Notes about Puranas

* (Sanskrit – ancient Indic language, classical literary language of India)

Lord Siva said: Oh beautiful lady (Parvati), know that the Visnu, Narada, Bhagavata, Garuda, Padma and Varaha Puranas are sattvika; the Brahmanda, Brahma-vaivarta, Markandeya, Bhavisya, Vamana and Brahma Puranas are rajasika; and the Matsya, Kurma, Linga, Siva, Skanda and Agni Puranas are tamasika.

Srila Prabhupada: Purāṇas are made just to complete Vedic knowledge, or supplementary addition to the Vedic literature. Because Vedic literature is very difficult to understand, therefore they have been expanded by the Purāṇas for different classes of men. So there are three divisions of the Purāṇas: sattvika Purāṇa, rājasika Purāṇa and tamasika Purāṇa.

Sattvika Purāṇa is meant for the higher class of people who are in transcendental knowledge of Brahman, Paramātmā and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Rājasika Purāṇa are meant for those who are aspiring to have improvement of material condition.

And tamasika Purāṇa are meant for those who are in the lowest stage of…, little, just like animal life, and to develop them the Purāṇa is helping them to come to the second and first stage.

So there are different kinds of Purāṇas, eighteen Purāṇas. Because the whole Vedic literature means to claim all kinds of men. Not that those who are meat-eaters or drunkards, they are rejected. No. Everyone is accepted but there is-just like you go to a doctor. He’ll prescribe you different medicine according to the different disease. Not that he has got one disease, one medicine. Whoever comes and, offers that medicine. No. That is real treatment. Gradually, gradually.

But in the sāttvika-purāṇas, they are meant for immediately worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no gradual process. But gradually, one who comes to this stage, he’s advised. So Padma Purāṇa is one of the Purāṇas in the modes of goodness.

“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, qualities and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord, are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.” (Padma Purāṇa)

There are eighteen purāṇas, six for each quality, modes of the nature. Six purāṇas for the person who are in the modes of ignorance, six purāṇas for the person who are in the modes of passion, and six purāṇas for persons who are in the mode of goodness, those who are actually qualified brāhmaṇas. So Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is called Mahā-purāṇa. Mahā-purāṇa means the topmost of all the purāṇas.

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