Difference between revisions of "Vāmanapurāṇa"

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<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
 
<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
  
Vāmanapurāṇa is a comparatively short purāṇa listed among the Mahāpurāṇas. It was probably compiled during the period A. D. 600-900. The extant version has 5400 verses, spread over 95 adhyāyas or chapters, though, according to the Matsya and the Vāyu purāṇas, it has 10,000 verses. There seems to have been a second part of this purāṇa called Brhad-Vāmanapurāṇa which is not available now. It was narrated by the sage Pulastya to Nārada at his request.
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Vāmanapurāṇa is a comparatively short purāṇa listed among the Mahā[[purāṇas]]. It was probably compiled during the period A. D. 600-900. The extant version has 5400 verses, spread over 95 adhyāyas or chapters, though, according to the Matsya and the Vāyu [[purāṇas]], it has 10,000 verses. There seems to have been a second part of this purāṇa called Brhad-Vāmanapurāṇa which is not available now. It was narrated by the sage [[Pulastya]] to Nārada at his request.
  
As the name very indicates, it is concerned with the avatāra of Viṣṇu as Vāmana, the fifth incarnation among the Daśāvatāras and hence it is a Vaiṣṇava purāṇa. However, equal importance and reverence have been accorded to Śiva and Devi also. The story of Vāmana and Bali<ref>Bali is the king of Asuras.</ref> has been narrated in great detail in the chapters.<ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 73</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 74</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 75</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 77</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 89</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 91</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 92</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 93</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 94</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 95</ref>
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As the name very indicates, it is concerned with the [[avatāra]] of [[Viṣṇu]] as [[Vāmana]], the fifth incarnation among the [[Daśāvatāras]] and hence it is a Vaiṣṇava purāṇa. However, equal importance and reverence have been accorded to [[Śiva]] and [[Devi]] also. The story of [[Vāmana]] and [[Bali]]<ref>[[Bali]] is the king of [[Asuras]].</ref> has been narrated in great detail in the chapters.<ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 73</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 74</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 75</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 77</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 89</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 91</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 92</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 93</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 94</ref><ref>Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 95</ref>
  
 
==Contents of Vāmanapurāṇa==
 
==Contents of Vāmanapurāṇa==
 
Other subjects dealt with are:
 
Other subjects dealt with are:
* Śiva cutting off one of the five heads of Brahmā  
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* [[Śiva]] cutting off one of the five heads of [[Brahmā]]
 
* Śiva redeemed at Vārāṇasī
 
* Śiva redeemed at Vārāṇasī
* Destruction of Dakṣa’s sacrifice
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* Destruction of [[Dakṣa]]’s sacrifice
* Satī<ref>She is Śiva’s wife.</ref> immolating herself and reborn as Pārvati, the daughter of Himalayas
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* Satī<ref>She is Śiva’s wife.</ref> immolating herself and reborn as [[Pārvati]], the daughter of Himalayas
* Śiva burning up Kāma<ref>Kāma means the god Eros.</ref>
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* Śiva burning up [[Kāma]]<ref>[[Kāma]] means the god Eros.</ref>
 
* Observance of certain vratas like Kālāṣtamī
 
* Observance of certain vratas like Kālāṣtamī
* Story of Durgā, Mahiṣāsura and Andhaka
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* Story of Durgā, Mahiṣā[[sura]] and [[Andhaka]]
* Greatness of the Sarasvatī river
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* Greatness of the [[Sarasvatī]] river
 
* Detailed description of Kurukṣetra and pilgrim centers associated with it
 
* Detailed description of Kurukṣetra and pilgrim centers associated with it
 
* Story of Daṇdaka and Daṇdakāraṇya including Śukrācārya’s curse
 
* Story of Daṇdaka and Daṇdakāraṇya including Śukrācārya’s curse
* Various incidents connected with Prahlāda
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* Various incidents connected with [[Prahlāda]]
 
* Story of Gajendra’s deliverance
 
* Story of Gajendra’s deliverance
 
* Several topics dealt with in the dharmaśāstra treatises have been described here, such as tlrthas<ref>Tlrthas means holy rivers.</ref>
 
* Several topics dealt with in the dharmaśāstra treatises have been described here, such as tlrthas<ref>Tlrthas means holy rivers.</ref>
* Sadācāra - good conduct
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* [[Sadācāra]] - good conduct
* Sāmanya-dharma<ref>Sāmanya-dharma means virtues common for all.</ref>
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* Sāmanya-[[dharma]]<ref>Sāmanya-[[dharma]] means virtues common for all.</ref>
* Āśrama-dharma<ref>Āśrama-dharma means duties of the four stages of life.</ref>
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* Āś[[rama]]-dharma<ref>Āśrama-dharma means duties of the four stages of life.</ref>
 
* Vratas<ref>Vratas means religious observances.</ref>
 
* Vratas<ref>Vratas means religious observances.</ref>
* Karma theory and its application
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* [[Karma]] theory and its application
  
 
==Geographical Analogies==
 
==Geographical Analogies==
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* A detailed geographical descriptions of mountains, rivers and janapadas<ref>Janapadas means countries.</ref> are found here.
 
* A detailed geographical descriptions of mountains, rivers and janapadas<ref>Janapadas means countries.</ref> are found here.
 
* The mountains are:
 
* The mountains are:
# Mahendra
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# [[Mahendra]]
 
# Malaya
 
# Malaya
 
# Sahya
 
# Sahya
 
# Suktimān
 
# Suktimān
 
# Rkṣa
 
# Rkṣa
# Vindhya
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# [[Vindhya]]
 
# Pāriyātra
 
# Pāriyātra
 
* The various rivers arising from there are also mentioned.
 
* The various rivers arising from there are also mentioned.
 
* The janapadas divided according to the traditional directions are:
 
* The janapadas divided according to the traditional directions are:
# Aṅga
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# [[Aṅga]]
 
# Bāhlīka
 
# Bāhlīka
 
# Bhārakaccha
 
# Bhārakaccha
 
# Caula
 
# Caula
# Kāmbhoja
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# [[Kāmbhoja]]
 
# Kerala
 
# Kerala
 
# Prāgjyotiṣa
 
# Prāgjyotiṣa
# Puṇḍra
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# [[Puṇḍra]]
 
# Surāṣṭra
 
# Surāṣṭra
 
# Tuṣāra
 
# Tuṣāra
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* Early marriage
 
* Early marriage
 
* Śulka-dharma<ref>It means bridegroom’s parents giving money and presents to the bride.</ref>
 
* Śulka-dharma<ref>It means bridegroom’s parents giving money and presents to the bride.</ref>
* Restriction of freedom to girls and women
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* Restriction of freedom to girls and [[women]]
 
* Satī-custom prevalent in certain sections of the society
 
* Satī-custom prevalent in certain sections of the society
 
* Disfavor of polygamy and having too many of-fsprings
 
* Disfavor of polygamy and having too many of-fsprings
 
* Killing of animals and felling of trees frowned upon
 
* Killing of animals and felling of trees frowned upon
 
* Strict adherence to the caste-system but possibility of attaining the status of a brāhmaṇa by taking bath in certain holy rivers<ref>It is done observing all the necessary disciplines.</ref> accepted.
 
* Strict adherence to the caste-system but possibility of attaining the status of a brāhmaṇa by taking bath in certain holy rivers<ref>It is done observing all the necessary disciplines.</ref> accepted.
* Though the language of the work is similar to that of the general purāṇas, it often rises to great literary heights while describing the seasons, the mountains, city of Vārāṇasī and the battles between the devas and asuras.
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* Though the language of the work is similar to that of the general purāṇas, it often rises to great literary heights while describing the seasons, the mountains, city of Vārāṇasī and the battles between the [[Devas and Asuras|devas and asuras]].
  
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
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* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram [[Krishna]] Math, Bangalore
  
 
[[Category:Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism]]
 
[[Category:Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism]]

Latest revision as of 08:46, 19 December 2016

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Vamanapurana, VAmanapurANa, Vaamanapuraana


Vāmanapurāṇa is a comparatively short purāṇa listed among the Mahāpurāṇas. It was probably compiled during the period A. D. 600-900. The extant version has 5400 verses, spread over 95 adhyāyas or chapters, though, according to the Matsya and the Vāyu purāṇas, it has 10,000 verses. There seems to have been a second part of this purāṇa called Brhad-Vāmanapurāṇa which is not available now. It was narrated by the sage Pulastya to Nārada at his request.

As the name very indicates, it is concerned with the avatāra of Viṣṇu as Vāmana, the fifth incarnation among the Daśāvatāras and hence it is a Vaiṣṇava purāṇa. However, equal importance and reverence have been accorded to Śiva and Devi also. The story of Vāmana and Bali[1] has been narrated in great detail in the chapters.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Contents of Vāmanapurāṇa

Other subjects dealt with are:

  • Śiva cutting off one of the five heads of Brahmā
  • Śiva redeemed at Vārāṇasī
  • Destruction of Dakṣa’s sacrifice
  • Satī[12] immolating herself and reborn as Pārvati, the daughter of Himalayas
  • Śiva burning up Kāma[13]
  • Observance of certain vratas like Kālāṣtamī
  • Story of Durgā, Mahiṣāsura and Andhaka
  • Greatness of the Sarasvatī river
  • Detailed description of Kurukṣetra and pilgrim centers associated with it
  • Story of Daṇdaka and Daṇdakāraṇya including Śukrācārya’s curse
  • Various incidents connected with Prahlāda
  • Story of Gajendra’s deliverance
  • Several topics dealt with in the dharmaśāstra treatises have been described here, such as tlrthas[14]
  • Sadācāra - good conduct
  • Sāmanya-dharma[15]
  • Āśrama-dharma[16]
  • Vratas[17]
  • Karma theory and its application

Geographical Analogies

Unlike other purāṇas, this purāṇa does not give the genealogies of kings and sages.

  • A detailed geographical descriptions of mountains, rivers and janapadas[18] are found here.
  • The mountains are:
  1. Mahendra
  2. Malaya
  3. Sahya
  4. Suktimān
  5. Rkṣa
  6. Vindhya
  7. Pāriyātra
  • The various rivers arising from there are also mentioned.
  • The janapadas divided according to the traditional directions are:
  1. Aṅga
  2. Bāhlīka
  3. Bhārakaccha
  4. Caula
  5. Kāmbhoja
  6. Kerala
  7. Prāgjyotiṣa
  8. Puṇḍra
  9. Surāṣṭra
  10. Tuṣāra
  11. Vaṅga

Customs in Vāmanapurāṇa

Some of the social customs that prevailed were:

  • Early marriage
  • Śulka-dharma[19]
  • Restriction of freedom to girls and women
  • Satī-custom prevalent in certain sections of the society
  • Disfavor of polygamy and having too many of-fsprings
  • Killing of animals and felling of trees frowned upon
  • Strict adherence to the caste-system but possibility of attaining the status of a brāhmaṇa by taking bath in certain holy rivers[20] accepted.
  • Though the language of the work is similar to that of the general purāṇas, it often rises to great literary heights while describing the seasons, the mountains, city of Vārāṇasī and the battles between the devas and asuras.


References

  1. Bali is the king of Asuras.
  2. Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 73
  3. Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 74
  4. Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 75
  5. Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 77
  6. Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 89
  7. Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 91
  8. Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 92
  9. Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 93
  10. Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 94
  11. Vaiṣṇava purāṇa 95
  12. She is Śiva’s wife.
  13. Kāma means the god Eros.
  14. Tlrthas means holy rivers.
  15. Sāmanya-dharma means virtues common for all.
  16. Āśrama-dharma means duties of the four stages of life.
  17. Vratas means religious observances.
  18. Janapadas means countries.
  19. It means bridegroom’s parents giving money and presents to the bride.
  20. It is done observing all the necessary disciplines.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore