[Advaita-l] Re: bhAgavata purANa

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 24 22:56:24 CDT 2006

--- bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com wrote:

> Of these, six are Sattvic Puranas and glorify Vishnu; six are
> Rajasic and glorify Brahma; six are Tamasic and they glorify Siva."
> praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> I would like to know what would be the criteria that is going to
> determine
> whether one purANa is sAtvic  or tAmasic??  It seems some purANa-s
> have
> been classified as tAmasic only because  these purANa-s eulogizes
> shiva
> bhagavAn??  But in socalled sAtvic puraNA-s where vishNu bhagavAn
> is the
> main deity, shiva bhagavan has also been given the equal importance
> &
> glorified on par with vishNu.  So, IMHO, these classifications are
> purely
> subjective opinion of some bigoted  schools.

The classification that Swami Sivananda refers to is found in the
Puranas themselves -- therefore the classification is objective, not
subjective. The reference given in Wikipedia is Padma Purana,
Uttara-khanda, 236.18-21, which is verifiable. In case this reference
turns out to be spurious, I'm almost certain that I've read about
this classification in a translation of the Puranas by unbiased
Smartas, so I know that it is not without scriptural basis, and I
should be able to dig up the exact reference later.

Swami Sivananda (who cannot be labelled "bigoted", btw) does not say
that the rule for the classification of Puranas is according to the
deity being extolled, but that it his *observation* that those
Puranas that have been classified by the Puranas themselves as
Sattvic generally glorify Vishnu, etc.

But your point that many "Vaishnava" Puranas glorify Shiva is of
course correct, and I don't know what Swami Sivananda's answer to
that might be.

> By the way, dEvi
> bhAgavata
> comes under which category??

There are two Bhagavata Puranas - Srimad (for Krishna) and Devi.

The Mahapuranas referring to the 18 Mahapuranas give the name only as
Bhagavata, and there was apparently some dispute as to which
Bhagavata was being referred to as the Mahapurana.

Most historians now believe that the Srimad Bhagavatam is the
Mahapurana and the Devi Bhagavatam is an Upapurana. I also believe it
to be so, because in the Jivan-Mukti-Viveka, all of Swami
Vidyaranya's references to the "Bhagavata" without qualification is
implicitly to the Srimad Bhagavatam, so when the Mahapuranas also
refer to the "Bhagavata" without specifying which one is being
referred to, they too probably refer to the Srimad Bhagavatam.


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