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Meaning of "Brahma Vivarta Purana>"


Brahma Vivarta Purana


ब्राह्म विवर्त पुराण


brāhma vivarta purāṇa

In General

Brahma Vivarta Purana acquired its name from the fact that the entire creation is only a Vivarta, an appearance of the Brahman. Brahma told this Purana to Dharmadeva and he in turn imparted this knowledge to Narayana. Narayana in turn told this Purana to Narada and from Narada the Sage Vyasa learned. Vyasa tought this purana to his disciple Romaharhana. The Brahma Vaivarta Purana is introduced by Sage Suta, the son of Romaharshana in Naimisharanya Tirth while addressing a gathering of great sages like Shaunaka etc. Brahma Vaivarta Purana gives several important mantras and slokas in praise of various deities. It describes the plays of Lord Krishna and Radha in considerable detail and contain some exclusive descriptions on the life of Radha, the most beloved lady of Lord Shri Krishna. This Purana is often quoted by authers of Dharmasastras while dealing with topics like Cast, Vratas and Gifts.

Brahma Vaivarta Purana is in 18000 versus divided into four cantos, namely, Brahma khand, Prakriti khand, Ganesh khand and Shri Krishna Janma khand. Brahma khand give the gist of the contents of the entire work. It gives details about Creation of the universe, the origin of Narayana from the body of Shri Krishna, the origin of Goloka, the description of deities like Siva, Brahma, Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Savitri. This part of text also contains some lessons on Ayurveda. Prakriti khand is about creation of world from Mulaprakriti. The Mulaprakriti give birth to Mundane Egg from which the grows forms of Universe are made. Importance of Tulsi and details about worship of Salagrama stones are also given in this Canto. A small description about Ramayana is also included. Ganesh khand features the greatness of Lord Ganesh. Shri Krishna khand obviously describes the life and plays of Lord Shri Krishna, and the leela of Bhagavan in Vrindaran, Dwaraka and other places. Brahma Vaivarta Purana asserts that Sri Krishna is nothing but Parmatma. The Story of Ambarisha and Durvasa, story of Astavakra, the life of Rama are also given by this Canto.


Contents of Brahma Vivarta Purana

Brahma Khanta

Suji describe about th Purana. Sri Krishna the Supreme Being, the Creator of the entire universe. The Kalpa, Manvantara and Yugas. Eight major mountain, seven Ocean and seven islands in creation. Creation of Manu and Shataroopa. Creation of Bhuloka and other Lokas then continue with neither world. Discription of Narayana. Sankara or Siva. Brahma. Dharma Purusha. Goloka, Vaikunta and it supreme position. Lakshmi, Sarswati, Durga and Savitri. Few topics from Ayurveda. Worship of Salagrama. Austrities to be prformed by the Sanyasins and widows. The tale of Upavahana. Yama and Kala. Philosophical teaching concerning ultimate identity of Jiva(individual Soul) with Brahman ( the ultimate reality).

Prakriti Khanta

Mula Prakriti as consort of God. Mula Prakriti form the left part of God. Mulaprakriti evolve into five goddesses: Radha, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Savitri. Yajnavalkya’s prayer to saraswathi. Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Ganga as the consort of Lord and the prejudice developed in them. Mahapralaya and his own self to float on the water for ages. Sarga and Pratisarga. God or Purusha split himself into Sri Krishna and Narayana. Brahma and Siva also emanate from the supreme Purusha. Mulaprakriti gives birth to a golden egg from which emerges Mahavirat, the cosmic being. From that the world is created. Origin and glories of Tulsi plant. Savitri – Sathyavan story. Yama and his 86 hells. Ma Lakshmi worshiped by Indra. Eight verses of Eulogy for Ma Lakshmi. Durga Kavacha. Birth of devine cow Surabhi.

Ganshaa Khanta

Hara and Parvati get disturbed. The lamentation of Parvati before Sankara. The instruction given by Mahadeva to Parvati with regard to vow called Punyaka. Gift to the Goddess by Siva of the Mantra relating to Hari on the coast of the Ganges. The method of performance of the vow called Punyaka. History of the narrative of the Punyaka vow. The grand festival of Vow; and permission secured by Parvati to perform this festival. The performance of the vow. Th gift by Parvati of her husband to Sanatkumara by way of priest’s fee at Krishnas command. Ode to Sri Krishna by Parvati with a view to get back her husband. The attainment of boon by parvati from lord Krishna. The recovery of her husband from Sanatkumara and birth of Ganesha.

Observation of Ganesha by Hara and Parvati. Auspicious rites with a view to secure the welfare of Ganesha. Discourse between Parvati and Sani. The removal of obstacles or calamities by Ganesha. The naming of Ganesha, his amulets etc. Securing the message of Kartika. Arrival of Nandi and other Myrmidons of Siva at the house of Kartika to fetch Kartika. The conversation between Nandi and Kartika. The arrival of Kartika at Kailasa. The inauguration of Kartika. The wedding of Ganesha and Kartika. Under the pretext of explaining the reason why Ganesha lost his head, curses pronounced by Kashyapa against Sankara. Eulogies and amulets sacred to Sun. Reasons explain why Ganesha was provided with the face of an elephant. Re-attainment of Lakshmi by Indra. Ode to Mahalakshmi and her amulets as secured by Indra from Hari.

A sketch of Character of Lakshmi. In connection with the treatise explaining why Ganesha has got only one tooth or tusk. A reference to the discourse between Jamadagni and Karta Viryya. The defeat of Karta Viryya in his fight with army of Kapila. The defeat sustained by Karta Viryya at the hands of Jamadagni. The death of Jamadagni while fighting with Kartaviryya and the resolution of Parasurama. Discourse between Brighu and Renuka. The departure of Parasurama for Brahmaloka. Conversation between Parasurama and Brahma. Description of boon granted by Brahma to Parasurama. The arrival of the later at Sivaloka. The recital by him of a eulogy sacred to Siva. Discourses between Siva and Parasurama. Bestowal of an amulet called Trilokya Vijaya( conquering of tree world) on Bhargava by Siva.

The description of Hari’s Mantra, ode etc by Siva to Parasurama. Military expedition of Parasurama; vision of his sleep. The dispatch of an ambassador to Karta Viryya by Bhargava; the recitation of a dream experienced by Karta Viryya to his wife Mancrama. The exit of Mancrama to the next world. The discourse between Bhargava and Karta Viryya. The narration of Siva’s amulet incidentally connected with the description of the battle fought between Matsya-raya and Parasurama. The recitation of the ode to Kali as composed by Brigu incidentally connected with the account of the battle fought between Parasurama and King Suchandra. The discourse between Brahma and Bhargava, the destruction of Suchandra. Description of the amulet of Bhadrakali. Description of battle between Parasurama and Puskaraksa. An account of the amulet of Maha Vishnu. Delineation of Durga’s amulet. The fight of Parasurama with Karta Viryya. The possession of the amulet fraudulently secured by Siva from Karta Viryya. The exit of Karta Viryya to the next world. The discourse between the King and Parasurama. The dialogue between Brahma and Parasurama. Arrival of Parasurama at Kailasa. Discourse between Parasurama and Gansha. The breaking of a tusk of Gansha by Parasurama. Counsel by Lord Vishnu to Parasurama taken to task by Parvati. Recitation of the ode to Ganesha. Ode to Parvati composed by Parasurama. A description of the reciprocal curses of Tulsi and Ganesa as connected with the narrative of the worship of Ganesa by Bhargava without the use of the holy basil leaves.

Krishna Janma Khanda

Interrogatories to the saint Narayana by Narada concerning Hari, the recitation of the virtues of Vishnu and the Vaiswnavas incidentally connected with the narrative of Hari addressed to Narada by Narayana. The amorous pastimes of Lord Krishna with Viraja, the disappearance of Lord Krishna through fear of Radha. The transformation of Viraja into river. Curse pronounced by Radha against Lord Krishna, the account of Radha and Sridama cursing one another. The departure of the earth for the Brahmaloka with a view to get her burden relieved; the representation of her case to Brahma; the arrival of the Gods at the domain of Hari; the description of the Goloka or the cow world. The arrival of Brahma and others at cow world; ode to Lord Hari as composed by Brahma. The manifestation of Lord Krishna; ode to the Lord, as composed by Brahma and others; their conversation with the Lord. The description of the marriage of Vasudeva and Devaki after a recital of the history of their previous births. The destruction of their six sons by Kamsa; ode to Lord Krishna as composed by Brahma and others; a brief account of the birth of the Lord and Balarama; ode to Lord Krishna as composed by Vasudeva; an account of the Goddess Prakriti or Nature.

Determination of the vow called Janmastami and other vows. A description of festival observed by Nanda. A treatise on the redemption of Putana. An account showing how the demon TrinaVarta was put to death. The breaking of the car and the wielding of the amulet. The discourse between Garga and Nanda, the performance of Lord Krishna’s annaprasana ceremony (taking solid food for the first time). The description of the cerimony to give him a name. The subject dealing with the breaking of the tree called Arjuna; and an account of the curse to which the son of Kuvera was rendered liable. The discourse of Radha and Krishna. The arrival of Brahma, ode to Raddha as composed by Brahma, a description of the wedding and Krishna. The subject dealing with the death of Vaka Kesi Pralamba; description of the circumstances under which Vasa and other Gandharvas were rendered liable to the curse of Siva. An account of the arrival of Lord Krishna at Vrindavana.

The construction of Vrindavana. The marriage of Kalavati with Vrik-bhanu; reasons why Vrindavana is so called the etymology of the sixteen names of Radha and ode to Radha as composed by the Lord. The redemption of the wives of Vipras or Brahmins. Ode to Lord Krishna as composed by the wives of the Brahmins. Reason why the fire is called all consuming. The subjugation or control of Kalia. Ode to Lord Krishna as composed by the wife of Kaliya; the extinction of the wild fire; and ode to Lord Krishna as composed by the Cowherds. The stealth of the calves by Brahma and ode to Lord Krishna as composed by Brahma. The dissolution of the sacrifice performed by Indra; ode to Indra as composed by Nanda; ode to Lord Krishna as composed by Nanda. The death of Dhanuka and ode to Lord Krishna as composed by Dhanuka. The curse pronounced against Tilottama and the son of Bali described by way of episode. Durvasa’s marriage and death of his wife. The defeat or humiliation of Durvasa through the curse of Aurva. Ode to lord Krishna as composed by Durvasa. An account of his redemption. The method of performing Ekadasi.

Ode to Lord Krishna as composed by milkmaids. Stealth of their cloths; ode to Sri Krishna as composed by Radha. The method of performing vow of Gouri. A description of the vow; ode to Parvati; the gift of a boon by Parvati at the termination of the vow. A description of the amorous pastimes of the Rasa. The redemption of the saint Asta-bakra and ode (as composed by him) to Sri Krishna. In connection with the anecdote to Radha, a reference to th ode of Lord Krishna as composed by Asita; and a narration of the fact that the crookedness of the eight members of the body of Devala was due to Rambha’s curse. Mohini’s advances to Brahma; ode to Kama as composed by Mohini; Question and answers by Brahma and Mohini. Ode to Sri Krishna as composed by Brahma. Curse pronounced by Mohini against Brahma. Curbing the pride of Brahma.

The birth of Ganga. Etymology of Bhagirathi and other names of Ganga. Removal of Brahma’s curse by his bathing in Ganges. His union with Saraswati. The birth of Rati and Kama. The perturbation of mind of Brahma pierced by the darts of cupid. Advice to Brahma by Narayana and the saints. Curbing the pride of Hara. A description of his Devine attributes. The in admissibility of the ingredients of sacrifice offered to Siva through Parvati’s curse. Ode to Parvati as composed by Siva. In connection with curbing the pride of Durga’s pride, a reference to the suicide of Sati which she committed through humiliation; her birth in the shape of Parvati; an interview of the Mountain with Hari. A view of Siva by Himalaya and Parvati; an interview of the mountain with Hari. A view of Siva by Himalaya and Parvati and reduction of Kama to ashes.

Meditation of Parvati; the appearance of Siva before Parvati in the guise of a Brahmin boy; their mutual conversation; the appearance of Siva in the guise of a mendicant before Parvati dwelling in her paternal house counsel of the gods with Brihaspati. The self slander of Siva who appeared in the guise of a Brahmin before Himalaya. The arrival of seven Rishies with Arundhati at the region of Himalaya, the king of Mountains. Narration by Vasistha of the anecdote of Anaranya, by the way of episode in connection with the subject of the gift of a daughter in marriage by the father. Narration of the discourse between Padma and Dharma by Vasistha; the suicide of Sati. Pang of separation and bereavement caused to Sankara. Alleviation of his grief. Mahadeva starting for marriage; ode to Siva as composed by Himalaya. Description of marriage of Siva.

The amorous pastimes of Hara and Gouri. Recitation of everything that is auspicious. Curbing the pride of Indra. Curbing the pride of Sun. Curbing the pride of Fire. Curbing the pride of Durvasa. Curbing the pride of Dhanvantari. Victory achieved by Manasa. Lamentations by Radha. Amorous past time of Radha and Krishna. A brief sketch of character of Krishna. A description of Krishna’s might. Curbing th pride of Mahavishnu and others. Ode to Lakshmi composed by the gods. The departure of Brahma for Vaikuntha with Radha and his company as she was offended at the slight which she received at the hands of Krishna and in her wounded susceptibilities was ready to commit suicide. A brief account of the pang of separation from Krishna caused to Radha.

A detailed account of the humiliation of Indra, a reference to the discourse between Saci and Nahusa, by way of episode. A dialogue between Vrihaspati and the messenger of Nahusa; the conversion of Nahusa into a snake; the redemption of Indra. A discourse between Indra and Ahalya. Cheating Ahalya by Indra. An account of the curse of Ahalya by Gautama. A short account of the Ramayana. Evil drams experienced by Kamsa. An account of the sacrifices performed by Kamsa. Felicity of Akrura. Consolation of Radha in her grief. Statement to Radha by Krishna of Metaphysical or psychic Yoga(mental abstraction). The alleviation of the grief of Radha. Conversation of Lord Krishna with Brahma. Statement of Ratna-Mala to Lord Krishna. Narration by Akrura of his dreams. Ode to Krishna as composd by Akrura. A sketch by Akrura of affair relating to the cowherds.

On the eve of the expedition of Lord Krishna to Mathura and performance of auspicious rites. The entry of Lord Krishna into Mathura. A view of the town. Chastisement of the washer man. Grace to the hunch backed woman. The killing of Kamsa. Release of Vasudeva and Devaki from jail.consolation of Nanda, etc, in their grief by Sri Krishna. Counsel as to the Wisdom concerning temporal matters. A description of the religious merits acquired by auspicious sights. A reference to the fruits attainable by gifts. result of good dreams. Psychic counsels; a description of the sins acquired by inauspicious sights. Determination of the cause of the solar eclipse. In connection with the subject relating to the cause of lunar eclipse, an incidental reference to the curse pronounced against Moon by Tara. Release of Tara. An account of the evil dreams and their pacification.

Assignment of duties to the four castes respectively. Assignment of duties to the householder. Delineation of a woman’s character. Determination of true character of a true believer. A short account of the universe of Brahmas creation. Determination of articles of food that may not be consumed. A description of Karma Vipaka. An account of the daughter of King of Kedara. The curse pronounced by Padma against Dharma appearing in the guise of a Brahmin; the remission of the curse affecting Dharma by Padma upon the entreaties of the gods. Appearance of Pulaha and other saints before supreme Lord; their conversation. Ode to nature (as composed by Siva) received from Supreme lord by King Nanda. Statement made by the lord to King Nanda. A sketch of the character of the Yuga. Conversation of Vasudeva and Devaki with lord. The arrival of Uddhava, as deputd by Sri Krishna. Ode to Radha as composed by Uddhava. Statement by Radha to Uddhava and narration by Uddhava of Kalavati and others. The Lamentation made by Radha. Counsel to Uddhava by Radha. Dialogue between Radha and Uddhava. Return of Uddhava to Madhura and his description of Vrindavana to Sri Krishna.

The appearance of saint Garga to Vasudeva. Proposal by him to perform the cerimony of the investiture of Rama and Krishna with sacred thrad. The arrival of Rishis at that place. A description of nature of Vasudeva. Appearance of godesses before Vasudeva. Th investiture of Rama and Krishna with sacred thread; and the return of the gods (who had assembled there to witness the cerimony) to their respective places. The appearance of Rama and Krishna before the saint Sandipani to study Vedas. Ode to Sri Krishna as composed by the wife of Muni and gift by Rama and Krishna of sacerdotal fee to the Muni. Under the pretext of giving instruction to Visvakarma on the construction of Dwaraka, the recitation by Sri Krishna of the auspicious or ominous sites of a house under construction. The appearance of Brahma and other gods, Sanat Kumaras and other holy saints before Lord Krishna; the admission with Ugrasena and others. The statement of Rukmini(who was ex-asprated at the words of Satananda) to King Bhismaka in connection with proposed marriage of Rukmini.

The marriage of Balarama with Revati. The defeat of Rukmini in his fight with Balarama. The Adivasa (a cerimony previous to great occasion like marriage) of Sri Krishna. The arrival of Lord in the court yard reserved for marriage. Ode to Sri Krishna as composd by Bhismaka. The overthrow of Salva and others by Sri Krishna. Thr gift of Rukmini in marriage to Krishna by her father. Conversation of Saraswathi etc., with Lord Krishna. The entry of bride and groom in Dwaraka. Departure of Nanda and Yasoda for the grove of plantains and the dialogue between Radha and Yesodha. Counsel of Radha to Yesoda with regard to knowledge and faith; and in connection with this subject a disquisition by way of episode on etymology of the names of Bana, Lord Krishna etc.

The birth of God Kama out of the womb of Rukmini; the slaying of Sambara exit of Kama to Dwaraka; Krishna’s marriage with 60,000 damsels; the determination of the number of their children; the bestowal by lord Krishna of his daughter (in marriage) to Durvasa. Eulogies pronounced by Durvasa on Lord Krishna. Return of Durvasa from Kailasa to dwaraka by the advice of Parvati. A brief account of Mahabharatha. The fall of Jara-Sandha and Salva by Lord Krishna. The slaying of Sisurapala and Danta-Bakra. The restoration of the dead sons of Devaki to life and delivery of the boy to his mother, the stealing of Parijatha; the celebration of the vow of Punyaka by Satyabhama.

Usha and Aniruddha in strange dream. The abduction of Aniruddha by Chitralekha; the marriage of Usha and Aniruddha according to Gandharva rites. Useful advice given by Mahadeva and others to Bana who was highly incensed to hear from the sentinel the news concerning the pregnancy of Usha. The military expedition of Bana and Aniruddha. Th description by Bana to Aniruddha of the five husbands of Draupathi; the incident of the abduction of Rati by Sambara; the defeat inflicted upon Bana by Aniruddha. The description of Valour of Aniruddha by Siva to Ganesha. The conference of Hara and Parvathi when they heard from the messenger about the arrival of Lord Krishna. The arrival of Bali at the council of Bana, the dialogue between Hari and Bali. Ode to Lord Krishna as composd by Bali. The war between the armies of Yadavas and Demons; the genesis of the Vaishnava fever; the defeat of Bana at the hands of Lord Krishna. The redemption of King Srigala. The anecdote of Syamanthaka. The worship of Ganesha performed by Radha in the hermitage of adepts. The statement made by Ganesha to Radha. The gift of a boon by Parvathi, the adjustment of the toilet of Radha by her female attendants at the command of Parvathi. The appearance of Gods, etc., before Radha. Ode to Radha as composed by Brahma.

The acquisition of Knowledge or wisdom by Vasudeva from Siva. The performance of the vow of the grand royal sacrifice. The reunion of Radha and Krishna. Ode to Krishna as composed by Radha. Interrogatories to Lord Krishna by Radha counsel on psychic or metaphysical wisdom administered to Radha by Lord Krishna. The amorous pastimes of Radha and Krishna; the felicity of Yesodha. The narration of the character of the yuga by Lord Krishna to Nanda. The exit of Radha to the cow-world with all the inhabitants of Gokul.

Ode to Lord Krishna by Brahma and other gods assembled in the forest of the fig tree; annihilation of the race of Yadu. The accession of the Pandavas to Heaven. The gift of a boon by the Lord to Bhagirathi. Ascension of the Lord to the Goloka. The exit of Narada from the hermitage of Junjube to the Brahmaloka. The wedding of the Narada with the daughter of Srinjaya. Their honeymoon. Departure of Narada for the contemplation of the deities according to the advice of Santhkumara. The advice of Siva to Narada; his redemption. The genesis of fire and gold. The determination of the meaning of four parts of this Purana. the character of great Puranas. The number of verses of all the great Puranas. The recitation of the names of all the upa-Puranas. The meaning of the name Brahma Vaivartaka. The description of the glory of this Purana and its phalasthuthi.

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