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Re: Sri Bhashyakarar and Sri Vishnupuranam etc

From: S. HariKrishna (krishna_at_n2net.net)
Date: Fri Apr 14 2000 - 21:19:45 PDT

----- Original Message -----
From: A.Bharat <kbharat@giasbg01.vsnl.net.in>
> 2.It had a reputation as an authoritative text from
> very old times- it is mentioned in Sangam literature
> and in Banabhatta's Harsha Charitam for instance.
> whereas there was a constant controversy re the
> authorship of Sri Bhagavatam even upto Sri BhAshyakArar's
> times.

I am unclear as to why there should be any question over the Bhaagavatam's
authenticity as a Puraana. I can most certainly say that the evidence does
not support the idea that the Puraana was a recent composition and that
anyone other than Vyaasa composed it. Other Puraanas glorify or at least
mention Shriimad Bhaagavatam, and it seems unlikely that such Puraanas would
glorify a scripture which had not been composed at the time of their
compilation! Here are a few examples:

padma puraaNa, uttara-khaNDa 236.18-21 lists the 18 puraaNa-s and this list
includes the bhaagaavata:

vaiShNava.m naaradiiya.m cha tathaa bhagavata.m subham |
gaaruDa.m cha tathaa paadma.m vaaraaha.m shubhadarshane ||
saatvikaani puraaNaani vij~neyaani shubhaani vai |
brahmaaNDa.m brahmavaivarta.m maarkaNDeya.m tathaiva cha ||
bhaviShyam vaamana.m braahma.m raajasaani nibodha me |
matsya.m kaurma.m tathaa lai.nga.m shaiva.m skaanda.m tathaaiva
cha aagneya.m cha ShaD etaani taamasaani nibodha me ||

The matsya puraaNa 53.20-22 describes the bhaagavatam as that puraana which
explains the topmost dharma with reference to the Gaayatrii mantra, tells of
the killing of the demon Vritra, and has 18,000 verses:

yatraadhikR^itya gaayatrii.m varNyate dharmavistaraH |
vR^itraasuravadhopeta.m tad bhaagavatam iShyate ||
likhitvaa tach cha yo dadyaad dhemasi.mhasamanvitam |
prauShThapadyaa.m paurNamaasyaa.m sa yaati paramaa.m gatim ||
aShTaadashasahasraaNi puraaNa.m tat prakiirtitam ||

The skandha puraaNa, prabhaasa-khaNDa 7.1.2.39-42 gives a similar
description:

yatraadhikR^itya gaayatriim...
saarasvatasya kalpasya madhye ye syur naraamaraaH |
tadvR^ittaantodbhava.m loke tach cha bhaagavata.m smR^itam ||
likhitvaa tach cha.... aShTaadasha sahasraaNi puraaNa.m tat prakiirtitam |

Similar verses are also found in agni puraaNa 272.6-7.

> 3.His guru SwAmi ALavandAr had given it the highest
> place and called it the PurANa Ratnam.So there was
> no question of Sri BhAshyakArar's choosing any other
> text.

----- Original Message -----
From: Anand Karalapakkam <kgk@md2.vsnl.net.in>

>   adiyEn humbly disagrees with SrI Bharat here. While
>   there is no doubt that SrI ViSNu purANam is superior to
>   SrImad BhAgavatham (Or any other purANam for that matter)
>   with regard to the explanation of tattvas, BhAgavatham
>   doesn't contradict vEdAnta ie. ViSishtAdvaita. It is only

Scripturally speaking, Shriimad Bhaagavata Puraana is the best of the
Puraanas, as confirmed by the Puraanas themselves:

puraaNeShu tu sarveShu shriimadbhaagavata.m param |
yatra pratipada.m kR^iShNo giiyate bahudharShibhiH ||

Among all the Puraanas, Shriimad-Bhaagavatam is the best. In every line
great sages glorify Lord Krishna in various ways (padma puraaNa,
uttara-khaNDa 193.3).

This quote can be found in Nag Publishers' edition (and hence, also the
Venkateshwara Steam Press edition).

Beyond the testimony of the aachaaryas, is there any scriptural evidence
describing Sri Vishnu Puraana as the best of the puraanas?

regards,

Krishna




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