[Advaita-l] How to read puranas

श्रीमल्ललितालालितः lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com
Mon May 23 01:03:09 CDT 2011

*श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <http://www.lalitaalaalitah.com>
lalitAlAlitaH <http://about.me/lalitaalaalitah/bio>*

On Mon, May 23, 2011 at 08:48, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>wrote:

> The Mimamsakas divide shastra (primarily they talk about shruti but the
> principles apply mutatis mutandis to smrti also.) into mantra,
> vidhi/niShedha, and arthavAda.  Mantra is the formulas used in rituals.
> Although they have literal meanings, they are essentially meaningless for
> the purpose of interpretation because their meaning is in their use.

Not so. karma done with knowledge of mantra, etc. become strong. यदेव विद्या
करोति .

> vidhi (do this) and nishedha (don't do that) are the principle core. That
> should be the focus of our reading.

Only in karma-shAstra. Not in purANa as it is not meant for only that.
Remember purANa-laxaNa from kUrma-purANa, etc.

>  It is vidhi and nishedha that constitutes dharma.  The rest -- all the
> stories, history, legends etc. are arthavada.

True for veda only as it was not created by men.

>  There is no need to treat any of them as either fact or fiction

Describing vaMsha, manvantara, etc. is work of purANa. They need attention
and they are facts.

> but they are not useless either.  Their purpose is to remind us or exhort
> us or warn us about some vidhi or nishedha.  For instance look at one of
> your examples:


> Applying this to the current discussion, whether or not the Buddha
> mentioned in puranas was real or not is immaterial.

For a karmi only.

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