Vishnudharmottara Purana

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The Vishnudharmottara Purana (or the Vishnudharmottara) is a Hindu text, encyclopedic in nature. Along with the narratives, it also deals with cosmology, cosmogony, geography, astronomy, astrology, division of time, pacification of unfavourbale planets and stars, genealogies (mostly of kings and sages), manners and customs, penances, duties of Vaishnavas, law and politics, war strategies, treatment of diseases of human beings and animals, cuisine, grammar, metrics, lexicography, metrics, rhetoric, dramaturgy, dance, vocal and instrumental music and arts.[1] It is considered as a supplement or appendix to the Vishnu Purana. It is included in the list of eighteen Upapuranas given in the Brihaddharma Purana (i.25.23-26).[2]

Contents[edit]

The extant text is divided into three khandas (parts). The first khanda comprises 269 adhyayas (chapters), the second khanda comprises 183 adhyayas and the third khanda comprises 118 adhyayas.

The third Khanda[edit]

Chapter I of the third khanda deals with the origin of image making and the interdependence of arts. Chapters 2-17 deal with grammar, lexicography, metrics and rhetoric. Chapters 18-19 deal with vocal and instrumental music. Chapters 20-34 deal with dance and dramturgy. Chapters 35-43 give an account of the various branches, methods and ideals of Indian painting. It deals not only with its religious aspect but also, and to a far greater extent, with its secular employment. It "proclaims the joy that colours and forms and the representation of things seen and imagined produce".[3] Chapters 44-85 deal with Pratimalakshana (iconography). Chapters 86-93 deal with temple construction. Chapters 94-108 deal with avahana (induction of deities into images). Chapters 109-118 deal with rites and rituals.

Stella Kramrisch says that while the Vishnu Purana cannot be earlier than the 2nd half of the 4th century CE, the chapters of the Vishnudharmottara that deal with painting must have been compiled in the 7th century CE.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hazra, R.C. (1962, reprint 2003). The Upapuranas in S. Radhakrishnan (ed.) The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol.II, Kolkata:The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, ISBN 81-85843-03-1, pp.277-8
  2. ^ Hazra, R.C. (1962, reprint 2003). The Upapuranas in S. Radhakrishnan (ed.) The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol.II, Kolkata:The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, ISBN 81-85843-03-1, p.272
  3. ^ Kramrisch, Stella. The Vishnudharmottara Part III: A Treatise On Indian Painting And Image-Making. Second Revised and Enlarged Edition, Calcutta: Calcutta University Press, 1928, p.3.
  4. ^ Kramrisch, Stella. The Vishnudharmottara Part III: A Treatise On Indian Painting And Image-Making. Second Revised and Enlarged Edition, Calcutta: Calcutta University Press, 1928, p.5.

External links[edit]