Vayu Purana

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The Vayu Purana (Hindi: वायु पुराण, Vāyu Purāṇa) is a Shaiva Purana, a Hindu religious text, dedicated to the god Vayu (the wind god), containing about 24,000 shlokas.

Date[edit]

Banabhatta refers to this work in his Kadambari and Harshacharita. In the Harshacharita he says that this text was read out to him in his native village[1]

Alberuni (973 -1048), the noted Persian scholar, describes eighteen Puranas in his works and Vayu Purana is said to have ranked as a sacred scripture, even prior to 600.[2]

Editions and translations[edit]

The Asiatic Society, Calcutta published this text in two volumes in 1880 and 1888, as a part of their Bibliotheca Indica series. It was edited by Rajendralal Mitra. The Venkateshvara Press, Bombay edition was published in 1895. It was followed by the publication of another edition by the Anandashrama (Anandashrama Sanskrit Series 49), Poona. In 1910, the Vangavasi Press, Calcutta published an edition along with a Bengali translation by Panchanan Tarkaratna, the editor of the text.[3]

Contents[edit]

In the Anandashrama and Vangavasi editions, this text is divided into four padas (parts): Prakriya-pada (chapters 1–6), Anushanga-pada (chapters 7–64), Upodghata-pada (chapter 65–99) and Upasamhara-pada (chapters 100–112). The Gayamahatmya (chapters 105–112 in these editions), praising the Gaya tirtha in Magadha is not found in all the manuscripts of this work and also found separately as an independent work.[1] In the Asiatic Society and Venkateshvara Press editions, this text is divided into two parts: Prathamakhanda comprising 61 chapters and Dvitiyakhanda comprising 50 chapters. The chapters 1-6 of Prathamakhanda are titled Prakriya-pada and no title is provided for the chapters 7-61. The chapters 1-42 of Dvitiyakhanda are titled Anushanga-pada and the chapters 43-50 are the Gayamahatmya.[3]

The Vayu Purana deals with the following topics: creation and re-creation of the universe; measurement of the Kala (time); Origin of Agni, Varuna and a number of gods; origin and descendants of Atri, Bhrigu, Angiras and some other sages, daityas, rakshasas, gandharvas and pitrs; origin of animals, birds, trees and creepers; genealogies of the ancient kings descended from Vaivasvata Manu and Ila and the kings of Kaliyuga ending with the Gupta dynasty; detailed geography of the earth divided into seven dvipas and further sub-divided into the varshas; accounts of inhabitants of different dvipas; names and descritption of the seven Patalas (netherworlds); description of the solar system and the movements of the celestial bodies; description of the four yugas and fourteen manvantaras. It also contains chapters on music, various shakhas of the Vedas, Pashupata-yoga, duties of the people belong to different castes and funeral rites.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hazra, R.C. (1962). The Puranas in S. Radhakrishnan ed. The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol.II, Calcutta: The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, ISBN 81-85843-03-1, pp.253–5
  2. ^ Indian Empire The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 2, p. 272.
  3. ^ a b Rocher, Ludo (1986). "The Purāṇas". In Jan Gonda (ed.). A History of Indian Literature. Vol.II, Epics and Sanskrit religious literature, Fasc.3. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 243–5. ISBN 3-447-02522-0. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Mani, Vettam. Puranic Encyclopedia. 1st English ed. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1975.

External links[edit]