About the Book
The Puranas have
proved to be a rich encyclopaedia of India Culture. Not only do they popularize
the religio-philosophical tradition of ancient India, they also bring the reach
of the common man, the practical and the scientific disciplines like medicine,
astrology, architecture etc. Since the scope of the present work aims at analysing
the impact of Bhakti on society, religion and art, the work has dealt with the
socio-religious and philosophical traditions as well as the practical
discipline which has a direct impact on Bhakti.
makes the account of the Puranas especial is their attempt to bring out a
symbiosis between the ancient and the modern traditions and evolve new ideal
patterns which synthesize Vedic, Agamic and Pravrtti and nivrtti ways of life
and evolve a science of worship by the prevalence of images, temples, tradition
of public path, recital of japa, dhyana, tirtha and dana.
Puranas also frame rules propagating egalitarianism in the context of Bhakti.
Bhakti emerges as a great social leveller.
The Puranas are
also important from the point of view of historiography of religion and the
science of religion. Bhakti receives a Sastraic background and is an integral
combination of knowledge, emotion and action and is aptly termed as the highest
About the Author
Pande, D’Litt. is
Professor and Head in the school of Studies in Ancient India History, Culture
and Archaeology Vikram University, Ujjain (India).
books include Birth of Bhakti in Indian Religions & Art (Books & Books,
New Delhi), Mediaeval Bhakti Movement (Kusumanjali Prakashan, Meerut), Samaj,
Arthik Vyavastha Evam Dharma (M.P. Hindi Grantha Academy, Bhopal) and Bhartiya
Sanskriti (M.P. Hindi Grantha Academy).
She has a number
of research articles to her credit which include Articles on various aspects of
Indian Culture and Heritage for M.P. Bhoj (Open) University, Bhopal She has
been the Editor of many books and also of the research journal, Prachya
She was also
associated with the research projects of U.G.C., I.C.H.R. and I.I.A.S. Simla and
NMMA, New chalcolithic site was unearthed
The study of the
Puranas as cultural documents has had a long history. Pargiter had argued that
the original Puranic traditions went back to the Vedic age. RC Hazra studied
the socio-cultural milieu in the Puranas and attempted to determine the dates
of the extant Puranas. VS Agrawal showed how the mythical, cosmological,
geographical and cultural traditions were represented in the Puranas through
symbols, motifs and iconography. Since then a host of scholars like Dikshitar,
SN Dasgupta, SN Roy, ABL Awasthi and many others have published important
studies on the antiquity, mythology, social and religio- philosophical ideas of
the Puranas. The present work seeks to be another, step in the direction of the
above researches, Its contribution in eleven chapters seeks to trace the
Puranas from the point of view of development of bhakti and its impact
on religion, society and art of India especially the Northern India. The work
has especially taken the Vaisnava Puranas to show how the religio-philosophical
tradition of ancient India was brought to the reach of the common man. The
doctrines of Vedanta, Sankhya, Yoga and Tantra were woven together into a rich
fabric of bhakti
the masses as different spiritual structures, the ultimate aim of which was a
unique blend of pravrtti
various mythologies, rituals, the legend of Krsna, the love of gopisfor Him go a long
way as a symbolic communication of the two levels of consciousness-empirical
and transcendental. This inspired the growth of various art forms like
sculpture, painting and architecture. The religio- philosophical ideas were
fused together with the practical engineering feat which led to the
construction of unique temples which were functional as well as symbolic. The
various modules of the temples prescribed in the Puranas have been analysed in
this work. The Vaisnava Puranas thus contribute a lot in making bhakti a popular
movement which was not a radical social movement but which caused the religious
and ethical values to permeate the consciousness of the people gradually by presenting
an integral structure of bhakti
was at once theoretical, emotional and practical.
syncretic and symbiotic spirit of the Puranas does not see a contradiction
between the religion of heart and rituals, and between higher spiritual
philosophy and its manifestation in the lives of men. Vaisnavism went a long
way in developing a universal religion of love which incorporated all castes
and classes as well as foreigners in its fold. This is reflected in the Vaisnava
I am deeply thankful
to my father Prof. GC Pande, my gurus Prof. BNS Yadav and Prof. SN Roy for
encouraging me to work on this topic. I am also thankful to Prof. HN Dubey,
Allahabad University, Dr. SK Gupta, former Head, Raj as than University, Jaipur,
Dr. Kamal Giri, Director, Gyana Pravaha, Varanasi and Prof. RK Sharma, former
Head, Rani Durgawati University, Jabalpur, Prof. RN Mishra, Fellow, Indian
Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, Prof. Suresh Chandra Pande, Allahabad for their
advice and guidance.
thanks are also due to Shri Ota, Superintending Archaeologist and other
officials of Archaeological Survey of India, Shri Joseph Manuel, Dr. Dilip
Khamari and Dr. Narayan Vyas for their cooperation.
My thanks are due
to the American Institute of Indian Studies Gurgaon for providing rare photographs
Sindhia Oriental Institute, Prof. Bal Krishna Sharma, Vikram University, Ujjain
for the cover photograph. I thank Rakhi Anand, Mayukhini Pan de and Sucharita Beniwal
of National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad for the cover design.
My heartfelt thanks
are due to Dr. Rajesh Kumar Mishra, Dr. Jitendra Suman, Dr. Debarshi Sen and Dr.
Manoj Sharma for helping me in various ways. I thank Shri Bhupendra Singh
Chauhan, Shri Vikram Dave and Shri Sunil Pandey (Allahabad Museum) for
preparing a neat typescript patiently.
I am grateful to
Shri Rakesh Tiwari of Raka Publishing House for the printing of this book.
My thanks are due
in no small measure to my husband Shri VK Pande who helped me in preparing various
sketches of the diagrams of the temple types. I am also thankful to my sister
Amita Sharma whose occasional suggestions were very helpful to me. I am
grateful to my mother, late mother-in-law, my father in-law Prof. I.C. Pande, my
sisters Anupa Pande, Tanuja Pande, my brothers in law Jaimini Kumar Sharma, Devi
Prasad Pande &
Kishore Pan de and my daughters Shinjini, Mayukhini, sons in-law Kunal and Jai and
grandson Ashutosh for their support.
My reverence is due
to Lal Baba, Guruji Buddhi Prakashji and Kailashpatiji.
At the end I would
like to thank Lord Visnu, the path makers of the Puranic tradition and their modern
and milieu of the Puranas- A Critical Review
of Bhakti in the Visnu Purana
Role of Bhagavata Purana in the Development
of Bhakti on Religious life and Thought
on Social Life (Socio-Political Ideas in the Puranas)
The Perspective Of Historiography and Science Of Religion
of Puranic Bhakti on Art Part-I (Sculpture)
of Puranic Bhakti on Art Part-II (Painting)
of Puranic Bhakti on Art Part- III (Temple Architecture )
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