[Advaita-l] shiva mahA purANa

Satish Arigela satisharigela at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 6 08:29:51 CST 2011

>No but it is not any kind of tarka if it is based on opinion instead of facts.  
>Unfortunately this is one area >where facts are hard to come by.

I agree with you here. No tarka is involved except for plain common sense that 
the purANa-s which developed over centuries were not authored by single person.

>The problem is that a lot of these doubts are based on circular reasoning i.e. 
>the date of the literature is >based on what is thought to be the prevailing 
>philosophies and the philosophies are dated based on the >literary evidence.

 I used to take a similar position as stated above but abandoned over time. 

First: Are you sure scholars(Both western, and few traditional Indians) base 
this only on literary evidence?

One of the greatest advantage these scholars have is that they also take into 
account archeological evidence. This when coupled and compared with events and 
records from other and adjacent regions or with regions where there are cultural 
parallels, gives us better clarity. A significant portion of this circularity is 
avoided..There can only say what most likely happened but one can never be 100% 

>  What we end up with is often wild surmise which may possibly still be edifying 
>in some >ways but why >should we with our dharmic hats on give such surmise any 
>greater weight than the wild >surmise that a >man called Krishna Dwaipayana aka 
>Vedavyasa wrote 18 puranas?

Anyway one wont become more dhArmic or more traditional by holding that vyAsa 
authored the 18 purANa-s nor any less dharmic by attributing to some one else.

>But actually when I mentioned that Vedavyasa wrote 18 puranas the intent was not 
>to opine whether or >not there "really" was such a person and what his "time" 

It is clear now. I just remarked that this could not have come from vyAsa 
because the shiva purANa holds some unique positions regarding varNa which arent 
seen in other purANa-s coupled with the fact that the smriti-s might not 
encourage such a position. I did not read each and every line of the 18 purANa-s 
but it is unlikely that they hold such views. Additionally, it hints at some 
mantra-s which belong to the saiddhAntika-s and again not found in other* shaiva 

*A partial exception to this is the gem that is known as agni-purANa which has 
several directly adopted** chapters from shaiva and vaiShNava Agama-s

** We surmise that the purANa is the one which adopted because, they appear 
abrupt in the purANa while in the Agama there appear within a very clear 
and appropriate context with seeming continuity.

This along with other observations about its contents made to remark that the 
work has lots of influence from various shaiva sects.

>Personally, having publicly said Bhagavata katha myself and knowing several top 
>kathakars, I know that >it is not just tolerated but expected that the narrator 
>will add and subtract from the written words.  The >text is seen as a framework 
>for improvization like a raga instead of a "scripture" 

Nothing to disagree here. This is how the purANa-s are meant to be.

 >So whether one makes a >modern or tradition-based attempt, it is an exercise 
in futility to look for an >"authentic" puranic text.

Agree with the attempt being futile. It is not only futile but also nearly 

The other comments were exclusively meant for a different kind of people(the 
kind who gets easily enraged when anything traditional[in their perception] is 
questioned) and not directed at others.


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