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RE: Sri Hayagreeva avtaar

From: K V N Gopal (gopal_at_sagarika.aero.iisc.ernet.in)
Date: Mon Aug 17 1998 - 21:01:52 PDT

On Mon, 17 Aug 1998, Mani Varadarajan wrote:

> With respect to episodes from the purANa-s, there are some
> who accept them wholesale, and some who view them more allegorically
> or symbolically, thinking that they signify a truth that does
> not depend on the literal reality of the stories. My point is
> not to say one is wrong and the other correct. But it does no
> good to declare one viewpoint a blasphemy because it disagrees
> with one's understanding of sampradAyam -- I think it is safe
> to say that, at least among members of this list, no lack of 
> reverence and no contempt is shown in either viewpoint.
> 

  I second Mani's view on this matter as I find myself that a literal
  interpretion of many of the incidents/descriptions lead to mutual
  contradictions between different purANAs (I will put aside the 
  classification of these into Sattva, Rajas, Tamas for now) and also
  within a purANa. For example the differences in the very geneaology
  of the Solar Dynasty between Srimad Bhagavatam and Ramayana, the
  difference in the story of Sunasshepa (DevarAta) and many others.
  How do you explain literally the hiding of Bhoomi by HiranyAksha
  in the 'waters'? You also have to keep in mind the interpolations
  in almost all of these works.

  I also thought I will raise another doubt that I have and haven't
  yet got it clarified. 

  This pertains to the dasavataras as described in Srimad Bhagavatam.
  In the many dasavatara stotrams that I have come across, the order
  is always matsya, kUrma, varAha, narasimha, vamana, parasurama etc.
  (in fact a number of our people wave this card to let others know
  this anticipates the Evolutionary theory :-)). But if one reads
  Bhagavatam the kUrma avatara comes after narasimha avatara. It also
  fits in there in that the king of the daityas is Bali (the son of
  Virochana and the grandson of Prahlada). Can someone try to explain
  the reason for this difference. (the order is the same whether one
  takes the dasAvatAra stotras of Sri Jayadeva, Sri Desikan or Sri Ananda
  tIrtha).


  -gopal