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The present book is a collection of essays written at different points of time and published in reputed journals and books. What blends them together is the use of the primary source material in the form of a vast compendium of Puranic literature (backed by epigraphic, archaeological and anthropological data), which has been utilized to arrive at conclusions pertaining to changes in Indian society and religion during the later half of first millennium AD when the major Puranas were being compiled. The period represents a watershed in Indian history, for it marked a transition from a commercially viable economic order to a closed feudal economy. The social and religious dimensions of the brahmanical system were particularly impacted by such a transition resulting in some innovative forms of restructuring. It has been the purpose behind most of the present articles to reassess and utilize the available Puranic evidence for getting fresh insights into the rationale and precise nature of these changes. The key areas of thrust in these articles are changes in material culture, awareness and mode of dealing with environmental issues, gender based differentiation, recent ritual formations such as Mahadana and Tirthas as well as the utilization of myth as a mode of expressing historical reality.
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The present book attempts to supplement the work of Pargiter on the Cultural plane. Pargiter was concerned with the dynastic records of the Puranic texts while this book aims to interpret cultural history from the Vayu Purana. The work is divided into ten chapters arranged systematically. The first five chapters contain facts of intellectual culture and the last five of material culture. The presentation of material has involved a great deal of translation and interpretation of the Puranic text. The work has two appendices and a critical introduction. Appendix A identifies the places and tribes. Appendix B describes the centres of pilgrimage. Introduction surveys the previous research on the Puranas, on the Vayu particularly. It discusses the antiquity of the Vayu, its value for the cultural history and the method followed in the present investigation. It also gives an outline of political history as found in the Vayu Purana. This book is valuable not only for Indian Culture, but also for a critical edition of Vayu, and consequently of other Purana material.
The ancient legends and myths of the great religions and folk traditions of the world tell us of marvelous things, tales that, until very recently were considered within the realm of fantasy and not reality by the self-anointed "wise" of our rationalist age--cities which were swallowed by the sea, or an engulfing Earth itself; populated underworlds of varied descriptions, some paradisical, others more hellish; non-human beings with the ability to fly, to travel to nearby planets.
Papers on the 12th world Sanskrit conference vol. 3.2
The Puranas, as suggested by their name, describe events deep in the earth’s past. Finding a complete cosmology in the ancient Puranic texts that is mostly aligned to the view of cutting-edge science is almost incredible. This book attempts to do so – through an exploratory analysis. The narrative is pieced together by exploring familiar stories from the Puranas in great depth. In the well-known story of the Descent of Ganga, the extra-terrestrial origin of Earth’s waters has been described in amazing detail. The story of the birth of the Sun God Martanda bears a striking resemblance to the origin of the sun. The Churning of the Milk Ocean recounts the re-appearance of the Moon. The book delves into many such stories along with external evidence to come up with a compelling chronicle of our Universe. The book shows the Puranic texts in a fascinating new light. It also serves as a primer to the general interest reader by tackling some of the questions that modern science is grappling with in its study of the cosmos.
Puranas are almost like an encyclopaedia listing the human achievements in this part of the world till the time they were edited or compiled. In every cycle of time the master editor called Vedavyas emerges to edit, vet and compile these records. Their significance is enormous even in the present, as they give a peep into the distant past of Hindus when the world was evolving and the psyche of the race was being formed. These Puranas record the arguments that make us to decide as to what is holy and what is vile; what is good and what is bad. By going through them we can compare our present day jurisprudence vis-a-vis the ancient norms. Apart from that, they are a huge store-house of information conceiving every subject under the sun. It is with the view of unearthing these gems that the present series of the puranas has been planned.
The Period Ad 300-1000 Is Often Described As The 'Golden Age' Of Indian History, Phenomenal And All-Round Intellectual Advancement Was Perhaps The Distinctive Characteristic Of This Age. Vigorous Religious, Cultural And Philosophical Pursuits Encompassed Every Sphere Of Life-The Arts, Architecture And Music, Dance And Literature. Such Activity Resulted In Competition And Rivalry That Were Never Irrational, Soulless Or Destructive. Indeed The Central Spirit Was One Of Tolerance, Mutual Respect And Even Correlational Adaptation And Reciprocal Acceptance. It Is Equally Interesting To Observe That The Rise And Fall Of Dynasties And Political Powers, Big Or Small, Did Little To Hamper The Growth And Activities Of Religious Sects, And Schools Of Philosophy, Art And Literature, That Flourished During The Period Under Review.
Puranas are almost like an encyclopedia listing the hitman achievements in this part of the world till the time they were edited or compiled. In every cycle of time the master editor called Veda vyas emerges to edit, vet and compile these records. Their significance is enormous even in the present, as they give a peep into the distant past of Hindus when the world was evolving and the psyche of the race was being formed. These Puranas record the arguments that make us to decide as to what is holy and what is vile; what is good and what is had. By going through them we can compare our present day jurisprudence vis-a-vis the ancient norms. Apart from that, they are a huge store-house of information conceiving every subject under the sun. It is with the view of unearthing these gems that the present series of the puranas has been planned.

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