PDA

View Full Version : Greatest Purana



Shyam
11 May 2012, 01:38 AM
What is the best and greatest purana 1 can read? Which is considered best?

GauraHari
14 May 2012, 12:11 AM
Jaya Sri Radhe!

Srila Vyasadeva was the original author of the major Vedic texts, He was still not satisfied after writing them. There was a reason for this. In all the literature compiled by Vyasadeva, there are many descriptions of the temporary universe, prayers to the demigods, the process for attaining one’s material necessities, information about the Brahman, the soul, the Supersoul, and the process of yoga for attaining spiritual realizations. There is also information about the Supreme Lord, Bhagavan Krishna. But the detailed descriptions of God, His form, His incarnations, names, activities, potencies and energies, and how He is the source of everything, including the ever-increasing spiritual bliss for which we are always looking, had not yet been fully described. Narada Muni advised Vyasadeva to write the Srimad-Bhagavatam, also called the Bhagavata Purana. After doing so, Vyasadeva considered it his own commentary on the Vedanta-sutras and the complete explanation and conclusion of all Vedic philosophy. This is why Sri Caitanya never cared for writing a commentary on the Vedanta-sutras, because He considered Srimad-Bhagavatam to be the topmost commentary which had already been written. This Srimad-Bhagavatam is part of the Vedic literature called the Itihasas, or the universal histories. So therefore Srimad-Bhagavatam is the last gift of Srila Vyasadeva.

Scriptures also glorify the Bhagavatam greatly and call it the jewel of all Puranas:

The Skanda Purana states:
“In Kali-yuga, of what value are collections of hundreds of thousands of other scriptures, if one does not keep the Srimad Bhagavatam in his house? wherever is the Srimad Bhagavatam in Kali-yuga, the Lord goes there along with the demigods. O muni, a person who faithfully recites a verse of Srimad Bhagavatam every day attains the fruit of reading the eighteen Puranas“.
(Skanda Purana, 2.5.16.40-42,44,33)

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.2 — Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhāgavata Purāṇa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhāgavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyāsadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhāgavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.13.16 — Just as the Gaṅgā is the greatest of all rivers, Lord Acyuta the supreme among deities and Lord Śambhu [Śiva] the greatest of Vaiṣṇavas, so Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the greatest of all Purāṇas.

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.13.18 — Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the spotless Purāṇa. It is most dear to the Vaiṣṇavas because it describes the pure and supreme knowledge of the paramahaṁsas. This Bhāgavatam reveals the means for becoming free from all material work, together with the processes of transcendental knowledge, renunciation and devotion. Anyone who seriously tries to understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, who properly hears and chants it with devotion, becomes completely liberated.

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.13.15 — Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is declared to be the essence of all Vedānta philosophy. One who has felt satisfaction from its nectarean mellow will never be attracted to any other literature.


Hope this helped answer your question. Hare Krishna.

ShivaFan
14 May 2012, 12:11 AM
The Greatest Purana is the one that is told to you from the true love of the Teacher who tells you the truth which you are ready for. The First Purana is the One that connects you to the Great Lord. It is the one that opens a door. By this magic, you will find someone who will then speak the Gretest Purana for you. This person will be a Guru. This may be a male or a female. In some cases it may be Lord Shiva Himself, or our Mother Devi. Vishnu in person. You will know when you hear it.

For me, the Greatest Purana is the Name. For me, the Greatest Story is the Ramayana. For me, the greatest Purana is the words of the Perfect Master who may be waiting down some alley in Varanasi, or Vrindavan, or a pair of shoes of a great Saint.

Inside a flower offered to Mother Annapurna is the Gretest Purana. Shiva in meditation is the Greatest Purana. Rama breaking Shiva's Bow is the Greatest Purana. The Bhakti calling for God is the Greatest Purana.

You could be the Greatest Purana. Tell me the story of God.

shiv.somashekhar
29 June 2012, 09:42 AM
What is the best and greatest purana 1 can read? Which is considered best?

The Vishnu Purana is known as the Purana-ratna, meaning the jewel among Puranas.

The Bhagavata Purana (also a Vaishnava purana) is easily the most popular among puranas, which makes it widely available.

if you are inclined towards Shiva, then the Vayu Purana is the Shaiva Purana - which is confusing because there exists a Shiva Purana, which is commonly (and incorrectly) assumed to be the main Shaiva Purana.

yajvan
29 June 2012, 11:46 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté


What is the best and greatest purana 1 can read?

What is your measuring stick for 'greatest' ?

praṇām

philosoraptor
29 June 2012, 01:11 PM
I assume he is referring to scriptural evidence. I know for a fact that the Padma Puraana explicitly states that the Bhaagavatam is the "greatest" among Puraanas. I don't know if other Puraanas are described as such.

yajvan
29 June 2012, 02:09 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté


I assume he is referring to scriptural evidence. I know for a fact that the Padma Puraana explicitly states that the Bhaagavatam is the "greatest" among Puraanas. I don't know if other Puraanas are described as such.
Yes, I can appreciate this. It is not unusal for a purāṇa to call out its own greatness. In the 1st chapter, 8th śloka, of the śiva mahāpurāṇa (rudra saṃhitā), sūta-ji informs us that ' this śiva purāṇa is the best of all purāṇa-s '. Yet sūta-ji is the same narrator we find in the
śrīmad bhāgavata mahāpurāṇa. It is śukadeva in this śrīmad bhāgavata mahāpurāṇa that informs us that ' this purāṇa possesses the glory of its own and constitutes the very essence of all the veda-s '; how could this purāṇa not be great too ?

Each purāṇa sings its own praise.


FYI for one's kind consideration:
The purāṇa-s typically discuss 5 topics (pañca-lakṣaṇa) - that is:

the creation of the universe - sarga सर्ग or letting go , discharging i.e. creation
its destruction and renovation . This is called prati-sarga : prati प्रति or back , again , in return + sarga सर्गor letting go , discharging = additional creations, recreations
the genealogy of the devatā & sages i.e. lineage or families, and this is called vaṃśa वंश
the reigns of the manu-s - the various epochs and rulers of these times - (if I am correct, manu+antara¹ = manvañtara )
manu-antara¹ = manu मनु father of the human race + antara अन्तर is interval, term, period or duration.
the history ~lineage~ of the solar and lunar races ; genealogy of kings - vaṃśa-nucarita¹praṇām

words

puraṇa पुरण- rooted (√) in pṝ the sea , ocean , not to be confused with purāṇa meaning ancient or old
manu+antara - for those interested, this is a grammer rule of sandhi defined by the grammarin pāniṇi. When u+a are combined it results in a 'v' based upon the yaṇa sandhi rule. Hence we get manvantara.
vaṃśa-nucarita - vaṃśa + nu + carita :vaṃśa the line of a pedigree or genealogy (from its resemblance to the succession of joints in a bamboo) + nu = time + carita = acts, deeds, adventures

philosoraptor
29 June 2012, 04:15 PM
No doubt each Puraana sings its own praise, and no doubt many Puraanas glorify some of the other Puraanas. But my point was, I don't know of many Puraanas which explicitly name *ANOTHER* Puraana as "greatest" or "best." The only such reference I know of is in the Padma Puraana, and it says the Bhaagavatam is the best. But I would be very interested to know if we see other examples, such as the Garuda P. calling the Vishnu P. the best, or the Brahma P. calling the Vaayu P. the best, etc.

Ganeshprasad
29 June 2012, 05:24 PM
Pranam
In my experience Ramayan more precisely Ramchritra manas rank along Bhagvat puran as very popular but then I am reminded many times popularity is no indication for its greatness. There again Ramayan is Ithihas so it does not count.

To say what Puran is greatest would be very subjective matter depending who we may ask. Bhagvat puran does get aired the most in TV channels .

It is very popular to have Sapta (reciting for seven days) organised after our departed near and dears, there are various reason for this . King Pariksit who was cursed to die in 7days, was fortunate to hear the katha amrut from Sukhdeva Goswami within which there is a story of Gokarna who gets his brother dhudhukari released from Pret yoni by the recitation of Bhagvat katha.

What I find interesting is, we are told or rather read in Bhagvatam as to how Vyas ji was not satisfied having compiled all the Shastra presumably other Puranas also. Along appear Naradmuni, he discovers Gyan and vairagya lame and saw Bhakti lamenting. To cut the long story sort he then instructed Vyas ji to describe the glories of Lord Krishna and thus we have Bhagvat Puran the Last.

I find this quote strange


The Skanda Purana states:
“In Kali-yuga, of what value are collections of hundreds of thousands of other scriptures, if one does not keep the Srimad Bhagavatam in his house? wherever is the Srimad Bhagavatam in Kali-yuga, the Lord goes there along with the demigods. O muni, a person who faithfully recites a verse of Srimad Bhagavatam every day attains the fruit of reading the eighteen Puranas“.
(Skanda Purana, 2.5.16.40-42,44,33)
.

Following from this the question arise, having already written other purans, and up to that point he had not thought of Bhagvat puran let alone written it, how then this passage in Skanda or that matter Padma Puran can declare Bhagvat is the best?

Please don’t think I am questioning the greatness of the Purana, rather how it can appear in Skanda or Padma Purana?

Jai Shree Krishna

Eastern Mind
29 June 2012, 05:37 PM
To say what Puran is greatest would be very subjective matter depending who we may ask.

Vannakkam GP: This just struck me as funny somehow for its astute simplicity. First we are arguing which God is Supreme. Then it's which scripture. Then it's which translation. Then it's which temple. Then it's what teacher.

What will we think of next? Whose wife is the prettiest? Whose car is the fastest? :)

Aum Namasivaya

Ganeshprasad
29 June 2012, 06:00 PM
Pranam EM


Vannakkam GP:

What will we think of next? Whose wife is the prettiest? Whose car is the fastest? :)

Aum Namasivaya

Well I can think of football, my team is the best that is Man U

Jai Shree Krishna

yajvan
29 June 2012, 06:20 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté


First we are arguing which God is Supreme. Then it's which scripture. Then it's which translation. Then it's which temple. Then it's what teacher.

What will we think of next? Whose wife is the prettiest? Whose car is the fastest? :)
The blemish of the individual (human condition) is aṇu - being minute. This mala is is called āṇavamala and is called apūrṇatā meaning non-full, incomplete. In the world of differences, pointing out the best ( or worst) vs. sameness, and wholeness is the condition of seeing only diversity.

praṇām

Sahasranama
29 June 2012, 06:33 PM
Following from this the question arise, having already written other purans, and up to that point he had not thought of Bhagvat puran let alone written it, how then this passage in Skanda or that matter Padma Puran can declare Bhagvat is the best?

Please don’t think I am questioning the greatness of the Purana, rather how it can appear in Skanda or Padma Purana?

One explanation is that Vyasa assembled the core of the Puranas before Suta passed on the puranas to the Rishis in Naimisharanya and some questions and answers that appear in the Puranas are directly answered by Suta and are not from Vyasa. Another reason is that the Puranas already existed before Vyasa and he only compiled and edited them.

There is a lot of evidence suggesting that the Bhagavata Purana is the greatest of all the Puranas, but the conclusion that the Bhagavata Purana is therefore also the most authoritive was drawn from a philosophical standpoint by Jiva Goswami and other Vaishnava sects like that of Vallabha. I do not agree with this. The reason the Bhagavata Purana is so elevated is not because it holds more authority than other puranas, but because every sentence is filled with jnana and bhakti. It is a repository of nectar. It is not because other puranas are less authoritve. Jiva Gosvami obviously had an agenda to downplay the authority of other puranas to assert his sectarian beliefs. One thing about the Bhagavatam Purana though is that it has the oldest tradition of commentators and this has helped with the faithful preservation of the text throughout the ages more than with the other puranas.

philosoraptor
29 June 2012, 07:41 PM
Vannakkam GP: This just struck me as funny somehow for its astute simplicity. First we are arguing which God is Supreme. Then it's which scripture. Then it's which translation. Then it's which temple. Then it's what teacher.

What will we think of next? Whose wife is the prettiest? Whose car is the fastest? :)

Aum Namasivaya

Actually, we should have no doubts on those points. My wife is the prettiest. My car is the fastest. My house is best. :)

But... all these things are temporary and don't matter. Spiritual life does matter. So, I hardly think it silly to ask these questions about deities and scriptures, provided we do so in an informed manner.

Ganeshprasad
30 June 2012, 03:56 AM
Pranam


One explanation is that Vyasa assembled the core of the Puranas before Suta passed on the puranas to the Rishis in Naimisharanya and some questions and answers that appear in the Puranas are directly answered by Suta and are not from Vyasa.

Thanks that explains a bit although it throws more questions with it.
What was Vaysji’s take on it?
If someone did not read Skanda or Padma Purana he/she would not know the glories of Bhagvat Purana, why would the same not be mentioned in the actual and rely on another which may or may not be read by the follower of said purana? Another question that arise is, if Vyas ji is prompted to narrate the glories of Krishna why is this called a purana in the first place? Because this lilas, should that not be recorded as history instead it being called purana indicating it to be of ancient origin, although we know they were contemporary event at the time.




Another reason is that the Puranas already existed before Vyasa and he only compiled and edited them.
Yes that is well understood i think, thus my query can we call Krishna's lila Purana?


Jai Shree Krishna

shiv.somashekhar
30 June 2012, 11:53 AM
Pranam
In my experience Ramayan more precisely Ramchritra manas rank along Bhagvat puran as very popular but then I am reminded many times popularity is no indication for its greatness. There again Ramayan is Ithihas so it does not count.

itihasa and Purana have some overlap. The Mahabharata calls itself a Purana.



I find this quote strange


Following from this the question arise, having already written other purans, and up to that point he had not thought of Bhagvat puran let alone written it, how then this passage in Skanda or that matter Padma Puran can declare Bhagvat is the best?

Please don’t think I am questioning the greatness of the Purana, rather how it can appear in Skanda or Padma Purana?

Jai Shree Krishna

Every Purana contains the list of 18 Puranas, which means every Purana is aware of the other seventeen. That way, all Puranas mention the Bhagavatam, though they are all earlier (according to the Bhagavatam).

The traditional defence for this peculiarity is this is possible because they are all authored by one individual. After he completed all eighteen texts, he circled back and inserted the list of eighteen in each text.

The academic position is, there was a formal redaction where a set of eighteen Puranas were selected as major Puranas and these names were inserted into each of them and also in the Mahabharata. This formal redaction was most likely carried out by Vaishnava Brahmanas during the Gupta period or even later. Also, included in this redaction process was the organization of the Mahabharata into eighteen books, the Gita into eighteen chapters, etc.