the uttarardha, we 
have evidence of three different numbering systems which have 
been applied at one time or another to some of the chapters of this 
part of the Skh. Similarly, the manuscripts demonstrate three 
levels of corruption with each more corrupt than the preceding 
level. The different numbering systems and levels of corruption 
correlate with one another. The numbering systems alone indicate 
that at one time these chapters were attached to the Skh in a 
different fashion than at present, and that at still another time 
some chapters had been located in a different context. From these 
points, we can deduce that while the present uttarardha of the Skh 
was in its formative stages, parts of its text were already corrupt. 

As we have the text today, the four sections of the uttaradha of 
the Skh are stylistically distinct from one another. 

The second section which discusses the introduction of br3h- 
mayas from the north into the area by Mayuravarman, for example, 
is written in simple declarative sentences with simple Sanskrit 
vocabulary. The few verses which describe the physical features of 
the area at the very beginning of this section, however, demonst- 
rate a different Sanskrit style of image heaped on image so as to 

1. See S. H. Levitt, "The Sahyadrikhanda : Some Problems 
in the Textual Criticism of a Puranic Text", in PwrZna 
19.1 (January 1967), 16-7, and Puraaa 21.1 (January 1979) 
Table III, 77-9. 


130 "J?T^ PURXtfA [VOL- XXIV., NO. I 

form a lengthy hyperbole. This contrasts with the simple decla- 
rative style of the rest of these chapters. The same description 
is found as well toward the beginning of the third section on 
brahmanas of Harijan status. In the latter section these verses ate 
also somewhat disjunctive. This suggests that we have here a 
stock description which an author could draw on at will. Sugge- 
sted as well is that these verses may have been added in both 
contexts at the time of placing the second and third sections of 
the uttarardka next to one another. It can be noted further that 
in the manuscripts, these sections appear to already have been 
placed next to one another by the time of our earliest numbering 
system for the chapters of the uttarardha. This numbering system 
can be associated with our best manuscripts of the text. 

The fourth section, which continues reference to Parafiu-Rama 
from the earlier sections, is composed of two chapters of the 
Reaukamskatmya as in some manuscripts of the text. The m3hatmya t 
or glorification, traditionally is attached to the SKh. The style of 
these chapters is not one of simple declarative sentences, and it 
contrasts with the second section of the uttarSrdha as much as it 
does with the third. It is clear that this section of the uttarardha 
was attached to it for reasons of theme. It is not clear, however, 
at which point in the growth of the text it was so attached. It 
appears already in manuscripts demonstrating the second stage of 
corruption. But there is no evidence of it in its present position 
in the best manuscript of this group. Manuscripts containing the 
text in ita earliest stage of corruption are incomplete. While it is 
doubtful that this section was attached at this time, we cannot be 
certain without clear testimony. 

The third section titles itself Patityagramanirpaya (PGN). It 
is a^discussion of villages o f brahmayas fallen from status, that is, 
of kin groups of brahmavas of Harijan status. That thes e brahmanas 
are of Harijan status is made clear in the text over and over again 
in its reference to them as having ixdra status. This is the standard 
T% 1R . WhiCh Hari J' ans a* 6 cl assed in Sanskrit literature outside 
the Tamil-speaking region. 3 Such groups of brahmayas of Harijan 

' Twi 5*S^ S indtt Sty An Interpretation (Poona : 
4fl ? C !?59 S ! 8?? ost B rad te and Research Institute, 1961) 
J;* N * ? 1 ? a " JP ac , bar ya J Hindu Castes and Sects, an e*p- 
t ^^f the Hindu cast* system and the bearing of 

- T^ C nS* * W * rds t 

: Thacker, 1896), 254-69, etc 


status are not uncommon in India* The various volumes listing 
the castes and tribes in India which were compiled during the 
British period contain reference to approximately 100 such groups. 
The various district gazeteers and other sources contain reference 
to even more such groups. It was from such a group which had 
raised its status that such notable figures in modern Indian history 
as Debendranath Tagore and Rabindranath Tagore came. 

The PGN, as in the Skh as this has been handed down to us, 
is composed of 1 1 chapters. At least 8 of these chapters also are 
to be found in the TTuluvagramapaddhati, a discourse on Tulu 
villages. 3 The text as in the best Tuluvagramapaddkati manuscript 
is most closely related to the less preferred manuscript in the first 
group of our relevant Skh manuscripts and to the most preferred 
manuscript in our second grouping of these manuscripts. Those 
readings which are shared with the manuscript in the second 
grouping, however, are with the less preferred readings which 
agree with other less preferred manuscripts. 

In a critically edited text of the PGN 4 certain stylistic features 
emerge which contrast certain of the chapters with one another 
as much as these contrast with the preceding grouping of chapters 
on the introduction of br3hmanas from the north into the area by 
Mayuravarman, let us say. Similarly, certain points contrast 

3. Compare the contents of this text as outlined in B, A. 
Saletore, "The Tuluva Gramapaddhati", S. Aiyangat 
Commemoration Volume (Madras : The Committee, 1936), 
1 16-7, and the sections of text reproduced and discussed 
in B.A. Saletore, History of Ancient Karyataka, vol. 1-History 
of Tiiluva, Poona Oriental Series 53 (Poona : Oriental 
Book Agency, 1936), 124-5 ? 310-8, 442-9, with the text of 
the PGN. Saletore's text is extremely corrupt, as are as 
well all other individual manuscripts of the PGN. His 
discussions should be viewed with extreme circumspection. 
A large number of points have been misconstrued on acc- 
ount of bad readings and interpolations which were not 
recognized to be such. 

4. See S, H. Levitt, The Patityagrarnonirnaya : A Puranic His- 
tory of Degraded Brahman Villages (Dissertation, Philadel- 
phia : University of Pennsylvania, 1973), available from 
Xerox University Microfilms, Dissertation Copies; P. O. 
Box 1764, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106, U. S. A. - Order 
No 74-14,100, as listed in Dissertation Abstracts International 
vol". 34/12 (June 1974), 771 1 A, 

132 S^TTH PURXtfA [VOL. xxiv, NO. i 

sections of text within individual chapters with other parts of the 
same chapters. This constitutes further evidence of the growth of 
this purafja text, and provides further indication of the way in which 
a purana tradition expands. M. Winternitz wrote in his Gesckichte 
der Indischen Litleratur that with regard to the MahSbharata "the 
date of each section, nay sometimes of each single verse of the 
Mahabharata must be determined separately-" 5 What is true 
with regard to itikSsa, it appears, is also true in this regard for 
purana. Both iiihasa and purSna, of course, are in old sources such 
as the ankh3yanagrhyasiitra classed together as itikasapuraya, and 
in the Ar thai astro, and the Amarakofa they are defined in part in 
terms of one another. 6 

2.1 Within the 11 chapters of the PGN there are 9 histories. 
All except the last two are one chapter in length each. The first 
two histories are so closely related that they also can be understood 
as a single story. They are, nevertheless, distinct in that each 
history discusses a different generation. The last two histories are 
two chapters in length each. In the case of the last two histories, 
neither chapter can stand without the other. Their format is 
different from that of the preceding stories. 

Interestingly, for the last two histories the chapter numbering 
system which can be associated with the second level of corruption 
breaks down. While this numbering for the earlier chapters, 88-90, 
191-193, 174 can be understood to indicate chapters numbered 
88-94, the last four chapters are numbered 175, 194, 124, and 125. 
This perhaps can be construed as chapters numbered 95, 94, 94, 
and 95 when we consider possible miareadings. 7 

Indicated here is an expansion of the tradition at this point, 
possibly the loss of a different chapter 95, and a reluctance to 
numbering any of these chapters above 95 as if chapter 96 was 

5. See M. Winternitz, A History of Indian Literature, trans. 
Mrs.S. Ketkar, 2 vols. (1927; Rpt, New York : Russell, 
and Russell, 1971), I : 469. 

6. Skse E. Sieg, "Itihzua", ^ j. Hasting*, Encyclopaedia of 
?'W*wwfr (New York : Gharlea Scribner's Sons, 
taiSK 7 : 461b-2a and S. H. Levitt, Cf A Note on the com- 
pound paacalaKsaya in Amarasinha*s NamaliMg3nuf3sana** t 
in Pursy* 18,1 (Janury 1976), 25; $2, and foldout. 

7 - f%L?; ?| h ^^^^^^ 

JAN., 1982] THtt SAHYXDRIKHA]i?A 133 

firmly associated with decidedly different material. To be noted 
here is that the best manuscripts, which are, it is true, incomplete, 
do not extend to these chapters or to the overly brief chapter 
before these. It is possible that we have here indication that these 
chapters were not attached to the text at this tune. We mutt be 
cautious here, however, as these manuscripts also show no evidence 
of the sixth history, which story clearly is integral to the core of 
our text. 

2.2. Three of the stories begin with a formulaic phrase. The 
third history begins : B 

patityagramarn asty any at iuktimatyaf ca daksine / 
modagramam [tad'] ity ahub // 

There is another village of brakmapas of fallen status to the 
south of the Suktimatl River. It is called Modagrama 

The fourth history begins : 

patityagramarn asty anyat kot Hinge fasamnidhau / 

There is another village of brahmanas of fallen status near 

The seventh history begins : 

pstityagramam asty anyat cakranady3s tate fubhe / 
nanagrSmam tad ity ahufr // 

There is another village of . brahmayas of fallen status on the 
splendid shore of the Cakranadl River. It is called Nanag- 

To be emphasized is that not all the histories begin in this way. 
While the formulaic phrase is rigid, its usage is not so. In contrast, 
the eighth history, while it begins in similar fashion, breaks with 
the rigid formula : 

vakfyZmi rSjafardnia gramam anyad bahi/kftam / 
velaHjJti tad ity 3huh s$t3y3s cottarodhasi // 

8. In quotations from the PGN, emendations in the text are 
placed in brackets. When these emendations involve a 
certain degree of uncertainty, a question mark has been 
indicated at the appropriate place in the accompanying 




tiger-like king, I will speak of another cast out village. 
It is called Velanji. On the northern bank of the SIta River.... 

Similarly, the tenth history begins : 

anyad [gramarhj pravaksyami bhfidevasya mahatmanafy / 

1 will speak of another village of a noble brahmaqa (god upon 

Wehaveexidencehereofan attempt to follow the formula 
found in of the chapters, but without rigid adherence to it, 
When taken together with other points discussed both above and 
below, this can be understood to reflect here different authorship. 

2. 3. All the histories in the PGN end in similar fashion. 
The single exception to this is the first history, the events of which 
are continued in the second history so as to form two related but 
discrete stories. Krom history to history there does appear to be 
some variation. In part, though, this may be due to corruption in 
the manuscripts. The second chapter ends : 

bahunatra him uktena him anyac chrotum icchasv / 
etffam darfanat pwysafff patityaih sambhamfyati / 
prajalcittavidhi/a rakfje martap4a$}> 3 valokanam // 

What else is there to say ? What else would you desire to hear ? 
People become fallen in status from seeing these. I will recite 
an appearance of Martanda, a formula for expiation 

The third chapter ends : 


darfar&l tadyafr pffityam anugacchati / 
cittaoidhi&vakfyeca&lsmSor darSanattt param // 
him uktena natra ksrya vicarapS / 

At the moment one sees these he loses status. In order to 
provideexpiation I will state the highest vision of the sun. 

9, The verses which occur at the end of the first three chap- 
ters will not be considered here as they constitute a 
separate topKxXn two instances, they appear to be integral 
^ B r Ces P^rfoecU They are indicated here by 
6 v e wtiww of text concerned. At the end 
pter * suchaverseis a d d ed without introd- 

! t ^ktent with that of the other two 
Such verses do not occur after the third 


What is there to say aside from this ? There is no discussion 
to be made with regard to this 

The fifth chapter ends : 

tesarh sajfisargamatrena patityam anugaccfrati / 
tatpapauinivrttjartkaat rn3rtaadam avalokayet // 
bahunatra kim uktena punar anyarh vadami te // 

By association with them one becomes fallen in status. To put 
an end to that sin one should look up to Martanda. What else 
is there to say ? I will speak still more to you, 

The sixth chapter end : 

tesam darSanamatrena patityam prapnuvanti hi / 
prayafciitavidhanatfr tu maya vaktum na fakyate / 
tatrapi samakale tu kotimartaadadarfanat // 

tada puta bhavispanti natra karya vicaranS \ 
bahuriatra kim uktena gramam anyaqt. vadami te jj 

People obtain fallen status simply by looking at them. The 
only atonement I can prescribe is to look at the sun the same 
length of time, but a million (koti) times longer. Then they 
will be purified There is not to be any discussion with regard 
to this. What else is there to say ? I will speak to you of 
another village. 

The last two stories end in similar fashion, but they contrast 
with the rest of the chapters on two accounts. The sentence, 
bahunatra kim ttktena, is modified to include direct reference to 
{atamka, to whom the text is being recited. The author appears to 
find difficulty in stating the penance prescribed in one instance, and 
has the group itself performing the penance, or so it seems, in the 
other instance. Thus, in the eighth history the text reads : 

bakunatra kim uktena rajairerfiiiromane // 

O jewel in a line of kings, what is there to Say aside from 

In the ninth history the text read : 

bahunatra kim uktena rajan rajendranandana / 

O king, sen of the best of kings, what is there to say aside from 
this ? 

136 <J*F**r PURX^IA [VOL* XXIV., NO, 1 

In the eighth history, this is followed by : 

tesam darjanamatretta patityam canuySsyati / 
prayasdttafti maya vakturA na fakyam rtfpanandana // 
sadharaxenaiva vaksye kfcchracandrSyagarb caret // 

Simply by looking at them one will become fallen in status. 
O prince, it is not possible to speak an expiation. I will 
speak generally. Let one perform a kfcckra or a c3ndraya#a. 

In the ninth history, this is followed by : 

\_narri\etesatii naranam ntcauartinamj f 
bhunjananam adharmaihf ca gaiig3sn3naih vidhtyatef 
sad3 tesafA ................ . ..... . 

dvadafafab [dan] pravastavyam u3r3tiasy3MF na 

For these men with whom no meals can be eaten, living in a 
low condition and indulging in unrighteousness, a bath in 
the Ganges River is prescribed. Always theywiH have to 
to travel to VaranasI for twelve years, without a doubt. 

In all the preceding histories, the appropriate penance in 
every case involved the sun and included explicit mention of the 
sun. This is not the case in either instance here. We have here 
difference both in style and content. 

2.4. It is not clear that the penances at the end of the 
earlier chapters are always integral to the text. A notable instance 
of this uncertainty occurs at the end of the fourth history, though 
there are similar instances at the end of the second, third, and fifth 
histories as well, for instance. In the fourth history, Parafiu-Rama 
removes the sin of the brahmanas so that they are, in the word of 
the text, nifkalafika, or c 'stainless'*. The text then states : 
bahuttftra kim uktena nirbhttah sarficaranty ahoj 
What else is there to say. They live without fear. 

It then, however, adds : 

iefata darfanamatreya patityaqi labhatc narafy/j 
prajafcittavidkiw vakfje sasthakal [asanam] caretjl 

Merely by seeing those a man obtains degradation. I will 
speak an expiation. Let one do an Zsana (?) at noon, 

JAN., 1982] THE SAHYXDRIKHAtfpA 137 

Toward the end of the fifth history we find a statement of a 
type not uncommon toward the end of these stories that beginning 
then the group concerned is illustrious (or, ruling) in the place 
concerned. The text then, however, adds : 

[tajsujata mahdbhdga fadra eva na sathfayakH 
tesarh samsargamatrena patityam anugacchatij 
tatpapavinivrtlyarthaih mar land am avalokqyet// 
bahunStra kirn uhtena pwiar any am vadatni te// 

O king, the children of those women are without a doubt 
ftidras. By association with them one becomes fallen from 
status. To put an end to that sin one should look up to 
Martanda. What else is there to say. I will speak still more 
to you. 

Toward the end of the second history, this prohibitory section 
s comparatively lengthy. The end of the fourth history is parti- 
cularly interesting in that this section in the fourth history may be 
-art of or an addition to a possible second conclusion to the story. 
These two sections are discussed below (2.7).. They provide addi- 
tional reason for suspecting that the penances at the end of the 
earlier chapters may not be integral to the text. 

2.5. It also is not clear if the seventh history has the same 
authorship as the preceding histories. This chapter is so short that 
it appears in context to be fragmentary. On the basis of its few 
verses, however, its style appears to be more straightforward and 
simpler than that of the preceding chapters. Verbal forms are 
simple, subordinate phrases are simple, sentence structure is simple. 
Its statements are brief. For instance : 

may&ravarman sa pur3 medhavf ballabhim prati\ 
r3me#a mrmitair oipraih vahayitv3 ca vakanamjf 
sisfan [viprSn] samZdaya punafy svapuram ayayau] 
gTamapTadanasamaye procur bhSrgavanirmitaJ}! J 

The learned Mayuravarman previously had his litter carried 
to Ballabhl by the brahmayas who had been created by Rama. 
Taking with him learned brahmayas he returned home. At the 
time of giving villages, those created by the Bhargava spoke. 

Compare this with the following extracts from the fifth and 
sixth histories which use lengthier sentences, more subordinate 

138 T^l PURStfA [ VOL. XXIV., NO. I 

clauses, more adjectives, more difficult vocabulary, and which liter- 
ally pile in more imagery. 

angavangakalingebhyafy saw as had gujja\rat} tatha\\ 

andhradravidakarnatakafmirebhyas tathaiva ca\ 
maharasrotka\labhy]aM ca sindkumagadha....}! 

gaud agor3strade&abhy art? parityaktS vitantaDa^f 
samjatZh purnagat bkinyah kftaraddhavigarhit5li\\ 

akalparahita tiaryah ksutpipasatipitfitS}}/ 
militva tah samayatah tungabhadrantikani 

tJrastham advayam fantaat virupaksam 
nZryah, sarvafy samaoisfah slntim k 

tatrapaiyan mahabhagarx nasagrakrtalocanam] 
kanvam nama mahabhdgaw 4ataghasradi\ka\prabhamll 

Abandoned widows from Ahga, Vanga and Kalifiga, from 
Saurastra and from Gujjara, from Andhra, Dravida, Karnata, 
and KaSmlra, from Maharastra and from Utkala, from Sindhu 
and Magadha^ ...... , and from the countries of Gauda and 

GorSstra, pregnant women forsaken forever, despised because 
they had not performed the Funeral rites (?), afflicted by 
hunger and thirst, having met one another, O king, came 
together near the Tungabhadra River. Together all the 
women began to make a stotra to the kind great god VirQpaksa 
who stood, unique, on the shore. They saw there a great 
lord with his glance fixed on his nose, the great lord named 
Kanva with the splendour of a hundred dawns. 

pur3 dhvajotsave ramye candradatta-naradhipej 
nSnSdefat samayatafy nanavarna dvija[da]yab\\ 

brakmakfat[ri]yabiitiidr3 vivarnah 4 ' abarZdayaJif 
sarve te cotsaoaw dfftvajagmus tatra yath3gat3^fl 

janasammarditafy kaeit kanyah fabarasaihbhaval 
uyastastabkat tada bhtlpa tundar? panca.hayanft\\ 

Once, when Candradatta was king^ the different classes be- 
ginning with the twice-born brahmanas, ksatriyas* vatfyas, 
Jadras, low people such as Sabaras and so forth came from 
different regions to the enjoyable banner festival. After see- 
ing the banner festival all those went from there as they had 


come. O king, as a result of the confusion of people a certain 
girl of iSabara descent, a beautiful girl who was five years old, 
became separated. 

Further, while the beginning of the seventh history adheres to 
the formula outlined above, the end is not the standard ending* The 
standard ending has been discussed above. In this story, however, 
we find : 

bahunatra kirn uktena farvakarmabahifkftafyfj 

What else is there to say except that they were excluded from 
all brahmanical rites ? 

As in all the histories preceding it except the sixth, there is a 
positive statement about the group concerned immediately preced- 
ing this statement. But there is no prescription of a penance. 

2.6. Within the body of the text of the PGN, there are seve- 
ral short sections of text which contrast in style, content, or both 
style and content with surrounding sections of text. 

One such section, the description of the land toward the 
beginning of the first story, has been noted above. Uncertainty 
regarding the standard endings of these stories has also been noted. 
In both instances, this material is present in the manuscripts which 
represent the first stage of corruption and earliest numbering system 
for this text. 

Another such instance of a passage which contrasts contex- 
tually in style or content also occurs toward the beginning of the 
first history. In this section of text there is related in brief the 
origin of the KrodeSa ttrtha. The passage is juxtaposed with little 
connection to an account of Parafiu-Rama coming to the Sahyadri 
range of mountains, to which brief account the description of the 
land is attached. Stylistically, it is perhaps too brief to contrast 
with the following passage on the surface. Contextually, though, 
it is anomalous. 

Further, after the description of the land in the first history, a 
2O verse stotra is spoken by Paralu-Rama. This stotra breaks with 
the standard floka metre of the rest of the text. It also differs in 
style from the rest of the text in that it is composed entirely of 
compounds which serve as laudations in the vocative case oae on 

140 <TiqT PURXtfA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 

top of another. While the siotra follows con textually, as does the 
description of the land, it is not clear that its authorship is not as 
independent of the main narrative of the PGN as is the description 
of the land. We cannot be certain, though, since we lack testimony 
to this such as we have for the description of the land. Such stotras t 
however, are commonplace. V. Raghavan once remarked that such 
literature commonly was scribbled on scraps of paper in India. It 
would not be unreasonable to assume that its authorship was in- 
dependent of the PGN, but that it was included here on account of 
its appropriateness and its literary merit. 

In instances such as these in the first chapter of the PGN, the 

juxtaposition of stylistically different sections of different authorship 

appears to have been effected by the author of .the PGN himself. 

In the instance of the endings of the chapters, if these contain 

material of different authorship, they would appear to have been 

added by a different hand. They must be considered to be an 

integral part of the tradition, however, on account of their consis- 

tency from chapter to chapter and their seeming textual integrity. 

In other instances, though, this is not the case. 

In the fourth history, for example, there is a lengthy section 
of commentary within commentary, and of elaborate and detailed 
ritual narrative which is not characteristic of the text. At some 
points, this section of text breaks with the standard ttoka metre, 
breaking in fact with all metre. On account of the stylistic diffe- 
rences and contextual inappropr lateness of these passages, they 
clearly are interpolations of later date than the text in which they 
are embedded. They are not integral to the text at any level. 

In another instance, in the second history, brief scornful state- 
ments which are contextually inappropriate are added in a listing 
of occupations practised by die group with which the history is 
concerned. While ihey also are brief statements of occupation, 
they are clearly interpolations on account of the difference in tone 
between them and the text proper. 

In such instances, we have in the transmitted text of the PGN 
interpolations of spurious passages pure and simple. 

2.7. One of the meat clearcut differences in style in these 
chapters emerges from difference in the vocabularies used by the 

JAN., 1962] THE SAHYjfcDRlKHAfcLljA l4l 

last two histories (four chapters) when compared with the earlier 
histories. On account of the brevity of the seventh history, consi- 
deration is not extended to it here. Little can be determined in its 
regard from its 13 verses by the type of analysis to be noted here. 

In the first six histories, retroflex consonants occur, but their 
occurrence is not as frequent as in the last two histories. 10 In the 
first history, approximately 7 1 retroflex consonants occur in the 
narrative section of the text. This section of text occupies 52 verses. 
As pointed out above, there is in this history a lengthy stotra to 
Vi?nu as well. Retroflex consonants for this stotra have not been 
tabulated since its style is so radically different from that of the 
rest of the chapters. In the second history of 50 verses, approxi- 
mately 96 retroflex consonants occur. In the third history of 46 
verses, there are approximately 73 retroflex consonants. And in 
the fourth, fifth, and sixth histories of 49, 33, and 35 verses respec- 
tively, approximately 105, 47, and 48 retroflex consonants occur 
in each. 

Within these stories, the larger number of retroflex consona- 
nts in the fourth history can be accounted for in part by the names 
of the two villages concerned occurring 8 times. The name of 
each of these contains a retroflex consonant. In the main, however, 
the larger number of retroflex consonats in this history, as well as 
in the second history, can be accounted for by what may just be 
the nature of the vocabulary associated with certain topics or, far 
more likely, by style toward the end of these histories. In both of 
these histories, there is a section of 10 or 11 verses at the end which 
concludes the stories, condemns and places restrictions on the 
people discussed, and then provides penance for contact with the 
groups concerned. In the case of the second story, 7 of these 
verses are extraneous to the conclusion of the story. In the case 
of the fourth story, they provide what may be construed as a 
second conclusion to the- story. These verses provide support for 
the suggestion, offered above, that there may have been tampering 

10. Retroflex \, which in Sanskrit is an allophonic variant of 1 
only, is not considered here* The manuscripts are not 
consistent between recording 1 and 1 in their readings. 

[VOL. xxiv,, NO* * 

with the endings of these histories. In the other histories, howeve*"' 
the tampering would not have extended to as many verses. In botfc 
instances here, these verses contain a greater concentration, * 
retroflex consonants than the preceding portions of the chapter^ 
Of the 96 retroflex consonants of the second story (50 verses)* 
approximately 32 are in the last 1 1 verses, 23 in the last 7 verseS' 
And of the 105 retroflex consonants of the fourth story (49 verses)* 
approximately 28 occur in the last 10 verses. This reduces th e 
number of retroflex consonants occurring in the earlier portions 
of these histories to 64 retroflex consonants in 39 verses, or 73 in 
43 verses, and to 77 retroflex consonants occurring in 39 verses- 
It is to be noted that in the fourth story, the positive statement 
about the group concerned, referred to above, may have been 
retained but displaced in the rewriting of the ending for reason of 
parallelism with the other histories. Similar parallelism of com- 
position is, of course, in evidence in the last two histories. 

In contrast to this data, the first chapter of the eighth history, 
in 44 verses, contains approximately 99 retroflex consonants, and 
the second chapter of this history, in 60 verses, contains approxi- 
mately 120 retroflex consonants. Similarly, the first chapter of 
the ninth history, in 37 verses, contains 101 retroflex consonants. 
The last chapter, showing less significant contrast, but contrast 
nevertheless, contains in its 42 verses approximately 77 retroflex 

This data is charted below, together with a breakdown of 
the occurrence of retroflex consonants. The total occurrence of 
retroflex consonants for the second and fourth histories are set off 
to the side on account of the circumstances outlined above, and an 
asterisk is placed next to reference to these histories ao as to indicate 
these circumstances. Below these totals, in parentheses, are given 
the total occurrence of retroflex consonants for the first 43 and 39 
T^ 80 ^ 636 hi8tories respectively. All figures should be under- 
stood to be approximate only in order to leave allowance for 
incorrect readings in the edited text, This is necessary on account 

J V Xt T eCO T 1Pti0110fthemanuscri P t3 - The largest occurre- 
nee of each retroflex consonant in an individual chapter is in bold 

]AN, 198] 








n s Total 

of Verses 

History 1 






52 vss. 

*History 2 








50 vss. 


(43 vss,) 

History 3 








46 vss. 

""History 4 








49 vss. 


(39 vss,) 

History 5 







33 vss. 

History 6 






35 vss. 

Histories 1-6 








265 vss. 


(248 vss.) 

History 8a 








44 vss. 









60 vss. 

History 9a 








37 vss. 








42 vss. 

Histories 8-9 








183 vss. 


183 vss. : 248 vss. = 7.4:10, roughly 3:4. Occurrence of 
retroflexes roughly 25% higher in Histories 8-9. 

183 vss. : 265 vss. = 6,9:10, roughly 2:3. Occurrence of 
retroflexes roughly 22% higher in Histories 8-9. 

As can be seen, a contrast exists primarily for t, n, and s. In 
order to see clearly the contrast for n and s, which letters account 
for the greatest number of retroflex consonants occurring, we must 
take into account the number of verses for each history. Thus, 
while History 8a has four fewer occurrences of n and 19 more 
occurrences of s than History 1, it has 8 fewer verses. While History 
9a has six more occurrences of n and 12 more occurrences of 
, it has 9 fewer verses, The greatest occurrences of t, th, n, 
and s in a single chapter occur in the last two histories. On the 
other hand, the greatest occurrences of d in a single chapter 
occur in the first six histories. When we consider the total occurr- 
ences for the first six histories as a group as against the last two, 
and take into account the difference in the number of verses 
represented in each group, we find a significantly greater number 

14* tnr* praStfA [VOL. xxiv., 

of occurrences oft, fa, n, and 5 in the last two histories, and a 
significantly greater number of occurrences of d in the first six 
histories. For instance, Histories 8-9 have approximately 33% more 
occurrences of t in their 183 verses than do Histories 1-6 In a 
corresponding number of verses. Histories 1-6 have approximately 
66% more occurrences of d than would Histories 8-9 in an equi- 
valent number of verses. The occurrences of dh do notjprovide a 
clearcut contrast. 

Not entirely clear is the situation with regard to the second 
chapter of the last history. To be kept in mind is that its total 
number of retroflex consonants, while significantly less than the 
occurrence of retroflex consonants in the other three chapters of the 
last two histories, remains nevertheless somewhat greater than the 
occurrence of retroflex consonant in the earlier histories in almost 
every instance when the number of verses involved are considered. 
Also to be noted is that large sections of this chapter remain very 
corrupt and that there occurs in this chapter quotation from else- 
where. Suggesting mislection is that the occurrence of individ ual 
retroflex consonants in this chapter is on par with the occurrence 
of individual retroflex consonants in other chapters in the last two 
histories in all cases except in the instance of ?. What appears to 
have happened is that has been misread at some point in the 
transmission of the text. 

3. In short, on the basis of style and the numbering of the 

chapters of the uttarardha of the Skh in the manuscripts, we have 

evidence of multiple authorship for this section of the uttarardha 

alone. This extends to differences in the format of the histories, 

differences in the use of formulaic phrases, questionable conti- 

nuity at certain points, differences in syntax, and differences 

in vocabulary. In the main, these points indicate different author- 

ship for the last two histories (four chapters) as against the first 

six histories. They may indicate also still another authorship for 

the seventh history. Tampering with the text is indicated by 

spurious interpolations in the first six histories, and may be indica- 

ted for the endings of the histories. Also in evidence is that set 

verses were incorporated in the text perhaps from the period of its 

initial authorship, perhaps from the period when different sections 

of the uttarardha were placed next to one another. In some cases, 

clear interpolations into the narrative can be removed from 

JAN., 1982] THE SAHYXDRlKHAltfpA 145 

text proper, In other instances, possible interpolations cannot be 
removed without better testimony from the manuscripts which 
might resolve certain questions, or on account of these interpola- 
tions being integral to the text in its present environment, 

What is particularly significant here, however, is that we have 
in the uttarSrdha of the Skh, and in the PGN in specific, evidence 
of the formation and growth tfzpuraifa tradition in a format brief 
enough that we can compare and contrast certain parameters of 
style, This allows us to see in clear relief certain aspects of the 
patchwork nature of such a tradition, The text provides, in short, 
an excellent example of the development of a purSna tradition 
which, in its turn, can help us understand better our larger puma 

(A First Approach) 


at* fowf 





fiwig ^i^r 


: suftsfo ^1^?: l] 

* ThU article is a revised and enlarged form of the paper read 
at the Vth World Sanskrit Conference^ held in VarSnasI from 21 to 
26 October, 1982. 

B4=Brahmanda; MtMatsya; PdPadma; 
Vy^V^yu; Sk=Skanda. 

JAN.-, 1982] SCHEMES IN THE t>UR&lAS l47 

We have proof that the puranic authors had in view the whole 
complex of puranic literature and were constantly trying to put 
in order the ever growing underbrush of new productions. All the 
attempts were made towards fixing a puranic canon converge to 
support this impression. 1 The 'puranic schemes', i. e. the orderly 
succession of topics common to two or more purana-s, which we 
are going to study in this article are a further proof of the command 
over the puranic matter shown by the purantic authors. 

Studies in the purana-s tend usually to analyse and, so to say, 
to decompose them in order to find out the time and place of 
origin, their history, development etc. Even the recent structura- 
listic approaches* are limited to a myth or group of myths and only 
vaguely refer to the broader context in which they are inserted. 
But as the purana-s are 'mosaics', whose pieces are always changing, 
we run the risk of missing their real meaning if we do not attempt 
also to see them in their totality. When we have examined all their 
details and found that the single 'tesserae* of a purana come from 
such and such sampradaya, from such and such time and place or 
belong to such and such a myth etc. we have not yet given the 
answer to why such influences took place or took place in that parti- 
cular way. Even if we need to analyse the single pieces of the 
composition (whether it is better to do it before or after we have 
got a complete picture o the composition itself is no matter of our 
interest now) we have to be careful not to miss the wonderful com- 
plex which was born out of all these pieces and stands now in front 
of us. By dint of examining more and more details we may miss 
the whole. I am supported in this statement by the attitude of 
some puraaic authors who considered the whole very important. 
The schemes we are going to examine may show the way to prove 
that purana-s are not only a heap of pieces which happened to 
come together under the influences of different forces operating on 
them down the centuries but are a vast harmonious combination of 
different and sometimes apparently irreducible elements. In other 

1. see The Dynamic Canon of the Purana-s, in Pur3f?a 9 XXI. 
No 2 (July, 1979), pp. 116-166. 

2. Wendy D. O'Flaherty, Asceticism and Eroticism in the 
Mythology offiva, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1975; 
M. Biardeau, The Story of Arjuna Kartavlrya without 
Reconstruction, in Purapa XII, No 2 (July, 1970), pp. 

[VOL: XXIV., NO. 1 

words, the purana-s are, on a small scale, what Hinduism is at 
large. The new elements which come from different parts try to 
break up the unity, but a strong capacity of synthesis puts each new 
element in its right place and assimilates it. This phenomenon is 
too well known to insist on it. This article tries to put in evidence 
one of the manifold attempts towards the above-mentioned synthesis. 
To be honest, I should say at the outset that even this synthesis 
produced by the schemes was later decomposed by new factors and 
so only a few remnants of it are still visible. They are, however, 
important For understanding a moment in the evolution of a culture 
and for pointing out a trend of energies which also nowadays is 
at work in Indian culture. This article will be only a first little 
step, rather technical indeed, on this line, bu t hopefully already 

I first discovered this tendency of the purana-s towards a 
synthesis or orderly disposition of their topics in common schemes 
when I was comparing the matters of the Agni and the Garuda 
purana-s. Suddenly appeared a quite definite and close similarity 
of subjects between the two texts and, what struck me more, a 
rather similar order in their sequence. The discovery encouraged 
me to examine also other purana-s. I have to confess that I was 
no more so lucky, but comparisons between the Visnu and Bhaga- 
vata purana-s and analysis of the Matsya and the Brahma, as well 
as a re-examination of the study done by W. Kirfel on the Vayu 
and Brahman4a purana-s 8 brought further light on the matter. I 
have not yet examined all the purana-s from this point of view, so 
the results are only partial. 

From the research done till now one point is clear, namely that 
some purana-s have a very compact and orderly build-up and ate 
strongly related among themselves. To put it in a more specific 
way, the relation between the Brahmanda and Vayu purana-s 
studied by W. Kirfel is analogically extendable to other cases. 
Although Kirfel's perspective will have to be modiHed in this 
study, yet his findings are the strongest proof of a trend which now 
appears to be more vast than previously suspected. There seems to 
be, indeed, a strong external force which gives the purana-s an im- 
print and uniformity, leaving them though freedom in details. 

E, J. Brill, Leiden, 


The aim of this article is, therefore, to present some remarks 
on the relation between the Purana-s. The remarks are only preli- 
minary, yet they already hint at something which promises to be 
quite interesting, 

1. Cataloguing of topics 

To proceed speedily in the work, we have to find, first of all, a 
reasonable way to compare the topics of the different purana-s 
among themselves. Although nothing has been systematically done in 
this field, one can start with the colophons very often available at 
the end of a dhyaya-s, which in most cases mention one of the topics 
narrated in the text. These colophons, rather short, are ideal for a 
synthetic analysis of the adhyaya and so they can be used for this 
purpose. Unfortunately they are often missing or they lay stress, 
among the many themes narrated in an adhyaya, on topics which 
are less important or not useful to our purpose. They can, however, 
be irregularly used as helpful factors in the analysis of the themes 
of an adhyaya. 

The saci-s of all the purana-s given in Agni 272, Narada I. 92- 
109, Matsya 53, &va V, 44.124ff., and Skanda VII. 1.2 are, with 
the exception of the Narada, too short and describe only those topics 
that were supposed to be narrated in the period when such saci-s 
were composed. They match neither among themselves nor with 
the present -puranic matter except in rare cases. They are useful for 
discovering the attempts of fixing a puranic canon more than in 
describing the contents of the extant purana-s. But as NaTada's silci~s 
are longer and stUl matching casually with the extant purana-s they 
can be used now and then. 

As for the summaries of a specific purana which are often ava- 
ilable in the opening or concluding adhySya-Sy they can be used but 
with considerable moderation, because not infrequently they do not 
correspond to the real content of the purana, In some cases, they 
seem to be descriptions of ideal puranic matter and they are often 
meant to be recited as separate adhyaya-s for religious purpose.* So 

4! s^e A General Introduction to the Brahmavaivarta 
Purana. Its Anukrainamkas and their Significance, in 
XVII, No 2 (July, 1975), pp. 118 ff, especially 

150 StTJTJJ PURXfcTA [VOL. XXlV., NO. 1 

they constitute a topic by themselves and do not fit in well with 
our scope. 

As for the summary of the adhyaya-s that each purana has, as 
every other printed book, at the beginning of the text, they are 
really 'tables of contents' describing the actual text as it is offered 
to the readers and so we can be sure that they mention the subjects 
really dealt with in the purana. Some scholars have even prepared 
separate lists of topics available in one or more puraria-s. 5 Both the 
tables of contents and these lists of topics are quite valuable and use- 
ful but they necessarily limit their field to the important subjects of 
each adhyaya which are not always the topics an adhyaya has in 
common with another one. The purana-s, in fact, in their evolution 
may have undergone a disarrangement in their topics. The same 
important subject in two purana-s may have remained important in 
one and been given secondary weight in another. This discrepancy 
does not appear in the above mentioned table of contents and lists, 
which giving only the important topics, leave unnoticed the topics 
that have become secondary. So we are left with no chance to make 
the necessary comparison. In order to discover all the topics of the 
adhyZya*z we should then proceed to a very detailed analysis of the 
text cataloguing all the single and minor sub-divisions ;of the sub- 
jects. But this, it seems, would kill the text overburdening the 
analysis with unimportant details without making any substantial 
contribution. Such an analysis, indeed, does not appear to be nece- 
ssary. What we really need most is a 'comparative' list of subjects. 
We have to analyse a text with an eye already fixed on another one 
so Uiat the common topics may stand out clearly. This way of pro- 
ceeding used in the following analysis, although rather approximate, 
seems already significant enough to rebuild the general trend of a 
purana and u is more adherent to the reality of living texts which 
do not adnnt of too modem sophisticated methods of research. 

to keep in 


also th. relative freedom the authors, whoever they were, took 

8ubject8 and t 

of Purana-Contents, V. I. 
; Madhvacarya Adya, 


places and circumstances which caused marginal or minor changes 
in- the sequence of the topics themselves. In our analysis f therefore, 
we shall keep an eye on general themes as well as on details. For 
instance, if in the correspondent adhyaya of two purana-s, one deals 
with different kinds of bath and the other with different pSja-a, we 
shall classify those two subjects under the general item 'karmakaxda*. 
However, if in both the purana-s we find the description of puja-s 
in the corresponding adhyaya-s, we shall lay emphasis on this specific 
fact and shall classify them under 'puja 9 in both cases. The first 
correspondence is already enough to identify the sameness of trend, 
but the second one is naturally more meaningful. 

2. 1 he Agni-Garn4a purana relation and its extension to 
the Matsya purana. 

a - The Agni and Garudi purana-s seem to be the two purana-s 
which match the most, apart from the Vayu and Brahmanda which 
will be considered below. The Agni purana (ASS) has 11,457 Hoka-s 
and the Garuda purana (Jivananda Vidyasagara Ed.) has 8 9 738 
//0fca-s. The two purana-s then are substantially different in their 
length^ but they are identical in being both encyclopaedic in chara- 
cter. The number of their Hoka-z almost coincides with the figure 
given in Agni 272.1 1,21 and the details of their contents correspond 
fairly closely to the description of Narada I. 99 and 108 except in a 
few particulars. We could even compare the two adhyaya-s of the 
Narada purana which give their summary, but it seems more advi- 
sable to give another summary to stress the similarities in the sub- 
jects and their sequence. 

(see Table No 1 in the Appendix) 

The comparison between the two purana-s is very instructive. 
The first evident point is that they have really a quite similar struc- 
ture. The parallelism is so evident that in some cases it helps to 
point out important themes which at first appear of minor value in 
one purana as they are hidden inside other subjects or to leave apart 
some topics which apparently are important because they are dealt 
with at some length. For instance, theme No 2 of Garu4a (avatSra, 
only a few //o&a-s) could be evidenced by seeing the importance it 
has in the corresponding No 2 of the Agni purana at this point of 
the scheme. Also No 10 of the Garuda (manvantara) was brought to 
light in this way although not immediately apparent for its being in 

152 ^T FURStfA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 1 

an alien context It is in fact in adh. 87, included in the previous 
topic (tTrthamahatmya) of adhs 81-90. This was possible for its 
perfect parallelism with No 10 of the Agni, also dealing with f manv- 
antara*. The same thing can be said of Agni No 13 (karmakanda, adhs 
263-270), inserted in the previous topic 'oeda-s 9 of adhs 251-272, for 
its correspondence with Garuda No 13 'karmakanda* . The whole 
process will become clearer as we proceed. One thing, however, can 
already be said at this point, namely that the comparison of trie two 
schemes shows an evident common plan which stands out strongly 
even through the idiosyncrasies of each purana. From this it appears 
also that the whole purana in its entirety is more important than 
its single parts. But we shall revert again to this point in a s hort 

The second thing which stands out clearly from this compa- 
rison of the Agni-Garuda schemes is that each scheme is, in its turn, 
divided into sections or units. These units are "groups of subjects* 
floating, as U were, in the fluid magma of a purana. Such units are 
classified with a roman number from I to VII in the above scheme. 
We shall see that the Matsya purana, while following basically the 
general scheme of Agni-Garuda, shifts the Copies dealt with in units 
V of Agni-Garuda to its own unit II and vice versa. It is note- 
worthy that in this case what is transferred from one place to 
another is not a single topic but the whole unit. A unit is quite 
compact in itself and easily recognizable, although in its interior 
the single elements composing it may be disposed in different ways 
in different puraiia-s. For instance, AgnTs unit III has the sequence 
arlhamzhxtnya'-'bh w anakoJ^-'Jyotisa'let us say conventionally 
*a-h-c* the correspondent Garuda's unit III contains the same 
top 1C 3 as Agni but m the sequence <b-c-a-*, namely <bhuvanakota- 
jyoHta-arthanzhairjt**. The prevalence of the entire purana as a 
compact whole and the cloar-cut floating units do not, however, 
exclude tuo presence of isolated topics occasionally introduced with- 
out any specific link with other adjacent subjects. Such is the case, 
*or inancc of the topics *&*&*> and 'efawrnda' of the Garuda 
puraua <No 13 iu unit VI), whkh have no direct relation with 

I 1 " 11 ***' < N <> 17), nor with the following 

No 19 BWWIP<M CNo 17), nor with the folio. 

i (No 1C) which has no correspondent topicHn Gai 
nu relation with the content in which it is inserted. 


The units of which we are talking seem to be 'circles of sub- 
jects*, in which the main topic is somewhat a magnetic centre 
around which all the others are disposed through a 'sympathetic 
attraction'. So, for instance, in unit I the topic 'avatara* (No 2 in 
both the purana-s) attracts or develops naturally the topic f Jf//** 
(No 3); and in unit VI the topic 'mantra' (No 17 in both the 
purana-s) Is linked with the topic 'karmakanja' or 'pBja' (cf No 18 
of Agni) etc. All this is done, however, with great freedom. For 
instance, In unit I we can note that while Agni's 'jagatsarga 9 has 
incorporated the topic 'vatxtJa 9 as a kind of sub-topic, Garuda's 
'*/"//*' has no other subject included in itself. 

This relation between units and single topics can lead to 
some further considerations. Agni No 6 deals with the topic 'ttrtha- 
mdhatmya** The sequence of adhyaya-s is : 

adh. 108 bhuvanakoSa', adhs 109-117 tirthamShatmya; adhs 1 IB- 
ISO bhuvanakota. 

This sequence reveals that in fact the topic ttrthamahatmya is in 
the Agni purana only a sub- topic of the broader subject *bhuvanakofa\ 
Such a relation, however, does not appear in the corresponding 
section of the Garuda purana where t ttrthamah3tmyd t not only is not 
included in the topic 'bhuvanakofa* but is even separated by another 
subject, namely 'jyotisa* (No 8). So the same topic can be either 
linked with other sub-topics or can appear independently. This pro- 
cedure deserves greater attention as it is repeated in several cases : 
see Agni No 3 'jagatsargd* (adhs L7-20), which includes 'vamf** 
(adhs 18-19); Agni Nos 12-13 Wa-s' (adhs 252-272) with incorpo- 
rated 'karmaka^a' (adhs 263-270); Garuda Nos 9-10 ' ttrthamahatmya' 
(adhs 81-90) which absorbed 'manoantara* (adh 87) etc. We define 
this phenomenon as a tendency to 'inclusion*, through which a 
topic swallows up, so to say, the other one in itself. Or c^n we 
speak of 'ring procedure 3 by which the same topic is re-assumed 
repeatedly. For instance, if we take Agni No 3 'Jagatsarga* (adhs 
17-20) with included 'va&sa* (adhs 18-19), we see that the real 
sequence of topics is : 'Jagatsarga* (adh 17)-'M^ (fl&* IB" 1 ^' 
'Jagatsarga* (adh 20); the same for Garuda Nos 9-10 which has the 
sequence 'tjrthamahztmya (adhs 81-86) - 'nunwuaarJ (<*h - */ 
'ttrthamahatmya' (adhs 88-90). It seems as if a *I^ . 
more important, is repeated as a kind of echo. This give* 


- FURSfclA [VOL. XXI V., NO, I 

result of 'concentric circles' where one of the themes is in the middle, 
included, so to say, in the other one which stands around it. 

From what we have said till now, at least two main conclu* 

sions can be drawn for the study of the pur5na-s. The first is 

that only in some cases single topics are to be considered and 

studied separately- they should rather be approached in the light 

of the context because they really form a compact unit with that 

specific context which gives them its own connotation. The 

second conclusion is that the whole purana forms a unit by itself and 

constitutes the real and ultimate context both of the units and of 

isolated topics. So even if we consider a purana as a mosaic of 

many pre-constituted independent units or subjects, we cannot 

decompose it into the original elements lest we destroy the mosaic 

itself. Each purana has its own independent life and unity which 

are to be grasped in their entirety and specific structure if we want 

to perceive what makes that purana unique. It the single units 

are separated for a while to examine them more closely, they have 

to he reunited immediately to the whole, lest we fail to reach the 

right ^interpretation. It seens easy to conclude from all this that 

studying a puranic topic in isolation from its units or specific 

puranic context is running the risk of misunder standing it com- 


Moreover the stress we are here laying on the scheme oh 

purana may lead us to find also its different layers of sygtematiza- 

turn. If two purana-s have the same scheme, i. e. they deal with the 

ame topics in the same order, we can suppose that the topics which 

mt0b0th<3f * 

" Were Produced in the purana, 
n ** * UaSt that *** ^present the same 

I****' WMcthe to P^ which appear to be outside the 
ttte T bCl0n * POSsib * * Cerent ^yer. 
well svstlm*!- A the pur *' Ja ~ s can b taken from material already 
example 1 H ?*** ** ***** itSClf in book, or systems. An 




sti tut Franyais d'ln- 
(Institut Fran 9 ais d'Indologie), 


purana-s common to more than one purana. The reasons under- 
lying the insertion of the two topics in the two purana-s are diffe- 
rent, the latter is the parallel with the common scheme; the former 
should be looked for in other more specific influxes that purana 
underwent in its evolution. So the approach itself, while studying 
the two themes, must be different. The 'historical* analysis of 
the text points out when that particular passage was composed, 
the 'scheme 1 analysis helps us to discover when and under which 
forces it was inserted in the purana-s. 

This stress on the necessity of considering the common puranic 
ichemes has not to lead us to overlook the idiosyncrasies of each 
purana in dealing with the single topics. The two pu.ran.a-s we 
are just examining, namely the Agni and the Garuda, have a similar 
scheme and yet they have distinct individualities and the puranic 
authors themselves put them in two different categories, namely the 
Agni in the tamasa and rajasa purana-s and the Garucla in the 
sattvika ones. 7 The same is true also for the Brahmanda and the 
Vayu, which not only have the same scheme but in many cases even 
the same words. They are also to be considered at present as two 
different purana-s with their own peculiarities. 

Another remark of some importance can be made by exami- 
ning Agni No 5. The two topics of this number, namely 'buildings 1 
and 'deuatastkapana' are repeated twice, in adhs 38-70 and then in 
adhs 92 106. Here the fact stands out clearly because the repetition 
is done immediately, with the sole interruption of adhs 71-91 (karma- 
kanda). In other cases such repetitions are spread all along the 
purana as it happens, for instance, for the group 'avatara-sfffi', i.e., 
Nos 2-3 of unit I in the Matsya purana. Such a group is repeated 
in three different places as a kind of refrain or 'constant', namely in 
Nos 2-3 and then in adhs 163-175 after No 10 and in adhs 243 250 
after No 1 6 of the Matsya purana. Each purana can have its own 
peculiar refrain or constant which is not less important than the 
specific topics proper to that purana. 

A last remark can be made, keeping in mind that while the 
Garuda purana has no division of khav4 a ~$ or the like, the Garuda 
purana besides the P&rva-khaQda examined by us, has also an Uttaw* 
which is not taken under consideration here, because it has 

7. See below, page 169. 

156 *KnH*r ^puRXtfA [VOL. xxiv., NO, 1 

no correspondence in the Agni purana. This seems to imply that 
some additions to the purana-s were made when the power of the 
schemes or the strong unity of the puranic topics was still felt and 
so if topics had to be added they had to be put in a separate part 
The clearest proof of this are the Brahmanda and Vayu purana-! 
which have a common scheme ending with the usual conclusion of 
a purana but then they have added, later than Narada puraua I. 
92-109, by way of appendix, two different topics, namely Lalitl- 
upakhyana (Bd. III. 5-40) and Gay2.-m3hatmya (Vy II. 43-51) 

So the process of systematizing the purana-s according to 
schemes or common patterns lasted only some time. As every 
attempt to fix the puranic matter, this also failed in the long run 
and the purana-s continued to evolve, leaving only vague remnants 
of the attempt made. 

b. After this rather quick comparison between Agni and 
Garuda purana-s we shall analyze the relation, if any, of these two 
purana-s with other texts, to discover whether the scheme we have 
analysed in them is common also to some other purana. 

The Matsya purana seems to be, among the purana-s I have 
examined for this preliminary research, the closest to them. It has 
14,062 Hoka-s in the ASS; it is, therefore, considerably longer than 
the other two we have examined and almost double than the Agni. 
The scheme given in the Appendix is compared with the Agni- 
Garuda group, as it follows their same pattern. In this case also 
the content of the Matsya is almost exactly matching with the one 
given in Narada I. 107. (See Table II in the Appendix) 

As already noted above, the peculiar feature of this purana is 
the refrain of the two themes 'auatSra-srfti', which recur three 
tunes and each time, it is not difficult to note it, the theme 'stf/i* 
assumes new tones and perspectives: which cannot surely be perceiv- 
ed if we analyse it outside the context in a sort of asceptic way. 

The topics Nos 4-6, which partly constitute unit II of this 
a, correspond to unit V of the Agni-Garu4a scheme, which is 
here the beginning of the purana and arranged in a way 
different from Agni's and Gang's. It remains, however, easily 




recognizable. The comparison of this unit (namely II of the 
Matsya and V of the Agni-Garuda) in the three purana-s is rather 

Matsya P. Agni P. Garuja P. 

Unit II Unit V Unit V 

4. Vatiisa adhs 11-51 12. Veda-s (Pur3qa- 

itihasa) adhs 259-272 

5. Kriyayoga adh 52 13i Karmakaqja 13. Karmakatfa 

adhs 263-270 adhs. 116-137 


6. Purana-s adh, 53 14 Vamia adhs 273-278 14. Vamsa 

adhs. 138-142 

adhs. 143-145 
Dharmasastra adhs 54-101 

We cannot escape the impression that we have here a purauic 
unit in its becoming. The three subjects of this unit seem to have 
developped from a single one, which through a sort of sympathetic 
attraction has gathered around itself other topics. A subject like 
t Ramaya&a* and *Mahabh3rata* (see Garuda No. 15) or even 'Pur3$a-s* 
(see Agni No. 12), could be easily attracted by a topic like 'sataia* 
(see Agni and Garuda No. 14). On the other hand the 'Itihasa- 
puraticC was not unnaturally linked to the 'Vedas* (see Agni No. 12), 
which in their turn could develop liturgical matter for their link 
with sacrifice (see Agni-Garuda No. 13). We supposed, then, that 
unit V was originated by one topic, namely 'oamfa 9 ; its prevalence 
both in length and position in the Matsya would confirm it. The 
epics and purana-s were easily attracted around it and, on their 
turn, recalled by way of sympathetic connexion or analogy the 
Veda-s which were spontaneously linked with karmak3$4a. Once the 
topics had developed in a purana they remained as constitutive 
elements of the unit and influenced the other two purana-s. That 
the topics *purana-a', 'vedds* and 'JcarmakSvd ' are secondary appears 
from the fact that 'karmafapja 3 of Agni-Garuda (No. 13) is not a 
substitution for 'fcriyayoga* of the Matsya (No. 5) as we shall see 
immediately and so the two subjects are independent; that the 
subject 'purana* was omitted in the Garuda and that the 


. XXIV., NO. 1 

do not appear in the Matsya. On the other hand that the hypo- 
thesis of the appearing of this unit II (or V) is not only imaginary 
can be seen by comparing the three purana-s with their summary 
in the Narada pur ana. 

For Agni purana, Narada 1.99. 15f says : 

(cf. No. 1 1 of the scheme) 

(cf. No. 16 of scheme) 

So bere the whole unit V is omitted; it had not yet entered 
the purana. 

For Garuda purana Narada I. 108.1 2cd ff. says : 

(cf. Nos 11-12 of scheme) 

(cf. No. 14 of scheme) 

(cf. No. 15 of scheme) 

The topiqs 'raifcfe' (No, 14} and -purana-s, Maha.bhara.ta* 
. 15) are already present, hut 'karmatevfa' (No. 13) is missing. 
have supposed that it was introduced under the influence of a 
introduction of the topic <vda-s*. 

For Matty* purana, at last, Narada I. 107.8 says : 

(cf. NOB. 4-6 of scheme) 

u " )ready p^^' *"** ** ** 

of fonoatioo of 




been assumed by the Garuda purana in a reduced form, namely 
without 'kriyayoga* / only 'vamfa* and '(purana) ttihasa* had been 
retained. After the composition of Narada I. 92-109 the Agni 
purana took them and enlarged them to include also the 
vedfc f3kh2-3 and liturgical matter (karmakatfda) related to the 
veda-s. It was only at this stage that the Garuda purana inserted 
the topic 4 vrata 3 which is somewhat half-way between liturgical and 
dharmaSastric matters. All this, of course, is valid if the develop- 
ment took place in a logical and consequential way. It remains, 
anyway 3 a good basic hypothesis, a solid starting point for 

If we compare Matsya's scheme with Agni-Garuda's we come 
in touch with another procedure in puranic composition. The topics 
which are given in a frame, in the Table, between Nos 3 and 4 
(i. e. 'manvantara* and 'prithivtdana 1 ), between Nos 6 and 7 (i. e. 
*d harmaS astro 9 } and the topics after the refrain between Nos 10 and 
11, (i. e. 'ttrthamSfiatmya' and e vamf& 9 ) may be considered a sort of 
buffer-topics, i. e. matter added to join more important units or to 
enlarge previous and subsequent topics; they are then not directly 
parts of the scheme. 

The comparison of unit V of theMatsya with the corresponding 
unit II of the Garuda furnishes a further example of what we have 
already seen above. In Matsya No 14 the topic 'kTiydyoga? although 
it is hidden in a completely alien context, namely 'deuatapratistha', 
could be put in evidence because of the undoubted importance the 
subject t yoa? has in this point of the scheme, as it appears from 
Garuda No 5. Moreover, Garuda No 6, which apparently deals 
with 'dharmaf astro* but has a strange appendix on 'aftanidhi', is to be 
understood, most probably, in the light of its parallel in Matsya No 
16, where the only d harm aSas trie topic dealt with is *dana*. So 
t aftanidhi 9 9 although at present a secondary element in Garu4a No 
6 was most probably primary. The three adhyaya~$ previous to it on 
'dharmafastra 9 , then, can be considered as a kind of enlargement by 
way of introduction to the main topic. So this is a further example 
of the importance the context and schemes may have. 

In the logic of pur&na-s like the three we are examining, which 
begin with *avalara* and 'srffi 9 , the topic 'pralayc? is rightly put at 
the end. Unit VII of Agni-Garuda, which comes after such a topic, 

160 UT1 PURXtfA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 1 

should be considered, then, something outside the basic structure of 
these three purana-s. We can suppose, however, that the 'parama 
gati' is a topic to be dealt with quite logically after 'pralayc? and so 
all the subjects in connection with it, like'jriana^ *yoga? etc., as we 
see in the Agni-Garuda scheme, may find their reasonable place 
after it. The parallel with the Matsya does not help in this case 
because this purana ends with unit V and has no correspondent 
matter for units VI and VII of the Agni-Garuda purana-s. 

3 The Vis^u-BhSgavata puraaa relation and the Vftyu- 

a. Completely different and far more complex is the relation 

of the Visnti and Bhagavata purana-s. We do not find in them the 

rigid scheme we have noticed in the previous three purSna 3 and 

the whole arrangement of the topics and the spirit itself are quite 

different from the purana-s just examined. Yet we can still discern 

in them a rather large agreement in some of their parts. They are 

completely different in style and length. Vinu pura"na has 6,373 

ttoka-s in Jlvananda VidyasSgara Edition and is divided into six 

aata-s; the Bhagavata purana has 14,579 /loka-s in the same edition 

and is divided into twelve skandha-s. The general theme, however, 

is common and their schemes are also mutually comparable. Their 

comparison is rather instructive even if not so smoothly feasible as 

in the previous three purana-3, 

(see Table III in the Appendix) 

The themes have been catalogued under three sections, mainly 
because of different degree of agreement in the topics. 

Before entering into a detailed analysis of this scheme let us 
first note a process so peculiar to the Bhagavata in comparison with 
the Vi$nu but frequent also in other purana-s, namely the enlarge- 
ment, It is so common, indeed, that it deserves particular attention 
because it is one of the causes of the 'deviation* of a purana from 
the original purinic scheme it might have had in common with an- 
other one, As we have already seen, there are different ways of 
enlarging a text : an adhjay* or a kha^a, a unit, a section, or the 
whole purana can he developed. We have examples of enlargement 
at the end of a purana, a* in the Garuda, BrahmSnda and Vayu 
, where a new khatfa or at least a new section is *dded, We 

JAN., 1982] * SCHEMES IN THE PURAt.4As 161 

have enlargements at the beginning of a purana as it appears from 
the comparison between the Visnu and the Bhagavata, Section I, 
as we shall see immediately, or in the middle, as it will be seen in 
the Vayu compared with the Brahmanda (see scheme in the Appen- 
dix, Table IV, between Nos 3 and 4). Sometimes the enlargement 
or rather the deviation from the established scheme, is due to a sort 
of 'assonance* of topics, as we have already noticed. This process 
can be responsible for repetitions of topics, as in Agni No 5, where 
*buildings* and 'devatasthapana' repeated twice, or in Matsya after 
No 10> where the topics 'pralayo*; 'avatdra? and *srsfi* recall one an- 
other reciprocally so that where anyone of them is introduced the 
others also follow by 'concomitance*. The process of enlargement 
and specifically of "assonance* can lead a purana quite far from the 
original scheme. For instance, the story of Bhaglratha can bring a 
puranic author to continue either with 'vamia* or with 'bhuvanakofa* 
or again with 'dharmafastra 9 , all depending on the stress laid on one 
point or another of the kathai, whether Bhaglrata's family is put in 
evidence or the descent of the Gahga from heaven or the piety of 
the king. If we compare the sequence of topics in a purana to a 
musical sequence we may understand better how each note-fcaJAacan 
lead to an indefinite variety of relations with the next note-AsMa to 
compose always new melodies, all depending on the inner sensitive- 
ness of the composer. Sometimes, these variations-deviations are 
temporary as it is with Vayu Nos 3-4, but they can be perman- 
ent and give a new feature to the purana itself. Examining carefully 
the process of changing or evolving of schemes in the purana-s would 
lead us too far now, because we should examine the trends and 
the forces which made their influence felt on the purana-s down the 
centuries. We have here surely one of the main keys for understan- 
ding the whole process of puranic systematization and evolution. 
Should we enter a little more in the heart of the process we would 
understand perhaps why some topics are preferably attached to one 
purana and not to another. So, for instance, why should 'Prayaga 
mahatmya 9 be originally linked with the Matsya purana while the 
'Kumbha mela*, which takes place at Prayaga, is traditionally linked 
with the Skanda purana or why was the <pretakalpa> attached to the 
Qaruda purana and the 'pateakrofi* of VaranasI was put in connect- 
ion with the Brahmavaivarta purana, just to give a few examples 
at random. AH this makes us suppose that even the so-called enlar- 
gements or deviations did not take place haphazardly but according 


[VOL. XXIV., NO. 1 

to a logic which escapes our present understanding. Coming back 
to the two purana-s we are studying here, we discover that in all 
the three sections the Bhagavata enlarges, though in different propo- 
rtion, the Visnu's matter, through repetition of the same theme or 
through addition of related topics by assonance. The process is 
especially evident in section I. While the Visnu purana has here 
only one adhyaya as introduction, the Bhagavata has the whole first 
skandha of nineteen adhyaya-s and other four adhyaya-s in the 
third skandha. The aim of these adhyaya-* of the Bhagavata is unm- 
istakably introductory as they introduce the characters that will be 
the interlocutors in the whole text or describe the characteristics of 
the purana itself. The enlargement is obtained through repetition of 
the theme < srs/i\ or other refrains, like 'vaarJa', through the addition 
of peculiar themes of Bhagavata, namely sarhpradayic and bhaktic 
topics (see Bhagavata No 2 - adhs II.8-9 - and No 4 - adhs III. 27-33) 
and other ways (compare VUnu No 9 'dharmafastra* with the corres- 
ponding Bhagavata Nos 9-11 'dharmaJastra*, 'manvanfara 9 , 'aoatara'). 

The relation of themes in Vi?nu-Bhagavata section II is 
rather loose. But if we consider the whole section as a unit, it is 
not difficult to discover the same leading lines in both the purana-s. 
Visnu No 6 'manoantara* corresponds to Bhagavata No 10 'tnanvan- 
tara* with the same characteristic. The theme 'maydmoha* of Visnu 
No 10 can be the vague correspondent of e aoatara 3 theme of Bhaga- 
vata No 12. The Bhagavata purana adds here e va**fa* (No 8) but 
does not deal with c veda-s* (see instead Visnu No 7), a theme that 
this purana will take up only at the end after the conclusion (see 
Bhagavata No 18). 

Section III is almost equally reproduced in both the purana-s. 
The Bhagavata adds new topics after the conclusion (Nos 17 ff ), a 
process already found in other purana-s also. 

The comparison of these two purana-s seems to point out that 
the Bhagavata is dependent on the Visnu for its scheme, which is 
followed constantly and, although continuously enlarged or momen- 
tarily abandoned, is immediately resumed again. It is evident that 
in all this process the division into ath&a-i or skandha-s is rather 
external and superBcial and it is not linked with the 17 thm of the 

JAN., 1982] 



b. The Brahmanda- Vayu relation has been studied by W. 
Kirfel. Their interdependence is evident as it extends to the very 
words, not only to the topics. There should be no need, then, to 
compare them, especially if we accept Kirfel's view that these 
purana-s were once only one. 8 But it is all the same of some in- 
terest to analyse them subject-wise and compare them with other 

(see Table IV in the Appendix) 

There is not much to say on these schemes, of course, except 
noticing the long addition at the end, after the conclusion, especi- 
ally in the Brahmanda purana and the insertion in the Vayu 
between Nos 3 and 4 which breaks only momentarily the common 
scheme. We can add however, a note of some interest. These 
two purana- s seem to have a kind of inner rythm which can be 
briefly presented in the following way : 


1 . 



1 3. Manvantara 

'.4. Vamfia 

Is. Bhuvanakola 



6. Karmakanda 

7. Veda-puraua-s 

8. VathSa 

9. DharmaSastra 


10. VamSa 

11. Manvantara 
112. Bhuvanakoda 

13. Fratisarga 

14, Conclusion 

The letters a-b-c point out a process of parallel disposition in the 
themes which correspond reciprocally in a mirror way around a 
group of topics ( c 9 standing right in the centre. 

We can now compare the Viriu and the Brahmanda purana-s. 
(see Table V in the Appendix) 

The two schemes have been given in their essential elements 
in order to bring out better their relation. The first nine points, 
as well as the last two (or three, cf. Visnu purana) correspond in the 
two puranas. The major difference is between Nos 10-11 

8. Gf. op. cit. 9 p. X. 

164 TT"nT PUPSfctA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 1 

vatara'-'fCaliyugadharma') of the Visnu and Nos 10-12 
'manoantara'-'bhuuanakofd*) of the Brahmanda And this difference 
appears exactly there where the Brahmanda repeats itself (Nos 
10-12 s caffr{a''marioantara''bhuvatiakofa* are equal to Nos 3-5). 
We have marked these topics with the letter e b' in the above 
scheme. The Visnu purana, instead of repeating the same themes, 
introduces the new topics 'Kfsnavatara-Kaliyuga* (Nos 10-11). 

The collation of these two schemes is quite instructive. We 
can note, first of all, the repetition or 'refrain' of the theme *vatn$a 
after No 4 of the Visnu purana; the enlargement in No 13 ( e adhya- 
tmika 1 ) of the same purana; the buffer-topic of the Brahmanda (No 
6), which has no correspondence in the Visnu and, then, a new 
procedure, not yet met with in the other schemes. The topic 'uatafa* 
of the Visnu purana (No 9), although it can be considered corre- 
spondent to Brahmanda No 8 ('uarfrfa), is better seen, from its 
position after 'dharmat astro 1 (No 8 of the Visnu), as the correspon- 
dent of Brahmanda No 10 ( t vatafa > }. Now, the topic 'vat&ia* (No 10) 
in the Brahmanda is the beginning of the new unit 3 i.e., Nos 10- 
11-12; so Visnu No 9 ('mutfa 1 ) can be also seen as a hint that the 
Visnu purana bad the same scheme as the Brahmanda but then, 
possibly by the very reason that this unit (Nos 10-11-12) was a 
repetition of a previous one (unit Nos 3-4-5), the Visnu changed 
and followed other schemes and introduced f Kffyauat3ra* and 
'Kaliyuga* (Nos 10-11). The topic *vamc? (No 9) remains as a 
remnant or a kind of hook which signals the point where the two 
schemes divided. 

A last remark can be made by comparing the position of the 
subject ^manuantaYct of the Visnu purana (No 5) which we have 
linked in this scheme with the previous topics, namely 'vatxrfa* and 
'bhuvana kofa* (Nos 3-4) to form a kind of unit parallel to the corre- 
sponding Brahmanda's Nos 3-4-5. Now s this same topic 'manvantara* 
(Visnu No 5) was instead joined to the following topics *Veda-s' 
etc, (Nos 6 ff) to form section II oE the Vinu purana, parallel to 
Section II of the Bhagavata in Table III, Does this topic belong to 
tbe previous or subsequent section ? The compact unity of Vinu 
Nos 1-4 and their strong parallelism with the Bhagavata Nos 1-5 
would put the topic 'manvantara' {Visnu No 5) outside the group in 
which we have put it in Table V. We are encouraged to do that b) 


seeing that 'manvantara' of Visnu No 5 is really corresponding to 
'manvantara* of BhSgavata No 9. But, on the other hand, the strong 
parallelism with the Brahmanda Nos 3-5 gives a point to its being 
an element of this very group as we have put in Table V and not 
of the following one as given in Table III. The strong parallelism 
between Brahmanda and Vinu in Nos 3-5 is re-inforced by Brahma 
Nos 3-5 (see Table VI), which have exactly the same topics 
'manvantara'-'oartiSa'-'bhuDanakofa*. So the topic 'manvantara? ( 
No 5) fits well both in the previous unit where we have put it in 
Table V and in the following where we have put it in Table III. 
All this seems to point towards a double function of some topics, 
which should be considered perhaps as different kinds * f pivots that 
can make the purana change its scheme the one it has in common 
with others and turn it towards a new direction. 

It is also interesting to note that the theme 'vaMtC occurs 
three times in both the purana-s (cf. Visnu Nos 3,4,9 and Brah- 
manda Nos 4, 8, 10), but its function in the 'economy' of the two 
texts "is different. This appears to be a further proof that the 
topics should not be examined in isolation but in relation with the 
function they have hi the whole purana. 

4. Purajtic Habits and Heterogeneous Schemes 

Besides the schemes we have examined, the purana-s present 
some peculiar features, trends or habits common to many of them 
even if not organized in schemes for the whole puraua. 

The purana-s, indeed, in many cases have a 
fixed way of joining topics, not haphazardly but ** 
They are built up, indeed, according to a * 

some cases, is not inner to them, L *. 
linked among themselves in a logical sequence. 
in th. succession of topics may be 
explained with later additions, but that doe* ^ * JU*J 

problems. There are, , indeed, instance* when it ta ' -fili . 
of 'habit* or 'selective unions 1 play an im P"* hem ^^ 
tizing the sequence of subjects. Some ^^^0 Ux 

natural, like, for instance, the ' na ^* Tfae 

<bhuuanako*a* and the topic 'lfrrtaft- 

this case so natural that where tbc 

[VOL. xxiv., NO, 1 

latter also very often comes by way of concomitance. But there are 
cases in which the link between subjects is a pparently over im- 
posed, so to say, by forces which are outside the inner and normal 
development of the subjects. In these cases the puraiia may not 
follow anyone of the schemes we already know of but it is, not 
improbably, under the influence of 'puranic habits*, which dictate, 
for instance, what topics have to be dealt with in the beginning or 
what should come at the and or again how to build a sequence of 
themes and so on. We have, of course, to go about slowly in this 
theory, as we do not possess enough material for its solid basis and 
fantasy may play a bad trick. Yet there are hints towards what we 
have just said which should not be underestimated. 

For instance, examining the sequence of topics in the Brahma 
purana we find an interesting fact. The sequence of topics does not 
correspond to any definite scheme already studied but it recalls two 
different schemes as if the purana were under different influences. 

(see Table IV in the Appendix) 

In the beginning the purana follows the sequence or krama of 
subjects \ve already found in the Brahmanda and Visnu purana-s. 
It apparently enlarges the buffer-topic of this latter (Visnu No 6, 
^armakapja' and introduces a new and long theme <t*rtkam3halmya* 
(Brahma No 8; cf already No 5). But from No 10 downward it is 
influenced by the scheme of the Agni-Garuda group; it only in- 
serts its own peculiar refrain 'dharmafastTa-karnukavfa The result 
of all this is a kind of mixed scheme bearing the imprints of two 
different schemes. Whether this should be considered new scheme, 
common to other purana-s or only a mixture of units as a chara- 
cteristic process of the Brahma purana is not yet clear. Further 
investigation is needed. 


W*hav now enough matter to affirm that in some cases at 
least the putft** a were following a definite scheme or krama 
common to tn* uwn one text. Were these schemes followed 
******* *** e of what they were doing ? 

and ~ ta accura **** 


1, Order of the 18 purft^a-s 

There are passages, indeed not many, which clearly state 
that the eighteen puranas have a particular order which has to be 
followed. 9 It is perhaps because of remembering these passages 
that some authors tried to discover an inner link among the eighteen 
puraiia-s which would account for their succession in the puranic 
lists. 10 It is known indeed that the purana*s have 27 lists of the 
eighteen purana-s, 11 twelve of which are equal among themselves- 
with the only variant of the Siva or the Vayu purana at the fourth 
place and other nine are quite similar. Such lists follow a definite 
krama, of which the puranic authors are aware. Usually no 
explanation is given for such an order. We find a hint only in 
Padma IV. 111. 66 ff and that also not for all the puraiia-s but 
for eight of them. But even if they do not give any reason they 
insist that the succession in the order of the puran.a-s is not hapha- 
zardous but ^TT, zrcTTSfirn etc. 

Skanda puraua V. 3.1.14ab says : 

cf <TH*S<?H R^-mf+i ^^TTf^T *i(|si3H*t, 1 

(cf also 61, 52) 

The same purana in VII. 2.2 ab says : 

3fST tf^RTt ^ft JJ'UUIHi'HdPbH-H I 

(cf Mt. 53.72) 

A little below, 61. 109ab has : 


The Matsya purana (53.1) says : 

: II 

So These texts stress that the purana-s have a foama which they 
follow. Also by giving the names of the purana-s in the lists some 

9. See, for instance, Matsya 53.1; Skanda V. SJ.Hab, 52; 
VII. 2.2, 166-109ab. 

10. Baladeva Upadhyaya, Pwraga Vimarfa, Chowkhamba 
Vidyabhavan, Varanasi, 1965, pp. 86-89; Giridhar Sanna 
Gaturvedi, PurSya ParUUan, Bihar Rastrabhasa Pari?ad a 
Patna, 1970, pp. 27-33. 

11. see The Dynamic Canon. , . op. cit., pp. 132-134, 144-149, 

168 CR* pupSfciA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 1 

texts 13 stress the orderly succession mentioning their number : so 
Markandeya puraiia is called the seventh, Kurma the fifteenth, 
Linga the eleventh and so on. Skanda V. 3.1.43ab quotes the 
Matsya as the sixteenth purana according to the order : 

The single purana-s show in some cases full awareness of their 
place in the list by identifying themselves with that purana having 
that number : Bhavisya purana affirms to be the ninth, Markandeya 
the seventh, Kurrna the fifteenth etc., exactly as in the lists. 13 

The commonly accepted list follows this order, which we 
shall call as the 'Visnu's order as it is found in the Vismi puraiia 
uUo I. Brahma 2. Padma 3. Visnu 4. Siva (or Vayu) 5. Bhagavata 
6. Naradlya 7 Markandeya 8. Agni 9. Bhavisya 10. Brah- 
mavaivarta H. Lihga 12. Varaha 13. Skanda 14. Vamana 
15. Kurma 16. Matsya 17. Garuda 18. Brahmanda. That 
this succession of purana-s was most probably following a particular 
order with a specific meaning appears from the three passages we 
have now to examine. Garuda purana, Brahma Khaiida I. Iff, 
Padrna puratia, Uttara Khanda 263.81ff and Bhavisya puraiia III. 
3.28.1 Off divide the 18 purana-s according to the three gwpa-& into 
sattutka, rSjasa and tamasa. As the parts where these passages 
ate inserted are comparatively late we can suppose that the divi- 
sion according to the guna-s is also rather late, yet it presents 
interesting features worthy of attention. 

If we apply these three-guya divisions to the puranic lists of 

eighteen purana-s we discover a kind of rythm which does not 

seem to be casual. As the lists of 18 purana-s are many, it is but 

natural that the three-/za divisions fit one or only some of them. 

We may suppose that the division was prepared for that list where 

ufiisbtsi. Now the three- W *a scheme of Bhavisya III. 3.28 fits 

mainly ihc list available in the Bhavisya itself because it contains 

theNpmfaha purana and both the Siva and the Va>u, facts which 

are not repeated in other lists. It fits> however, also the main list 

the _^^nd ^wo_or three others (see Appendix). As for 

12, see Bhavisya I. 1,61 ff; Varaha 3.69 fF; Visnu III. 6.21 ff. 

JAN. 1982] 



the three-guna divisions of the Garuda, and Fad ma they fit best the 
list as given in Padma VI. 263, which is equal to the standard one 
(or the Visnu's III. 6), but puts the Skanda purana at the last but 
one place and not at No 13 as the usual list does. The Garuda j s 
(z-division, moreover, agrees perfectly also with the lists given in 
the Kurma, Siva VIII. 1.1.43, Padma VI. 219, Linga, Siva V. 
44.120 as well as Padma IV. 111. The lists and their relation with 
the gtf^a-division are given in the Appendix : here we discuss only 
one of them to stress the awareness in the puranic authors of the 
link the purana-s have in their succession. 


ace. to Garuda 

ace. to Padma 

1. Brahma* 

2. Padma 

3. Visnu-f- 

4. Siva (or Vayu)* 

5. Bhagavata-f- 

6. Naradlya (Aditya for Gd) 

7. Markandeya 

8. Agni 

9. Bhavisya 

10. Brahmavaivarta 
1 1 . L*inga-f- 

12. Var&ha* 

13. Sfcanda 

14. Vamana-|- 

15. ICurma* 

16. Matsya* 

17. Garuda+ 

18. Skanda 

19. Brahmanda 

20. Nrsirhha " 


























ace. to Bhv. 










S = Sattvika; R = Rajasa; T = Tamasa. 

* = purana which has been assigned to all the three gtt$a-s 


-h = purana which was assigned the same guya in the three 

The numbers of the Purana-s are given according to 
the order which appears in Vii>u HI. 6. 
The Skanda after the Garuda appears only in J 
263; Bhv. gives also Nrsimha and b* 
the Vayu; Garuda substitutes Aditya for 

170 TT PURXfctA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 1 

The sequence of the Garuda's guya list starts and ends with 
all the three pa-s which appear in these two places in a mirror 

succession : _ _ 

1. T 3. S 

Beginning 2. R End 2 - R 

3. S 1. T 

The others are arranged in groups of two pur&nas each having the 
same guya. Other arrangements or successions are also possible. 
the reader will find them easily and so new rythms can be dis- 

The Padma'sK#3 list presents four groups of four purana-s 
each. Each group contains all the three gutia-s, one of which is 
repeated twice in succession. The position of the Skanda purana 
(No 13) in the order proposed by the Visnu purana (i. e. the stan- 
dard list) would interfere with the rhythm. To avoid such an 
irregularity the Padma in its own list given in previous floka-s 
transposes the Skanda immediately after the Garuda as we have 
done and so the rhythm is preserved. We may assume that the 
shifting of the Skanda purana to the last but one position operated 
by the Padma purana in this passage is due exactly to the necessity 
of keeping the above-mentioned rhythm. This would imply that 
the author of such a list not only was aware of the rhythm but that 
he considered it more important than the standard and generally- 
accepted order of the purana-s., namely the Visnu purana's list. 

The Bbavisya divides the list into three groups of three 
purlua-s ach belonging to the same guya alternated with groups 
of three purana-s having two purana-s of one guna and the third 
one different. The last group concludes with three puraria-s, each 
one having a different guna in that same succession with which the 
tbree-tt$iF groups had been introduced previously. It appears 
difficult that all such correspondences may be due to a mere acci- 
dent. It i sounder to think that they were deliberately meant by 
the authors. 

2. Order of the Single Pur&pa-s 

At lean eight purana-s show clear awareness of being a unit 
having a definite scheme. 

Vtoana 1.10 and BrahmSncJa I. 1.168ab affirm it straight- 
way. The former say s : 

JAN., 1&82] SCHEMES itt THE URS$AS 171 


The latter has : 


Padma II. 125. 40cd-41ab foresees a great merit for the man 
who hears *in due order* its five (not yet six as they are at present) 
khayda-s I 


The five khanda-s of the Padma have, then, their order which 
possibly is important and internally linked with the matter itself of 
the purSna. Other purana-s give more details about such an order. 
The Visnu purana is aware that it is narrating the pancaldkfarfa in 
the order given in the usual Sloka : 

aftrenf r 


It reminds the readers and listeners of the fact whenever a new 
topic of the paffcalaksaya is started. So at the end of afftia I it 
affirms : 

(I. 22.88) 
At the beginning of arhta III it says : 

fiti Rr^Sn I 3.1 ab I 

II 3.3 cd II 

11 3*5 cd II 

Similar things are said in IV. i.* for vamla and in a clearer way in 
V. l.l. : _-_ 

5iwi ^P^dw4f ^r^rr wiftta^ i 


and then again in VI. 1.1-2 ab : 

I 2 

172 ijun PCJRXtfA [VOL XXIV., NO. t 

So the Visnu purana is always conscious of different topics to be 
dealt with according to a fixed plan, which is again summarized at 
the end : 

friHi'?rcrf*r ^ i 

H (VI. 8.13) 

Although the 'pratisarga* is dealt with at the end of the purana and 
not in second place as we would expect from the Jloka just quoted, 
yet the purana shows itself to be continuously attentive to the order 

to be followed in the text. 

The Bhagavata purana is not so particular about emphasizing 
the regular development of the topics but it is also aware of the 
inner unity of the whole purana, especially when it mentions topics 
already narrated see V. 26.38; VI. LI; VIII. 1.1, 6. 

The Vayu and the Brahmanda purana-s divide their text into 
four pdda-s which will be narrated in due order : 

(B4. I. 1.1.40 ab) 

At each pada the text underlines the moment where the next pada 
follows in due order or the previous one was duly narrated as pre- 
announced. So at the end of the first pada : 

(Bd. I. 1,5.145 cd; cf. Vy I. 6.73 cd) 
At the end of the second pada : 

(Bd. I. 2.38.33; cf. Vy I. 61.186 cd) 
The flokais repeated with due changes in IL 3.74.278 (cf. Vy II. 
37.458) at the end of the third p3da. The next adhyaya continues : 

*T5PS: TO t ^ftltl^^i: ll 

(Bd.lIL 4.1.1 ; cf. Vy II. 38.1) 

These two purana-s, then, are also fully aware of the order they 
have to follow in narrating their matter. Skanda purana VII. 
4.44.23, although speaking of 'purwZnnm anvkramah' refers apparently 
to the inner order of each pucfcna and 50 it can be quoted here to 
support our supposition tfcat some puranie authors are always in 


control of their own matter and put it in a prefixed order. The 
double s&ci-s available at the beginning of some purana-s** show 
also that the puranas had a prefixed scheme to follow. In these 
cases indeed the interlocutors are introduced as they were already 
well acquainted with the matter to be narrated even before it is 

3. Sequence of topics 

Padma purana I. 1, Matsya I, and several other purana-s 
present a list of questions or topics to be dealt with in the purana 
and specify that those subjects have to be narrated in order : 


(Mt. 1.7ab) 

Being at the beginning of the purana-s these /foto-f in fact express 

the intention of having the whole purana narrated m due oraer, 

so their meaning is equivalent to what we said in the previous 

paragraph. At other times the order does not refer to the whofc 

purana but only to a group of subjects like in NSrada W7M 

which speaks only of the order the first topics must have m 

Narada purana itself; or in Brahmavaivarta I j 

where also the reference is only to a few topics In 

cases a subject is said to follow the previous one m due order 

the author knew what kind of link should join the two Mil* 

topics, Brahmavaivarta purana 1.22.32 states : 


The same purana says : (11.4.1*) 

This last Cample shows already that ^^0 ** 
of unit which is first narrated m a long * ^ 

'HramataV. In this way the *^^^ * So hen tb. 
units, of which we spoke above, ^" "^ (nn ^ 1.1. 
puranic authors speak of an inner order of a **' I 

L I- 

174 Trt*n PURXtfA [VOL. *Xiv., NO. 1 

36; 2.48 ; Sk. II.8.108cd etc.) they may intend also something vaster 
than the narrow frames of the story. 

All this tends to point out that the authors not only know of 
a scheme or sequence of topics for the whole purana but are also 
aware of smaller units sometimes identifiable tout-court with a 
katha , which also have their order. 
4. Purartic origin 

As is known the puranic authors have two theories about the 

origin of their works : one affirms that the 18 purana-s were com- 

posed by Krsna Dvaipayana who reduced the ten million of 

puranic ttoka-s to four hundred thousand and divided them into 

eighteen parts. This theory is available systematically only in 

Matsya 53, Skanda V. 1,2; VII. 3.1, Narada I. 92 and Padma I. I, 

but it is accepted as matter of fact by many more and it is the 

current doctrine even at present. The five passages mentioned atove 

have a rather uniform text although there are signs of different 

schools and tendencies. From the point of view of our study this 

theory would favour one common scheme for all the purana-s. 

Sentences like 

HIOKCT^ ^'*j5ii ^kSITOF Z F TT ^TT 1 1 

(Vy I. 61. 59 cd) 

would support it. Or it would point out simply that the purana -s 
have each their own distinct pattern and, at most, they are like 
different adhydya-s of a unique enormous purana. The theory of the 
three guna-z examinded above would confirm it. 

The second theory is available only in four purana-s, namely 
Brahmanda L 2. 35.63ff. Vayu I. 60.1ff, Visnu III. 6,15ff, and 
BhSgavata XII.7.5ff. It is not usually accepted nor is it even known. 
The four texts, reducible to three, as the Brahmanda and the Vayu 
have exactly the same words, only casually correspond verbatim. 
The theory they propose, however, is rather uniform. As there are 
different vedic fakftf-a, says the theory, so there are also different 
puranic akh3-a, which were formed in the following way. Krna 
Dvaipayana taught hia own samhita to his disciple Suta who, 
in his turn, transmitted it to his six disciples already good 
experts in the old matters (puranesti 64. I.2.35-65ab). Among them 
three wrote their own sadhit3~s and so from the one original satfikite 
four were formed* Vayu 1,60 seems to support the possibility that 


from the very beginning Suta transmitted the purana samhita in six 
different forms (<*$[:) and that three of them composed three other 
samkita-s and then three more, so other six new samhita-s were 
formed. According to the Vayu purana then we should think of the 
following stages in the puranic formation : 


Such a detailed process is affirmed only by the Vayu, wh ich 
has variants from the Brahmanda on this point, But all the other 
three texts reporting this theory and the Vayu itself immediately 
after it mention four samhita^ only of which the names are also 
given. They are : 

Lomahar?anika the mula samhita 

Kaiyapika the para samhita 

Savarnika trtly a sariihita 

SamSapSyanika any3 

Things are not so smooth indeed because the names of the four 
sa&hita-s as well of the six disciples do not coincide in all the four 
purana-s and, moreover, the Brahmanda has apparently another 
parallel theory which speaks of only five disciples of Suta having 
names partially different from the six of the other texts.( 15 ) This 
uncertainty in the text as well as the fact that this theory is present 
only in some texts which are usually considered the oldest (except 
for the Bhagavata which has here the shortest form with different 
names of the six disciples and puts it at the end of the purana disre- 
garding the parallelism with the Vinu which it has in other places 
of the scheme) are points favouring an old tradition, most probably 
older than the other claiming the authorship of all the 18 purana-s 
to Krna Dvaipayana only. For our study we need not to have 
more or surer details; it is enough to know that the purana-s not 
only were not all composed directly by Krsna Dvaipayana, but that 
they could be grouped according to their topic or tendency. la 
this theory, as we have seen, is parallel to the vedic fakfas 
which it is inserted in our texts. 

The Visnu purana (III. 6,19cd) claims to be a combination 
of the previous four samhita^ : 


15. Brahmanda I. 1.1.12-15. 

176 pir punXtfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 

So some puranic authors were aware that the purana-s were follow- 
ing common patterns and that such patterns could be transformed, 
as the Visnu purana does. The only text outside these ones referring 
to purSnic composition and mentioning the names of these 
samkita-s, is Bhavisya II. 1.1. 4ab 

Other hints to divisions of the puraoa-s like Vayu II. 42.108f 
(ten) or Devi Bhagavata I. 1.1 3a (fafamRr <JTT*rrfH) may refer to 
the guna division we have seen above. 

5. A Few Parable Hints 

We can perhaps go a step further. There is, first of all, a 
text which deserves more attention that I ain now in a position to 
pay but that is rather meaningful for our research even at a first 
quirk reading. The text, rather long, is Bhavisya III. 4.22.45-218- 
It presents the eighteen mahakalpa-s, of which it gives the names, 
the divinities, the Manus in charge and other details. But in fivft 
cases it mentions that the particular matter specified in that 
mehakatpa is known to a particular class of paurdnika-s* These 
classes are Brahmapaurdnika-z (Jl. 48), Visyupauranika-s (M. 98b, 99a), 
AtVopauigf ita-s (II. 102a), LiAgapawartika-s (fl. 129b) and BhZvisyalia-* 
(//. 21 8b). It is not clear, in my present knowledge, what these 
words really mean. They apparently refer to different classes of 
specialists m puranic matters. We have to go slowly in our dedu- 
ctions because the text might be quite late, as it appears from the 
part of the purS^a in which it is inserted. But if our supposition 
correct, we can connect it with the division of the puraiia-a 
6 c deitieS M ita PP* a Skanda VII. 1.289 and 
' and were P e P le specialized 

deity and purana-s in 

s - e y i 

Brahma l> aur ** ik -* etc. went about narrating 
S T a T rding t Schemesor co ^^ patterns 
rf*h n V* 8 ^ modern *&**> while narrating 
iJ! folio i Chan 8 in the ^ eta ^ and the teachings 
,0 a ft^T* lways the same traditional pattern of the 
1 r a V VWP*3*M* ect., roost 

in narrating their 


Finally we have in our texts hints at matters taken from other 
purana-s. Besides the examples of equal texts in two or more 
purana-s, like Prayagamahatmya, etc. 16 there are hints to the whole 
matter of a purana or to portions of it renarrated by another one. 
For the whole matter of a purana we have Padma V. 59.2 : 

gsrr: \ 

For partial matter we have Bhavisya IV. 121.2, 4 i 

\i 2 u 


II 4 U 
In a more general way Padma V. 36.14 ab says : 

These are most probably the only references to the process we are 
examining. We cannot deduce from them that the purana-s show 
clear awarness of following schemes taken from other purflna-s, yet 
they show that some authors dared to say that they had taken their 
matter from other texts. The fact that the purSna-s know of 
Adipurana-s (Pd. V. 36.14 ab) or of other purana-s (Bd. II. 63.174; 
Bhv. II. 1.21.1 ab; III. 4.2K131 ab; Pd. IV. 100.53 ab; VI. 63.55ab 
etc.) or that they quote single loka-s from previous and old itihSsika 
texts (Bd. I. 5.4cd; II. 63.69ab; B. 15.49ab; Pd. VI. 29.1; Bhv. IV. 
192.2ab etc.) does not prove that they know other puraaic schemes 
or that they follow them. However, the constant references to other 
purana-s show that the puranic authors are fully aware of what was 
going on in other texts and that sometimes they took inspiration 
from or copied them. The hint of Padma V. 59.2 mentioned above 
and the schemes of the Agni-Garuda (-Matsya), of the Brahmaij4a- 
Vayu and Visnii-BhSgavata (and Brahma) are already good matter 
for a strong suspicion that there was a time when some purana-s 
followed common schemes. The suggestion of Brabmanda-Vayu 
and Viiju-Bhagavata that in the beginning the purSjjic literature 
contained only one and then four satfihita-s would point out that 
this phenomenon of the schemes took place very early and was very 
soon overcome by later development or increase in the number of 

16] Matsya 102-112 and Padma, Svarga Kha^Ja 39-4;? <Adi 
Khanda 39-49). 

178 ^Jtrpj PUBXtfA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 1 



(ASS-1 1,457 >0 < J Iv ' Vidyas.-8,738 rt. 


1. Mahgalacarana a. I 1. Manga lac arana a.l 

2. Avatara-s aa. 2-16 2. Avatara-s a.l 

Anukramanika a.2 

3. Jagatsarga aa. 17-20 3. Srti aa.3-6 

VamSa aa. 18-19 


4. Karmakanda aa. 21-37 4. Karmakanda aa. 7-45 

5. Buildings^.. 5. Buildings.... 

devatasthapana aa. 38-71 devatasthapana aa. 46-48 

\~karmakanda aa. 71-91 I 

I buildings^.. I yoga a. 49 

I devatasthapana aa. 92- 106) 

6. Dharma^astra aa. 50-52 

a$tanidhi a. 53 


6. Tirthamtotmya aa. 109-1 17 

(Gaya, iraddfca) 

7. Bbuvauakofia aa. 10B, 118-120 7. BhuvanakoSa aa. 54-57 

vama a. 54 

Suryavyiiha a. 55 

8. Jyotisa aa, 1211-149 8. Jyoti?a aa. 59-80 

(with many related subjects) narastrHak^ana aa. 63-65 
*" 9. Tlrthamahatmya aa. 81-90 

A % _ (Gaya-Pitrakhyana) 

9: MMivmntaia a. 150 1 . Manvantara a. 87 

adhyatmlka aa. 91-92 

dividcma and groupings of subjects as well as the 
Ven ? the tQ P ie3 in this ^d in the following 
I C ^u been P re P ared for this study. They do not 
w the pura^a-s, although they are based on 

JAN., 1982] 



10. DharmaSastra aa. 151-217 11. Dharma&stra aa. 93-107 

11. Rajadbarma etc. aa, 218-248 12. Nltifiastra aa. 108-115 
-dhanurveda aa. 249-252 


12. Veda-s (and Purana-Itihasa) 

aa. 259-272 

13. Karmakarjda aa. 263-270 13. Karmakancla and Vrata 

aa. 116-137 

14. Vaihfia aa. 173-178 14. Vamte aa. 138-142 

15. Ramayana-Mahabharata 

aa. 143-145 

15. Ayurveda 

16. AdvavSyana 

17. Mantra (and 


aa. 279-298 16. Ayurveda 
a, 288 - 

18. Karmakanda 

aa. 299-317 
aa. 318-327 

aa. 146-194 

17, Mantra-s (karmakanda, 
vidya, cudatnani aa. 195-199 

18. Vayujaya, Afivayurveda 

aa. 200-201 

19. Ghanda-s, kavya, alamkara, 19. Vyakarana aa. 205-204 

vyakarana, amarkoSa sadacara aa. 205 

aa. 328-367 

__ 20. Karmakanda aa. 206-212 

_ 21. Dharmaiastra aa. 213-215 


20. Pralaya aa. 368-369 22. Pralaya 
limbs of the body a. 370 

21. Naraka-s a. 371 ~ 

22. Yoga aa. 372-376 23. Yoga 

aa, 216-217 

23. Brahmajnana 

24. Adhyatmika 
aa. 377-380 25. 

24, Gltasara a. 381 

Yamaglta a. 382 

25. Agnipuranamahatmya a. 383 

26. Gltasara 

aa. 219-226 
a. 227 
a. 229 

i8D ir^irn PURS^A [VOL. xxiv., NO. 



(ASS-14,062 //) (ASS-I 1,457 /7) (Jiv. 8,738 


1. Mangalac. a. 1 1. Mangalac. a. 1 1. Mangalac. a. 1 

2. Matsyavatara. aa. 2-3 2. Avataras aa. 2-16 2. Avataras a.l 

anukram. a* 2 

3. Sr?ti aa. 4-8 3. Jagatsarga aa. 17-20 3. Sr?ti aa. 3-6 

vama aa. 18-19 

Manvantara a. 9 
Prthivldohana a. 10 


4, Vaihfia aa. 11-51 12. Vedas (Purana- 

itihasa) aa. 259-272 

5. Kriyayoga a. 52 13. Karmak. aa. 263-270 13. Karmak. - 

aa. 116-137 

15. Ram. -Mbh. 

aa. 143-145 

JDharmafiastra aa. 54-101/ 


7. TIrtham. aa. 102-112 6. Tirtham. aa. 109-117 

8. Bhuvanak. aa. 112- 7. Bhuvanak. aa. 108, 7. Bhuvanak. 

123 118-120 54-57 

9. Jyoti?aaa. 124-140 8. Jyotia aa. 121-149 8. Jyotia aa. 

_ 9. TIrtham, 81 

10. Gaturyuga-Manv, 9. Manvantara a. 150 10. Manv. a. 87 


-adhyat. aa, 160-162 adhyat. aa. 91 

(pralaya) aa. 163-165 
yajj&vatara a, 166 
. 167-175 
, a, 176 


JAN., 1982] 



11, DharmaSistra 10. DharmaSstra 

aa. 151-217 
II. Rajadharma 
aa. 2 18-248 
aa. 249-252 

aa, 204-213 
12. Rajadharma 
aa. 214-226 

11. Dharma&stra 
aa, 93-107 

12. NitUastra 
aa. 108-115 

13. Dharma&stra 
aa. 227-242 

Avatara aa. 243-247 
(srstf) aa. 248-250 , 


4. Karmakan4a aa. 4. Karaaka^Ja 

21-37 ' aa. 745 

14. Buildings-Devatap. 5. Buildings-DevatSp. 5. Buildings-Deva- 
aa. 251-269 aa. 38-106 tap. aa. 4648 
-Kriyiyoga a. 257 - - Y 8 a a< 49 

15. VariiSa aa. 270-272 ~ 

16. DharmaiSstra (dana) - 6. Dhannaiastoaa 

aa. 273-288 

17, Kalpas a. 289 

18. Matsyasuci a. 290 


Units VI and VII 


[VOL. xxiv., NO. t 

(Jiv. Vidyas.-6, 373) 

Introduction a. I. 1 

2. Utpatti aa. I. 2-9 
VathJa a. I. 7 
Samudra manthana 


(JIv. Vidyas.-14 i 579) 


1. Introduction aa, I. 1-19 
Bhagavad-avatara a. 1.3 

2. Sr?ti aa . II. 1.7 

Bhagavad-upadeSa aa. II. 
a. I. 9 8-9 

3. Vatiija aa, I. 10-11. 1 

Introduction a. II. 10 


aa. III. 1-4 
Srti aa. III. 9-13 
a. III. 1 1 

3. VajthSa aa. III. 14-25 

Brahma sr?ti a III. 20 
Tattva utpatti a. III. 26 

4. Bhuvanakofia aa. II. 2- 
aa. II. 13-16 


4. Adhyatmika aa. III. 27-33 
VamSa aa. IV. 1-V. 15 

5. Bhuvanakola aa. V. 1 6-26 


o. Manvantara aa. III. 1.3 

Vyasas of the past a. III. i 
*>f the future a III. 2 

6. Vedas aa. III. 4-6 

7. Yamaglta a. III. ^ 

DharrnaSastra aa. III. 8. 16 

9. Sampradayiki katha 
aa- III. 8. 16 

6. YamadutaAjamilaaa. VI. 1-3 

7. VamSaaa. VI. 4-VII. 1O 

pumsavanavrata a. VI. 19 

8. Dharmadastra aa. VI. 11-15 

9. Manvantara 

of the past a. VIII. 1 

0. Sampradayika katba aa. 
VIII. 2-5 

I sr$ti (samudramanthana) 
f _ aa. VIII 6-12 

Future aa. VIII. 
11. Avatara aa. VIII. 15-23 

1982] SCHEMES IN PUU^AS 183 


10. Vamfe aa, IV, 1-23 12. Vathte aa. IX, 1-24 

11 . Krna avat&ra aa, V, 1-38 13, Krsna avatara aa. X, 1-XL 6, 

-adhyJtmika aa, 7-16 
-dharma&stra aa, 17-18. 

12. Kaliyugadharma aa, VI. 1*2 14. Kaliyuga aa. XII, 1-3 

13. Pralaya aa, VI, 34 15. Pralaya a, XII. 4 

14. Adhyatmika aa. VI. 5-7 - 

15. Conclusion a, VI, 8 16, Conclusion : antima upadefo 

a. XII, 5 

17. Vedas aa, XII. 6-7 

18. Markandeyaaa.8-10 

19. Bhagavad anga-upanga 
a. XII. 11 

20. Siici aa, XII. 12-13 







I. Prakriyft pada 

1. Anukramanika-Introduc- 
tion aa. I. 1-2 

2. Srsti aa. I. 3-8 

II. AnnftaAga p&da 

pratisandhi a. I, 6 
dharmasastra a. I. 7 

1. Anukramanlka-Introduction 

aa. I- 1-2 

2. Sr?tf aa. I. 3-9 

pratisarga a. I. 7 
dharmafiastra a. I. 8 


3. Manvantara a. I. 9 
Mahadevatami a. I. 10 

4. VathSaaa. I. 11-14 

5. BhuvanakoSa aa I. 15-24 

3. Manvantara a. T. 1O 

a. adhyatmika aa. I. 11-15 

b. dharmasastra aa. I. 16- 
C. adhyatmika aa. I. 19-2O 

d. fcalpa aa. I. 21-22 

e. avatara aa. I. 23-24 

f. utpatti aa. I. 25-27 

4. VaifcSa aa. I. 28-33 

yugadharma a. I. 32 

5. BhuvanakoSa aa. I. 34-53 
Gafiga avatara a. I. 47 

V 4 

6. KarmakSij4a aa, I. 25-33 
yuga a, I, 29, 31 

7. V*da-puranaj a. L 34 
S. Vathia aa. I. 35-11, 8 

Prthivldohaaa a, 136 



Sarg* aa. I. 3&; II. 3-7 
Dharmaiai tra u II, 9-20 

6. Karmakanda aa. I. 54-59 

caturyuga a I. 58 

7. Veda-puranas a* I. 6O 

8. VamSa aa. I. 61-11. 9 
Ppthivldohana a. II. 1 

Sarga aa. II. 2.; 5-8 
9. Dharnaatestra aa. II. 9-2O 



10. Vamfia aa. II. 21-74 10. VariuSa aa. II. 22-37 

Arjuna aa. II. 21-29 Vaivasvata sr$ti a. II. 23 

Bhargava aa. II. 25-46 Gitalamkara aa. II, 24-25 

Sagara aa. II. 44-58, 63 Sambhu a. II. 35 

aa. II. 59-60 

Gandharva aa. II. 61-62 

Vinumahatmya Vi9numahatmya aa. II. 36 

aa. II. 72-73 


11. Manvantara a. III. .11. Manvantara a. II. 38 

12. Bhuvanakoda a. III. 2 12. Bhuvanakofia a. II. 39 

13. Pratisarga-pralaya 13. Pralaya aa. II. 40-41 
aa. III. 3-4 

14. Conclusion a. III. 4 14. Conclusion a. II. 42 

Lalita-upakhyana Gayamahatmya aa. II. 43-50 

aa. III. 5-40. 


1, Introduction a, 1. 1 

2, Utpatti aa, 2-9 

3, Vaihteaa, 1. 10-11. 1 . 

4, Bhuvanakofo (Vaihfe) 
aa. II. 2-16 

5, Manvantara aa, III. 1-3 



1. Introduction aa, 1. 1-2 

2. Sr$ti aa. 1. 3-8 

'3. Manvantara aa. 1. 9-10 
4. Vamfc aa, 1. 1 M4 

5. Bhuvanakofo aa< L 15*24 

6. Karmakanda aa. L 25-33 

* i 

7. Vedas-purSnas a. ! 34 

8. Vamia aa. 1. 35-11,8 

6. Vedas aa, III. 4-6 

7. Yamaglta aa. III. 7 

8. Dharmafcstra aa. III. 8-16 , 9, Dharma&stra aa. II, 9-20 

9. Ssmpradayiklkatha 
aa. Ill 17-18 

10, Variite aa. IV. 1-23 

1n v ( 10. Vatiite aa. II. 21-74 

0, Kr ? avatara aa. V. 1-38 { 1 1. Manvantara aa, III. 1 
U. Kahyugadharmaaa. VI. 1-2M2. Bhuvanako^a a. Ill, 2 

12. Pralaya aa. VI. 3-4 13. Pratisarga (pralaya) aa, III34 

13. Adhyatmika aa. VI. 5-7 

14. Conclusion a, VI, 8 14. Conclusion a. Ill, 4 

Lalita]upaJdiySna aa, III, WO 


1. Mafcgalacarana a, 1 1, Introduction aa. I. 1-2 

2. Adisarga aa. 14 2, Sr?1;i aa, I. 3-8 
vamSa a. 2 

3. Manvantara a. 5 3, Manvantara aa. I. 9-10 

utpatti a. 6 

4. Vaiiifia aa. 7-17 4, Vamfc aa. I. H-14 

5. Bhuvanakofia aa. 18-27 5. Bhuvanakote aa. 1. 15-24 

6. Tirthamahatmya aa. 28-57 
karraakanda mahatmya 

aa. 57-59 

dharmafiastra aa. 60-67 
Vinuloka varnana a. 68 

7. Tirthamahatmya aa. 69-178 

(Visnu Parana) 

8. Kr?navatara (and other 10. Kr 5 navatara aa. V, 1-38 

avataras aa. 179-213 

AGNI PURAtf A (Garuda) 

9. Naraka aa. 214-216 20. Pralaya aa. 368-370 

limbs of body 

Dharma^astra aa, 216-225 
Karmakanda aa, 226-228 

10. Pralaya aa, 229-233 21. Narakas a. 371 

11. Yoga aa. 234-242 22. Yoga aa. 372-376 

12. jaana aa. 243-244 23. BrahmajSana aa. 377-38U 

13. Conclusion a. 245 


List of Karma I. 1; 

Ace. to 

Ace* to 

Ace. to 

Padma VI. 219; Siva 




VII. 1.1,43 

1. Brahma 



1 ) 

2. Padma 

R 5. 



3. Vinu 

S * 


T> /D ^ 

4. Siva (Vayu) 
5. Bhagavata 
6, Bhavi$ya 

s ) 
s ( 

R 3 


f R (K.) 

I s 

7. Naradlya 

T j 



8. Markandeya 
9. Agni * " 




10. Brahmavaivarta 

T % 



11, Liiiga 




12. Varaha 

R f 


13. Skanda 

R ^ 



U ^. 

14. Vamana 
15. Kurma 

R i 
S > 





16. Matsya 

S X 


* S 

17, Garuda 
18* Brahmanda 

s > 




1 1? 



List of Linga I. 39 
Siva V. 44.120. 

Ace. to 

Ace. to 

Ace. to 

1. Brahma 

T J 



2. Padma 

R I 


3. Vi$mi 

S J 


4. Siva (Vayu) 

S j 


t IS./ 

5. Bhagavata 
6. Bhavi?ya 




7. NSradlya 
8. M&rkandeya 
9* Agnl 

? ] 



10. Brahmavaivarta 



11. Lifiga 




12. Varaha 

R ^ 


13. Vamana 




s > 



IS, Matsya 

S i 



16. Garuda 




17. Skanda 

R I 



18* BrahmUul& 

rirt l 





, - 


JAN., 1&82] 



List of 
Padma VI, 263 

1. Brahma 

2. Padma 

3. Vinu 

4. giva (Vayu) 

5. Bhagavata 

6. Naradlya 

7. Markandeya 

8. Agni 

9. Bhavi$ya 

10. Brahmavaivarta 

11. Linga 

12. Varaha 

13. Varaana 

14. Kurma 

15. Matsya 

16. Garuda 

17. Skanda 

18. BrahmSnda 


Ace. to Ace. to 

Ace. to 

Garuda Padma 









s ) 



















** " 



[ll i 













\T' LR 



Note : SnSattvika; R=Rajasa; TTamasa, The order of 
the guqa-s as given in Garuda fits well also the list of the 
purania-s in Padma IV. 111> while the order of the Bhavi?ya 
fits also the list of Bhavi?ya III 3.28, For further clarifica- 
tions see above p. 168-170. 



: i 




?n*r ijfir: 

^T fafWt t^r 




The Bhagavata, after stating the burning of the sons of the 
king Sagaraby a sage named Kapila in 9.8.10-12, remarks in the 
following two verses (13-14) 1 that this Kapila is the same as the 
founder of Samkhya. These two verses suggest that it is not the 
wrath of the sage that burnt the sons of Sagara to ashes; in fact 
it is their sinful acts that caused their death. The DevI-Bhagavata 
(6.1 5.42), a while giving incidentally examples of the ill-results of 
lust, wrath, greed and egoism, categorically states that the sons of 
Sagara were burnt by the Sathkhya teacher Kapila on account of 
daivayoga (the power of destiny). 

This incident of burning was so widely known that a poet like 
Bhavabhati has clearly referred to it in his Uttararamacarita (1.23). 8 
Though Kalidasa in his RaghuvamSa^lS.S) spoke of the digging 
of the earth by the sons of Sagara with a view to finding out the sa- 
crificial horse and the carrying away of the horse by Kapila to the 
nether region and was silent on the incident of the burning of the 
sons of Sagara by the fire created by the wrath of Kapila, yet we 
have no doubt that he was aware of this incident. 

A careful study of the relevant Puranic passages would reveal 
that the philosopher (i. e. founder of Samkhya) Kapila was not the 
destroyer of the aons of Sagara, We shall also try to show the causes 
that gave rise to this wrong identification. 

(A) The episode of the burning of the wicked sons of the king 
Sagara by the wrathful sage Kapila is set out in the following 




3. v^f^^na^^^ 

PRtT*r^ \ (v. 1. f^'- 

4. fiR^ft; qfr&s* ifr 

- " 

192 q<iui*r PURStfA [VOL. xxiv. N 

Puranic works and the epics 5 : 

Vayu-p. 88. 147-148; Brahmanda-p 2.53,25-35 and 2.63, 
146; Visnu-p 4.4.11, 23 (in prose); Brahma-p. 8.52-56; Matsy; 
12.42b-43a (The destroyer is called Visnu; there is no sep 
mention of the name Kapila); Padma-p. 5.8.147; 6.21.3/b-, 
Linga-p. 1.66.18; the printed reading ^ to be 

ted to ftnpr 3SOTPR; Agni-p. 273.28a-29a; Naradlya-p. 1.18 
109; Vi$i>udharmottara-p. 1.18.14-16a; &va-p. 5.38.51-53; Ni 
simha- P .26.7;Br.Dharma-p. 2.18:28-29 and 2.22.41; Br.Narad^ 
89.99-113; Ramayana 1.40.24-30; MahabhSrata, Vana-p. 47.11 
and 107.28-33; Udyoga-p. 109.1 7b-18a; Anu$asana-p. 153.9 i 
HarivamSa 1.14.24-25. 6 

5. Though Harivamla (1.15.7) and 

us that the Sruti says that the king &agara haa 
wives' yet no Vedic text is found to contain any inl 
mation about this king or his sons. This is wny 
Vedic text is of any help to us in determining , the idenl 
of the destroyer Kapila. It is quite reasonable to th 
that the word ruti in the aforesaid Puranic pass 
simply means * tradition* (aitihya). 

6. * tf itsf H 


n ere* 

tff TOTOWrtfwnU (Vayu-p. 88.146-148). 



\\H*\} (Brahman4a-p. 2,53.25-35). 

11 (Brahman4a-p. 2.63.144-146) 

(Visnu-p. 4.4. 11). 

6tf 4.4,12). s ef 


: i STSTT: T'ffBiwc'iKta^flrcn 1 : n 

(Brahma-p. 8.54-56). ttl c 

T^ (Matsya-p. 12.42b-43a). 

I^l 1 H (Padma-p. 5.8.147). 
: U 

: II ^^ (Padma-p. 6.21.37b-39a). 5RT: 

TT \ 
(Linga-p. 1.66.18). 

r JETT^RT: (Agni- p. 273,28a-29a). 

nvu s^r: H^r ^ ^Xs^n^f ^Pr q^ RT: I 


1.18.95-109). sRfqsrezr ?r^q^f ^^ ^^W 1 ^ * 

: \\\\\ 

: I (Visnudharmottara-p. 1. 18. 14-16a) 

: n 


: ll (Siva-p. 5.3851-53). ar 


: (Narasimha-p. 26.7). 

: \ 

: i OTI^ * 

(Brhaddharma-p. 2. 18.28-29). 


: i 

PURX^IA [VOL i xxiv, NO ,1 

The burning incident has not been mentioned by the 
p. (1.138.29), the Kurma-p. (1.21.5-7) and the Saura-p. (30,38) 
though they speak of the king Sagara, his wives and his descendants' 

i & srfjff: 

cT5TT \ (Brhannaradlya 8.96,99-113) 


(RamSyana 1.40.24-30) 

: n?<:i ^r 5^ fl^rwpr: ^?WRT *BT?r^ i 

fatft lim (Mbh. Vana-p. 47.18-19) 


5?f ^^ mi^tf^gr: i 
: i TO,5iT ifsmRpcr srw^TOT^fifror i ?r?r; 

: ^fref 

(Mbh. Vana-p. 107.28-33} 

I fa|# spfW %^* ^T^rf: *PCT?TO: \\ 
(Udyoga-p. 109J7b-18a). 

1 ^of^Tf^n Gi^^^itim fSSTTf^sTT II (Mbh. Anuftsana- 
p. 153.9) : "i^?r: ^4K^K 3 TT^RT grTT^F?r 5 ^'Y^Tf^TT sffatf 


comment). The word *T|[tefa in this verse may be taken 
as the name of a particular ocean. S tf 

: i an%5? 

5ft 5^ sr^iqfctH I 


HH1 (Harivamfia 1.14.23-25). 

Far a full account of the whole episode beginning with 
Sagara's performing the horse sacrifice and ending with 
the burning of his sons to ashes by the fire created by the 
wrathful sageKapila, readers should read some verses 
more preceding the verses referred to here. There is no 
need to give an account of the episode as it is wellknown 
to the readers of the Puranas. 


Since the genealogical accounts in these Puranas seem to be brief, the 
non-mention of the incident does not prove that it was not known 
to the authors of these Puranas. The Brahmavaivarta, the Devi-p. 
the Kalika-p., the Markandeya-p., the Skanda-p,, the Vamana-p , 
and the Bhavisya-p. are silent on the king Sagara and his descenda- 
nts. Though the DevI-BhSgavata, which contains a reference to this 
incident, has chapters on the Solar race in the 7th book, yet it 
furnishes us with no information of Sagara or his sons, as it abruptly 
ends after giving an account of the life of the king Harigcandra ^ 
(27.42) - a remote ancestor of Sagara. 

According to us this non-mention is of great importance. It 
cannot be explained away by saying that since the 'mention of 
Kapila*s promulgating Samkhya* was of little significance, it had not 
been stated in the Puranic works. Since most of the epithets used 
in the aforesaid passages in the Puranas, Upapuranas and the epics 
( some are found to use more than five epithets to describe Kapila 
and some have more than three verses to describe him) are such as 
are commonplace and do not bear any important significance, the 
nonuse of such a significant epithet as *the founder of Samkhya* must 
be due to some real (i. e, historical) cause. According to us this 
cause is no other than the non-recognition by the authors of these 
Puranic works of the fact of burning by the founder of the Samkhya 

(B) That the philosopher Kapila was deemed as different Erom 
the destroyer Kapila by the Puranic authors may be fairly ascerta- 
ined if the period of their appearance as shown in the Puranas is 
considered. While according to the Puranas the destroyer Kapila 
appeared in the Vaivasvata manvantara (the 7th manvantara) since 
Sagara belonged to the dynasty of Ikvaku, the son of Vaivasvata 
manu (Sagara appeared a few generations before Ranaa DaSarathi), 
the philosopher Kapila appeared in the Svayambhuva manvantara 
(the 1st manvantara), for he is said to be the son of Devahati, the 
daughter of Svayambhuva Manu. 7 

7. Regarding Devahuti and Kardania (the parents of the 
philosopher Kapila)and Kapila's teachings to 1m m er, 
wttD. Shag- 8.3.12-19; Bhagavata "-19, fliW- 2-^ 
16.15,, Br. Vaivarta-p. 4.22.47; 1.9,6, It u to 

be noted that no older Purana contains any 

about the parentage of Kapila. The Skanda-p, * found 

196 $.|ur*t pURXtfA [VOL* xxiv., NO. t 

Since this information is found neither in the epics, nor in the 
older Puranas, nor does it occur in any ancient work on philosophy 8 
its authoritativeness may be doubted, but as here we are dealing 
with the question of identity of the two Kapilas on the basis of the 
Puranic views it is not necessary for us to examine the validity of 
the Puranic statements. 

The Visnu-piirana, which is one of the older Puraiias, also 
places Kapila in the same period. From Visnu~purana 2. 13-14 it 
appears that Kapila, the philosopher, was contemporary with 
Bharata (Jada-Bharata) of the Svayambhuva manvantara. 9 The 
Kalika-p. also places him in this Manvantara (31.3-5). 

It would be wrong to hold that Kapila of the Svayambhuva 
manvantara was alive in the Vaivasvata manvantara also, for he is 
nowhere regarded in the Puranas as a longlived (dtrgkajfoinot 
cirajtvin) person. One Kapila (along with four others) is regarded 
as 'sukhafayin* (sleeping peacefully) in the kparidsta (Khilasukta 
1.10). Even if this expression is interpreted to mean e a longlived 
person' yet it serves no purpose, for there is no reason to take this 
Kapila as identical with the philosopher Kapila. He may rightly 
be regarded as the destroyer Kapila, who is often described (vide 
Brahma-p, 8.55; Hariv. 1.14.24) as f ^cps^ ^CT (mark the 

lo hold a slightly different view. It says that Devahuti 
was the daughter of Trnabindu and that Jaya and Vijaya 
^Q e o e a Si a 'o elder trofcan (Karttika-masa-mahatmya 
^f-^h The Sattvata-tantra (a work of later times) says; 
YT^TO $&: *m|fa[qrq:' (2.10). It is noteworthy that 
the Bhagavata refers to a work called Sattvata-tantra 
m 1.3.8. 

The Ma^ara-vrttionSam-ka(l) speaks of Kardama (a Pra- 
japati) and Devahflti (the daughter of Svayambhuva 
Manu) as the parents of Kapila. This is evidently based 
on tne Bhagavata. (A verse from the Bhagavata is found 
to have been quoted in thisr vrtti.) 
9. One r*mrfe a w point deserveg notic< The Visnu-p 


use of the root ^ to recline, to rest, to lie down). 10 It is quite 
likely that this sage remained in the state of 'suspended animation* 
for a very long period. 11 

Like the difference in manvantora, we find difference in yuga 
also in connection with the appearance of these two Kapilas. 
While the Puranas place the philosopher Kapila in the Satya or 
Krta yuga (^ ^ <TC *tf ^frBTfa^fn, Vi ^ u -P- 3 ' 2 > 54 ) the y 
place Sagara in the Treta yuga (Pargiter : A. I. H. T. p. 177). 

(G) Moreover the Puranic declarations like 'the philosopher 
Kapila is the first incarnation of Visnu in human form' (Visnu- 
dharma, vide 'Studies in the Upapuranas', I, p. 146) place him to 
such an earlier period as cannot be assigned to the destroyer 
Kapila, who appeared some generations before DaSarathi Rama. 
HarivamSa 3.14,4 and Matsya-p. 171.4 speak of the presence 
of Kapila, the Samkhya-teacher and Hiranyagarbha (Brahma), 
the yoga-teacher in the earliest period of creation a statement 
which shows that according to the Pauranikas the Samkhya-teacher 
Kapila appeared long before the birth of the destroyer Kapila. In 
some of the Puranas (vide Vayu-p. 65.53-54) Kardama, Kapila's 
father, is said to beaPrajapati (one of the 21 Prajapatis; Santi- 
p. 334.36-37). 

(D) Puranic statements about the parentage of the two 
Kapilas do not seem to uphold the identity of the two Kapilas. 

10. See the following verse of the Brahmanda-p, about the 
destroyer Kapila saying that he remained in the state of 
meditation for a period of one hundred divine years 

- J' 2,52.16) _ 

11. I have used the word 'suspended animation 1 in p the 
Hathayogic sense of tarira rodha, which has great simi- 
larity with it. It is well-known that Haridasa ypgin, wao 
was acquainted with the Sikh ruler Ranjit Srogn,was 
able to remain in this state for a considerable lengtfi 01 
time; vide W. G. Osborne : The Court and Gamp 
Runjeet Singh (p. 47 'in the course of ten montos ne 
remained under ground); Dr. J. M. H^JWjf ' 
Physician to the Court of Lahore (pp. 126*130); ^ Df. Me. 
Greegar ; History of the Sikhs. Interested readers may 
profitably read the article 'Studies on Shn 5f m ^ 
Yogi during his stay in an air-tight box' in Indian Jour- 
nal of Medical Research, 49 (1961). 

. XJtlV., NO. 1 

While the Puranas inform us that the philosopher Kapila was the 
son of Devahuti and Kardama, they never ascribe the same parent- 
age to the destroyer Kapila, The only information in this respect 
(which is mythical in character) is found in the Mbh. which says 
that^the destroyer Kapila was born of the sun (fz^ OTRft T^fa, 

:, Vana-p. 109. 17-18). It has how- 

ever no connection with real parentage. The assertion of the 
Mahabharata that the Samkhya teacher Kapila is anfeTW (remain- 
ing in the sun, 339.68) cannot be taken as proving his identity with 
this Kapila, 

(E) In connection with the incident of burning we find the 

Mahabharata to declare that this sage was called Vasudeva by people 

fal^% 3 STTf : spfa* ^ffT^^^, Vana-p. 107.32). That the dest- 

royer Kapila was actually called by this name (or appellation) in 

ancient India is borne out by the following passage of the iSarlraka- 

bhasya ouBr, su. 2.1.1, "zrr a si 

f srcHprf*flHu<i -w^m;". (Mark the 

word ^T^^n^T: ) This shows that in the Ramayana passage 
'^1^: qpfw^ra ^nj^f ^RRRTT' (1.40.25) we are to take Vasudeva as 
another name of Kapila and not as denoting the sense of "a divine 
being in which all reside', ia This however is a significant name 
(i. e. based on some gtiya or karman. of the person concerned) as will 
be discussed in the sequel. 

The philosopher Kapila is never said to have another name 
aa Vasudeva, though in a very few passages of the Puranas he is 
regarded as an incarnation or form of Visnu. Such expressions 
simply show excellence, glory or divinity in the sage and they can- 
not be taken as proving real identity in the two Kapilas. 

In the Xiayoga-p o f the Mbh, we find the statement that the 
sons of Smgmra were destroyed by a great sage named Gakradhami 
(109.17*18). The philosopher Kapila has never been called by this 
name. (Pifr Hjfo ft* a dtoteton on this name) . 


a^ it ^^ 11 

\\ oo a 



(F) A consideration of the places associated with the two 
Kapilas reveals that one has no connection with the other. The 
philosopher Kapila is connected with the river SarasvatI 13 , 
Bindusaras 14 (being the places where his father Kardama resided), 
Pulaha-afirama, 16 and the river Iksumati, 16 [ft is not necessary 
to identify these here.] None of these has been mentioned 
in the Epic-Puranic passages that refer to the destroyer Kapila. 
Similarly the places mentioned in connection with the destroyer 
Kapila 1 7 have never been mentioned in connection with the philo- 
sopher Kapila. 

There is no need to deal here with the aforesaid Puranic 
passages in order to solve any contradiction or problem that may arise 
from them. We simply assert that none of the places referred to 


^ztr: ^srr 

Bhag. 3.24.9; Kardama is the father of Kapila. 
14. 8R tfRfart 5J5& *&&ft umi^fo"- I 

srr^r **r f^^^ftr 3 *PT*J sifan^ n 

(Bhag. 3.21.35) 


(D. Bhag. 8.3.17, 19). Mahayogin refers to Kapila. If 
D. BhSg. 9.21.16-18 are taken as referring to the philo- 
sopher Kapila, then the place (situated somewhere .n 
South India) as described here is also to be accepted as 
connected with him. The name of the place is not given. 


BM, ,B,0) : 

Brahmar^a-p. 2.63.143; rama-p. . , 

. 35) . ^>^?r^^ *< 

troyer Kapila resides m *!J OU ' . Studies in d,e 
statement of Vi?nudharma (*fr ffWP. 
Upapuranas I, p. 123) may *> be cons^rrf ,n 

2 ^ranj puRjA [ VOL. xxiv., NO* 1 

in connection with the destroyer Kapila has any connection with 
the philosopher Kapila a fact which tends to disprove the identity 
of the two Kapilas. 

(G) We find that some significant expressions, which are used 
as the epithets of the philosopher Kapila in the philosophical and 
Puranic works, have never been used in connection with the destro- 
yer Kapila a fact which undoubtdly shows that the authors of these 
works were aware of the difference between these two Kapilas. 

The first epithet of this sort is adividnas, which is used in 
connection with the philosopher Kapila in an aphoristic statement 
of PancaSikha quoted in the Vyasabhasya on Yogasutra 1.25. We 
find the Puranas to declare that Kapila promulgated the science of 
the self. The destroyer Kapila has never been described in a 
similar way. 

The second epithet is siddheJvara or words having a similar 
sense. These are found in Gita 10.26, Brahma-vaivarta-p. 4.22.47, 
Bhagavata-p. 3.24.19, Padma-p. 6.212.42-43 etc. (It is used in 
Satvata-tantra2,10 also.) None of these epithets is found in the 
Puranic passages describing the destroyer Kapila. 

The third is paramarsi, which is found in the aforesaid apho- 
rism of Pancaaikha, in Samkhya-karika 69 and in Santi-p. 217. 1, 
349.65, Vana-p. 220.21. Only once it has been used (in Vis.mi-p. 4. 
4.23) in connection with the destroyer Kapila, 18 

The epithet moksadharmajna is applied to the philosopher 
Kapila in Visnu-p. 2.13.49 etc., which is highly significant, as 
Samkhya is regarded as the philosophy of liberation (g-feif ^ jftmrfqiT 
Santi p. 300.5). It has not been used in connection with the destro- 
yer Kapila, 

(H) As to the time and cause of the wrong identification, our 
views are as follows : 

18. The word paramarsi has a technical meaning also as stated 

w-h \ rrr -_ ^ r\. ^,n *** *. 

: II ; the printed reading 
seems to be slightly corrupt) and in the Yuktidlpika 

the Visnu-puranta has used the word in its 
usually accepted sense of 'a great sage' 


(i) Since the Puranic works (except the Bhagavata) in their 
chapters on vatfifanucarita do not state that the destroyer Kapila 
was also the founder of Samkhya and since these chapters are rightly 
regarded as forming the older parts of the Puranic works, it is quit* 
justified to hold that the wrong idea of identity of the two Kapilas 
arose long after the composition of these chapters and one or two 
centuries before the composition of the two Bhagavatas. We have 
already said that the chapter on varhfanucarita in the Devlbhagavata 
are silent on the king Sagara and his descendants and the D. Bhag. 
speaks of the two Kapilas (in a separate section) while mentioning 
the bad effects of lust, wrath a etc. 

(ii) The destroyer Kapila, on account of his burning the 
wicked sons of the king Sagara, came to be regarded by the Vaisii- 
ava sects as an incarnation of Visnu, 10 who is always conceived as 
the protector of the j was even by destroying the wicked. Since the 
teachings of the philosopher Kapila are found to have been incor- 
porated in the authoritative treatises of some of the ancient Vais- 
nava sects (as may be proved by the 12th chapter of the Ahirbudh- 
nya-samhita dealing with the contents of the Sasdtantra), it may 
be rightly presumed that the philosopher Kapila was also regarded 
asanincarnationof Vis nu by the ancient sects of Vaisnavadharma 10 . 
Since both the Kapilas were deemed as the forms of Visnu there 
arose the idea in later times that the destroyer Kapila was the same 
as the philosopher Kapila. 

(iii) It appears that the use of the word 'kapila* as the 'name* 
also played an important part in creating the wrong idea of identity. 
The word kapila (adj.) means 'brown, tawny, reddish', and in this 
sense the word seems to have been used in connection with the 
destroyer sage (known by the name Cakradhanu or Vasudeva) who 
had been described as having fire-like colour. 30 It may also be 

19. So far as the Samkhya tradition is concerned Kapila is 
regarded as 3nf?fa51^, TT*fa, ^arraTOR*TJ*vf and 

20. grfc^ ehsier TT^T ........ (^TK^O 8,123); 

KStao 18.95); sNtafin 
i5RW (R<pf 107.27); 



PURXtfA [ VOL. XXIV., NO. 1 


surmised that since the colour kapila has a great resemblance to fire, 
the person who created fire from his body or eyes came to be called 
Kapila. [It may be noted in this connection that the act of creating 
fire from the body depends upon the supernormal power known as 
samana-jaya and this power renders the body effulgent Yogas&tra 
3.40], In connection with the philosopher, the word Kapila must 
be taken as his personal name. 

There is however some difficulty in determining the proper 
name of the destroyer sage. We have already said that jSankaracar- 
ya tells us that the name of this sage is Vasudeva 

vhich is in consonance witn the Vanaparvan-passage quoted above. 
Since the Mbh. in another parvan uses the word Gakradhanu as 
the name of this sage (gj^f ^5^^) a doubt arises about the actual 
personal (proper/ name of the sage. It would be too much to 
assume that there were two different traditions regarding the inci- 
dent of burning the sons of Sagara, It is quite reasonable to think 
that Cakradhanu was the name given by the parents of the sage in 
the 'ceremony of naming 1 and afterwards the sage came to be called 
Vasudeva on account of his similarity with Visnu as stated above. 
It may also bo surmised that since the Mbh. does not say ^^76^5?^ 
(i. e, nzviati in the third case-ending), 21 the word Gakradhanu may 
be taken as an epithet. We are however in favour of taking Gakra- 
dhanu as the personal name, for the word as an epithet has no 
obvious fitness in its context and as far as I know the word is not 
found as a name of any other sage. 

(iv) We have already said that the statement showing identity 
ol the two Kapilag is f ound in the Bhagavata and the Devl . 
Wtagavataonly. As to which of these two Puranas spoke of the 
identity at first we think it more reasonable to hold that the mis- 
^ arMeatfi 'fc*e Author of the Bhagavata and this is aware of the divine nature of the philosopher Kapila, 

1. K the word naman is not used in the third case-ending 
it may signify simply srfafeand not a 'proper name'; cp. 

(Comm. by Rucipati UpSdhyaya 
Anwgharaghava 1. 3 ). This is why sometimes we 
the use of both TO and ^TT in the same sentence : 
(Visnu-p. 1.15.8). 


tried to exonerate him from the fault of violence the greatest fault 
for a yogin by offering the explanation embodied in verses 
9.8.13-14. As these Bhagavata verses put the explanation in a 
highly philosophical way and as they do not point to the real 
cause directly, while the Devibhagavata verse (6.15.42) does not say 
anything philosophically but directly mentions a popular cause (viz. 
daivqyoga) it follows that the author of the D. Bhag. came to know 
of this explanation from, the Bhagavata. That the explanation of 
the D, Bhag. is nothing but a popular version of what the Bhaga- 
vata says in a philosophical way may be readily accepted. 

(I) As the author of the Bhagavata 3 a is sometimes found to 
deal with the tales and incidents of ancient times independently 23 

22. According to us the Bhagavata is later than the older 
parts of all the earlier Puranas. Our study of the Bhaga- 
vata reveals that the Bhagavata was composed by a single 
person who was highly learned and was a follower of 
Vaisiiava Sastra, especially the Pancaratra Agama. By 
utilizing the Puranic materials he composed a kavya 
giving it a Puraiiic character. This is why the nature of 
the composition of the Bhagavata is not similar to that 
of the other Puranic works which have been composed 
by different persons (belonging to different or even rival 
sects) at different times. The original forms of these 
Puranas have been revised in various ways from time to 
time by using the process of incorporation, augmenta- 
tion and rejection. This is why all of these Puranas have, 
unlike the Bhagavata, more than one version or recension. 
Only a few verses seem to have been interpolated in the 
Bhagavata. In a forthcoming paper we shall demons- 
trate our view in detail. 

23. A remarkable example of this tendency of the author of 
the Bhagavata is his assertion that Suka, the son of 
Vyasa, narrated the Bhagavata-purana to the king 
Pariksit (1 .3.41-42), who has born just after the Bharata 
war (A$vamedha-p. 6.8). But according to the Maha- 
bharata (which was known to the author of the Bhagavata 
as it has been referred to in Bhagavata 1.4.25) Suka left 
his mortal coil before the Bharata war (Santi-p. 333). 
Since Suka was highly praised in the Mahabharata the 
author of the Bhagavata delibaretely connected him with 
the Bhagavata with a view to proving the exalted character 
of the Bhagavata dharma. Curiously enough though the 
last days of the king Pariksit have been described m the 
Mahabbarata beginning with the curse uttered by the sage 
Samlka and ending with the biting of the Taksaka naga 
with great detail (Adiparvan 40-43), yet there is no 
mention of his heating lie Bhagavata from Saka, 


(i.e. he does not follow the accounts as given in the older works) it is 
more plausible to presume that he deliberately identified the philo- 
sopher Kapila with the destroyer Kapila to serve some purpose. 
The purpose seems to show that Visnu (Kapila is regarded as 
an incarnation of Visnu in 1.3.10) protects the world even by caus- 
ing destruction directly or indirectly. Since the Vaisnava author 
of the Bhagavata took the sage Kapila as an expounder of atmajtiana 
or a promulgator of moksoSastra he thought it illogical to conceive 
that Kapila created fire in order to burn some persons to ashes 
(even though they were wicked). This is why he declared that the 
sons of Sagara were burnt by the fire of their own bodies 
(^Kt^^FTT ^^^^^9.8.121 a statement which suggests that 
they were burnt as a result of their own sinful acts 3 * and that there 
was no agency or volition of Kapila in the act of burning. 

The Bhagavata words 
clearly indicate that the incident of burning of the wicked sons ol 
Sagara by Kapila was regarded as an established fact in the Puranic 
tradition and that from older Puranas the author of the Bhagavata 
knew that the wicked sons of the king Sagara were really consumed 
by the fire created by the sage. As he connected the act of burning 
with the philosopher Kapila (either ignorantly or delibarately) he 
tried to justify the act in his own way. 

24. Like the Bhagavata, Visnu-p. 4.4. 1 1 also says 

arf^TS^raisnfanfcg:. Though all Puranic works except 
these two expressly state that fire was created by KLapiia 
from his eyes or his body (i.e. Kapila's volition was active 
in producing the fire) which burnt the sons of Saga,ra into 
ashes, the author of the Visnu-p, (who was a Vaisnava) 
tried to minimize the agency of Kapila in the act ol 
burning. That there was some connection between 
Kapila and the act of burning is admitted by this 
Parana as is proved from the words sfrfq-sy^STT *&$, 
stated just after the above passage. In this respect the 
author of the Bhagavata seems to follow the Vinu-p. 
(which however does not regard the destroyer K.apila 
as the founder of Samkhya of whom it speaks in connec- 
tion until the life of Jada Bharata in sec II,) but he went 
on step Further and declared that there was no rise of 
wrath in Kapila. Since the author of the Bhagavata 
took Uu* Kapila as identical with the philosopher K.apila 
TO was compelled to express the above view. 


There are, however, strong grounds to believe that the author 
of the Bhagavata changed the incident in the aforesaid manner 
deliberately. Though the Bhagavata says that the sons of Sagara 
were burnt by the fire born of their own bodies, yet it mentions 
'Kapila's opening the eyes' (^TT^GT ^\ *rffT. s 9.8.11). What was the 
use of opening the eyes by Kapila possessing an absolutely pacified 
mind if the fire was born of the bodies of the persons (who were 
burnt) without having any connection with Kapila's volition or 
activity ? Does it not indicate that the author of the Bhagavata 
was personally aware of the incident as described in the older 
Puranas and that he described the incident changing it slightly in 
order to serve some purpose ? a5 

The reason afforded by the Bhagavata (9.8.13-14) with a view 
to exonerating the sage from the sin of violence was deemed so 
justified that in later times it was reiterated (in a popular form) by 
the author of the Brahmandapuraiia in 2, 52. 29-3 1 20 (the chapter 
is however not on oawfanucarita) in connection with the destroyer 
Kapila > who is not regarded by this Purana as the founder of 

(J) The present writer is of opinion that if the act of burning 
the sons of Sagara is judged in accordance with the principles of 
adhyatmavidya 9 it cannot be attributed to the philosopher Kapila. 
We find the historical statement of PancaSikha (quoted in the 
Vyasabhas.ya on Yogasutra 1.25) that Kapila instructed Asuri in 
Samkhya by assuming a nirmana-citta. Since this citta is caused by 
dkyana it is bereft of all latent impressions (Vide Yogasutra 4.6). It 
is inconceivable that a yogin possessing such a high stage gets so 
highly enraged that he becomes compelled to create fire to kill 

25. Some Agamic works are found to speak of tue Samkhya 
teacher Kapila. It may be surmized that the author ol 
an Agama work identified the philosopher Kapila with the 
destroy er Kapila and the autnor of the Bhagavata, who 
was a follower of Vai?nava Agamas, simply re-stated t&e 
view of his tradition with his own observations. 

26. *2rerf*k fMn: nflmjwfai OTTO? nw* 


r \ ?*sT.).Here ^RW is the same as the 
in the Gita (11,33). 


[VOL. xxrvj, NO. 1 

?ome persons however wicked they are. It is well known that these 
yogins are so powerful that even evil thoughts of wicked persons 
get restricted if they happen to come near them. 87 

The destroyer Kapila seems to be a yogin of a lower stage 
though he possessed certain supernormal powers. It may be easily 
accepted that this Kapila (who appeared at the time of the king 
Sagara) cannot be regarded as adimdvas y cannot be recalled in the act 
of manusya-tarpana (vide the Grhya-sutras ete.)> cannot be described 
as 2fr sgcf spfw zTCcWff (&veta$vatara-up.4.5) and cannot be regard- 
ed as a mind-born son of Brahma appearing at the earliest period 
of creation. All these show that the ancient Indian tradition did 
not recognize the two Kapilas as one. 

(K) We want to conclude this discussion by presenting a pro- 
blem regarding the time of the Sathkhya teacher Kapila. 

We have already said that there are Puranic statements that 
place Kapila in the Svayambhuva manvantara or in the Satya 
yuga or in the earlier period of creation. Such statements must be 
regarded as of mythical character and they simply mean that 
Kapila was a man of hoary past. 

But in the Mahabharata we find such statements of non- 
mythical character as seem to place Kapila at a much later period, 
thus giving rise to a grave contradiction. 

It is said in the ganti-p, that PaScaaikha (the disciple of Asuri, 
the disciple of Kapila) taught Dharmadhvaja Janaka, king of 
the Videha country , In Sfimkhya ( 320.4,24). aa We find no mention 

27. The Kalika-p 4 , which has no chapter on vamiSaniicarita and 
which does not say even incidentally anything about the 
killing of the sons of Sagara by Kapila, describes in chap. 
wan incident which shows vehement wrath of the Samkhya 
teacher Kftpila ( may be inferred from verses 12-13) to 
5?*.? bauva Mam*. This must be due to the confusion 

Ka P ila ia identical with the 

*O JLJIK nnt*-n_*-v __ ^i . i . . 

tl f?Pfi Janadeva Janaka was also 
"*"* ~" "is king has not been 

. w ^ Janaka dynasty and 

aoes not say anything about his time. 


of Dharmadhvaja Janaka in the genealogical lists in the Puranas 20 
except in the list in the Bhagavata. According to this Purana 
Dharmadhvaja appeared one generation afterSlradhvaja,the father- 
in-law of DaSarathi Rama(9. 13. 18-20) who was born some generations 
after the king Sagara. Accepting the Bhagavata genealogy as vaild 
a question presents itself if the grand-disciple of the philosopher 
Kapila taught a person who appeared one generation after the 
father-in-law of Rama, how can Kapila be held as appearing in the 
Krta yuga or in the SvSyambhuva manvantara as stated before so 
far as the Puranic view is concerned ? 

It should be noted here that this Kapila (i. e. the teacher of 
Panca4ikha who instructed Dharmadhvaja) cannot be regarded as 
the destroyer Kapila, for there is a period covering more than 20 
generations between Sagara and Dafiaratha, a contemporary of 
SIradhvaja. We have already shown that (i) no Puranic work (except 
the two Bhagavatas) says that the destroyer Kapila was the founder 
of Samkhya and that(ii) the ancient Indian tradition never seems to 
have ascribed those activities and characteristics to the destroyer 
Kapila that exclusively or especially belong to the philosopher 

The aforesaid problem seems to be highly perplexing and I 
plead my inability to solve it. 

29. BrahmSnda-p. 3.64.1-24; Vayu-p. 89.1-23: Vinu-p. 4.5. 
11-14; Garuda-p. 1.138.44-48; Bhagavata 9.13.1-27; 
Ramayana 1.71.3-20. Though the Vi?nu-p. does not 
mention Dharmadhvaja in the genealogy of the Jf**** 
dynasty yet it mentions him in connection witfa the 

Keaidhvaja-Kh&ndikya dialogue (6.6). That this 
dhvaja is identical with Dharmadhvaja in the dyaa**i<* 
list in the Bhagavata is beyond doubt 

Notes and Comments 


1 fsftr) 

i *H*wronrfW f 

i at 

fafir ftft 

: flrftfi<n': 

Sfaf ^T^vrT:, ^ 5T %g?f 3Bmieui 

^r i 

Naimi^aranya or the Naimi^a 1 forest is usually identified with 
Nimsar or Nimkharvati at a short distance from the Nimsar station 
of the old Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway, 20 miles from Sitapur 
and 45 miles to the north-west of Lucknow. 3 The similarity between 
the two names is obvious. 

P. V. Kane, 3 however, locates the sacred Forest, where most of 
the Putauas are said to have been recited, in Kuruketra on the 

K The cerebral in place of the palatal seems to be a later 
appearance; cf. Vedic Index, 1460. 

2. Bey , Nando Lai : The Geographical Dictionary of Ancient 
and Mediaevullndia, 3rd ed. Delhi 1971, p. 135. 

3. History of the Dhurmafiaatra, Vol. IV, Poona 1 953, p.783, 


basis of a detailed reference in the Vayu Purana. V. V. Mirashi 4 
rejects both these views and places it somewhere in the Sultanpur 
district of Uttar Pradesh., not very far from both Ayodhya and the 
hermitage of Valmlki, in the light of the testimony of the Puranas 
and the Epics. Although the name Naimisaranya appears to have 
been applied to a forest in the Uttar-Pradesh also it is proposed to 
show here that this was a later development and that the original 
forest of this name was situated in Kuruksetra as believed by Prof. 

From early Vedic times NaimiSa finds mention as the name of 
a region and the dwellers of this region are called NaimL&Iyas 8 or 
Naimi$eyas. e In the Jaiminiya Brahmana 7 even an individual &si 
named Sitibahu Ai$akrta is accorded the epithet of Naimfci on acc- 
ount of his residence in Naimifia and a monkey is said to have run 
off with his sacrificial cake. 

Later the Mahabharata 8 and Brhatsathhita 9 also mention it 
as the name of a region or its people although by this time it was 
popularly known as a forest. 

The NaimUlyas are known to literature as performers of Sattras 
or long sacrificial sessions in Kuruksetra or Naimisaraiiya. These 
Sattras often continued for as long as twelve years at a stretch 10 
and sometimes even longer than that. 11 It could hardly be possible 
for Rsis to travel all the way from Nimsar to Kuruksetra and then 
stay away from their dwellings for Sattras of such long durations. 
Apparently the NaimiSa, which abounded in the hermitages of &sis 
was only a part of Kuruksetra so that a Sattra undertaken there 

4. Purana Vol. X, No. 1 (Feb. 1968) pp. 27-34. 

5. Vedic Index, i. 460. 

6. Mbh. (Gita Press) Salya, 37.41-42. 

7. i. 364; Also cf. Vedic Index, ii. 379. 

8. Karna., 45.30. 

9. Chaukhamba, Varanasi 1977, 11.60. , 

10, PaacavimSa Brahmana (P. B.) XXV, 6.4, & Mbh. Salya, 

11. Vayut 3 2.5. and Bhagavata 1 1 4 ff. apeak o^a ^ 10QO year 
sacrifice. So does P. B. XXV17&V.IU. A 

XXV. 7. for a 36 year Sattra & P. B, XXV. 8. tor a 
year Sattra, 

210 yonr^- UPTC^A [VOLI xxiv., NO. 

could at the same time be said to have been performed in Kurukse- 
tra too. 

A number of personalities definitely known to J* ^^ 
with Kuruk?etra are associated with NahniSa and Naimi iyas. 
KauSltaki Brtlimana" speaks of Daivodasi Pratardana going to 
sacriBcial session of the Naimiilyas. Pratardana was co ^ e *%" 
the TrtsuBharatas* * and his father Divodasa defeated tne ^ f an , 
Paravatas and Vrsayas on the bank of the Sarasvati^ according 
thegveda." The Kathaka Samhita" describes a sacrifice of the 
NimiSlyas at which they tied 27 calves in Kuru Pancalas. Baka 
Dalbhya also participated in it. According to the Ghandogya p 
nisad" too he officiated as a chanter of the Samaveda for the 
Nairn ialyas. 

He belonged to Kuru Pancalas" and once visited the asse, 
mbly of Yudhisthira. In the Vamana Purana^ he is said to have 
been visited by Dhrtaras^ra at the Avaklrnatlrtha in Prthudaka o 
Pehova. TheJaiminiyaBrahmaiiLa 31 connects the Naimifiiyas wii 
the Grhapatisof Soma$uma who was the Udgata in a sacrifice o 
HrtaSvasaya Allakeya, the king of the Mahavr as" who occupied 
the north-western part of Kuruksetra and had the Sakambhara^as 
their neighbours, 8 These references acquire great importance 

12. XXVI. 5- 

13. Keith, A. B. : gveda Brahmanas, Repriat Delhi 
Intro, p. 45, 

14. Ct Asim Kumar Ghatterjee : Political History of Pre- 
Buddhist India, Calcutta 1980, p. 9. 

15. VI. 61.1. 

16. X. 6. 

17. i. 2.13. 

18. Vedic Index ii. 58. 

19. Mbh.Sabha,4,ll. 

20. Ed. A, S. Gupta with Hindi tr., Varanasi 1968, S- M. 18, 

2t. i 363. 

22. u 234, The compound form Kurumahavra (3atapatha 
BrUnnana-Kanva Rc. 4. 2. 3. 10.) like KurupaScala 
suggests that the Mahavras were either a part or neigh- 
bours of the K.UTUS. 

23. Vedic In4x it 132, 


it is remembered that Kuruksetra was the centre of sacrificial 
culture of the Brahmanic age. Dr Keith 2 * therefore rightly associ- 
ates the Nairaifiiyas with the Kuru country. 

This position is very clearly supported by the Lawgiver 
Devala 36 who is quoted in the ICrtyakalpataru of Laksmidhara 26 
as naming the following tirthas of the SarasvatI: Plaksaprasravana, 
Vrddhakanyaka, Sarasvata, Vamfiodbheda, Aditya, Kaubera, Vaija- 
yanta, Prthudaka, NaimUa, Vinatena, VamSodbheda and Prabhasa. 
The list begins with the source of the SarasvatI 37 and gives the lo- 
cation of Naimila somewhere between Prthudaka 28 and Vinatena* 9 
It was probably not far from VmaSana which has been described in 
the Brahmanas and Srautasutras as the starting point of the 
Sarasvata 80 and Darsadvata 81 sacrificial sessions. 

The Mahabharata contains several references to NaimiSa, some 
of which throw light on its situation, A tirtha Naimifia-Kunja 83 is 
specifically mentioned on the Sarasvati in Kuruksetra and connected 
with the NaimiSlyas, NaimiSa is described as one of the tirthas on 
Gomati and the Kanyatlrtha, ASvatlrtha, Gavamtirtha, Kalakoti 
Vrsaprastha and Bahuda are named in the same region. 88 Some of 

24. op. cit. Intro, p. 45. 

25. A contemporary of Katyayana dated between A.D.400 
& 600. See the Classical Age, Ed. R, G. Majumdar, 
Bombay 1954, p. 299. His complete work is not avaiiaoie. 

26. Ed. Rangaswami Aiyangar K. V., G. O. S. Baroda 1942, 
p. 250. 

27. Bharadwaj O. P. : Plaksaprasravana, A.B.O.R.L Diamond 
Jubilee Volume. 

28. Identified with Pehoa oil the SarasvatI river, 14 miles o 
the west of Thansar. Cunningham Alexander : A. S, I. 
Vol. XIV, Reprint, Varanasi 1970, p 101. ^ ^ 

29. Identified with the region of Kalibangan in district 
ganagar of Rajasthan. Bharadwaj, O. P.: Vinafiaoa, 
presented at the A.I. O.C. Shantiniketan (> 

30. e. g. PaScavimfia Brahmana XXy ; 10, XXV. H 

31. e.g. PaScavimSa Brahmana XXV. 13 
^rauta Sutra, XXIV. 6 etc. 

32. Vana,83.109-110. 

33. Vana, 95. 1-4. 

212 tvoL.*x.v., S o.l 

these tirthas can be identified in Kuruksetra in the 
mentioned after NaimUa-Kuaja on the > 

with Gohana m district ompa. - a* It is also teco- 

ned with DrsadvatS after GomatI and Dhutapap a. . ^ y s . 
tended for a visit immediately after the Sar^- -^ ^ 

tha is apparently the same tlrtha M ebewhere ^ ^^ 
Trivistapa and recommended for tne w r _ wionO t 

^lapal- Some of these names are f -^^jt tolUral 
Kanauj*" aho but the phenomenon of a name apply 8 ^^ 

tirthas at the same time is too common in our c ? un " y &s o f 

seriously." Apart from that Kuruksetra bemg the 
Indian culture the balance of probability more fr 
travellbg from this region to other directions m 

Inthe^lya Parva- occurs the story of 
tlrtha called Nairn iSa-KuSja which appears to have 
sion of the Nairaifia and situated closer to the & collected at 

that once in the Krtayuga such a large number of W 
a twelve-year sacrifice in Naimfca that the txrthas <"* d 

bank of the Sarasvati looked like towns. The *ff tn P ^ 
right upto Samantapancaka and, finding no room to stay 
holy river, had to stop away from it for performing ** and 
of consideration for them the Sarasvati took a turn easl>w 

created many KuSjas or bowers overgrown with plan 
creepers before returning to her normal course. This is appar y 
an explanation of the name PracI-SarasvatI given to^tne 
where it turns eastward near Prthtidaka or Pehoa in 

34. Vana, 83.Tl2. 

35. Van*, 83.50. . . 

36. Agrawala, V.S.: Vamana Purajja-A Study, Varanast 
p. 188. 

37. Vamana, 13.21. It is possible that DhutapSpS has been 
used as an adjective here. 

38. Vana, 84.66-67. 

39. Vaaa, 83.84, and Vamana, S. M. 15. 41-42. 

40. See Bey under relevant entries. 

4L See e.g. Dey under entries on Kapala-Mocana, Kanya- 

tirtha, Cakratirtha and Dharmaranya etc. 
42. 37.36-57, 


Kuruksetra. 43 The story brings out the association of NaimiSa and 
the Naimislyas with the Saras vata and Kuruksetra in no uncertain 
terms. At another place 4 * the Epic describes the river Kancanaksl, 
one of the seven tributaries of the Sarasvata, all of which join it in 
the tirtha Saptasarasvata, as flowing through Naimifia. Saptasara- 
svata, too, is a Sarasvata tirtha of Kurukgetra and was evidently 
located not far from NaimiSa. 45 And finally the Naimifias are 
mentioned with Kurus, PaScalas and Matsyas as people who under- 
stood Dharma. 46 

Some of the Puranas also contain material which is equally 
helpful. We can begin with a reference to some interesting obser- 
vations made by Giorgio Bonazzoli in an article on the 'Place of 
Puranic Recitation.* 7 Fifteen of the Puranas mention the place of 
their recitation. Out of theae, six name more than one place of 
narration while ten mention Naimisaranya in this regard although 
it is not given this privilege exclusively. 48 Bonazzoli, however, 
believes that the place they mention describes a moment of Puranic 
evolution rather than a topographic spot. 40 From the point of 
similarity between the two he concludes that Naimi^a and 
Kurukgetra represent two aspects of the same Puranic layer. As he 
points out both the spots host a twelve-year-long sacrifice and both 
at the beginning of Kaliyuga. In both the places we meet with 
Lomaharsana, the Suta, and the &sis led by Saunaka (see Skanda 
II. I.l.L and II. 8.18). Moreover, the &is at Kuruksetra, accord* 
ing to Vayu I, 1.11-12, are called Naimifilyas, The &sis who atten- 
ded the Puranas are also often called Naimifiiyas. (see Karma I. 
1.2, Garuda L5 S Brahmanda I. 1.37) This implies that they were 
exactly the same persons present at Kurukgetra as well as Naim&a- 
ranya, 80 This striking equality of everything at Kuruksetra and 

43. Vamana, 23. 43. 

44. Salya, 38.19-20. 

45. Vana, 83. 115-133, It is traditionally located at village 
Mangna 5 miles to the west of Pehoa. See A.$.I,R. XIV. 
p. 100. 

46. Karna, 45.30. 

47. Purana VoL XXIII, No* 1. Jan. 81. pp, 48-6L 

48. ibid. p. 49. 

49. ibid. p. 53. 

50. tW. p. 58, 

ou <mW PURXtfA ([VOL. XXIV NO. 1 

* " ~* ^L^ * *. 

Naimisa is attributed by Bonazzoli to an enthusiastic movement at 
the beginning of Kaliyuga which was spread all over the Madhya- 
dela by itinerant &sis performing sacrifices and narrating old 
stories. According to him two literary and religious streams of the 
Mahabharata and the Puranas took shape in this movement and 
the same persons in the same period did the same things but in 
two different places, at Kuruksetra, traditional place of the Maha- 
bharata and at Nairn iaranya, traditional place of the Puranas. 

Now this explanation, in our opinion, relies on the assumption 
of a coincidence which is not only Improbable but also superfluous 
in view of the availability of a more simple and straight explana- 
tion. As we shall see the place of recitation is mentioned, at least 
in some of the Puranas, so clearly and with such specific details 
that it obviously describes a topographic spot or region rather than 
a movement of Puranic evolution and the connection between the 
Purana? and the Mahabharata arises from the fact that Natmisa- 
ranya and Kuruksetra both refer to the same country with the qua- 
lification that one formed a part of the other. 

This is indeed the only explanation of a couple of situations 
presented in the Puranas. For instance in the Skanda Puraiia 
according to 1 1. 8.18 Lomahar?ana tells the Katha to Saunaka 
and the J?.sis at Kuruksetra while according to II. 1 .1.1. he appears 
to have told it at NaimiSa. In Padma Purana I. 1.2. fT. J?.sis and 
and Munis are described as converging at Naimiiia from different 
places for performing a sacrifice and listening to Puranic ICathas 
while in Skanda Purana II. 8.1.7. they are said to have gathered 
for the same purpose at Kuruksetra. These two situations have 
been noted by Bouazzolii but a few more are available elsewhere. 
According to Bhagavata Purana I. 1.4. ff. gaunaka and other 
sages gather at Naimfca in a thousand-year sacrifice where Suta 
U requested to narrate the noble doings of the Lord whereas in I. 
7.2-6 Vyasa is said to have composed the Satvata Samhita in his 
herinitage named Samyaprasa on the western bank of BrahmanadI 
Sawvat,. The Kurma Purana" in its Naimifia Mahatmya declares 
thai the Brahmanda Purana was narrated by Vayu to the S. 5 is en- 
. a ?? t !^L^^ly forest. The Brahma^a" itself, on 
51. ifttf. p. 52-53. 

d.ii. 43.14, 
Saatn, Delhi 1973,^ 1,27 ff t & L 1.160, 


the other hand asserts that it was recited in Kuruketra on the bank 
of the Drgadvati. Bonazzoli 64 draws our attention to another 
striking fact. The Kuruksetra Mahatmya 55 does not mention any 
Puranic recitation held at Kuruksetra as normally it should. On 
the contrary it affirms that the place where Saunaka, the foremost 
of &sis, enquires about river Sarasvatl of Lomaharsana (i.e. Suta) is 
not Kuruksetra but Naimifia. He rightly finds it strange that even 
for the Kuruksetra Mahatmya, the Puranas or some of them should 
be recited at Naimifia and that such a statement should be found In 
a Mahatraya which is supposed to speak of Puranic events at 
Kuruksetra and not at Naimiaa. Att these apparently conflicting 
situations point to, and are consistent with, the location of Naimi- 
saranya in Kuruksetra which can be supported with Puranic testi- 
mony of a definitive nature. 

In the Vamana Purana the rivers KaScanaksT-Sarasvatl, 
Gomati and Guruda (Bahuda ?) are connected with one another and 
with Naimi*a. Bfl The Gomati is said to join the Sarasvatl 57 which 
lends plausibility to its identification with the Drsadvati by 
Dr Kane. Prahlada, the Demon king, goes with his Daityas to 
Naimia and, while hunting after a bath there, reaches the river 
Saraavatl which is flowing with clear water. 58 In another story 
Gitrangada, daughter of ViSvakarma, visits Naimila to take a 
bath 89 and falls in love with king Suratha who is carried away 
thirteen yojanas by the Sarasvatl, as a result of being cursed by her 
father. 60 Gitrangada also jumps into the river Ka2canaksI-Sara- 
svatl which throws her into the great river Gomati, 01 And as if to 
remove any doubt that may still be left the Vamana mentions 
Naimisa among the tlrthas of Kuruksetra between Pavanahrada and 
Sapta-Sarasvata 63 where the seven SarasvatTs, including the KaBca- 

54. op. cit. p. 57. 

55. Vamana, S. M. 16,24 ff. 

56. 57. 1-3. 

57. 37. 60-61. 

58. 7.41-42. 

59. 37.40. 

60. 37.54. 

61. 37,60-61. 

62. S. M., 16.6-8. 

216 j*ron|--PORXii[A [VOL. xxiv., NO. 1 

naksi, join and then flow together. 88 So does the Brahma 

where it is bracketted with many Kuruksetra tirthas like Pant- 

khata, B Misraka, 66 Madhuvata," KauSiki, 68 

, , , 

Kotitlrtha, Somatirtha," Kanyatlrtha, 72 Saugandhikavana, 
SarasvatI, Saptasarasvata, Sthanutlrtha 74 and Kapalamocana fi etc 

The references in the Vayu Puraiia are even more e xP 
It describes the Suta as going to see the &$is who, duly initiated 
according to the iSastras while living in Naimisaranya, were per- 
forming a long Sattra in Dharmaksetra Kuruksetra on the bank of 
the sacred Drsadvatl. The expression used is <Naimiaranya- 
gocaraf which should mean 'frequenting, dwelling or resorting to 
Nairaisaranya' and (at the same time) performing a Sattra m 
Kuruk?etra. Here too the author is anxious to eliminate all 
possibility of doubt and adds the names of a number of renowned 
personalities connected with NaimiSa. They are Rohiru^ mother 
oFBudha, father of Pururava, Vasistha, his wife Arundhati and his 
eldest son, Sakti, and grandson ParaSara, king Kalmaapada who 
\vas cursed by Sakti, Vi^vamitra who was the avowed enemy of 
Vasitha and king Pururava himself in whose time the Sattra took 
place." Their association with the land of Kuruksetra and the 
holy SarasvatI is only too well-known.* 78 The Vayu does not even 

63. S. M., 16.17-18. 

64. Mansukh Rai Mor ed. i, 25.44. 

65. Gf. Mbh. Vana, 83.89 & Vamana, S. M- 15.51. 

66. Mbh. Vana. 83.94. & Vamana, S. M. 15.52. 

67. Mbh. Vana. 83.94 & Vamana, S. M. 15.55. 

68. Mbh. Vana. 83.95 & Vamana. S, m. 13.18. 

69. Vamana, S. M. 20,6. 

70. Mbh. Vana. 83.17 & Vamana, S, M. 13.28. 

71. Mbh. Vana. 83. 1 14 & Vamana, S. M, 20.4. & 13. 33-35. 

72. Mbh, Vana. 83.1 12 & Vamana, 57.43. 

73. Mbh. Vana, 84.4 & Vamana, S. M. 26.55. 

74. Mbh. &alya, 42:4-7 & Vamana, S. M. 19.3. 

75. Mbh, Vana, 83.137 & Vamana, S. M. 18.13. 

76. i. 1.12. 

77. i, 2.8.ff. 

78. For Pururavas & others connected with him see Bhara- 
dwaj, O. P. : Identification of Ludhiana, Purana Vol. 
VII, No. 2 (July 1975) pp. 105-117 and Vol.XXI, 
No. 2 (July 1979) pp 177-193; for Vasitha & yifiva- 
mitra,Mbh. 42.4; for Sakti, Kalmagapada and rivalry 
of Vasi$tha & Vi$vamitra, Brahmanda i, 1.2.11. 


admit of the possibility of JjLsis going from NaimiSaranya all the 
way to Kuruksetra to perform the sacrifice. It declares that they 
were called Naimifieyas since they performed the Sattra in 
Naimida. 70 The implication is too obvious to need elaboration. 

The only other Purana that defines the location of Naimi- 
saranya in most unambiguous terms is the Brahmanda 80 which 
follows the Vayu on this subject almost to the letter, rendering 
a detailed examination unnecessary, and thus augments the force 
of its evidence. 

Last but not the least to note is the description of Naimisa- 
ranya given in the opening verses of the Vaifiyacarita of the 
Sanatsujatasamhita in Skanda Uttara Khanda. 81 The sacred forest 
is described here as resounding with the chanting of Mantras by 
gatherings of Maharsis, auspicious with trees bearing flowers and 
situated across the waters of the SarasvatI which agrees with its 
location in the doab of the rivers SarasvatI and DrsadvatL 

An examination of relevant evidence from various classes of 
Sanskrit literature, including the Samhitas, the Brahmanaa, the 
Upanisadas, the Mahabharata and the Puranas, thus leads to the 
conclusion that Naimifia was the name of a district and its people 
in ancient Kumksetra. It was mostly covered with wild growth 
and dotted with hermitages. It was located along the bank of the 
Drsadvati and extended towards the SarasvatI so as to comprise 
the lower part of the Sarasvari-Drsadvatl doab which was called 
Brahma varta. aa We have seen that well-known personalities of 
Kuruketra are associated with Naimfca also, same rivers are 
connected with both the regions and there are situations which can 
be reconciled only with the equation of GomatT with Drs dvatl 
and the location of NaimiSa within the limits of Kuruketra. And 
finally we have cited texts which directly confirm this fact. 

However, we do not rule out the possibility that in course of 
tune the name NaimUa or Naimisaranya travelled eastward, 
leaving its vestiges in names like NaimiSaku3ja in Kxiruksetra and 
Nimsar or Nimkharvan in Uttar Pradesh. 

79. i*2 12 

80". See l!l7 & 160; 2.9. ff. & B. 13 etc. 

81. A Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit Mss. In the 

Oriental Mss. Library, Madras, Vol. IV, Madra* 

p. 1843, No. 2542. Beg. 
82; Manusmrti ii. 17. 



Indologists in general and scholars of Puranic Studies in parti- 
cular were shocked to learn of the demise of Shri Anand Swarup 
Gupta, Asstt Director and Editor-in-charge of the Purana Depart- 
ment of the All-India Kashiraj Trust on the afternoon of October 
14, 1981, at his residence in Ramnagar, V&ranasl. Shri Gupta was 
so closely associated with and involved in the Purana project of the 
Trust that it will be a difficult task for the Trust to arrange and 
prosecute its project properly in his absence. He was associated 
with the project from its very inception, first as an assistant and 
then as editor-in-chief. He ably and with wide appreciation from 
all corners of the literary world critically edited three Mahapurarta-s 
Vamana, Kurma and Varaha published by the Trust. He also 
edited the Purana Bulletin for the last twenty years and contributed 
scholarly articles and notes to the Bulletin (A list of his works is 
appended below). He attended several sessions of the Oriental Con- 
ference and contributed papers there. He also delivered extension 
lectures at many Research Centres and Institutes. He taught Sanskrit 
and Hindi to post-graduate classes of Meerut (then Agra) University 
before joining the All-India Kashiraj Trust, and edited many text 
books, In short, his academic activities were extended to various 
fields, He also served as an Ayurvedic physician in his early days. 

Shri Gupta was born on 4th April> 1905 in the village 
Aurangabad (Rasulpur), six miles from Meerut city in the Agra- 
wala family. He was the only son of his father Lala Banshidhar. 
He passed the B.A, examination in 1927 from Allahabad University 
and M.A. (Sanskrit) from Agra University (1929), Later he took 
also Master Degree in Hindi and History from the same University. 

i Gupta was an unassuming scholar with pleasing and 
genial personality, He had the depth and solidity of traditional 
learning. He had a very accurate knowledge of Paixinian grammar. 
Being originally an Arya Samajist, he had a good knowledge of 
Veto literature. He daily recited the Gits and Upani/ads. Besides 
his wide bowlcdge he possessed a rare personality filled with love, 

Shri Anand Swamp 



affection and regard for all and with malice to none. Nobodv 
whether superior or subordinate, coming in contact with him ever 
felt any discomfiture from him; likewise he also never bore any 
grudge to any one. In this connection we may recall a verse of the 
(12.15) in which such a person is called a Yogin : 

Though he was always in poor health he never hesitated to 
do hard work. He used to come to the office around 12 noon 
but till ^ 5p.m. he never left his chair, and indulged only in serious 
academic work. During these five hours he always engaged him- 
self in ticklish problems of Puranic texts. He set an example to 
his colleagues and subordinates for hard work. Sometimes he was 
so much engrossed in these texts that he failed to notice even the 
arrival of scholars, who used to sit by his side. He was later 
informed by the colleagues about the guests. He always cherished 
the Vedic idea of doing work till the last moment : 

Shri Gupta was always helpful to friends and collegues. There 
is hardly any instance when he dealt roughly with his co-workers, 
He always tried to help and guide us in academic matters. We 
have perfect trust in the words of the Blessed Lord : 

TO *re (Gita 6.40) 

Shri Gupta was a disciplined scholar and maintained a daily diary 
of his work. He always advised the scholars to maintain a record 
of their works. He was very punctual for the office routine and 
he never liked that a person should leave the office before time. 
In hia last days His Highness Maharaja Dr Vibhuti Narain Singh, 
Chairman of the Trust, kindly permitted him to carry on his 
work at his residence. Even in that condition any visitor w 
amazed to see that Shri Gupta was always engrossed in Purinic 
work. Actually he had no interest except in the work of study 
(faOTRr). Shri Gupta had good contacts with eminent scholars 
like Dr Kane, Dr Suniti Kumar Gbatterjee, Dr Miraahi, Dr Agra. 
wala, Dr Raghavan, Dr Pusalker, Dr Ham and many other*, 
All of them had high regard and appreciation for his achoUrthip 
and unassuming personality. Dr V. S. Agrawala used to say that 
&rl Gupta was the chief gem of the crown. 

[VOL. xxtv. NO. 

Hearing the news of his death M.M. Dr Mirashi expressed his 
sorrow in the following words : 'We have lost a devoted Scholar 
ofthePuranas'. Dr. Hazra said : 'The news of firl Gupta's un- 
expected death is to me a bolt from the blue. He was a very sincere 
and affectionate friend of mine and it is extremely painful for me to 
think that he is far beyond my reach and will never return*. 

Shri Gupta was originally an Arya Samajist, but on account of 
his association with thePurana work he developed a high regard for 
the Puranas. He firmly held that the Puranas are the 'uptbrkmana 
or amplification of the Vedas. Besides the Gfta and Upmifads** 
also used to recite the Visnusahasranama of the Mahabharata. A few 
months before his death when I enquired about his recitation of the 
Visyusahasranama he replied that then he recited only selected names 
from it. Probably his argument was that since these names were 
expressive of attributes (iftir)he would recite only those names which 
then appealed to him. It is very fortunate that Shri Gupta did not 
lose his senses till his last breath. In the last five days before his 
death he bade farewell to his relatives with folded hands. 

For the critical edition of Puranas Shri Gupta did his best to 
make them as authentic and reliable as possible. In 1959 he spent 
six months in Madras with Dr V. Raghavan for the critical edition 
of the Matsya Purana and the Purana Bulletin. Later he spent a 
few months in Poona at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute 
to see the finer points of the Critical Edition of the Mahabharata 
under Dr Dandekar. He was also in contact with the Ramayana 
project of Baroda University. Here in the Purana Deptt. also he 
discussed the text with his colleagues and other eminent Pandits and 
scholars like Pt. Rajeshwar Shastri Dravid, Hare Ram Shukla, Dr 
R, K. Sharma, Dr, S. N. Shastri and others. Shri Gupta had very 
high esteem and regard for H. H. Maharaja Dr Vibhuti Narain 
Singh, He always tried his best to fulfil the commands and wishes 
of H. H the Maharaja. 

H. H. Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh has very high 
appreciation for his erudition and scholarship. Maharaj Bahadur 
firmly holds the opinion that Shri Gupta was not inferior to any 
eminent scholar and with this sense of appreciation and confidence 
he authorised him to edit the critical editions of the Mahapuraiias 
in the place of Dr V. S. Agrawala. 


Shri Gupta efficiently edited the three Mahapuranas with disti- 
nction and showed himself worthy of the confidence reposed in him 
by the Maharaja. He was a pioneer in the field of critically editing 
the Mah3.pur3.nas an eminent pathmaker (^rfal^ f^CT 5 ^). At the 
Silver Jubilee function of the Trust on 24 October, 1981, H. H. 
Maharaja paid a glowing tribute to Shri Gupta, a tribute Fully 
shared by all Puranic scholars. 

We pray in the words of Upanisads may the Almighty grant 
the departed soul union with himself : 

jveta$vatara Up. VI. 10 

*May the effulgent Being, the One without a second, who, 
like a spider, spontaneously covers Himself with threads made out 
of His own creative powers, grant us union with himself, the 

Ganga Sagar Rai 


Articles in the Pur3pa 

Vol. & pp. 

1. A study of the Textual Peculiarities of a 

&arada Ms. of the Matsya-Purana I. 58- 71 

also in XX Session of A. I. O. CL - 

1959 Bhubuneswar 

2. The manuscripts of the Matsya Parana 

collated for its projected critical edition I. 1O1-1 U 

3. Devanagar!- Source of the Ujjain aradS 

Ms. of the Matsya PurSna ! 163-174 

4. Study of a newly acquired 

Ms. of the Matsya PurJlna I*> 120-127 

5. The apocryphal character of the extant 

Brahma-Vaivarta Purina * J ^ 92-101 

6. Conception of Sarasvati in the Purflnas JV. 55-95 

222 ^ro PURSA [VOL. tfxiV., NO. I 

7. Puranesvapaninlya-prayogalj IV. 277-297 

8. The Kashrnirian version of the Matsya 

Purana V. 333-345 

9. On the adhyayas of the Vamana Purana V, 360-366 

10. The stotras in the Matfiya Purana; 

an analysis I. 156-159 

1 1 . Bibliographical Notes I. 246-249 

12. Textual Notes III. 331-332 

13. Bibliographical Notes V. 182-185 

14. Book Review (of Dr. Agrawal's 

Markandeya Purana Ek Adhyayana) IV. 225-227 

15. Obituary of B. Hermaum III- 296 

16. The problem of interpretation of Puranas VI. 53-78 

17. Purana, Itihasa and Akhyana VI. 451-461 

18. Puranas and their referencing VII. 321-351 

19. Book-Review : Planets and stars 

by Dr. Sampurnanand VII. 188-191 

20. Constitution of the Vamana Purana Text IX. 141-194 

21. In Memoriam : Dr. V. S. Agrawal IX. 197-201 

22. The glorification of Vyasa IX. 2 1 7-22 1 

23. The glorification of Vyaaa X. 1 09-1 1 2 

24. Books recieved : short notes on 

their contents XI. 21-2 

25. Puranic theory of yugas and kalpas XI. 2 304-323 

26. Does the Vamana Purana mention 

Tulaai? XII. 1 149-151 

27. No omission in the Vamana Purana of 

the text relating to gifts for Vi?nu f s 

worship in Sravana . XII. 1 152 

28. A note on Sylwan Levi's interpretation 

of 'Tato Jayamudiryet 1 XII. 1 153-155 

29. A Note on the mention of spouse and 

progeny of Vamana in the 

Bhagavata XH. l 174.177 

JAN., 1982] Shri ANAND S-WARUP GUPTA 223 

30. Sucipatra or contents of the Vamana- 

Purana from the Kashmiiian MS qrrrT, 

[with notes] XII. 1 

31. A Problem of Puranic text reconstruction XII, 2 304-321 

32. Book-Reviews XIV. 1 70-76 

33. Problem of the extent of the Kurma- 

Purana XIV, 2 125-136 

34. Book Reviews XV, 2 144-147 

35. Obituary : Dr. A. D, Pusalker XVI. I 1 15 

36. Book-Review XVI. 2 261 

37. Obituary : Dr. Norman W. Brown XVII. 2 190-191 

38. Puranic Heritage XVIII. I 39-53 

39. A Note on lunar months as named on Viinu's 

twelve names XIX. 2 351*353 

40. Books received (with brief note on their 

contents) XX. 1 139-141 

41. Vasudeva fianti prayer for the prosperity 

of a ra?tra XX, 2 161-168 

[Besides these Shri Gupta edited with notes a good 
number of stotras, which "were published in 
different issues of the Purana.] 

Articles in other Journal* 


2. STOftRTt % -^^Trf TO*- 

3. The Sankhya Yoga of the BhSgavata GIt *T^ ^^ 


6 . Which God should we worship with our 

224 JTPini PURSJ^A [VOLi XXIV M NO. 1 

7. stft ?r*n *ratsrn *mftsT 1978 

T 1978 
9. TfT^TSfT 


1 0. iT^TSfT BT?r%?r ^V ^RTT ^?T n^T^J tRT 


I lg South Indian version of the Varaha Purana : 

Ludwick Sternback Felecitation Volume Dec. 1979 

12. Purush-YajSa in theory & practice 

fcrag f^cni^tiFffT 1 9 ? s 

(Souvenir Volume) 

? 1973 

14. Bhagavan Krishna the symbol of our Culture 

Souvenir Anneveraary Celebration Nor November 1959 

15. The Problem of Interpretation of the Puranas 

Twenty-sixth Congress of Orientalists 1964 

16. **fKT a ^ppr Sf^rqfT 'ffWT S*T 1964 


17, Textual criticison in Sanskrit Literature 

'HHSft* Nos. 12-14 
1 8 . fagftat ^^-"JTPrftTfi f?f^f?f ^ HR^^rft Rl ^ o 2022 

19. 1953 

20. The place of Suta in the Purariic tradition 
A. I, O. CL XXI session 1961 Srinagar. 

21. Textual Problem of the Vamana Puranta -4./.O.C. 
XXIV Session 1968 Varanasi 

22. A study of the grammatical aberrations 
in the Vamana Purina 



Books edited and translated 




9 - 


2. W ^f^5T SZTTSP^TJT - $P*IW*' 



6. ^?5TTfar*Pn Explalnation with Grammatical notes 

(July-December, 1981) 

Varftha Parana Work 

The editing and printing of the critical edition and English 
translation of the Varaha Purana have been completed. The 215 
adhyaya-s with their critical apparatus, introduction and appendices 
have been published in one volume. The Sanskrit text as establi- 
shed in the critical edition and its English translation have also 
been edited, printed and published in a separate volume. The two 
volumes were released and presented to the President of the Inter- 
national Association of Sanskrit Studies at a function held at 
Shivala Palace on the 24 of October, 1981, during the Vth World 
Sanskrit Conference (see details below). 

Vi^usahasranama Work 

The collation of the MSS of the Visnusahasranama has been 
continued. It will include the Visnusahasranama of the Maha- 
bharata, Padma, Garuda and Skanda PurSna-s. MSS of the 
Mahabharata and Padma have been collated. Mss of the Garuda 
and Skanda have already been asked from different libraries in 
India and abroad. 

Garuda Purft^a Work 

The collation of four MSS of the Garuda Purana is being 
completed. Of these four, two MSS belong to the SarasvatI 
Bhandar, Ramnagar, and two MSS to the Bhandarkara Oriental 
Research Institute oi Poona. All four MSS are in DevanSgarL 
Other MSS have been ordered from W, Germany, Allahabad and 
Calcutta. &n Ranbir Sanskrit Research Institute, Sri Raghunath 
Mandir, Jammu, is at present the only library having complete 
MSS of the Brahmakhanda or the third part of the Garuda Purana. 

The Prema Ramayana of Ramu Dvivedi has been critically edi- 
ted by Maharaj Kumari Krishnapriya on the basis of two MSS. The 
book was presented to Dr. Dandekar, the President of the Interna- 
tional Association of Sanskrit Studies, at a special function held at 
Tulsl Ghat on 24,10.1981 in the presence of the delegates to the Vth 
World Sanskrit Conference. The Prema Ramayana is a translation 
and rifaeimento in Sanskrit of Tulsi-dasa's Ramacaritmanasa, 
Ayodhya Kaiida. It has about 2200 sloka-s, 

i ^ft ^r wrV 

: \ 

: i 




EVOL, xxiv. NO. 1 


The Vyasa Purnima celebration was held under the Chair- 
manship of Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh, Kashinaresh, at 
Shivala Palace of the All-India Kashiraj Trust on 16.7.1981. In 
the beginning 20 Vedic Brahmanas recited Vasant Puja, parts 
of the Vedas, Later two South Indian girls recited verses from 
the Saundarya Laharl and Lalita Sahasranama. The Maharaja 
Kumar Sri Anant Narain Sigh distributed Dak?ina to Vedic Brah- 
manas. Later, a Parana Seminar or Gosthi was held, in which after 
Mangalacarana Dr. Ganga Sagar Rai of the Trust presented die 
annual working report of the Parana Department. The Critical 
Edition of the Varaha Purana, was also presented to the Maharaja 
Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh by Dr. Ganga Sagar Rai. The Maharaja 
told the scholars about the coming Silver Jubilee of the All-India 
Kashiraj Trust and asked the scholars to suggest the manner in 
which it should be celebrated. He also informed the scholars about 
the Vth World Sanskrit Conference and sought their active co-ope- 
ration* Discussion started and the scholars expressed their views. 
Among the prominent scholars who expressed their views were 
Pt. Baladeva Upadhyaya, Dr. Raghunath Singh, former Chairman 
of the Shipping Corporation, Prof Lallanji Gopal, Prof. Rewa 
Prasad Dwivedi, Prof. Vishwanath Bhafrtacharya, Prof. Vishwanath 
Shastri Datar and Sri Vaikun^ha Nath Upadhyaya. The Maharaja 
thanked the scholars. At the end prasada and tea were served to 
the scholars. 


The Tripura Rahasya Mahatmya K hand a was recited in the 
Bali Tripura Sundari templeRatna Bag from Asaijha Sukla Pratipad 
to NavamI (i. e. July 2 to 11), The reciter was Sri Kamadeva Jha. 
A solemn 'Skagavata Qaptsha* was held in the Jawahir khana 
of the Ramnagar Fort, from 16 November to 25 November, 1981. 
After a yajHa at the opening of the week-long recitation the Bhaga- 
vata purana was recited according to the prescribed ritual in the 
mornings by Sri ViAvanath Sastri Datar. In the evenings discourses 
were given by Sri Vfcvanatha Sastri Datar. H. H. the Maharaja 
together with the Maharaja Kumar and the Maharaja Kumarls 
uttidea regularly to all the rituals. People in great number were 
re at the discounea every day. On the anal day a ja/ta was 
Brahmanaj were fe4ft B d due Dak 9 ina was given to their. 


HWRTT, wit fosrfMissrc ^i^nt ^rcisfl'f^ i 

sftfe% '^fl^J^tfift' ^smmatfif^ Wf^Rst 1 ^ nsns- 

jw Profen^r: 

: I 

, ftjrt 

r: I 

m* ft^ 



230 jtT4t PURStfA [VOL. XXIV., 


The text of the Krsna Yajurveda i. e. Taittirlya Samhita was 
recited from memory by &rl Anjaneya Ghanapathi, while Sri 
GaneSa Bhata Bapata was the rota. The recitation was held in the 
Prabhu-NarayaneSvara Temple of the Shiva la Palace in VaranasI 
from 2.7.81 to 5.8.1981. On the completion of the scheduled 
Parayaiaa the usual Daksina was given to the Parayana-karta and 
the Srota. 

Scholars and Distinguished Persons who visited the 
Parana Deptt. 

On the occasion of the Vth World Sanskrit Congress, held in 

VaraiiasI, H. H. Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh, Chairman 

of the All-India Kashira] Trust, invited a group of foreign scholars 

interested in the Pur5na-s to express their views and give their 

suggestions on the activities of the Trust. The meeting took place 

in the Palace of Ramnagar on 26.10.1981. The Scholars reached 

Ramnagar by the motorboat offered by Maharaja Banaras Vidya- 

mandir Trust, They were first shown the work of the Purana 

Deptt and the difficulties of the work and their possible ^solution 

were explained. Then the scholars were invited to express their 

opinions and suggestions. After the meeting with the Chairman, 

Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh, they were offered refreshment and tea. 

They returned to Varanasi on the same motorboat. The names of 

these scholars along with their opinions about the work of the 

Dept. are give below : 

1. Dr. N.R. Bhatt Head of Sanskrit Deptt., French Insti- 
tute of Indology Pondicherry : "I am very happy to visit the 
Purana Deptt. of the Kail Raj Trust and to understand the 
principles of the critical edition of the Puranas, the great treasures 

2. Miss Margarida de Lacerda University of Lisbon, 
Portugal ; "I am deeply impresed by the work done in the Purana 
Department and I am thankful for having had the honour of being 
*kfid by Hi* Highness the Maharaja of Banaras". 

3. Mr.B.Dageas-~Director, French Institute of Indology, 
Foudicherry : -J am very happy to be here a second time and to see 
that Varaba P. has been published. We were all waiting for it". 


sft an^af^jRr^tumfii^iifr r \ 


I ft^t^ft 

: i 


: i 

232 5^*nr PURS^A [VOL. xxiv. t NO. 1 

4. Mr. A. Padoux French National; Centre for Scientific 
Research, Paris: "My third visit to Purana Department shows me 
the activities here ever increasing and so usefoh* 

5. J. L. Bockingtonj Sanskrit Deptt., University of Edin- 
burgh : * c lt was a real pleasure to view the work of the Putana Dept. 
and to learn of the progress in this important field of work.* 1 

6. Dr, Thomas B. Goburn, St. Lawrence University, Canton, 
New York : "I ain most grateful to have seen the inner working of 
an institution that is doing such invaluable work for Indological 
and comparative religious studies." 

7. Miss H. Bruner, c/o French Institute of Indology Pondi- 

8. G. Gispert-Sauch S, J. Vidyajyoti, Delhi. 

9. Prof. R. Panikkar University of California, Santa 
Barbara, California. 

10. Prof. Rocher and wife University of Philadelfia. 

On 31.12.1981 G. de la Lama, Amabassador of Mexico in 
Delhi, paid a visit to the Chairman, H. H. the Maharaja and to 
the Purana Department, She writes in the visitors book : 6< We are 
very grateful to His Highness for all his attention and hope to 
contribute in any way at our disposal to hia work for the Indian 
editions of the Purana-s." The illustrious guest was later taken 
round the Museum, 

Rfisa Lilft 

The Rasa Hla or enacting of Krsna's dalliance at Vrndavana 
was performed in the Prasiddha Garden of Ramnagar from 3 to 15 
August. The performace was undertaken under the auspices of the 
All-India Kashiraj Trust. For fifteen days many people attended 
with great enthusiasm and devotion the religious enacting. H. H. 

the Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh also attended the perfor- 
mance daily. 

R&ma Lllft 

AH T T^ ama ^ which is celebrated under the auspices of the 
WUndia Kashiraj Trust with the financial help of the Government 
^ India, tookplacefrom AnamaCaturdaSl V 23 September) to A*vina 
Purmma f 23 October). To attend the performance people come 





55T ^THT TfRTinqeST^ ^f^^^^: TrfiER^QT^, J<l'lft''HHf 

"^f 3>TftnTt$rTg[ srf?r 

i srnrar: srf^fef ft: 


from the town and the neighbouring villages. Buses were arrange 
by^the U. P. Roadways to transport them from and to the mai 
points of the city. Sadhus and other people stayed in Ramnagar fo 
the whole month. The sadhus got their free ration (bhaajara) ever 
day. This year 23, 401 meals were distributed in the whole montf 
Some LJlas attracted more attention and crowds. On the daiahta 
day the Maharaja, after the pujatothe arms in the palace, proceede 
in solemn procession on his elephant followed by more than a lac c 
people towards a place called Lanka where the enacting of th 
deathof Ravana took place. The Lllas were performed from 5 PM t 
10 or 11 P.M. The Lila of the Rama. Rajyabhiseka continued for th 
whole night and people attended the aratt which took place at earl 
dawn. The Maharaja, the Maharaja Kumara and dignitarie 
attended the performance every day on their elephants. At the ent 
of the month the hanlpas (performers) were received by H. H. thi 
Maharaja, who gave them due respect and food along with thi 

The British High Commissioner and Prince Anjum Quder ol 
Oudh were special guests who came to see the Dasahara and 
Bharat Milap. 

Tie Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Trust 

The All-India Kashiraj Trust was established in the year 1956 
and it was inaugurated by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the then President 
n wl?" T heSilver Jubilee function of the Trust was celebrated 
on 24th of October 1981, at Sivala Palace of the Trust at 3 p. m. 

a rvL\l??_ d ! L le8 t teSOf the Vth World Sanskrit Conference held 

T - f the Conference eminent scholars of 

ries ^ f the three local Universities ' important 

ceiebrat' \ ra ^ t ^ le c i*y were present to behold the 

funrtirJ 011 ' tban * **oos*nd scholars were present. The 

tunciion was nrai/iaj -L 

the Gonferen nl V&! Y R * N * Dandekar * Chairman of 
Dr Vihh,,*- w . the ***" were P rese nt H, H. the Maharaja 

^"^ ^WilUjl J/sQrJ 1*1 C* t. ^^t 

Dr.RaghunathSb^^l 811111 f Sitamau ' Prof Baladeva Upadhyaya, 
oftheConf* TV* Arus teesj JrroF. Filliozat and Vice-Chairman 

Hara JriT' ' ^Sard-Levin of the Russian Delegation; 
* of JapM,, OM ^ Vi _ D ,., J ._ n rf ^ latm ^ aaall 

the Or^ai r J *** Dr - R- K. Sharma, Secretary 

attl2m C mittittea ^ the Conference and Director 



('TORT fftr') sr^sfo i 
) grsRf sfaf^f Tpfrsnros^ i %<jf%f^j *n*$frt 


firfe^r fi^ftr^n: ^: grr 

: i 

:, sfr 

236 S^T ^ PUR*[A [VOL. XxiV., NO. 1 

Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Dr. G. R. Swaminathan, Asstt. 
Educational Advisor (Skt.) s Govt. of India, Dr. K.N. Udupa 
Rector, B. H, U., Prof. Badari Nath Sukla, former V. G. of Sanskrit 
University; and Maharaj Kumar A. N. Singh. The Proceedings 
started with Mangalacarana by Sri GaneSvara Dravida. Sri 
Pattabhirama Sastri read a message from the Senior l^ankaracarya 
His Holiness Sri ChandraSekharendra Sarasvati Maharaja of 
Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham which he had kindly sent of his own 
accord for this occasion. Later, His Highness Maharaja Dr. 
Vibhuti Narain Singh informed the scholars of the sad demise of 
Sri Ananda Swarup Gupta, editor of the Purana Bulletin, on October 
14, 1981. His Highness paid high tribute to the head and heart of 
the late Sri Gupta. All persons stood in silence for two minutes and 
prayed for the peace of the soul of Sri Gupta. Maharaja Kumara 
Dr. Raghubir Sinh of Sitamau welcomed the scholars and pointed 
out some salient features of modern research. Prof. Baladeva 
Upadhyaya, another Trustee, gave a brief survey of the activities of 
the Trust during the last twenty-five years. Dr. R. N. Dandekar 
spoke about the high qualities of the Parana work done by the All- 
India Kashiraj Trust and paid high tribute to H. H. Maharaja 
Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh, Chairman of the Trust, for his patronage 
and guidance of the Purana project. Thereafter Dr. J. Filliozat 
spoke very highly about the Purana publications of the Trust. Prof. 
Kara of Japan, Vice-President of the I, A. S. S., joined Prof. J. 
*PP reciatio n of the critical editions of the Maha- 
1 Fllh Za r t ? leased t^ critical edition and English 
aha Pura * a ' Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti 

of the Varaha pura * a to Dr - R * Nt 

Dr. G. Bongard-Levin declared that the Russian delegation 
would present a set of Russian publications on Indology to H. H. 
Maharaja Br, Vibhuti Narain Singh, which was being brought 
from Russia. Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh presented a 
set of publication of the Trust to- the Russian delegation. 

On thb occasion the Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh 

?*** Kashiraj Trust wil1 &* * p rizeof 

after every three years for the best book on 

of their serv a T 

R&lj D ' G. Bonazzoli, Sri Hiramani 


<f o 



: srf^tat 

^nrq fe^rfe i 

238 ^ PURStfA [VOL. xiiv., NO, i 

had worked hard in the preparation and publication of the Varaha 
Puraaa and to Sri A. B. Bhattacharya who had translated into 
English the text of the Varaha Purana. 

Dr. Raghunath Singh, a Trustee, thanked the guests for their 
attending the session and spoke eulogistically about the activities 
of the Trust. Later a concert of vocal and instrumental music was 
given by a party led by Pt. Sivakumar Shastri. In conclusion H,H. 
Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh thanked the guests for their 
kind collaboration in the work of the Trust and for the trouble they 
had taken in. attending the session. 

Fifth World Sanskrit Conference 

The Fifth World Sanskrit Conference was held in Banaras Hindu 
University, VarauasI from October 21 to 26, 1981. H. H. Maharaja 
Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh, Chairman of Trust and Chancellor of 
the Banaras Hindu University, was eleceted Chairman of the recep. 
tion committee. About one thousand scholars from different coun- 
tries attended the Conference. On the 21st the Conference was 
inaugurated by Sri Viswanath Pratap Singh, Chief Ministe of U. P. 
The Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh welcomed the guests in 
lucid Sanskrit verses (published elsewhere) which were translated 
into Engish also. Dr. R. N, Dandekar presided over the Confer- 
ence, He described the salient features of Sanskrit researches 
in his speech. Dr. R. K. Sharma, Organizing Secretary, made 
a Sanskrit summary of the English speech of Dr. R. N. Dandekar. 
At the end Dr. R. K, Sharma thanked the guests. 

The Conference continued for five days and scholars presented 

their papers in different sessions. Dr. G. Bonazzoli of the Purana 

Department read his paper entitled 'Puranic Schemes* on 23. 10.81. 

On the evening of each day some cultural programmes were organ- 

ized for the entertainment of the scholars. Different organizations 

and individuals gave dinners and lunches to the delegates. One day 

(the 24th) ol the conference was given to All-India Kashiraj Trust 

in which the Silver Jubilee function was. celebrated at Sivala 

Palace rf the Trust. Prema Ramayana was released at Tulsi Ghat 

theATK >r t0thedelegateswa5givenin the hotel Ta J GaD S esb Y 
A.L.&. Tru*L On the 26th of October a special convocation was 

Hind Univwlty in which H. H. Maharaja 
S ^ asChancellor of the University, conferred 


: i 


240 ^TPr PUBStfA [VOL. xxrv., 

the Degree of Doctor of Letters on eight Sanskrit scholars, three 
from foreign countries and five from India. Their names are 
Dr. Paul Thieme, Dr. Jean Filliozat, Dr. J. Gonda, Dr. R. N, 
Dandekar, Dr. Raghunath Sharma, Dr. Gharu Deva Shastri, Dr. 
Lakshmanjoo and Dr. Ramji Upadhyaya, 

After the convocation the Valedictory function of the confere- 
nce started. Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh thanked the 
delegates for their active participation. He also declared the 
institution of a prize of Rs. ten thousand on Puranic work in any 
language every three years. Dr. Dandekar, Dr. Hard and &rl 
Vishwanarayan Shastri expressed their views. Dr. Dandekar read 
out the resolutions passed in the conference. The Publication of the 
Varaha Purana and the institutions of a prise of Rs. ten thousand 
for the hest Puranic work were praised in the following resolutions : 

1. The Fifth World Sanskrit Conference congratulates the 
Kashiraj Trust on the publication of the Critical Edition of the 
Varaha Purana (with English translation) and expresses the hope 
that the critical editions of the remaining Puranas will also be 
brought out in quick succession. 

2. The Conference further notes with pleasure the announcement 
made by the Kashi Naresh on behalf of the Kashiraj Trust regard- 
ing the institution of a prize of Rs. 10,000/- to be awarded every 
third year for the best work relating to the Puranas published in 
any language and in any country. 

Finally Dr f R. K. Sharma thanked the guests, organizers and 
all associated persons for attending the Conference. The Venue 
and the office bearers of the next session were declared. Dr. R. N. 
Dandekar, Chairman, on behalf of the Conference presented a medal 
to Maharaja for his services for the promotion of Sanskrit. During 
the conference a brochure on the All-India Kashiraj Trust and a 
booklet on VaranasI were distributed to the delegates. 

The Chairman of the Trust honoured in Sri Lanka 

On March 28, 1981 the Kalyani Samagri Dharma Mahasa- 
ngha Sabha, the Supreme Sangha Council of Sri Lanka honoured 
H. H. Kashinamh Maharaja Dr Vibhuti Narain Singh by confer- 
g the highest Degree of Vidya Chakravartl. The Maharaja 
coma not attend tbe function in person and the Degree was awarded 


, t: - 




242 S^ron ptfRS^A [VOL. xxiv. f NO. i 

in absentia. Speakers on this occasion appreciated the services of 
Maharaja Dr Vibhuti Narain Singh to the cause o religious har- 
mony. The speakers traced the history of Kashiraj in Buddhist 
and Pali literature. Later on, at a special function held in 
Sarnath the Degree was handed over to the Maharaja by Dr Hari 
Narain, the then Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University. 

Prime Minister visits the Fort 

The Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, visited the Fort of 
Ramnagar on 16.5.81. The illustrious guest came to Varanaal and 
Vindhyacala. On her way to VindhyScala she paid a short visit 
to the Fort and she was offered refreshments by H. H. Maharaja 
Dr Vibhuti Narain Singh. 


Maharaja Prabhn Narain Singh Physical Cultural Trust 

On the occasion of the birthday of the Maharaja Kumara 
Anant Narain Singh, the usual sport competitions took place In the 
grounds adjacent to the Fort on December 1 and 2, 1981. Several 
schools took part in the competitions and the boys of the junior and 
primary schools took part in the different sports. Judges were Sri 
Ashok Kumar Singh, Sri S. C. Datta, Sri S. L. Dar, and Sri Karan 
Singh. Prizes were diatributed by the Maharaja KumarTs. Sri 
S. L. Dar congratulated the participants and hoped for their better 
preparation next year. Sweetmeats and tea were served to the 
participants and workers on both the days. 

Vedic Baiaka Vasanta Puja 

The Vedic Balaka Vasanta Puja was performed by sixteen 
V^dic students under 15 years of age from Varanasi on 1st Decem- 
ber, mi. The puja was performed in the Devi mandir which is 
titrated m the Fort of Ramnagar. On the completion of the 


Painting Competitions 


boys and girls occupied every corner 


era $cT^ i ^: 


srRpflPrawt gmfro : i 






Victory to the Vedic Dharma followed by all persons of 
highest achievement. Here shines its far-famed flag of victory 
reaching the highest sky. Victorious is the eternal voice of the 
Vedas, the goddess, which, though assuming various forms, is one 
in essence and is still inscrutable. 

O You honourable scholars devoted to the protection of 
the Vedas and the scriptures, and you Indian friends concerned 
with Sanskrit, who follow them, and you who have come here to 
attend the Conference from far-off countries we are happy to 
welcome you all, O lovers of Sanskrit, 

Serve you the Sanskrit which provides to the people the 
highest knowledge that satisfies all the needs, provides spiritual 
knowledge and pure discrimination that brings about great joy, 
leads men to the path of deliverance drawing them away from 
the alluring path of enjoyment and delivers great bliss at all times. 
Serve you the Sanskrit which nurtures noble feeling in the 
minds of men, encourages friendly feeling, advocates always the 
most pleasing conduct for the whole World, teaches good conduct 
approved by the scriptures and leads men always to the path of 

Serve you the Sanskrit which leads all men to the realisation 
of lofty ideals for their welfare by prescribing for them the 
standard conduct of the cultured, of the ruling kings and of noble 
men as to how the wicked are to be controlled, and the harmless 
ways of piety and teaches the useful scriptures. 

Serve you the Sanskrit which inculcates in man the best and 
most beneficial spiritual knowledge, purifies the minds of the 
accomplished by imparting the knowledge of the Yoga Vidya, 
pleases the hearts of the scholars by the laudable teaching of the 
maatras and by means of the Tantric lore. 

. ^^ gsaflemen, you have rendered a great service to 
% by r wUli ngly coming here at Kashi in this fifth World 
*nt Conference. Really, if by your efforts the Vedic culture 

f honour fa&i* country, the Gon- 

ai *?P r oProusbethe noble delegates who come to 



II ssRcRN eRnra II 



u ? n 

u ^ n 



SanhPurSqa (Hindi Translation) ByDr, Vinod Chandra Srivastava 
Foreward by Dr. R, C, Hazra; Published by IndologM 
Publications, Allahabad; pp. 18+340; Price Rs. 45; $, 4, 

The Samba Purana, an important Upa-purSna, is included in 
all the lists of Upapuranas, It is a sectarian Parana and contains 
matter concerning Sun-worship, Dr. V. G. Srivastava, who has 
already shown his proficiency in the study of the Sun-cult, has ably 
translated this Purana into Hindi with copious notes, explaining 
the text with the help of comparative literature. The Samba 
Purana contains 84 chapters, though in some MSS on accout of 
joining two adhySy&s into one and dividing one adhyaya into two the 
number of chapters differs. The translator has faithfully tried to 
give an authentic translation of the text, The footnotes containing 
explanations show the vast knowledge of the translator. In the 
introduction the author has given valuable information-about the 
SSmba Purlija and the Sun cult. The book is a commendable addi- 
tion in the field of Puranic studies. It would have been better if the 
original text on which translation is based had been given along with 
translation Unfortunatly printing mistakes are found here and there 
which should be removed in the next edition. 

Ganga Sagar Rai 




1 . His Highness Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh, M. A,, D* Litt.; 
Fort, Ramnagar, Varanasi. (Chairman), 

Trustee nominated by the Govt. of India : 

2. Dr. Raghunath Singh, M,A,, Ph.D., D.Litt,, LL.B.; Varanasi; 

Trustees nominated by the Govt. of Uttar Pradesh : 

3. Pt. Kamalapati Tripathi, Me.nber of Parliament, Govt. 
of India, New Delhi. 

4. Vacant. 

Trustees nominated by His Highness the Maharaja ofBanaras : * 

5. Maharaj-Kurnar Dr, Raghubir Sinh, M. A., D. Litt.; 
Raghubir Niwas, Sitamau (Malwa). 

6. Pt. Giridhari Lai Mehta, Varanasi; Managing Director; 
Jardine Handerson Ltd.; Scindia Steam Navigation Ltd.: 
Trustee : Vallabhram-Saligram Trust, Calcutta. 

7. Pt. Baladeva Upadhyaya, M, A., Sahityacharya, Vachaspati; 
Former Director, Sampununanda Sanskrit University; 
Ravindrapuri Varanasi. 

Donation made to All India Kashi Raj Trust, Fort Ram- 
nagar, Varanasi, will qualify for exemption under Sec. 80G of 
the Income Tax Act, 1961 m the hands of donors, vide certi- 
ficate No. 58/59 (253/80-81 /Tech \ dated 9.12M 

-- "^~*-*^* 

(Oct. 21-26^ '1981) 

1. The Fifth World Sanskrit Conference congra- 
tulates the Kashiraj Trust on the publication of the 
Critical Edition of the Vartiha Purfya (with English 
Translation) and expresses the hope that the critical 
editions of the remaining Purfyas will also be brought 
out in quick succession, 

2. The Conference further notes with pleasure 
the announcement made by the Kashi Naresh on behalf 
of the Kashiraj Trust regarding the institution of a prize 
of Rs. 10 f OOO/- to be awarded every third year for the 
best work relating to the Purfyas published in any 
language and in any country. 

ai the Ratna Printing Works, Kamachha, Varanasi. 

VoL XXIV, No. 2 ] 

July, 1982 


(Half-yearly Bulletin of the Parana-Department) 

the financial Askance from the Ministry of Education, 
Government of India 



. 50/' 


Dr. R. K. Sharma 

Deputy Educational Advisor (Skt.) Govt.tof India and Director, 
Kendriya Sanskrit Sansthana, New Delhi. 

Dr. R, N. Dandekar 

Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pane 


Ram Shankar Bhattacharya 

M.A., Ph.D., Vyakaranacharya 

Ganga Sagar,Rai, M. A. s Ph. D. 
Giorgio Bonazzoli, M. A, (Milan), M. Th (Rome) 
Shrish Chandra Catti, M, A,, Dip. Ed. (EJin.). 

utlwrs are responsible for their views, which do noi 
bjndthEdUor and the Trust, 

system of transliteration 

WqiWlted t0 use Devana gan letters for Sanskrit 
prose pawa<, 

Vol. XXIV., No. 2] BnmgfaWf : [July, 6, 1982 

l Contents 


^ [Eulogy of Vyasa] 249-252 

With notes by Dr, Ram Shankar Bhattacharya 

2. ^4-%sr-vn UMUi^dtaif [Eulogy of Brahma- 

&va and Narayana] 253-260 

With notes By Dr. Ram Shankar Bhattacharya 

3- Divine Presence in the Murti According to , pi 
the Puranas 

( = MKWKti) ^TWT f^HHdt] 261-285 

By'JDr. Pinucda Garaccki; 

Istituto di Indologia Via S. Ottavio, 20 

10124 Torino (Italy) 

The Role of Four Varnas During the 
Time of Niladrimahodayam 

" 236-296 

By Dr. Vidyat Lota Raj 

Deptt. of Sanskrit Nayagarh College 
Nayagarh, Puri (Orissa) 

5. The Syamantaka Gem Story A Structural 

297- J3/ 

By >r. Ivan 
Associate Prof, and Chair, Deptt. of 
Religious Studies Connecticut Coliege 
New London, Connecticut 06320 (USA) 
6. The Vayu Purana and the MarfcasdSJC* 

Purana A comparative story 


By Dr. Lallanji Gopal; 

Professor of Ancient Indian History 
Culture and Archaeology, Banaras Hindu 
University Varanasi 221 005 
7. The Colophons in the Critically Edited 


' 353-383 

By Dr. Giorgio Bonazzoli; 
All-India Kashiraj Trust 

8. Buddha As Depicted in the Puranas 

^ -. T 384-404 

L^i^iqHal ^S'-l 
By Dr. Ram Shankar Bhattacharya 405-4 V2 

9. Book Reviews 

1. Brahma in the Puranas by Mohd. If mail 
Khan ; Reviewed by Dr Ram Shankar 

2. Some Graphical Puranic Texts on Brahma 

by Mohd. Ismail Khan; Reviewed by Dr. Ram 
Shankar Bhattacharya 

3. The Rise of the Religions Significance of 

by Frank Whaling; 

by G. BonnaZoli; 

Banaras City of Light by Diana L 
Reviewed by G. Bonnazzoli 


Reviewed by G. BonnaZ&oli 

10. Activities of the All-India Kashiraj Trust 413-416 

11. Anouncement and Our Requests 

[YogacSUryas of the Pasupata Sect as Depicted 
in the PurSujas 

[Abtract8 oT Articles in English] 22-29 



^*^ 1 "llSE fc *i*ii 


As the printed text of the stotra contains corrupt readings 
almost in all the stanzas, they are not fully intelligible and as such 
we refrain from giving a full translation of the stotra. Some of the 
important expressions of this stotra are explained here in brief. 
The metres used in this stotra are Prthvl (stanza 40), Salim (41), 
Svagata (43), Dodhaka (44) and 6ardiilavikrldita (42) besides the 
well-known Anustubh and Upajati. 

(38) The traditional view that Vyasa is the son of ParaSara 
and Satyavati is stated here. The word 'veda-vySsakaro, 9 means *one 
who arranges or divides the Vedas\ It is clearly stated in the 
Mbh, and the Puranas that the sage Krsna-dvaipayana was called 
Vyasa or Vedavyasa on account of his having arranged or divided 
the Vedas. 

(39) Vyasa is regarded as the jfian3vatara of Visnu. This 
seems to bean established view, for Vacaspati in his BhamatI 
describes Vyasa a&jHZna-akty avatar a of Hari (benedictory verse 5}. 1 
Vyasa is said to be the author of the Vedantasutra (the well-known 
Brahmasutra) and the mantras. The precise meaning of the word 
mantra is not quite clear. 

5^* II There is an interesting grammatical discussion on 
the formation of the word STRST^^^^TK in the Kalpataru 
and Parimala sub-commentaries. TheGaudlya school does 
not, however, regard Vyasa as a ^TTfrSRJRTf* BI^TC. Accor- 
ding to this school Dattatreya, Matsya, Gatuljsana 
(Sanaka, Sanandana, Sana tana and Sanatkumara) and 
Kapila fall under this class. It regards Vyasa, Narada 
and Buddha as incarnations establishing virtuousness 
In the four-fold division of avataras 

ls under the Prabhava division, the other three 
Wug Av<** ( Vaibhava and Paravastha. Usually Vyasa 
ragwnicd as one of the twenty-five Hlavataras; vide 

? section on Avat^ra, 


^ As regards the statement that Vyasa wa? called by the name 
Pracmagarbha, ide g anti _ p . ^^ m^rom* ^rf. ^ 


see below for the Apantara- 
tamas. 3 - 

(40) To keep the metre intact we have read 

* e place of the printed reading fH*r*n^fere>:. The sense 

* " ^ ^ T3^ : is not quite clear; the meaning of the 

third foot is also not fully intelligible. In the fourth foot after 

^'^5rf*% two syllables (one laghu and the other guru} are wanting. 

About Apantaratamas, the Mbh. informs us that he came 
out from the syllable ?f^ pronounced by Bhagavat, that he 
arranged the Vedas in the Svayambhuva manvantara, that he 
received from Bhagavat the boon that he would promulgate dharma 
*n all the manvantaras and that he would be born as the son of 
ParaSara in the family of Vasistha (anti-p. 349.38-59). Tde 

J * * / 

traditional view that the ancient sage Apantaratamas was born as 
Kranadvaip^yana was known to Sankaracarya.* 

(41) In verses 41-43 the Mahabharata is extolled. Here 
the Mbh. is compared to a lotus floating on the ocean in 
the form of Vyasa. The third foot is not quite intelligible. In the 
fourth foot ^ff^f% must be corrected to tf^fe (aftrn 
, so that this foot becomes meaningful. 

2. The view propounded in Santi-p. 349. 6468 about . the 
propagation of the five lastras, (namely Trayi, Samkhya, 
etc.) in which Apantaratamas has been associated with 
the Vedas is found in Ahirbudhnyasariihita > Gh. II also. 
According to F . O - Schrader, the sage who is said to 
have fashioned the three Vedas was called Ap^otaratapaa 
(Introduction to the Pancar&tra and the Ahirbudhnya- 
sarhhita, pp. 109-110). 


The following verses from the ,Brh*dyo^i-yUaavaIkya 
about the connection of Apftntarataroas with the Veds 

are worthy of notice : "<?T 

: i ^^^ft^ffi^W wr fn " (2. 66-68), 

252 TKFl'T PURX^A [VOL. XXIV,, NO. 2 

(42) It is difficult to ascertain what are the four denoted 
senses (vacyartha-catustaya). The fourth foot means the same as 
Hftflfa WW irfflfia qcqHhq (Svargarohana-p. 5.50); vide 
Adiparvan Gh. 1, for the glorification of the Mahabharata. 

(43) Swsrli-viktna must be corrected to 
Satiskrti i. e. sateksra is said to be the means of acquiring 

(44) It is said that the Purana, which chiefly deals with bhakti 
etc. as well as with the glorious deeds of Krsna, was composed by 
Vyasa. The verb in the sentence (2nd half), which is in passive 
voice, is wanting, thus making the sentence elliptical. The word 
puratia in the 4th line qualifies Vyasa. 

(45) Vyasa is said to be the husband of Aram and the father 
ofSuka, who achieved divine knowledge from his father. ^ Suka, 
being the son of Aram, was called Araneya or Aranlsuta in the 
Mbh. and the Puranas. The&inti-p. (324.1-11) however gives a 
mythical account of the birth of Suka (taking Arani or Aram as a 
piece of sacrificial wood i. e. the piece of wood used for kindling 
the sacred fire by attrition); cp. Harivamfia I. 18.50-51 (TOSTC- 

fsfaren $*t ?rm *$[&n: \ s^mrr^^zrt tfjjft Brjiftd^rftsT ^^^) 

and Vayu-p. 73.28-29. 

(46) Ugrasravas is said to be thejani of Romaharsana. Since 
the Puranic tradition regards Ugrasravas as the son of Romahar?ana 
(or Lomaharsana) we must take Romahar?ani as another name of 
Romaharana. Names of a similar nature are sometimes found in 
the Puraaic works, as e. g. Agastya-Agasti (names of the same sage), 
Pulastya-Pulasti, Uttama-Auttami, Puskarasadi-Pauskarasadi, 
Baskala-Bakali, Aruna-Aruni, Dadhlca-Dadhici, Cyavana-Gyavani. 
]ani t which usually means birth, must be taken here in the sense 
of c one who is born 1 i. e. a son (vtde the comm. on the TJnadisutra 
4 130). 

As thia ftoira is said to have been sung (gltam) by UgraSravas, 
it U quite Ukely that it occurs in some Puranic work hitherto 

Ram Shankar Bfaattacfaarya 

[A eulogy addressed to Brahma, Siva & Narayana separately in 

three Puranic works. .] 

^r n 

; *qqk*qro ^Uv; afafo 

; n ft:**. 





w: n (W 

254 i$*T*tV PURStfA [VOL. xxiv., NO 

u (3<M 

: er^- sr^ft u (vo; 


f mfer 


Though the eulogy printed above does not have any poetical 
chariu so far as the diction and metre are concerned, yet it has a 
grtat importance, for it is found to have been used to eulogize three 
different deities in three different Puranic works, viz. the Ka5i- 
kh*n4a, the Dharmaranyakhanda and the Aufianaaa Upapuraiia 
(with *%ht variations). In the Kafilkhanda (2.30-41) it is spoken 
out to Brahma, in the Dharmaranya-khanda (3.14-25) to Jiva and 
in the Auianasa-npapurana to Narayana^a fact which shows that 
ori^aally thia *tofr* must have been composed to eulogize any on 
of the thr deitii and afterwards it was applied to the other deitiu , 
on account of ita expounding philosophical views in a lucid 
manner. It b however impossible to ascertain the deity addressing 

wajtat tet CQmposed by ^ Pura9ic autllor ^ 


It is to be noted in this connection that there are some stotras 
(in different Puranic works) in which a considerable number of 
stanzas are found more or less identical. A study of such stotras 
may yield important results so far as the chronology of the relevant 
Puranic sections is concerned. 

In the Kaslkhanda (ch. 2) this stotra (called Abhistada in 2.47) 
was addressed by the Devas to Brahma, so that he, being pleased, 
could find some way to lower the highly enlarged peak of the 
Vindhya hill. It is said that the hill, being envious of mount Meru, 
increased its height in order to obstruct the path of the sun. As a 
result of this obstruction, the whole world fell into disaster. Getting 
afraid the gods requested Brahma to find out some means so that 
the height of the Vindhya hill could be lowered. This story with 
minor variations is found in several Puranic works and also in the 
Mbh. Vana-p. 104. The Ramayana also refers to it in 3.11.85. 

In the Dharmaranyakhanda (ch. 3) it is said that at the 
beginning of the Treta-yuga, Dharmaraja began to practise severe 
penance. Being afraid of Dharmaraja the devas with Brahma 
went to mt. Kailasa to see Siva. On seeing Siva, Brahma extolled 
him by uttering this eulogy (verses 14-25). 

In the Ausanasa-upapurana the stotra occurs in the section 
on Vindhya-mahatmya (ch. I). It is said that once Narada came 
to the Badarika asrama and extolled Narayana by uttering this 
stotra. [The verses of this Upapurana have been taken from the 
Vaidyakavrttanta (a highly learned work in Bengali dealing with 
the history of the Ayurvedic teachers) by Pt. Gurupada Haldar in 
which the first chapter of this Upapuratxa has been quoted. 
Unfortunately the serial number of these verses has not been given 
by the author] 1 - 

As the Kalikharxda is well known we take the KaSikUa^a 
version as original and 'place the different readings of the " ar a ' 
ranyakhanda (a sub-division of the Brabmakhaijda of the Sfcanda- 
purana) and the Ausanasa-upapurana in the footnotes. 


A^odirgDr. Hazra the 

of the lo Upapurana* <St Up. I, P d 

another lost OwW - 1 trn 

be a part of this Upaprana. 

256 <^piri_ puPXtfA [VOL. xxiv., NO, 2 

In this stotra it is not the personality of the deity but the 
omnipresence and immanance of the deity which is predominant. 
That is why it hardly contains any description which is peculiar to 
any one of the three deities. The stolra speaks of all the important 
categories (prameyas) of adhyatma-vidya and identifies them with the 
deity. The repeated use of the word namas (which shows obeisance) 
has undoubtedly rendered the stotra sublime and effective. Some 
of the important words in this stotra are explained here in brief. 

In the Rg-veda (10.121) Hiranyagarbha is the only lord of 
the existent and is the one god above the gods. He is not only the 
creator but also the preserver and destroyer of the phenomenal 
world. He is often called Prajapati in the Vedic works. In the 
Puranas the name Hiranyagarbha is almost exclusively applied to 
the god associated with the act of creation (usually called Brahma) 
(Mark.- p. 46. 20-2 la) and not to the god associated with the act of 
preservation or destruction. It seems that on account of the 
prominence of the act of creation (cp. ssffespremr ^rfairaK^m, 
Sahkara on Mundaka 2.1.2) the name Hiranyagarbha came to be 
applied to the creator Brahma to whom the word Prajapati is 
frequently applied by the authors of the Puranas. The Piiranas 
regarded Brahma as the first teacher of the Vedas (in each creation) 
and from the Upanisads we learn that the line of teachers does not 
extend beyond Hiranyagarbha (vide Br.-up. 2.6.3 with the bhasya). 

ffHt fipC<"T^mfa....3n|cITZT ^ The name Hiranyagarbha has been 
explained as 'one whose essence (garbha) consists in divine know- 
ledge (hiTanya}*', or 'one in whom hiranya (brahmanda, cosmic 
e g) exists*. 1 Hiranyagarbha is regarded here as identical 

1. Rl?f ^wffaiT aTcZJwcjw' 5TFT itf: apcTttfTTt ^W (Sankara on 
Svetasvatara-up. 3.4). f^*f ^ 3^ fTOT *nff 
(Kslrasvamin on Amara 1,1.76). 

: (Sayaiia on Tai. Sam.); 


(Sayana on RV. 10.121.1). The Ven, ed. 
reads f|pwmm. Prajapati Hiranyagarbha may rightly be described 
as hir a9 jaT*w see the etymology of hiranya in connection with 
in Satapatha-br. 7.4. 1.16, 

JULY, 1982] 

with kawaiya (emancipation, mohfa) and awf/a (immortality^ 
Since Hiranyagarbha is not the immutable ultimate principle, nor 
is he really bereft of activity (he is called sagu*a brahman or kaya 
brohman by the philosophers), the above description cannot be to 
as philosophically valid; it must be taken as figurative. m 
Hiranyagarbha possesses an extremely purified limiting a jun 
the epithets applicable to the absolute brahman are also applie 
to him (vide Sankara on Br.-up. 1.4.6). Such figurative description* 
are often found in eulogies. 

4 * ^....f^T^-^o may be taken either in the , sense of 
the wise' or in the sense of 'the organs' (rift bhwya on Ka-up. ^ 
For the idea expressed in Jpft....SRrtf?r vlde Tai -- u P' ' ' v 
Wit fa* TOUT K^ v) and Katha-up. 6. 12. C*~ 
whose essential nature consists in rfl (din CMMC 'T 
is taken in the sense of 'absolute awareness', then the 

must be taken as figurative. 

.-Tl heart, according 


suitable place for practising meditation. Pra^dhana ^ 
acute form of one-pointedness' or 'a particular kind *. ^ 
Since Mva (one rf the iUW*!^ * n<>t tT^ Hot of 
but spiritual (a^atoiflto) the7>/w perceived in the hear ^ 


u sprua i 

the nature of external light; the word Jyotis used 1 in L HI 
illuminating entity' mUttrta); * flwitalAM: ^ " ' 

umnang eny viya 

tn-brahmtn, Sri may rightly be taken in the sense 3 26 2) As the 

(cp. ^ft q.jfr pnfr ^T fi[ *^I ^^7;". ^ does no t extend 
tradition of sages holds that the line of teacnw Hira9 y a gBrbha 
beyond Hiranyagarbha, it is reasonable to TeS ^ ovfevet ' meM the 
as the repository of Vedic lore (&f). ' , may the puraixas, are 
supersensuous powers also, which, according 
innate in the creator Prajapati. 

-f -Strictly 

man {and not the creator Brahma or Wf ^.^ appUed fig 
cends time. To Brahma the act of t ra ": en , "-maed the fornw of 
uratively. ^^ ^nt *f-' He has ^'"o the doctrine that 
sentient beings ( pmusa i. e. Jifa)'ttna.y 

the conditwnw 

the embodied beings are the * o ^*7^ 33* 
brahman ( vide Br-up. 1.4,7; 


258 TOriT p URS # A [VOL. xxiv,, NO. 2 

Ramananda however takes it to express the same sense as Visnu-p. 

1,2.29 (srsnfT^ ^rfq- srfasqr^sqr ^fr: I 5ftaqTm?r *fsn<^ s*f*PT&}. 

qnpHftfcHPTTT ?T*r: Sffife^fa'ft Gunas t namely sattva (the sentient 
principle), rajas (the mutative principle) and tamas (the static 
principle) are identified with Brahma. A distinction is made here 
between the gutias and the prakrti which is usually regarded as a 
name for the three gunas. It appears that here 'guya* means 'the 
gunas in the quiescent state 8 and prakrti means 'the gunas in the 
state of evolution*. The followers of the Saivadvaita system regard 
prakrti and guna as two distinct tattvas and state that the gurias arise 
from the agitated prakrti (Tantrasara, VIII). 

faCTi^, , jpTfaJT Here Brahma is considered to be identical 
with Visnu and Rudra (iva). That Brahma, Visnu and Rudia 
are respectively connected with the rajas, sattva and tamas gutias 
as well as with the act of creation, preservation and* destruction 
respectively is an established doctrine of the Puranas (Matsya-p, 3. 
14-16; Markandeya-p. 46. 14-18). 

'flft ffe.... E F^^S > zrRT^ In the following stanzas Brahma is 
regarded as identcal with buddhi etc. This identity is based on his 
superintendency (adhisthatrtoa). Buddhi is the cognitive principle a 
known also as the mahattattva. Aharhkfli i. e. aharhkara (akarhk.rti 
seems to have been used to keep the metre intact) has, according 
to the Samkhya philosophy and the Puranas, three aspects, namely 
vaikrtika or vaikrta, taijasa and bhutadi, which are respectively 
predominated by the sattva, rajas and tamas gunas. The chapters 
on sarga in the Puranas contain valuable information regarding the 
nature and genesis of the five tanmatras, namely fiabdatanmatra etc. 
The five karmendriyas (motor organs or the powers of voluntary 
movement) are well known. The physical organs are to be known 
as the seats (adhisfana) of the organs. 

*nft *FT:?^rFcr...f*rqimir% Though all the three Puranic texts 
read ^ 5^.^-^.^ yet ttere Jg not the slightest doubt that it is a 

corrupt reading, for the manas principle remains unexpressed if it 
is not read here Moreover, it is improper to regard the deity as 
'the same as namas\ A very precise definition of manas has been 
given by gankaracarya as 

c ?r^| ^ ^TOqre^ 

(Bhasya on Br-up. 2.4.6). Five tuddhindriyas are often called /wne- 

juLv, 1982] 

ndriyas. For the reason for using the words jHanendriya and /carmen 
driya, vide arlrakabhasya 2.4.6. The nature of these two kinds of 
organs are to be known according to the Sas trie tradition. The 
Eve Dhfitas, namely ksiti (earth), ap (water), tejas (light;, vayu (air) 
and akaa (the substance whose attribute is sound only) are not to 
be confounded with earth etc. V if ay a is used here in the sense of 
<&!iautikas' i. e. 'the objects made up of the five bhfi las' 'the gross or 
complex objects*. 

?nft ST^TTWS,,.^ TO: Brahmanda is the cosmic egg, which, 
according to the Puranaa, consists of the seven lokas. Tadanfarvartrn- 
that which exists in the brahmanda. 'You are both arvactna and 
paractna uiivar^pa^ (the manifold world). ArvScina 'belonging 
to the proximate time* or 'of recent origin' ; paracTna 'belonging 
to ancient times' or 'falling beyond the field of experience'. The 
commentator takes arvactna and paractna in the sense of 'afarakaltfte 
and 'pHruakalika* respectively. 

BrfH^ftW....: Both the absolute brahman and the 
luaUBed brahman are sometimes described in the Upan 1? ad= .etc 
a= possessiog opposite attribute,.- Commentators show that there 
isrtoreal contradiction in SU ch description. It - ^ *? 
that the words ni^ and U as well as their oppos,t are ^ken ,n 

ZTCTCTTC; feng 'He assumes various oigratias 
more thn one sense. OTWWl-^Wi^ ^^ 

ou.t of compassion to his devotees , cp. 
****! (R am apanl-up. 1.1.7). K^^ are the , .to be 

shipped; it -V *e "e To'rd find. ^ 

abo u t the assuming of -* 
expression in the following 

(2.4,10). The purpose of using 
tlie Vedas came out of the 



CBr-up. 2.3.1); 

260 cmiT PURX^A [VOL. xxw., NO. 2 

effort. The view expressed in cRT ^Wsfiatf STI^T is conspicuous for 
its absence in the Vedic works. If sveda (sweat) is taken in the 
sense of 'seed i. e. energy placed in water' (%*& fa^E 3\3 SrfofMfa : ) 
then the sentence may be taken as expressing the same idea as is 
found in Manu 1.9 (vide the comm.); cp. Chan. Up. 6.2-4 which 
says that water was created by Being and that this in turn, willed 
to become many and to grow forth. f^SETT TgcTrfV""^ These lines 
are evidently based on the Purusasukta (RV. 10.90.3,13,14). It 
is noteworthy that the sentence ^JTrfr ^ ERSTfa: is not found in 
the RV. The view is, however, found in the Visnupurana 

(1.5.50);cp. Tai-Br. 
:). Vanaspati maybe taken here in a general 

sense, and not in the restricted sense of 'those which bear fruits 
but not flowers'. 

?ertiC....?rtfr ?HTC?r The third foot reminds one of the first foot 
of the first mantra of the LSavasya-upanisad (^STF ^re*TF*T5 S^f*?). An 
echo of the fourth foot is found in GIta.I1.39 (<T^^ *[zfrsfr T*lt TT^J 
cp. -gpref ^ ?PT ^Frfi f^t^r (Ilavasya-up. 18). 

The variant readings in the Dharmaranyakhanda do not show 
any important difference in meaning. Since &iva is eulogized, 
the words Nilakantha (in vocative case) and ananfarftpaj>a (14) 
have been used. As to why Siva came to be called by the name 
Njlakantha, see Mbh. Adi-p. 18.4 1-43. The word anantardpa is 
significant as in the Vedas, the Rudras are regarded as many 

53rT arf^ ^znH YV. 16.54). The reading 
(19) is corrupt, as it is already read in verse 17. 
The reading 33- M^Sfe?' ^^ (23) (your Veda is the whole world) 
better than the reading in the Kadkhanda, for there are 
authoritative statements to support this view (cp. ^s^^t^er trcf 
, Vakyapadlya 1.120). 

only variant reading in the AuSanasa-upapurana that 
dwer consideration is ^TRrT?lf ffmrfiT in the place of g-Jr^r^TTB^crzrT 
38) or n^% ^^^ (Dharmaranyo 22, Ven. ed.)- 

A* tk preion irffiStRr is grammatically objectionable, the 
in the Uj^purSLaa S6 ems preferable. 

Ram shankar- BHatta.oIiarya. 




The cult of the miirti, which has such a great importance in 
Hindu religious practices has been equated with idolatry in Western 
countries for a long time. For example, E, O. Martin at the begin- 
ning of the century wrote : "The most stricking characteristic of 
Hinduism is idolatry. Idols, idols in every where, they are found 
all over the lands in millions."* The statements of Rev. Sherr- 
mg in a book published in 1864 are even worse : "Idolatry has, for 
aany centuries, drunk the life-blood of the Hindu with insatiate 
thirst, has covered with its pollutions the fair and fertile soil of 
ladia, has drenched the land with its poisoned waters, and has 
rendered its inhabitants as godless as it was possible for them to 
become. 11 * Fortunately nowadays this wrong view has largely 
disappeared, especially thanks to the enlightening studies of Coom- 
bs wamy, Ava Ion, Danieiou 3 and others. From the indologist 
to those who have touched the subject only superficially, no one 
would now affirm that the cult of sacred images in India is idola- 
trous. I n fact, the nwrti is not worshipped as a material object, 

* I 

I heartily thank Pandita Pafiupati Nath Bhattacarya &*strl ? 
Pandita HIramani Misra of the^ All-India Kashiraj Trust, 
Pt. Braja Kifora Tripa^hi Sastrl and all the Otiscr 
pandha-s who helped me to understand the living values o* 

1. Cf. The Gods of India, Delhi, 1972 (rep,), p- 

2. Gf. M. A. SHERRING, Benares, the S&trtd Citjt fff w* 
Hindus, Delhi, 1975 (rep. of 1868), p 46, 

3. Among the many works and articles of C 
dealing with this subject the most relevant 
Transformation aftfatw m Art, New York, t 
Edition, Delhi, 1974) and The &*M* ?**+ 
1968. Of A. DANIELOU, The Hindu 

1963 is worthy of apecial enrfoo. 
especially chap. VIII. 

262 **W*( PURS y A [VOL. xxiv., No. 

rather the Divinity is worshipped through the m&rti. Strictly spea- 
king, one should not say cult "of" the mfirti but cult "in" the miirti, 
that is the cult of that Divinity which is invoked in the image 
through the rite vtavahana and is removed from it through visarjana.* 

Therefore, avahana and visarjana are thought to effect a 
mystic change in the marti. This change, however, has been 
interpreted by some scholars just as a device to help devotion 
during worship. A, K. Coomaraswamy, for example, when spea- 
king of avahana and visarjana rites, says : *It should not be supposed 
that the deity, by invocation and dismissal, is made to come or go, 
for omnipresence does not move; these ceremonies are really proj- 
ections of the worshipper's own mental attitude toward the image. 
By invocation he announces to himself his intention of using the 
image as a means of communion with the Angel; by dismissal he 
announces that his service has been completed, and that he no 
longer regards the image as a link between himself and the deity.* 5 
Avalon speaks in very similar terms. According to him the mean- 
ing o the avahana, the piija and the visarjana is that the mind of the 
Faithful recognizes, worships and then leaves the presence of the 
Divinity in the mmrti, which is a consequence of the divine omnipr- 
esence. So these rituals would not produce any objective change 
in the marti, but only a change in the mental attitude of the faith- 
ful towards the marti. 6 The problem now is to see whether this 
interpretation can be supported by the Scriptures and whether it 
can lead to a satisfactory and definite solution of the problem of 
the relation between the Divinity and the miirti. Looking through 
the Purjpa-s, Agama-s and Tantra-s, we can find many starting 
points for reflecting on this matter. In the puranic texts, especia- 
lly, there is often a section devoted to the construction, consecration 
and worship of sacred images. These sections chiefly give practi^ 
cal rules and technical details, but here and there it is possible to 
find some theoretical passages and some reflections on the meaning 
ivu I n the puranic 

Cf. S. I. VARMA, Bkarat M P ratJk- P uj3 k3 3ra*bh aur 
to , Patna, 1974. p. 14 : 

Transformation, p. 169 
A * AVALON, op. dt., ppe 303 . 304 


arch is mainly based, there are certainly some passages supporting 
the interpretations of Coomaraswamy and Avalon. 

Vifttudharmottara-purarja, 3. 108, for example, is completely 
devoted to the solution of this problem : how can the Omnipresent 
Absolute, who pervades being and non-being, be touched by the 
auahana ? 7 The answer is given very clearly : avahana and pii/a do 
not touch the Supreme who is present always and everywhere in 
the universe. Therefore, pit/a is only "a means for the satisfaction 
of the mind" (%^t FRif ?TT TT^reregfefrKUTq). For tllis reason alone 
the Supreme is called even though He is already present. Worship 
cannot have any effect on Him who is by his very nature always 
blissful, but He accepts it to fulBl the bhakti of his devotees. For 
this reason, indeed, He Himself gives the impulse for the worship 
of sacred images, but the worshipper should always be aware of 
the divine omnipresence, by virtue of which not only the nwrti 
but also the place and the objects used in ptfja as well as all the 
other things are pervaded by the Divinity. 8 The following state- 
ment of the Parama-samhita is even clearer: "God is neither esta- 
blished nor protected by anyone. He only receives the pa/3 of the 

From this assertion is it necessary to infer that the aoahana 
and the other rites do not touch the sacred image at all, but only 
touch the worshipper's mind ? First, we may note that in the 
quoted passages, and generally wherever the problem of the murti 
is considered from this point of view, the intention is to stress the 
idea that the Omnipresent Absolute can never be contained in the 
narrow limits of a man-made form, and that His Bliss- 
fulness cannot be increased by any act of worship 1 . Here the 

7. Gf. Fisnudharmottara-Purana, Third Khanda, edit, by P. 
Shah, Baroda, 1958, 3. 108. 3cd-5, 

8. Ibidem, 3. 108. 14-22. This idea, in a strictly non-dualis- 
tic perspective, is beautifully expressed also in a flote ot 
MahSnirvana-tantra (ed. by J. Vidyasagara, Calcutta, 
1884, 3. 56), which repeats Bhagavadgtta 4.24 : 

9. Of. Paramasatihita, edit, by S. K. Aiyangar, Baroda, 1940, 

18. 12. 
10. Gf. Jvetafvatara-upanisad, 4. 19cd : 

264 *WWl FURXtfA [VOL. xxi v,, NO. 

reality of the murti is, therefore, not taken primarily into considera* 
tioD, but rather the whole attention is directed to making clear this 
idea in the mind of the sadhaka. For example., the passage quoted 
above from the Visnudharmottara-puraga goes on to say : 

In Praina-sawhita> Visnu promises to be present with his own 
fakti in that image which is consecrated and worshipped by a 
knower of Veda and Vedanga, that is to say by a man who has the 
adhikara for it. 13 Morever, many passages speak of God's being 
"invoked" (avahitah)* 3 or "established" (sthapitah}^ 4 * in the marli 
or pratima. According to Hayajtrsapa%caraira> there are even exter- 
nal signs that reveal Krsna's presence in an image : the image be- 
comes light and br'ght and shows an expression of joy. 18 

11. Visnudharmottara-p., 3. 108. 9. Also in ttoka-s 7, 13, 22, 24 
of the same adhyaya the presence of God in a form is 
clearly asserted. Cf. also Agni-purana> edit, by B, 
Upadhyaya, VaranasJ, 1966, 60. 29ab : 



Srt PraJnasamhita, edit, by S. Padmanabham, Tirupati, 
1969, 4. 10-11. Cf. also Varaha-purapa (Venkatefivara, 
Bombay, 1923) : 

fsnr: i (182, 

and t^ ^ fasrpf ^^f^ 5rf^r^: ^if'T I (l82 3 20ab) 

13. For example in Bhagauata-purana, 11.27. 19 (Gorakhpur, 
1968). ' 

U, For example in Parama-sa&hita, 4. 61 and 19. 1. 

15. See R. V. JOSHI, Le rituel de la dtvotion krfnaite t Pondi- 
chery, 1959, p. 83. Also J. N. BANERJEA, in Development 
of Hindu Iconography, Delhi, 1974 (III ed.), p. 69 quotes 

a passage of $advimtJa Brahmapa in which it is said that 
gods' images laugh, cry, dance etc. Gf. also Hamacarita- 
mSnasa (Gorakhpur, n. d.), 1 . 235ff. where the statue of 
Gaun smiles and speaks with SIt r 


There may seem to be a contradiction between the texts cited 
m the last paragraph and those cited earlier. On the one hand the 
divine presence in the mSrti is clearly affirmed^ and on the other 
this presence is described only as a means of satisfying the bhakti 
of the devotees, a device used by God to attract them and facilitate 
their meditation, 1 But under this apparent contradiction, we can 
discover two different points of view: one is that of the devotee, who 
uses the mdrli because he needs this means of reaching the One who 
is Am&rta; the other is that of the yogin who sees the Supreme 
Brahman in everything, and for whom the avahana and visarjana have 
no significance because they cannot modify the Supreme Omni- 
presence he has realized in his own heart. He "sees Siva in the 
Aiman and not in the pratima-s."** 1 These two points of view are 
not incompatible, and it is possible to find them in close proximity 
as we have seen in Visnudharmottara-purana. In fact, the second 
point of view represents the ultimate goal, while the first one is 
only a meanSj an intermediate stage, as the worship of the marti 
has a value only "until one has realized in his own heart the Lord 
present in all beings" : 

u 18 

Worshipping the rwtrti can be compared with learning the 
alphabet, which must precede the overall comprehension of a text : 
in the same way, a man starts worshipping God in his different im- 
ages, following his own faith and bhakti and according to his stage 

16. Cf, Siva-pur ana (VenkateSvara, Bombay, 1965), Kofiru- 
drasamkita, 42. 9ab 

Gf. also Bhagavata-p.j 5. 25. 10 and Mahanirvaya-tanlra, 

4. 16-17 and 13.4, 13. 

I JabaladarSana-upanifad, 

4. 59 ab (in : Upanifatsamgrahah, Patna, 1970). Gf. also Li- 

tiga-purana (ed. by J. Vidyasagara, Calcutta, 1685}, 1. 74. 

30 and 1. 75. 18-22; 3iva-p., Rudrasatr*h\td> U2.50-54; Km- 

ma-purana (ed. by A, S. Gupta, VaranasI, 1971), 11.98.20. 

18. Bhagava'ta-p., 3. 29. 25. Gf, also iva-p., Rudrasatnhita, 1. 

12. 63-67; Agpi-p., 379,31-32; LiBga-p.,1.15. 20. The 

same idea is clearly expressed also in Miitrjwpanisad, 4.6. 


266 ^WH PUFXfclA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 2 

of spiritual evolution, in order to reach the highest stage in which 
he sees Him as the Atman present in all beings. 10 

This fact, however, does not justify a merely symbolic inter- 
pretation of those scriptural passages which speak of the divine 
presence, called in the murti through avahana. Even if the yogirfs 
point of view is superior to the devotee's, it does not remove the 
validity of the latter. It is certainly a relative validity, but only as 
devotion to a personal God is relative in comparison to the realiza- 
tion of Brahman. In the vedantic terminology we can say that the 
yogin's perspective is paramarthika, while the devotee's is vyavahS- 

In the devotional perspective, worship of the mfirti has an im- 
portant but rather limited place on the stairway of spiritual evolu- 
tion that leads to mokfa,. Nevertheless this does not preclude the 
possibility that the limited horizons of this worship may suddenly 
opea up, permitting the devotee to grasp the vision of the All-per- 
vading Absolute. This experience is often represented in the 
Purdnas. It is the moment when the devotee becomes aware of tlae 
fact that the Divinity which he invokes and adores in the image ia 
only the manifestation of that Absolute. Thus in the avahana for- 
mula itself we sometimes find the mixed and harmonious devotion 
to the Lord present in a particular way in the mitrti t and the a ware - 


(Bhagaoata-p., 11. 27. 48) 

($iva-p> t Rudrasamhita, 1. 12. 69ab). 

Notice that in Garudapurfya (edit, by R. Bhattacharya, 
VarSnasi, 1964), 44. 12-13, one is lead to the meditation 
on Alman-Brahman just during the contemplation of a 
Venn's image. 

20. It may ^be interesting to see what ^afakaracarya says in 
mection with the problem we are dealing with. 
ix>n&menting the scriptural statements speaking of God* s 
3 * ** a P* rti cular place (such as in the heart or In 
* 11 ^* he com P*red Him with the space that, 
> mnipresent, is said to abide in the eye of a 
Jtom the point of view of its association with the 
But from the p3ramarthika point of view a limited 
cannot be attributed to the Brahman (who has 
with the unreal world). Gf. Brahmasiftra- 


ness of the divine Omnipresence : "I will invoke that Spirit who 
pervades the twenty-five tattva-s, the Consciousness, the Supreme 
Beatitude who is situated in the heart, beginning from 
Brahma to the blade of grass. From the heart, O Supreme Lord, 
remain steady in the image which is 

It is important to stress that generally it is not the Supreme 
Brahman who is invoked to become present in the sacred image. 22 
The Object of the aoahana t the e 'call", if not one of the many 
gods who, according to Visnudharmottara-pur3?a (3.108.2-3), enter 
the statue by their own $iddki-s t is Ifaara or l/<z, that is the Su- 
preme Lord who can be identified alternately with Siva, Visnu, the 
Devi the Ista-devata to whom the bhakta's devotion is turned. 
The fact tha it is not the Brahman but Ifvara who ''descends" 
into the miirti is comprehensible in the light of two considerations. 
The first one concerns the sadhaka and consists in the fact, as 
already mentioned, that he who has realized the Brahman does not 
need miirti worship anymore. The second one is, so to speak, of 
a "theological" character, and concerns the Brahman who is un- 
manifested (avyakta] and nvrguna by his own nature. What mani- 
fests itself is Ifvara, who gives rise to the world, supports it, 
destroys it and manifests Himself in the auatara-s. Of course, in 
reading the Purana-s, it is necessary to bear in mind that, from 

21. ^tSRTSTTffasiTrfiT TOfWfaer^T^ II 



-p., 60. I9cd-21) 

Also in Vi$nudharmottara-p^ 3. 102, we find an 
formula very similar to this one : 

, u ..Cf. also Varaha-p,, 182. 9 and 186. 11. 
22. There are surely a few passages from which we caa infer 
just the opposite. For example in the passage of Agni-p. 
following the above quotation, it is written : 

1 (60.23) 

But this fact is explained by the identification of Visnu, 
invoked in the statue, with the Brahman (see below). 

268 ^ IJ URStfA [VOL. xxiv., No. 

their dovotional perspective, the Ista-devata has very often been 
so exalted as to be identified with the Brahman itself, 28 therefore 
in the Ista-deuata the characteristics of Ifvara and Brahman are 

In order to fully understand the problem of the m&rti we are 
dealing with, it is important to examine how the idea of divine 
manifestation in a definite form has been developed in the puranic 
literature In the Supreme One two forms are distinguished : para 
and apara, amurta and mttrta^^ : the first one is un manifested and 
can be neither seen nor known by the common man, nor even by 
gods, and all the more it cannot be used as a support for medi- 
tation nor be the object of religious practices 26 ; the second one is 
the "form of Bhagavat having a mi/rti" (^ snre^ft ^T1 
6.7. 78a), the same mmti that "abides in the avatara-s 

z?T $1%^^, Garuda-p., 1.226.32 cd) and hence can be contem- 
plated, worshipped, "invoked*" by men. In this connection also 
the Parama'Sarhhita (3.5-7) very clearly affirms that only he who 
is endowed with a murti (murtiman) can be taken as an object of 
pilja by a devotee but he who is Nirakara can be reached neither 
through acts of worship nor with praising hymns, nor even by 

23. Gf , for example, S'iva-p., Rudrasarnhita, 41. 42 : -^ 

1. 1. 12; Bhagavata-p. t 11. 16. 1; Linga-p., 1. 95. 22 where 
Siva, Visnu, Krsna and Nrsimha are identified with the 
Brahman. Gf. also above n. 22. 

24. itftftf TO*^F I (Agni-p. t 347. 9c; 

"5T I Visyu-purSna (Gorakh- 

pur, 1969), 1. 22. 55ab; 

'ST II ibidem, 6. 7. 47. 

A clear definition o f para and apara is found in Bfha- 
nnaradfyapurava (edit, by H, Shastri, VarSnasI, 1975 
(lied.)), 31.57-59. 

25. Cf. Devi BhagaiQta (edit, by R. T. Pandey, Ka^I, 1969), 
3. 8. 19-20; Bhaoi/ya-purapa (Veiikate^vara, Bombay. 
1959), 1. J49. 19; G/ w> l. 2 26. 33. 


a. 2 * The Visnu-purana says that^o^zn-s also, in the beginning 
of their yogic practice, concentrate on the "Miirta" One.* 7 

In such a context, of course, the term "mfirti" is not used in 

the narrow sense of a sacred image or pratim2 t but with its wider 

etymologic meaning, i.e. something that has assumed a form or a 

consistency, a "concretion", "personification", "manifestation". as 

Here we really find the key to understanding the doctrinal 

basis from which faith in God j s presence in the sacred image finds 

its justification. In fact, when the term mBrti is connected with 

avatara, as in the above quoted passage, 29 it is just to convey 

something very similar to what happens in the avatar a : in both 

cases the Amtirta One takes a murti, that is to say, He becomes 

concrete, manifests Himself, assumes a form, "descending" into a 

body or, in our case, into a pratima. How God can become present 

in the image surely remains mysterious, but this is not a greater 

and more inexplicable mystery than the aaatSra : here and there 

26. The same idea is also expressed in Visgudharmtttara-p., 3. 
46. 3cd-6ab : 

: n 

cf. also Vif&u-p, 9 6. 7. 55. 
27. f q^tOlf^: ftn^T fa&& \ (1. 22, 

28. In this general meaning, the term m&rti is often used 
simply to signify the different aspects of God, as Siva's 

Asfamitrti (cf. Linga-p., 2. 13. Iff,; -?-> 
samhita, 2 and Vajtavfyatajhhita, 2. 3. I8ff,) or a particular 
form in which He manifests Himself or is worshipped by 
his devotees (for example in Agni-p., 379. 6b; Bht&tfjwp., 
1. 4. 195 and 1.154, 15-20). Also remark -that inert* 
and arttfrta are often synonymous of sagu&a and njrgtW* 
as in Agni-p , 274. 9c; Vi?ft*i> , 1. 22, 55b and 6. 7. 47c. 

29. Garuda-p.> 226. 32. 

2/0 "TOT^ PURS^A t VOL. XXIV., NO. 

the infinite bends itself towards the finite to meet the man. 30 
The question of how this manifestation or "descent" can take 
place is very often posed in the Purarta-s t and the answer is always 
the same : the Absolute manifests Himself for the sake of the 
world, to meet the needs of his devotees, to attract them to Him- 
self. 81 The Bhagavata-purana even says that He Ce puts on a rwrti for 
our sake, impelled by his great compassion". 33 The problem 
then remains unsolved because it is constantly shifted from the 
"how" to the "why". Therefore, we have to accept the fact that 
it is impossible to pry into the impenetrable depths of this divine 
mystery in order to understand how the presence of the Without- 
Form can exist in the limited form of the image. By examining 
the Scriptures, however, we can find out in which ways this divine 
presence becomes actual and which are the terms that can 
define it. 

First of all, let us observe that such a Presence depends 
on a series of definite and objective conditions, in the absence 
of which the Divinity does not descend into the murti* The 
first of these conditions concerns the mitrti itself while the 
second one concerns the celebration of its consecratory 

As is well known, the tnSrti must conform to some defin- 
ed iconographic models which establish its posture, the 

30. It is interesting to notice that the verb "ava-tf", in its 
causative form, is also used to mean the Divinity's des- 
cent in the murti during the avahana, for example in 
Kalika~pur3pa (edit, by V. N. Shastri, VaranasI, 1972), 
58. 135 ab. The idea of the connection between mfirti 
and aoatara has been doctrinally developed by the 
PaScaratra-s. They call the sacred image "aTc3vat3ra" t 
term explained by O. Schrader as "incarnation for the 
purpose of ordinary worship". God, descending with 
his Sakti in the arc3oatara t becomes present there with a 
subtle body, just as in the physical bodies of the aoatdra^, 
See O, SGHRADER, Introduction to the PdncarStra and ths 
Ahirbudhnya Samhita, Madras, 1916, pp. 48-49. 

31. Cf. for examble $iva~p., Kotirudrafarhhita, 1. 15-17 and 
MohZnirvava-tantra, 4. 16-17 and 13. 2-13. 

32. ^f *: 3^*n SRK *r^f **$s ssKrfet? ftnfrrfcT TT i 

: It 
(5. 25. 10) 


number and the position of its limbs, the emblems etc., 
because every peculiar aspect of the image has to be in accor- 
dance with a determinate aspect of the Divinity. Besides that, 
iconometric canons are also given which fix the proportions 
of the image up to the smallest detail. 88 The Puraya-s ^ flOTt 
the observance of all the rules prescribed in the 3stra-s on 
this subject and threaten whoever makes or owns an image 
which is not in accordance with the prescribed canons with 
every kind oE evil and mishap." And the threat goes even 
further: according to the Vifnudharmottara-puraya tne 
gods, even if called by the best of the Brahmans, do not 
inhabit the pratimS that is lacking in pramana-s and 
w. that has not the required iconographic chwa 
the contrary Piaca-s, Daitya-s, Danava-s enter it* 

33. The best and the most complete study on 


perhaps the already quoted book of J. ".BAWJtKJ , 
Tbi Development of Hindu Iconography, especially cbs, v 

to XII. 

34. Gf. for example Matsya-purava ;(edit. by 
Calcutta, 1876), 258. 15-21 and 261 

clearly states, 

(edit, by B. Mifira, Varanasi, 1968, 4. 4. /oca 

35. sirmtm srfwt n u 

GT. also P tf fl^tfU. 19. 9. 

. ao . . 

consequences that have been "> e ?** e * ^ take place 
as theDivinity's departure from the m* can ^ 

if the mtrli breaks burns or ^ com ^ into ^ } A 
impure things, in which case the ^ ^ ccording to the 
by a new one through specific rites, or,^ ^^^ See 

cases, the consecratory rites mu **t> 

-ta "'*. 

67; Par^a-sta, "'*. ^ f p p. 568- 


.), vol. 

[VOL. xxiv., NO.^ 

fore, pramapa-s and lakfana-s are so important that, if they 
are absent, even the consecratory rites are ineffective. l^ 
fact, the gods refuse to enter that mitrti> leaving free passage 
to demoniacal presence. By the way, it is necessary to 
note that the texts do not always take such a rigid position - 
according to some texts, for example, the exactitude of the 
proportions is required only for the immovable mdrti-s and 
for the miirti-s of the temples. Furthermore, according to 
those texts and those passages in which the devotional vi ew 
assumes more importance than the ritualist one, the devotee's 
bkaktt can make up for any deficiency in the form of the mfirti 
and of the rites. 88 

Nevertheless, one is led to ask oneself about trie signi- 
ficance of a conception according to which the good result o f 
worship and even the divine presence in the mttrti are condi- 
tioned by the conformity of the mSrti to iconographic rules. 
This fact requires a closer examination and it could be by 
itself an object of separate study. For the moment, let us limit 
ourselves to a single .remark : the miirti, as Danielou has 
observed 87 , is the concretization of certain divine aspects and 
cosmic forces, just like a maydala or a yantra, but in a less 
abstract form which is, therefore, more approachable by the 
common man. This idea in itself is sufficient for us to under- 
stand that it is not possible to leave the Divinity's representa- 
tion to individual inspiration or imagination, because every 
single part of the mSrti has precise cosmic references that 

36. The wonderful story, related in the Bhaktamala, of sant 
Dhana is significant. Dhana, by the power of his simple 
devotion, invoked in a stone the presence of God who 
manifested Himself and even ate the offerings of food 
presented to Him. Gf. Bhaktamala, Lucknow, 1977 (XVI 
ed), pp. 522-524. 

7. See A. DANIELOU, O p. dt. t p. 332. See also G. RAO, 
Ehmtnts tf Hindu Iconography, VSranasI, 1971 (II ed,), 
pp. 27*28; G. tUGGI, Teoria e fratica del mandala,, Roma, 
1969, p. 89; S. N. DASGUPTA, Fundamentals of Indian 
Art, Bombay, 1960 (II ed.), p. 25. 


cannot be confused or left oat. 38 Besides this, even if the 
absolute precision necessary in the ma$&a\a. is not required for 
the murti, the sacred image is neverthleas a ritual support, aad 
its importance is particularly great because it is destined lo 
become the dwelling of the Divinity; that's why in a mini, 
as in a rite, even the smallest detail has a great importance, 
When the Divinity is called upon to come and dwell in the 
mflrli, that mftrlt must be as suitable as possible for its nap- 
tion; that is, it must be in the greatest possible conformity 
with the form (*,**<.) of that particular Divinity 
ed in the Scriptures." Then the mi* can truly be 
a "concretization", a visible manifestation of tbe 
Divinity dwelling in it. 

As regards the performance of consecratory all the 
external conditions of time and place should 
taken into consideration. Accordiag to ** 
for example, the good result of the riaf*. a 
on the g o P od or bad conditions of -h^ace t*J - 

(fc 3 Z a )*o, of the people (pvrufa) and of '* . , W im 

the required conditions, the celebrant s - 

38. The Puraya-* are v0 

interpretation of these *y^> ols - f ^ika^Uf f- 
be given to the III kh>>v4 a 'terial on bi tubjeu. 
whith there is much relevant m ate ev(e cin find 

especially from fld ^ 4 * ^J iai^-J, but ri 1 r 
only the description WJ ^^Scd teto. 
symbolical meaning wbicn 
is used. 

#ffi where- "f A ^ Tbelame pM"*^" 

503 ff. 


portance too^. The ceremony through which the Divinity becomes 
present in the sacred image (srmmdhjakaray*) is the centre of a series 
of rites called tl pran a -pratisthc?\ culminating in the avahana which 
is the essential part of it. These rite? can continue for many days 
and they are sometimes performed with great pomp and solem* 
nity.* 2 However, they can also be red uced to a few gestures or 
even to the avahana alone, as is the case of a little domestic mtirti, 
whose prana-pratistha can 'be repeated every day before the daily 
piija or during every act of worship/ 13 Generally the Scriptures 
distinguish between two kinds of mtlrti : the cola and the acala. In 
the first case, the worshipper can repeat at will the avahana and the 
visarjana before and after every pajs t but avahana and visarfana arc 
compulsory if the statue hns been moved. In the second case, the 
avahana is performed once and for all in the moment of placing the 
muni in a temple or in its fixed 

Moreover, there are two fundamental kinds o 
thevedicand tantric. In the Tantra-s, we can find many descrip- 
tions of prana-pratistha, but still a great part of tantric ritual re- 
mains secret, especially as far as formulas and mantra-s are concern- 
ed. The reason is, in fact, that the tantric ritual, just as the magic 
ritual, sets forces in motion which only the initiates are able to 
control. Thus even a small mistake in gesture or in the pronun- 
ciation of a syllabe can be fatal For whoever performs the rite. 
Different local traditions are rich in anecdotes regarding this sub- 
ject : thus disciples are said to have been stricken by great misfor- 

41. Gf. Matsya-p. 9 254.264 and 264. led ff. 

42. Such were the rites for the consecration of a new statue; 
of Annapurna in VariiiasI in January 1977. The- 
prava-pratiftha was patronized by the Sringerl's dankarii- 
carya, His Holiness Sri Abhinava Vidyatlrthu 
Svamin, who for the occasion had the Candi-yajfta and 
the Rudra-ya/Sa celebrated. They continue'd for about 
one week, with the participation of 212 paydita*s. 

43. Cf. for example Agni-p., 74.55 and Parama-samhita, 27,22, 
Note that avahana and visar/ctna must be performed also 
in the mental /w/2-J, like in the pttja described in Parama- 
sa&hita, 4. 24-26. 

44. CT.BAajarato-0., 11.27.13-H. According to Parama- 
s**htta> 23. 26ah in the caie of a movable statue, 3v<ihan<i 
and war/ana must be compuhorily repeated every time j 


tune or by death for having uttered secret mantra-s> which they have 
extorted from the Guru before being able to use them, and for 
suddenly finding themselves in face-to-face dangerous contact with 
the presence of the Divinity which they have invoked. 

The second kind of praya-pratiffha is widely described in the 
Purana-s and ^4gama-s and is called "vedic". This does not mean 
that it dates back to vedic times whether or not the marti cult 
existed in vedic times is still a topic of debate 45 but it means 
that in this kind of praya pratistka mostly vedic mantra-* and vedic 
rituals are used. Nevertheless the distinction between vedic and 
tantric pr3ya-pratirfha is not completely rigid : it is well known 
that in the Puratta-s there are plenty of tantric ideas 46 and the 
vedic ritual of praya- pratistha that we are going to examine is 
also full of tantric elements. The vedic and tantric rituals are 
often mixed especially in Bengal, where the famous Durga-pujZ 
is full of tantric elements. On the other hand, the sanction for 
this mixing is provided by the Puraya-s. In fact the Bhagaoata- 
purapa enumerates three kinds of rituals : vedic, tantric and 
mixed rituals 47 * In South India, however, vedic and tantric 
rituals remain almost completely distinct. 

As we said, the praya-pratiffha includes a great number 
of ritual acts : the bath of the statue which must be 
performed tinder an apposite mapJapa, its unction with perfumes 
and sandal paste, the consecration of kalafa, the homa, the 
offerings of food, water and flowers and also other rites that, 
with few variants, appear in all the Puraya-i dealing with this sub- 
ject 43 . Among these rites, the most relevant to our study are those 

45. J. N. Banerjea has given a wide outline of this debate: 
op. ciL, pp. 41 ff. See also S. L. VarmS, op. *?*., 
pp, 5 ff. and G. Rao, op, cit,, pp. 4-5, 

46. See G. Ghakravarti, Tantras Studies on their Religion and 
Literature, Calcutta, 1972 (rep.), P- 80 and B. Upadhyaya, 
Pura$<L Vimar*a t VarauasI, 1965, pp. 448 ff. 

47. See Bkagavata~p. s IK 27. 7ab : 


48. The two more classic PufSya-s in this 
Agri-p. (adhyaya* 59,60, 62, 63, 66) " 
ladhyay* 263-265), but also see Gmi*-p**&l 
11 .2?f "to*. lra&*fr***to, Uttarabhaga , 
agamic and tantric literatures are also very rich in ritual 

276 tPt ruRfcfcu [VOL. xxiv., NO. 

performed on the murti, especially the avahana because by examin- 

ing them we can understand the relation between the Divinity 

and the mirrti, and consequently, the way in which the Divinity 
is present in it. 

' First of all; it should be noted that many of those prana- 
pratiftha rites which aim at preparing the image for the God's 
descent may be regarded as normal acts of purification and 
worship. Such acts are usually performed with all the sacred or 
sacred-related objects 49 , but of course in the case of prava-pratitfka 
they take on a greater importance and solemnity. Some other rites 
have a more specific character and, between these, nyasa is 
particularly important. During the pra$a-pratiffha 9 the officiant 
performs nyasa upon himself, then repeats it upon the miirti. The 
reason for this lies in the fact that the celebrant cannot consecrate 
the rrwrti and invoke in it the Divinity (and not even do a paja ) 
unless he has performed the same rituals upon himself, thus 
identifying himself with that Divinity (atmapra&a-pratis/ha) , so 
that he simply communicates to the image that particular divine 
presence which he has first evoked in himself. 50 In the Puraga-s 

prescriptions for the consecration of the m^rti-s (see for 
example Parama-satfihita, 18-19 and Mahanirvaya-tantra, 
12). The technical work of Nllakantha Bhafta, Pratiffka- 
markka (edited by Daulataram Gauda, VaranasI, 1971) 
should be noticed together with a fe'w pages of Nirgaya* 
sindhu (Bombay, 1949) in which we can find some of the 
praya-pratiftha formulas very commonly used till now. 

49. In the same way, for instance, all the vessels must be 
purified and worshipped with flowers or anointed with 
sandal paste before being used in a puja. Even the hand 
with which one brings flowers in the temple for offering 
must be purified with water . 

50. Cf. Agni-p., 59.1 ff.; Matsya-p. 9 265.34-35; Garuja-p., 31, 

10-12; 48,49; Bhagavata-p , 11.27.19; Parama-samhita* 19.59. 
C t Chakravarti ( op. dt. 3 p. 80) rightly sees in this fact 
a ,tantric influence. However there is certainly an influe- 
nce from that traditional idea so well expressed by the 

"No one can worship God, if he is 

not Ood'% This purely advaitic idea is supported by the 
authority of Upanifad-s. (see Bfhadaravyaka-up., 1.4.1O.- 

er tf *s) and also 

appears in many Puraya--*. Cf., for example, 
Uttarabhaga, 22.42 cd-43 ab: 



different kinds rfnj&ta are mentioned : Divinities, abstract svmbol., 
the sun, the Indian rivers, etc can be "placed" on the different 
parts of the mZrti. All these concrete or abstract entities are 
generally symbolized by means of sacred syllabes which the priest 
visualizes as being put on the eyes, on the limbs, on the heart, 
on the navel, etc. of the pratima. The more meaningful and coinmcnSy 
used of these nyasa-s is certainly the one in which the ptiest 
mentally places the various tattua s on different parts of the 
statue, such as prana t buddhi, ahamkara, manas, tariff? jjra-s, 
makabhdta-s and all the tattva-s which, according lo Ss#kfi\a, 
const Hue the manifested universe. 51 'For this reason it is spont- 
aneous to compare the nya&a arid the act of the jr//i, all the more 
so because, according to Agni-puraaa, 67.2, these tattva-s must be 
reabsorbed with the samhara rite at the moment of riser farm, just 
as the tattva-s of the universe will be reabsorbed in the moment 
of pralaya* 

The murti is cosmicizied with the tyasa, before receiving in 
itself the divine presence, and thus it is mystically transformed 
into a microcosm; this microcosm is considered as a living orga- 
nism and, therefore, is similar to the man who is himself a micro- 
cosm. * a In fact, also the sensory faculties of the mfirti have to be 

and 26. 13 ab: 

In this connection, these words of h'alika-p. are 
particularly strong: 

Wt W **w ^^ { (".10?) 

51. CSC, for example, Ag**., 59,17 ff. *^J 

the nyasa** formula given in Mr?a?astndku, 3.1, p. 
in Pratiffhamayiikha, pp. 150-151. 

52. See for example the following passage of Am-p. (59. K 

16 ab) which gets strength from the context , 


JfiraasindtoL, S.l.p. 25O). 

2?8 OT pURXtfA [VOL. Xfciv,, NO. 

"roused": the Brhatsarhhita speaks of "rousing" the statue from 
steep with songs and dances and one of the most popular hymns 
sung in Bengal during Durga-pfija, "Jago'Durga", is an invitation 
to the Devi to "rouse 91 . Here the rite with which the eyes of the 
murtio-re opened is particularly beautiful and meaningful. The 
officiant, pronouncing a mantra, touches the eyes of the statue with 
a stick to the top of which a tuft otkula grass or some flowers are 
tied and in this way he gives light to the Divinity's eyes. 8 * Both 
to touch the cheeks of the statue and to touch its heart are other 
meaningful gestures and all have the same basic symbolism : 
infusing life into the pratia3, which is directly connected with the 
significance of prana-pratistha (the "establishing the life" in 

the marti). 


Through such words the officiant invokes in the statue the 
praya zndjiva of the Divinity, and he also invokes the indriya* one 
by one, Ba Of course, here a symbolic language is used because the 
Divinity has not the sense organs, but it well expresses the idea of 
the "vivification of the image" (sajlvakarapa). This vivification 
cannot be considered accomplished until the Divinity invoked by 
the celebrant descends into the mifrti whose senses have been roused 
and in which life has been infused : 

53. Quoted by J. N. BANERJEA, op. '., pp/ 566-567. 

54. Upwrf foff ^ ^Mtezrt^sprr: " 

(Agni-p., 62.3 cd) 

(Matsya-p., 263.33) 

Notice here that a golden stick is said to be used for 
opening the Divinity's eyes, like in GaTu4a-p. r 48.35-36. 
55. Of. Nirttqyasindhu, 3,1, p. 250. This formula, ,as t well as 
the others, are susceptible of variations in the common 
use. This fact is testified by the modern karmakS^4a 
manuals. See for example, KarmetkSy4 a Paddhatih, edit, 
by G. Datta gastrl, Mathura, s. d., p. 166 : 

^sfarrot SPTT srmr: ........ area: ^T: 

also Sanatkumara-tantra, 

4.13 and 10.78-80 (in Xantraaxgruhalt, vol. Ill, edit, by 
R. Tripathl, VaranasI, $79,.pp, 


The avahana is certainly the most olemn moment of all the 
pT5aa-pratisth3 ceremony s because through avahana the mystical 
change in the mitrti is fulfilled. In the Pura#a-s many formulas of 
avahana are given and some of them are wonderful prayers by which 
the celebrant invokes God with devotion, asking him to become 
present in the pratima and identifying Him with the Paramatman, 
with the Supreme Lord, Omnipresent and All-pervading, Crea- 
tor and Sustainer of all things. 57 But usually, the avahana is per- 
formed by uttering a short mantra which varies depending on wheth- 
er the mifrt i is cala or acala. If the rrwrti is acala, the Divinity is 
invoked to remain in the pratima for ever, "till the sun and the 
moon/' B 8 exist. If the mtlrti is cala, the Divinity is requested to stay 
in it for the whole time of the pit/a.* 9 Among the stereotyped for- 
mulas used for avahana of different Divinities, the formula quoted 
by the Nirnayasindhu is one of the most often used, appearing with 
few variants in many manuals of karmakanda* 


56. Agni-p., 40.2 1-cd 22a. Gf. also Samskarapaddhatili by 
BHASKARA, Poona, 1924, p. 29 : ^fcf 

57. Cf. for example Vtsyudharmottara-p. t 3.102; Varaha-p., 185. 

10-17; Agni-p, y 60.19-23. 

58. So it is said in the wellknown formula : 


(Pratisthamayffkha, p. 

59. For example, this is the formula used in the avahana of 

a cala linga : ^rf^ ^5TT?rm TT^ ^m^ffm^l 

fe^T^^r r4^ ^rfWIr ?*% \\ 

60. See for example in V. SARMA GAUDA, _ 
/Mr^tetA. vLanasI, 1977, ? 8 and in V. N. 
Grahapr'ayogali arthat grahafsntth, Ka4i, l^^, P- 

61. Wirnayasindhu, p. 250. In the Pratitfl&My**** (p- 

this formula is given with the following variant ; 

280 $TPTJ PURH$A [VOL, XXIV., NO. 2 

After welcoming God who has settled in the murti t one has to 
invoke Him again : "O Bhagavat, with that form with which You 
pervades all the mobile and immobile things, remain present in the 
sacred images, o Lord of gods !" 

Anyway, it must be pointed out that, although the technical 
literature and the Purapa-s themselves are rich in ritual prescrip- 
tions and formulas for the prana-pratis$ha y all these texts have to be 
considered incomplete in many cases., and most probably purposely 
incomplete. We have already mentioned the fact that in tantric 
rituals many parts remain secret : also in the cases of many other 
common rites of consecration, the Divinity's name or a particular 
mantra which will henceforth be pronounced during every p&/3 
remair secret. This happens especially in the case of family Divi- 
nities (kula-deoata} whose secret mantra is handed on from father to 
son and is jealously kept in the narrow family circle, but this 
mantra (or name) remains often secret also in the prana*pratisth3 of 
the miirti-s which are under the care of a mat ha or of a religious 
association and, in this case, it is known, only by the pufari of that 
matha or of that association. This is because the Divinity's name 
or the mantra has a determinant power in the avahana and just 
through it the Divinity is called 63 . Here is the heart of the matter: 
what happens during the avahana ? How can a mantra evoke the 
divine presence ? Figuratively, we could say that When the cele- 
brant invokes God in one of his aspects and asks Him to become 
present in the muni, he attunes himself on the wavelength of the 
Divinity, catches its vibrations and infuses them in the miirti. The 
instrument which enables him to catch the vibrations of one certain 
Divinity among many other divine vibrations is its name or its 
particular mantra, which, as its essence, is indivisible from the 
J3mmty uaelf^JnjhiB connection there is all the theology of the 

(P- 29) : 3TPT BftcRc^ft *cTT5T II This formula is also 
present in the *Wfer- Al according to V. garma Gauda, 
but he specifies neither the edhySya nor the ttoka (TaJSa- 
mlma&SQ t p. 5J3). 

62. Mf, 3. 1, p , 250 and Pratis ttemayZkha, p. 156. 



Name, especially developed by vaisnava movements, according to 
which in God "nama-naminor abhedah" .** Morever, the mantra is 
the essential and enigmatic expression of the same symbolism found 
in the iconographical form which simply expresses it in a more 
concrete and explicit way. Therefore, there is a perfect correspon- 
dence between the mantra and the iconographical form of a certain 
Divinity because both of them are manifestations of the same di- 
vine essence 8 fi . For this reason in the pratia-pratistha (but also in 

64. This doctrine is based on the idea of the eternity of 
sound and, carried to its extreme consequences, has led 
to the consideration of God's Name as something greater 
than -God himself, somehow. See S. K. DE, The Early 
History of the Vaisnava Faith and Movement in Bengal, 
Calcutta, 1961, pp. 486-487 and T. K. VENKATE- 
SVARAN, Radha-Krishna Bhajanas of South India : A 
Phenomenological, Theological, and Philosophical Study, in : 
Krishna-. Myths, Rites and Attitudes, edit, by M. Singer, 
Chicago, 1966, p. 169. Also in the Pur2ya-s a supreme 
power is attributed to the Name of God, as the great 
number of sahasranamastotra-s present in the puranic litera- 
ture can show. For example let us mention the Sivasaha- 
sranana, in Litiga-p., 1. 98- 27-158, rfii**., Kotirudra 
Samhita 35, the Visnusahasratama, in Garuda-p*, 1, 15 and 
Padma-p. (Poona, 1894), Uttarakhayja, 72. 113-297, and 
the Durgasahasranama, in JTtfmw-p., 1-2. 76-216. The im- 
portance of the repetition of God's Name is always much 
stressed and this repetition is said to grant fulfillment 
of all desires, purification from all sins, the merits one 
can get from the pilgrimage to all tfrtfow and even 
mukti\ Cf. for example PflrfHifl-A. Uttarakhavda, 72. 1-110; 
Agni-p., 305.16; U*g*-p., 1-44, 48-49; Aw*., Un******. 
20. 50-52; Bhagavata-p., 1. 1. 14; 1. 5- H; H- 5-36-37. 

65. See A. DANIELOU, o P . dt., p. 332. As is well known, 
the importance of mantra has been stressed especially p in 
the tantrism (see A. AVALON, op. *., pp. 312 ff.). but 
also in the /V* ^e can find a lot of matenal about 
mantras in their connection with different Dw.mties 
especially in Agni-p. which dedicates several adhyaya-s to 
this subject (302, 304 ? 308, 317 etc. ). 


every pSfl) a great importance is given to mfila-mantra, which can 
be translated as "fundamental" or "specific" mantra and which is 
the mantra characteristic of a particular Divinity. In this connec- 
tion the Agni-puraxa (49.37cd-38ab) clearly states that the vilifi- 
cation of that Divinity, whose sthapana has to be made, must be 
performed through mala-mantra : 


When the prana-pratistha has been accomplished, the 
can be worshipped or in the case of a -temple's murti, it can be 
exposed to public veneration. It is very important to stress the 
fact that before performing the pr3pa-pratitfh3 t the mitrti is only an 
object like many others; at most it can function as a symbolical 
reminder as do sacred images in Christianity, but it cannot be an 
object of worship. All the sacred value of the mUrti as the seat of 
divine presence depends in fact on the pT3na-pratiffha; thus it is 
said that if one makes a mistake in pronouncing mantra-s or in per- 
forming the prana-prati/ths rites, one runs the risk of worshipping a 
mere stone as Divinity. es This is obviously a far cry from idola- 
try ! , Furthermore, the PurSaa-s explicitly warn the faithful agai- 
nst the piijs of a murti whose consecration has not yet been per- 
formed 67 , because, as we insisted from the very beginning, not the 
image in itself is worshipped but the Divinity presen t in it. 

There is one more problem regarding this "divine presence", 
namely, what is the relationship between the murti and the Divinity 
present in it ? Recalling what happens during the prana-pratisiha* 
we can say that ''inhabitation" is perhaps the most suitable term 
for the definition of this relationship. This term is also suggested 
wben it is constantly affirmed that God becomes present (sannihita) 
inthemfrti. Moreover, "adhivasana", that is "inhabitation", is 
the term which is used to describe a part of the praya-pratistha 

66. CL Aryasaptafatt, 386 (quoted in Sabdakalpadruma* sub 
voce "pratisfka 9 ') : 

pr for sjferei ?nfer ?r n^ fer?rr srfesr ^ I 

p. 513. 


quoted by V . S, GAUDA in 


r ites, which also includes the avahana.** The term "inhabitation" 
is, however, imprecise, because the relation between Divinity and 
Wtlrti cannot be compared to the one between a house and its inha- 
bitants merely. We have seen that the murti is mystically tranfor- 
*&ed through prana-pratistha into a living organism, that the mterti 
is vivified by the prana, thejlva t the indriyas of the Divinity and that 
somehow it is regarded as the Divinity's body. A proof is the fact 
that the pratima is often called by names such as vapu, tanu, vera etc. 
m the Scriptures. This way of "feeling" the sacred image as the 
Divinity's body is peculiar especially to the Pafaaratra SamhitS-s, 
vvhich consider the area, the sacred image object of worship, as one 
of the five God's manifestations (vibhava).** Also the yantra which, 
as we have seen, is somehow an equivalent of the mSrti is often 
spoken of as a Divinity's body, especially in the Tantrar s. 7 Yet 
We cannot speak of a perfect union between the Divinity and this 
"body'*. In fact, just as God enters the murti through avahana, in 
the same way He leaves it through visarjana. Also if any accident 
befalls the murti a fall, a breakage and, according to some sources, 
even the impure contact with an out-cast it may results in the 
God's removal from the murti as from a habitation that has become 
unpleasant. 71 

Actually, the relationship between Divinity and auhrti escapes 
precise definition; again and again the tradition haa stressed the 
mifrti aspects as the Divinity's body or habitation, but this second 
aspect seems to be more consistent from a doctrinal point of view 
and on the basis of puranic texts. Perhaps the term that beat of 
all expresses the rridrti reality, including both the ideas of habi- 
tation and of living organism, is the term t'jJuamandira" which 

68. qfc <mfn^KomfirarevT7Bird I (Agni-p. t 59, 1 ab) Cf. also 
Mahanirvaya-tantra, 13. 285 where the pratima is called 
"devatavasa" ''Divinity's habitation". 

69. On the idea of area in the Paffcaratra's doctrine, see S. R. 
BHATT, The Philosophy of Pancharalra, Madras, 1968, 
p. 41 and the articles of M, YAMUNAGHARYA, V. 
Visisktadvaita Philosophy and Religion, Madras, 1974, pp. 
206-211, p. 240 and p. 258. See also above n. 30. 

70. See J. WOODRQFFE, Introduction to T^J* str ** 
Madras, 1973 (VI ed.), pp. 92-95 and P. V. KANE, op. 
cit, s vol. V, pt* II, p. 1135. 

71. See above n. 35. 

284 flJpPURXtfA t vOL - XXIV., NO 

appears in Bhagavata-puraya, 11.27.13b, and which means "living 
habitation" or "living temple' 1 of the Divinity.' 2 

We now have many elements for answering the initial pro- 

blem at least from a puranic point of view. We have seen that 

the marti worship has certainly the value of offering psychological 

aid to the devotee, because the mSrti represents a concrete divine 

form to which he can direct his devotion and meditation. At the 

same time, m&rti-puja. is only a step towards a higher realization 

and towards the transcendence of any forms and rites. But to 

consider the murti only as a symbol or as a support for meditation 

is an incomplete view, a disregard of its deepest reality, that is the 

divine presence, which should not be understood merely as a pra- 

ctical means for the devotee. The divine presence in the m&rti is 

something effective at a mystical level. If we have to use Christian 

terminology, we could say that it is somehow a "sacramental" 

presence. God is everywhere, but through the power of the 

avah&na's mantra He enters the murti with his fakti and gives to 

his bhakta-s in a very specific way the grace of his presence. Thus 

we cannot consider av3hana and visor jana merely as a ''psychological 

drama" which is played for the purpose of worship in the mind 

of the $2dhaka-z : they truly result in a mystical transformation of 

the miirti, as clearly comes out by examining the ritual and the 

72. In this connection is remarkable the similarity between 
the nwrti and the temple which are both inhabited by 
God and both considered His body, although in a difFe* 
rent way. In the ceremony of temple dedication, as des- 
cribed in Agni-p. 9 101-102, there are analogies with some 
prSffa-pratifths rites. Moreover the Agni-p. clearly states 
that the temple is a kind of mSrti : STim^ ^T^T^T $%^S^ 
(61* 19 cd.) and considers it to be a microcosm and a 
living organism, just like the mUrti. The various chara- 
cteristics of the temple are linked with the mahabhtita-* and 
its parts with the parts of the human body, while the 
pratims has the place of the Jiva (srfOTT ** W*$) 
20*26). The temple, as the milrti, is the instrument 
through which God is present in the world in a concrete 
and approachable way : 

n (A grt i-p. 9 61. 26 cd). 


Scriptures. The pr3ya-pratiftha marks the murti with a particular 
ieal which elevates the murti above all other things and makes it 
an important point of contact between man and God. 

This article has been revised, enlarged 

Author from the original Italian which has been P^"" 
of "Pubblicazioni di Indologica 1 ' ed b O. Boo, 

Torino, 1978. 




The Sthala-Pwaya Niladri-Mahodayam is a big work covering 
91 Adhyayas. This Purapa was compiled on the model of the 
Purusottama-Mahatmya of the Skanda-purana. The internal and 
external evidence indicate that this puratta was composed sometime 
in the latter part of the 14th century A. D. This PurSaa, though 
primarily a Pura$a of Jagannatha tattva and Jagannatha cult, pre- 
sents a fairly comprehensive picture of the society of its time, 
There is no doubt that the institution of Jagannatha influences the 
social life of the people of Orissa. A deep and careful study of 
the Niladri-Mahodayam opens out many striking features of the 
then society, in its social, political, economic and cultural aspects. 
A society, being dynamic in nature, is a mirror-image of civili- 
zation. The contemporary civilization is clearly reflected in the 
NHadri-Mahodayam with sufficient references to the duties of the 

The society figuring in the Niladri-Mahodayam mainly com- 
prised two categories of people the kings and the subjects. Both 
the classes were helpful to each other. The people were generally 
pious and courteous. They were dutiful and obedient. The life 
la lie society was diversified with such activities as "tfrauta, Sm3rta t 
Prayafcitta and Ttrtha". In his relation to the rest of society, each 
individual laid stress upon his duties, his dharma. The society was 
practically based on realistic idealism. The people, however, had 
, \t8fl$^& *$$&s and accordingly they were known as administrators, 
I, physicians, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, carpenters, 
musicians, educationists, fore-tellers, magi- 
p. flourished some people having bad qualities. 
<kind of such people and calls the * 
the lowest stratum of the society. 



In the early g-vedic period, the" Aryas and the Anaryas, 
Dasas or Dasyus were the two distinct classes in the society. They 
were sharply distinguished from each other by their language, 
religion and several other aspects. There were ethnical and phy- 
siognomical differences; the Dasyus were dark-skinned whereas the 
Aryas were fair. Thus, the concept of varya originated in the very 
remote period of Veda. Due to the complexity of life, various 
classes were gradually springing up in the Aryan society. The 
Avesta shows that in the Indo-Iranian period, the Aryan society was 
divided into four classes priests, warriors, farmers and artisans. 
But the Indo-Aryans were divided into three classes among tiiem- 
seives Br5/unas, Rajanya and Vti in the earlier age; and Brahma- 
V^Ksatriya and Vaitya in later times. The Ariaryas, who were 
by this time almost completely subjugated, were also _ mclu ded^ 
the Far0-scheme and formed the fourth class, the Sfidra. 
names of the four varnas, BrShmana, Ksatriya, Vaily* and * 
are expressly mentioned with their special characteristics in 

/ j-la l*ffrAr* tiflJHWMw*** 

famous Rg-vedic Purvfa-Sukta* In the age of the **^ ^ ^ 

Brahmayas, Upanisads and Purattas, the classes continue 

fluid. The four-fold division of the society into the jT^ ff * 

Ksatriyas, VaiSyas and the Madras has become fully sta ^ 

the time of the Niladri-Mahodayam,* th l)gh f ^y^ p eri od, 

determining a varga became different from that o t e - Jtaraw 

Originally, these w ^ere formulated on the M 

i . * fi~ r *.v.\ Tint the DfUKSiP* 

(action) and not by janma (birtn;. J^ut *^ r ^^ later 

received greater and greater recognition in t e ^ ^entions 
Sathhitas, Brahmanas, Upanisads and Puranas, uu T^ ^ an 
heredity as the main principle in determining 

2. TA* Gto^terflZ ffrf^ ^/J VoL *' .^' 2Z y oL U , Part S, 

3. P. V. Kane, IKrfctf f Dk*******, Vol. , 
pp. 25-36. 

4. ^.g'Vedfif X 90.12. 

5. N. M. 11.79-BOa .- ijf*3Wrf*j* JAw** 


9,73 : 

288 TOUTO PURXtfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

individual. The rights and privileges of the different varyas in 
the society had by that time been distinctly laid down and the 
people of a particular oaraa followed the sva-dharma as their duty. 

Among the four varnas, the Brdhmanas, the ICsatriyas, the 
VaUyas and the ildras t the gradation of each preceding one was 
considered higher than that of the one following. Except the 
Br3kmanas t the NTladri-Mahodayam forbids the other three vargas 
from touching the deity or its Naivedya and prescribes 'Mahasndnas* 
of the deity if touched by Kfatriya, Vaifya and .Wra. 7 The Parana 
prescribes twice, thrice and four-times 'Mahasnanas* for Ksatriya 3 
Vaifya and tffldra-touch respectively. 8 Thus, the Brahmagas were 
considered worthy of the highest respect in society and the S&dras 
were the people of the lowest class. It is a remarkable fact worth 
noting here that the NIladri-Mahodayam finds no difference among 
the animals, the birds and the people of the society while taking 
Mahaprasada (Bhoga) of Lord Jagannatha. This process promotes 
brotherliness in the people without considerations of their caste 
and creed. 

Var$ a-samkara : 

The term varna-satakara means the various mixed-castes that 
emerged in the society due to the 'Anuloma' and 'Pratiloma* kinds of 
marriage. 10 To the best of our knowledge, there is no occurrence 
of vartta-samkara in the Vedic literature, though many instances of 
inter-caste marriage 11 can be cited from it. This is because varna 
was determined by the duty discharged by an individual. In the 
Dharmafdstra works, there is frequent occurrence of the term "oarpa- 
-saarkara* in connection with castes and sub-castes. 12 IManu 18 

?! N! M. 11,787 

Ksatriyafca yadd vaifyah fudrafca daivatah sprfet. 
tadScarenmahasnanarn dvigunarfi kramafo hareh. 

8. N.M. 11/79 : Deue kfatriyasatasprffe makSsnSnaduayrfi bhavet, 
Vaifyairvaratrayarh ittdraticaturvarara tad3caret. 

9. N. M. 11.115 : Candaladi-jalaspfffaih tadannam ca nfpottama, 
Bkotkaoytufr sahasS vipraik pdvanarfi suradwrlabham. 

10. J'utrfl-JVftt, p. 223, Mann, 1.2; S. D. Gyani, Agn.i-pwr3na 

A study, p. 240. 

11. P, V, Kane,flwtory of Dharma-$astTa t Vol. II, p. 447. 

12. D. R. Patil, Cultural History from the Vayit Purana, p. 123 

J ' 

13, Afonu, X 1 ff, 


illustrates the various samkara-jatis that originated in the 'anuloma' 
kind of marriage. The Dharmaf Stras generally relate the term 
'vartm-sathkara* to the promotion of social relations among the four 
varaas. However, the NIladri-Mahodayam does not refer directly 
to the idea of varya-saxMara but includes the Mlecchas 1 * along with 
the other people of the society* In some works, the Mlecchas are 
also considered as productsjof var#a~saifi%ara, J - s 

The Brflbmapas and their arole ; 

The Brahma$a$ in the Niladri-Mahodayam stood at the head 
of the varpa scheme. Being the first class in the society, they were 
to conserve the ancient ideals, to maintain and develop the ancient 
rituals, to probe the mysteries of the universe, to investigate the 
relation between the Supreme spirit and the individual Soul and 
above all to preach the realization of the truths. The Bhagavad-Gita 
characterizes the conduct of a BrShmaaa by tranquility, self-restraint, 
penance, purity, forgiveness, straightforwardness, knowledge, 
wisdom, realization of truth, and faith 1 6 -in fact, the Brahm***s 
dedicated themselves to everything that was good and righteous, 
The study of the Veda was their primary concern. While introduc- 
ing a Brshmana* 7 in general, the NIladri-Mahodayam speaks ot 
him as "proacient in the Veda and its auxiliaries, in theA**^ 
Agamas, PMcaratras and the Pur3?as."* 6 The zealous devotion witn 
which the 3ra/imaas applied themselves to the study of the Veda 
qualify them alone to undertake and discharge with efficiency tne 
duty of a priest. Learning the Vedas, officiating at sacrifices, receiv- 
ing the gifts and advising the king in various matters were the main 
duties of the Brahmayas during the time of the NIladri-Mahodayam. 

The Brzhmaya as an officiating priest at sacrifices figures from 
the Rg veda onwards. The instances of the performances of sacn- 

-14- N. M, 37.135a 

15. , 

and V ayu~Purar}a 9 49.55. 

16. Bhagavad-GitS, XVIII, 42, 

17. N. M. 9.3 : 

N.M.9.4-5a : 

290 I J*T*W PURSfciA [VOL xxiv, NO. 2 

fices by the Brahmayas are abundant in our Purdna. The PurSna 
has provided for us a state of facts about yajna. The great A5va- 
medha-sacrifice arranged by the king Indradyumna was successfully 
performed by the Brahmanas. The king being pleased with them 
offered immense gifts, which included clothes, gold, rice, precious 
ornaments and also cows. 19 The Brahmanas were considered the 
worthiest recipients ofdanas and daksiyas. The acceptance of gifts 
remained their principal means of livelihood. Rich and profuse 
gifts were granted to them by the kings on various occasions such 
as sacrifices, coronations, installations of temples, deities and Rathas. 
King Indradyumna gave a lot of danas to the Brahmanas and fed 
them well after the installation of the Rathas of Lord Jagannatha, 
Balabhadra and Subhadra. 20 In some cases, land was also one 
among the gifts offered to the Brahmanas^ Satisfying the Brahmanas 
with daksitfas was one of the sacred duties of the people. 22 Our 
Purana also frequently refers to half or a part of daksiga in want of 
its full amount. It is necessary to add here that in return for 
their services the Brahmanas did not expect much. But the pSj3 
goes in vain without some kind of dakfina*** The topic of dana, 
however, finds a very elaborate treatment in the NIladri-Mahoda- 
yam which contains principles and regulations regarding the proper 
dana t its kinds and religious efficacies. 

In the Niladri-Mahodayam, the Brahmanas are seen invariably 
present in all social and religious functions. The kings and princes 
cherished their friendship and took pride in doing them service. 
Perhaps in every kingdom there was a Brahmaga purohita, who was 

19. N. M. 3.94-96 : Yajftante vahudanani tena\dattani hot if ah 

20. N. M. 5.65-66 : 

Suvarpati rajataat ratnatx vastram dhanyatx ca gam punah 
dalva santofayedviprarfi karma kartara muttamam 
bhojayet brzhmapan divyarh payasam madhu$arpis3 
annajh ptipadikam taoat pratisthdnte tato dvijah 

21. N. M. 16.131: 

PBraahutiti tatah kffvS hema-bhumyadi daksiyam 
datva vakuvidfaih dioai ratnair vfpramfca tofayet 

22. N. M. I3.37b : 

"Suvarnaifca tadScaryaih to fayed dakstnarpanat' 3 

23. N. M, 23.336 : 

a abkavena tatsarvarh nifphalam 


also the king's chief counsel lor. a - The purohita figures in our 
vrfya as an important person in matters of state, as an adviser 
whose advice was heeded with respect and as one who could re- 
present the king in his absence.* 6 The purohita of Indradyumna 
wielded considerable influence in matters of state. He advised the 
'ng to send his (purohMs) younger brother, Vidyapati, to locate 
the god NHamadhava in Odra-deSa and the king did accordingly. ae 
Thus, he was the co-adjutor and the alter ego of the king, 

The Brakmanas commanded very high respect in society. They 
WCT ! ^ nivers *lly regarded as Bhusura,*'* Mahtsvra^ or DharwJsura* 9 
(divinities on the earth). The superiority of a Brahmaya is recog- 
nized from the time of the &g-veda onwards. According to our 
Purana^ God becomes satisfied with the satisfaction of thfsBrafanava 90 
The Satapatha-Brahmana states that "oblations go to the gods and 
the fee to the learned BrZhmanas who are the human gods."* 1 
Some of the DkarmaJastras assign to them a status superior to that 
of the gods. According to Manu, a Brahmana, learned or not, if a 
deity. 3 a Similar expressions also occur in the Mahabhsrata. 88 
But 4 such a theoretical claim that a Brahataya is superior even to 
gods is not found in the NIladri-Mahodayam. This Pvr3#* affirm* 
that a Brakmaya is just like Vismi himself. 84 

24. N. M. 2.42-43. 

25. N. M. 9.66 : " ........ So'yam pratinidhi ttaoe 

utsavesu ca sarvesu*'~ 

26. N. M. 2.44-48. 

27. ]$. M. 2.97 .- "Mz'iraWrix tena vai sarddfato J**>W&w ** 

42.44a : "Vatum dharayate yastit vis* 

28. N. M.2.96G: 

"7" amalingitavan gadham viffitotiMkjt* awAZw** 

29. N. M. 2.96b .- "Iti vifvavasonSf** ****** ** 
22 . J Oa : "Brahmatiam t 

30. N. M. 9/24 : Aearya&a ca sa*W* ***** jiff*** J^* 
tastfiitnstuste haristujto jagad*tjtcc*r**r*** 

31. Macdonell and Keith, ?**** 
2.837 ff. 

32. Kane, 2,135. 

33. Ibid, 136. 

34. N.M. 2.52b : 

292 JtWT- -PURAfciA [ VOL * xxiv., NO. 

This Purana refers to the various divisions prevailing among 
the Brahmanas. The words, dvija* B and uipra 9 * are of very fre- 
quent occurrence. Besides, we find the categories, A.carya> caruhota, 
patrakota, Brahma and Agnifarma included in the hierarchy of the 
BrahmanasJ*' 1 The NIladri-Mahodayam, in its chapter nine (navama 
adhyaya), vividly explains the laksanas of acarya and Agrii/arma* 
The following laksayas were attributed to an acarya Brahmana. He 
should not be a limbless person, a widower, or a diseased man. He 
should be polite and should have 'orates* of a 'Tapasvf*. He should 
have no sexual anxieties and his conduct should always be based 
upon good manners. 88 An Agnifarma Brahmana had the following 
qualities. * ( He should observe brahmacarya and should study Vedas 
He should not take his meal in the house of others. He should 
not talk with women and tiidras. He should have upanayana- 
samskara. He should be polite and his manners should be always 
good." ae In all festivals and sacrifices, the Agnifarma represented 
the king. 40 The pujaka Brdhmaaas used tilaka on the forehead and 
on their chests. Our Purana mentions special shapes for the tilaka 
on the forehead and on the chest. The tilaka on the forehead was 
stick-shaped, that on the chest had the shape of a lotus-leaf.* 1 

Brakma-hatya (killing a Brahmana) was one of the most grievous 
sins. According to NIladri-Mahodayam, one can be free from such 
sins only if one visits 'Kalpa-padapa*, 'Kapalamocana' and takes 
'Nirmalya* of Lord Jagannatha. 4 a Prostrating length-wise in the 
shade vlRatha frees one from all the sins, including Brahma-hatjra.* 8 

35, N. M. 2.1 12a; 5.33b; 5.66b; 5.54. 

36, N. M. 16.131b; 2.90a; 2.101b; 4.21a; 5.65b. 

37, N. M. 7.112a; 9.61a. 

38.. N. M, 9.6-7 : Axgahfnah patnrkfno na bhavtd r o gas amy Utah. 
Vinayena yutah frfman'tapasot sa ca suvratafy 
ac3fya5tadr4ah tilman bhavcttasya paratmanah. 

39. N. M. 9.62-65, . 

40. N M. 9.66: VastrScchSditaflTrfafca so'yam pratiiidhi 

Utsaveju ca sarvefit firapatfitfi Surefvaram. 

41. N. M, 38,4647a, 

o hno varttate kalpapadapah" 

in : Pa *-y a * 3jfl Jagataih vapi brahmahatyadi papahS. 3 * 
. , 1 0. U 3a : "Brahmahatjadi-p3pagknaifi nirmztyam 
Jagatati patep* ^ * * s J 

43. N.M. 16.119 : RathacchSySm samalambya bhaktiSraddhanvitS 
, Brahmahatyadipapebhyo muktah syur bkavabandhanat." 


The Kfatriyas and their role 

In aome verses of the g-veda, the word Kfatriya means 'a 

king or a noble-man'. The word raj any a is found in the &g-Veda 

only once in the Purusa-sukta, but in the later Vedic literature it is 

often used for a man of the royal family. 44 During the time of 

NHadri-Mahodayam, the Ksatriyas were the martial section of the 

community. The status of a Ksatriya in society was next to that 

ofaBrahmapa* Indradyumna, though a king, paid respect to the 

Brahmarra Vidyapati. 46 As rulers, the Ksatriyas were sometimes 

commanding over the BrZhmanas the king Indradyumna allowed 

the Brahmana Vidyapati to go to O4radea in search of the deity 

'Nilamadhava*. 46 Our Purana hints at the SttryauatftSa origin of 

the Ksatriyas by mentioning that the king Indradyumna was born 

in SiiryavamSa.*' 1 The Ksatriyas were mainly instructed in the art 

of war and in state politics. 

The Kfatriya-Brahmana relationship was very close. The 
Ksatriyas handled the administrative powers of the state whereas 
the Brahmapas were the chief counsellors to them. Only Ksatriyas 
were considered competent to become rulers and in that capacity 
they had to ensure a free and due observance of dharma by everyone 
in society. Arrangement of sacrifices was the duty of Ksatriyas, 
mainly of >af>a-kings. The performance of sacrifices, on the 
one hand, brought merit to the arranger and, on the other hand, it 
offered subsistence to the Brahmaaas who depended mainly on the 
charities given to them by the other varnas. Thus, the K/atriyas 
and the BrSfimayas were intimately related to each other. 

The duties of the VaUyas 

IntheNIladri-Mahodayam, the M&ja are often mentioned 
just to complete the list of the 0arp. From the information 
scattered loosely in the Pur3^ it appears that the v 
community engaged in trade and commerce. The va 

44. ID. R. Patil, CuUural History from the F3yu P*>W, P 

45. N. M. 2. 1 12 : * Indradyu^o 

Asanat sahasotthaya namaskftya ca torfi 
46. N. M. 2.47b 

47. N.M. 2.8b : "Jatah kftajuge 

294 *JTta|*l PURSJ^A VOL. xfcrv., NO. 2 

their attention mainly on wealth and profit. They formed the 
basis upon which the other two classes of society, the Brahman a and 
the ICsairiya, rested. 

The duties of the Sf&dras 

The NIIadri-Mahodayam describes the Madras ag a varna of 
the lowest rank in society. Their principal duty was to serve the 
higher three varnas. The Madras were considered as the degraded 
ones. They were forbidden to touch the materials ready for the 
worship of Lord Jagannatha. 48 They were not allowed to enter 
the kitchen of Lord Jagannatha. 49 Such references as the Jfidras 
studying the Vedas, worshiping the deities and performing the 
sacrifices are not included in our Parana. In the Dharmafastras 
we find many disabilities imposed on Sttdras and the Mahabharata 
says that they cannot own property.* According to our Purai}a > 
their presence at the sacrifical altar was considered contaminating. 

The Sabaras and their activities 

In addition to the varnas discussed above^ the Niladri-Maho- 
day am mentions the Sabaras and the Yavanas as the other races of 
the society. There were iz6ara-dwellings situated to the west of 
the Puru?ottama Ksetra. 61 The text of our Purapa reveals that 
the fabaras lived in the forests, They were hospitable to their 
guests. They lived on fruits and roots collected from the forest. 
The NIladri-Mahodayam describes that the JBrahma&a Vidyapati, 
while searching for the deity Nilamadhava, met with the great 
Sahara Viivavasu in the forest of $abara<-dvJpa. Vifivavasu paid 
respect to Vidyapati and warmly welcomed him with fruits and 
roots. ea The deity Nilaraadhava was worshiped by the Sahara 
Vfevavasu in a cave in the forest, B8 This evidence shows that, 

48. N. M 42.4 la : "gudradlnaw 

49. N. M. 7.50b ; "JVa vtteyw yatha 3dr3. " 

50. D. R. Patil, Cultural History from the Vayu Purafa, p. 150. 

51. N. M. 1.63b : f 'fCfetrasya pafcime deie varttate iabaraiayah 

52. N. M. 2.50b-51 : anaih Sanairoivefatka JabaradvfpakSnane 
tarn dfftoS abararefk'o vifvSoasu ranuttamak. 
namaskftyarc ayedviprarft phalamiHadibhir doij'a.h 

53. N. M, 2.53a : "^.^.^.^vanametaeca gahoaratn" 

2.71b-c Vidyapate nllatanufh n&dhavatft devadurlabham 
drahsisyan paraih 


hi Sahara* were the real Vaisnavas. They were not untouchables 
though they lived far away from the towns and villages. They 
worshiped their own deity with all sincerity and devotion but 
worshipping the gods or goddesses was not their profession. They 
did not hold any office in the king's court. They led their inde- 
pendent lives amidst the wild animals in the dense and fearsome 
forests. 64 

The Yavanas in the society 

The Yavanas were a sect of people living in the contemporary 
society. They were not allowed to enter temples or to be present 
at the sacrificial altar. Even talks relating to. them near Naivedya 
were considered contaminating, 5 * Our Puraya describes in detail 
the mishappenings to be occurred to the deity, to the king and to 
the country by the entrance of a Tavana into the temple of Lord 
Jagannatha.** The author of the Nlladri-Mahodaya warns the 
king to be alert about this and prescribes MakasnSna of the deity 
if at any time a Tavana enters a temple. 

Ascetics and their role 

The NIladri-Mahodayam in its first adhyayo ment ions .the 
sages of the Naimisa forest." The sages had their disciples. *y 
had the knowledge of all the tirtHas of the world. i fte 
and their people paid respect to the ascetics. The sages on 
part were the guardians and promoters of culture and ' ** ^ Tbe 
were deeply interested in the pace and progress o e* a 
rules of conduct and the ideals of morality of the &/ IOS P 1 " <1 
king and the clown alike in their behaviour. I * U * lconrta 
that they always considered the visit of a sage to tfcero y ^ 

matter of great pleasure and -honour for himself. 

54. N. M. 2.61a-b -. " 

55. N.M. 7.108b-109a: 
tan.***** Mflr 

56. N. M. 1 3 36 : Pot***** * ' 

citlabhrtmo pi 
57. N: M. 1.36 : 


"i^Mt PUFXtfA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 2 

narrated the story of Mad ha va to king Indradyumna," who then 
made arrangements for a journey to Purusottama-ksetra The 
sages had the knowledge of different yogas. Indradyumna asked 
the Maharfi^ Narada to know about ihejaana-jfoga, vairagya yoga and 
a ti-yoga* 1 etc. Our Purana mentions that the RJW asked Suta 
to narrate the ttrtha-tattva for the benefit of all. 

Thus the four varnas helped one another to survive in the 
society. They were devotees of their respective duties which they 
rendered with all sincerity. The scheme of works, which they 
have taken up in the Jagannatha temple, finds an elaborate descri- 
ption m the NIladri-Mahodayam. According to the same rule, 
they are now al so discharging their duties in the temple. To 
whichever varna they may belong, they perform today their own 
duties in the temple in accordance with their hereditary customs. 

59 N. M. 2.20-25; 2,28-36. 

60. N. M, 2.39 : 

61 rT*"^ Pttrodhas P r * h tannimittam sa satvarah. 

N, M. l.9b ; rah san)e 





Since no previous work, to our knowledge, has been done on 
the Syamantaka Gem story other than the passing comment^ of 
puranic scholars -such as H. H. Wilson, 1 F. E. Pargiter," K. I 1 * 
Jayaswal 8 and D. R. Patil, 4 we thought that a fresh approach 
to the story might bring rewards of its own, but aho, perhaps, 
give us some hints as to why our story has caused these schoUn 
to pause over it. 

Before we do so, we would like to fill in some necessary 
background notes on the Puraiias and on those Puraiias with which 
we will be associated most closely the Vayu, Matsya and especially 
the Bkagavata Purafza* The Puranas literally meaning "ancient 
lore' 5 , or "that which come from ancient times", 5 cowtilut* & 
class of Indian religious literature (Srarti) which is divided into two 
main sub-classes : the Mahapuranas, of which there number 18 
and the TJpapuranas, of which over 100 are counted* This division 
separates roughly the recognized, authentic or chief puranas from 
minor works which associate themselves to the primary 18. Uiw 
of the 18 as found in all 18 Mahapuranas [which we shall now 
refer to simply as Puranas) are in almost complete agrefmf rrt with 
one another on the makeup of this tot* The papular religioui 

1. Wilson, H. H, Bs* Analitical art&itM 

London, 1864, p. 133. 

2. Pargiter, F. E., AncitM**'*' 1 <*'"*> 
University Press, London, 1*M- 

3. Jayaswal, K. P., Hindu Polity, BuHerwotib, LA. '*-* 




6. Winternitz, M.. 

University Press, Calcutta, 


298 jot-PRA^X [VOL* xxiv., NO 2 

significance of the Puranas to Hinduism is (and has been) consider- 
abledespite the censure of the Hindu reformers* and the conti- 
nued disapproval of them among Hindu intellectuals like Dr. S. 
Radhakrishnan. I quote : 

The Puranas with their wild chronology and wierd stories 
are mainly imaginative literature, but were treated as a 
part of the sacred tradition for the simple reason that some 
people took interest in them. 2 

There is much irremedial confusion as to the contents and 
chronology of the Puranas since they form a literature not only 
partly oral and popular in origin but one which has suffered consi- 
derable emendations at the hands of successive generations of com- 
pilers and redactors. We may however settle on some very rough 
dates of origin (or codification) and agree upon a common general 
set of contents. Thus, the Vayu and Matsya Puranas have a recog- 
nized antiquity and may be dated as not earlier than 400 BG nor 
later than 500 AD, a Th? Visnu, according to recent estimates, 
spans the period between 100 AD and 350 ADS while the Bhagavata 
Pvrdna must not be dated earlier than 500 AD nor later than 950 
AD. H Contentwise, the Puranas are closely connected with the 
Epics. Winternhz states that the Mahabharata and the Harwamia 
are "nothing other than Puranas and sections of the Ramayana 
partake of the character of Puranas". 8 They are like "new wine 
in old bottles" 7 says Winternitz and often draw independently 
from similar sources, such as the Epics. The Puranas however 
agree among themselves that the "characteristics" requisite of the 
"genuine" Pin-ana are five. Known as the five "PaScalaksana", 

1. Walker, B., Hindu World. George Allen and Unwin, 
London, 1968, 1, p. 270. 

2. Radhakrishnan, S., The Hindu View of Life, Unwin 
Books, London, 1965, p. 17. 

3. Patil, D. R. s p. 4. 

4. Hazra, R. G., "The Date of the Visnu Purana*', Annals 
of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, XVIII, p. 269. 

5. Hopkins, T, J., "The Social Teaching of the Bhagavata 
Purana** in M.. Singer (ed) Krishna Myth. Rites and Atti- 
tude$i East- West Center Press, Honolulu, 1900, p. 4. 

6,7. Winternitz, M., pp. 51 7f, 518, 


these marks refer to kinds of accounts each Parana must relate. 
They are : 

(1) primary creation, 

(2) secondary periodic re-creations and periodic cosmic disso- 

(3) genealogies of the gods, rsis and heroes, 

(4) activities of the Ages of Manu, 

(5) history of the solar and lunar dynasties 1 . 

With Pargiter's work on the dynastic lists of the Puranas 3 
and the more recent work of Patil on Indian cultural history from 
ihe Vayu 8 some case has been made for the historical value of the 
Puranas, though considerable caution and discrimination must be 
exercised in any claims for the historicity of any puranic refe- 
rence. 4 The Puranas are especially valuable to the historian of 
religion because they provide sources and accounts of myths, 
rituals, religious beliefs, ethical prohibitions and social conditions 
whether or not these are real or imagined. Ancient theories of 
Indian geography, cosmography and cosmology have been recons- 
tructed from the Puranas along with the cultural and political 
systems mentioned earlier. 5 

The Vifnu Puraya is evidently a product of the Vai$navas 
and though it concentrates on the exaltation and glorification of 
Visnu, there is some debate as to the propriety of Wilson's calling 
it sectarian. 6 Vinu f s primacy is a more positive thing : Siva 
and Brahma are mentioned in the Vis$u Purana, but assimilated to 
Vinu. 7 The great antiquity of the Vifyu Purana is suggested be- 
cause of the absence of references to special feasts, temples, sacri- 

1. Ibid., p. 522. 

2. Pargiter, F. E., Ancient Indian. Historical Tradition. 

3. Patil, D. R., Cultural History from the Vayu Puraxa. 

4. Winternitz, M., p. 529. 

5. Ali, S. M., The Geography of the Puraw, People s Publi- 
shing House, New Delhi, 1966, 


on Mayamoha Legend", 
7. Vifyu Puraea : Brahma, PP . 2, 18, 396; Siva, p. 18 

300 "JOT^ PURX^A [VOL, XXEV, NO. 2 

fices, rituals dedicated to Vi?nu. ' Perhaps more so than any 
other Purana, it bears the five characteristics of a genuine Puraaa. 
Though the dating of any purana is a risky matter, R. G. Hazra 
has recently suggested that it could not have been later than 
500 AD. 1 

After the accounts of creation and the nature of the universe 
and mythological narratives of past kings and sages of Book I, 
cosmography and geography of Book II and the account of the 
Manu ages o book III, the Syamantaka Gem story in the Visnu 
Parana, is found among the genealogical lists of the solar and 
lunar dynasties in Book IV. BookV is Practically identical to 
the Harivamfa and recounts the much beloved adventures of 
Krsna as divine cow-herd. The Visnu Purana ends characte- 
ristically with an account of the world end and with a brief 
recapitulation of previous ages and the conten ts of the Purana. 

The second source of the Syamantaka Gem story with which 
we shall chiefly compare the Visyu Puraya version is taken from 
the famous Bhagavata Purana. One of the most recent purSnic 
compositions, which according to T. J. Hopkins 2 may be said to 
have existed not earlier than 500 A. D. and not later than 950 A.D., 
the Bhagavata Purapa seems to be tbe work of a consistent viewpoint 
concerned with the propagation of loving devotion (bhakti) to 
Visnu especially in his incarnation as Krsna. The close resem- 
blance in content between the Bhagavata Purana and the Vi/pu 
Purana suggests that the latter served as its model. Significantly, 
it sometimes serves as its anti-model since the Bhagavata Purana 
seems to react against various pro-Vedic tendencies in the Visyu 
Purana (as we will argue in our following analysis). Unlike the 
Vifyu Puratta (most probably) it is more clearly the product of a 
sect presenting a divine Krsna whose amorous adventures with 
the Gopls occupy even more space than in the Visyu Purana. It 
damns Vedic religion "with faint praise when it is not openly 

1. Hazra, R. G., pp, 265-275; Winternitz, M,, p. 545; 
Pargher, F. E., p. 80. 

2. Hopkins, T. J. f p. 4; Renou, L., Religions of Antient India, 
London University Press, London, 1953, p. 103; Winter- 
nitz, M,, p. 556. 


criticized" 1 and criticizes the Mahabharata and other Puranas for 
a lack of sufficient zeal for Visnu. "Bhakti" as an independent 
means of salvation is proclaimed. 3 

The Afalsya puranaone of those pu-ianas which have preserved 
the most ancient text, only contains a fragment of the Symantata 
Gem story. This purana celebrates the incarnation of Visnu as a 
fish who saves Manu alone during the great flood which destroys 
mankind at one of the world-dissolutions. It recounts the creation, 
genealogies, geographical, astronomical and cosmological matters 
and lists the dynasties of kings. Both Vismi and &va legends are 
related in the Matsya purana. 

Ancient text is preserved by the Vayu, which is often con- 
sidered the oldest of puranas. Siva seems the main object of 
veneretion in the Vayu although Visnu is also honoured. It has 
been used as a source of cultural history by D. R. Patil who has 
distinguished three periods reflected in the compilation of the Vayu 
ranging from the archaic (500 BG and earlier) to the ancient (500 
BG to 0) to the age of accretions (0-500 AD). 8 The Syamantaka 
Gem story agrees broadly with the Visnu purana version though 
significant differences are to be noticed in which the Vayu tends to 
agree with the Mahabharata tradition against the Visnu PurSa*.* 
S ince the Vayu is not available in English translation, we have had 
to rely on citations and reference from Padl's study which, all the 
same > have proved interesting. 

The method of story-analysis which follows is chiefly a loose 
adaptation of the insights of Claude Levi-Strauss which first appe- 
ared in his "Structural Study of Myth" (1955), 'The Myth of 
Asdiwal" (1967 of French 1958) and finally in a Cull way in his 
Mythologiques : IB Cru et le cuit (1964), >it Miel aux centres (1966) 
and FOrigin* des manieres do table (1968). Our analysis also draws 
from I. Moore *s attempts to do a task similar to Levi-Strauss's, 
but in an even more rigorous way by the construction of a syntax 
and semantics of stories. The groundwork for Moore'a science of 

1. Hopkins, T. J M p. 12. 

2. Ibid*, p. 13. 

3. Patil, D. R., p. 14. 

4. Ibid., p. 172. 

[VOL. xxiv*, NO. 2 

stories and its relation Jo Levi-Strauss's work can be found in 
his Leoi-S traits s and the Cultural Sciences (1968) and in a soon- to-be- 
published essay covering much the same ground as Levi -Strauss and 
the Cultural Sciences. We would also refer the' reader to E. R. 
Leach's structural analyses of two stories from Genesis : Levi- 
Strauss in the Garden of Eden" (1961) and "Genesis as Myth" 
(1962) as well as M. S. Robinson's attempt to derive some useful 
implications of a Sinhalese myth by structural means. "The House 
the Mighty Hero" or 'The House of Enough Paddy* ? (1968). 
Although we believe our analysis achieves the rigor necessary for a 
useful demonstration of structural methods, it falls short of the 
high degree of formality Moore's semantic and syntactical 
approach calls for. Nonetheless we would hold that even on the 
level of rigor at which our analysis operates, useful implications 
can be drawn from our story sufficient to commend a structural 
approach to the analysis of stories. 

A. Structural Analysis of the Syamantaka Gem Story. 

Following Levi-Strauss's instructions, the structural analysis 
of a myth begins by isolating the gross constituent units of which a 
myth is composed. These constituent units themselves are com- 
posed of relations and are abstracted from the myth by "breaking 
down its story into the shortest possible sentences and writing each 
such sentence on an index card bearing a number corresponding 
to the unfolding of the story." 1 

It may also be noticed that these "sentences" correspond 
roughly to "incidents" of the story. Now, "incidents" occur at a 
level of generality, one step below that of the "episode". Thus, 
most generally, a story is composed of "episodes**, which are 
further composed of "incidents", which may be broken down fur- 
ther into "transformations", which in turn are composed of 
"states**, which finally are composed of "elements". In our story 
the first episode might be called the 'episode of the giving of the 
gem'. In it we distinguish two incidents, the first of which is 
"Surya gives the Syamantaka Gem to Satrajit 3 '. This gives way 
to the "transformations" which we may abstract depending upon 

1. Levi-Strauss, G, "The Structural Study of Myth", Gh. 
XI, , Structural Anthropology. Allen Lane, London 1968, 
p. 211. 


how far we want to push the rigor of the analysis. (I) Satrajit 
without the gem; Satrajit with the gem; (2) Surya has the gem; 
Surya has no gem. The "transformations 5 * in turn reduce to a 
"layout" of "states'* (1) Satrajit with the gem; (2) Satrajit with- 
out the gem. And the "state" is a "layout" of "elements", 
(I) Satrajit (2) with (3) Gem. 1 

In our analysis of the Syamantaka Gem story, however, we 
will not attempt to articulate a structure beyond the level of the 
"incident" although we will analyze the structure of several elem- 
ents of our story in a digression. At the level of "incidents" we 
feel that an adequate case can be made for a certain structure which 
illuminate and ground certain themes of the myth. Though we 
carry out our analysis on the incident-level it should be understood 
that, along with LevI-Strauss, we believe that the true constituent 
units of a myth are not the individual incidents (relations) but 
"bundles of such relations and it is only as bundles that these rela- 
tions can be put to use and combined so as produce a meaning**, 3 
Though these relations pertaining to the same e 'bundle" appear in 
the story at various intervals we grasp them in such away that 
by reading horizontally from left to right (as in Table 1) one foll- 
ows the diachronic flow of the story as one would tell it. Reading 
vertically, however, one notice six columns which organize the 
variously occurring relations into "bundles" having a common 
element, whether it be "giving", as in column one, or "destroying" 
as in column five. (See Table I) 

A List of Abbreviations. 

A^Akrura; DDvaraka; JJambavat; Ja* Jsmbavatl; 
Kn=Krsna; L = a Lion; PPrasena; B=Balarama; SSatrajit; 
Sa = Satyabhama; Sh^Satadhanvan; SG = the Syamantaka Gem; 
Su = Surya; Suk = Sukumara; Ys = the Yadavas, 
Legend : Numbers before the decimal refer to episode-numbers in 

Visuu. Numbers after the decimal refer to incident- 

number in the Vis. nu. 

~. Moore, Tim, Claude Levi-Strauss and the Cultural Scitnees. 
Occasional Papers, No. 4, Centre for Contemporary 
Cultural Studies, Birmingham University, Birmingham, 
1968, for details of such an analysis. 
2, Levi- Strauss, C., p. 211, 

304 ^TfnT PURS ^ A [VOT.. XXIV., NO. 2 

We hope to show that our adaptation of Levi-Strauss's method 
for the analysis of stories is fruitful for the understanding of our 
myth, in which case we should concentrate upon considering each 
column in Table 1 as a unity as a "bundle* 1 of similar relations* 
To understand the myth, then, on the premisses employed, is to 
understand how these bundles of relations stand with respect to 
one another, and how the relations between and among these 
bundles of relations illuminate the meanings our myth might have. 
This is to penetrate to a structural understanding of our myth in 
order to substantiate various claims regarding a myth's having a 
particular meaning. 

Given this brief introduction we should now lay the Syaman- 
taka Gem story before the reader as it occurs in the Visnu 9 Bhaga- 
rata and Matsya Puranas. Dowson's precis of what seems the Visnu 
Purana version of the story is given with episode divisions correspon- 
ding to those we have provided for the full version of the Visau 
Purana of our story. The reader will notice that the story ig broken 
down into episodes which are numbered as they occur in each 
separate Purana. So that the reader may compare versions by 
episode, a code has been provided. After each episode number For 
each version of the story the reader will find three numbers within 
parenthesis. These numbers correspond to the numbers of the 
episode for all versions in the order Vifgu, Bkagavata, Matsya. A. 
dash ( ) means that this episode is absent from the particular 
puranic version. Thus, after Episode 2 of the Visnu the following 
figures within parenthesis will be found : (2, 2, 1), meaning that 
the second episode for the Visnu and Bhagavata puranas is the first 
for the Matsya. 

Dowson's Precis of the Syamantaka Gem Story 

e (1) A celebrated gem given by the sun to Satrajit. 
"It yielded daily eight loads of gold and dispelled all fear of 
portents, wild beasts, fire, robbers, and famine." But though 
it was an inexhaustible source of good for the virtuous wearer, 
it [was deadly to a wicked one. (2) Satrajit being afraid 
that Krsna would take it from him, gave it to his own 
brother, Prasena, but he, being a bad man, was killed by a 
lion. Jambavat, king of the bears, killed the lion and carried 
off the gem; (3) but Krsna, after along conflict, (4) took it 



from him, (5) and restored it to Satrajit. (6, 7 omitted by 
Dowson) (8) Afterwards Satrajita was killed m his sleep y 
Sata-dhaawan, (9) who carried off the gem. Being parsuea 
by Krsna and Bala-rama, he gave the gem to Akrura and 
continued his flight, but he wa 3 overtaken and ^leay 
Krsna alone. As Krsna did not bring back the jewel, B , i 

rama suspected that he had secreted it, and 
upbraided and parted from him, declaring that he uW 
be imposed upon by perjuries. (10 omitted by B 
Akrura subsequently produced the gem, and it was 
Krsna, Bala-rama and Satyabhama. After some 
it was decided that Akrura should keep it, and^so 
about like the sun wearing a garland of light 

A List of Alternative Names 

Kr aa: "Acyuta"-the never falling 
' self restraint ; "descendant " 

nalxnale"; "Foe of Madhu" ; 
the Earth"; "he W hose etnblem 
the conch, discus, and mace , 
the Senses"; - 

of the Universe"; "Lotus-eyed 
"the universal abode" ; '<Puru 5 otta,n - the 

m en"; v a sudeva = 

Rama : Balabhadra"-"he who is stron , . 
'Baladeva" = "divinity o strengd. . 

"Rama the strong*'. 
SUrya : Aditya. 


(I, 1, 


one occasion oaiU" 
shore, addressed his mina 
on which the divinity app 
ding him In an indistinct 
have beheld thee, lo^, i* 

^"F^T^^S? * 

Routledge^ Ixegan r* 

1928, pp. 


* ., 

306 *W* PURStfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

do thou show favour unto me, that I may see thee in thy 
proper form." On this the sun taking the jewel called Syam- 
antaka from off his neck, placed it apart, and Satrajit beheld 
him of a dwarfish stature, with a body like burnished copper, 
and with slightly reddish eyes. Having offered his adorations, 
the sun desired him to demand a boon, and he requested that 
the jewel might become his. The sun presented it to him, 
and then resumed his place in the sky. Having obtained the 
spotless gem of gems, Satrajit wore it on his neck, and beco- 
ming as brilliant thereby as the sun himself, irradiating all the 
region with his splendour, he returned to Dvaraka. The 
inhabitants of that city, beholding him approach, repaired 
to the eternal male, Puruottama, who 4 to sustain the burden 
of the earth, had assumed a mortal form (as Krna), and said 
to him, "Lord, assuredly the divine sun is coming to visit 
you." But Krs.ria smiled, and said, "It is not the divine sun, 
but Satrajit, to whom Aditya has presented the Syamantaka 
gem, and he now wears it : go and behold him without appre- 
hension." Accordingly they departed. Satrajit having gone 
to his house, there deposited the jewel, which yielded daily 
eight loads of gold, and through its mavellous virtue dispelled 
all fear of portens, wild beasts, fire, robbers, and famine." 

Ep. 2. (2, 2, 1) 

"Acyuta was of opinion that this wonderful gem should 
be in the possession of Ugrasena; but although he had the 
power of taking it from Satrajit, he did not deprive him of 
it, that he might not occasion any disagreement amongst the 
family. Satrajit, on the other hand, fearing that Krna 
would ask him for the jewel, transferred it to his brother 
Prasena. Now it was the peculiar property of this jewel, that 
although it was an inexhaustible source of good to a virtuous 
person, yet when worn by a man of bad character it was the 
cause of his death. Prasena having taken the gem, and hung 
it round his neck, mounted his horse, and went to the woods 
to hunt* In the chase he was killed by a lion. The lion, 
taking the jewel in his mouth, was about to depart, when he 
was observed and killed by Jambavat, the king of the bears, 
who carrying off the gem retired into his cave, and gave it to 
his son Sukumara to play with.* 9 


P, 3. (3, 3, 2) 

"When these calumnious rumours came to the knowledge 
of Krna, he collected a number of the Yadavas, and accom- 
panied by them pursued the course of Prasena by the impress- 
ions of his horse's hoofs. Desirous of recovering the gem, he 
thence followed the steps of the lion, and at no great distance 
came to the place where the lion had been killed by the bear. 
Following the footmarks of the latter, he arrived at the foot 
of a mountain, where he desired the Yadavas to await him, 
whilst he continued the track. Still guided by the marks of 
the feet, he discovered a cavern, and had scarcely entered it 
when he heard the nurse of Sukumara saying to him,. "The 
lion killed Prasena; the lion has been killed by Jambavat : 
weep not, Sukumaraj the Syamantaka is your own." Thus 
assured of his object, Krna advanced into the cavern, and 
saw the brilliant jewel in the hands of the nurse, who was 
giving it as a plaything to Sukumara. The nurse soon descr- 
ied his approach, and marking his eye* fixed upon the gem 
with eager desire, called loudly for help. Hearing her cries, 
Jambavat, full of anger, came to the cave, and a conflict 
ensued between him and Acyuta, which lasted twenty-one days. 
The Yadavas who had accompanied the latter waited seven 
or eight days in expectation of his return, but as the foe of 
Madhu still came not forth, they concluded that he must 
have met his death in the cavern. "It could not have required 
so many days/' they thought "to overcome an enemy;'* and 
accordingly they departed, and returned to DvarakS, and 
announced that Krsna had been killed." 

Ep. 4. (4, 4, 2) . __. 

"When the relations of Acyute heard this intelligence, 
they performed all the obsequial rites suited to the occasion. 
The food and water thus offered to Krsna in the celebration 
of his Sraddha served to support his life, d fcvig6r*te fc* 
strength in the combat In which he w*s 
adversary, wearied by daily conflict with * 
bruised and battered i* every ** 
enfeebled by want of food, 
him. Overcome by his mighty 
himself before him and said, 

08 f^n^'T PUR$IA t VOL. xxiv., NO. 

invincible by all the demons, and by the spirits of heaven, 
earth, or hell; much less art thou to be vanquished by mean 
and powerless creatures in a human shape; and still Less by 
such as we are, who are born of brute origin. Undoubtedly 
thou art a portion of my sovereign lord Nar&yana, the 
defender of the universe." Thus addressed by Jambavat, 
Krsna explained to him fully that he had descended to take 
upon himself the burden of the earth, and kindly alleviated 
the bodily pain which the bear suffered from the fight, by 
touching him with his hand. Jambavat again prostrated 
himself before Krsna, and presented to him his daughter 
Jambavatl, as an offering suitable to a guest. He also 
delivered to his visitor the Syamantaka jewel. Although a 
gift from such an individual was not fit for his acceptance, 
yet Krna took the gem for the purpose of clearing his repuLa- 
tion. He then returned along with his bride Jambavatl to 

When the people of Dvaraka beheld Krsna alive and 
returned, they were filled with delight, so that those who 
were bowed down with years recovered youthful vigour; and 
all the Yadavas, men and women, assembled round Anakadu- 
ndubhij the father of the hero, and congratulated him. 

Ep, 5, (5, 5, 3) 

"Krsna related to the whole assembly of the the Yadavas 
all that had happened, exactly as it had befallen, and resto- 
ring the Syamantaka jewel to Satrajit was exonerated from 
the crime of which he had been falsely accused. He then 
led Jambavatl into the inner apartments. 

When Satrajit reflected that he had been the cause of 
the aspersions upon Krsna's character, he felt alarmed, and 
to conciliate the prince he gave him to wife his daughter 
. Satyabhaxna." 

6, (t>, V) 

maiden had been previously sought in marriage by 
sevetal o f the most distinguished Yadavas, as Akrura, Krtavar- 
mat * *nd Satadhanvan, who were highly incensed at her 
waddsd to another, and leagued in enmity against 


Satrajit. The chief amongst them, with Akrura and K *t* v " 
man, said to Satadhanvan, -This caitiff Satrajit has offered 
a gross insult to you, as well as to us who solicited his dau- 
ghter, by giving her to Kysna : let him not live : why do you 
not kill him, and take the jewel ? Should Acyuta theretore 
enter into feud with you, we will take your part." Upon 
this promise Satadhanvan undertook to slay Satrajit. 

p> "7 f*j fi _ \ 

' "When news arrived that the sons of Pandu had been 
burned in the house ofwa^, Krsna, who knew the real 
truth, set offfor.Baranavata to allay the animos.ty ofDur- 
yodhana, and to perform the duties his relationship required. 

EP ' 8 ' (8 ' Stadhanvan taking advantage of his absence, killed 

Satrajit in his sleep, and took possession of the " 

this coming to the knowledge of Satyabhama, she ""M*""* 

mounted her chariot, and, filled with fury at her fathers 

murder, repaired to Baranavata, and told her husbanc how 

Satrajit had been killed by Satadhanvan > "n" 

her having been married to another, and how he 

off the jewel; and she implored him to take prompt 

to avange such heinous wrong. KrW*. ^ " ^ 

ually placid being informed of these tnmsact.ons, 

Sa tyabb ama , as his eyes flashed ith Agnation Those 

indeed audacious injuries, but 1 will not * 

from so vile a wrath. They must assa.) ^^ Dismiss 

kiVl the birds that there have built "- '" 

excessive sorrow; it needs not your 

wrat h." Returning forthwith , , 

Baladeva apart, and said to hun, , A murdere d 

hunting m the forests; and now Satxaj.^ tas 

resolutely in the enterprise 

Ep. 9. (9, 8,-) 

But Satadhanvan, 


$10 CPI PURStfA f VOL. XXIV., NO. 

varman, however, declined to assist him, pleading his in- 
ability to engage in a conflict with both Baladeva and &rsna. 
fSatadhanvan thus disappointed, applied to Akrura; but he 
said, * ( You must have recourse to some other protector. How 
should I be able to defend you ? There is no one even 
amongst the immortals, whose praises are celebrated through- 
out the universe, who is capable of contending with the 
wielder of the discus, at the stamp of whose feet the three 
worlds tremble; whose hand makes the wives of the Asuras 
widows, whose weapons no host, however mighty, can resist; 
no one is capable of encountering the wielder of the plough- 
shave, who annihilates the prowess of his enemies by the 
glances of his eyes, that roll with the joys of wine; and whose 
vast ploughshare manifests his might, by seizing and exter- 
minating the most formidable foes." "Since this is the case,"* 
replied Satadhanvan, **and you are unable to assist me, at 
least accept and take care of this jewel. 3 ' "I will do so, 
answered Akrura, "If you promise that even in the last 
extremity you will not divulge its being in my possession." 
To this Satadhaqvan agreed, and Akrura took the jewel; 
and the former mounting a very swift mare, one that could 
travel a hundred leagues a day, fled from Dvaraka. 

When Krsna heard of $a tad ban van's flight, he harnessed 
his four horses, Saivya, Sugrlva, Meghapuspa, and Balahaka, 
to his car, and accompanied by Balarama, set off in pursuit. 
The mare held her speed, and accomplished her hundred 
leagues; but when she reached the country of Mithila, her 
strength WEB exhausted, and she dropped down and died, 
Satadhanvan 11 dismounting, continued his night on foot. 
When his pursuers came to the place where the mare had 
perished, Krsna said to Balarama, *<Do you remain in the car, 
whilst I Follow the villain on foot, and put him to death; the 
ground here is bad; and the horses will not be able to drag 
Hie chariot across it 9 *' Balarama accordingly stayed with 
tfee car, and Krsna followed Satadhanvan on foot; when lie 
had chased him for two kroas y he discharged his discus, and, 
although Satadhanvan was at a considerable distance, the 
w*ftpon struck off his head. Krsna then coming up, searched 
body and his dress for the Syamaataka jewel, but found 


it not. He then returned to Balabhadra, and told him that 
they had effected the death of atadhanvan to no purpose, 
for the precious gem, the quintessence of all worlds, was not 
upon his person. When Balabhadra heard this, he flew into 
a violent rage, and said to Vasudeva, "Shame light upon you, 
to be thus greedy of wealth 1 I acknowledge no brotherhood 
with you. Here lies my path. Go whither you please; I 
have done with Dvaraka, with you, with all our house. It is 
of no use to seek to impose upon me with thy perjuries. * 
Thus reviling his brother, who fruitlessly endeavoured to 
appease him, Balabhadra went to the city of Videha, where 
Janaka received him hospitably, and there he remained. 
Vasudeva returned to Dvaraka. It was during his stay in 
the dwelling of Janaka that Duryodhana, the son of DLrta- 
rastra, learned from Balabhadra the art of fighting with the 
mace. At the expiration of three years, Ugrasena and other 
chiefs of the Yadavas, being satisfied that Krsna had not the 
jewel, went to Videha, and removed Balabhadra's suspicions, 
and brought him home. 

Ep. 1O. (10, 9, 4) 

"Akrura, carefully considering the treasures which the 
precious jewel secured to him, constantly celebrated religion* 
rites, and, purified with holy prayers lived in affluence for 
fifty-two years; and through the virtue of that gem there 
was no dearth nor pestilence in the whole country. At the 
end of that period, Satrughna, the great grandson of Satvata, 
was killed by the Bhojas, and as they were in bonds of alliance 
with Akrura, he accompanied them in their flight from 
Dvoraks. From the moment of his departure various cala- 
mities, portents, snakes, dearth, plague, and the like began to 
prevail; so that he whose emblem is Garuda called together 
the Yadavas, with Balabhadra and Ugrasena, and 
ded them to consider how it wa* that so many 
should have occurred at the same time. On 
one of the elders of the Yadu race, te ** ' 
Svaphalka, the father of Akrara, dwelt, 
dearth, and other visitations were 
there was want of rain in the kingdom 
was brought there, and * 

312 |UfM - FURStfA [V^L. XXIV., MO. 2 

heavens. It happened also that the queen of Kadiraja con- 
ceived, and was quick with a daughter; but when the time of 
delivery arrived, the child issued not from the womb. 
Twelve years passed away, and still the girl was unborn. 
Then Kasiraja spoke to the child, and said, 'Daughter^ why 
is your birth thus delayed ? Come forth; I desire to behold 
you, why do you inflict this protracted suffering upon your 
mother ? Thus addressed, the infant answered, *If, father, 
you will present a cow every day to the Brahman as, I shall 
of the end of three years more be born. 1 The king accordingly 
presented daily a cow to the Brahmana, and at the end of 
three years the damsel came into the world. Her father 
called her GandinT, and he subsequently gave her to 
Svaphalka, when he came to his palace for his benefit. 
GandinJ, as long as she lived, gave a cow to the Br ah m arias 
every day. Akrura was her son by- vaphalka, and his birth 
therefore proceeds from a combination of uncommon excel- 
lence. When a person such as he is, absent from us, is it 
likely that famine, pestilence, and prodigies should fail to 
occur ? Let him then be invited to return; the faults of men 
of exalted worth must not be too severely scrutinized." 

Agreeabtly to the advice of Andhaka, the older, the Yadavas 
sent a mission headed by Keava, Ugrasena, and Balabhadra, 
to assure Akrura that no notice would be taken of any irregu- 
larity committed by him; and having satisfied him that he 
was in no danger, they brought him back to Dvaraka. 

Jl, (n,9[l07] s -) 

"Immediately on his arrival,, in consequence of the pro- 
perties of the jewel, the plague, dearth, famine, and every 
other calamity and portent, ceased. Krsna, observing this, 
reflected that the descen of Akrura from GandinI and 3vap- 
haUca was a cause wholly disproportionate to such an effect, 
an/J that some powerful influence must be exerted to arrest 
pestilence and famine. "Of a surety/' said he to himself, 
**&* great Syamantaka jewel is in his keeping, for such I 
faav* heard are amongst its properties. This Akrura too has 
beu lately celebrating sacrifice after sacriace; his own means 

insu^cient fpr such expenses; it is beyond a doubt th^t he 


has the jewel." Having come to this conclusion, he called a 
meeting of all the Yadavas at his house, under the pretext of 
some festive celebration. When they were all seated, and 
the purport of their assembling had been explained, and the 
business accomplished, Krsna entered into conversation with 
Akrura, and after laughing and joking, said to him, "Kins- 
man, you are a very prince in your liberality; but we know 
very well that the precious jewel which was stolen by Sudha- 
nvan was delivered by him to you, and is now in your posse- 
ssion, to the great beneat of this kingdom. So let it remain; 
we all derive advantage from its virtues. But Balabhadra 
suspects that I have it, and therefore, out of kindness to me, 
show it to the assembly." When Akrura, who had the jewel 
with him, was thus taxed, he hesitated what he should do. 
"If I deny that I have the jewel," thought he, "they will 
search my person, and find the gem hidden amongst my 
clothes. I cannot submit lo a search." So reflecting, Akrura 
said to Narayana, the cause of the whole world, "It is true 
that the Syamantaka jewel was entrusted to me by banana- 
nvan, when he went from here. I expected every day 
you would ask me for it, and with much incpnveme 
fore I have kept it, until now. The charge of it has 
me to so much anxiety, that I have been incapable 
ing any pleasure, and have never known a "^j;^ of a 
Afraid that you would think me unfit to retain po ^^ ^ 
jewel so essential to the welfare of the kingdom*^ ^ ^^ 
mention to you its being in my hands; but no .^ jj av ia g 

self, and give the care of it to whom you p _ sira i| 

. ^ e i.u frfan his earmcnw * *** * 

thus spoken, Akrura drew forth trom afcpUying it to 
gold box, and took from it the jewel* ^ w here they 

the assembly of the Yadavas, the vtaQ e <t _,, . .1 ^y AkrOra, 
sat was illuminated by its radiance. " ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ 
"is the Syamantaka gem, which was conag ^^ ^,, 
dhanvan : let him to whom it belongs no 

i *K.V wrcr* 6Hed wick 

_ u i*c& nwei wj "*"*^ "* ' 
When the Yadavas beheld tftej e^f ^ &&&. BaJbb~ 

astonishment, and loudly express^ * ^ property jointly 

dra iou^dUMir f claim l^jr u po;Wit- - 

with Acyuta, as 1 
demanded it as her 

314 ^T*PT PURStfA [VOL. XXiv., NO. 2 

father. Between these two Krsna considered himself as an 
ox between the two wheels of a cart, and thus spoke to Akrura 
in the presence of all the Yadavas : ''This jewel has been 
exhibited to the assembly in order to clear my reputation; it 
is the joint right of Balabhadra and myself, and is the patri- 
monial inheritance of Satyabhama. But this jewel, to be of 
advantage to the whole kingdom, should be taken charge of 
by a person who leads a life of perpetual continence : If worn 
by an impure individual, it will be the cause of his death. 
Now as I have sixteen thousand wives, I am not qualified to 
have the care of it. It is not likely that Satyabhama will 
agree the condition that would entitle her to the possession of 
the jewel; and as to Balabhadra, he is too much addicted to 
wine and the pleasures of sense to lead a life of self-denial. 
We are therefore out of the question, and all the Yadavas, 
Balabhadra^ Satyabhama, and myself, request you, most bou- 
ntiful Akrftra, to retain the care of the jewel, as you have 
done hitherto, for the general good; for you are qualified to 
have the keeping of it, and in your hands it has been produc- 
tive of benefit to the country. You must not decline compli- 
ance with our request." Akrura, thus urged, accepted the 
jewel, and thence-forth wore it publicly round his n,eck, where 
it shone with dazzling brightness; and Akrura moved about 
like the sun, wearing a garland of light. 

Moral : 

He who calls to mind the vindication of the character of 
Krna from false aspersions, shall never become the subject of 
unfounded accusation in the least degree*, and living in the 
full exercise of his senses shall be cleansed from every sin. 

B. Analysis : 

Let us examine the constituent units of our story as they 
occur in Table 1 beginning with the "giving" column. The story 
opens by Surya giving the Syamantaka Gem to Satrajit (I.I); 
Satraji% in turn, gives the Syamantaka Gem to Prasena (2.4) and 
so on down the ligt. We might notice that two kinds of gifts are 
given the Syamantaka Cein which, we have mentioned in inci- 


lents 1.1,2.4,2.9,5.17, 9.23, 4.15, 5.19, and women as wives, 
JambavatI and Satyabhama both to Krsna from their respective 
fathers Jarnbavat and Satrajit. (The Matsya Pwaya records that 
Satyabhama was Satrajit j s grand-daughter rather than his 
daughter). Likewise in column II, headed "taking", we listed such 
incidents as a Lion's taking the Syamantaka Gem from Prasena 
(2,6) aad so on as well as attempts (though failures) at taking in 
varying degrees of attempt Krna takes no Syamantaka Gem 
from Satadhanvan (9.25). (He tried and failed) as well as Krgna's 
thinking that Ugrasena should have the Syamantaka Gem where 
Krna knows that he could take it if he had really wanted to (2.3). 
In 9.25 Krna fails to take the Syamantaka Gem from Satadhanvan 
though he tries, while in 2,3 Kr$na fails to take the Syamantaka 
Gem though he contemplates trying. All the "takings" involve 
the Syamantaka Gem it will be noted. We might also note that 
the en tries 4.15 with 3.12 and 11.34 in the "giving and taking" 
columns seem to mediate between both columns. We might 
raname the first column "Offering Possession'* while the second 
would be named "Seizing Possession". Thus 4.15 with 3.12 and 
11,34 consist in incidents in which both offering and seizing posse- 
ssion coincide though not in the same ways. In 4,15, Jambavat 
gives Kr?na the Syamantaka Gem after Krsna has fought Jambavat 
and has attempted to seize possession of the Syamantaka Gem (3J2). 
In 11.34 Akrura simultaneously attempts to give the Syamantaka 
Gem to Krsna after Krsna has cajoled and accused Akriira of posse- 
ssing it but keeps it instead. Akrura would have had the Syamantaka 
Gem taken from him had anyone proved worthy eg. Krsna or 
Satyabhama, but no one took the gem from Akrura. 4.15 and 3.12 
combine both giving and taking columrs because they are both a- 
separated giving and taking while 11.34 straddles the columns be- 
cause Akrura's "keeping" o the gem is midway between giving and 
taking or because "possession" is midway between "offering posse- 
ssion" and "seizing possession". It is properly neither giving nor 
taking, and in the story is seen as a keeping which was preceded by 
an attempted but failed giving on Akrura's part and a desiied but 
failed taking on the parts of Krna, Balarama and Satyabh5tt>a, 

From a structural point of view, the travels of the 
Gem cease once it rests with an individual in a t 
lies "halfway between" giving and taking in a certain 

3l6 TO- PURXtfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

we have specified. The pendulum swings from giving to talcing 
only to come to rest at the midpoint between them. If one poses 
the problem of the myth as "When will the Syamantaka Gem find 
a stable resting place ?" one seems to find the myth giving the 
answer "in a situation which is neither a giving nor a taking : a 
keeping*', because in the myth it is only when Akrura can fail 
to give the Syamantaka and when others fail to take it that the 
Syamantaka Gem is insured an end to its wanderings. In a 
sense the model for this successful conclusion to the Giving- 
Taking dichotomy (11.34) is found in 4.15 and 3.12 as its "inverse". 
The "inverse" of 4,14 and 3.12, both giving and taking is (11.34) : 
neither giving nor taking. 

We might bring out the mediating quality of 11.34 by 
contrasting it to two other taking-situations in which Krsna is 
the principal actor. It is also noteworthy that these incidents 
2,3 and 9.25, stand opposed to one another as if they were to be 
understood as two extreme alternatives of the same operation 
taking. Let us think about these opposed taking-situations in 
order to bring out the fitting quality of their "solution" in 

These "takings" involve Krsna in two curiously similar, 
yet importantly different acts. In 2.3, Krsna is seen to have the 
conviction that Ugrasena should have the Syamantaka Gem 
rather than Satrajit. Krsna is depicted as having not only the 
power to take the Syamantaka Gem but also having entertained 
the desire. Satrajit, on the other hand, does not wish Krsna to 
have the Syamantaka Gem and gives it to Prasena (2.4) in order 
to avoid having to surrender the Syamantaka Gem to Krna. ^We 
might therefore call 2.3 an "undertaking" because Krsna's inaction 
results in his withdrawal from seizure of the Syamantaka Gem. It 
U a kind of failed seizure a taking which Fails because of a kind 
of prophylaxis of action, On the other hand, the failure to 
x&xe the Syamantaka Gem from 6atadhanvan in 9.25 is an example 
of a talcing wmich fails because jSatadhanvan does not have the 
Syamantaka Gens, though Krs^a kills and Batches him for it. He 
attempts as much as possible to seize the Syamantaka Gem, but 
fe!Bt ot only though he tries (too) hard ("over- taking") but because 
Satadhanvan does not p03Seag thc Syamantka Gem. Viewing 



these cases 2.3 and 9.25 9 where failure to seize and posses the 
Syamantaka Gem seems to be common features, though u:* 
reasons for Failure in each case are different, 3J2 (in association 
with 4. 15) seems to offer a model of a successful taking {as da?* 
11.34 in its own way). By linking 3. 12 with 4.15 our story tee-iris 
to say that possession of the Syamantaka Gem is possible i*iid 
successful when the taking of the Gem is associated \\n\i IB 
being given. Where desire is too weak (2.3) or too stroz^g .&:;S 
failure ensues. This, of course, is to simplify, for the 
of 3.12 and 4. 1 5 is only a partial success. the Gem is stolen 
and K-rsna's reputation slurred. For this reason 11,34 t 
giving nor taking) "Having" is nedeed to halt the wanda 
the Gem both its givings and its takings and the uh* 
social and theological instability which result. We wvuid do 
well to keep in mind this preference for the media ton 
extremes as we move on to our next pair of bundled 

If our general conclusion about the myth's attempt to neutra- 
lize or mediate the Giving-Taking dichotomy be correct, ptiiia^- 
an inspection of the objects of exchange will reinforce GUI wjsu-u- 
sions. The principal object of exchange-die Syamamaka u*.a 1* 
itself an ambivalent article par excellence. It brings vvtiiaie is p^> 
ssed by a good man and ill-fare if possessed by an evil ^ * l 
mediating object an interloper between giver and object o, ***, 
taker and object of taking, the Syamantaka Geui manifests ifa* a-uj 
character of the mediator. Less obvious are the 
contradictory qualities of the other objects of exchange . 
a*d Satyabhama. - Not only are both wives^ngures o 
radiction but each one is an "inversion 01 
jaxnbavatl and Satyabhama, both ^J^ 
outside world, are characters whose constitution 
tendency to resolve dichotomous oppositions as n. 
done with respect to the Giving-Taking dichotomy s a wo , 

Let us consider then the "iaversioa 
Satyabhama and the mediatidns they effect 
they are given to Krsna, first of all, a * e *" ^ |Ue 
Jambavatl's case she is given to Kj^a a '^B ^ hich u 

Gem; it is a private affair (in Jambava 
Inside Mount gJksahe source of five riven. 

1. Patil, D. K^P- 

[VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

case, she is given to Krsna after (and somehow in exchange for the 
Syaznantaka Gem) the Syamantaka Gem is given to Satrajit by 
Krsna; it is a public affair (occurring, as it were, openly in 
Dvaraka) which is located by the sea, the goal of rivers 

More striking perhaps are the differences between Jambavatl 
and Satyabhama themselves. Jambavatl though a bear, a being of 
nature, is passive and docile throughout, therefore upsetting expe- 
ctations normally associated with nature. She is given to Krsna, is 
led into his apartments (Ep. 5) by him, and is not heard of there- 
after. Satyabhama on the other hand though human and a being 
of culture is active and passionate throughout, also upsetting expe- 
ctations normally associated with culture. She fetches Krsiia in 
Baranavata and attempts to excite his wrath against Satadhanvan, 
the murderer of her father Satrajit. She is quick to demand the 
Syamantaka Gem as her patrimonial inheritance when the posse- 
ssion of it is put into question in 11.34. It is not insignificant, we 
would suggest, that in the Mahabharata Satyabhama is also cast in 
an active role with respect to the revenging of Satrajit's death. 
We quote : 

Then Satyaki informed the slayer of Madhu as to how 
Krtavarman had behaved towards Satrajit for taking away 
from him the celebrated gem Syamantaka. Hearing the narra- 
tive, Satyabhama, giving way to wrath and tears, approached 
Keava and sitting on his lap enhanced his anger (for Krta- 
varman). 1 

In short, Satyabhama is seen as an active instigator to 
Krna's actions while Jambavatl is passive with respect to Krsna 

Paradoxically, but understandably, both Jambavatl and 
Satyabhama terminate their lives after Krsna's death, in ways 
which are not only "inversions" of one another (in keeping with 
what we have said above) but also as "inversions'* of their previous 
behaviors. 9 Thus Jambavatl, a passive being of nature (itself an 

1. The A&habharata : Mausal&parvan, p. 7. (XVI, 3, 79). 

2. Sorenson, S, An Index to the Names in the Mah3&k3rata t 

Williams and Norgate, London, 1925, Jambavati : p t 348; 
Satyabhama : p, 625, 




inner "inversion") ends her days "inversely" as they were lived by 
ascending Krsna's funeral pyre by doing "sati" : an active, 
cultural deed having connexions with sacrifice. 1 Satyabhama, an 
active being of culture (another inner "inversion") becomes a forest 
ascetic (contemplation : the "inverse" of sacrifice) '. a passive deed, 
having connections with nature the forest. The "inverse" 
termini : "sati? and forest asceticism, can be further analyzed in 
terms of the constituent inversions implicit in them : sati a * requires 
the use of wood which has been acted upon by men (culture) made 
into firewood, logs which are destroyed by flames burnt. Forest 
asceticism involves wood as well but trees not acted upon by men 
(nature) which are living growing in a forest. 

Therefore^ Jambavati and Satyabhama stand as "inverses" of 
one another not only in their presented modes of behavior and in 
their "natures" as well but with respect to the contradictions 
Between their "natures 5 * and their subsequent behaviors. They not 
only originate "inverse" kinds of being but end "inversely 1 * to one 
another and to their previous modes of behavior. Thus we can 
schematize the transformations as follows : 

Jambavati : 



appearance : (passive) 

reality : nature 


appearance : (active) 

reality : culture 

End State 

(active) culture 


End State 
Forest Asceticism 

(passive) nature 


avng meates an neura 

giving and taking" the Syamantaka Gem. This is an ambivalent 
condition neither properly descrlbabte as "giving" or "taking" but 

~" 1. Renou, L,, The Gbili&&W <&ffii*** ****** second edition, 
Susil Gupta, Calcutta, W59> j>, 7 


[VOL. XXIV., NO. 2 

as "having." We also noticed that the success of the mediating 
states whether the tantative 4.153.12 or the final 11.34, was 
highlighted by the failure of two opposite and less ambiguous 
attempts at taking the gem in 2.3 and 9.25. In observing that 
states of mediation are ambiguous ones (11.34) we noticed that 
objects of mediation also shared this ambiguity. The Syamantaka 
Gem and the two wives Krsna wins in the story Jambavatl and 
Satyabhama, are prime examples of this insight. 

Accasing-Exoneratin g 

The second pair of constituent unit oppositions that we detect 
in our story involve the bundles of relations "accusing" and "exo- 
nerating." We might recall that it was the accusation by the 
Yadavas that Krsna stole the Gem and murdered Pr as en a (2.10) 
which set into motion Krsna's attempts to secure the Gem from 
jambavat and the struggles, givings and takings that followed on 
in pursuit of the vindication of his reputation, his acquittal. It 
would not be unreasonable of us to see in Krsna's quesi for moral 
acquittal (or in the problem of Krsna's acquittal) a major theme of 
our myth. Indeed this was the view of the Vhnu Purdntfs ancient 
commentator, who sees the point of the Syamantaka Gem story to 
be a working out ofKrsna's vindication of character. 1 In illumi- 
natin the structure of this second pair of bundled relations, we can 
link its successful resolution (11.33) Krsna's full exoneration by 
one and all, and its means '(11.32) with the pattern of resolution 
we found in the first pair of bundled relations 1 1.34, thus coming 
closer to a unified interpretation of all the bundled relations in the 
Syamantaka Gem story. 

To proceed then with our analysis, we notice that on two 
distinct occasions (2.10 and 9.26) Kr?na is accused of having taken 
the Gem and of being guilty of the murder of its possessor. Stru- 
cturally, these accusation*situations display a kind of symmetry. In 
2.10, the community, (the Yadavas) explicitly and directly accuse 

1. The commentator editor of the Visnu Purana states the 
theme of the Syamaotaka Gem Story as : 
Jle, who calls to mind the vindication of the character of 
Krsija from false aspersions, shall never become the 
subject of unfounded accusation in the least degree, and 
living in the full exercise of his senses gtiall be cleansed 
from every sin f 

JULY, 1982] 



Kjsna while an individual, Satrajit, implicitly and directly accuses 
him of the same offences. In 9.26, an individual, Balarama, expli- 
citly and directly levels accusations against Krsna while the com- 
munity (the Yadavas) do so implicitly and indirectly. In bo 
cases the tone of the accesations is inhospitable and entails moral 
condemnation of Krsna's behavior. 

The structures of the exonoration-situations differ similarly 

with 3.11 and 5.18 reflecting 2.10's primarily communal accusation 

with an acquittal equally communal and public. In 5.20 SatrSji 

implicitly exonerates Krsna of any relevant crimes implicitly 

admitting his own error in accusing Krsna by giving his daughter 

Satyabhama in marriage to Krsna (5.19) over those with prior 

claims. 9,27's a aquittal of Krsna reflects the personal nature ot 

the 9.26 accusation but on the whole is far from a complete acqui . - 

tal of Krsna. In episode 11 Krsna maintains that Balarama still 

harbors doubts as to his innocence in the matter of the secre ing ;oi 

the Syamantaka Gem and that therefore Akrura should produce 

the Gem before the Yadava assembly and Balar^a. We must 

therefore regard the acquittal in 9.27 as a tentative ^e-awai 

fuller confirmation at a later date. It may be seen as . 

inM but not of heart^Balarama is convinced 

return to Dvaraka, ^^^^. 
until the Gem is produced, a cloud 
reputation. If the Gem can be produced and . 
Satadhanvan's possession can be explained, them 
can be vindicated. 

(1 1,33) and it is worth noticing 
is achieved, in terms of the dialectic of 
We will see subsequently *&* 
to our final pair of bundled 
ing", but first we want t 
worked out in its own terms. IB 
with situations in whicl 
from both community 
stress : 2.10 stressing 
dual accusation- 
3. 11, 5. 18 and 

ration . 
telat l 


CTone ratio 

presented u, 

stress i n g indivi- 
* rumour and 

322 ^ PURStfA [VOL. xxrv., NO.2 

slurs OQ his character from arising ! The first acquittal, which 
may be seen as a lumping of 3,1 1, 5.18 and 5.20, evidently means 
little to Krsna's fellows, for Balarama outlandishly accuses him 
again in 9.26 and the Yadavas concur with Balarama against Krsna 
in this attack on his character. The acquittal in 9.27, as we have 
noted, is incomplete it merely amounts to a suspended sentence 
and barely an acquittal at all. How, our myth seems to ask, is 
Krsna to gain full exoneration ? 

Structurally, the beginning of the answer to this problem 
is given in 11 32, in the same way that the association of 3.12 
and 4.15 offered an answer to the problem of how to possess 
the Syamantaka Gem. As 4.15 and 3.12 were both a giving and 
a taking, so also is 1 1.32 both an accusation and an acquittal 
(as well as being neither an accusing nor an acquitting as we will 
see). Krsna accuses Akrura of having the Gem and of having 
received it from 3atadhanvan, yet by his hospitality implicitly 
holds out an acquittal for the part Akrura had in conspiring over 
Satadhanvan's death and the circumstances of his possessing the 
Gem. By this partial similarity between thh solutions in 3.12- 
4.15 and 11.32 the myth weaves together structurally the first two 
pairs of bundled relations of which it is composed. Giving-Taking 
is structurally related to Accusing-Exonerating because the solut- 
ions to both are associations or mediations of their respective 

What remains to be explained however is the relationship 
between 11.34, neither giving nor taking, and 11.32, both accus- 
ing and acquitting. One explanation might rely on the following 
insight into the relationships between 4.15-3.12 and 11,34 and 
9.26*9.27 and 1 1.32 between the temporary solution to Giving- 
Taking (4.15-3.12) and its final solution (11.34) and between the 
tentative solution to accusing-exonerating (9.27) and its correla- 
tive accusation (9.26) and the final solution here (11.32). Thus, 
the following relations may be set up as follows. 


11.34 11.32 

one gives to Krsna one accuses KLrsna 

-j-Krgoa takes from one -{-one acquits Kfsna 

one gives NO T to Krsna ** Krna accuses one 

H- Krsna takes NOT from one -J-krsna acquits one 


11.34 is the compound negation of 4.15 and 3.12 while 11.32 
is the compound converse of 9.26 and 9.27. Though negation and 
conversion are different logical operations one being a change in 
the tind of predication and the other being a transposition of terms, 
one might still accept that 11.34 and 11,32 are similar in that they 
both attempt reversals of the previous incidents: 4.15-3.12 and 
9.26-9.27 though, we admit, in different ways. 

11. 34 and 11.32 bear stronger resemblances if we notice that 
11. 32 is more like 11.34 than we have hitherto allowed. Krsna's 
accusing one and Krsna's acquitting one are both of the weak 
variety like Akrura's not giving the Syamantaka Gem to Krsna 
andKr?na's not taking the Gem from Akrura. If "Having" or 
"Keeping" was advanced as the means between the poles of H.34 : 
"Offering Possession" and "Seizing Possession'*, then perhaps we 
can see in Krna's charge that Akrura has the Syamantaka Gem 
and the acquittal implicit in his cajoling behavior here as describing 
another mediating state which is harder to name. Between, say, 
the poles of "Impugning Honor" and "Restoring Honor" there is 
simply the state "Honoring" which may properly characterize 
the overall effect of Krsna's treatment of Akrura in 1 1.32 : Krs,na 
states that Akrura has the Gem etc., though Akrura is not charged 
with moral transgressions; Krsna implies that Akrura's transgres- 
sions are forgotten without openly exonerating Akrura. In a way, 
Krsna neither accuses nor does not accuse AkrOra; nor does 
Krna acquit or not acquit Akrura yet does all at the same time 
in different senses. More precisely Krsna "honors'* Akrura estab- 
lishes a mean between these various alternatives which succeeds in 
bringing Krsna exoneration. 

Similarly we may notice an analogous formal resemblance 
with respect to the final state of Krsna in 11,33. This state (U.33). 
might arguably merit a position ''between" the ''Accusing' 1 and 
"Exonerating" columns as 11.34 has done with respect to the 
"Giving" and "Taking" columns. Krsna's final state might then 
quite plausibly be interpreted as we have interpreted Akrura's : as 
the neutral "honoring" rather than simple "exonerating" ("resto- 
ring honor"). It might be noticed that episode 11 as well as 
making no accusation of Krsjaa makes Kr?na*s exoneration implicit, 
In a sense, 11.33 for Krst^a is more like neither being accused nor 

[VOL. xxiv,, NO. 2 

exonerated but merely being "honored" since his innocence is not 
proclaimed and is left for the commentator to state as a moral. 

In summary of our analysis of the "Accusing-Exonerating 11 
pair of bundled relations we h ave noted three major oppositions : 
1. Accusing Exonerating opposition 2. Primarily communal 
accusation and exoneration in 2.10 and 3.11, 5.18 opposed to 
primarily individual accusation and exoneration in 9.26, 9.27, 
though we s-aw that an individual dimension was respectively invol- 
ved secondarily in 2.10,3.11,5.18, as well as a communal dimension 
to 9,26 and 9.27. 3, 11.32's opposition to 9.26 and 9.27 was noted 
as consisting in the former's synthetic combination of elements 
distinguished in 9,26 and 9,27, with a conversion of Krsna's role 
from accused to accuser and acquitted to acquitter leading direc- 
tly to Krsna's final and full acquittal. 

Along with oppositions we noticed the formal similarity bet- 
ween 4.15-3.12 and 11.32 while also considering 11. 32's similarity 
to 1 1.34 in their creating new categories of stability. 

Thus, we have noticed how the "Accusing" "Exonerating" 
oppositions have gained a certain resolution in the final situations 
of Akrura and Krsna. Both achieve happy end-states by a as it 
were, mediating the poles of the oppositions involved. In being 
"honored" both Akrura and Krna stand in situations midway 
between having their honors impugned and restored. In this way 
the end-states of Akrura and Krsna with respect to the "Accusing" 
"Exonerating" relationships (11.32, 11.33) resemble the resolu- 
tion of the "Giving s '-"Takuig" colums (11,34) in that as media- 
tions of the given extremes they are similar. 


Finally we would analyze the last opposed pair of bundled 
relations: "Destroy ing-Preserving". This opposition takes in on 
tha i Destroying side not only literal killing-the Lion kills Prasena 
(2.5), Jambavat kills the Lion (2,7) etc. but (a) physical struggle- 
possible though not actual killings-Krsna struggles and subdues 
Jambavat (34.13) and (b) mental struggle or aggression-Buna's 
prodding of Akrura, causing Akrura, causing Akrura to admit'his 
mmrfth. Syamantaka Gem. One might also count the 
befallmg upon Dvaraka of the various calamities which ensue upon 


the Syamantaka Gem's removal from Dvaraka as an example of 
''Destroying". One might also term this column of bundled rela- 
tions as^ cc Violent or Destructive Behaviour" to be opposed by 
"Sustaining or Constructive Behaviour". In the "Preserving" 
class we count such constructive events as (a) the presence of the 
Syamantaka Gem in DvSraka and the resulting preservation from 
harm which it brings (1.2, 4.16, 10.28, 11.30, (b*. Krsna's healing 
oljambavat's wounds (4.14) and (c) Krsna>s hospitable (reception 
otAkrura (in 11.32) which acts as a sustaining of Akrura's honour- 
an affirmation of Akrura's integrity and reputation. It is Krsna's 
ability, we would submit, to straddle these two opposing approaches 
(m 11.32) which, together with and indeed simultaneously with his 
resolution of the accusation and exoneration opposition, which 
wms for him final exoneration (11.33). 1L32 represents a grand 
synthetic moment in which not only is Krsna's exoneration achiev- 
e (the goal of the story from the commentator's viewpoint) but it 
is achieved at the same time as he resolves the tensions within hia 
own bemg^those between Destroying and Preserving, between the 
use of power to threaten, fight, and kill and the ability to foster, 
sustain and support. I n 1 1 .32, from the point of view of this oppo- 
sition, we will see how Krsna resolves this precarious dilemma of 
aving to act destructively to accuse and prod, while nevertheless 
needing to sustain and support him whom Krsna is pitted against. 
This dilemma is resolved by Krsna and, as we will go on to argue, 
has important ramifications and confirmations in the theological 
and political contexts in which this story is set. 

We would best go about understanding this "Destroying- 
Preserving" opposition by considering three mediations which 
Krna performs with varying degrees of destructive power and 
success between the commtntity (ITad&vas) and the three Illicit 
possessors of the Syamantaka Oem : Jfcrabavat, &atadhanvan and 

Mediation A [See the Diagram ]] is for Krsna a relatively 
successful one : he obtains exoneration^ two wives, the devotion of 
J^mbavat and recovers the Gem for the community (and Satrajit). 
It also marks a mediation in which Krsna's means of obtaining 
the Gem, though violent, are nonetheless moderate and merciful : 
though he struggles with jambavat, he does show restraint (in the 


(VOL, xXiv.; NO. 

Mediation A 

Diagram 1 

J and family 

action : 




acquittal Sraddha acquittal Sa 



Matsya Purana, Krna kills Jamba vat I) and heals Jmmbavat's 
wounds 3 4.13-= 4.14 mark a combination of Destruction and 
Preservation which, harmonizes with the combination of Giving and 
Taking in 4.15 and 3.12. 

On no view, however, does Mediation B [See the Diagram 2] 
prove successful for &rsna> although he has increased the destructive 
element of his action to a superior degree in killing Satadhanvan. 
Krsna finds no Syamantaka Gem, nor do any good or blessings accrue 
to him (hence the broken lines in Diagram 2). His decidedly violent 
action in killing Satadhanvan (8.21) brings, instead, the fraternal 
curse and accusation of Balarama as well as disfavour with the com- 
munity (&26). If mediators are characterized by their ambivalent 
behaviour, as Levi-Strauss says 1 , then Krsna's one-sidedly violent 
behavior, lacking mercy (sustaining power to Satadhanvan) may 
explain Kr$na*s failure to succeed in mediating between Satadhan- 
van and the community (the Yadavas). 

1. Levi*$trausa, G., pp. 224 ff. 

1ULY, 1982] 
Mediation B 



Diagram 2. 



action : 
hostility (N 

othing) I (No)SG 



T T 

I ______--- 

1 **~~ 

_ ^ I (No)SG 

^ ^ / 






Not until Mediation G the mediation between Akrura and 
the Yadava community, does Kr?na become fully exonerated of 
his crimes and the Syamantaka Gem's wanderings cease now to 
remain a source of welfare to the community* 

Mediation G 

Diagram 3. 



action : accusation 
pressure/non- hostility 



\ S 



328 ^m PURXSA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

Significantly, Krsna's tack is one characterized by judicious 
use of pressure (destructive power) and flattery (sustaining power) 
(11. 32). Krsna verily cajoles Akrura into an admission of his posse- 
ssion of the Gem. Krna prods Akrura with-the knowledge of his 
possession of it (which implies for Akrura a potential threat to 
search and consequent seizure of the Gent) so that Akrura freely 
reveals his possession of the Gem (hence the wavy lines in Diagram 
3). The similarity to 4.15 and 3.12 is striking: Jambavat freely 
relinquishes the Gem after Krsna has tried to seize it. Closely 
associated with this incident is 3-4.13-4.14 which we have menti- 
oned in our analysis of Mediation A. Krsna's behavior is moderate 
violent, yes, but with an equal dose of mercy and forebearance. 
4. 15-3, 12 and 3-4- 13-4. 14 and 11.32 are al] successful mediations 
for Krsna, for in each the Syamantaka Gem is restored to a place 
which insures its benefit for the community and in both Krsna 
receives vindication of his reputation, 

If an immediate trend is to be seen in these mediations it is 
that, for Krnaj increasing destructiveness in the pursuit of his 
aims spells a decreasing success in the attainment of these aims; 
the more violence is employed to vindicate his reputation and gain 
the Syamantaka Gem for communal benefit, the less these are 

We might take the opportunity to link this solution of the 
"Destroying-Preserving" columns of bundled relations (1 1.32) with 
the solutions of the ''Accusing-Exonerating" and "Giving-Taking" 
columns (1L32, 11.34 respectively) in order to compare their simi- 
larities. We have already observed how 4.15-3.12 (Giving-Taking) 
is linked to 3-4.13-4.14. As we have analyzed them, 11. 32 for 
both pairs of columns bear the marks of moderation of skilful use 
of means not passive but active in a way which allows the accused 
or attacked freely to admit what he has been accused of or to 
surrender what he is being pressed for. In both cases, exoneration 
and preservation are offered implicitly in the same act. 

may look upon the end-states of AkrUra and Krsna under 
all tbrea pairs of relations as similar because each of these end-states 
marks a negation of the dichotomy within which it is defined. 
11.34 finds Akrura and Kr$na in a state of neutrality vis-a-vis 
"Giving" and Taking". Despite Akrura's willingness to give up 


the Gem and despite the fact that it could have been taken from 
him, he neither gives up the Syamantaka Gem nor has it taken 
from him. Akriira simply "has" or "keeps" it. Correspondingly 
Krna neither gives the Gem to Akrura nor does he take it from 
him. Krsna lets Akriira keep it he sanctions Akrfira's possession of 
the Gem. 11.32 and 11.33 under "Accusing* 5 and "Exonerating" 
have similar structures. In 1 1 .32 Akrura is neither accused nor not 
accused, neither exonerated nor not exonerated. He is "honoured", 
as we noted earlier. Krsna also analogously accuses and does not 
accuse Akrura in 11.32 as well as exonerating and not exonerating 
him. Krsna "honours" Akrura. In so doing however Krna|s 
exoneration (!U33)iscast in a different light for in "honouring" 
Akrura Krsna himself is "honored" in accepting the status quo he 
enjoys his rightful status without an explicit acquittal being made, 
as in the earlier cases. Krsna's acquittal toned down as it is in the 
text has less the character of an extraordinary restoration of honour 
as a simple resumption of former habits of "honouring". Thus the 
''exonerations" of Akrura and Krsna both seem to take on neutral 
shades between the extremes of "Accusing" and "Exonerating". 
The unity of these mediations persists even across the "Destroying - 
Preserving" dichotomy. Akrura is neither destroyed nor preserved 
by Krsna's simultaneous destruction and preservation of him. 
Perhaps the best description of this situation is that Krsna "lets 
Akrura be". This view matches the mediations of "Destroying- 
Preserving" with those of "Giving-Taking" and "Accusing-Exone- 
rating" since "Letting Be", "Having" and "Honouring" compare 
as mediations between their respective dichotomies. 

Now we feel that our story can be seen to have a discernible 
structure which we have made explicit in its pairs of opposed rela- 
tionships and their resolutions. The "Giving-Taking" dichotom y 
is resolved by the mediating incidents 4.15-3.12 and 11.3* : 4. 
3. 12; mark Jambavat's giving the Gem to Krsaa after he has 
attempted to seize it from Jambavat and therefore achieves a reso- 
lution of the first dichotomy. 11.34 mediates the same, Dichotomy 
differently, though nonetheless effectively, by combining Alurura * 
desired giving with the desired taking by Krsna, Rama and Satya- 
bhama. It also is the occasion of Akrura's failure to give the 
Syamantaka Gem as well a, the failure of any one to ^take ,t In 
11.32 Krsna's simultaneous accusation and acquittal of Airur* 


330 cnjom PURStfA [VOL. xxiv., N0 t 2 

mediates the "Accusing-Exonerating" opposition by also being 
characterizable as being neither of these two action?. The inter- 
mediate act of "honouring 9 ' successfully resolves the tension between 
accusing and exonerating not only for Akrura but by participation 
for Krsna in 11,33. As for ' c Destroy ing-Preserving* J we again 
witness two mediations as was the case for "Giving-Taking," 
3-4,13-4.14 finds Krsna first ' -destroying" Jambavat, then 
"preserving" him, 11.32 finds Krna simultaneously "destroying" 
and "preserving" as well as neither destroying nor preserving 
Akrura so that the mediating term "letting be" perhaps better 
describes the situation. We then might schematize the structure 
of our story*s oppositions and resolutions as follows ; 



Giving Taking Accusing-exonora ting Destroying-Preserving 


4.15-3.12 \ / 3-4.13-4. H 

(I+II) \ / - (V+VI) 

i V 4 

1.34-(1 + 11) 11.32 = 1 

+ 7 (I+II) +7 (III+IV) +7 (V+VI) 

11.33 (IV+7 IV) 

G. Meanings : 

Now that we have laid out our story's structure we might 
speculate about what important meanings it might have (have had) 
in its more typical settings. More properly, however, we might 
say that out search is one for "themes" which are themes of the 
story. That a certain theme is a theme of the story is an historical 
property. Thus, our task is one which strives to suggest wha t 
themes historically might have been themes of the Syamantaka 
Gem story, History is indispensable for confirming the sugges- 
tions we would want to make. Fully testable, our suggestions 
are open to falsiflcatiou a.s well as verification ;n theory though | 

JULY, 1982] 


the practical possibility of both may be small. It is hoped, in 
spite of these limitations, that our "educated guesses" will prove 
somewhat useful in understanding the Syamantaka Gem Story and 
the possible meanings it might have had in its Visnu Puraya. setting. 

Having, said this, we would begin by considering two plau- 

sible themes for which there are some historical supports : the 

political and the religious. The political question which the myth 

attempts to answer can be briefly stated as follows : What are 

the proper means by which the ends of a member of an assembly 

. of peers are to be achieved within that assembly ? The political 

problem so poied is thus one of right behavior given a certain 

constitution of political life. That the Satvatas of the Visnu 

Purana were an '"oligarchic or republican clan", known to Panini 

as the Andhaka-Vrinis is the claim of Jayaswal in bis Hindu Polity. 1 - 

Whether ot not an exact sense can be attached to the kind of 

political body our Satvatas (Yadavas) might have been, 3 we can at 

least appreciate the importance of the assembly for their political 

life. It was a council of elders and leaders, apparently a forum 

for the discuasjjpn of major polit ical issues and formation of poli- 

cies; it was evgna kind of jury and court of law. It would not 

therefore be unreasonable to expect that certain codes of conduct 

should be pr$Sjril?ed especially to limit the influence a physically 

powerful indh&teal (such as Krsna) might want to exert. Coun- 

cils are, aft^^g, kinds of substitutes for brute struggle and exclude 

the use of pineal force in the pursuit of their affairs. A thre- 


ones quite 
the charac 

psychological pressure may not be tolerated in 
physical interference would be ruled out 
what "parliaments" at least are for avoiding 

i_ *-l 

P* govern ment^ even though they may be crude 
pr present-day assemblies. One might compare 
the "parliament " in Magna Garta days to the 
Commons to get an idea of the differences in 

is ** institution for encouraging certain kinds 
-violent) and values of its members for the solu- 

. 172ff. 

R., "Interpretations of Ancient Indian History , 
Theory, Vll, 3, 1968, pp. 328f. 

PURA$[A [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

tions o its member's problems imagine what a stricture such norms 
would be upon a person of such violent and rash nature as the 
Krsna depicted in our story and in the early tradition : In inci- 
. dent 2,3, the Visnu Purana barely conceals Krsna's ability to seize 
the Syamantaka Gem from Satrajit. "...he had the power of 
taking it from Satrajit....' [VP, ep. 2] while the older Matsya Purana 
is less timid in admitting the violent means Krs,na would have used 
to seize the Gem. "Krsna was powerful to take it by force... 
[MP XLV, 5]. In both cases one feels that it is Krsna's physical 
prowess which makes him at once an asset to the Yadava commu- 
nity as well as an unpredictable farce beyond their control. In- 
deed, this is borne out in the sequel to the accounts of Krsna and 
the Yadavas, [VP V, 37, p. 479] for he succeeds in instigating the 
self-destruction of the Yadavas as well as taking a personal hand 
in their extermination. This tradition, which is rooted in the 
Mahabharata 1 - is described only in a general manner in our text and 
in the Bhagavaia Purapa both of which undoubtedly find such 
nasty accounts of Krsna's behavior an embarrassment. 

Viewed against an historical backdrop where Krgna's violent 
power is a firm reality, one can understand his behavior against 
Satadhanvan as in line with the character of brutal warrior-prince, 
what is less understandable is his behaviour in our text against 
Jambavat and AkrQra. In both of. these cases restraint is exercised, 
though of different degrees. It is noteworthy that the older Afatsya 
Purana presents Krsna as slaying Jambavat while the Vifnti Purana 
alludes to Krna's slaying of Madhu during his battle with Jam- 
bavat. In the older tradition represented by the Vayu Purana and 
Mahabharata, Krsna is also barely restrained from physical violence 
against Akrura during the final episode of our story, 3 though the 
reasons implied in the Vifyu Pura$a and in the older tradition 
of the Vayu. Puraya and the Mahabharata differ again. 

It is our contention that, even though there are other factors 
which may inform the reasons for Krsna's restraint against AkrQra 
in 1 1 32, what still emerges is the tradition of the Vayu Puraya and 

1. The Mahabharata gives vivid details of this internecine 
slaughter amid which an account of the Syamantaka 
Gem Story is repeated. See the above reference to 
Sajyabha ma- Jamba vatl dichotomy. 

2, Patil, D. R., pp. 172f. 


the Mahabharata : Krsna's restraint is seemingly dictated by the 
exigencies imposed upon him by his compliance with the norms of 
an assembly of peers ! It is this need for the restraint of physical 
force, this need to comply with the rules implied in accepting 
membership in an assembly of peers which is an important- theme 
m our story. Without canalizing our conclusion, we might state 
this politico-social theme in the following words : One does not 
attain one's politico-social aims in our society by using violent 
physical coercion. It is through diplomatic action neither flaccid 
nor timid, which holds out acceptance and respect, that will win 
the day. It is such a meaning which agrees with our structural 
conclusions : Krsna achieves his "exoneration" (and the story's 
goal in the eyes of the ancient commentator) by comporting him- 
self to Akrura over the matter of his possession of the Syamantaka 
Gem in a way which combines accusation, exoneration, destruction 
and preservation in one act. [11.22]. Krsna begins by flattering 
Akrura (preservation) : ' 'Kinsman, you are a very prince in your 
liberality", counters with a bold statement of fact (accusation) 
"But we know that the Syamantaka Gem is in your possession" etc,, 
follows this up with an exoneration, *'So let it remain..-", all of 
which Akrura understands as a being te taxed'* (destruction), a being 
prodded. Yet all this takes place in a way which balances all the 
factors involved, thus making it possible for Akrura to admit hjs 
complicity in the death of Satrajit and his possession of the Syaoz- 
amaka Gem -and allows Krsna to achieve "exoneration". Thus, in 
its own way by an opposition and then resolution of the mytitfs 
constituent bundled relations, by showing that some permutations 
of these relations fail and other succeed, the myth suggests the 
solution to its set problem. 

Having made and supported the claim for a distinct political 
(social) theme in our story we should like to explore a religious 
theme of special interest, not unrelated to the political issues raised 
above. It is our conviction that the Syaraaataka Gem Story marks 
an interesting phase in the historical and logical development of 
the apotheosis of Krsna, who, as we have suggested and a* expert* 
in the Held have stated, was not considered divine m the early tra- 
dition 1 but was rather depicted as, no doubt, an heroic 

1. Pusalker, A. IX. ; Hopkins, & 
Encyclopaedia of Indo-Aryan 

[VOL. xxrv., NO. 2 

though somewhat rash, greedy and even ruthless figure : Krsna 
the diplomat and healer of our story is a far cry from Krna whose 
"heart was roasted hy terrific speeches" 1 against Akrura in the 
Vayu Purana or the Krsna who instigated and joined in the slaughter 
of the Yadavas later in the Visyu Purana and in the Mahabharata. 
There are also other curious lapses of divinity in our text Krsna 
is sometimes omniscient (he knows that what appears to be Surya 
coming to visit him at our story's beginning is really Satrajit 
wearing the Syamantaka Gem); at other times he relies upon 
shrewd powers of deduction (Krsna deduces that Akrura possesses 
the Syamantaka Gem because the good that prevails in Dvaraka 
during Akrura's presence is an effect wholly disproportionate to 
the cause claimed for it Akrura J s virtue, therefore Akrura must 
possess the Syamantaka Gem); and at other times Krsna remains 
as ignorant of the causes of events as any of the Yadavas (Krsna 
must be told by Satyabhama of her father's murder by Satadhan- 
vanj he does not infer to Akrura *s possession of the Syamantaka 
Gem until three years after it has been in Akrura's possession etc.). 
The phase t in the development of Krsna as divine, which we 
encounter in the Visgu Purapa Syamantatka Gem Story, is one 
which may very well still recall the early tradition (or at least 
another tradition similar to the early one) while attempting a 
reconciliation between that earlier tradition and the later diviniza- 
tion of Krsna which we get most completely in the Bhagauata Pur3va. 
The contradiction to which this gives rise in the mind of the 
devotee is, we would suggest, grappled with in our text. 2 The 

bourg, 1915, pp. 212, 215; Edgerton, F., (trans., ed.), The 
Bhagaoad Gita, Harper Torthbooks, NYC, 1964, pp. 

1. Patil, D. R., pp. 172f. 

2. Wilson's note on the commentator-editor's note The Vifqu 

Purana p. 345 to Krsna j s "reflecting* 3 that Akrura*s virtue 
is a cause wholly disproportionate to the effects it is sup- 
posed to yield, which we mentioned above as an instance 
of "shrewd inference", reveals the embarrassment caused 
by the inconsistency of Krsna's dual natures. The la tier's 
inept attempt to obviate this open contradiction (perhaps 
a trivial one at that) amounts to his saying that this 
reflecting of Krsna's "is to pe understood of him only 
as consistent with the account here given of him as if he 
- were a mere man; for as. he was omniscient there was no 
reason Cor him to reflect or reason". Yet the story gives 



problem of how Krsna can be both man and god, of how this early 
tradition can be reconciled with a newer tradition and the paradox 
which consequently arises is tackled and solved in the Visnu Purana 
Syamantaka Gem Story in a way which relates to the conservative 
political theme just discussed. 

It is OUT contention however that the religious solution which 
the Visyu Puraaa version of our story offers is that this paradox is 
too treacherous to attempt a positive solution indeed the paradox 
is unfathomable or scandalous. Far better is it to standby the 
tried and true reliance upon the efficacy of brahminic-style sacrifice 
than risk attachment to the fickle Krsna. The story allows that 
Krna should be absolved of heinious crimes, yet he is not deemed 
worthy of possessing the Syamantaka Gem ! Rather, Akrura, 
though he conspired in Satrajit's death, allied himself with enemies 
of the Yadavas, and concealed the whereabouts of the Syamantaka 
Gem is granted possession of the Gem apparently because of his 
continence and diligence in offering brahminic-style sacrifices I 1 
(and perhaps also because of his ancestors' patronage of the 
brahmins !) 

It is significant that the attitude of the Bhagavata Puraaa is so 
markedly different from that of the Vifyu Purapa's regarding Krsna, 
Akrura and the place of brahminic sacrifice. Krsna is a full-blown 
deity even to a melodramatic extent his honour is never seriously 
impugned; he is never directly accused of crimes by the people, nor 
does he have lapses of knowledge. Akrura yields up the Syamantaka 
Gem to Krsna at the story's end and little is made of the efficacy of 
Brahminic' sacrifices on his behalf. This latter is pushed into second 
place behind love and devotion to Kr ? na. The Bhsgmta Pur^a 
prefers to ignore any serious threat to Krsna's divinity and breaks 
with the reserve of our Vi/&v Puraya text. 

By this exercise in a structural analysis of the Syamantaka 
Gem Story we have attempted to follow a method similar to that 

us several examples where Kr ?I >a 
reflect and reason but occasions in which 
pletely ignorant. , 

f Bra ,c 

p. 407, and Patil, D. R-, p. 

336 ^Tnnj PURAJ^EA [VOL. XXIV, NO. 2 

laid down by Levi-Strauss in several places in an attempt to connect 
this story to some relevant political and theological themes which 
were also political and theological beliefs for some sector of the 
society from which the Vinu Parana Syamantaka Gem Story partly 
originated. It would be important to stress, however, how our 
analysis has been less ambitious than those which Levi-Strauss has 
undertaken in two broad respects : We have not tried to make our 
results cross-culturally comparative, though our analysis, we think, 
would provide a useful beginning for such a task. We might well 
have compared the Krna of the Visnu Puraya Syamantaka Gem 
Story to the Jesus of the New Testament. Is there not a certain 
similar tension within Jesus between the "pacific", "Preserving" 
Christ the Jesus of non-resistance to evil, the suffering servant of 
Isaiah and the Christ of violence and destruction the Jesus who 
drove the moneylenders from the temple, the Apocalyptic Jesus of the 
Book of Revelation, the Jesus of possible Zealot connections ? 1 Are 
there not further analogies between Jesus' compliant attitude to- 
wards the state and Krsna's acceptance of Yadavan political norms ? 
If Jesus' case is understandable as a kind of spiritual irony by his 
resurrection Jesus conquers and succeeds in spite of the power of the 
state, Krsna's case seems slightly different. His victory is not total 
in the Vifnu Purina a* it is in the Bhagauata Purana where Kr^r.a 
wins both an explicit exoneration and the Syamantaka Gem. It 
w not our purpose however to undertake such an extensive com- 
parative project but to go some distance in pointing the way to a 
possible cross-culturally comparative analysis. 

Moreover, al thought we made frequent use of other variants 
of the Syamantaka Gem Story within roughly the "same culture", 
it was not even our intention to undertake a structural analysis of 
the relation tHat story may have had to the general make-up of 
Indian mythology, though again it would be a minute, though use- 
ful beginning for such a project. There are reasons why the "viole- 
nce versus non-violence" opposition may be a common one in Indian 
stories and its resolution in the same stories important for Indian 
and moral, political or religious beliefs, etc.* Important 

uten, S, G. F., Jesus and the Zealots, Manchester Univ. 
Press* Manchester, J968. 

2, Robinson, M, S., "Some Reflections '', 


as this kind of investigation would be, it was not the problem our 
analysis set itself though again, what we have attempted to do 
should be of use to those scholars seeking to pursue that distant and 
ambitious lask x>f constructing a structural inventory of Indian my- 
thologyand of those, who along with Levi-Strauss, hope to relate 
such structures to other structures in that society and to other 

[A knowledge of the following facts regarding the life of 
Krsna may be useful in appreciating the article by Mr. Strenski : 
(1) Kvsna was 19 at the time of the performance of the Rajasuya 
sacrifice by Yudhisthira. (2) Krsna married Jambavat, and then 
Satyabhama within the next 3 years. Rukmirjl was " totwiie. 
(3) The incident of the S. gem occurred 2 years after Yudhirth" 
becoming heir-appareot at the age of 21. (4) Yudh^thora was 
older than Arjuna by 2 years who'in turn was younger than Krsna 
by 3 months. For a detailed discussion on these and other relevant 
matters, vide the article 'In which of the four ***~" * 
V. P. Xthavale in Poona Orientalist, XIX. 1-4. The story Has 
been alluded to in Nirukta 2. 4. 

TfelbWon which Prasena refused to give 1*e S. O.- 

look at the moon since Kjsna was &*&*."T. -b^ved on this 
In some parts of India a vow called $ B R 11 ^'" ... - 

day by the Vaisnavas. VU. Hist, of DharwaO^tra ( V - 
some important information on the verse ** 





The Pwaqas seem to have grown beyond the narrow descri- 
ption of five characteristics at an early stage of their evolution. 
The process of the growth and development of the Puranas was 
helped by a desire to enqompass within their fold different types of 
knowledge and various sciences. The accretions include, among 
other things, the rites, tenets and mythologies of different sects and 
also the ideas and principles of the different sy: terns of philosophy. 
The principles of Sankhya and the practices of Yoga were accomm- 
odated in some Pur3nas. One interesting piece of information in 
these sections concerns premonitory signs or ariftas. The arisias 
are described in the Fjyw, 1 Markandeya* and Litiga 9 Pvrdtjas* 
The Skanda Purfya 4 * also lists indications foretelling impending 
death, though without employing the name arista. The arts fas arc 
also enumerated in the Vist?udharmottarapura#a. s Here we propose 
to confine our observations to the Vayu and Markangeya Purapas. a 

A comparison of the relevant chapters in the 
purana (MP) >nd the VSyupurSya ( = VP) is revealing. In the 
MP there are forty verses on ariffas, whereas the VP has only thirty- 
three verses. Verses 35, 36 and 39 of the MP, which deal with the 
behaviour of a person who has known his impending death through 

1. Oh. 19 

2. Ch, 43 

3. 1. 91 

4. IV. 41 

5. III. 238. 1-33. 

6. The Skandapurana is a late composition. The Linga-pur3tJ<i 
evidently borrows its narrative on aristas from the V3yu- 
purarta'R.C. Hazra, Studies in the Puranic Records on Hindu 
Rites and Customs, p 96. Our article on 'Arisfas in the 
Visnudharmottara Purana* appeared in Puranaw, Vol. 
1XXTV. 1 Jan, 1982> \ 


, do not occur in the VP. Verse 33 of the VP is without a 
ondig verse in the MP. Similar provisions in the MP are 
m verses 37, 38 and 40, particulary the last one.* 

^ Verses 5, 6, 13 and 34 in MP, dealing respectively with indi- 
eatjons of death after nine months, eight months, ten days and 
^pending death, do not have any thing parallel in the VP. 
Ukewise, verses 24, 25, 20 ^first line) and 27 (first line) of the VP 
mention indications of immediate death which are not to be found 
in the MP. 

For the remaining verses we can trace paralles in the other 
text. The extent of correspondance is of varying nature. In the 
case of parallel verses, we have instances of identical lines, the diff- 
erence in the form of one word can be expected to have been 
caused by the copyists involved. The identical lines are MR 2 
(second line) = VP. 2 (second line); MP. 9 (first line) VP. 7 (first 
line); MP. 10 (first line) = VP. 8 (first line); MP. 14 (first liae} = VP. 
11 (first Hne); L MP. 18 (first line)=>VP. 15 (first line); MP. 29 
(second line) = VP. 28 (second line) and MP. 30 (first three padas)** 
VP. 29 (first three padas). 

In other cases we find the same words but their positions in 
the verses are changed. Sometimes we find synonyms being used. 
In many cases the same idea is conveyed by paraphrasing the lines, 
We compare below corresponding verses from the two PurSpas to 
indicate the nature and extent of parallelism. 

(1) VP2-MP 2 changes the order of the indications, para- 
phrases tnakapatham as devam3rg<ira and adds Julcram. 

(2) VP 3 It has ArafmiwuitamSditjarfr rafmtDantaBca pavakam 
which is peraphrased in MP 3 as ArafmibimbaiQ s&ryasya uahniifr 
caivami umSlinam . 

(3) VP 4 For its dafamSsSn sajioati we have in MP 4Jfoet sa 

7. In the nibandha-granthas the subject comes under the 

general heading of utkrSnti. 

8. VP, 33 Aristasucite dehe 

Tyaktva bhayavisada2ca u 

MP.4O-J5&tva k^laSca tath j --,,.,_ * 

Yu2jlta yogi fcalo* sau yatba nasya phalo bfaavet. 

[VOL. xfcv., NO. 2 

(4) VP 5 is paraphrased in MP 7, which substitutes parsyyddb 
for pffthato. 

(5) VP 6 The order of indications is changed in MP 8 which 
has vdyaso for kakah and adds kakolo, In VP the first line has the 
expression niltyed yasya murddhani. MP drops niltyed and instead 
transforms khagah kaJcit in the second line into khagah ntlah revea- 
ling its soures in the process, For fam3san nativarttate MP has 

(6) VP 7 Vadhyed is replaced by hanyate, and paSyet by dfftoa 
in MP 9. Chayaih va vikftam in VP is happier than svarh chaySman- 
yatha of MP. 

(7) VPS FoTpoSyed MP 10 has dfffvS. Udakendrodhanur- 
v3pi is replaced by ratrauindradhanufc3pi in MP. Trayo dvau. va sa 
jfyati is paraphrased as 'jtvitata doitrim3sikam< The premonitory 

sign of seeing a rainbow at night is mentioned more appropriately 
later in VP 21 (ralrau cendrayudhaxt pafyed) and MP 24 {lakrayudha- 
faardharatre), hence the reference in- MP 10 is an unnecessary 
repetition. It occurs possibly because the compiler of the MP 
considered udak* in udakendradhanur to be redundant and substituted 
Tatrau for udaka-. 

(8) VP9 MP 11 substitutes tvye for apsu and adds ghfte 
taile. For atmanaip, in VP we find atmanastanum in MP. AtmSnam 
is repeated in the second Hue of VP. 

(9) VP 10 The first line is paraphrased in MP 12 with the 
significant replacement of vasagandhi by vastamaso gandho. In the 
second line MP drops mriyurhyupasthitas and adds jogino nfpa 
jtoitom, making consequential changes in paraphrasing the remain- 

ing words. 

(10) VP 11 The only change is in respect of the first half 
of the second line. It reads ^adbhih sp rf to na h rf yet in VP and 

in MP. 

x , V? l2 FoT J uktena w and vidj&nmrtyurupasthitah 
M lAhMj^Mlbr and M mr ^ M A kafrmrtthati, Likewise/ 
and pray tff are replaced by di/am and praysti. 

further fl dds 


*. haS tW indicatioils < T *e first, chidram 

w **' vidhryarmaroh, is dropped by MP 17. The 

of the c - ^ * * rava * am > can easil y bc expected to be a mistake 
This see PyiS V he riginal readir g having been nagnaw vahama^am. 
" ! * been elabora ted in MP verse as Nagnafr ktapana- 
hasarnana* mahabalam. Ekam sawvthsyan valgantam 

15i3clearl V Paraphrased in MP 18. Mimajjet is 
by nz7n2 5 rta Wj drstva tu tad r iaih svapnam by soapne paiyatya- 
and M< ^ m najwti by M M ^ mriyati narah. 

Vp 16 has bhasm3ffg3rarhfcake^arf^ca which is better than 

mrtflte AAaJma in MP 19 ^ ^ ^ replaced by nirjal t mt 

diff 6 S6COnd line ' PdjMdyo da/arserantu na sajimta tadrfak is expressed 
erently as rf/y/ j wa^jw daiahattu mrtyurtkada&e dine. * 

(16) VP 17-MP 20 adds kariilair, changes the order of 
and vikataih and uses tajitofr in place oE ta&at*. For sadyo 
i MP writes 

wrtes M Wja IMtnnarah. 

7) VP 18-MP 21 drops pratyusasi but adds oiparltafa pan- 
ne fourth ^cfa, ja eatayurbhavennaFdh. appears as sa</y0 

(18) VP 19-The similarity with MP 22 in expression is 
o vious, but, because of a few changes, the first indication has 
een comle 


een completely changed. VP has^cjr^ vat snSfamStras^a 

h-^ te bhram> where as MP reads yasya mi bhuktamatr&ya a 

tedhate kfudha. VP has dantahar/ah', which refers to a morbid 

sensitiveness O f the teeth as when they are set on edge. The 

compiler of MP possibly did not appreciate its meaning and 

u stituted the commoner expression dantagharsoh meaning chatte* 

ring or grinding of teeth which, however, is not such an abnormal 

feature as to indicate immediate definite death. The fourth pzda 

reads tain gatSyusamadiiet in VP and is worded as s& 

(19) VP 20-21 - The indication in the first line of VP20, 
Bhuyo bhityah fvasedyastu rattan vajadi vS dioB is replaced in MP 23 
by another indication, trasyatyahni tathS ni/i, which is not so expre- 
ssive. Further, MP 23 compresses the two indications of VP 20 
in to one line and adopts the second line ofVPgl as its second 
Una The first line of MP 24 is the same as the first line of VP 

342 tro PURStf\ [VOL. xxiv.,: NO. 

21. But MP does not mention any new indication in the spare 
second line which it gets. MP paraphrases indrayudhaw as fakrd- 
yudham and wksatramaridalam as grahaganam. In place of rSirau 
MP has ardharatre, which, in view of the contrast with diva, is 
overdone. Paranstresu c2tm3nar na paiyet is paraphrased by MP as 
Natmanarii paranetrastham vlkfate. 

(20) VP <!2. The fourth pada, sajtieyo gatajhitah) is paraphras- 
ed by MP 25 as tasyayurudgatam. The position of the first and third 
indications is mutually changed in MP. The change of netramekam 
into netraftca vanuon is without any justification. Likewise, karna- 
yornamanontiati, in place of karri au sthanacca bhraiyatah t is not 

(21) VP 23 OF the three indications, MP 26 drops the third 
one, ga$4 e cipitake rakte, even though it is an important symptom 
noted in medicinal texts as well. In the case of the first, kfsna is 
replaced by iyama and the significant adjective khar3 is omitted. 
Pankabhasafica vai mukham has been simplified in MP as Araktatameti 

(22) VP 26 It has been paraphrased in MP 27. As in the 
case of VP 12, jvktah . rathe is replaced by*...yanena. 

(23) VP 27 MP 28 omits the introductory first line referring 
to the two indications as foremost ariftas. It expands the first 
indication (ghofam nafr$uyat'karyt) to make it clear (Pidhaya kargau 
niTghofaatnafflfotyatmasafabhavam). The second indication, jyotir- 
netrt na pafyati, is merely paraphrased as nafyate cakfufoTJyotiryasya, 

(24) VP 28 Its corresponding verse is MP 29 which usea garte 
for fvabhrt and refers to its door being closed (doararp pidhtyate\ 
whereas VP says that it does not have any door (doara8c3sya na 

(25) VP 29 -The fourth pada is changed in MP 30 as Sarhsanti 
putAs3mapaTaffi /flrfraw. VP mentions two more significant 'indica- 
tions in this part (afyvs$amiltro vifamastha eoa\ The forms sukhasya 
and iuslram for mvkhasya and suffra of VP are due to the scribe's 

(26) VP 30-31 The order of the two verses is changed in 
MP 31-32. VP 30 is not properly worded, whereas MP 32 has a 


better expression. VP refers to -the persoa seeing his assaulter (tats 
pafycdatha hantdram}* MP mentions them as dustaiTbhutaih. MP 
remarks that this indication unfailingly leads to the person meeting 
death after seven nights. We can see that the signs indicating 
death are listed earlier in the chapters in a descending order of the 
time after which death is to occur. The context in which the pre- 
sent verse occurs suits more the VP reference to the assaulted 
person not surviving (sa hatastu na jioati). VP 31 mentions the 
person entering fire at the end of a dream. MP 31 refers to his 
entering fire in a dream and not coming out of it (na nifkramate 
punah). VP mentions the person not regaining memory (smrti* 
wpalabheccapi}, but MP instead adds that it applies as well to b 
entering water (jalapravefadapi')* 

(27) VP 32 is paraphrased in MP -W but the order of the 
adjectives is changed. For f*>W* ^P we have 
MP, which adds amafcm and replaces JOT- by 
oftep. mrtyurupasMtah MP uses the clause 
* The .ord^ in VP * 
tion relates to visions in dreams, suits tne 
by MP. A t 

(28 )VP33-The same idea is expres.ed in MP 40. bu 
wording shows many variations 

We,<h U ,, see that the 

two J, U r2 S is similar and m some fa 

not be inferred that one borrowed from ^ 

we shall bave to postulate that the *j the 
indulged in a labourious exennse o ^ | fl5nes 

paraphrasing P* ^Sf^ * f 
words by their synonyms. Gene "" y ' ^fcg. It wOW b. 
not make such an effort to concea^ [borrow g ^ ^ 

to conclude that the two ^" * W hen * 

344 ^cnf( PURXtfA [VOL, xxrv, NO. 2 

story of Jada Sumati and his father, Mahamati, Chapters 16 to 
44 embox in this broader narrative the dialogue between Datta- 
treya and Alarka and the stoiies about them; they deal with the 
different points relating to Yoga. After narrating the stories about 
Dattatreya and Alarka, the text presents the practical (pravftti) 
side oidharma through the dialogue between Madalasa and Alarka 
(Chapters 27 to 36). The nivrtti side of dharma is propounded in 
chapters 37 to 44 wherein the threads of Yoga are resumed by 

The Mdrkagdeya purana is recognised to be one of the oldest 
Purfyas, Pargiter regards the original parts of this Pur3?a to have 
been in existence in the third century A, D. and the latest part to 
have been completed in the fifth or sixth century A. D. He places 
Chapters 10 to 44 between these two dates. 9 R. C. Hazra is in 
general agreement with Pargiter about the date of the chapters. 
According to him, the story of Sumati was inserted into the 
M2rka&dtya purapa, possibly not earlier than A. D. 200. Out of the 
chapters connected with the story of Stimati, Hazra places chapters 
12, 14, 15 and 28 to 35 sometime about the third or fourth century, 
and chapter 33 (verse 8 to the end) even later than these chapters, 
but before the beginning of the fifth century. 10 But the question, 
whether the portions containing the account on Yoga in the form 
of a dialogue between Dattatreya and Alarka, particularly chapter 
43, formed part of the the story of Sumati from the beginning or 
it was inserted along with the first or second set of Smrti chapters, 
has not been considered. 

V, S. Agrawal, who regards the Markandeya-purana to be 
permeated by the typical culture of the golden age of the Guptas 11 , 
is of the opinion that the chapter 43 on ariftas is a clear interpo- 
lation in the section on Yoga. 13 Thus, if the portions on Yoga are 
taken to have formed part of the story of the Sumati from the 
beginning, they are to be placed sometime after A. D. 200. If they 
were coeval with the Smrti chapters, they are to be dated in the 

9, Marka^deya-Pur^a (English translation), Introduction 
p. xx. 

10. Op, *.,pp, 8-13, 

IK MSrkatfeya Purapa, eka $ath$kftiba adhyayana, p. 1, 
. Ill, 



third century The chapter 43 on arista** which is a distinct inter- 
polation in the portions on Yoga, is evidently to be placed after the 
third century. There is nothing to indicate the date when this 
chapter was interpolated. But, if we regard it to be of the same 
date as interpolated chapter 33 (verses 8ito the end), then, following 
Hazra, we may place the chapter on or is fas some time in the 
fourth century. 

R. G. Hazra 1 * holds that chapters 10 to 20 (in which chapter 
19 on ariftas appears) in the Vayupwana cannot be dated earlier 
than A. D. 2OO and were interpolated after A. D. 400. His argu- 
ment is that these chapters in the Vayupwana were influenced by- 
chapters 39 to 43 of the Markandeya^ 'the Vayu has not only a 
good number of verses in- common with the Markandeya but has 
also improved upon the latter with fresh additions of chapters and 
verses.' As the Mdrkangeya chapters 39-43 are not to be dated 
earlier than A. D. 200, the VSyupuraya chapter 19 is to be dated 
later still, Hazra further argues that as these chapters on Pisupata 
Yoga are not found in the Brahma$dapur3na> they did not cccur in 
the VayupurSna earlier, but were interpolattd after the rayup*ru$a 
and Brahmagd apurSy a were separated about A. D. 400. Thus, follow- 
ing Hazra, the addition of Chapter 19 (along with oiher chapters 
on PaSupata Yoga) to tixe Vayupura&a is to be placed after A. D. 

The date and arguments suggested by Hazra have generally bn 
adopted by subsequent scholars. S.N. Roy" supports his conclusion 
by an internal scrutiny of the chapters, the Buddhist in6ueiu*<a 
them, their sectarian nature and incongruous and 
plan, 10 

But, the main premise of Hazra's thesU, '^ 
chapters show influence of and improvement over the 
fi+ cannot be sub^tiated^ **^^ 
are similarities, there are differences as * ,. 

details, beside S verses which appear only m one o 
In the present situation it is difficult to as to !. 

13. Op. cit., p. 15. 

14. Vayu ld**M3rkay4<ya*3. . 

15. Historical end Culturit Jtafte * ***"> 

16. Ibid., pp. 178.79,192,207-8. 

346 CT^pJnj PURSUE A [ VOL. XXIV., NO. 2 

two texts is the borrower. It is only an a priori assumption, that 
the Markandeyapurana is earlier, which has led Hazra to infer that 
the Markandeyapurana chapter is original and has been followed by 
the Vayupurana. If we analyse the corresponding chapters in the 
two Putayas with an open mind, we shall be inclined to support the 
claim of the Vayupurana to be regarded as the earlier of the two. 
The improvement, to which Hazra refers, is not of a nature to 
imply a revising hand, Actually in many cases the expression in 
the Vayupurana is brief and seems to have been paraphrased and 
elaborated in the Markandeyapurana to make it clearer. In some 
cases the premonitory signs as recorded in the Vayupurana are 
nearer to the correct description of the arista in other early sources, 
such as the Devaladharmasiitra. This cannot be interpreted as an 
improvement upon the Markandeyapurana. On the contrary, it 
would indicate that ' the compiler of the Markandey&pMan ) later 
in date, could not understand the nature of some arisfas, and 
substituted words and expressions; thus exposing his mistake. 

We are inclined to believe that the similarities in the arista 
chapters of the two PurSpas do not necessarily imply that the one 
borrowed from the other. The differences cannot be explained as 
resulting from a deliberate desire of copyist to introduce changes 
or as occurring unconsciously in the process of copying. We would 
suggest that both the texts drew upon a common source and in the 
process reveal similarities and introduce elements of change and 
difference. These are honest differences which can be expected to 
occur in such a case. We cannot, in the present state of knowledge, 
identify any particular text as the original from which the two 
PurSgas borrowed. Early accounts of aristas are found in the 
DevaladharmasStra 1 ' 1 and the MahabhSrata*-* also. It is to be noted 
that all these early accounts of aristas in the Devaladharmas&tra, 
Mahabharata> Vayupurana and Markandeyapurana occur in the context 
of philosophy and practice of Yoga. It is not unlikely that the 
two Pvrtyas borrowed the narrative of arisfas from the Mahabharata, 
ot mote likely from the Davaladharmasutra, and reshaped, sometimes 
lay elaborating it, in their own way. Here again we cannot brush 
aside the possibility of a common tradition of arts fas in the Yogic 

17. Quoted in K r tyakalpataru, Moksakanda, pp. 248-50. 

18. XII- 303, 

(j,v W.J ltni v 'Vvr:fj./i!.v AMI IHK 

lo fioin \vhu-h iti' 1 ** f 'ir l* xt^ aliki* iirw their accounts. IF the 
\talrbh i' nft * nl l ^*' '*' r; ^"* i "* rt> '"" / ""* * a not l"ken to represent the 
'iia;il or i-.n li**-'i if*f*r*U-i! vision, we would suggest that the 
. rlicr N j " i if Hnim .tlmitt tirista!: was handed down orally, which 
nas t , X ul,iin th- Vi*iMiumi in tin* itrcouuts in the different texts. 
Heir wf will MM! '/* iM^fc ,*t*ll fmUi^r to discuss the possible origin 
ofllie Vnj'H u.uHii*n ni i- it/as. 1 '* 

In vu-w rr ii-* " r .i**i*- s in tliu Drvalatlharmasnlra in its structure 
and llt l ^i-t.tiii. * 1 *" '**' I 1 '* m *mi lory 4iKs and the references to Yoga 
in Ut p,i"-v , ;> " Vi* rh,*i>!i'i- <m /ni//fl* in the Vayupurana is to be 

a si;i|* wirlier than that found in the 

l *l' H.ixru far placing the aritfa chapter of 

the rv.'^H^''' '**"' i>Mtt tb* turn'spondhig chapter in the Marfca- 
v#rjw/iHt,/i;a i-. h.tM-a MI* lit.,- iai that the Brahmnda^ana does not 
hiive -i .'luipiri MU nri>/^ h Till* is taken to indicate that the 
iu ib** wu3 imurtt-d after the Fff^urW and 
.JnpM.iW vv^r^.^l from oi S common text. The thesis, that 
iwo >-m.,,'H wor^ .iriniwilly one and became separate later, was 
UUihy'l^Wt^/" Ilwra, supporting it, attributed it to 
,L. .,,! H lMl U-Tiur A. D. 400.- We agree with 

19. Clttr ;ti ti.1i* mi * Arivtas in Yoga' i to appear elsewhere. 

20. VVi* CHI U separately m our article oa 'Aristas m the 


21. .In. i. -l hdian Historical Tradition, pp. 23, 77. 

22. O/,. , . ,,. I. S.N. Ry, "A /J'^j^g 

H ;i /,aN view* with approval <: 21). s n the 

111.1111. \V may agree . * "rfWi num be r of 

f th ;0m paon *2ii extant shape 

:,rt-r iucWHoralinK the P l " 'A D? (p. 192'. We 
R,MIM' Unmid noinrtWM about ^*^ ^ibly the 
lin.Mi .HUicMlt to agree with hi ^J[ D because the 
irai .e even till the 7 * a *2^ '"^^0 name to 
nutitor f H.,r 5 Bcar.ta does n * 1^1^ ^ read inghe 
the Pu,ia proclaimed %!**, Citing* of Bapa 
itttcntted in his village. (208). " rdevant to our 

w have actually two PfSi"jSrf (PurvabhSga, para 
,,re,,. n t dhe-^w-.-SL??, toSST through a /fe/ tha 
SuSS n the Hermitage of age JMb. 
bbling in t" 6 " 

Uu-r.-wasno ba 

$48 %^Hi| PURfctfA [VOL. xXiVi, NO. 2 

the general contention that the two purapas started with a common 
nucleus or drew upon a common source for much of their material. 
But, the inference, that, whatever occurs in only one of the two 
Pvranas, must necessarily belong to a date after the separation of 
the twOj is not a valid corollary. The criterion is not to be applied 
mechanically in all the cases. The Puranic texts present a queer 
phenomenon. The compilation of the text and the subsequent 
history of its elaboration or change are not governed by set and 
fixed rules. At many places we find passages and chapters being 
interpolated in the text. But we also find parallel cases of passages 
being changed, or sometimes, completely dropped. * B We cannot 
determine the reasons operating behind all these changes and deve- 

there was proclaiming by Vayu in the Purana. The 
other reference to which S. N. Roy alludes occurs in the 
Harsacarita (III, para 4-5 : Pustakavacakah Sudrstih. .gttya^ 
pavamanapToktam papstha. Tadapi Munigftamatiprthu tadapi 
jagadvyspi pSvanam tadapi Harsacaritadabhinnam praiibhSti 
hi me Puranamidom}. It says that 'the book-reader Sudrsti 
created Bana and his relatives and friends to a musical 
recitatlion of the Purana promulgated by Vayu, that was 
sung by the sage (Vyasa t that is very extensive, that is 
world-wide (i. e. known everywhere), that is holy and 
that is not different from the career of Harsa* The 
literary usage of Sanskrit language and the style of Bana 
leave no doubt about the passages employing the words 
vayupralapitam, pavamanaproktam and pavanam actually 
referring to the Vajupur3ya. See also Kane, History of 
DharmaiSstra, V, p. 822, The further remark of S. N. 
Roy that ^ 'it is hardly conceivable that an author of 
Bana's calibre should write on irrelevant and ambigu ous 
line* (p. 210) goes against his conclusion. If we follow 
Roy's line of argument, we shall have to assume that, 
though there was one V3pupur3va 9 Bana knew that in 
future there will be two Purayas issuing out of it, both 
claiming to have been proclaimed by Vayu. If it is 
suggested ihat Bana wanted to cover both Vayu and 
Brahm3#<fa Pwranas by his descrip tion, then we reach the 
conclusion that the two Puranas had come to acquire 
separate forms. It is to be noted that after the com- 
pilation of the two Pardnas as separate texts the references 
in Sana's writings will imply the Vayupuraya and not 

23. This is abundantly clear from the large number of 
passages and chapters which are quoted in the medieval 
comrlientaries and digests but appear in the available 
texts in vastly altered form or do not occur at all. 


lopments. They could have been caused by the mistake of the 
copyist or else deliberately onitted or altered by subsequent compi- 
lers on sectarian grounds or on account of an honest inability to 
see the justification for their presence in the text. S. N. Roy, 2 * in 
referring to the absence of chapters 11 to 20 of the Vayupwaija in 
the Brahmandapuraqa, remarks that it 'does not necessarily meant 
that they were absent also in the original and ancestral source of 
these two Puranas. For, loss of original passages in the extant are as common as addition of later passages and alteration 
of early ones.' But this remains a casual observation and S. N. 
Roy has not cared to work out its implications Following this 
remark it can be suggested that the chapters in question possibly 
occured in the original or common Vayupurana, but, whereas the 
compiler of the BrahmangapurSpa chose to drop them, they were 
retained in the Vdyupwrana. 

With due hesitation, 1 must submit that I am not much 
enamoured of the idea of the two Puranas separating from one 
common Puraya. In ancient times there was a definite tradition, 
recorded even in some of the early Puraas t ZG listing the 
names of the eighteen Pur ay as. The svargarohapaparva of the 
Mahabharata** and the H arivarztfa 2 7 refer to the eighteen Puraaas 
without naming them. R. G. Hazra, who has argued to show that 
all these passages in the PurSyas, MakabkSrata and Harivatftfa were 
either revised or interpolated in later times, dates the canon of the 
eighteen Mahapurayas not earlier than the third but not later than 
the first quarter of the seventh century AD. a9 We must adequately 
emphasise the point that a considerable gap is to be postulated 
between the formulation and general acceptance of the list of the 
Purdgar and the composition, circulation and due recognition of 
these Pur3?as individually. The composition of all the Puranas doe* 
not belong to the same period; the earliest among them possibly 

24. Op. cit.,p. 198. 

25. Vi/Huin. 6.21-23; Markandeya 134.7-11; Vaju 104.2-10; 
Matsya 53.11-19; Varaha 112.69-72. 

26. . 5,45-46; 6.97. 
27 III 135 3 

350 J^ran PUR&tfA [VOL. fcxiv., NO. 

went back to very early times. As has been rightly pointed out by 
P. V. Kane, 29 the reference to Puranas in the plural number in the. 
Taittirtya ^4.rapj>aka &0 implies the circulation of at least three Puranas 
in those times. The Apastamba-dharmawtra clearly implies the 
existence of individual Purana texts. It twice quotes two verses 
each from a Pttr3pa t 31 gives the summary of a passage from a 
Purapa 3 * and names a Purapa as Bh&vifyatpurana,** It can be surm- 
ised that the Vayupurana and Brahmandapurana possibly existed as 
separate texts quite sometime before the formulation of the list of 
eighteen Puranas. The suggestion that the same text by the addi- 
tion of two different types of material came to be designated as two 
separate texts does not seem to be very plausible. It is more likely 
that before distinct texts came into being there was a mass of float- 
ing literature circulating under the general name of Puranas, but 
without being labelled or identified by the name of any particular 
Purana.** It seems that in the initial stage the compilers of indi- 
vidual Purayas freely drew upon this fund. This is the reason why 
we find common passages and chapters not only in Vayu and 
Brahmandu Purayas but also among some other Puranas^ Thus, it 
cannot be said, merely on the basis of the absence of the chapter on 
ariftas in the Brahma^apurana that the Vayupurana borrowed its 
chapter from the M.&rkan$tyapurana. 

There are reasons to believe that the Vayupurana contains 
much that is of a very early period. Scholars generally agree in 
describing the Vfyupurana as the oldest of the extant Puranas. 36 

29. Op. cit. t V, p. 853. 

30. II. 10. 

31. I. 6, 19. 13; H. 9.23.3-6 

32. I. 10.29.7 

33. II. 9.24.6. 

34. Some Puranas record a tradition that originally there 
was only one Purana from which all the Puranas have 
evolved. See B. Upadhyaya, Purana-vimaria, p. 70. The 
Purana as a separate branch of literature is attested 
to by the Atharvaveda XI. 7.24; XV. 6.10-11 and the 
datapaths. Brahamana XI. 5,6.8. See Kane, op, eit. t pp. 
816-18; S. N. Roy, op. *., pp. 15-17, 31-33, 46-49. 

35. Kane, of. cit., V, p, 841, f.n. 1372. 

36. R. C. Hazra, op. cit, t p. 13; R. G. Bhandarkar, Vaisnavism, 
Saivism and Minor Religious Systems; P. V. Kane. op. cit. 9 
P. 106. 


R. G. Bhandarkar placed it earlier than the Matsyapuraya* 1 * and 
Pargiter regarded it to be older than the Visnupuraya.** Scholars 
date the latest portions of this Purana not later than A.D, 500, a9 
but generally agree that there was an ancient Purana under the 
name of V&yu and that the present text preserves much of the 
ancient work.* 10 V.R.R. Dikshitar takes the earliest portion of the 
Puraya to the fifth century B.C. 41 D.R, Patil assigns the material in 
the Vayuj)ur2$a to three broad categories :* 2 the archaic survivals 
of which 500^ BiC, is the lowest time-limit, the ancient material 
with the "beginning of the Christian era as its lowest chronological 
tetminus, and the accretions which do not generally go beyond 
A.D. 500, 

The V3yupur3na is the only Purana which has actually been na- 
med in soin$ r $arly texts. The Vanaparoa of the Mahabharata mentions 
the Pur3#& f^c|aimed by Vayu (V3yuproktam) and refers to its two 
features w.klcb r iuay be correlated with two of the five characteristics 
of a Ptif4%&f^ JTJie clear admission on the part of the compiler of 
the ManSb&Stata to have drawn upon the Vayupurana is an undoubt- 
ed proof pf $& existence of a Vayupurana before the Mahabharata 
tookptg pWsiJ&fbrm. V.S. Sukthankar refers to the verbal similarity 
b?tween a fe^t. stanzas in the Vayu and some stanzas of the Vans- 
paroa. Bq&^tfGftbing corresponding to the general contents of the 

f istory of the Dekkan, p. 162. 

Text of the Dynasties of the Kali Age, p. 14, f. n. 4. 

Dikshitar, Some Aspects of the Vayu Puraaa, 
iff; D. R. Patil, Cultural History from the Vayu Purana, 
See also Winternitz, History of Indian Literature, 
p, 554. G. V. Vaidya, JBRAS, 1925, pp. 155ff 
It in the eighth century but does not receive 
d for his arguments. Chapter 104 mentioning 
the Tantras and the skta philosophy and cha- 
105-112 on Gayamahatmya seem to be later addi- 
R, G. Hazra, op. cit. t pp. 13, 17, f. n. 9. 
rnitz, loc, cit. 

1 edition) III, 189.14- 
ie saroamakhyatamatttanSgataffi tathaj 
ipr oktamanusmrty a ur 3 namf? is 

352 3*r<T^ PURXtf A [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

passage where it occurs is to be found in the extant Vayu 
Thus evidence for equating the extant Vayu Purapa with the Vayu 
quoted in the Afahabharata is lacking. But, as correctly pointed out 
by D R. Patil-, 4 " the extant Vayu 'shows at places a material defini- 
tely older than that of the Mbh* and seems to have preserved some 
material which originally belonged to the Vayupurana known to the 
Mahabharata . 

Thus, we may conclude that the V3yu.pu.rana is not to be dated 
on the assumption that its chapter on arts fas is influenced by the one 
chapter in the Markandeya-puraya. Possibly both drew on an earlier 
common source. The date of the two Puranas is to be determined 
independently. There is evidence to indicate that the extant 
Vayupurana contains much early material which need not be dated 
after the corresponding chapter in the Mdrkandeyapurana. It was 
possibly written a little earlier. We may best summarize the posi- 
tion by saying that the chapters on aristas in the two Puraaas 
roughly belong to the same period and the difference in their dates 
is not a wide one. 

44. Sukthankar Memorial Edition (1944),, Introduction to 
the Aranyaka parvan, I, 156. See also Hopkins, The 
Great Epic of India, pp. 

45, Op. cit., p. 4 



Colophon or 'finishing touch* as conveyed by the etymon 
of the word is to be understood, for the purpose of this article, as 
that part of an adhyaya after the last iloka and distinct from it,^ used 
mostly to specify the content of an adhySya and its position in the 
regular succession of topics of a purana. A puranic colophon starts 
usually with the word <iti> and is formed of several parts as described 
in the following example taken from Varaha puraua (Venk.), 29 : 


After the introduction (No 1), the colophon presents the 
puraua, sometimes with praising words, ;No2), and then e 
section, or general topic pertaining to a few adhyaya^ (No 3). * 
name of the adhyaya (No 4) and its number, both in letters an in 
figures or either of the two (No 5) are also given at the end. 
- * The purana-s studied ^ere are the following three : 
Kurma Parana, critically edited tt 

in the above quoted editions and presented 

duct ion to the single purina-s. 
Abbreviations : acth. ( a )=adhyaya (s) 

Grit. = Critical Edition 



N Not given in the colophons 
I-- the colophon is not reproduced by 

the Critical Edition 
Venk = Venkateavara edition 

-. The names of the Sans Wt *> 

K^ a 

354 ^nr PtJRXtfA [VOL xx*v., NO. 2 

The critical edition of the purana-s and of the epics as well 
published up to now, give no critical text of colophons. Their 
editors, rather, are satisfied with 'new* colophons, i. e,, not 
critically derived from the MSS evidence but directly composed by 
the editor himself on the basis of MSS material. It is true, the 
critical apparatus usually gives the situation of the colophons in 
the MSS but that also at times rather incompletely as is the case 
with Adiparvan where at the end of adkySya 14 it is remarked 
'hereafter to the end of the Adip,, only significant constituent 
elements of the colophons will be noted'. This position is appare- 
ntly logical considering the fact that no critical colophons can be 
reasonably constituted on the basis of MSS evidence. The difference 
between one MS and the other is such that no serious and scienti- 
fic conclusion can be deduced from them. The numbers, in some 
cases, seem to have been rendered quite haphazardly. A few 
examples will suffice to illustrate this point. 

MS 3T3 of Kurma has the succession 35,28, 37 ( = Grit. II. 

MS |B of Varaha has 105, 96, 9 7, 96, 99 ( = Crit. 104-108) 
MS &i of Vamana has 64, 30 ( = Crit. 38-39) 
MS spTTT of Vamana has 75,87 ( = Grit.44-45) 

It is also evident that in a few instances the copyists commi- 
tted mistakes : 

MSS ffa, TTl, Si of Kurma have 28, 19, 30 (Crit. II. 28-30) 
where 19 is ^^^1 instead of 

MS ^ 8 of Varaha has 125, 226,, 128, 29 ( = Crit t 124-128) 
MS ^i of Varaha has 205, 106, 207 ( = Crit. 187-189) 

MS %i of Vamana has 24, 52, 26 ( = Grit. SMa 3-5), where 
52 stands surely for 25. 

Such a process is so common that it has removedc redibility 
from the colophons.- However, if we consider that part of 
the colophons which describes the contents of the adhyaya 
we get a better pict ure. It seems that for this part the 
copyists were more attentive. In fact, although here also the 
difference between ope MS and the other is very often so great that 

, 1982 3 tHE COLOPltONS IN THE PURXtfA-S 355 

any critical edition is impossible, we can get at least an idea as to 
whether the topic dealt with in the adhyaya-s was the same or 
different. So in this regard at least, the colophons can offer bits 
of information. 


In preparing the critical edition of a purana the MSS are 
grouped according to their similarity of readings. The colophons, 
however, cannot be classiBed in the same way as their respective 
adhyaya-s. That does not mean that colophons cannot be grouped 
following similarities of variants, they have also their own alliances. 
But the grouping of MSS based on similarity of colophons does 
not match with the groupings based on the variants of text. 

What has been said explains why colophons are not normally 
taken into consideration by scholars. However, a little patience 
and attention will reveal a few strange and unexpected facts which 
deserve deeper study. The research is possible only for the critically 
edited purana-s because it is through the collation of several MSS 
that a few fkcts can be noticed and some conclusions drawn. A 
general conclusion is that in several cases the only possible way to 
explain a few facts in colophons is to suppose that they are oWer 
than the text to which they are attached. In more than one instance 
they testify to a stage of puranic development different from toe 
present, and so they may help considerably in reconstructing a 
history of the puranic text. 

The following study will consider separately the problem of 
numbers in colophons and the problem of words. The two series 
of problems have to be taken separately because they are _ rather 
different even if, as we shall see, they reveal bas,cally the same 


Colophons certainly contain many mistakes in 

ing and such mistakes ar* mo.tly due o *-' 

caoes the only explanation poible, when d^^t app 

to be a copying mistake, b that the 

zardly. We have already seen a few me, 

356 t*m FURXtf A [VOL. xxiv., NO. 

multiply them to a very large extent. But we cannot dismiss all the 
evidence with these explanations only. Below we shall consider 
examples available iroin the Kurma, Varaha and Vamana purana-s 
which are not satisfactorily explained by the above arguments. The 
reason for chosing these purana-s to which we alluded above and 
not others is that these are the only examples of which we have a 
critical edition based on a sufficient number of MSS from which we 
may draw some conclusions. 

a. The new numbering 

The phrase *new numbering 1 is here understood to be the 
process through which a previous series of numbers is interrupted 
and a new one is started afresh beginning from one. 

The Kurma purana, being divided into two parts Pi/rvabhsga 
and Uparivibkagahas t naturally, a new numbering' from the 
beginning of the second part. Such a new numbering is given in 
all the MSS except *u and is combined with another numbering in 
3"2, The latter MS has a double numbering, one continuing from the 
first part, the other starting afresh form adhyaya one of Uparivibhaga. 
This double numbering continues for only nine adhyfya-z (=Crit. 
II. 1-10). Later the old numbering is dropped, but it is unexpecte- 
dly resumed just in the last adhyaya ( = Grit. H.44), where the MS 
has No 93, instead of 44, as it would if it had continued the numbe- 
ring from the beginning of the purana, How such a number could 
be attached to this adhyaya, without any logical correlation to the 
adjacent numbers, will become clear below. 

So much for the Kurma purana. The Varaha and Vamana 
purana-s present a more complex situation and deserve greater 
attention. Both the purana-s have in one or another of the MSS 
new numbering at the beginning of any important topic The 
clearest example is the Mathura mahatmya of Varaha purana 
Sucham^fcnjra extends in the Critical Edition from adh. 150 'to 
adh. 178 and has a new numbering j n 5T, and $ 9 This new num- 
bering is almost complete in *, where it goes from 1 to 28 with 
only some irregularities and is only partial in * fl where it has only 
llu 11 - 26 L ^ Gfit ' I 0-174), here afeo with some irregularities. 
Although this aew numbering does not appear in other MSS yet it 
that U, influence was rafcer widespread, MS ^ for instance, 


has a few numbers which belong to the new numbering, namely 
No U (-Grit. 161), No 16 (- Grit. 166), No 20 (-Grit. 169), No 
27( = Crit. 177). The peculiarities of these numbers in *i is that 
they appear exactly where the MS ?T3 does not have numbers be- 
cause of the irregularities mentioned above. Besides 5 1 six more 
MSS were partially influenced by the new numbering, namely 
*1-4.1Q, 3i- All these MSS have oulyadh. 2 (-Grit 151) belonging 
to the new numbering. Five of them do not have any other num- 
bers at all in the other colophons. One, instead, i. e., ^i has rem- 
nants of another numbering, namely No 167 ( = Grit. 150), No 
183 (-Grit. 164), No 189-194 (-Grit. 169-176). So, it seems that 
the new numbering of the Mathura mahatmya, which is now 
present only in W, and partially in *, was so much spread as to in- 
clude MSS of different groups. What we have aow m our MSb 
evidence are only fragments, tl reveals the existence of a parti- 
cular kind of influence where the old and the new numbering mix 
together. This problem of double numbering will be discussed in 
greater detail as we proceed. 

Another example of new numbering is in Varaha 191 ff (Grit.). 
The topic of these adhyaya-* is described in the colophons either as 
*mr^ or as mftWtaninil, and it extends from Grit. 191 to Grit 
2 10 at least. It has new numbering in *7 counting from 3 to 17 
(Grit. 193-207), while in other MSS (%L-e.8-U, *0 ll PP ea on ^ 
in one, two or three adhytya-*. Here, then, the same <"" 
in the previous example is repeated; hence the influence ot ** "<" 
numbering appears to have been rather widely spread, ana w 
we see today is only a remnant. This case 
peculiarities which deserve attention. The 
%B which has the following sequence ' 

"97, 3, 4 f -,101 f 102 (-Grit. II97) r 

Nos3-4 belong to the new numbering but 
the counting does not alter the 
from No 101 as if the preceding 
3, 4,-, a, in bet they are. Th* b -- 
.ardlyrandon,. U * 
w, S copied already had the * 
copying tlr te eP> MS 

353 <iurq pURXtfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

the copyist thought It better to resume the MS's (e) proper num- 
bering. This change can hardly be attributed to the -whim of the 
copyist. The reasonable supposition is an external influence, 
perhaps due to another' MS, and this appears more convincing 
when we collate the change of numbers in these adhy5ya-s with 
the other MSS which also have the new numbering in exactly 
this place. The parallelism with the other MSS is significant 
because they do not have a numbering of their own, old or new, 
in any of the other adhyaya*$ except in three or four. The 
numbers of these three or four adhyaja-s must have been taken 
from other MSS. Hence both for these three or four adhyaya~s and 
for the above mentioned MS we are considering here, we have to 
suppose an external influence. 

The second peculiarity of this new numbering is represented 
by ^i which has accepted only No 2 ( = Grit. 192) of the new num- 
bering. In fact, we do not know whether it had accepted also other 
numbers because the other colophons do not have any numbers. 
But the strange fact is that in this MS, as in the other two Bengali, 
^2-3, the puraoa ends a few adhyaya-z later ( = Grit. 200). These 
Bengali MSS conclude the purana with the word TOJIfflFFT^. So 
it appears illogical that 31 accepted in its numbering figures belong- 
ing to a topic which continues for many more adhy3j>a-s and then it 
suddenly interrupted it. The logical explanation is that the topic 
either was shortened by 5Ti or lenghtened by ^7 and the others. In 
both cases it appears strange that ?i accepted the new numbering 
without accepting the full text. No 2, and perhaps also Nos 3, 4 
and 5 of the MSSj make us suspect that most probably a separate 
unit was formed by and of themselves and as a separate unit they 
entered also QI. We have to suppose that this adhyZya had already 
entered in the body of the puranic text before it was accepted in 
the recension represented by q*i, i.e., that it was antecedent to it. In 
this case> then, the colophon would reveal the situation of this MS 
prior to the present copy of it. 

We may also look at the problem from another point of view, 
Let us suppose for a moment that our adhyaya No. 2 of 31 ( = Crit f 
192) had another number, supposedly the serial one in the purana. 
Let us also suppose that in another MS some adhy3j>a-s dealing with 

JULY, 1982] 



Naciketa were combined with other adhyaya-s to form a new book- 
let which now extended upto Grit. 210, and was given a new num- 
bering independently of the general ones belonging to the purana, 
and that not improbably such a new booklet began to have an in- 
dependent life. All these suppositions are not completely imaginary 
if we consider that all the MSS, except %i and srs were affected by 
this new numbering and that the Bengali MSS end the purana just at 
the middle of sfcch a new context. In our hypothesis 3i as well as 32-3 
would be faithful to the original purana and end their text at Grit. 
200 and would not insert the new booklet. Even in this case, how- 
ever, which supposedly puts the new booklet {RTTTCS after the 
Varaha purana as a later development, we have to suppose that the 
actual adhySya No 2 of 3 1 ! was copied from, a MS which had the 
new numbering but not the whole 'new booklet*. In this case also, 
then, this odhjj&yQ was perhaps present somewhere in the purana 
before its fioal placement in the text of afi. 

Another instance of new numbering in the Varaha purana 
is again in ^jr'Virhere a new counting begins in Grit. 112, exactly 
where both &* text itself, and the observations of scholars, make 
new section of the purana was started. As this has 
other scholars we leave it. 1 

iples of new numbering at the beginning of new 
)le also in the Vamana purana, for instance, 
V of the Saromahatmya (see $ 4 . 7 ), or immediately 
.and in other cases which will be mentioned 
purana presents some curious cases of new 
one would expect them, as they are in 
jent do not start any new topic at all; So 
No 1 in Grit. 9, which is apparently not 
new topic. 7 has Noi 1 in SMa 23, Grit,, I e. t 
compact group of adhy3jm~t dealing with 
have a new b eginning in Grit, 47, and 
from Grit, 35. In all these cases there 
for a new numbering to begin- Are, then, 
srings completely illogical, i. e., fruit of the 
or careless copyists or do they respond 
not have access to the original MSS 

a, Puranic Records on ffindt* Rites 
, 98-99; etc, 

360 T'T' FURRtfA [VOL. xxrv., NO. 3 

and the history of the MSS is also not well known, so the research 
ends up somewhat aborted; so much so if we think we are 
dealing with only a few MSS, out of the many dozens still 
available; here, we can give only a few suggestions that are hope- 
fully reasonable and convincing. 

For the first instance, i. e , the new numbering starting from 
Grit. 9 in ^1-3 and f 4 ; we notice surely that the topic is rather 
new as it deals with Andhaka who had not appeared until that 
adhyZya. But it seems rather improbable that this is really a new 
topic significant enough to deserve a new numbering, especially 
when we consider that a new numbering might even indicate an 
indepedent existence of that group of adhyaya-s. One would 
rather expect a new numbering a few adhyaya** before > after Grit. 
5 which concludes the topic of Haralalita. But Grit. 9 does not 
have any of those words which are available usually at the 
beginning of a new matter and the previous adhyaya does not 
contain any hint either that the previous topic is over. The 
colophons, however, can help us to find a division in the purana 
which at first appears irrelevant but which must have had more 
significance in another stage in the development of the text. Win- 
ternitz 2 states that the Vamana *begins with an account of the in- 
carnation of Visnu as a dwarf (Vamana), whence it takes its name. 
However, this is not true for any of the MSS collated for the 
critical edition. The only clue that'the account of the Visnu 
incarnation as dwarf* might have been in the purana are the 
colophons which, irregularly, have ^iJTSTSTT^rfa from adhyaya 1 to 
8 of the Critical Edition. NoWj these same colophons start a new 
topic called sr^srr^rfa from adhyaya 9 of the Critical. As the 
first 8 adhyaya-9 do not contain any longer the account of Vamana 
avatSra, so also the next ones do not contain the new topic supposed 
to start from adh. - 9 (Grit.)- Yet the colophons are faithful, and 
report what must have been present in these adhy3ya-s in previous 
times* They refer to .a stage of the purana different from, or 
previous to, the present one. For our purpose it is enough to 
show that a few colophons, both with their description and with 
their numbers, remained linked to that previous stage, although 
the text of the_adhyaya had, at least partially, changed or had been 

2. M. Winternitz, AHislory of Indian Literature^ Vol. I, Part 
II, University of Calcutta, 1963 (II ed.), p. 502. 


put into new context. So, in this case also, the colophons appear 
to be more conservative than the text itself. The topics of the 
actual Vamana purana follow the sequence given in Narada I. 10 \ 
so the present structure of Vamana's colophons goes back to a 
period previous to that of Narada 1.92-109. If the mentioned 
colophons refer to a previous stage of Vamana as we have sugges- 
ted> then we have here a new glimpse into the history of a puranic 

We could also visualize the problem from another point of 
view and suppose that the odhyaya-i were already present in the 
previous stage of the purana and that the numbering is later and 
was added when these adky5ya~s were used, say, for a specific pur- 
pose and became a unit unto themselves. In this supposition the 
new numbering would indicate new use only. Hence it would be 
extremely difficult to understand why the new numbering took 
place just from this very adhyaya as the present text does not offer 
any real support for the beginning of a new topic at this point. 
We should suppose that the reason is the one given in the colophons 
themselves, namely that from this point the 3fasrsnf qrfcT started, 
As at present there is no ^^sn^^fa available in the text, nor does 
the Narada purana's summary of Vamana refer to it, we must again 
suppose that these colophons refer to some matter that was once 
present in the purana but has now disappeared. -There seems to be no 
other reasonable conclusion, except to suppose that the colophons 
refer to a previous topic, i. e., from a previous time, or to a diffe- 
rent topic other than the one contained in the present text. 

Another case of such a numbering starting where apparently 
there is no beginning of a new topic is represented by sfr^s and ft s 
in Vamana 47 (Grit). Grit. 46 concludes the previous topic* altho- 
ugh Grit. 45-46 seem to be an addition to Grit. 4* which is the real 
conclusion of the previous topic. In Grit. 44 in Fact, even the 
colophons conclude by saying tfWTT^flf'f OTT^- On the other 
hand almost all the colophons of Grit 47 have ^TT^STT^^f^ which 
can be really considered the general topic of this section. This 
section might have also been used separately, and, so some MSS, 
namely 3-^2 and ^ lt used a new numbering. In this case we need 
not suppose that the colophons are older thn the text. But just in 
this group of adhyaya-s starting fr?m Orit, 47*nd bearing a new 
numbering ia ^-2 ani ^i, tasce is an eJtyty** Grit, S3, th ool- 


362 7:i * I1 PUKXtfA [VOL. XXIV,, NO. 2 

ophons of which in 6 MSS have the word ^riftc^T, although it is not 
clear as to what topic such a word refers. Now this word is avail- 
able both in g^-, which have the new numbering, and in $rri r ^Ti-2 
which continue with the previous numbering. So this word, com- 
pletely outside predictable logic, on the one hand equates the new 
numbering to the old numbering by this evidence proving that the 
new numbering does not really refer to a new text. On the other 
hand it must refer to something different from the actual text. So 
the topic to which the word imimm refers, not being the one avail- 
able in the present text, cannot be anything else than a topic which 
was available in this text previously but that has now disappeared. 
So once again some colophons prove to be more conservative than 
the text itself of the adhyaya. 

The other two cases of new numbering in odd places can be 
dismissed in few words by saying that no specific reason could be 
found for it. Possibly for Vamana, S Ma 23 (Grit.), which has No 
I in %7j we can see that a new dialogue between Sanatkumara and 
the Brahmana-s begin in just this adhyaya. But the clues are indeed 
rather scarce. 

From the discussion so far, it does not seem hazardous to 
affirm that not infrequently some colophons take us back to a stage 
of puranic development that proceeds the present one. And that 
should be sufficient evidence to induce more scholarly attention to 
the colophons. 

b. Doable Numbering 

For 'double numbering* it is understood here to be the insta- 

nce in which one adhyaya has two different numbers in the same 

colophon. Double numbering is rare. We have seen one case 

already in Kurma II. 1-10, where at the beginning the Uparivibhaga 

%l has both the numbers 1 , 2 etc, and 51,52 etc., continuing the 

numbering of the P&rvabhdga. Another case in the Kurma is avail- 

able in Grit. 1.43-45 where ^ has both 43,44,45 and 46,47,48. The 

MS continues then with No 49 following the second numbering. 

The numbers 43, 44, 45 represent the regular sequence of numbers 

in this MS from the previous counting, while 46, 47, 48 are super- 

imposed^ but they are also continued in the subsequent counting. 

The two series of numbers behave as if the latter had 'slipped* over 

the farmer. The first series appears like the tail of a previous num- 


bering and the second like the head of the new numbering. The 
former appears once again in one adhySya (see Grit. 48) and then 
disappears again. So for all intrinsic purposes the second numbering 
has superseded the first one. 

Kurma II. 16-17 (Grit.) is represented in u with 5/16 and 
16/17. If we consider 5 as a mistake in place of 15, then we have the 
succession : 14, 15/16, 16/17, 17 (=Crit. 15-18.) 

A double numbering is again visible in Kurma II. 29 and 31 
(Grit.). Grit. 28-32 is represented in spu in the following way : 

27,28/29,29,30/31, 31 
This case is quite similar to the previous one. 

Karma II. 36-44 (Grit.) are represented in fc in the following 

37, 39/44, 40, 41, 42/37, 43/37, 44/38, 45/36, 46 
In this series thefe are two other MSS which also give a double 
number, namely ^ 8 which has 40/44 (-Grit. II. 38) and n wnicb 
has 42/43 ( = Grit. II. 43), 

In the Varaha purana there is only one instance of double 
numbering in Grit. 128-129, The succession in *ri starting from Grit. 
127 upto Grit. 130 is the following : 
16, 17/123, 18/124, 125 

The MS V i had started a new numbering from Grit. 112 
along with MSS ,. and , r In all three MSS this new sen<* 
seems to end with No 18 and the comparison with * (* 

following ^^-s. We have here the 
in the case stated above regarding Kflrma 

numbering in Crit. 39 and Cnt. 56 . 

37-40 are presented in * tt by the following sequence 

59, N, 30/61, 61 

364 ^n PURAtfA [VOL. xxiv.j NO. 2 

No 30, which is here completely out of place, is available also 
at this point in MSS ^^^ No 30 is in its regular succession only 
in fc 4 , while it is out of series in the other two. From the MSS 
evidence, then, this colophon was copied from ^ 4 where the num- 
ber is in its logic sequence and hence inserted into the other MSS. 
In %! and ^3 it produced a change in the numbering, so that Grit. 
37-40 represent them in the following way : 

^ 63, 64, 30, 31 

%, N, 63, 30, 31 

In ^u on the contrary a double number appears in one adhyaya. 

The second case of a double numbering in the Vamana is in 
Grit. 56 Here ti has No 10 and No 42. The colophon situation of ti 
at this point is rather chaotic. Grit. 54-57 is represented in ^ r 

thus i 

6, N., 10/42, 73 

Nos 6 and 10 belong to the numbering this MS has in com- 

mon with 31 and gr, ; No 73 at this point is available also in spr 1 

while No 42 deviates completely. This case, as well all the others 

seen above, except Grit. 39 of the Vamana purana, indicate that 

our MSS are not numerous enough to enable us to follow the evo- 

lution of our text. On the other hand what we have seen, while 

commenting on Vamana 39 (Grit.), is enough to show that atten- 

tion to the double numbering would be useful in reconstructing a 

little of the history of the text and the alliances of the MSS. In 

this case, moreover, even more than in some others, access to 

original MSS is essential in order to know whether the two numbe- 

rings belong to the same hand or to two different hands; or if one 

looks perhaps Like a correction of the other etc. These problems 

remain unsolved for our three puraua-s. But this discussion shows, 

at least, that the colophons can offer rich sources of new 


c Interruption in donating 

The counting of the adhyaya** is also often interrupted in our 

three purana-s, either because the entire colophon, or the number 

of the adhyaya is missing. Any minor reason perhaps could be 

sufficient to make the copyist copy the number improperly or forget 

to write any number at all. A single interruption in counting, 


therefore, or a mistake in the right succession of numbers should 
not bother us, as it in not productive to this discussion. Yet we 
may deduce in some cases bits of information regarding the history 
of the text and providing help in grouping the MSS. 

It is not infrequent that from the regular or irregular count- 
ing we gain insights as to whether a missing adhyaya in a MS was 
missing also in the whole recension represented by that MS, or it 
ts just missing in this copy of the MS. 

In the Kurma purana (Critical Edition) the Purvabhaga has 51 
rihyzya, MS 4, although its last adhyaya bears No 53, has in 
fact only 45 adhyaya-^ because Grit. 28-33 are missing from it. As 
the numbers can sometimes be altered by different factors, as we 
mentioned above, the fact that the MS ends with No 53 is not 
enough proof to affirm that it must have actually had 53 adkyaya-s. 
our problem is to know whether those six adhyaya-z which 
appear missing, when compared to the Critical Edition, were pre- 
sent m this recension or not. The counting of adhyaya-* can help 
us answer this question. Although the six odkySya-s are missing, in 
act, the counting is resumed later as if they were there. So we 
aaye No 29, then the six missing adhy3ya~6 and lastly No 36 exactly 
33 ^ tne edhysya** were present So the counting reveals that the 
six missing adhyaya-z were available at the time of the writing of 
the numbers. 

The same thing can be said of the three missing numbers in 
*1 ( = Crit. I. 26-28), and in STI ( = Crit. II, 42). In other cases as 
well, we can discover whether the missing adhy5ya~$ of a MS were 
actually missing at . the time of the copying of the present MS or 
not. for example, Varaha 72-79 (Grit,) is represented in & in the 
following way : 

69, 70, N., N., -, , -, 73 

Supposing that the two Ns represent, in fact, 71 4 72, which is 
easily conjecturable, No 73 after the three missing edfiyaya-n follows 
regularly after No 72. So at the time this MS was copied these 
three adhyaya-* were missing. We can also go one step further. 
MS STI follows closely $fc but has no numbers in its colophons. By 
this closeness we can deduce that the three missing adkyaya-s of fTi 

366* tPn PURXfcTA [VOL. XX IV., NO. 2 

parallel the ones missing in ^2, and were most probably not present 
even when the MS was copied. One is tempted to apply the same 
reasoning also to the group of MSS ^1-4, which also lack these 
three adhyaya-z although the absence of numbers in the colophons 
makes the conclusion more uncertain as they belong to a group diffe- 
rent from ^2 and ?Ti The same thing can be said for the group of 
Kashmiri MSS 5TTi, ^Ti-2, 3TO of the Vamana purana, which do 
not have the first nine adhyaya- of the Saromahatmya. The counting 
shows that they were missing even at the time they were copied, 
So also, since la and ?Tl of the Vacnana purana had no Saromaba- 
tmya at the time they were copied, this theory gains further support 
by the fact that the counting of their adhyaya-a continues as if they 
were not there. 

So the interruption or the lack of interruption of counting 
in a MS can result in discovering a bit of the history of a MS and 
not improbably of the text itself. 

The disruption in counting is not always in connection with 
missing adkyaya-s. In most cases the number is simply not given 
for one or more adhy3ya-s and is resumed later. 

All the cases appearing in our three purana-s can be classified 
under two main groups : the first is the case when although one or 
more adhyajw-s do not bear any number, the counting is resumed 
later as if it had never been discontinued. For instance,Kurma 19-23 
(Grit,) are represented in ^i so :18, N., N., N., 22; Varaha 
64-66 (Grit) have the correspondent in %5 :59, N., 61; Vamana 
29-33 (Grit.) are represented in *4 so :20, N., N., N., 24. Such 
cases can be multiplied; they show simply that the number 
was forgotten but that it was available in the MS from which the 
present one was copied. 

The second group is represented by those instances where 
the resumed number ia not the one we would expect and the 
adhyaya-s without number are4 either more than they should be or 
less if we look at their serial number only. 

Kurma 19-23 (Grit) is represented in 3i so : 19, N.,N M N., 22. 
Instead of 22 there should be 23, 


Varsfaa IO13 (Grit.) is represented in * 8 so : 9, N., N., 11. 

Varaha 39-42 (Grit.) is in * 5 : 35, N M N., 37 and 94-100 iCrit,) is 

in^jBg^N..]^ N., ,N.,90 

Vamana SMa 10-12 (Grit.) is in ^7 : 10, N,, 11 

These instances can be multiplied to a great extent, and 
should be studied individually to discover whether such irregula- 
rities are due to carelessness of copyists, to addition of new adhySya-z 
or to other possible reasons. 

Examples in which the adhy3ya-* are less than they should be are : 
Kurma II. 13-15 (Grit ) in 5U : 62, , 65 
Varaha 79-82 (Grit.) represented in STi as : 81, N,, N., 87 

87-89 (Grit.) represented in *i as : 92, , 95 

92-94 (GritO " in %2 : 84, N., 89 

112-1 14 (Grit.) is in ^2 : 102, N., 115 

These cases are less numerous than the previous ones but as the 
previous ones cannot be grouped together as a whole, they 
should be studied attentively and individually and with the 
help O f .other sources as well. Interruption and resuming of 
counting in MSS especially when they spread over many adhyaya-& 
show that the MSS were copied or dictated from other earlier MSS. 

ow at te MSS were copied or dictated from other earer . 
The hypothesis of dictation, actually, is the best to explain certain 
factors which otherwise would not have taken place, had the 
numbers been copied directly by sight. The clearest example 
seems to be in MS 310 of Varaha (Crit. 50). tio has the same 
numbers as the Critical Edition, but abruptly it has the following 
sequence : 49, 15, 51. Here adh. 15, which sounds like HftKUtalu: 

in Sanskrit, stands surely for odh* 50, whick sounds like MAH^ft^W: 
The two words sound quite similar and could be easily confused 
especially by a less educated scribe who could misinterpret them 
and understand T^T$fternr. t* Mt4*ft*4Kn and vice-versa. Such 
a mistake would not occur by careless copying as $10 ^oca not write 
the words for the numbers but only the figures. On the otbar baud 
the mistake was due to 'mishear iflg', or *m!imderatandm^' ratfct 
probably of the Sanskrit word. Hnce we conclude Hart tfre 
number was dictated; We do not know, however, whether the 
copy from which tlje dictation w* given contain^ only figures or 

368 1<l u rH PURAfclA [VOL. XXiv., NO. 2 

words. The number, however, was pronounced and surely not 
shown. Less clear is the process through which in the sarne MS, 
two adhysya-s earlier, 18 is given in place of 48 (= Grit. 48). 

^i and % 8 in Karma II. 20-22 ( = Grit.) have the following 
sequence : 20,19,22. No 19 in place of No 21 cannot be a mistake of 
copying as the two figures are so different, but rather of interpre- 
ting what was heard, unless, of course, the dictation was wrong, 
x. e., in place of qqifdrer ** was dictated, heard or interpreted as 
^sjftfff^r. The fact, then, that the next adhy3ya~B have their proper 
number seems to imply that these latter were present in the MS 
which served for dictation. A few other cases can be found : see 
Varaha 73 (Grit.) in fto a 75 (Grit.) in q lm 

Other mistakes, however, are the results of mistakes of 
copying. ^"lOj which writes figures, not words here, in place of 
Varaha 64-67 (Grit.) has the following sequence : 60, N., 32, 63.^ 
has been read as 3. All the cases where "f^r** or its compounds 
have been interpreted as "fro" r the opposite, are again based 
on wrong reading and not on dictation - 

The colophons, then, at least in some case, also help us 
understand the way a MS, or at least a part of it, was transmitted. 

d. Repetition of Numbers 

The same number of an adhyaya is often repeated in two or 
even three adjacent chapters. The apparent reason for such a 
repetition seems, to be the copyists' mistake, either -dorte in the 
very act of writing the number, or as a kind of readjusting a previ- 
ous mistake which had made the numbering discordant from the 
examplar MS. Often the repetition takes place when either the 
numbers of both the adhy2ya-3 or at least one of them, is given in 
figures. Mistakes, as is known, are easier in writing figures than 
words. These repetitions of the same number, however, are 
difficult to reconcile with copying from a text where the numbers 
are already written, or from dictation. They fit better the case of 
a numbering given independently, L e., after the text had already 
been fully written, either by the same copyist or by another 


o check this last assertion we should see the MS itself. This also, 

W v V ? r> w uld not solve all the problems because such a process 

^! S * e takea P lace before the actual MS was copied and the 

mistakes repeated, i. e ., the MS was copied as it was. So, if 

then th atSr * d . ditioils ' ca nnot be proved for the present MS, we have 

rough it, evidence of a previous stage of the MS copy. 

e InHueace from Other MSS 


e re are a few instances where the strangeness of counting 
seems to be due to the influence of another MS either of the same 
grou or 

group or of another, 

l of Kurma purana is rather accurate in the numbers 
which generally correspond to those of the Critical Edition. From 
I- 43 (Grit.), however, the MS has for three successive adhyaya-s a 
double number, as we have already seen, one continues the previous 
numbering and the other starts from No 46. This new counting 
continues till the end of the Piirvabfiaga, even when the double 
numbers stop, except for No 48 (Grit.). Here is the comparison : 

Grit. 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51 
^1 43/46, 44/47, 45/48, 49, 50, 48, 52, 53, 54 

Both in the adhyaya-x with double numbers and in Ql 4S C 5 
C.rit. 48; we may suppose the presence of an external influence and 
not a mere mistake as seen in Vamana 39 (Grit.).* B* looking 
at the collated MSS used in preparing this critical edition we 
do not find any other MS having the second counting nor a 
parallel MS with No 48 where %i has it. So we are left wiib 
doubt about influences from other MSS. 

The case of MS % 3 in Kurma I. 49-51 (Grit,) is clearer This 
MS has the following succession : 48-52-50. In the counting, 
follows the MSS ^3.5, upt > 48, while for the adkySja 52 <h MS has 
the same number as ti.a-io. It is not improbable, then, that No 52 
is due to the influence of another MS which had such a number at 
this point. And clearly the MS was not the one from <**** w ** 
being copied, because later the counting continue* with No SO, ** 

3. See p. 363, 

370 TOUI PURStfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

instead of 52 there was 49. If we suppose that the exemplar MS 
already had such a distortion, we have simply to shift the prob- 
lem to some earlier stage of transmission. The insertion of No 52 in 
this point, whenever it took place, is thus due to the influence of 
another MS with different numbering. 

Another example is in %i of the Vamana purana, Saromaha- 
tmya. The Critical 21, 22, 23, 24 are represented in %j so : 40, 43, 
N., 45. Here the counting jumps from No 40 to 43 and then it pro- 
ceeds regularly. Now, two other MSS, namely % 3 and %IQ belonging 
to the same group, according to A. S. Gupta in his introduction to 
the Critical Edition, have in these adhyaya-s the regular succession : 

42, 43, 44 3 45. It is not improbable, then, that the new counting 
was established through the influence of MSS other than the exemp- 
lar used for copying ^. . The numbers of this MS ^ however, are 
not always accurate or quite regular and so this new counting start- 
ing with No 43 and corresponding to the other MSS ^3 and ^IQ could 
be interpreted as a re-establishment of a numbering which had 
become irregular through the carelessness of copyists. But this No 

43, present in three MSS, and at this point, has surely influenced 
MS ^5. This later MS gives numbers in the whole purana only four 
times, namely in Grit. 17 S where it has No 16 as do several other 
MSS; in Grit. SMa 12 and 20, where it has No 8 and No 6 
respectively, not shared by any other MS and in our adkyZya, 
i. e., in Grit. SMa 22 where it has No 43. It seems na- 
tural to think that these four numbers of MS ^ 5 are due to the 


influence of different MSS, even if it is not possible to know when 
such an influence took place and which MSS influenced it. 

Another case, apparently easy, is in Vamana purana 39 
(Grit.). At this point we have this situation : 

Grit. 38, 39, 40 

*i 64,30, 31 

$3 63, 30, 31 

*4 29,30, 29 -h 

tll N.,30/61, 61 

+A mistake for 3 Impossibly. 

ith/V, 1962] THE CJLOPHJN3 IN THE PURStfA-3 ^1 

The only regular succession is 4, where No 30 is in its right 
place. Such a number seems to have influenced the other three MSS, 
although in different ways. ^ and fe, from this adhyaja onward, 
change their numbering shifting it from 63 or 64 to 30 etc., while 
^U has a double number but then, continues its old counting, 
seems, however, rather evident that in all cases % 4 ( or another MS 
with such numbering) influenced their numbering. 

*7 of Vamana purana, finally, represents again another case, 
similar to ^ 5 seen above for Saromahatmya 22 (Grit.). Here also, 
Hke there, the MS does not give the number for several adh^% 
but then in Grit. 61, suddenly it gives No 88,' which is completely 
isolated and does not fit at all in the numbering this MS was^ ioUo- 
wing previously, and which was stopped with No 18 at Grit. , 
i. e. , only nine adhytya-* before. This isolated number 88, then, has 
no logic at all in this MSS, but it is equal to the number 88 ot M* 
% 10 , where it has its right place. It is not improbable then tnat 57 
was influenced by * 10 or a similar MS. Such an influence said 
before, did not necessarily occur in the copy of the MS we are 
considering now; it may have happened earlier and then freen w 
fully reproduced in the present copy. This influence, at any w 
took place at some point of time in the transmission and evoiiw 
of this MS. 

f. Miscellanea 

It U almost impossible to refer to all the *~*r^ dibea 
by the colophons of the three puran^ .* 
short space of this article. The aor* looks at 
more one discovers new things aftdb 
Here a few more examples will be 

The last colophoa of every P ^ **'* 
regarding the tin,,, the writing, the <?&<** 
contents*^ other data which 
which have thu, been used 

colophons for which an .3W . 


MS %9 of Varaha in Grit. 17, MS ^i in Grit. 75, MS 
%8 in Grit. 77, MS % 2 and ^ 10 in Grit. 129 and $ 10 in Grit. 139, 
MS^llin Grit. 140ff, MS ^i in Grit. 179, MS ST3 in Grit. 181, 
MS 31 in Grit. 192; Vamana Saromahatmya : MS ^5 in Grit. 
12 and 20, MS ^RT in Grit. 44, all have a number not at 
all connected with either their own previous or subsequent 
counting, or with any of the other collated MSS. If such strange 
insertions are not due to the whim of the copyists, we have some 
evidence of the existence of other MSS having such a numbering. 

We have a case in the Varaha where the interplay between 
the carelessness or whim of the copyist and the strength of the MS 
tradition is quite evident. Grit, 104-121 is represented in % 8 in the 
following way : 

105,96,97,96,99,100, 101, N., 103, 104, N., 106, N., 106, 109 
110,111,122 * 

No 122 comes exactly in its right place as if No 105 of the 
beginning had been followed by Nos 106, 107 etc., and the counting 
then continues regularly. So the whole chaotic counting between 
105 and 122 was the result of the whim of the copyist, but the copy 
from which the text was taken must have had a complete and 
orderly succession to allow the copyist to resume the counting in the 
right way. Naturally such a corruption of the text may have taken 
place at different times of the text's transmission. 

Similar cases seem rather frequent and so the interplay bet- 
ween the old numbering and the new numbering due to purposeful 
change, inEuence of other MSS and the whim of copyists is not 
unlikely. MS ffc in Varaha 150-169 (Grit.) seems also to have had 
such a kind of multiple interplay. The same for 5r 3 in Varaha 1 78- 
189 (Grit.), where the counting is resumed in the right way after a 
long interruption and apparently not by mere chance. No 4, 
in fact, which is inserted in between (cf. Crit. 181) without any 
connection at all with other MSS is not considered in the count, as 
it is proper. The same thing is repeated, with due variants, in 
Ktena I. 31-34 (Crit.) by sfe and most probably also in Kurma 
32-40 (Crit.) by su and in Vamana 42-46 (Grit.) by % u . 



seem *Q & * W CaSeS> ne in Karma and toe other in Vamana, 
at this D - >S , Uggeat that the ^"take presented in their number- 

^nt copies 0he reSUo P"or copying and that the pre- 
*e exemplar reproduce faithfully what was written in 

&esucce '**' **** * l ^ a " 4 ' 8 " 10 in KQrma IL 28-30 (Grit.) have 
ft MJrfih 1 D 28 * 19 * 3 ' N I9i clearly a mistake for 29. Now 

mistat m ^ r bable that fright MSS might have co""**" 1 ** 
the m* ? loault aneously. It is, therefore, sensible to suppose 

How WaS al f eady P resent ^ ^e MSS and was copied fai- 
ker 3U ' Ch a mistafce cre P t ^ is a matter of conjecture : we 
also thiak th ^ Started with one MS and then it sp^ad. W* may 
ol e that al ** D . Ot . a11 these mistakes are interdependent; it is possi- 
Difficult S 1 . ndlv * dual cas ual mistakes may have occurred, but it 
nmtake * ** lmagine that a11 the eig 11 * copyists made the same 

Just the very copies we happen to possess at present. 

* ther aSe !s in Vamaaa ^S" 46 (Grit.). The MSS with 
m this point are 5^ % t and ^ They have : 

34, 25, 36, 27 
N., 35, 36, 27 
34, 35, 26, N. 
, 35, 26, N. 

No S5 of ^! is an isolated mfotafcfr and could hve been com- 
mitted either by the copyist of tfcb MS or it could fc*v* been there 
already and just re-copied. Regarding t&e adwr-wro' nmteie* of 
%l-4> i. e., No 26 instead of S6, and of vi-t, No 37 initeid of 37, it 
is more difficult to accept th* theory that the pment copyists ar* 
responsible. The case is wmiUr iso the ptwioai one, but sine* 
the mistakea are present onfy^twoMSS the ypothe*i* is f*r feti 

The last two exampfaa 0hw b*W, lwwvr, roggeat the 
bility of also discovering, tb<r *r%* ^ iito in * A*S by con- 
dering its colophon*. 


We h,,* 

3?4 <pro_ pURXjfctA fvOL. XilV., NO. 

The Critical Apparatus of the three purana-s we are studying divides 
the words of the colophons under two headings : the name of 
purana and the name of adhyaya. The distinction is not always 
rigid, the usual separation-mark between the two being more an 
external than an internal criterion. If the description is put in the 
locative, it should be considered to refer to the purana or to some 
broader unit than the single adhyaya, if it is in the nominative then 
it should be considered to refer to the adhySya. A perusal of colo- 
phons, however, shows that such a division could not be applied in 
all cases in the Critical Edition. 

The Critical Apparatus of Kurma I. 16 puts under the name 

adhyaya qi +11 i $*\\% of ^2, %3.5-8 and f^rfisfc^HR^ of ^1-2.8- 10 and 

as well as ^nflrt ? of - and 

The Gritical^Apparatus of Varaha 74 considers 
of ^-5 as the name of the purana, while the same expression is 
considered name of the adhySya by the Critical Apparatus of 
adhyaya 75. This shows that the division between the two head- 
ings is somewhat artificial, although it is normally rather useful, 
especially if it is not accepted with rigidity. 

The first and last adhy3yas of the purana, or of a bhaga> or 
even of a sub-topic, are particularly accurate in almost all the MSS. 
The other adhyaya-* instead have usually very short colophons. 
The beginning and the end of the purana, hence, may be consi- 
dered to have the exact name of the purana, sometimes the date, 
the place of copying and the scribe's name. These details are usually 
studied by scholars and the pertinent conclusions have already been 
ascertained. But we can use this tendency of being more accurate 
in the first, and especially the last adhyaya of a bhsga, or of a sub- 
division, to confirm that the part we are considering has really 
reached an end. It can even be a hint that the adhy3ya-z had a 
life independent of the rest of the purana in which they are now 
inserted. Although this is only a hint, it has to be taken under 
serious consideration though it should also be confirmed by other 
facts as well. The section, described as quMMKHTq in the Vamaoa 
purana, is called by this name : 


m adh \ by 2 MSS 

2 2 


4 - 


6 8 


8 1 

The tendency mentioned above would suggest that the 
^BFfSTTf^sf ended with adhyaya 6 or at least that this colophon was 
the last of this section. In fact, however, the adhyaya deals with 
3TT^rf[ which appears also in the name of adhyaya given in this 
same colophon. The topic is S^aiva not Vaisnava and it can 
hardly refer to 37*^!?*!% ^ we have to su PP ose > ** s 11D P* ie<i 
above, that this part of the colophon describing a sub-division of 
the purana is older that the text itself, and that it was left 
unchanged even though it no longer matches the section to which 
it is allied MS sn } which has ^j^SFTpfo also m adh, 8, i e,, after 
the conclusion of the section, might have used it because that 
adJiyaya^S, deals with Vaisnava material In this case, than, the 
word would not be a remnant of an older stage of the purHtia as in 
the previous cases, but aa innovation of the particular scribe of 
this MS. 

The topic 'vamfa* is dealt with in Kurraa 113-26^ The 
colophons u<e the expression ^n^ff% or a similar one in me 
following rate : 

13 in 
























26 w 

376 $Km*r PiRXfcLA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

Although the sequence of this rate presents the highest 
numbers in the middle, the rule of having also accurate descrip- 
tion in most of MSS at the end is kept; and the unit of this topic 
is well defined both at its beginning and at its end. 

A tendency which may sometimes interfere with the example 
just given occurs very often and requires further consideration. 
Not infrequently we find MSS which, although usually having 
inaccurate colophons, all of a sudden have one or more adhy3ya-$ 
with very accurate and detailed colophons. This process is even 
more evident when it happens simultaneously in many MSS of 
the same adhyaya. Such is the case of Vamana 11 (Grit.) where 
unexpectedly all the collated MSS .present uniformly 
frf. 'TTT, with the exception of MS sppx The fact is more 

evident for the group of MSS sri-;^ ^4.7.n and ^1 which are rather 
irregular about giving the names of adhyaya-z in this part of the 
text , but all of a sudden have this adhyaya> and a few others, 
uniformly described in their colophons. A rather reasonable 
suggestion to understand this phenomenon is to suppose that these 
adhySya-s are fresh insertions, i. e., added to the purana in a more 
recent time from that of the other adhyaya-& t Even the clearly 
defined booklets, like ISvaragita of Kurma, Varanasimahatmya 
or Prayagamahatmya of Vamana have more accurate colophons 
ID almost all the MSS and we know that these parts are later 
imports. This, then, seems to confirm that an accurate colophon 
in all the MSS indicates a more recent date for that specific 
adhyaya. In the same perspective we can think that a colophon 
may be used by some author with the intention of establishing a 
new trend in the 

a. Name of Pur&pa 

The three puraoaa-s studied here have rather uniform descri- 
ptions of the name of the purana in the colophons. There are a 
few things which, however, deserve additional attention, 

\Vhile Vamana purana is not qualified as snfe, both Kurma 
and Varaha bear the title of 3nf^ but in two different ways. Kurma 
is usually called fr svifc*ii^Mi ^*f (or ^Wf), with rare exceptions 
see Grit, J, 1J in MS 3Ti which has ^ife ^W- So, although the 


word arr in the latter purana may have the same general meaning 
of 'important', 'great*, as it has ia the Former, its very position 
makes the statement of the Introduction to the Varaha (English 
translation) that srrfe may refer also to ailfcKI completely justi- 
fied. Not improbably there is a kind of pun, arrfe keeping both 
in. meanings. The word srife could be attached directly to C^ be- 
cause in literature there is in fact an f Adivaraha 9 , but it was not 
attached to TCT because there is no Adikurma in literature. 

Kurma purana has two bhaga~s which are described also in 
Narada I. 1O6 as y=T*IHI and xfrK'HM' The colophons, although 
keeping the two bkSga-s, present a different situation. The ^J+iK 
is there so called only in the last adhyaya, while* vitrvflTT has difie- 

rent names in the MSS : ^^Ti.^^ ^dTKIM xiMRwi and \ 

which was accepted by the Critical Edition as the 'official name*. 
So the two bh5ga-s have a completely different treatments in the 
MSS. From what has been said so far about the momentum of 
the colophons, it seems that this very situation of MSS oa this 
topic should lead us to think that the two present bhaga-s did not 
have the same origin but that they are two parts juxtaposed, *t 
may not even be completely out of logic to think that the adhyaya** 
having the same type of description may belong to the same 
'group 9 : so we would have adkyaya-x of the *^3, adhyaya-s of the 
^rPCfrrn- and so on. Whether these adhyaya-* of different groups had 
also a separate life needs further research. 

The Varaha purana is described in almost all its colophons 


w-: in 48 such a ^^**JS^^ 

the two *Z?*^%^*' l * m ** 
colophon; in aafi. 4y " prsw* / 

378 <U<Jm puRStfA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

available in several MSS. So the only difficulty cornea from this 
latter adhyaya, which is the conclusion of the booklet. It is not 
improbable, then, that this 'booklet* was 'built up* with additional 
adhyaya-s (those without ^ !*# Ur^i ) from a previous few adhyaya-s 
(those with ^iq-^n^i) of the same topic. 

There are a few fascinating descriptions in the three pur&na-s 
we are considering which s if they were more numerous, would lead 
us to a better understanding of the structure of the purana-s. 
Unfortunately their irregularity is such that not even the least 
conclusion or hypothesis can be drawn. 

In Kurma there are 12 adhyaya-* claiming to belong to a 

3 adhyaya-s to a tzTTf^FTT *ff<n mf. In Varaha one 

adhyaya says it belongs to a -qg ) tq=Ritii^n?i i: ni i ii U'Qid KJl*^. 4 adhyaya-s 
describe themselves as belonging to eNrrl^FTFT and one is called 
Vamana purana, at last, has one adhyaya, the 28th, 

where MS ^i says HKH$tqr til^aizri t*TT% E f*IT I T. At this we can add 
the long section, adh. 35-96, of the Varaha-purana and some 14 
adhyaya-s at random, where almost all the colophons have the 
description Sllftifo^. All these are at present only words, very 
suggestive indeed, but not more than that; they are enough to make 
us understand, however, that the colophons are persistently 
offering suggestions toward the discovery of a time when the 
purana-s had a shape other than the present one. 

b. Name of Adhyftya 

Each adhyaya has its name, which presents one of the topics 
dealt with in the adhyaya itself, most probably the one considered 
somewhat more important for any reason whatsoever. Not infre- 
quently one topic extends over more than one adhyaya, so the few 
adhyaya-s dealing with that topic may bear the same name or may 
be given two names, one referring to the larger theme and the other 
describing more closely the specific topic of the ad/iyaya. So we 
may have kinds of units or small sections formed of a few or several 
adhyffya-s. Often such sections are concluded in the colophon with 
the word flimT^. Such sections may have belonged to the more 
ancient form of the puran,a or have been added later, but by the 
very fact of being easily definable and even with a beginning 

,Wur, 1982] 



an end clearly recognizable make their 'mobility' easier 
even if they were originally composed for the purana ,uelf 
may have had, later, an independent life more than o.he 
pjs not so clearly defined. Their very independence may have 
Lnsformed them more or less. Small secUons, of course ^ are 
easily recognizable and if they are compact they can be 
Ligned to" recent additions or old section, We have many 
examples of such small sections in our three purana-s, here are 
the clearest and most important. 

In Kurrna purana we can see 

f 1. 2 7-28) 



In Varaha purana : 

2 adhyaya-s 

* w " * J 

5 t' 

* - d - 

ll " " 
5 -do- 

4 adhyaya'* (5-8) 

3 -do- 

12 -do- (39-50 

at least 19 MW 

at least 7 -do- (89-96) 
Qft , 

19 adhy3ja-s (70-88) 





the Varnana'a 
extensive and be a 
among themseVves. 

the tooic is rather vast, 


Such oU<s 


380 ^U<M*l PuRXfclA t v L fcxrv., NO. 

of which the purana-s are sometimes said to be composed. 4 Such 
sarhhita-s, of course, can grow endlessly and contain also other 
sub-sections. The Vamana puraua is a good example of such a deve- 
lopment. Its scheme given below, prepared only on the 
basis of the colophons evidence, shows exactly this situation : 

adhs. 1*8 adhs. 1-5 

2. >Uq>ii*rfq 2. 

adhs. 9-21 (or 

adhs. 1 1-16 

adhs. 18.38-21 

SJTT (*fhfr) 
up to adhs. 30 

adhs. 28-44 adhs. 31-32 

r. 37-45 



adhs. 44-68 4. M 

adhs. 52-61 


upto adhs. 68 

It appears, then, that .the topics are gathered in sections which can 
be arranged, as in the above scheme, into two or three streams : 
the first is represented by the general sections which are 

again c|i4HH|$ifc; tlie se cond is represented by 

several themes which run parallel to the first : 

*& parallel to the more 

general theme 'A <IM l^b but has, on its turn, topics which are sub- 
ordinate to it, although its name does not appear. So at this point 
there aire in fact three contemporaneous streams. 

TThe Saromahatmya, not put in the above scheme, is a kind 
-.? f*** 3 ... 1 ^ itaelf iaserted ^to the body of the Vamana 

.. . JPLt '" J ' rj .. 

4 * lf55SHj}? n - S4 '21; Devl Bhagavata 1.1.6; 1.2.37;!. 
5.2*f; tnga I. 1.11 ab; Narada I. 1.16; II. 82.35 cd; 
" ^^^1^^5.38; Skanda VII. 1.1.4,30-,.; Visnu III 
* ""^ -*-" " - XXII No, 1 (Jan,, 1980) pp. 48-52. 



purana; the reason for its acceptance , ta . OdW lea, 
been explained in the Introduction to the Vamana by A. 
Su ch a I**. -tains at least a **ta j 
unit. Problematic remains the new 
%,in SM, 23 (Ccit.). Whether another - 

point or not cannot be determined ^ m "^"Ja ther e b 
Lromahatmyaandfor the rest of the Van, -_^ ^^ 
no doubt that at least some purana-s contun > co ex 
which apparently interfered reciprocal? and had osstbly 
independent life of their own. 

Such sections or sub-sectiona are marked by 
some cases with words like ^ or otaer spec^l word 8. 

'^ " 

ne oa 

MSS, except ih. 7 , m gives ^^ Bo- wordssuppose an n o 
part the first su^oses the existence of o.her ^ wh^no longer 
List, not even in the MS having that *jfJJ^ 
suggests the existence of a t*i or summary m that ' 

very expression. So botli m 
purania previous to the present one. 

Other words hint possibly at 
apparent in the present oue. The Var ^ mlliatton b not 
^^.-s called M r ff -s. The reason of such a 
clear. Did such oiA^-s, which now alternate the two 

and 3ram , form group by themselves ? 
m ined by words like wfcrf, at 
or by special description of th, 

Not infre q uenUy long section, 
cription of a dialogue between two 
of Karma H.l-H. 

A note of warning should be put herenot 

362 tFJn PURS MA {VOL. xxiV., NO. 

convey the impression that the adhyaya-s forming the topics etc. 
were existing separately from the purana and inserted in it by way 
of accretion. Such a process cannot be excluded, but cannot even 
be affirmed a priori. Such sections could be intrinsic parts of the 
purana from its very original composition. Each case has to be stu- 
died separately. The fact of calling them 'sections' or the like, how- 
ever, implies surely that they had more mobility because they were 
more definite and could be easily shifted from one place to another. 
The research done on the colophons till now shows the interesting 
fact that some of these sections changed in themselves without shift- 
ing. Some colophons continue to refer to them as if they continued 
to exist but .the contents -of their adhyaya-s are now different. 
It is just |this discrepancy that allows us to have a peep into 
a previous stage of the purana-s. 


The colophons offer, no doubt, many pieces of information 
about the contents and structure of the purana-s. We have to 
consider, of course, only those colophons which really have some- 
thing serious to say because, in fact, most of them are so carelessly 
transmitted that they have nothing to offer but confusion or non- 
senses. To work on colophons is to work on difficult and slippery 

Almost every time I got some result or conclusion by exami- 
ning the colophons, such as a particular division of the text, or the 
information that a colophon was .hinting at an older stage of the 
purana etc., and I tried to check by looking into the text or by 
reading the conclusions to which R.C. Hazra and other scholars 
had arrived through other ways, I was disappoined. There has been 
hardly a case in which the result found by studying the colophons 
and the conclusions reached in other ways matched. The only 
slight success was that through the examination of the colophons I 
could sustain the opinion of VVInternitz that the Vamana purana 
began with the account of the Vamana avatara, although at present 
no MS used in the Critical Edition mentions it. A meagre conso- 
lation indeed. For all practical purposes the colophons appear, at 
first, completely useless. To study them seems to be a mere 
academical exercise. 


Yet we have seen that some colophons or some indications im- 
posed by the colophons are quite important We have seen how 
many times we were taken back to a previous stage of the puranic 
text. Indeed, it seems that the lack of counterproofs of what is 
implied, by the colophons in the actual puranic text is exactly the 
real positive contribution of some colophons, i.e., the reliable ones ! 
They were surely written carelessly and just for that they were not 
always changed according to the new modifications inserted in the 
text. Or, to see the problem from another perspective, those who 
introduced new material in the puranic text did not care to change 
also the colophons accordingly. However, if we reconstruct the 
scheme and the contents of the purana-s by using only the colophons 
we get, in some points, a picture of the purana totally different 
from'the present one. The tendency to be more conservative, 
which we have noted on several occasions in the colophons, 
makes us postulate that the difference between the two contents of 
the purana-s, the one described by the colophons and the present 
one, ig of great importance and one which should be attentively 
considered. It appeared already, in fact, that in some cases such 
a difference shows us topics of a previous stage of the puraiia. And 
that stage, we have seen in one instance at least can ****** 
to the scheme in Narada pur^a U2-I09, If the study of the 
single adhW* may lead us to find older and more recent p 

of the puranic text. 



It is well known that the authors of the current Puranas 
(which include here the Upapuranas and the Epics) were aware of 
Buddha or the Buddha (on account of his attaining bodhi t supreme 
wisdom) the founder of a particular system of thought. Almost 
all the Puranas are found to refer to this great thinker. 1 In the 
following pages an attempt is made to depict the life and activities 
of Buddha on the basis of the Puranas. Only in some important 
places we have thought it useful to quote from the Tantras and 
other non-Puranic works. Views of Buddhist tradition have also 
been shown whenever necessary. 

A careful study of the statements about Buddha (as quoted 
here) reveals that all of them are not referring to one and the same person. 
We want to draw the attention of our readers to this remarkable 

In the absence of the critical editions of all the Puranas we 
have thought it better to refrain from holding any discussion on 
textual criticism or on spuriousness of any of the Puranic state- 
ments quoted here. 

The word buddha 

In the Puranas the word buddha is found to have been used 
either as an adjective 2 (from the root budh 9 to know with the suffix 

1. That passages o.i Buddha were present in the Puranas 
before the time of Kumarila is undoubtedly proved from 
his statement in the Tantravarttika on Mimamsa-sutra 


II i it i' s quoted in the TantradhLkarinirnaya 

pp. 9-10 (with the reading 

TT^ jflprr ^ %&' ft*r^ fg^Tir (Sami-p. 285. 32; 

cp. Brahma- p. 237.11) 3^17^1^ ^rtf ^?fc *fiMdW *T 1 

*r*rat ^rifir ftfir: ^n ^ wfi \\ (Vayu-p. n 9). 

II (Anul^sana-p, 142. 33 j the verse describes a per- 



kta denoting the sense of an agent: ep^fc ^:) or as a noun referring 
to a particular person who was regarded as an incarnation of Visnu 
by the authors of the Puranas. A few Puranic verses are found to 
refer to Buddha though they do not contain the word Buddha or 
its synonyms. 'As for example Naradlya 1.2.44 extols Buddha 
though it does not mention the name even indirectly. 3 

Buddha has been referred to in the Puranas by the following 
three names also : Buddhadeva (Padma-p, 6.31.15), Buddharupa 
(Br*hma-p. 15^9) and Siddhartha (Matsya-p. 271.12). 
Mention of BwMba in the Parana 

BuddhaAf&fca been mentioned in the Puranic passages that 
either (1) shc^r^ylogy or glory of Visnu (especially in those passa- 
ges that enuiyate the ten incarnations of Visnu)* or (2) contain 

o*k^ Jthe Vanaprastha state); The adjective buddha 
used in connection with various deities, namely 
aju, etc. (Linga-p. 1.21.10, 40; Kurma p. 1.6.15, 
HarivamSa-p. 3.3.25, Padtna p. Bhami 31.43). 
_ the word stegata (frequently used by the 
tt teachers for Buddha) has been used in Linga-p. 
irtfir the sense of 'one whose gatd i.e.jfana is 
^sMfotddha as an adjective may also be derived 
WPrd ^f|f with the secondary suffix jfjSf accord- 

:ini 5.2.1 27. 

^(Naradiya-p. i.2.24; the reading seems to be 
pt); the stanza occurs in the Br-Naradlya-p. 

verses refer to Buddha is beyond doubt, for 
Visnu and they are read after the verses 
Rama and Balarama. 

; Padma-p. Bhami 18.66; 73,92; 
?i,iv, 257.41, Padma-p. Kriyayogasara-p. 
Bhagavata-p. 1.3.24, 2.7,37, 6.8.19, 10.40-22, 
Adlya-p, 1.2.44, 1.62.54, 2.29.42, 2.32.36; 
-2; Bhavisya-p. 4.122'i-29, 463.23, 6.83. 
mavaivarta p, 49.12; Linga-p. 2,48, 31b- 
-, 4.2, 55,37, 113.42, 211.S9; Skaada-p, 
Skanda-p. Reva 151.21-2*; Skanda-p. 
255-256; Skanda-p, Vasudeva Mahatmya 
i-p, Satasamhita 3,21; Matsya p. 47.247, 
Qaruola-p, 1.1.32; L86aO-U^ 1.145,40, 
p. II. 2.16.11; II. 4.9.15; E>evibbai?a- 
Visnudbanhottara-p. 3,351,^: Devl-p, 

386 TTTnT puRXtfA . [VOL. xxrv., NO. 2 

accounts of incarnations or forms of Visnu. In a few Puranas 
Buddha is mentioned in the genealogical lists of (future) kings 
(vide Matsya-p. 271.12, etc.) or in the descriptions of Kaliyuga. 5 

A few Puranic passages (not found in the printed editions) on 
Buddha are found to have been quoted in the works on Dharma- 
Sastra etc. A considerable number of such passages have also been 
quoted in the present paper. 

The Ramayana passage zpsrr t^ =Bffa: *T cTTT 1^ f^ 

(Ayodhya 109.34) which is taken as referring to Buddha 
(it is however regarded by many as an interpolation) does not, 
according to us, really refer to Buddha. The word Buddha in this 
passage simply means 'a person possessing the buddhi(opmion, convic- 
tion) that has been described in the preceding verse (109.33). It 
may be easily observed that in spite of the use of the words yatha 
and tathd, there arises no logical difficulty in taking the word buddhv 
in the aforesaid sense. 7 

6.5; Saura-p. 15.25; Br. dharma-p. 2,11.72; Narasirilha- 
p, 36.9; Br. Naradlya-p. 2.39; Kallhi-p. 2.3; Purana- 
samhita 8.81; Visnudharma-p. ch. 66, (MS)f Mbh. 
Santi-p, 348.2; 348. 41-42 (Kum. ed.). 

5. Brahnaanda-p. 2.31.60; Brahma- p. 230,13; Agneya-p. 
(MS) 29.41 {Me St. Up. I, p. 145). 


(Ramayana 2-109.33). 

7. It is remarkable to note that even the later Upanisads do 
not mention Buddha. Maddhva, the teacher of the Dvaita 
school, has however quoted an Upanisad passage (on 

avatara) which mentions Buddha (41^4: tT^^i* 5T^ir5ftspr- 

,.). There is ample 

reason to doubt about the genuineness of this statement, 
for Jlva-gosvamin in his Srikrsna-sandarbha expressly 
declared that the aforesaid passage was to be taken as a 

Sruti statement on the authority of Madhva 

p, 156, ed. Bhaktivicara Yayavara). Abou* 

the genuineness of many of the Sruti passages quoted by 
Madhva in his works modern scholars have expressed 
their doubt; vide the article by Venkata Subbiya in Indian 
of 1933 (p. 189). 

1982 ] BUDDHA AS DEPlCTflD IN fHE PUR^^AS 387 

Points to be observed in the aforesaid Pur&pic passages 

Following points are to be observed in connection with the 
Puranic references to Buddha : 

(i) Leaving only a few, almost all the Puranas refer to 

(ii) Non-mention is found in the older Puranas (like the Mar- 
kandeya-p.) as well as in the later Puranas (like the Vamana-p.). 8 

(iii) If Buddha is not mentioned in the list of the ten incar- 
nations, then Krna, or some other incarnation is mentioned in 
order to complete the number. 

(iv) Those Puranas that do not refer to Buddha sometimes 
mention the Bauddhas though disdainfully; vide Kurma-p. 1.30- 
13; 2.21.32. 

(v) While Buddha is invariably followed by Kalki (or Kalkin) 
in the lists of the ten incarnations of Visnu, he is preceded by 
Balarama or by Krsna or by Vyasa in different Puranas. 

(vi) Some Puranas do not invariably mentioa Buddha in all 
of its passages that enumerate or deal with the incarnations of 
Vismi. As for example, the Brahma-p. which mentions Buddha in 
122.69 (in a eulogy to Visnu) describes the incarnations of Viuu 
without describing Buddha in ch. 213; The aati-p. 348.2 
(Kum. ed.) refers to Buddha, but is silent (in a different recention) 
on Buddha in 339, 103-104 (which mention Hamsa and Satvata 
i. e. Kr^na); the Bbagavata-p. in more then one place mentions 
3uddha s but is silent on him in 10.2.40; the Bhavisya-p. mentions 
Buddha in 4.63.23 and 4. 190. 6-7 but is silent on him in 4.85.10 
and 4. 76. 44. 9 

8. It is remarkable to note that the Prapancasara-tantra 
(ascribed to (ankaracarya) does not mention Buddha 
while enumerating the ten incarnations of Visnu 

1959); cp. the LaBtasahasranama-bhasya by Bhaskara: 

r.-t>wr- i *fcp- 

^ p- 49), 

9. About the non-me&tion of Buddha as an incarnation in 
the Agneya-purana <i. e. Vahni-purana which is older 
than and different from the current Agni-f>urai^ the 
observations of Dr. Hazra are worth noticing : The 

388 <i!jfcTJT pURXtfA VOL ' X3tlV - N0 - 

The place of reading Buddha's name in the list of incarna- 

In the Puranic enumerations of the ten incarnations of Visnu, 
Buddha is mentioned usually in the ninth place; sometimes the 
word naoama or navamaka has been used in connection with Buddha 
in these enumerations; vide Matsya-p. 47.247, Linga-p. 2.48. 30-32, 
Garuda-p. 1.86. 10 1 1; 2. 20. 31-32, &va-p.; Skanda- 
Reva. 151,21. Only in a few places Buddha's name is read in 
places other than nine. 

In the accounts of Visnu's forms or incarnations numbering 
much more than ten, no fixed place is given to Buddha though he 
is described in the 21st place in more than one Puranic chapter. 
It is to be noted that the order of names of the ten incarnations is 
generally fixed it begins with Matsya and ends with Kalki. The 
order in which the forms or incarnations of Visnu have been des- 
cribed elaborately in the Puranas does not seem to be so well-establi- 
shed as the order of the ten incarnations. It appears that the list 
of the ten incarnations was conceived to serve some purpose. 

Buddha described as a yogin or a sannyftsiu 

In a few Puranic passages Buddha has been clearly described 
as a yogin. 10 He is said to be a yog3caryaiu Siva-p. II. 5. 16. 11. 
In Agni-p. 49.8 Buddha has been described as ^fl^rlic*^ (having a 
pacified mind), 33E3M'*lf^d' (its meaning is not clear, though it un- 

mention of the ten incarnations of Visnu in three places 
in the Agneya-p. (ch. 3, 23 and 28) does not necessarily 
mean that the Buddha was one of them. Although the 
Buddha has been named as the founder of a heretical 
faith in Agneya-p. 29.41 (fol. 102 b) there is not the 
slightest indication in this Purana that he came to be 
regarded as an incarnation of Visnu. This shows that 
the ten incarnations include both Krsna and Balarama 
instead of Buddha." (Studies in the Genuine Agneya- 
purana', in Our Heritage, Vol. Ill, p, 83 a fn.) 


5Tf 3s*3 ^^eidT (DaSavatara- 

stotra attributed to jankaracarya a verse 9). As to why 
Siddhartha was called Buddha, the statement in the 
Buddhist work Sutrodde^alankara is worthy of note 

Trikanda-cintamani on Amarako^a). 

| f quoted in the comm. 

jtJLY, 182 ] BtfDDHA. AS bEfrlCf ED IN THE PtTRfctfAS 389 

doubtedly suggests some secret yoga practice) 11 ; in Matsya-p. 54.19 
he is described as RII^I and in Skanda-Reva 151.21 as 

in Devl-purana 6.5 he is' described as SrS^'-HlcT^ici (whose ideas are 
purely holy), ^T^cFT^T (born of a purified body) and ^TTt^rl^f^r- 
*y& (free from attachment and hatred); in Visnudharma he is 
described as fTWWM 1 TpCHi 5qt ^ra^ 55nFT (vide Studies in the 
Upapurauas I p. 144) which is suggestive of Buddha's being a 
sannydsin, for showing compassion to all creatures is one of the chief 
characteristics of sannyasins.** The Puranic assertion that Buddha 
was clad in clothes of brown-red colour (4iiq HW^^kieto Santi-p. 
348.2 Kum. ed; Gr. ed. App. 1, no 31) also proves that he was a 
.'*-*. Buddha is sometimes decribed as wearing a red cloth 
Devl-p. 6. 5; <rhlM<4&Wl>^, Visnudharma, Gh. 66; vide 
St. Up.' I. p. 14 Ij a view which is found in the philosophical 
works also 14 . The Visnu-p. (3.17-18) speaks of WTnTt^ (who may be 
taken as a form of Buddha [Mayamoha has been clearly stated as 
the same as Buddha in Agni-p. 16.2] as wearing red cloth 
(raktapafa). Are we to take rakta as the same as kagaya or to think 
that one of these two descriptions is older than the other or that 
there were two different views about the colour of Buddha's 
garment ? 

The names of the parents, wife and son of Buddha 
In the Puranas Buddha's father is usually called 

11. Gp. the description of Buddha in the Merutantra 



12. G. Dh. S. 3.23-24; Yaj. Smrti 3.61; Manu-srnrti 6.39. 

13. The Bauddhas are often described in the Puranas as putting 

on brown-red garment; see f 'niii*inti 
(Brahmanda-p. 2.31.59-60); 
(Saura-p. 4.24). 

14 irm WlOTt f^n^FnFTOSft'.... (Sarlraka-bhasya 2.2.35); 

(Nyayamanjarl,!, p. 244) 
= (Vivefcavilasa 8.275). 

1 5. taor:.... (Agni-p. 16.2). 

quoted in Krtyaratnakara, p* 248 ). 

T PURS^A [VOL, xxiv, NO. 

a view which is" in consonance with the Buddhist tradition. 16 
There are also a few Puranic statements that declare that the name 
of his father is Anjana, Ajana, Ajina or even Jina. 17 According 
to Buddhist tradition Anjana is the name of the father of Buddha's 
mother. tB The exact form of this second name (as mentioned in 

(Matsya-p, 271.13). SJ^te^ft fit *tft4lft (Visnu- 
dharma; aide 'St. Up.* I, p. 144), q^Mluh ^5kfT:, 5JSfeTT3[ 

(Naraaimha-p. 22.15), [Budha is 

either to be corrected to Buddha or to be taken as a 
name of Buddha; see *r=fen ?Wf ^'- (Vyadi, quoted in 
the Vyakhya-sudha comm. on Amara 1.1.13).] Nara- 
simha-p. 26.12 shows the same order replacing Vastra- 
pani by Astrapani. The Visnu-p. mentions Suddhodana 
and Rahula but not Buddha in its chapter on genealogy 
(4.22). As Buddha abandoned kingship his name was 
not mentioned in the genealogical list. The Kalki-p 
speaks of Suddhodana as the brother of Jina, king of the 
Kikata country (2, 7.28J. 

16, Buddha himself declared that the name of his father was 
(Mahapadana-suttanta in Dlghanikaya). 

17. %t TI*nH&d': (Bhag. 1.3.24); 3T3R^T 3$- I 

(comm. Bhavgrthadipika) ; 
: (comm. Bhagavataeandrika); 
Sarathadarfiim); s 

(Siddhanta-pradipa)- *l$i i" ^TrT^Rr ^TeS^^flr ^ *ftn I ^ 

II (Brahmanda quoted in the 

comm. Bhagavatatatparya by Mad hva on Bhag. 1.3.24) 

^f ^\3- ^st srrfr ^TR% i ^i(n^ fe^re^ ^sft ^r 

II (Bhavi$ya-p. 4. 12.27). It is to be noted here 

that the jPurana says (in the verse 28) that Buddha 
appeared in the Tamasantara (in the Tamasa, i. e. the 
fourth manvantara). The significance of this assertion 
is difficult to understand. The Kalki-p. has a peculiar 
view about both Jina and Suddhodana in 2.6-7. It says 
that Kalki came to the Kikata country to chastise Buddha 
and he met with Jina a king of the country and Su'ddho- 
dana, his brother, botjh of whQip were killed by Kalki. 

18. "And the naioe of her [Buddha's Mp therms] father is 
expressly given as Afijana, the jSakiyan" (Rhys Davids : 
Buddhist India, p. 18). 


the Puranas) cannot be determined unless proper critical editions 
of the Puranas are prepared. 

Since Kalki-p. 2.7.44 regards qm&ft as the mother of the 
Buddhists (T^ 5fte r ) we may reasonably infer that MayadevI 
the name of Buddha's mother. Buddha himself declared that 
the name of his mother was MayadevI (Mahapadana-suttanta). 
Buddhist tradition and the lexicons (AmarakoSa 1.1.15) are in 
favour of this view.* 9 A mythical form of MayadevI is found in 
Kalki-p. 2. 7. 36-44. 

It may be surmised that j^ifl is also the name of 'Buddha's 

mother from the statement 

*r: (m Kumarika-khanda 40.255-256). If we take ^r as the 
same as ^ 3^^- cannot but be the name of Buddha's mother 
as there is no country of this name. For a ^discussion on this 
statement see infra. 

There i no mention of Buddha's wife in the Puranas* and 
we find no direct statement regarding the son of Buddha in the 
Puranas. The Visnupurana says that" ^uddhod ana was succeeded 
by Rahula (4.22.3), 31 and from Buddhistic works we finc\ that 
Rahula was the son of Buddha It may be presumed that since 
Buddha took sannyZsa before being enthroned, 8 fl Rahula is said to 
have succeeded his grandfather Suddhodana, 

19 "The name of his [Buddha's] mother has not yet been 
found in the oldest texts, butitis given in "the Buddha- 
vamla as Maya" (Rhys Davids: The History and Litera- 
ture of Buddhism, p, 60). 

20. It appears that the Puranic authors had no occasion to 
mention the name of the wife of Buddha. 


(Visnu-p. 4.22.3). The readings 1$5teT and ^nj5T in the 

place of ^gfteT and Tfpr (as found in some editions) are 
22. AVaraha-p. verse says that Buddha enjoyed^ kingship : 

": II (quoted in Krtyaratoakara, p. 247). l^it is 

however extremely doubtful. If '^K^i \rifi*H^" means 
'Buddha's remaming ia the TOyal palace for some years' 
(before leaving it fc>r e^ftr wife a view to discovering 
the way of getting rfcJ ol #& nawriaa) then tha Parmnic 
s^tement ma^ be accepted^ a vallct* 

392 ^<|u|H PURSfclA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

The body of Buddha 

We have a few statements describing the body and the limbs 
of Buddha. The expression devasundara-riipa in Matsya-p. 47. 2i7 

8 shows the exquisite beauty of Buddha. He 

is said to be of white or pale-red complexion 34 and 
gy^fruF (possessing long ears) in Angi-p.49.8; nfi^d' 25 (f shaven 
head) and 5pF555rraPT an (having white teeth) in Santi-p.348,41-42 
(Kum. ed.) The epithet art-oKT^ i n Agni-p.49.8 shows that Buddha, 
unlike Mahavira, used to put on cloth on his body. 

The language used by Buddha 

It is the Mahabharata that informs us that Buddha preached 
his views through the medium of the Magadhl language (sn^rf 

> anti-p. 348.41; cr. ed. App. ), no. 31). 

(Gramatically TTPTSPT STT^RT * s wrong; it ought to be corrected to 
UHl^m; the corrected reading however renders the metre defec 

23. It has however variant readings. "In the readings 
recorded in the Anandasrama edn. the line 

c:' is given two variants, one making it more 
intelligible in its application to the Buddha : 
and another introducing the missing Krsna% . 

The bulk of the MSS of Matsya collated by us have the 

reading %3WT ^^t^T. Further MSS, though not all of 
them a ..,.read ft^ft I^-H^*, thus eliminating the Buddha 

altogether" (Dr. V. Raghavan : 'Further Gleanings from 
the Matsya-p, 9 a in Purana III, p. 324). 

24, In the Majjhimanikaya Buddha is found to have declared 

that the beauty of his pale-red body was destroyed on 
account of his practising acute austerities before the 
attainment of bodhi. 

25. Cp. Brhatsamhita-57.44 which describes Buddha as 

(57.44) meaning OIWPM^II I its variant 

means oi 
23. Nllakantha remarks 

(on Hariv. 3.3.15). The significance as shown here 
dges not seem to be satisfactory, 


The aforesaii assertion about the language used by Buddha 
is historically valid. It is to be noted that (i) Pali was the 
language of Magadha through which Buddha preached and that 
(u) Pali,^ on account of being spoken in Magadha was called 
Magadhl. In time of Buddha Pali (the language of Buddha's 
sayings) and Magadhi were synonymous, Afterwards the language 
of the religious teachings was called Pali and the Prakrta language 
current at that time came to be called Magadhi. 37 

It is well known that the Magadhl language was highly 
praised by Buddhist teachers. In several works on Pali grammar 
Magadhl is extolled by the couplet : ^ unrf* q^T*TT TO JpnfrlS- 

i *RJII> =ERT ^diwrqr tfprr t srrft >rra^: n cp. the statement 

feslTf| (*RSr?nrcr, P. 31, P. T. Series). Since Buddha 


used Magadhal the Buddhist teachers spoke of it in a highly exag- 
gerated way. 28 

27, In later period Pali ceased to be the spoken language 
and it existed in religious works only. This later Maga- 
dhl (which in reality is the gradually developed form of 
Pali) better known as the Magadhl Prakrta (Magadhi 
ApabhamSa) and sometimes called Magadhlnirubti 
(Datha-vamSa 1.10) is the direct source of Oriya, Maithili, 
Bengali, Asamese, etc. The Magadhi in the Sanskrit 
plays is quite different from Pali. It is better to uie ^$[- 
-HHUfV for Pali and S4rtKTW*fi for flWft sn$5rOuTqr) . Ardha- 
rragadhi is, however, a mixture of STTfKT -Hi-i4\ and ^Kl$ 
(Sarnksipta-sEra^vyakarana 5.98). 

28. "It is claimed by Buddhaghosa, the greatest known Pali 
commentator, that the language through the medium 
of which the Buddha promulgated his doctrine and 
discipline was Magadhi. To Buddhagho?a as well as to 
other Pali commentators Magadhi is indeed the nirukti 
or diction of what is known as the Pali canon" (B M. 
Barua : Some Aspects of Early Buddhism, in. ^Cultural 
Heritage of India, Vol I, p. 442). "Even Buddhagho?a 
says that a child brought up without hearing the human 
voice would instinctively speak Magadhi" (R, Ghilders . 
A Dictionary of the Pali language, p. 13), vide the 
comm. on the Mabarupa-siddni, p. 27. 

394 TTT PURSfclA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 2 

Activities of Buddha 

The Puranas ascribe two kinds of activities to Buddha, namely 
(1) preaching views in order to delude demons etc. 39 and (2): 
blaming animal sacrifice as prescribed in the Vedas. 80 

Following points are to be noted in this connection. The 
beings deluded by Buddha were rarely called men; chiefly they 
were called daityas, danaoas and asuras. These words seem to 
signify 'human beings possessing the characteristics of daityas etc*, 
It would be illogical to assume that daityas etc. are to be taken 
in their Puranic sense i. e. *the offspring of Diti' etc. The meta- 
phorical use of these words is often found in the Puranas. 

' 29. %TFT ~^fe^ (Bhag. 1.3.24; Garuda-p. 1.1.32), 

(Bnag. 10-40:22). 

fi ism 41 ^frfquir I isiW*iM**m*ld sfl^ (Padma-p. 6.263, 
69-70). *mt*3 JBW * ta*^ (Padma, Srsti 73.93) 

(fltati-p. 348. 42 Kum. ed.) 

(Agni-p. 16.2-3). 

(Skanda, Reva 151.22), 

(Skanda, Vaisnava, Vaaudeva-Mahatmya, 18,41; Guru 

mandala ed.). 

(Br-Dharma-p. 2.11.72). 

30. ^fe'Tr ^rTT^fT RtoRT "" ^fTT'sqcr efln*!*^ ( Bha S 
2.7.37). cuapuft^rd 1 ^*J\^d^ (Bhag. 11.4.23) 

2.5.16,11; ^5 to be corrected to ^ t or it is to b 
taken in the sense of q^ 4 fcpfr in the preceding vers 
Krsna and Rama have been extolled), jy ^4H \t\\ f 

II (Siva-i t^rmrf I^TT^RT: (Bhavisya-p. 1.639). 

i ^T^T q i foi<m i P*i ^ti i q i 

^;: n (Brahmanda-p, quoted In Bhagavatatatpary 
, by Madhva, 1,3.28). 

(Kalki-p. 2.3.29). 


II CPuranasari 

ita 8.81) t 


Some are of opinion that the use of the words like daitya, 
<danava f etc is in accordance with the Puranic character of narrating 
events of past ages (Buddha lived long before the authors of 
the current Puranas) These words refer to those persons who, 
m ancient times, followed anti-Vedic religions and consequently 
found the teachings of Buddha as valid and useful A similar use 
of words is found in the legends concerning the destruction or the 
loss of the Vedas, The Puranas say that the Vedas were destroyed 
or stolen by the asuras namely Hayagnva, Sahkha and others. 31 
There is no doubt that in these legends the word asura refers to 
those persons who were against Vedic discipline and who created 
obstacle to the propagation of Vedic culture It must be borne 
in mmd that no mythical tale can spring through pure imagination, 
such tales must have their bases m some form of reality. 8 2 

It is remarkable to note here that in later penod followers of 
the Vedic religion declared that it was love of wanton life that had 
caused the highly learned persons of the * Hindu' society to embrace 
Buddhism (vide Nyayakusumanjali by Udayana (Ch II) of the 
10th ceatury 

From the Puranic statements it does not appeat that Buddha 
was against the nivrtti-marga or jfiana-marga of the Vedas This is 
quite in consonance with the teachings of Buddha as found in the 
Pitakas. Buddha is found to praise highly of those sages who 
were the ioliowers of the niurttz or jnana marga of the Vedas 38 
(vide Brahmana-dharmika-sutta in Suttampata). 

11 4 17, 5 18 6, Varaha-p 15, 15 10, 

11320, Kurma-p 116.77-84-, Matsya-p 53 5 7, Padma- 
p 42233, 62571-31; Agm-p 216-17, Santi-p 34 /, 
Vana-p 85 46-48. 
32 Cp the historical interpretation of (1) Gayasura in the 

a- by R. L. Mitra and <Gaya and Buddha 

<SVf by B M Birua and of (2) Kalki m the papers by 
(1) K P Jayaswal in Indian Antiquary, vo! 46 (1917), by 
2 Prof Pathak in Indian Antiquary, vo 43 (1918) and 
by (3) Otto Schrader m Brahmavidya, vol. I 

-p. has a statement that precisely states the 


(".29) The first twopr- 

sions inthis statement are 

to be explained d*^* 1 ?* Buddhist 

explained m a separate paper on 
religion and philosophy m the Puranas . 

396 JOT* PURStf A [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

Buddha is said to be the killer of Madhu and also dear to 
Madhu in Skanda-Reva 151.2 (-H^^dl TT*|ffen)' Nothing is known 
about this Madhu and the information is not found in any other 
Purana. Since Buddha is regarded here as the ninth incarnation, 
the information creates a problem which is difficult to solve. Is 
the first Madhu the same as Mara ? 

The places associated with Buddha 

Following places have been mentioned in the Puranas in 
connection with Buddha. 

Kikata It is said that Buddha will appear in KJkata 
(f3t *mrr" > fl*di ^fo^fa, Bbag. 1.3.24; Garuda 1.1.32). 8 * As 
Kikata is not stated to be the birth place of Buddha in Buddhist 
works 8 B we are to take the root bhu (in bhavisyati) in the sense 
of e to reside* or 'to lead the life. 86 Thus we can take Kikata as 3, 
centre for preaching Buddhism. 87 The plural number in the 

34. "|ijhd^ TTEZT J|4IM3r (comm. BhavarthadipikS); 

i^mfaq^ (comm. Padaratnavall); cp. Sattvata-Samhita 

2 65 

and Saundarananda 3.15 

35. But see *ft ^ ^TT^T MHNl TFT^ 1 ^^TT """ (since Buddha 

appeared in Magadha, he was called Magadha), quoted 
from some Pali text by Pt. Vidhusekhara Sastrin in his 
Pali-prakate, Intro, p. 13, fn. 32. 

36. See Kslratarangini on the root BhQ (p. 4, ed. by 4. 
Mimarhsaka) ; in Mbh. Vana-p, 157.45 ^fi^Rt 1 meana 

l' (Nllakarjitha). 

37. Kikata was deemed so intimately connected with Buddha 
that the Kalki-p (2.6.40) described Kalki's going to K.I- 
ka^a with an army with a view to chastising Buddha, 
though Purana tradition declares that Kalki will appeal* 
in^the future. The Kalki-p. (2.6.41-42) further says that 
Kikata was the country of the Bauddhas where there wa* 
no^ performance of the Vedic religion. Inhabitants o 
this country are said to be the followers of materialist** 
and to be antagonistic to the rules of caste etc. It i* 
remarkable to note that in the ?.gveda (3 53.14) 
was regarded as a land beyond the pale of aryanism 
in the Nirukta (6,32) as an anarya-nivasa. 

, 1982 ] BtJDbBA Aft DEPICTbD IN ?HE PURfttfAS $97 

Word Kikata indicates that it is the name of ajanapada. In the 
Puranas Kikata has been mentioned in a very few places. Accor- 
ding to Garuda p. 1.82.5 Kikata is situated in Gay 3; according 
to Br. Dharma-p. 2.26 20-22 the Kikata country has been called 
an unholy land, its king Kakakarna is said to be the despiser of the 
Brahmins and the name of one of its towns is Gayfi; according 
to Vayu-p. 108.73 the holy Ganga, the holy Rajagrba-vana and 
the holy river Punafepuna are in the Kikata country. Thus we can 
take Kikata as the ancient name of Magadha, a view supported by 
the lexicographer Hemacandra (Abhidhanacintamani). 

Mentioned in Skanda-Kumarika 40.255 

The significance of Hemasadana is to be 
determined. 88 For a discussion on this statement see below. 

lt is said that Buddha, son of Suddhodana, 
will delude men staying in the Dharmarajagrha by preaching his 
views through the medium of the Magadhi language (Santi-p. 348. 
41-42Kum. ed.). It appears that the Dharmarajagraba is the 
same as Rajagrha. 8 * 

ThatRajagfha was intimately connected with the activities 
of Buddha is a historical fact. It is well known that in Rajagrha 
lay the centre of his missionary activities. Buddha is said to have 
gone out on his fint alms-begging in Rajagrha and to have lived 
in a cave of a hill in Rajagrha. In the Dighanikaya Buddha is 
said to have described many places of Rajagrha as 'highly delight- 
ful 1 . It is a pity that schism in the Buddhist order also started 
at Rajagrha* 

Nepalalu the Nepala-mahatmya section (1.57-65a) of the 
Himavat khan4a (which is said to be a part of the Skanda-p. and 

38. There are minor Buddhist Schools, most of which seem 
to be of local origin, namely $1^, USlfllM (Mahavamsa 
5.12-13). Has this flT^T any connection with Jq?W 1 

39. It may also be surmised that since Dharmaraja is the 
name of Buddh^ a particular place (in Magadha) was 

called M*UN^. As for example Venuvana in Raja* 
grha was a place which was intimately connected with is however better to accept CT (in the sense of 
as qualifying 

398 JtfJnT-^PURXj*U (VOL. xxiv., NO. 

which seems to be a work of much later age) it is said that Buddha, 
a form of Vi^tiu, came to a hill in Nepal from the Saurastra country 
and practised penance. The goddess Girija (called Vajrayog in!) 
appeared to Buddha and gave a boon to him to the effect that per- 
sons residing in Nepal would be virtuous and that in this country 
the devotees of both Siva and Buddha would reside. Being asked 
by Devi Buddha established a linga at the confluence of the rivers 
of VagmatI and Manimatl. 

The aforesaid story does not seem to have any Buddhist 
basis. It appears that since Buddha was born in Nepalese border 
and since Buddhist Tan tra has a close connection with Nepal, the 
aforesaid story was conceived by the Puranic authors, 

Time of Buddha 

Three kinds of statements are usually found in the Puranas 
about the time of Buddha. Sometimes the expression fttra* iin 
ancient times) is uded, which, being vague, does not require any 
discussion. A good number of Puranas declare that Buddha flouri- 
shed at the beginning 41 or precisely at the Erst quarter 12 of the 
Kaliyuga. This view however is not of much value, if we think that 
a quarter of Kaliyuga is equal to 108000 years (the Kaliyuga being 
of 432000 years). 

40. 1*1 n g""S[^<Hcfci (Agr,i-p. 16.1-2). 

41. 5RT: fl7ft tfFSfs^f'-spt nrfinsnft 1 (Bhag, l.a.24; Garuda-p. 
1,1,32). ^ STTt inrr pft ^*n<l<W snj: (Narasimha-p. 
36.9). SifegJt sftT &n^"^pVi-1g<nr f-ft qfamiEf (Visnu- 
dharma, ch. 66; vide Studies in the Upapurinas, I p. 144), 

f3ft"" (Santi-p. 34841-42 

Kum. ed.). ITT fS'H' (Th^4l ^ifi: 3>fa*gt ^: (V. Dh. U. 

42. ^: sr^*i^x."i ^^MHlT ftllftld: (Bhaviya-p. 1.6.39). As the 
verses preceding to this verse are noteworthy for chrono- 
logical purposes they are given here : 




The third view says that Buddha aourished in die 28th 
Kaliyuga.43 The Puranic reckoning of the subdivisions of . .jVga 
is still an enigma and unless the problem is solved it useless 
dwell upon this point. 

There is a fourth view found in the Kumarika-kha,jda J Jh. 
Skanda-p. only. From the verses" (as given m die footnote it 
appears that Budha i. e. Buddha appeared 3600 years after J* 
beginning of the Kaliyuga, taking np. as indicating 'after the begin 
ning of the Kali yuga'. If 3102 B. C. is taken as the beginning 
of tie Kaliyuga, then, according to this view, Buddha append 
after Christ-an absurd view ! The Puranic verses .. % 
footnote are highly perplexing and one is tempted to a. 
Buddha as a different person from fciddhartha Buddha. 

printed reading, seem to be corrupt. 

*fr 3' the Purana reads *$**^ ^ 

TO ( 35 ) and it shows the order of the kings from Nanda 


noted carefully. ^ un ...f ^TT .- are worth noticing: 


1,1-1 S). 

400 ^CT*nr PURXiiiA [VOL. XXLV., NO. 2 

Following points are to be noted in this connection : (i) This 

Buddha lived for 64 years, while Siddhartha Budha lived for 80 

years; (ii) this Buddha killed some persons, while Siddhartha was a 

strict follower of non-violence; (iii) this Buddha is regarded as 

sr-ffMldT* while Siddhartha has never been regarded as such by the 

Pauranikas (dharma being the same as the Vedic religion)- In 

spite of these glaring differences we find some points of essential 

similarity, namely his connection with the Magadha country 

(verse 255) and his being a part of Visnu (verse 250). 

It is to be further noted that in this passage the indication of 
time concerning Buddha is ambiguous. The word ^ : in verse 255 
does not necessarily mean 'after the beginning of the Kali age; it 
may earily be taken to mean 3600 years after the gaka king' 1 The 
relevant verses are given in the footnote* ; they maybe consi- 
dered by interested readers with a view to deriving a plausible 
sense. At present we are unable to give any rational explanation 
of these verses. 4 


qrfor i ftsr^ ^tawi *(% qfim 


: II^^YJJ (Kumarika ch : 40); verses 
255-259a quoted above are about Budha or Buddha. 
46. I have come to know of the following verse on Buddha 

*h?T??JL Vai?Ijavas f the G * udj ya school, which says 
that Buddha appeared 2000 years ofter the beginning of 

tfaeKaliyage : ^ sq^: ^^^ftq^fi^ I 

- ^ r; M (patata = of pale-red or pink colour; 

cikurojjhita means the some as mundita). If Buddha 
was born in 624 BG or 563 BG (according to the Buddhist 
traditions current in different countries), it follows that 
he was born 2478 or 2539 years after the Kali era. If we 
read the vere as arsfg^rfe^rq- and take It to mean 2500 
(500+2000) years, the date as given here taJUes with the 


Tithi and week-day concerning the birth of Buddha 

No Purana says anything on these two points. It is the Purana- 
samuccaya (which is relied upon simply because it bears the word 
purana in its name; quoted in Nirnayasindhu, p. 61) that says that 
Buddha was born in the 6th day of the bright half in the month 

of Asvina f^ffcBwrt ^nrfa fadM^: : ^rfm ^ ^r^t fs^ ^^pt *r*fo 

According to Buddhist tradition Siddhariha 

^ o 

Buddha was born in the 15th day of the bright-half (pfcmima) of 
the month of Vaisakha. 

Worship of Buddha 

Only a few statements are found about the worship of Buddha. 
Varaha-p. 48.22 informs us that one desirous of beauty should 
worship Buddha 

In the procedure of the Sravanadvadafil-vrata Buddha is 
mentioned : fns^r^n ^ W t faHIHT cT^TT %^: (Saura-p. 15.16; by 
uttering the name of Buddha the head of the deity to be worshipped 
ia to be touched); similarly Buddha's name is mentioned in the 
procedure of the Naksatrapunisa-vrata in Matsya-p ch. 54 
ISPT frIKlKf ?rrft W& f^T^ ^^Ht *rox f ; 54.19). The Varaha-p. 
hiaa chapter on the BuddhadvadaSl-vrata (ch.47). According to 
Rhavisya(Uttara4.140) lamps are to be lighted in the temple of 
Siddhartha Buddha, Brahma aad others. In Garuda-p. I. 196.11 it 
is remarked that Buddha is to be invoked for protection from the 

A similar view is found in 

the procedure of Narayana-varman (f^^ c rT^" <J ' >i ^ 1 ^ in 
vata- p. 6. 8. 19. 

two dates stated above. It is well known that different 
Buddhist traditions give different dates for Buddha, 
placing him in 1332 BC, in about 1000, 2959 or 835 BC. 
(Wilson : Asiatic Researches, vol. XV. p. 92). 

47. Cp. srnnt srrarfr RMwml ^ TR*^ t far 

: U ^Svatantra-tantra quoted in Praiiato- 

sini. p, 373). 

Cp. also 'MayadevI was delivered of Bodhisattva or the 
child on the fifteenth day of the fourth ^onofthe 
Wood-Rat year" (A. C. Korosi : The Life and Teachings 
of Buddha, p. 27). The last part of the sentence is not 
quite intelligible. 

402 *WT PURXtfA [VOL. xxiv., MO. 2 

The Krtyaratnakara (pp. 159-160) quotes a passage from the 
Brahma -p. about a vrata on the Sukla-saptamI in the month of 
VaiSakha, where it is stated that at the seventh day of VaiSakha 
when the moon, associated with the Pu?ya constellation, shines, the 
image of Buddha should be bathed and gifts, garments, etc. should 
be given to The worship of the golden image of 
Buddha is prescribed in the Varaha-purana (quoted in the Krtya- 
ratnakara, .p. 247). 

In connection with the worship of Buddha it is necessary to 
show here the Puraiiic outlook about the ASvatha tree, under one 
of which Siddhartha is said to have attained bodki or lokottara 
Jfiana.* 9 (vide Mahapadana-Suttanta in- Dlghanikaya). Even non- 
Buddhist scholars are found to opine that the afivattha-tree came to 
be called bodhidruma on account of Siddhartha's having acquired 
bodhi under it 

, comm. Trikandacintamani on Amarakoda 2.4.20-21). The 
verses quoted in the foot note will show how this tree was looked 
with reverence by the authors of the Puranas 40 . 

Purassara of Buddha 

Matsya-p. 47.247 informs us that Buddha, whose pvrassara was 

Dvaipayana, was born as the ninth incarnation 

- The word purassara means 'purogamin' (going in 

front, a fore-runner; it may also mean a teacher, a purohitd). It 
is however extremely difficul t to conceive Dvaipayana (whether it 
means the sage Veda-vyasa or at means any person born in an 

48. "Every Buddha is supposed to have attained enlighten- 
ment under a tree. The tree differs in the accounts of 
each of them. Our Buddha's wisdom tree, for instance, 
is of the kind called the Assattha or Pippal tree 1 * (Rhys 
Davids : Buddhist India, p. 229-230). 

4 9. ^W^W ^STFT ^T jfeujjq grTq- ^ I 
U {Padma-p. 5.55-16). 

| ^Itld^H IRTFT ara^rPT TOt *(W. II (Vayu-p. 

quoted in Tristhall-setu, p. 361). 

I sftf^TTT ^rt ftnt dKuir-M ^ U (Vajm-p- 111. 


(Padma-p. 6.117.30). 


island) as a purassara (in any one of its senses) r.f Buddha The 
difficulty, however, is got over if we consider that "the Vayu-p., 
whose ch. 98 corresponds exactly to the latter part of this chapter 
(47th) of Matsya, omits the Buddha altogether and reads instead 
several verses on Krna." 50 It is however to be noted that the 
idea of c a fore-runner of Sakya Buddha* is found in Buddhist 
tradition. 61 


Sakya in connection wtih, Buddha 

The Furanas sometime use the word iakya in connection with 
Buddha. In frimujV^nRn: (Brahmanda-p. 2.31.60; Brahma-p. 
23O.13) fakyais an adjective to Buddha. 62 Sometimes the word 
is used in the sense of e a follower of Buddha' as is found in the 
Brahma-vaivarta passage sffs gif otilWf *IWII*3 t 3Tfrfr=t (quohd 
in. Sraddha-kanda by Hemidri, p. 3). 

According to the Matsya-p. 271.72 and Visnu-p. 4.22.3 i&* 
is the name of the grand-father of Buddha. This seems to be h,gh'V 
doubtful as we do not find any corroborative statement in 
works. The Br. Vaivarta-p. (quoted in Tantradl.ikanu.^va, 

pp. 2-3) derives $3kya from the root tik (to be able) in the 



of 'capable of subduing the gods' (said to the Mf by 
a derivation which is highly fanciful. The word has been 
ed in various ways' 8 the authoritativeness of which does not s,,.u 
50. Vide 'Farther Gleanings from the Matsya-p.' in 
Buddhiutadition speaks of 24 predecessors o , 


Buddha, the last of whom w. 

5 , 

Brahman^ an te H5) It appears that tbt 

I, P. obscure. 

meaning of the 

3.92} (K-srasv , .. s , , a , intan ,a n i on 

404 <|U|Mi PUftXtfA [VOL. xxrv. f NO. 2 

to be out of question. The word Sakya-muni for Buddha is fairly 
old, for it is found in the Rummindei inscription of As ok a. 

Before concluding this article we want to inform our readers 
that about the Buddhist philosophy and religion the Puranas contain 
various statements almost all of which blame, denounce or decry 
them vehemently. Buddhist doctrines as propounded in the 
Puranas (sometimes with the names of the Buddhistic schools) 
have their own importance and they deserve to be compared with 
the doctrines found in the Buddhist philosophical works. In a 
separate paper we shall deal elaborately with the Buddhist religion 
and philosophy as described in the Puranas. 

It should be noted in this connection that in the PurSnas 
the words Jina, Jinadharma, Buddha-Sastra, Bauddha dharma and 
the like do not always bear the same sense. Sometimes Bauddha 
or Jaina means any anti-Vedic doctrine, whether it was taught by 
Siddhartha Buddha or by a person anterior to him. There are 
other problems too. Since all the Puranic statements do not regard 
Buddha as an incarnation of the Visnu, the question 'when 
Siddhartha Buddha came to be regarded as an incarnation' is of 
prime importance and it deserves to be solved properly. We shall 
try to solve these questions in the aforesaid paper. 

: II (Saundarananda 1.24). In fact 3akya 
is the name of a Ksatriya clan, Buddha himself declared 
that he had belonged to the akya clan (Pabajja-sutta 
in Suttanipata; vide also Nalaka-sutta in Suttanipata). 
There are scholars who think that gakya is based on the 
Pali word Sakiya (J. R. A . S. 1806, p. 162 ff.). The 
origin of the name appears to be shrouded in mystery. 


M . . B-, , BRAHMA ,N THE , 

S2S.T- ' 

plates. Rs 

It is gratifying to learn that the boo, unde 

from the pen of a non-Hindu scholar, J"^^ Studie9 . Hi, 
love for Sanskrit learning, especially ^ compet ence in 

dissertation on SarasvatI ha, already , P^ ^ auth (in 
the field of Puranie research. )-oe ou g^nion and deveJop- 

the Preface) that 'there is a singularity lected deity in the 

' has been ' 

the Preface) that 'there is a snguari lected deity in the 

ment of Brahma' and 'Brahma has been ' ^ y^ are withou t 
sense that there is a great paucity ot i" ^ declaring that the 

any exaggeration and we have ^no hesita ^^g vario us as- 

author has made a commendable etior r ^ o{ Brah[na 
pect of Brahma. His discussions on Wtfc of the vehicles 
and Sarasvat! and especially on the ."^^kg. J believe that 
(SA<.|) etc. ofE^^^^.^fTiL^ofPuranic literature. 
the work will attract the nottce of aU lovers 

In i five chapter, ** book 
of Brahma; (2) the hirth and dea* 

and the types of creation of B^jW ^ &ir(u|vat]% and the 
of Brahma; and (5) the image of Brrfuaa 
objects hdd in the hand, by tta ** 

,j _altht the work is not ex- 

glance of the bookwooW '""^ conoernmg Brahma 
8 zed 


the Parana*. He 

(both one 

406 OTq PURStfA JVOL-, xxiv., NO. 

for his monograph he should have utilized at least all the Puratias 
(if not the Upapuranas), for each of these works has so me thing 
important to say about Brahma. As for example Kurma-p. 1.2. 104- 
says that those who take recourse to Brahma should bear the 
mark tilaha on the forehead. 

The author has collected a good number of names of Brahma 
from eight Puranas without giving any explanations. Though 
most of the names are easily intelligible, yet a few significant 
names, such as Pingala-locana, $ikhin, Viriaci or Viranci, Kuda- 
dvaja should have been explained in the light of the Puranic 
material. The etymologies of the names oi Brahma as given in 
the Puranas (vide Vayu-p. 5. 31-46) must have been critically 
studied by the author. I may inform here the learned author that 
highly significant names of Brahma are found in the lexicons also, 
and these have been explained by the commentators with the help 
of the Puranas. In a few places necessary references have not been 
given. The reference to the Puranic view that 'Brahma on 
account of possessing some particular powers is called Karma- 
Brahma* (p. 6), should have been given. Similarly the stanza 
*tihasa-puranabhyam..,.'has been quoted on p. 5 without mention- 
ing the source. Had the author knew the source of this stanza 
(L. e. Mbh. Adi-p. 1,267-68) the reading of the verse (as printed) 
would not have been so corrupt, 

A few omissions and faults as found in this work are shown 
here so that the author may make necessary changes in the second 
edition : 

(1) In the enumeration of the eighteen Puranas (pp. 1-2) the 
name of the Brahma-purana which is read in the first place 
in the c Purana-lists* in the Puranas, is wanting. (2) There is 
a mistake in the names of the two subdivisions of the vaikftasarga; 
the proper names are urdhvasirga and arvaksarga and not 
doeasarga *ud manufyasarga as the author thinks (p. 11). (3) The 
exact name of Vacaspati's comm. on the Samkhyakarika is Tattva- 
kaumudl (though often it is called Samkhyatattvakaumudl) (vide 
the benedictory verse at the end of the comm.) and not Sam- 
khyattvakauTaudi prabha as has been written on p. 14. (4) The 
use of the word adgula in the sense of a particular measure (p. 105) 

JULSr 1982 ] BOOK-REVIEW 407 

is wrong. The correct form is anguli, which when used as the 
final member of a Tatpurusa compound becomes angula, vide 
Panini 5, 4.86. This wrong use is found almost in all works of 
modern scholars; it occurs even in the magnum opus of Dr. P.K. 
Acharya (quoted in the present work on p. 105) and in the Sanskrit- 
English Die. by Apte. Maruta for Marut (p. 24) and Anudruhyu 
for Anu (a son of king Yayati) (p, 46) seem to be the result of 
inadvertence. Examples of inadventence are found in many places. 
In 4uklauklamatatf (p. 78) atak has no relevance, it being an indecli- 
nable. (5) The use of both the stem forms (praiipadikas) and the word 
forms (padas) in one and the same work is highly objectionable. It 
is needless to give examples. Sometimes the form used by the 
author is neither a stem nor a word; see the word Durvasa on 
p. 65. It should be either Durvasas (stem form) or Durvasah (word 
form). (6) It is painful to note that the author has not strictly 
followed the rules of transliteration. Sometimes the same Sanskrit 
word has been written in two different ways. It is not understood 
the usefulness of using the sign of interjection (!) at the end of the 
first and second halves of a stanza. The modern practice of using 
stright lines seems to be better. 

In conclusion we want to draw the attention of the author 
to the fact that a monograph on a deity must contain a discussion 
on the ttrthas associated with it and we request the author to 
append such a list in the Appendix in the second edition of his 
work; lists of tJrthas associated with Brahma are rarely found; such 
a liat occurs in the Prabhasakhanda of the Skandapurana (Gh. 107). 
A comprehensive list of the temples of Brahma would have surely 
enhanced the value of the work. Many interesting facts are usually 
connected with the temples; as for example in the temple at 
Konkan Brahma is worshipped in the form of his foot-prints; vide 
Mirasi's 'Studies in Indology' II, p. 13. 

The price (Rs. 90/-) of the book will certainly come in the 
way of its brisk sale. 

-B, S. B. 

408 miTT PURXtfA [VOL. XXIV., .NO. 2 


Author and publisher as above : pages 142 alongwith 16 
Photo-plates (8 of Brahma and 8 of Sarasvati). Rs. 70/-; 

The book contains Puranic passages on Brahma from the 
Padma, Brahma-vaivarta, Kurma, Matsya, Visnudharmottara, 
Vamana, Brahma and Agni Puranas. The collection is, in no 
sense, exhaustive; as e. g. the author has collected passages from 
the fifth khanda of the Padma-p. and not from the other khandas. 

In the Introduction the author has briefly dealt with (1) the 
epithets of Brahma, (2) the Puranic episode of Brahma, (3) vehicle 
of Brahma, (4-) colour or Brahma, (5) offspring of Brahma, (6) birth 
and death of Brahma, (7) Brahma as the guardian deity of the 
Rajasa Puranas, (8) the image of Brahma, ^9) various symbols of 
Brahma, (10) Brahma and Sarasvati, (11) images of Brahma at 
various places. Since the Introduction (which is based on the 
Puranic passages collected in this work) is a brief summary of the 
work reviewed above, no separate review of this book is needed. 

It would have been highly useful had the author given at the 
beginning of the Puranic passages brief descriptions of topics which 
are dealt with in those Puranic passages. A work like this must 
contain a 'subject index' which may be given in the second 

R. S. B. 

Frank WHALING, The Rise of the Religious Significance of Rama, 
With the Foreword by E. G. Parrinder and the Preface by 
D. H H. Ingalls, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, Varanasi, 
Patna, 1980 pp. XVIII, 392, Price Rs. 100. 

The book traces the rise of the religious significance of the 
figure of Rain a in North India by examining three important texts : 
the Vslmtki Ram ay aria, the Ad hy at ma Ramayana of the Medieval 
Period and the Ramacaritamanasa of Tulsi Das of XVI II Cent. 
A. D. These texts have been chosen because they constitute the 
main works in the development of the importance of Rama. The 
a. ut hoc has used three methods to examine these three texts 

JULY, 1982 ] BOOK-REVIEW 409 

literary/historical, the symbolical, and the theological. The result 
is that the figure of Rama is examined in all its aspects as man, 
husband, king, hero, avatara of Visnu and in its continuity with 
Indra, as Brahman and finally as Devotional Lord* 

Dr Whaling, who lived in North India from 1962 to 1966, 
tackles the study of the Ramayana-s from the point of view of the 
Comparative Religionist His knowledge both of the Rama tradi- 
tion and of the Christian tradition is deep and well documented; 
his style is pleasant and attractive. The Appendix gives rich sug- 
gestions for comparison between Rama, Christ and Krsna. The 
author remarks that the usual confrontation between Christ on the 
one side and Rama-Krsna on the other does not justify the many 
situations in which Christ and Rama stand commonly versus Krsna 
or in which Krsna and Christ are both counterparts of Rama. 
The reader will find in this book several new suggestions for further 
research. The work is a deep contribution towards understanding 
the figure of Rama and a help in religious dialogue. Basic is 
Dr. Whalings intuition, substantiated with many convincing proofs 
throughout the book, that the Rama of Valmlki contains in germ 
all the later developments, which in turn only manifest the seeds 
Already present in the original figure. 

The appendix is particularly important for religious dialogue. 
It would have been interesting if more attention had been given to 
the different ways of understanding the role of "religious commu- 
nity" in different religions, and to the role of a "name", the mfirtt 
and the importance of sacraments. Even the concept of bkakti 
should have been discussed in more depth according to the different 
religious currents compared. 

Both the student of Rama and the Comparative Religionist, 
as well as the common reader will be delighted in reading this book 
which is full of insights and well documented The bibliography is 
abundant. It would be advisable to add two more books which 
deserve particular attention : V. Raghavan, The Greater 
All-India Kashira) Trust, Varanasi, 1973 and Karpatri, 
A4lm3drs3, VaranasI, 1979. 

The author and the editor are to be congratulated on giving 
a new tool toward the better understanding of the living Religious 

traditions of the world, 

G. Bonazzoli 


410 t<|U|4 - PURStfA [VOL. XXIV., NO* 2 

DIANA L. EGK, Bamr as-City of Light, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 
1982, pp. XVI, 427,59 Illustrations,- 7 Maps. Price $ 25.00 

Of the many books already written and presently being com- 
piled on Varanasi, Diana L Eck's is surely the most fascinating. 
The author displays a rare capacity of understanding the 
secrets of this magic town, which is so far from her own culture and 
feelings. The love and admiration for "Kafil" which surely must 
have been present in the author while composing the book, are 
transmitted to the reader through a splendid and captivating style 
and, equally important, through a solid acquaintance with the 
wide range of sources, even the lesser known and the less frequently 
used. The reader is impressed immediately from the very first 
page. He is taken on a unique tour along the streets and the river- 
bank, and into the temples and small lanes to perceive and experi- 
ence the palpitating life of the city of Siva. 

'The book*, says the author, 'is a study and interpretation of 
Banaras from the stand point of one who is close enough to Hindu 
tradition to see its religious significance and close enough to western 
religious and academic traditions to know the problems of under- 
standing that Banaras and the Hindu tradition it represents might 
pose. My work is based on two primary sources : a voluminous 
literature of Sanskrit texts which describe and praise Banaras, and 
the city itself, -with its patterns of temples, its seasons of pilgrimage, 
and its priestly and lay interpreters. It is a study of 'text and 
context' or perhaps more accurately, of classical Sanskrit texts and 
the 'text' of the city ....* (pp. XIII-XIV). 

After an introduction of the previous works written on 
VaranasI and a history of the different names of the town, the book 
continues with a good presentation of the history of VaranasI. 
The reader is then taken into the religious geography of the city. 
With the author and the 'text* he admires and praises every sacred 
spot and every lane. Slowly and thoroughly he begins to under- 
stand that the town is built in the shape of a mystical matfala with 
its centre being the temple of Vifivanatha, from which it expands 
in ever increasing concentric circles. As the revelation continues 
the town transcends its physical geography and one discovers that it 
ip more than just its tfrf0-3 er ghSfa or temples, but that also 

JULY, 1 982 ] feOOtf-REVIEW 4ll 

Varauaal, or Ka$I a is the actual or symbolic embodiment of Wisdom, 
it 19 Brahman, it is Atman, and at the same time it is the city of 
kama, of artha, of dharma and of ffiofcjs as well. 

The appendices give the Sanskrit sources for the study of 
Banaras, the zones of the Sacred City, the Sivaliftga-s of Ka3i, the 
cycles of Kaal Goddesses, other Deities of KaSi, and 'the Year in 
Banaras : A Partial Calendar'. 

The Bibliography is quite rich, though a few important 
sources could be added such as A. S. Altekar, History of Benares, 
Benares 1937; A. K. Narain-T. N. Roy, Excavations at Rajghat 
(1957-1953; l?6o-1965)> Varanasi, B. H. U., 1976; Benares and its 
Ghats, Published by the Kashi Tirtha Sudhar Trust, Benares, 
Allahabad, 1931 and R. L. Singh, Banaras : A Study in Urban 

The diacritical marks of the Sanskrit words have been reduced 
purposely e so that this text will not be unncessarily cumbersome 
to read 1 (p. 367). However, the name of the town in the title is 
spelled according to the old fashion 'Banaras', although it is now 
Varanasi and even before restoration of this name, it was already 
spelled 'Benares'. Nowhere does the author explain the reason for 
this choice. 

The book is recommendable both to the scholar and to the 
general reader and deserves attentive reading The author merits 
much praise for producing such a book. It is hoped that Diana L. 
Eck will continue her research and produce similar works of the 
same exceptional quality. 

G, Bonazzoli 

, srrCT"Kflr, 1982, pp. XXX, 479. Price Rs. 100/- 
From among the many topics which could be chosen for 
research from the encyclopaedic Agai purana, Dr (MS) Sarita 
Handa has selected the ayurvedic material, one of the least coniicte- 
red subjects. The book is divided into two parts and deals with both 
philosophical and ayurvedic matters, but it is the latter which is 

412 JOTT PURSIJA [VOL. xxirt,, NO. 

given special attention. This book, along with other works on the 
Garuda and Visnudharmottara purana-s, carried on under the 
illuminating direction of Prof. Jyotir Mitra, enhances greatly our 
knowledge of ayurvedic science from the medieval period. The 
Astanga Samgraha by Vagbhata, the Vrndamadhava, the Cakradatta 
by Cakrapani and the Visnudharmottara purana constitute the 
sources of the Agni purana for its ayurvedic material. According to 
the author such material was attached to the Agni in the first 
quater of the XII Century AD. The Agni purana, however, does 
not simply copy from its sources but at times enlarges them, hence 
it enhances knowledge on these subjects. The most significant 
example is the disclosure of the 'sarpamantra 9 , or mantra against 
snake bite which is not available in any of the other sources of 
ayurvedic treatises. 

The book also contains various kinds of useful bits of information. 
Comparative tables help the reader throughout the text to deter- 
mine relationship between the Agni purana and the known works 
dealing with the same subject. The eleven appendices at the end 
are extremely helpful toward further research of a scientific nature 
in the purana-s. They contain masses of useful information which 
will enhance studies and aid all those who want to know more 
regarding these topics. Compilers of dictionaries as well as scholars 
of purana-s will benefit considerably from these appendices. 

The book is recommendable for its seriousness of research and 
for the abundance of its information. The few printing mistakes, 
especially the quotation of Visnudharmottara purana which has 
constantly 1 1 in place of II, should be removed in the second 

G. Bonazzoli 


(January- June, 1982) 

Varftha Pur a pa Work 

After publication of the critical edition and English translation 
of the Varaha Purana its Hindi Translation is being revised and 
edited. It win soon go to t h e p ress . 

Garuda Parana Work 

Four MSS of the Garuda Puraiia have been fully collated 
and compared : two belong to the Sarasvati Bhandar of Ramnagar 
Fort and two were taken on loan from Bhandarkar Oriental Insti- 
tute of Pune. All four MSS are in Devanagarl. One belonging to 
the Sarasvati Bhandar of Ramnagar contains all the three khwda-* t 
namely the Purvakhanda, the Uttarakhanda (or Pretakalpa) and 
the Brahmakhanda. Other MSS are being ordered from the Royal 
Society of Bengal, Calcutta, from Dacca University Library, from 
Bodleian Library, Oxford (U. K.) and from Universitatsbibliothek, 
Tubingen (W, Germany). 


In the bright half of the month of Maglta (MSgha ukla) 9 the 
Sukla Yajurveda Samhita was recited in the Vyasetfvara temple of 
the Ramnagar Fort by PL Mahadeva Ghanapathi. Sri Visvanatha 
Shastri was frota of the Parayatja. On the successful conclusion of 
the ParSyava usual DatyigS and certificates were awarded to the 
reciter and Srota. 

and Pravacana 

1. In the month of Gaitra, the Adhyatma Ramayana was 
recited in the Janakpur temple of Ramnagar by Sri Ramji 
Mishra. The Parajaya was held from Gaitra iSukla 
Pratipad tithi up to Navaml tithi. 

2. The jaanakhancja of Tripura Rahasya was recited by Sri 
Ramji Mishra in the Bala Tripura Sundari Temple of 
Ramnagar from Asadha 5ukla Pratipad upto NavamT. 

Visitors to the Purft^a Department 

1. A group of six persons, among which the Chairman, 
Vice-Chainnan, Secretary of the Haryana Bhumi Vikas 

414 ttfjfim PUR^A t v i" xxiv., NO. 

Bank (HSLDB). They wrote in the Visitor's Book'....are 
very much impressed by work being done by the Trust 
and the employees working. This is a great contribution. 
being made by the Trust.* On 7.1.1982 

2. A. K* Narain, University of Wisconsin, Madison, U. S. A, 
^ FfiT STT^T *rft HUH'dl gf 

On 22.1.1982 

3. Robin Thite, of British Council, Calcutta, with Kumar 

Rani of Burda-wan : 'We were very pleased to have the 
opportunity to see something of the great work on the 
Puranas. It requires of all concerned much patience and 

4. K. T. Pandurangi, President, Mythic Society, Bangalore, 
Upakulapati Poornaprajna Vidyapeetha, Bangalore 
(Retired Prof, of Sanskrit, Bangalore University). On 

5. G. R. Swaminathan, Deputy Educational Advisor (Skt), 
Ministry of Education, Govt. of India, New Delhi. On 

6. Mr. Henry O, Thompson, Secretary of the Board of the 
Global Congress of World's Religions (GGWR). On 

Demise of Dr. R. G. Hazra 

Dr. R. G. Hazra passed way at his residence in Calcutta on 
10.5.1982* He was a world renowned scholar of Puranas on 
Which he wrote many books and articles opening new fields 
bf research. He was a member of the Editorial Board of our 
Bulletin. The Chairman of the Trust as well as all the members 
of the HSditorial Board and the staff of the Bulletin express their 
con(lol*iices artd p*ay for eternal peace for his soul. 

ttesearclt Scholars at the PurH^a Department 
It is notf lt(rr%quefit that scholars and research students come 
to the FtfrSfc* D^airtm^rt for completing their studies by using the 
books of tfce library a#d by conversing with the members of the statf 


who are specialist in the Puranic field. Mrs. Uma Soni a research 
student of Sagar University visited our Department for a few days 
in June : her research topic is siviqn<i ^TT iftr*q q^ ffe^ II 

Mah&rftja Benares Vidyfimandira Mangalotsava 

The annual Vasanta mangalotsava took place on 26-28 March 
1982 in the evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. The three*day programme 
was held under the patronage of the Chairman of the Vidyamandira 
Trust, H. H. Dr Vibhuti Narain Singh. The musical programme 
was held in the premises of the Vidyamandira inside the Palace. 
The Chairman of the Trust, important persons of the town and of 
the Universities attended every day. A group of local people liste- 
ned with interest to the classical music rendered by the students of 
the College of Performing Arts of B. H. U. On the last evening a 
Kathak dance was performed by three boys, students of the difficult 
art at Kabir Ghowra in a traditional school. 


The Museum is the main attraction throughout the year for 
pilgrims and tourists who come to Varaiiasi. The rich arm coll- 
ection and the ivories make Ramnagar Museum one of the best of 
its kind in India. Among the important visitors who signed the 
Visitor's Book, are : 

1. Brajraj Singh of Kishangarh and Major Pratap Singh. 

2. Sir John and Lady Thomas, British High Commission in 

3. Prince Anjun Quder, Chairman of Oudh's Trust, 
Calcutta, He writes in the visitors book : *A very enjoy- 
able and memorable visit to this great House of 
Benares, renews old ties of friendship extending to four 

4. Major Raja Bahadur Birendra Bahadur Singh of Khaira- 
garh M. P. Bhopal. f A great Museum only of its kind in 
India. I have visited almost all the Museums in the 
country but I never saw such rare, collections of arms, 

416 1?Tq*$ PURStfA [VOL. XXIV., NO. 2 

ivory, houdah etc. both old and modern. I thank H. H. 
taking me round the Museum very well kept indeed.' 

5. Prince and Princess Gzetwertynski, Belgian Embassy, New 

6. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Pisto, American Embassy, New 

7. Etniiio Paolo Bassi, Embasrador of Italy, New Delhi, 
in a note, *This is the second time I am coming to this 
magnificent Palace (with this rich, very well kept 
museum) and how I hope there will be a third one 1' 

Dhmpad Mela 

The eighth Dhrupad Mela took place. It was organized 
at Tulsi Ghat, VaranasI, under the auspices of the Vidyamandir 
Trust. For the occasion the open ground where the Dhrupad 
Mela took place was decorated and illuminated. The three night 
programme was performed under a 'shyamdna* where many 
people, including several young men and women from abroad, spent 
the whole night in listening to the best artists in the field. 



Navahna PfirSyaga 

As usual the Navahna Parayana and Pravacana was perform- 
ed in the Kali Temple of Chakia for nine days from Vaidakha 
Sukla Pratipad upto VaiSakha NavamI, i. e., from 24 April to 2 
May, 1982. Pravacanakarta were Sivanarain Vyasa and others. 

The All-India Kashiraj Trust has resolved to introduce four 
new Prorjpcts for the advancement of Puranic learning. The Trust 
requests all scholars interested in Puranic study for co- 

(1) Publication of monographs dealing with Puranic litera- 
ture {i.e. works bearing the names of Puranas or Upapuranas) in 
all the regional languages of India, Each monograph should 


contain a detailed account of published works, of MSS. preserved 
m the libraries and the Private Collections and of works known 
through quotations. 

(2) Publication of unpublished theses on important Puranic 

(3) Publication of a series of monographs (not less than 100 
Pages) on the lives of the great sages as described in Puranic 

Publication of Sanskrit Digests by traditional scholars 
on Puranic subjects. These digests may be published in the 
Bulletin also. 


We earnestly request the authorities of all Institutions 
(Universities, Colleges or Research Institutes) to send us detailed 
accounts of works, done or taken up by the members of their staff 
or by the Research Scholars, on the PurSiias, Upipuranas and the 
Epics. They are also requested to send us the outlines of their 
Projects on Puranic studies and research. These accounts and 
outlines will enable us to prepare a Puranic Bibliography in near 

Scholars interested in Puranic study may send to the Purana 
any query of general interest about Puranic matters. These 

will be placed before competent persons for solution. These 

solutions may appear in the issues of the Bulletin. 


( Vol. XXIV. 2 ) 

[In a host of works on the Pa&upata and Saiva 
philosophies and in some of the compendia on Indian 
philosophies we find a list of 28 Saiva (PaSupata) 
yogacaryas beginning with Sveta and ending with 
Nakulite or Lakullfe. In some of the Puranas (namely 
Siva-p,. Lihga-p. etc.) also, we find the names of these 
acaryas (often with variations in the names). 

In the Puranas each of these 28 acaryas is said" to 
h&ve four disciples (112 in all). Names of many of 
these disciples (as given in the Puranas) have variations. 
In the Puranas and the Mahabharata we find very 
little information about these teachers. 

Fortunately the works on the Saiva and Pasupata 
fiastras contain some valuable pieces of information 
about the life and activities of these acaryas. The 
author has tried to collect here all important pieces 
of information about these teachers from the aforesaid 

There is also a list of 18 avataras of Siva in the 
commentary by Gunaratna on the Saddarsana-samuc- 
caya. A comparison of these names with the names 
stated in the Puranas and the philosophical works has 
also been made by the author. 

An alphabetical list ol all these teachers has also 
been given at the end of the article. Editor] 


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24 3 MU| *t PUwXfclA [VOL. xxiv., NO. 2 

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(V) ^I^^-JrRI^OT 55f SSffflRffit 

sntat *r SR>T i 

feWt (Mr ^ I 
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1 , His Highness Maharaja Dr. Vibhuti Narain Singh, M.A., D.Litt.; 
Fort, Ramnagar, Varanasi. (Chairman). 

Trustee nominated by the GovL of India : 

2, Dr. Raghunath Singh, M.A., Ph.D., D.Litt., LL.B.; Varanasi. 

Trustees nominated by the GovL ofUttar Pradesh : 

3, Pt, Kamalapati Tripathi, Memberjof Parliament, Govt, 
of India, New Delhi. 

4, Vacant. 

Trustees nominated by His Highness the Maharaja ofBanaras : 

5, Maharaj-Kmnar Dr. Raghubir Sinh, M. A D, Litt.; 
Raghubir Niwas, Sitamau (Malwa). 

6, Pt. Giridhari Lai Mehta, Varanasi; Managing Director; 
Jardine Handerson Ltd,; Scindia Steam Navigation Ltd. 
Trustee : VaHabhram-Saligrara Trust, Calcutta. 

7, Pt. Baladeva Upadhyaya, M> A., Sahityacharya, Vachaspati; 
Former Director, Sampurnananda Sanskrit University; 
Ravindrapuri, Varanasi. 

Donation made to All India Kashi Raj Trust, Fort Ram- 
nagar, Varanasi, will qualify for exemption under Sec. BOG of 
the Income Tax Act, 1961 in the hands of donors, vide certi- 
ficate No. 58/59 (253/80-81 /Tech ) dated 9.12.80 

Printed at the Ratna Printing Works, Kamachha, Varanasi, 

The *Pwr5*fl', Bulletin has been started by the Purana 
Department of the All-India Kashiraj Trust with the aim of 
organising the manifold studies relating to the Puranas. It 
specially discusses the several aspects of text-reconstruction, of the 
interpretation of the vast cultural and historical material, and 
of the obscure esoteric symbolism of legends and myths of the 
Puranas. The editors invite contributions from all those scholars 
who are interested in the culture of the Purana literature in which 
the religion and philosophy of the Vedas have found the fullest 

Statement of ownership and other particulars about 




Place of Publication 
Periodicity of Publication 

Printer's Name 



....Fort Ramnagar, Varanasi 

...,Vinaya Shankar 


....Ratna Printing Works, 

B21/42 A, Kamachha, Varanasi 

....Yogendra Narain Thakur 
General Secretary, All-India 
Kashiraj Trust 


....All-India Kashiraj Trust, Fort 
Ramnagar, Varanasi. 

,...R. K. Sharma (New Delhi), 
Dr. R, N. Dandekar (Pune), 
R. S. Bhattarharya (Editor] 
(Purana Deptt Fort Ramnagar, 


....All-India Kashiraj Trust, Fort 
Ramnagar, Varanasi. 

I, Yogendra Narain Thakur, hereby declare that- the parti - 
givan Above are *rue* to .tiis .best of my knowledge. 

4. Publisher's Name 


5. Editors' Name 
with Address 

6. Name of the owner 

Yogendra Narain Thakur