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The Garuda Puráňa which has been the subject of my examination corresponds in no respect with this description, and is, probably, a different work, though entitled the Garuda Puráňa. It is identical, however, with two copies in the Company's library. It consists of no more than about seven thousand stanzas; it is repeated by Brahmá to Indra; and it contains no account of the birth of Garuda. There is a brief notice of the creation; but the greater part is occupied with the description of Vratas or religious observances, of holydays, of sacred places dedicated to the sun, and with prayers from the Tántrika ritual, addressed to the sun, to Siva, and to Vishnu. It contains, also, treatises on astrology, palmistry, and precious stones, and one, still more extensive, on medicine. The latter portion, called the Preta Kalpa, is taken up with directions for the performance of obsequial rites. There is nothing, in all this, to justify the application of the name. Whether a genuine Garuda Puráňa exists is doubtful. The description given in the Matsya is less particular than even the brief notices of the other Puráňas, and might have easily been written without any knowledge of the book itself; being, with exception of the number of stanzas, confined to circumstances that the title alone indicates.
18. Brahmáńda Puráňa. * “That which has declared, in twelve thousand two hundred verses, the magnificence of the egg of Brahmá, and in which an account of the future Kalpas is contained, is called the Brahmáńda Puráńa, and was revealed by Brahma."1*
* A very popular work which is considered to be a part of the Brahmánda-purána, is the Adhyatma-rámáyana. It has been lithographed, with the commentary of Nágeśa Bhatta, at Bombay. For some account of it, see Prof. Aufrecht's Catalog. Cod. Manuscript. &c., pp. 28 and 29.
The Brahmáńda Puráňa is usually considered to be in much the same predicament as the Skanda, no longer procurable in a collective body, but represented by a variety of Khandas and Máhátmyas, professing to be derived from it. The facility with which any tract may be thus attached to the non-existent original, and the advantage that has been taken of its absence to compile a variety of unauthentic fragments, have given to the Brahmánda, Skanda, and Padma, according to Colonel Wilford, the character of being “the Puranas of thieves or impostors.”? This is not applicable to the Padma, which, as above shown, occurs entire and the same in various parts of India. The imposition of which the other two are made the vehicles can deceive no one; as the purpose of the particular legend is always too obvious to leave any doubt of its origin.
Copies of what profess to be the entire Brahmánda Puráňa are sometimes, though rarely, procurable. I met with one in two portions, the former containing one hundred and twenty-four chapters, the latter, seventy-eight; and the whole containing about the number of stanzas assigned to the Puráňa. The first
* ? - † The four I. 0. L. MSS. of the Matsya have TEIT, not ye.
and largest portion, however, proved to be the same as the Váyu Purána, with a passage occasionally slightly varied, and at the end of each chapter the common phrase "Iti Brahmánda Puráne' substituted for 'Iti Váyu Puráňe'. I do not think there was any intended fraud in the substitution. The last section of the first part of the Váyu Puráňa is termed the Brahmánda section, giving an account of the dissolution of the universe: and a careless or ignorant transcriber might have taken this for the title of the whole. The checks to the identity of the work have been honestly preserved, both in the index and the frequent specification of Váyu as the teacher or narrator of it.
The second portion of this Brahmánda is not any part of the Váyu: it is, probably, current in the Dakhin as a Samhitá or Khanda. Agastya is represented as going to the city Kánchí (Conjeveram), where Vishńu, as Hayagriva, appears to him, and, in answer to his inquiries, imparts to him the means of salvation, the worship of Parasakti. In illustration of the efficacy of this form of adoration, the main subject of the work is an account of the exploits of Lalitá Deví, a form of Durgá, and her destruction of the demon Bhándásura. Rules for her worship are also given, which are decidedly of a Sákta or Tántrika description; and this work cannot be admitted, therefore, to be part of a genuine Puráňa.
The Upapuráňas, in the few instances which are known, differ little, in extent or subject, from some of those to which the title of Purána is ascribed. The Matsya enumerates but four; but the Deví Bhágavata | has a more complete list, and specifies eighteen. They
are: 1. The Sanatkumára, 2. Narasimha, * 3. Náradíya, 4. Siva, 5. Durvásasa, 6. Kápila, 7. Mánava, 8. Ausanasa, 9. Váruña, 10. Káliká, 11. Śámba, 12. Nandi, 13. Saura, 14. Párásara, 15. Aditya, 16. Máheśwara, 17. Bhagavata, 18. Vásishtha. The Matsya observes, of the second, that it is named in the Padma Puráňa, † and contains eighteen thousand verses. The Nandi it calls Nandá, and says, that Kárttikeya tells, in it, the story of Nandá. A rather different list is given in the Revá Khańda; or: 1. Sanatkumára, 2. Nárasimha, 3. Nandá, 4. Sivadharma, 5. Daurvásasa, 6. Bhavishya, related by Nárada or Náradiya, 7. Kápila, 8. Mánava, 9. Auśanasa, 10. Brahmáńda, 11. Váruña, 12. Káliká, 13. Máheśwara, 14. Sámba, 15. Saura, 16. Párásara, 17. Bhagavata, 18. Kaurma. These authorities, however, are of questionable weight; having in view, no doubt, the pretensions of the Devi Bhagavata to be considered as the authentic Bhagavata.
Of these Upapuráńas few are to be procured. Those in my possession are the Siva, considered as distinct from the Váyu, the Káliká, and, perhaps, one of the Náradíyas, as noticed above. I have, also, three of the
Skandhas of the Devi Bhagavata, which, most undoubtedly, is not the real Bhágavata, supposing that any Puráňa so named preceded the work of Bopadeva. There can be no doubt that in any authentic list the name of Bhagavata does not occur amongst the Upapuránas: it has been put there to prove that there are two works so entitled, of which the Purána is the Devi Bhagavata, the Upapuráňa, the Śrí Bhágavata. The true reading should be Bhárgava,* the Puráňa of Bhrigu: and the Devi Bhagavata is not even an Upapuráňa. It is very questionable if the entire work, which, as far as it extends, is eminently a Sákta composition, ever had existence.t
The Siva Upapuráňa contains about six thousand stanzas, distributed into two parts. It is related by Sanatkumára to Vyása and the Rishis at Naimishárańya; and its character may be judged of from the questions to which it is a reply. “Teach us”, said the Rishis, “the rules of worshipping the Linga, and of the god of gods adored under that type: describe to us his various forms, the places sanctified by him, and the prayers with which he is to be addressed.” In answer, Sanatkumára repeats the Siva Puráňa, containing the birth of Vishnu and Brahmá; the creation and divisions of the universe; the origin of all things from the Linga; the rules of worshipping it and Siva; the sanctity of
* This suggestion is offered by the anonymous author of the Durjanamukha-padma-páduká. See Burnouf's Bhagavata-puráňa, Vol. I., Preface, p. LXXVII.
+ The editor saw, at Benares, about twelve years ago, a manuscript of the Devi-bhagavata, containing some 18,000 ślokas. Its owner, a learned Brahman, maintained that his copy was complete. To collect its various parts, he had travelled during many years, and over a large part of India,