Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

commend the use of the frontal and other Vaishnava marks; and they notice other subjects which, like these, are of no remote origin. The Pátála Khańda dwells copiously upon the Bhagavata, and is, consequently, posterior to it. The Uttara Khanda is intolerantly Vaishňava, and is, therefore, unquestionably modern. It enjoins the veneration of the Sálagráma stone and Tulasí plant, the use of the Tapta-mudra, or stamping with a hot iron the name of Vishnu on the skin, and a variety of practices and observances undoubtedly no part of the original system. It speaks of the shrines of Sriranga and Venkatádri in the Dekhin, temples that have no pretension to remote antiquity; and it names Haripura on the Tungabhadrá, which is, in all likelihood, the city of Vijayanagara, founded in the middle of the fourteenth century. The Kriya Yoga Sára is equally a modern, and, apparently, a Bengali composition. No portion of the Padma Puráňa is, probably, older than the twelfth century; and the last parts may be as recent as the fifteenth or sixteenth."

3. Vishńu Puráňa. “That in which Paráśara, beginning with the events of the Varáha Kalpa, expounds all duties, is called the Vaishnava: and the learned know its extent to be twenty-three thousand stanzas.”2 The

The grounds of these conclusions are more particularly detailed in my Analysis of the Padma Puráňa: J. R. As. Soc., Vol. V., p. 280.

वराहकल्पवृत्तान्तमधिकृत्य पराशरः।
यत्प्राह धर्मानखिलांस्तदुक्तं वैष्णवं विदुः॥

[ocr errors]

third Puráňa of the lists is that which has been selected for translation, the Vishńu. It it unnecessary, therefore, to offer any general summary of its contents; and it will be convenient to reserve any remarks upon its character and probable antiquity, for a subsequent page. It may here be observed, however, that the actual number of verses contained in it falls far short of the enumeration of the Matsya, with which the Bhagavata concurs. Its actual contents are not seven thousand stanzas. All the copies—and, in this instance, they are not fewer than seven in number,-procured both in the east and in the west of India, agree; and there is no appearance of any part being wanting. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end, in both text and comment; and the work, as it stands, is, incontestably, entire. How is the discrepancy to be explained?

4. Váyu Puráňa. “The Puráňa in which Váyu has declared the laws of duty, in connexion with the Sweta Kalpa, and which comprises the Máhátmya of Rudra, is the Váyaviya Puráňa: it contains twenty-four thousand verses.”i The Siva or Saiva Puráňa is, as above remarked, omitted in some of the lists; and, in general, when that is the case, it is replaced by the Váyu or Váyaviya. When the Śiva is specified, as in the Bhágavata, then the Váyu is omitted;* intimating the possible identity of these two works. † This, indeed, is

[ocr errors]

* See p. XXIV. supra. † This identity is distinctly asserted in the Revá-máhátmya, as follows:

ne

confirmed by the Matsya, which describes the Váyavíya Purana as characterized by its account of the greatness of Rudra or Siva: and Bálam Bhatta? mentions, that the Váyaviya is also called the Saiva, though, according to some, the latter is the name of an Upapuráňa.* Colonel Vans Kennedy observes, that, in the west of India, the Saiva is considered to be an Upa or 'minor? Puráňa.?

Another proof that the same work is intended by the authorities here followed, the Bhagavata and Matsya, under different appellations, is their concurrence in the extent of the work; each specifying its verses to be twenty-four thousand. A copy of the Siva Purána, of which an index and analysis have been prepared, does not contain more than about seven thousand. It cannot, therefore, be the Siva Puráňa of the Bhagavata: and we may safely consider that to be the same as the Váyaviya of the Matsya.:

1 Commentary on the Mitákshará, Vyavahára Kánda. ? As. Journ., March, 1837, p. 242, note.

3 Analysis of the Váyu Puráňa: Journ. As. Soc. of Bengal, December, 1832.

चतुर्थ वायुना प्रोक्तं वायवीयमिति स्मृतम् ।

शिवभक्तिसमायोगाच्छैवं तच्चापराख्यया ॥ * For accounts of works entitled Śiva-puráňa and Laghu-śiva-purána, see Catalog. Cod. Manuscript. Sanscrit. Postvedic. Bodleian., &c., $$ 113, 127, and 129.

Regarding the first, described in § 113, Dr. Aufrecht observes: “De libro ipso, quem ad celebrandum cultum Laingicum scriptum esse vides, in praesentia nihil temere asseveraverim; exspectandum enim est, dum de Skandapuránae parte, quae Śivamáhátmya appellatur, accuratiora audiamus. Ex quo libellum nostrum desumtum esse, iis quae infra dicta sunt, suspicari possis.”

The Váyu Purána is narrated, by Súta, to the Rishis at Naimishárańya, as it was formerly told, at the same place, to similar persons, by Váyu; a repetition of circumstances not uncharacteristic of the inartificial style of this Puráňa. It is divided into four Pádas, termed, severally, Prakriya, Upodgháta, Anushanga, and Upasaṁhára; a classification peculiar to this work. These are preceded by an index, or heads of chapters, in the manner of the Mahábhárata and Rámáyana-another peculiarity.

The Prakriya portion contains but a few chapters, and treats, chiefly, of elemental creation, and the first evolutions of beings, to the same purport as the Vishnu, but in a more obscure and unmethodical style. The Upodgháta then continues the subject of creation, and describes the various Kalpas or periods during which the world has existed; a greater number of which is specified by the Saiva, than by the Vaishnáva, Puráňas. Thirty-three are here described, the last of which is the Śweta or 'white' Kalpa, from Siva's being born, in it, of a white complexion. The genealogies of the patriarchs, the description of the universe, and the incidents of the first six Manwantaras are all treated of in this part of the work; but they are intermixed with legends and praises of Siva, as the sacrifice of Daksha, the Maheswara Máhátmya, the Nílakantha Stotra, and others. The genealogies, although, in the main, the same as those in the Vaishňava Puranas, present some variations. A long account of the Pitris or progenitors is also peculiar to this Puráňa; as are stories of some of the most celebrated Rishis who were engaged in the distribution of the Vedas.

wers

The third division commences with an account of the seven Rishis and their descendants, and describes the origin of the different classes of creatures from the daughters of Daksha, with a profuse copiousness of nomenclature, not found in any other Puráňa. With exception of the greater minuteness of detail, the particulars agree with those of the Vishńu Puráňa. A chapter then occurs on the worship of the Pitřis; another, on Tirthas or places sacred to them; and several, on the performance of Śráddhas, constituting the Sraddha Kalpa. After this comes a full account of the solar and lunar dynasties, forming a parallel to that in the following pages, with this difference, that it is, throughout, in verse, whilst that of our text, as noticed in its place, is, chiefly, in prose. It is extended, also, by the insertion of detailed accounts of various incidents, briefly noticed in the Vishnu, though derived, apparently, from a common original. The section terminates with similar accounts of future kings, and the same chronological calculations, that are found in the Vishńu.

The last portion, the Upasaṁhára, describes briefly the future Manwantaras, the measures of space and time, the end of the world, the efficacy of Yoga, and the glories of Sivapura, or the dwelling of Siva, with whom the Yogin is to be united. The manuscript concludes with a different history of the successive teachers of the Váyu Puráňa, tracing them from Brahmá to Váyu, from Váyu to Brihaspati, and from him, through various deities and sages, to Dwaipayana and Súta.

The account given of this Puráňa in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal was limited to something less than half the work; as I had not then been able to

« AnteriorContinuar »