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Item Code: IDE886

by Translated and Annotated by A BOARD OF SCHOLARS

Hardcover (Edition: 2007)

Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN 9788120803442

Language: English Translation
Size: 8.7" X 5.7"
Weight of the Book:1.845 Kg
Price: $85.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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As a class of literature the Purana deals with ancient Indian religion philosophy, history, geography, sociology politics and other subjects and supplies the material for the study of various branches of knowledge and ancient wisdom.

The Purana has been defined as Pancalaksana and is supposed to contain five topics (i) creation (sarga), (ii) Dissolution and re-creation (pratisarga) (iii) Genealogy (vamsa), (iv) periods of time with manu as the primal ancestor and (iv) history of Royal dynasties both solar and luner. But this definition in inadequate. For the texts that have come to us under the title Purana characteristics. This fact was noticed by the Puranic redactors themselves who later on adopted a dasalaksaam definition that satiated the Puranic text.

But this too is not a standard definition. For the Puranaa contain aspects that are not covered by any of the ten characteristics. Besides some of the characteristics covered by this definition are not found in certain Puranas.

In fact the Puranas as a class represents different phases or aspects of Indain Life in diverse ages. It is not possible therefore to adopt a standard definition for the class of literary composition that contains heterogeneous phases or aspects Moreover, a definition formed on the numerical basis 0f points cannot be perfect.

We can, however, describe the Purana as a class of literature that deals with the legends of gods, asuras, sages and kings of ancient times, contains abstracts of works in arts, sciences, medicine, grammar, dramaturgy, music, astrology and other subjects, affords insight into different phases and aspects 0f Hinduism—its mythology, idol-worship, theism, pantheism, love of God, philosophy, superstition, festivals and ceremonies.2 In brief, the Purânas constitute a popular encyclopedia of ancient and medieval Hinduism in all its traits— religious, philosophical, historical, personal, social and political.

Origin and Development

The term Purãna connotes simply an old narrative4 or the record of old events.5 Ancient writers6 derived the term as. According to Skanda7 and Matsya8 Puranas and the Mahabhaya9 of Patanjali, there was at first a single work of literature called Purana or Purea-Sathhita. But when the process of interpolation started with the rise of sectarianism in India, the Purana assumed a massive form. Each sect built up a structure of its doctrines around the nucleus of ancient material. The original Purãl3a underwent different forms and shaped itself into Vaisnava, Saiva and Brahma Purãnas.

(ii) Upa-PurAga.1 Each class consists of eighteen Puranas. Thus the number of the Purãnas is thirty six.

The Mahâ-Purãnas are classified mainly into three categories—Vaisnava, Brahma and Saiva in proportion as they accord preferential treatment to Visnu, Brahma and Siva. The Purãnas glorifying Visnu are styled as Sàttvika, those glorifying Brahmã as Rajasa and those glorifying Agni and Siva as Tamasa. According to this description the eighteen Mahäpurãnas can be classified into Sãttvika, Rãjasa and Támasa. as under:

Sattvika: Bhagavata, Visnu, Garuda, Matsya, Kürma, Vayu.
Rajasa: Skanda, Padma, Varnana, Varaha, Agni, Bhavisya.
Tamosa: Brahmanda, Liñga, Brahmavaivarta, Märkandeya, Brahma, Aditya.

It is remarkable to note that in the list of Tamasa Puranas the Garuda Purãna mentions Aditya Puràna instead of Narada.

The Puranas are not unanimous on this division. For instance, among the Sattvika Purãnas, the Padma Puranas omits Matya, Kurma and Vayu which are replaced by Nãrada, Padma and Vãraha, retains only the Bhagavata, Visnu and Garuda of the Garuda list. Among the Rajasa Puranas the Padma Purana retains only the Vãmana Pural)a but leaves out Skanda Padma Varaha and Agni from the Rajasa list which are replaced by Brahmanda Brahma Brahmavaivaru markandeya and Bhavisya among the tamasa Puranas Padma Purana retains only the Linga Purana but omits brahmanda, Brahma vaivarta, Brahma Markandeya and Aditya of the Garuda list. Instead it includes Matsya Kurma, Siva skand and agni. Thus we find that there is confusion in this kind of classification which becomes more complicated by the statement of Skanda Purana which assigns ten Puranas to Siva four to Brahma two each to Devi and Visnu.

Yet another kind of classification is recorded is the devi bhagavata which names the Maha - puranas by their initial letters except the Garuda which it mentions by the full name.

Garuda Purana The Nomenclature

The Puranas themselves discuss their nomenclature so far as the Garuda Purana is concerned it is so called because the speaker of this Purana is Garuda himself.

One the evidence of the Bhagavata Purana the Garuda Purana was also called sauparna. The Vayu Purana calls it vainateya Alberuni as Tarkhya. Ballala the author of Danasagara mentions Tarksya in the list of Maha Puranas. In the nibandha granthas the terms Tarksya, vainateya, Sauparna are often used which according to Sanskrit lexicons are synonyms of Garuda.

But the quotations made under the names tarksya Vainateya or Sauparna are not found in the extant Garuda. It is no certain whether these quotations existed in the old text of the Garuda Purana which later on suffered change in the hands of redactors or whether they belonged to a Purana that was quite different from the extant text called Garuda.

The Purana is called Garuda because the original speaker is Garuda who narrates it to Kasyapa. The later narrates it to Siva the present translation is based consist of three parts.

Acara kanda is known as purva khanda (section I) preta as uttara khanda (section II) Brahma kanda as Moksa kanda (section III).

The acara kanda is called karma kanda because it deals with karmna. The preta kanda is called dharma kanda because it concerns religion. The Brahma kanda is called Moksa kanda because it leads to salvation.

The three sections are distinct and differ widely from one another in form as also in content. The number of chapter in the sections is not uniform. For instance the acara-kanda consists of chapters 1-240 pretakanda of 1-49 and Brahmakanda of 1-29. but in spite of this difference the three sections together constitute the Garuda Purana. This threefold division is recognized in the Garuda Purana itself.

General Character of the Kandas

As previously remarked the GP consists of thee kandas (i) Acara (ii) Dharma and (iii) Brahma Acara (karma) kanda consists of 240 chapters is the biggest of the three kandas in dimension. Of these 14 deal with the five principal characteristics of the Puranas 48 with the medicine 53 with the worship of deities 61 with the Dharmasastra matter 8 with morals 13 with lapidary science and 43 with miscellaneous topics such as astrology physiognomy etc.

dharma kanda deals with the subject of death metempsychosis karman and release from karman. It throws light on the omens of death the path to Yama the fate of the pretas the torments of hells and the pretas as causes of omens and dreams. It describes rites to be performed at the time of death funeral rites ancestor worship and special funeral rites for the sati. There are legends of the pretas describing the causes of their wretched existence which recall the Buddhist legends recorded in Petavatthu.

General Characteristics of the Purana Applied to the Garuda Purana

The Garuda Purana gives more attention to extraneous subjects than to subjects that fall under the legitimate laksana of Purana. For instance of the 240 chapters in the Purva Khanda 14 chapters deal with the Pancalaksana section I chs 4-5 deal with the primary and secondary creation Section I ch.6 deals with the genealogies of gods and sages section I Chs 87-90 with the ages of Manus. The history of royal dynasties is treated in a very condensed form and interspersed with the genealogies of royal dynasties. The subject of creation and dissolution is taken up again in section I chapters 54-58 and 224 respectively.

(i) Creation (sarga)

The Supreme god Visnu assues the form of Brahmi and as Brahma he begins the process of creation. As Visnu he protects the world as Rudra he destroyas the universe.

Though devoid of attributes he ahs an inherent energy which manifests itself in the form of three principles Sattva Rajas and tamas which are responsible for creation maintenance and dissolution of the universe.

(ii) Re-creation after dissolution

The creation of the universe is not a permanent feature for all creations end in dissolution which in turn give place to re-creation. The description of this process constitutes one of the five main features of a Maha-purana.

The process of dissolution is complicated for several dissolutions occur before the universe is completely dissolved. As the Puranas relate a creation lasts for ad ay of Brahma equal to the age of manvantaras. At the end of each manvantara there occurs a dissolution. Thus a day of Brahma contains fourteen dissolutions.

(iii) Genealogies

The Garuda Purana deals with the Genealogies of kings in Acara kanda (ch. 138-141). The Purana follows the Vayu tradition as regards the solar dynasty form Vaisvasvata Manu on words and the common tradition regarding the other dynasties. It omits several historical dynasties which the other purans describe.

The Garuda Purana deals with the dynasties of Kosala Kasi and vaisali. The videha dynasty descended form Nimi son of Iksvaku. The Garuda Purana confuses the dynasties of Ayodhya and Videha omitting certain kings form the line of Videha and adding these to the line of vikuksi the originator of Ayodhya line. Among the Magadha kings the Purnaa mentions Barhadrathas who lived in pre Bimbisara age. In this context the Purana records that the Barhadrathas will be succeeded by impious and sudra kings.

The Barhadrathas of Magadha were the successors of the Brhadbala dynasty which descended from the solar race of Iksvaku. According to the Garuda purana Suddhodana of Kapilavastu father of Gautama Buddha and the son of Sakya was Aiksvakava. This is confirmed by Mahavastu which states that suddhodana belonged to Iksvaku dynasty.

Vaisali dynasty descended from manu’s Nabhanedista. This dynasty is recorded in seven Puranas but only four lists of this Purana are complete those is the vayu visnu, Bhagavata and Garuda. The dynasty derived its name from king Visala who founded visala or Vaisla as this capital.



1.Incarnations of Vishnu1
2.Tradition of Garuda Purana6
3.Statement of Contents14
4.Beginning of Creation15
5.Creation of Progenitors19
6.Description of families23
7.Worship of the sun, etc.29
8.Worship of Visnu and Vajranabha mandala31
10.Worship of Laksmi34
11.Nava-vyuha worship of Visnu35
12.Order of worship39
16.Contemplation of Hari and Sun-worship72
18.Worship of Amrtesa Mrtyunjaya75
19.Pranesvari Vidya78
20.Mantras for removing poison81
21.Worship of Panca-vaktra Siva83
22-23Worship of siva84
24.Worship of Tripura93
25.Adoration of Asana94
26.Assignment of limbs over the body95
27.Mantras to cure snake-bite97
28.Worship of Gopala97
30.Worship of Sridhara101
31.Worship of Visnu104
32.Worship of Panca-tattvas108
33.Worship of Sudarsana112
34.Worship of Hayagriva114
35.Worship of Gayatri119
36.Method of performing Sandhya120
37.Gayatri kalpa122
38.Worship of Durga123
39.Worship of Sun126
40.Worship of Mahesvara129
41.Mantras to obtain Women132
42.Pavitraropana of Siva133
43.Pavitraropana of Visnu136
44.Contemplation of Brahman or Visnu's form140
45.Characteristics of Salagrama142
47.Characteristics of Palaces150
48.Installation of Idols153
49.Four Varnas and asramas163
50.Daily routine for the aspirant167
53.Eight nidhis181
58.Description of the planets191
67Svarodaya or Pavana-vijaya220
68On the test of Gems - Diamond224
69.On the test of Gems - Pearls228
70.On the test of Gems - Ruby232
71.On the test of Gems - Emerald236
72.On the test of Gems - Sapphire238
73.On the test of Gems - Lapis Lazuli240
74.On the test of Gems - Topaz242
75.On the test of Gems - Karketana242
76.On the test of Gems - Bhismamani243
77.On the test of Gems - Pulaka244
78.On the test of Gems - Blood Stone245
79.On the test of Gems - Crystal246
80.On the test of Gems - Coral246
81.Sacred Places247
82-86Greatness of Gaya251-265
87Fourteen Manus268
88-90Story of Ruci272
91Worship of Hari282
92.Meditation on Visnu284
93-106Teachings of Yajnavalkya286
107Teaching of Parasara323
116-137Sacred Rites (Vratas)365
138.The Solar Dynasty398
139.The Lunar Dynasty402
140.Genealogy of the Pauravas407
141.Genealogy of the Pauravas and others409
142.Greatness of Sita410
143.The Story of Rama413
144.Incarnation of Krsna416
145.The Story of the Mahabharata417
146.Description of Diseases421


Acara (Karma) Kanda (continued from AITM Vol. 12)
195A Love for fulfilling a desire in seven nights577
198Eulogy of Tripura584
201Medical Treatment of horses and elephants590
204Medicinal drugs597
225Results of good and bad acts664
226Yoga and its Components668
227Yoga and its Components672
228Devotion to Visnu675
229Devotion to Visnu677
230Devotion to Visnu678
231Hymn to Narasimha683
232Kulamrta or Jnanamrta hymn686
233Mrtyvastaka Hymn688
234Acyuta or Cakradhara Hymn690
235Vedanta and Sankhya697
236Vedanta and Sankhya701
237Essence of the Gita704
238Essence of the Gita706
239Essence of Brahmagita707
240Glory of Garuda Purana710
Dharma (Preta) Kanda
1.Garuda's Query717
2.Results of actions723
3.Description of Hell730
4.Pre-death and post-death rites736
5.Annual rites for the deceased750
6.The glory of Vrsotsarga761
7.The story of five ghosts772
8.Person authorised to perform obsequies779
9.The king authorised to perform rites782
10.The Gratifying Nature of Sraddha787
11.Doors for Departure794
12.Importance of Dharma795
13.Obsequial Rites798
14.Merits of Gifts801
15.Observances immediate after Death806
16.Life after Death814
17.Glory of Sravanas818
18.Life after Death820
19.Life after Death823
20.Functions of the Departed soul825


B.Dharma (Preta) Kanda(continued from AITM Vo. 13)
21.Ghosts and their Release829
22.On attaining ghosthood832
23.On Ghosthood840
24.Sins of Omission and Commission, Premature death of Children; Gifts841
25.On Sons and Grandsons845
26.On the rite of uniting the dead with the deceased ancestors850
27.Episode of King Babhruvahana856
28.Gifts for the Ghost861
29.Rites after death864
30.On bestowing Gifts867
31.On bestowing Gifts872
32.The Origin of life875
33.The World of Yama885
34.Results of Virtue and Sin889
35.Rites of Sapindikarana and Sraddha900
36.On fast and pilgrimage904
37.Gift of a Vessel filled with water908
38.On Salvation, Heaven, Gifts, Pilgrimage and good deeds909
39.Rules of impurity912
40.On accidental death914
41.Releasing the Bull (Vrsotsarga)919
42.On bestowing gifts921
43.On performing a Sraddha923
44.On accidental death924
45.The mode of annual Sraddha926
46.Results of activity929
47.On Sins and Vaitarani932
48.On Dharma and Adharma936
49.Method of Final Release941


1.Classification of the Puranas. The Nature of Deities955
2.Puranic Trinity: Brahma, Visnu, Siva: Their respective roles965
3.Creation of the universe: Variation due to difference in Gunas972
4.Gunas and their nature: Imbalance and Equilibrium978
5.Deities and their relative status983
6.Deities and their relative status988
7.Praise of Lord Visnu by deities and sages995
8.Praise of Lord Visnu by deities and sages1004
9.Nature of deities and the serial order of their position1006
10.Creation primary and secondary1008
11.Causes of Ignorance1013
12.Praise of Visnu by Brahma1020
13.Creation of deities after dissolution1027
14.Nature and form of Visnu & benefits of Vaisvadeva1031
15.Incarnations of Visnu1035
16.Incarnations of Mahalaksmi1039
17.Forms of Bharati in different births1046
18.Incarnations of Rudra and after1049
19.The Episode of Nila1056
20.The Episode of Bhadra1063
21.The Episode of Kalindi1067
22.The Episode of Laksmana1070
23.The Episode of Jambavati1075
24.The glory of Venkatacala and lord Srinivasa1080
25.Glory of Venkatesa and the method of worship1091
26.On the mountain Venkata, Svamipuskarini and the deities residing there1096
27.Visit to places of pilgrimage1108
28.Anecdotes of the glory of Visnu1112
29.On unfolding the mystery and secret of Reality1126

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