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Great Epics and Puranas in Sanskrit Literature

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Item Code: AZE638
Author: N. C. Panda
Publisher: Bharatiya Kala Prakashan
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9788180903472
Pages: 358
Other Details 9.00x6.00
Weight 600 gm
Book Description
About the Book
The Sanskrit Epics fall into two main classes, the one comprising old stories and legends known as Itihasa and Purina and the other comprising poems known as Kavyam or ornate epics. The Mahabharata has exercised a great influence on the later Puranas and the Ramayana has served as a model for later court epics of the post-Purana age.

The Ramayana is a great epic of the mankind. It is also known as Adi-kävya (first epic), written by the Adi-kavi (first poet) Valmiki. This famous Indian epic deals with social, moral, political, spiritual and philosophical aspects of human life, besides principally narrating the story of Räma. The Ramayana is highly popular epic which has become the property of the Indian people and it is not an exaggeration if it is said that it has influenced more than any other poem the thought and poetry of a nation for thousands of years.

The Mahabharata itself claims that Maharshi Veda Vyasa composed the work as a great Dharmasastra, as Arthasastra, Moksasastra and also Kamasastra. In the last parvan it claims that whatever is said in it would be found elsewhere and what is not con tained it would not be found anywhere else i. e. it claims to be encyclopedic work and hence there was a great incentive to later scholars to add to it fresh matter.

The Puranas are known as the fifth Veda in Indian culture. The aim of Puranas is to acquaint the general mass with the teachings and philosophy of the Veda which are to be adopted as the principle and thus achieve the goal of life. As Vedavyasa says: "itihasa purānābhyam vedam samupabṛmihayet." Various Puranas provide us valuable information about the social religious and cultural life of ancient and medieval India.

Hence, this book would be immensely useful to the students as well as researchers to know and understand the Indian Culture & History in a positive direction.

About the Author
Dr Narasingha Charan Panda (Dr N.C. Panda). Professor of Sanskrit, Vishveshvaranand Vishvabandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies Panjab University, Sadhu Ashram, Hoshiarpur, is well-known in the field of Indological Research, who combines in him a comprehensive understanding of scholarly issues, impartial judgment and an exemplary clarity of expression.

After Graduation (B.A. Sanskrit Hons.) from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar & Post graduation & M.Phil.,(Indian Philosophy) degrees from Kurukshetra University, he obtained Ph.D. Degree in Vedic Studies from Panjab University, Chandigarh.

The Puranas provide us valuable information about the social religious and cultural life of ancient and medieval India. It is noteworthy that despite exaggerations, myths and legends, some of these works throw considerable light on the early political history of India. The Eighteen Maha Puranas enunciates the meaning and the implication of vice and virtues in our life in various ways. They elaborately describe the aim of our life with a view to making our life more virtuous and fit to achieve the goal of four Puruşärthas, i.e. dharma, artha, kama and mokşa. Hence, the Puranas explain the real truth and value of life and thus serve the purpose of welfare of mankind in their own way.

The Puranas are a sort of encyclopedia endeavouring to deal with the histories of five independent subjects, viz. creation and recreation of the universe, gods, reigns of fourteen Manus, and the kings of the solar race as Rāma and others, and of the lunar race as Pandavas and others. Similarly, are mentioned the dynasties of the Nandas, Mauryas, Guptas and others. In no other country or civilization such gigantic attempt was ever made to threat of so many subjects in such single volumes.

The Puranas are a vast store- house of authentic materials supplying themes or many works of classical Sanskrit, prose, poetry, and drama. They also contain useful geographical information and also mention different cult of worship, vratas and tirthas.

The origin of the Sanskrit epics may be traced to the dialogue-hymns in the Rgveda. In the later Vedic literature, i.c. the Brahmaṇas we find references to the Itihasas, Akhyānas and Puranas. There is ample evidence to show that the recital of these epic poems formed a part of the religious ceremonies at sacrificial and domestic festivals. Although there is no proof that collections of such poems existed as books, still it cannot be denied that the professional story-tellers, ice. Aitihāsikas and Paurānikas existed in very ancient times. The epic poets and even the Buddhists and the Jainas draw abundantly from the rich store of narratives Itihāsas, Akhyānas, Purāņas and Gathas that had accumulated in pre-Buddhistic times. The Mahabharata refers to the 'great itihasas' which evidently alludes to ancient poems of epic character. That the numer oust 'ancient tales' of epic character must have furnished a large body of epic phrase as well as fable, out of which and on the basis of which our present epics arose is rendered more probable also by the fact that such epic verses as are pre served in other works, although not always from the extant epics, yet have the same character as the verses of the Rāmāyaṇa and the Mahabharata. Finally the epic itself admits that the present text is not the original one: It means some poets narrated this Itihasa on the earth, others narrate now, and similarly others will narrate.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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