Author: Pushpendra Kumar
M N Dutt/
Editor(s): Pushpendra Kumar
Publisher: Eastern Book Linkers
ISBN/UPC (if available): 817854086X
The different works known by the name of Puranas (od old) are evidently derived from the myth-heroic stage of Hindu belief. The Puranas are commonly stated to be eighteen in number. It is said there are also eighteen Upa-Puranas or Minor Puranas-but the names of all these are not found. The principal eighteen Puranas are Brahma, Padma, Visnu, Siva, Bhagvata, Naradiya, Markandeya, Agni, Bhavisya, Brahma Vaivarta, Linga, Varaha, Skanda, Vamana, Kurma, Matsya, Garuda and Brahmanda.
All these Puranas are classed into three groups according to the qualities which prevail in them. The Matsya Purana remarks that those in which glory of Hari or Visnu prevails are Sattvika; those in which the legends of Agni of Siva predominate are Tamasa and those which dwell most on the stories of Brahma are Rajasa.
A noticeable change can be discerned in the Purana sin social rites and customs, religious traditions and moral ideals and manners from that of the Vedas and others. The Vedic hymns of creations, of praise, portraying incidents connected with some ancient kings, may be taken as the nucleus from which arose, the value of the Puranas can be minimized by calling their avowed theme. The presentation of the history of the Guptas upto the end of the 5th century A D. The Puranas are a source of valuable information for the ancient period of Indian History. Prior to Bharat war, history can be reconstructed with the Data available from the puranas.
The Garuda Purana is a Vaisnave Purana and hence can be termed as Sattvika Purana. It is enumerated in all the lists available in the Puranas, though these lists are not very ancient, yet they show the popularity of the Garuda Purana in the Paranic literature. Also the authors of Dharmasastric digests and philosophical works quote extensively from the Garuda-Purana, thus it holds a unique place among the Puranas.
The present English translation by M N Dutt was written and published hundred years before. Shri M N Dutt translated into English many Puranas and the Garuda Purana was one of them. It was first published in the year 1908. then it was reprinted. Now publishing its English translation with Sanskrit verses. It is a medium size Purana consisting eight thousand verses. Accordings to M N Dutt the book comprises three Samhitas viz the Agastya Samhita, the Brhaspati Samhita and the Dhanvantari Samhita. Each one of those Samhitas would give it a permanent value, and accord to it an undying fame among the works of practical ethics or applied medicine.
The Agastya Samhita deals with the formation, crystallization and distgisestive. Traits of the different precious gems and enumerates the names of the countries from which our fore-father used to collect these gems the cutting, polishing, setting and apprecising etc. of several kind of jems and dimond, as they were practiced in ancient India, cannot but be interesting to artists and lay men, and the scientific traders unbedded in the highly poetic accounts of these original gems. With the publication of this important Purana alongwith English translation from a rare book by Dr M N Dutt will help the scholars and the devotees as well.