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ties there are a few variations. The list of the Kúrma Puráňa omits the Agni Puráňa, and substitutes the Váyu.* The Agni leaves out the Siva, and inserts the Váyu. The Varáha omits the Garuda and Brahmánda, and inserts the Váyu and Narasimha: in this last, it is singular. The Márkandeya agrees with the Vishnu and Bhagavata, in omitting the Váyu. The Matsya, like the Agni, leaves out the Siva.
Some of the Puráňas, as the Agni, Matsya,t Bhágavata, i and Padma, also particularize the number of stanzas which each of the eighteen contains. In one or two instances they disagree; but, in general, they concur. The aggregate is stated at 400,000 ślokas, or 1,600,000 lines. These are fabled to be but an abridgment; the whole amount being a krore or ten millions
* Professor Wilson's MS. has HTMSYHYT Sei; but four MSS. that I have consulted have HTMLS THATāzi. And the latter reading is to be preferred. The Kúrma professes, at the end of its list of the -Puránas, to have enumerated eighteen; and, unless it names both the Váyu and the Agni, it enumerates but seventeen.
+ The particulars from the Matsya will be found in the sequel.
# The computation of the Bhagavata , XII., 13, 4-8, is as follows: Brahma, 10,000 stanzas; Padma, 55,000; Vishnu, 23,000; Siva, 24,000 ; Bhagavata, 18,000; Nárada, 25,000; Márkandeya, 9,000; Agni, 15,400; Bhavishya, 14,500; Brahma-vaivarta, 18,000; Linga, 11,000; Varáha, 24,000; Skanda, 81,100; Vámana, 10,000; Kúrma, 17,000; Matsya, 14,000; Garuda, 19,000; Brahmáńda, 12,000. The total is 400,000.
The Bhagavata here calls the Agni and the Garuda by the names of Váhna and Sauparna.
The Devi-bhágavata substitutes, in place of the Siva, the Váyu, and assigns to it 10,600 stanzas. Further, it gives to the Agni, 16,000; to the Skanda, 81,000; and to the Brahmánda, 12,100.
The Revá-máhátmya also has, instead of Siva, Váyu, but reckons it at 24,000 couplets; and it likewise allows 16,000 to the Agni. To the Skanda it gives 84,000; and to the Brahmánda, 12,200.
For further details, see Burnouf's edition of the Bhagavata- purána, Vol. I., Preface, pp. LXXXVI- LXXXIX, foot - note.
of stanzas, or even a thousand millions. * If all the fragmentary portions claiming, in various parts of India, to belong to the Puráňas were admitted, their extent would much exceed the lesser, though it would not reach the larger, enumeration. The former is, however, as I have elsewhere stated,' a quantity that an individual European scholar could scarcely expect to peruse with due care and attention, unless his whole time were devoted exclusively, for many years, to the task. Yet, without some such labour being achieved, it was clear, from the crudity and inexactness of all that had been hitherto published on the subject, with one exception, that sound views on the subject of Hindu mythology and tradition were not to be expected. Circumstances, which I have already explained in the paper in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, referred to above, enabled me to avail myself of
Journ. Royal As. Soc., Vol. V., p. 61.+ ? I allude to the valuable work of Colonel Vans Kennedy, Researches into the Nature and Affinity of Ancient and Hindu Mythology. However much I may differ from that learned and industrious writer's conclusions, I must do him the justice to admit that he is the only author who has discussed the subject of the mythology of the Hindus on right principles, by drawing his materials from authentic sources.
competent assistance, by which I made a minute abstract of most of the Puráňas. In course of time I hope to place a tolerably copious and connected analysis of the whole eighteen before Oriental scholars, and, in the meanwhile, offer a brief notice of their several contents.
In general, the enumeration of the Puráńas is a simple nomenclature, with the addition, in some cases, of the number of verses; but to these the Matsya Puráňa* joins the mention of one or two circumstances peculiar to each, which, although scanty, are of value, as offering means of identifying the copies of the Puráńas now found with those to which the Matsya refers, or of discovering a difference between the present and the past. I shall, therefore, prefix the passage descriptive of each Puráňa, from the Matsya. It is necessary to remark, however, that, in the comparison instituted between that description and the Puráňa as it exists, I necessarily refer to the copy or copies which I employed for the purpose of examination and analysis, and which were procured, with some trouble and cost, in Benares and Calcutta. In some instances my manuscripts have been collated with others from different parts of India; and the result has shown that, with regard at least to the Brahma, Vishnu, Váyu, Matsya, Padma, Bhagavata, and Kúrma Puráňas, the same works, in all essential respects, are generally current under the same appellations. Whether this is invariably the case, may be doubted; and further inquiry may possibly show that I have been obliged to con
* Chapter LII.
tent myself with mutilated or unauthentic works.' It is with this reservation, therefore, that I must be understood to speak of the concurrence or disagreement of any Puráňa with the notice of it which the Matsya Puráňa has preserved.
1. Brahma Puráňa. “That, the whole of which was formerly repeated by Brahmá to Marichi, is called the Bráhma Puráňa, and contains ten thousand stanzas.”? In all the lists of the Puráňas, the Brahma is placed at the head of the series, and is, thence, sometimes also entitled the Add or 'first' Puráňa. It is also designated as the Saura; as it is, in great part, appropriated to the worship of Súrya, “the sun'. There are, however, works bearing these names which belong to the class of Upapuráňas, and which are not to be confounded with the Brahma. It is usually said, as above, to contain ten thousand ślokas; but the number actually occurring is between seven and eight thousand. There is a supplementary or concluding section, called the Brahmottara Puráňa, and which is different from a portion of the Skanda called the Brahmottara Khanda, which contains about three thousand stanzas more. But
Upon examining the translations of different passages from the Puranas, given by Colonel Vans Kennedy in the work mentioned in a former note, and comparing them with the text of the manuscripts I have consulted, I find such an agreement as to warrant the belief, that there is no essential difference between the copies in his possession and in mine. The varieties which occur in the MSS. of the East India Company's Library will be noticed in the text.
। ब्रह्मणाभिहितं पूर्व यावन्मात्रं मरीचये।
ब्राह्मं तु दशसाहस्रं पुराणं परिकीर्तितम् ॥
there is every reason to conclude that this is a distinct and unconnected work.
The immediate narrator of the Brahma Purana is Lomaharshana, who communicates it to the Rishis or sages assembled at Naimishárańya, as it was originally · revealed by Brahmá, not to Maríchi, as the Matsya affirms, but to Daksha, another of the patriarchs. Hence its denomination of the Brahma Puráňa.
The early chapters of this work give a description of the creation, an account of the Manwantaras, and the history of the solar and lunar dynasties to the time of Krishna, in a summary manner, and in words which are common to it and several other Puráňas. A brief description of the universe succeeds; and then come a number of chapters relating to the holiness of Orissa, with its temples and sacred groves dedicated to the sun, to Siva, and Jagannátha, the latter especially. These chapters are characteristic of this Puráňa, and show its main object to be the promotion of the worship of Krishna as Jagannátha." To these particulars
1 Colonel Vans Kennedy objects to this character of the Brahma Puráňa, and observes that it contains only two short descriptions of pagodas, the one of Końáditya, the other of Jagannátha. In that case, his copy must differ considerably from those I have met with; for, in them, the description of Purushottama Kshetra, the holy land of Orissa, runs through forty chapters, or one third of the work. The description, it is true, is interspersed, in the usual rambling strain of the Puráňas, with a variety of legends, some ancient, some modern; but they are intended to illustrate some local circumstance, and are, therefore, not incompatible with the main design, the celebration of the glories of Purushottama Kshetra. The specification of the temple of Jagannátha, how