Sunday, July 23, 2017

Vayu Purana - Review

Vayu Purana, translated by Bibek Debroy

This is the sixth Purana that I am reviewing. The name of the Purana as you can probably guess from the title is the Vayu Purana. The Vayu Purana has a bit of confusion surrounding it when you come to the list of Mahapuranas. This is because some people believe the Vayu Purana is fourth in the list of Mahapuranas whereas others believe the Shiva Purana is the fourth purana. However, the Vayu Purana is an important Purana.

This purana is a tamsik purana, a purana that glorifies Shiva. This Purana is a medium sized Purana and it has twenty-four thousand shlokas in all. These shlokas are divided into two parts. They are then further divided into one hundred and twelve chapters. There is just one last point before I start the review. The Vayu Purana is so named because it is believed that Vayu himself recited it.

Enough of introduction. Now, I would like to summarize and tell you my favourite story from this Purana. I am also sure that this is a story that very few would have heard.

Once during the time of destruction, Vishnu was sleeping on the never-ending abyss of water. While he was sleeping a huge lotus emerged from his navel. It glowed like a thousand suns and was very beautiful. Vishnu got up and started playing with it. While Vishnu was doing this Brahma came. He questioned who Vishnu was. Vishnu replied that he was the lord of everything. Brahma disagreed since he thought he was the lord of everything. Vishnu decided to enter Brahma’s stomach and see it for himself. As soon as he entered he saw all the worlds and places of the universe in Brahma’s stomach. He finally exited through Brahma’s mouth. Vishnu agreed that Brahma was great yet he could rival him. This time Brahma entered Vishnu’s stomach and saw many unique and different worlds there. However, Vishnu closed all the exits of his body and Brahma was trapped! The latter finally made himself very small and emerged through Vishnu’s navel and seated himself on the glowing lotus. Brahma was there forth also called Padma {lotus}Yoni {birth place}. Vishnu apologized to Brahma and replied that he had only wanted to play with Brahma for some time. Brahma then saw Shiva coming. Brahma did not know who Shiva was. Vishnu explained that Shiva was the destroyer of the world and their superior so they should pray to him. Brahma refused to do so but Vishnu persuaded him. Shiva pleased granted Brahma his desired boon that he, Shiva, would be born as Brahma’s son. Thus, was the meeting of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

I found this story interesting because I never knew that this was how the three main gods of Hinduism rivaled each other at first. Especially Brahma and Vishnu. It was a real shock to me when I first read this story. I always thought that all three gods were friendly to each other though there was a unnoticeable yet slight rivalry between them. I also never knew that Brahma was so proud that he didn’t want to worship Shiva, his superior. This story also gave me another shock that Shiva was born as Brahma’s son. That however is a story for another time.

There are two more topics to discuss before I conclude my review.

Firstly, I would like to talk about the different and interesting things in this Purana.
This Purana talks a lot about yoga and the death omens. The death omens tell you exactly how long you have left to live. If you see none of the omens then congratulations! You have a very long time to live, without worrying that death is just around the corner. The last topic I would like to discuss is the original recitation of the Purana.
  1. Vayu to Ushana
  2. Ushana to Brihaspati
  3. Brihaspati to Savita
  4. Savita to Mrityu
  5. Mrityu to Indra
  6. Indra to Vashishta
  7. Vashishta to Sarasvata
  8. Sarasvata to Tridhama
  9. Tridhama to Sharadvana
  10. Sharadvana to Trivishta
  11. Trivishta to Antariksha
  12. Antarisha to Trayaruna
  13. Trayaruna to Dhananjaya
  14. Dhananjaya to Kritanjaya
  15. Kritanjaya to Trinanjaya
  16. Trinanjaya to Bharadvaja
  17. Bharadvaja to Goutama
  18. Goutama to Niryantara
  19. Niryantara to Vajashrava
  20. Vajashrava to Somashushma
  21. Somashushma to Trinavindu
  22. Trinavindu to Daksha
  23. Daksha to Shaktri
  24. Shaktri to Parashara
  25. Parashara to Jatukarna
  26. Jatukarna to Vedavyasa
  27. Vedavyasa to Lomaharshana

As you can see there is a long line of virtous people from whom the Vayu Purana has passed. This Purana must be very holy since people like Indra, Vayu, Brihaspati and Goutama have heard and narrated it. Just think of all the punya you will obtain if you to read the whole thing. Another positive thing is that the person who reads this Purana is blessed with a healthy, wealthy and long life.

Book info:Print Length: 65 pages
Publisher: Books For All (An Imprint of Low Price Publications) (August 26, 2016)
Publication Date: August 26, 2016

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© 2017, Anika Agarwal. All rights reserved.

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