Author: M N Dutt
Editor(s): Pushpendra Kumar
Publisher: Eastern Book Linkers
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8178540878
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.
The Agni Purana, that is the cream of all sciences and the cause of all (13) creation and dissolution, of various families, periods of Manu and genealogies. The Lord Visnu assumes the forms of fish, tortoise etc. There are two sciences, superior and inferior. O twice-born one, the Veda, Rik, Yajus, Saman and Atharvan, the six auxiliaries of the Vedas, namely (Siksa), the science of proper articulation and pronunciation, (Kalpa) ritual or ceremonial, (Vyakarana) grammar, (Nirukta) etymological explanation of difficult Vedic words (Jyotis) astronomy, (Chandas) science of prosody, (Abhidhana) lexicon, Mimamsa, Dharma Sastras Nyaya, medical science, musical science, the science of archery and Political economy these all are the inferior sciences. The superior science is that by which Brahman is comprehended (14-17). I will describe unto thee the great Purana, Agni, containing the great and eternal knowledge of Brahman, that which is invisible, incomprehensible, stable and eternal.
In the general treatment of the subjects of the author, however, does not stick to the five principal topics which should constitute a Purana. He even loses sight of the two knowledge, divine and secular set forth by him originally in the introduction. He has introduced a number of topics, useful to men, without any system or methods, His work is more like an Encyclopaedia, containing a variety of useful topics bearing on later Sanskrit learning.
The early chapters of this Purana describe the Avataras, and in those of Rama and Krsna, avowedly follow the Ramayana and Mahabharata. A Considerable portion is appropriated to instructions for the performance of religious ceremonies; many of which belong to the Tantrik rituals and are apparently transcribed from the principal authorities of that system. Some belong to mystical forms of Siva worship, little known in Hindusthan, though perhaps, still practiced in the south. One of thee is the Diksa or initation of a novice; by which numerous ceremonies and invocation in which the mysterious monosyllables of Tantras are constantly, the disciple, is transformed into a living personation of Siva, and receives, in that capacity the homage of his Guru.
On the final analysis, the Agni Purana shows that it owes much to the various branches of literature of early medieval times and is especially indebted to the four Vedas, Upanisads, Smrtis, Visnudharmottara and the Harivamsa uranas; the Visnu and the Matsya Puranas, the two epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharta; the Hayasirsa, the Gita, the Samkhya, the Vedanta, the Samhita of Caraka and Susruta and Naradiyasiksa Monoyllabic lexicography of Ksapanaka, the Pingalasutra, the lexicon of Amarsimha, Bharata, Bhamaha, Dandian etc. Vaisnava and Saivagamas. Thus Agni Purana presents essence of all branches of knowledge and is an encyclopedia of all that existed.
PREFACE TO NEW EDITION
I. Costomary Salutation, conference between Suta and Sablnaka. Suta volunteers a narration of the Agnipuranam as described him by the holy Vysasa who in his turn learned it from Vasistha
II. The fire God narrates to the holy Vasisha, all about the Fish manifestation of the Supremen Visnu
III. The God of fire describes the Tortoise incornation of Visnu, and the incidents of his life on earth
IV. The Same Contd.
V. The fire God gives a summary of the Ramayana
VI. Narada takes up the thread of the narrative and the summary of Ramayana continued
VII. Narada proceeds the story of Ramayana
VIII. The Story of Ramayana continued
IX. Hamimana leaps over to Lanka and thus summary continued
X. Rama sent Angada to Ravana demanding the surrender of Sita. Rama’s return to Ayodhya with Sita and Laksmana in the aerialcar, Puspaka.
XI. Agastya sees Rama and narrates to him a history of the birth of Ravana and his brother etc.
XII. The God of Fire describes the birth of Krsna in the womb of Devaki and the story of his life
XIII. The God of Fire gives a geneology of the sovereigns of the race of the Moon and story of Mahabharta.
XIV. The armies of the Kurus and the Pandus meet in the memorable field of Kuruksetra Krsna exhorts Arjuna todo his duty his duty and story continued
XV. The story continued. Death of Krsna and Baldeva, etc.
XVI. The God of Fire describes the incidents in the life of the Buddha incarnation of Visnu. Kalki, the last incarnation of Visnu
XVII. The God of Fire describes the creation of the universe. Brahma is unmanifest and self-existent. Origin of sex.
XVIII. The God of Fire describes the ancestry and birth of Dhruva. Birth of Daksa. The birth of the Rudras. Mahadeva begets sons of Sati.
XIX. The sons of Kasyapa, Birth of twelve Adityas etc.
XX. Successive-orders of creations, such as those of Mahat, Tanmatra etc. Marriage of Satin her second incarnation
XXI. The procedure of Visnu worship
XXII. The rite of ceremonial ablution to be performed before undertaking any sort of religious life
XXIII. Narada describes the mode of worshipping the god Visnu etc.
XXIV. The rite of fire. The adjustment of vessues and utensils around the fire pits
XXV. Narada enumerates the Mantras respectively held sacred to the different manifestations of Vasudeve
XXVI. The Mudras used in worship
XXVII. The rite of initiation. The preparation and purification of the sacrificial ground etc.
XXVIII. The rite of Abhiseka, preparatory to the attainment of Siddhis
XXIX. The practice of mantra in a temple subsequent to a worship of the God Hari.
XXX. The mode of worshipping the different deities and spiritual beings in the different parts of the mystic diagram etc.
XXXI. The rite of Marjana and its process
XXXII. The forty-eight Samskaras, the seven Vratas, the eights Paravan-Sraddhas, seven Hari-ajnas, etc.
XXXIII. The rite of Pavtrarohana. The Gayatri sacred to the god. Prayer, the worship and the Angapuja
XXXIV. Decoration and purification of the sacrificial Mandala. The rite of Dvara-Yajna etc.
XXXV. The rite of Pavitradhivasanam the worship of Visnu including prayers.
XXXVI. The rite of Pavitrarohanam, sacred to visnu.
XXXVII. A summary of the procedure to be adopted in all rites of pavitrarohanam
XXXVIII. The merit of building and consecrating temples to the god etc.
XXXIX. Consecration of divine images. The Pancaratra school of Philosophy
XL. The procedure to be adopted in making Argha offerings to the God
XLI. Rules to be observed in lying down the foundation of a divine edifice
XLII. The structure of a divine temple or edifice.
XLIII. The rite of installing an idol in a temple
XLIV. The essential points in an image of the god Vasudeva or of any other deity.
XLV. The essential points of a divine pedestaland the dimensions
XLVI. The characteristic traits of the different classes of salagrama stone
XLVII. The process of worshipping a Salagrama
XLVIII. Hymn to the twenty four manifestations of the God Visnu
XLIX. The ten incarnations of Visnu, the characteristic features of their images
L. Dimensions of the image of the goddesses their decorations weapons and accompaniments
LI. An image of the sun-god, with those of his companion deities. Signs of zodiac.
LII. The Yoginis and the characteristic features of their images.
LIII. The essential points of a phallic emblem. Mode of sculpturing a phallic emblem and its dimensions
LIV. The merit of worhsipping phallic emblems made of different substance
LV. Pedestals of images, their dimensions
LVI. The rite of dikpala yoga
LVII. The rite of taking possession of the sacrificial ground
LVIII. The rite of consecratory ablution.
LIX. The rite of Adhivasanam.
LX. Rite of installation of the pedestal of a divine image
LXI. The rite of avabhrtha
LXII. Rite of consecration of divine images in general
LXIII. The rite of consecrating the image of Garuda, of brahma, the narasinha etc
LXIV. Consecration of tanks and ponds
LXV. The mode of building Gopuras.
LXVI. Consecration of the images of gods and spiritual beings, such as the sun, etc.
LXVII. The rite of Girnoddhiaram
LXVIII. Description of the feastes and the parading of an idol
LXIX. The rite of Avabritha Snanam and its rules
LXX. The rite of consecration trees and fruits, gardens.
LXXI. The worship of the god Ganesa
LXXII. The rite of offering of libationso f water to the gods and preceptors
LXXIII. The worship of the sun
LXXIV. The worship of the god Siva
LXXV. The rite of kindling the sacrificial fire at the close of the preceding worship
LXXVI. The methods of worshipping the image of Shiva
LXXVII. The process of worshipping the cow Kapila
LXXVIII. The process of investing a divine image with the hole thread
LXXIX. The process of investing a divine image with the hole thread
LXXX. The process of investing a divine image with the hle thread
LXXXI. The rite of spiritual initiation
LXXXII. Sankskara-diksha or the rite of purifying initiation
LXXXIII. The process of illumining
LXXXIV. The process of illumining
LXXXV. The process of illumiininh
LXXXVI. The union of the too fundamental principles of the universe
LXXXVII. The union of the Viday kala an dPinchinakala
LXXXVIII. The union of a beatific knowledge and absolute peace
LXXXIX. The beatific principle of shantyatra kala
XC. The spiritual intiation of Tattviki
XCI. The rite of Abhisheka
XCII. The worship of Vishnu, the sun and other
XCIII. The installation of a phalicemblem
XCIV. The construction of the divine edifice
XCV. The worship of Caraki and her compassions
XCVI. The installation of the phallic emblem
XCVIII. The purification of the component principles of the body
XCIX. The process of installing the image of gauri
C. The process of installing an image of the sun-god
CI. The rite of the consecration
CII. The process of consecrating a diving edifice
CIII. The consecration of the pinnacle and banner
CIV. The process of repairing of replacing a phallic emblem
CV. The general characteristics of a di fice
CVI. The worship of the god of the homestead
CVII. The foundation of a city and the rite of word ping the Vastu
CVIII. The different continents of the terrestrial glags
CIX. The seven great islands
CX. The greatness of the sacred pools and places
CXI. The sanctity of the river Canges
CXII. The sanctity of the congruence of the rivers Ganges and Yamuna at Prayag
CXIII. The sanctity of Benares
CXIV. The glory of the sacred stream of Narmada
CXV. The glory of the sacred pilgirimage of gaya
CXVI. The glory of the sacred pilgrimage of gaya
CXVII. The process of performing the Sraddha ceremony at Gaya
CXVIII. The topography of Bhartavarsha
CXIX. The toporgraphy of Jambudwipa
CXX. Interdicted rites and foods
CXXI. The atonement for sins
CXXII. The penances for deadly sinners
CXXIII. The most mysterious of the sin exting rites
CXXIV. The most mysterious of the sin exting rites
CXXV. The most mysterious of the sin exiting rites
CXXVI. The fasts, ceremonies, and penances
CXXVII. The vratas to be performed on the day of the second phase of the Moon’s wane or increase
CXXVIII. The Vratas of the fifth phase
CXXIX. The Panchami-Vrata
CXXX. The Shasthi-Vratas
CXXXI. The Saptami-Vratas
CXXXII. The Asthami Vratas
CXXXIII. The Dashami Vratas
CXXXIV. The Vratas t be performed in days of the eleventh phase
CXXXV. The Vratas to be performed on days of the twelfth phase
CXXXVI. The Shravana Dvadashi Vrata
CXXXVII. The Vrata which is complementary to all other Vratas
CXXXVIII. Trayodashi Vratas
CXXXIX. The different acts of atonement
CXL. The Shivaratri Varta
CXLI. The Ashoka Purnima Vrata
CXLII. Vratas under various asterisms
CXLIII. The Nakshatra Vratas
CXLIV. The divasa Vratas
CXLV. Monthly vows
CXLVI. Ritu vratas or season vows
CXLVII. The vow for illuminating a divine edifice
CXLVIII. The nine-fold propitiation
CXLIX. The worship of Hari
CL. The fruits acquired by a man for worshipping hari
CLI. The vow of monthly fasting
CLII. The king of all the vows
CLIII. The worship of the holy sage Agastya
CLIV. The practice of the Kumuda Vrata
CLV. The process of making gifts of the occasion of Vratas
CLVI. The pity accruing from making various Vratas
CLVII. The sixteen great gifts
CLVIII. The gift of cows and baffaloes
CLIX. The gift made in different months
CLX. The gift of the whole earth
CLXI. Nadachakra or the system of veins, nerves, and arteries
CLXII. The Omkar Mantra
CLXIII. The Gayatri Mantra
CLXIV. The use of the Gayatri Mantra for worshipping the phallic emblem
CLXV. The duties incidental to a sovereignty
CLXVI. The Mantas to be used on the occasion of the installation of a king
CLXVII. The duties of a king
CLXVIII. The duties of the servants of king
CLXIX. The sites and constructions of fourts
CLXX. The system of administration
CLXXI. The duties of a king in the female apartment
CLXXII. The duties of a king towards the royal princes
CLXXIII. The acts of a man through the innate forces of his nature
CLXXIV. The Code of Criminal laws
CLXXV. The occasion of an expedition
CLXXVI. The nature and significance of dreams
CLXXVII. The auspicious signs for an expedition
CLXXVIII. Brids unfolding the good or the evil fate
CLXXIX. The nature of penalties
CLXXX. The weekly duties preceding the day of then
CLXXXI. The prayer to Indra
CLXXXII. The utility of diplomacy
CLXXXIII. The art of divining the character and the good or the evil fate
CLXXXIV. The characteristic of woman
CLXXXV. The characteristics of a homestead
CLXXXVI. The realization of the heart-felt desires
CLXXXVII. The science of archery
CLXXXVIII. The worship of arms
CLXXXIX. The use of arms on horse-back and riding animals
CXC. The thirty-two sorts of military art
CXCI. The institution of law-suits
CXCII. Debts and their repayment
CXCIII. The citing of witnesses in a legal matter
CXCIV. The partition of properties
CXCV. The settlement of boundary bisputes
CXCVI. The rites and Mantas of the Sama Veda
CXCVII. The rites and Mantras of the Atharva Veda
CXCVIII. The rites and Mantras of the Atharva Veda
CXCIX. The Suktas as contained in each of the Vedas
CC. The ceremonial ablutions in general
CCI. The celebration of the King’s nortj-day
CCII. The lunar race continued
CCIII. The system of medicine propounded by the holy dhanwantari
CCIV. Organic, mental, extraneous and Functional disease
CCV. Indian Pharmacopeia
CCVI. The Omkar Mantra giving longevity
CCVII. The rite for bringing peace on elephants
CCVIII. The rite which is beneficial to the cows
CCIX. The worship of Rudra
CCX. The mantras sacred to the god shiva
CCXI. The recitation of the fifty names of Vishnu
CCXII. The mantras sacred to the goddess of fortune
CCXIII. The Mantra for worshipping the goddess Tvaritta who grants enjoyment of earthly comforts and salvation after death
CCXIV. The rite of inition with a mystic diagram
CCXV. The incantations by which one can aquire learning
CCXVI. The process of worshipping the god Vinayaka
CCXVII. The mantras for the goddess Tvarita
CCXVIII. The same Mantra continued
CCXIX. The bliss of the same mantra
CCXX. The peace-giving rite of shiva-shanti
CCXXI. The rudraksha seeds
CCXXII. The rule so prosody
CCXXIII. The metre jagati
CCXXIV. The metre utkriti
CCXXV. Yati or the pause in reciting a verse
CCXXVII.Hells and the passage of the soul described
CCXXVIII. The eight auxiliary factor of Yoga
CCXXIX. The process of Pranayama
CCXXX. Dhyanam or meditation
CCXXXI. Dharana or the faculty of retaining in the mind.
CCXXXIII. The knowledge of Brahma
CCXXXIV. The atiributes of Brahma
CCXXXVII. The synopsis of the Geeta
CCXXXVIII. The summary of Yama Geeta
CCXXXIX. An account of Agni Purana