Sri Devi Kamakshi Sri Sri Sri Adi Sankara Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamiji Sri Sri Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamiji
Kamakoti.org presents several different aspects of HinduismKamakoti.org The official web site for Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Kanchipuram, India.
   Home    |   Announcements    |   Tour Programme    |   Audio & Video    |   Image Gallery    |   Acknowledgements    |   Sitemap   
     About the Peetham    |   Origin of the Peetham    |   About this web site    |   Contact Us    |   Search   
  Use this link for a Printer Friendly version of this page   Use this link  to email this page to others
!New: Sri Adi Sankara
Branches, Temples and Patasaalas
Articles
Hindu Dharma
Acharya's Call
Voice of Sankara
Personal Experiences
Sri Adi Sankara
Namo Namah
Dasoupadesam
Naamavali / Pushpaanjali
Tamil
Telugu
  
News & Upcoming Events

Hindu Dharma: Puranas

The chapters that exist in "Puranas" are listed in this page. To go to another part in "Hindu Dharma", please either go back or see the bottom of this page.

Magnifying Glass of the Vedas The Puranas are the magnifying glass of the Vedas. The principles and rules of dharma that are briefly dealt with in the Vedas are enlarged or elaborated upon in them in the form of stories. A subject briefly touched upon may not make a deep impression on the mind. If the same were told as an absorbing story it would at once make an impact on the mind of the listener or reader. The Vedas urge us to speak the ...
 
Puranas and History Our nation, it is often alleged, does not have a sense of history. In my opinion the Puranas are history. But to our educated people today history means the history of the past two thousand years since the birth of Christ. They do not believe that the events of earlier eras, including those mentioned in the Puranas, are history. Some of them admit, though, that there is an element of truth in Puranic stories as shown by recent researches. But ...
 
Are the Puranas a Lie of Are They Metaphorical ? Those who distrust the Puranas maintain that they contain accounts that are not in keeping with day-to-day realities. The stories in these texts refer to the arrival and departure of celestials and of their awarding boons to devotees. To the critics such accounts seem false. A woman is turned into a stone because of a curse, then the curse is broken with the grant of boon; or the sun is stopped from rising - such stories seem untrue to us ...
 
Meaningful even if Imaginary There is perhaps an element of the imaginary in the Puranas. It is also possible that they contain interpolations. But who is to determine what parts are imaginary and what passages constitute the interpolations? And who is to seperate the authentic from the spurious? If each one of us removes what seems interpolatory, nothing will be left of the stories in the end. So it would be better to preserve the Puranas in the form in which they have ...
 
Vyasa's Priceless Gift to Us Vyasa divided the Vedas to make them easier for people to learn. It was to help mankind similarly that he composed the 'astadasa Puranas' (the eighteen Puranas). I regard Vyasa as the first journalist, the ideal for all newspapermen of today. He composed the Puranas and made a gift of that great treasure to humanity. How have they (the Puranas) benefited us? They encompass stories, history, ...
 
Upa-puranas and Others Apart from the 18 major Puranas there are an equal number of Upa-puranas. Among them are the Vinayaka Purana and the Kalki Purana. There are also, in addition, a number of minor Puranas. The Puranas that speak of the glory of various months such as the Tula Purana, the Magha Purana and the Vaisakha Purana are parts included into the 18 major Puranas or Upa-puranas. There are also what are called ...
 
Itihasas and Puranas For the learned and the unlettered alike in our country the Ramayana and the Mahabharata have for centuries been like their two eyes, pointing to them the path of dharma. The two poetic works are not included among the Puranas and are accorded a special place as 'itihasas'. ...
 
The Epics and their Greatness If the Puranas are described as constituting an Upanga of the Vedas, the itihasas(the epics) are so highly thought of as to be placed on an equal footing with the Vedas. The Mahabharata is indeed called the fifth Veda ('pancamo Vedah'). Of the Ramayana it is said: 'As the Supreme Being, who is so exalted as to be known by the Vedas, was born the son of Dasaratha, the Vedas themselves took birth as the child of Valmiki [in the ...
 
Why Differences among the Gods ? Each Purana is in the main devoted to a particular devata. In the Siva Purana it is stated: 'Siva is the Supreme Being. He is the highest authority for creation, sustenance and dissolution. It is at his behest, and under him, that Visnu funtions as protector. Visnu is a mere bhogin, trapped in Maya. Siva is a yogin and jnana incarnate. Visnu is subject to Siva and worships him. Once when he opposed Siva he suffered humiliation at his ...
 
The One as Many As already emphasised, the one and only Paramatman is revealed as so many different deities. If one person develops a great liking for a certain deity, another chooses to have a liking for some other. To make a man a confirmed devotee of the form in which he likes to adore the Lord, the Paramatman on occasion diminishes himself in his other forms. Tirukandiyur is in Tanjavur district, Tamil Nadu. In the ...
 
Many paths to the One Goal The Azhvars sing the glory of Visnu and the Nayanmars of Siva. In the Vedas all deities are hymned in the same way. The Upanishads do not speak much about deities; they are concerned with truths of the Self. Tiruvalluvar speaks about God and philosophical matters and his views are in keeping with the Vedic tradition. But the emphasis in his work is on morals and ethics. As for Tirumular, he does not deal so much with God, devotion, etc, as he ...
 
Who Taught the Puranas ? In the Puranas themselves it is mentioned that they were narrated by Siva to Parvati or to Visnu. It is also said that Visnu taught them to Narada or some other sage. Thus the stories told by the gods were later passed on from one sage to another sage or to a king. In the end of Puranas were narrated by Vyasa to Suta, and by Suta to the sages in ...
 
They Speak like a Friend There are three ways in which a good task may be accomplished. The first is by issuing an order or a command backed by the authority of the government. This is called'prabhusammita'. A rich or powerful man orders his servant to do some work: it is also 'prabhusammita'. Whether or not the servant likes the work, he is compelled to obey the order for fear of punishment. Without occupying any seat of authority a friend asks us ...
 
Puranic Discourses and Films In the days gone by Mother would rise with birdsong and go about her household chores. As she sprinkled the house and surroundings with cowdung water, , as she decorated the courtyard with kolam and as she churned the curds, she recited ...
 
Sthala Puranas Even those who respect the Puranas are not prepared to accept that the Sthala Puranas, that is the short Puranas pertaining to particular places, are authentic. If educated people think the [major] Puranas to be nothing but lies, they go so far as to treat the Sthala Puranas as nothing better than rubbish. 'It was here that Indra was freed from his curse. . . ' 'It was here that Agasthya witnessed the marriage of Siva and ...
 
The Authenticity of Sthala Puranas We ought to have implicit faith in the Vedas, so too in the statements made in the Tamil Vedas of Saivas and Vaisnavas- the Tevaram and the Divyaprabandham. There are places whose glory has been sung in the Tevaram of the Nayanmars and in the pasurams of the Azhvars. These songs allude to what is said about such places in the Sthala Puranas. That there are such references in these Tamil ...
 
Interconnected Stories The events described in one Sthala Purana are linked to those mentioned in another. Thus the strand of the same story is taken through a number of Puranas. We have to read them together to learn the entire story. That one Sthala Purana begins where another ends is one proof of their authenticity. Another proof that could be adduced is that it is these Sthala Puranas that fill the gaps in the 18 main Puranas and Upa-puranas. ...
 
Importance of Sthala Puranas In my opinion, the Sthala Puranas not only enables us to have an insight into history but also enrich our knowledge of local culture and local customs. It seems to me that if they are read together in a connected manner they will throe more light on our history than even the 18 major Puranas and Upapuranas. In fact, they fill the gaps in the major Puranas. Local legends do help in a proper understanding of ...
 
Preserving the Puranas For a thousand or ten thousand years our temples and the festivals associated with them have nurtured our religious traditions against various opposing forces. Every temple has a story to tell; every temple festival has a legend behind it. These have been preserved in the Puranas. To ignore or neglect this great heritage, this great treasure, is to cause serious hurt to the religious feelings of our people. ...
 
Palm-leaf Manuscripts in Libraries In the old days palm-leaf manuscripts were preserved in almost every house. They contained the texts of the epics, the Puranas, Sthala Puranas, and so on. When the palm-leaves were in danger of being damaged, their contents would be copied with a stylus on new leaves. The damaged leaves would be consigned to the Kaveri or some other sacred river, or to some pond on the occasion of Patinettam Per [see next para] ...