Brahma Vaivarta Purana
The Brahmavaivarta Purana is a voluminous Sanskrit text and a major Purana of Hinduism. It centers around Krishna and Radha, is a Vaishnavism text, is considered one of the modern era Purana. Although a version may have existed in late 1st millennium CE, its extant version was composed in the 15th or 16th-century in the Bengal region of Indian subcontinent. Another text, with a similar-sounding title, called Brahmakaivarta Purana exists, is related, but was revised somewhere in South India. Numerous versions of this Purana exist, in up to 274 or 276 chapters, all claiming to be either part of, or manuscripts of the Brahmavaivarta Purana or the Brahmakaivarta Purana; the text is notable for identifying Krishna as the supreme Reality and asserting that all gods such as Vishnu, Brahma, Ganesha are same, all are incarnations of Krishna. All goddesses such as Radha, Lakshmi, Savitri are asserted by the Brahmavaivarta Purana to be equivalent and all incarnations of Prakruti, with legends similar to those found in the Mahabharata and the Devi Mahatmya.
The text is notable for glorifying the feminine through Radha and its egalitarian views that all women are manifestations of the divine female, co-creators of the universe, that any insult to a woman is an insult to goddess Radha. The mythology and stories of Brahmavaivarta Purana, along with Bhagavata Purana, have been influential to the Krishna-related Hindu traditions, as well as to dance and performance arts such as the Rasa Lila; the extant versions of Brahmavaivarta Purana text are unusual because goddess Radha is not mentioned in most other major Puranas. Further, this text is legends, worship and drama during the life of Radha and Krishna, with discussion of ethics, four stages of life and festivals embedded as part of the plot; the specific details in this Purana show the influence or knowledge of events traced to mid 2nd-millennium CE developments associated with Tantra, Bhakti saints such as Caitanya and others. This text is unlike the encyclopedic style found in all other major Puranas, for these reasons, predominant portions of this Purana are to be a 15th or 16th century composition.
The text likely existed much earlier, the older version was complete in the 8th to 10th century period. A version existed by 700 CE, adds Hazra. However, in its history, this Hindu text underwent major revisions, over the centuries; this text was revised in the Bengal region of South Asia. Another related text, called Brahmakaivarta Purana relatively modern but traced to South India, exists in many versions. There are a few manuscripts titled Adi brahmavaivarta purana, of unclear date of composition, proposed as the older original Purana, but these are different than the Brahmavaivarta Purana text considered as one of the 18 Mahapuranas; the older version of the Brahmavaivarta Purana was once influential in its own way, because Nibandha authors of 15th and 16th century quoted nearly 1,500 lines in texts such as the Smriti Candrika, which they claimed is in this Purana. However, only 30 of these lines are found in the extant manuscripts of Brahmavaivarta Purana suggesting massive rewrite of the original Purana over its history, in or after the 15th or 16th century.
The text includes Smriti chapters that, states Hazra, were inserted into the text after the 16th century. This modern content includes chapters on "mixed castes, duties of women, duties of varna, duties of individuals during their Ashrama and glorification of Brahmins, theory of hell in after-life, religious gift giving for merit"; the only Smriti chapters in surviving manuscripts, that can be found in older versions of this text are two, namely 4.8 and 4.26. These relate to Vrata; the text has four Khandas. The third khanda is called Ganapati-khanda; the tradition and other Puranas assert. The actual manuscripts have more than 18,000 verses, unlike other Puranas where they fall short; the Padma Purana categorizes Brahma Vaivarta Purana as a Rajas Purana. Scholars consider the Sattva-Rajas-Tamas classification as "entirely fanciful" and there is nothing in this text that justifies this classification; the text's title Brahmavaivarta means "metamorphosis of Brahman", identified with Krishna. This Purana takes a view on the creation where the Brahman as Krishna creates the universe and is the universe.
The evolution and the nature of the universe is presented through the legend of Radha and Krishna in this Purana. The seduction stories and legends of this text have attracted many scholarly studies; the first khanda presents the theme that Krishna is the primordial creator, universal soul and supreme reality concept called Brahman. The second part presents Prakriti or matter, which through mythology is equated to five goddesses – Radha, Lakshmi and Savitri. However, many other goddesses are introduced, but every goddess and feminine is asserted to be the same essence of Radha Prakriti; the third part presents Ganesha, the popular elephant headed god, his life story along with that of his family and brother, he is asserted to be an incarnation of Krishna as well. The last part of this Purana is all about Radha and Krishna, painted with erotic themes, hymns and mythology. Radha is presented as the power of Krishna, inseparable part; the Purana presents an egalitarian view towards women, wherein it asserts ideas such as, "all female beings have come forth out of the divine female" in chapter 4.13, that "every insult to a woman is an offence against divine Rädhä" in Prak
The word Puranas means "ancient, old", it is a vast genre of Indian literature about a wide range of topics myths and other traditional lore. Composed in Sanskrit, but in regional languages, several of these texts are named after major Hindu deities such as Vishnu and Devi; the Puranas genre of literature is found in both Jainism. The Puranic literature is encyclopedic, it includes diverse topics such as cosmogony, genealogies of gods, kings, heroes and demigods, folk tales, temples, astronomy, mineralogy, love stories, as well as theology and philosophy; the content is inconsistent across the Puranas, each Purana has survived in numerous manuscripts which are themselves inconsistent. The Hindu Puranas are anonymous texts and the work of many authors over the centuries. There are 18 Maha Puranas and 18 Upa Puranas, with over 400,000 verses; the first versions of the various Puranas were composed between the 3rd- and 10th-century CE. The Puranas are considered a Smriti, they have been influential in the Hindu culture, inspiring major national and regional annual festivals of Hinduism.
Their role and value as sectarian religious texts and historical texts has been controversial because all Puranas praise many gods and goddesses and "their sectarianism is far less clear cut" than assumed, states Ludo Rocher. The religious practices included in them are considered Vaidika, because they do not preach initiation into Tantra; the Bhagavata Purana has been among the most celebrated and popular text in the Puranic genre, is of non-dualistic tenor. The Puranic literature wove with the Bhakti movement in India, both Dvaita and Advaita scholars have commented on the underlying Vedantic themes in the Maha Puranas. Douglas Harper states that the etymological origins of Puranas are from Sanskrit Puranah "ancient, former," from pura "formerly, before," cognate with Greek paros "before," pro "before," Avestan paro "before," Old English fore, from Proto-Indo-European *pre-, from *per-." Vyasa, the narrator of the Mahabharata, is hagiographically credited as the compiler of the Puranas. The ancient tradition suggests that there was but one Purana.
Vishnu Purana mentions that Vyasa entrusted his Puranasamhita to his disciple Lomaharshana, who in turn imparted it to his disciples, three of whom compiled their own samhitas. These three, together with Lomaharshana's, comprise the Mulasamhita, from which the eighteen Puranas were derived; the term Purana appears in the Vedic texts. For example, Atharva Veda mentions Purana in XI.7.24 and XV.6.10-11:"The rk and saman verses, the chandas, the Purana along with the Yajus formulae, all sprang from the remainder of the sacrificial food, the gods that resort to heaven. He changed his place and went over to great direction, Itihasa and Purana, verses in praise of heroes followed in going over." The Shatapatha Brahmana mentions Itihasapuranam and recommends that on the 9th day of Pariplava, the hotr priest should narrate some Purana because "the Purana is the Veda, this it is". However, states P. V. Kane, it is not certain whether these texts suggested several works or single work with the term Purana.
The late Vedic text Taittiriya Aranyaka uses the term in the plural. Therefore, states Kane, that in the Vedic period at least, the Puranas referred to three or more texts, that they were studied and recited In numerous passages the Mahabharata mentions'Purana' in both singular and plural forms. Moreover, it is not unlikely that, where the singular'Puranam' was employed in the texts, a class of works was meant. Further, despite the mention of the term Purana or Puranas in the Vedic texts, there is uncertainty about the contents of them until the composition of the oldest Dharmashastra Apastamba Dharmasutra and Gautama Dharmasutra, that mention Puranas resembling with the extant Puranas. Another early mention of the term'Itihas-purana' is found in the Chandogya Upanishad, translated by Patrick Olivelle as "the corpus of histories and ancient tales as the fifth Veda"; the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad refers to purana as the "fifth Veda",According to Thomas Coburn and early extra-puranic texts attest to two traditions regarding their origin, one proclaiming a divine origin as the breath of the Great Being, the other as a human named Vyasa as the arranger of existing material into eighteen Puranas.
In the early references, states Coburn, the term Purana occurs in singular unlike the era which refers to a plural form because they had assumed their "multifarious form". While both these traditions disagree on the origins of the Puranas, they affirm that extant Puranas are not identical with the original Purana. According to the Indologists J. A. B. van Buitenen and Cornelia Dimmitt, the Puranas that have survived into the modern era are ancient but represent "an amalgam of two somewhat different but never different separate oral literatures: the Brahmin tradition stemming from the reciters of the Vedas, the bardic poetry recited by Sutas, handed down in Kshatriya circles". The original Puranas comes from the priestly roots while the genealogies have the warrior and epic roots; these texts were collected for the "second time between the fourth and sixth centuries A. D. under the rule of the Gupta kings", a period of Hindu renaissance. However, the editing and expan
The Aitareya Upanishad is a Mukhya Upanishad, associated with the Rigveda. It comprises the fourth and sixth chapters of the second book of Aitareya Aranyaka, one of the four layers of Rig vedic text. Aitareya Upanishad discusses three philosophical themes: first, that the world and man is the creation of the Atman. According to a 1998 review by Patrick Olivelle and other scholars, the Aitareya Upanishad was composed in a pre-Buddhist period 6th to 5th century BCE. Aitareya Upanishad is a primary ancient Upanishad, is listed as number 8 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. Considered one of the middle Upanishads, the date of composition is not known but has been estimated by scholars to be sometime around 6th or 5th century BCE; the Aitareya Upanishad is a short prose text, containing 33 verses. In the first chapter of the Aitareya Upanishad, Atman is asserted to have existed alone prior to the creation of the universe, it is this Atman, the Soul or the Inner Self, portrayed as the creator of everything from itself and nothing, through heat.
The text states. First came four entities: space, maram and apas. After these came into existence, came the cosmic self and eight psyches and principles. Atman created eight guardians corresponding to these psyches and principles. Asserts Aitareya Upanishad, came the connective principles of hunger and thirst, where everything became interdependent on everything else through the principle of apana. Thereafter came man, who could not exist without a sense of Self and Soul, but this sense began cogitating on itself, saying that "I am more than my sensory organs, I am more than my mind, I am more than my reproductive ability", asked, कोऽहमिति Who am I? Paul Deussen summarizes the first chapter of Aitareya Upanishad as follows, The world as a creation, the Man as the highest manifestation of the Atman, named as the Brahman - this is the basic idea of this section. In the second chapter, Aitareya Upanishad asserts that the Atman in any man is born thrice: first, when a child is born; the overall idea of chapter 2 of Aitareya Upanishad is that it is procreation and nurturing of children that makes a man immortal, the theory of rebirth, which are the means by which Atman sustainably persists in this universe.
The third chapter of Aitareya Upanishad discusses the nature of Atman. It declares that consciousness is what defines man, the source of all intellectual and moral theories, all gods, all living beings, all that there is; the Upanishad asserts that the key to the riddle of the Universe is one's own inner self. To know the universe, know thyself. Become suggests the Aitareya Upanishad, by being you. Max Muller translates parts of the chapter as follows, Who is he whom we meditate on as the Self? Which is the Self? Everything are various names only of Knowledge Everything, it rests on Knowledge. The world is led by Knowledge. Knowledge is its cause. Knowledge is Brahman. Aitareya Upanishad, like other Upanishads of Hinduism, asserts the existence of Consciousness as Atman, the Self or Brahman, it contains one of the most famous expressions of the Vedanta, "Prajnanam Brahma", one of the Mahāvākyas. Aitareya Upanishad is one of the older Upanishads reviewed and commented upon in their respective Bhasyas by various ancient scholars such as Adi Shankara and Madhvacharya.
Adi Shankara, for example, commented on Aitereya Upanishad, clarifying that some of his peer scholars have interpreted the hymns in a way that must be refuted. The first meaning, as follows, is incomplete and incorrect, states Shankara This is the true Brahman called Prana, this is the only God. All the Devas are only the various manifestations of this Prana, he who attains Oneness with this Prana attains the Devas. Adi Shankara reminds the reader that the Aitereya Upanishad must be studied in its context, which starts with and states Atma va idam in hymn 1, it doesn't start with, nor does the text's context, mean that "I am alive, thus God". Rather, states Shankara, the context is abundantly clear that one must know, "Atman exists, I am consciousness, that self-realization of one's Atman, its Oneness with Universal Soul is the path to liberation and freedom. Know yourself. Worship yourself." Adi Shankara explains that rituals, merit-karma does not lead to liberation, the wise do not perform these and rituals such as Agnihotra, they seek Atman and understanding of their own Being and their own Inner Self, when one has achieved "Self-knowledge, full awareness of one's consciousness" does one achieve moksha.
The first English translation was published in 1805 by Colebrooke. Other translators include Max Muller, Paul Deussen, Charles Johnston, Nikhilānanda, Gambhirananda and Patrick Olivelle; the author of the Aitareya Aranyaka and the Aitareya Upanishad has been credited to rishi Aitareya Mahidasa. Aitareya Upanisad Tamil Book==External links== Multiple translations Aitareya Aranyaka with Aitareya Upanishad embedded inside Max Muller; the Sacred Books of the E
The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Sanskrit text on sexuality and emotional fulfillment in life. Attributed to Vātsyāyana, the Kama Sutra is neither nor predominantly a sex manual on sex positions, but written as a guide to the "art-of-living" well, the nature of love, finding a life partner, maintaining one's love life, other aspects pertaining to pleasure-oriented faculties of human life. Kamasutra is the oldest surviving Hindu text on erotic love, it is a sutra-genre text with terse aphoristic verses that have survived into the modern era with different bhasya. The text is a mix of prose and anustubh-meter poetry verses; the text acknowledges the Hindu concept of Purusharthas, lists desire and emotional fulfillment as one of the proper goals of life. Its chapters discuss methods for courtship, training in the arts to be engaging, finding a partner, maintaining power in a married life and how to commit adultery, sexual positions, other topics; the majority of the book is about the philosophy and theory of love, what triggers desire, what sustains it, how and when it is good or bad.
The text is one of many Indian texts on Kama Shastra. It is a much-translated work in non-Indian languages; the Kamasutra has influenced many secondary texts that followed after the 4th-century CE, as well as the Indian arts as exemplified by the pervasive presence Kama-related reliefs and sculpture in old Hindu temples. Of these, the Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is a UNESCO world heritage site. Among the surviving temples in north India, one in Rajasthan sculpts all the major chapters and sexual positions to illustrate the Kamasutra. According to Wendy Doniger, the Kamasutra became "one of the most pirated books in English language" soon after it was published in 1883 by Richard Burton; this first European edition by Burton does not faithfully reflect much in the Kamasutra because he revised the collaborative translation by Bhagavanlal Indrajit and Shivaram Parashuram Bhide with Forster Arbuthnot to suit 19th-century Victorian tastes. The original composition date or century for the Kamasutra is unknown.
Historians have variously placed it between 400 BCE and 300 CE. According to John Keay, the Kama Sutra is a compendium, collected into its present form in the 2nd century CE. In contrast, the Indologist Wendy Doniger who has co-translated Kama sutra and published many papers on related Hindu texts, the surviving version of the Kamasutra must have been revised or composed after 225 CE because it mentions the Abhiras and the Andhras dynasties that did not co-rule major regions of ancient India before that year; the text makes no mention of the Gupta Empire which ruled over major urban areas of ancient India, reshaping ancient Indian arts, Hindu culture and economy from the 4th-century through the 6th-century. For these reasons, she dates the Kama sutra to the second half of the 3rd-century CE; the place of its composition is unclear. The candidates are urban centers of north or northwest ancient India, alternatively in the eastern urban Pataliputra. Vatsyayana Mallanaga is its accepted author because his name is embedded in the colophon verse, but little is known about him.
Vatsyayana states. In the preface, Vatsyayana acknowledges that he is distilling many ancient texts, but these have not survived, he cites the work of others he calls "teachers" and "scholars", the longer texts by Auddalaki, Dattaka, Ghotakamukha, Gonikaputra and Kuchumara. Vatsyayana's Kamasutra is mentioned and some verses quoted in the Brihatsamhita of Varahamihira, as well as the poems of Kalidasa; this suggests he lived before the 5th-century CE. The Hindu tradition has the concept of the Purusharthas which outlines "four main goals of life", it holds that every human being has four proper goals that are necessary and sufficient for a fulfilling and happy life: Dharma – signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible, includes duties, laws, conduct and right way of living. Hindu dharma includes the religious duties, moral rights and duties of each individual, as well as behaviors that enable social order, right conduct, those that are virtuous.
Dharma, according to Van Buitenen, is that which all existing beings must accept and respect to sustain harmony and order in the world. It is, states Van Buitenen, the pursuit and execution of one's nature and true calling, thus playing one's role in cosmic concert. Artha – signifies the "means of life", activities and resources that enables one to be in a state one wants to be in. Artha incorporates wealth, activity to make a living, financial security and economic prosperity; the proper pursuit of artha is considered an important aim of human life in Hinduism. Kama – signifies desire, passion, pleasure of the senses, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, with or without sexual connotations. Gavin Flood explains kāma as "love" without violating dharma and one's journey towards moksha. Moksha – signifies emancipation, liberation or release. In some schools of Hinduism, moksha connotes freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth, in other schools moksha connotes freedom, self-knowledge, self-realization and liberation in this life.
Each of these pursuits became a subject of study and led to prolific Sanskrit and some Prakrit languages literature in ancient India. Along with Dharmasastras and Mokshasastras, the Kamasastras genre have been preserved in palm leaf manuscripts; the K
The Brahmanas are a collection of ancient Indian texts with commentaries on the hymns of the four Vedas. They are a layer or category of Vedic Sanskrit texts embedded within each Veda, form a part of the Hindu śruti literature, they are a digest incorporating myths, the explanation of Vedic rituals and in some cases speculations about natural phenomenon or philosophy. The Brahmanas are noted for their instructions on the proper performance of rituals, as well as explain the original symbolic meanings- translated to words and ritual actions in the main text. Brahmanas lack a homogeneous structure across the different Vedas, with some containing chapters that constitute Aranyakas or Upanishads in their own right; each Vedic shakha has its own Brahmana. Numerous Brahmana texts existed in ancient India. A total of 19 Brahmanas are extant at least in their entirety; the dating of the final codification of the Brahmanas and associated Vedic texts is controversial, which occurred after centuries of verbal transmission.
The oldest is dated to about 900 BCE, while the youngest Brahmanas, were complete by about 700 BCE. According to Jan Gonda, the final codification of the four Vedas, Brahmanas and early Upanishads took place in pre-Buddhist times; the Brahmana are a layer of texts in Vedic Sanskrit embedded within each Veda, form a part of the śruti literature of Hinduism. They are a digest incorporating mythology and Vedic rituals and in some cases speculations about natural phenomenon or philosophy; the Brahmanas layer of Vedic literature contain the exposition of the Vedic rituals. For example, the first chapter of the Chandogya Brahmana, one of the oldest Brahmanas, includes eight suktas for the ceremony of marriage and rituals at the birth of a child; the first hymn is a recitation that accompanies offering a Yajna oblation to deity Agni on the occasion of a marriage, the hymn prays for prosperity of the couple getting married. The second hymn wishes for their long life, kind relatives, a numerous progeny.
The third hymn is a mutual marriage pledge, between the bride and groom, by which the two bind themselves to each other, as follows, The next two hymns of the first chapter of the Chandogya Brahmana invoke deities Agni, Vayu and Surya to bless the couple and ensure healthful progeny. The sixth through last hymn of the first chapter in Chandogya Brahmana are not marriage-related, but related to hymns that go with ritual celebrations on the birth of a child, wishes for health and prosperity with a profusion of milch-cows and artha; the Brahmanas are noted for their instructions on the proper performance of rituals, as well as explain the symbolic importance of sacred words and ritual actions in the main text. These instructions insist on exact pronunciation, precise pitch, with coordinated movement of hand and fingers – that is, perfect delivery. Satapatha Brahamana, for example, states that verbal perfection made a mantra infallible, while one mistake made it powerless. Scholars suggest that this orthological perfection preserved Vedas in an age when writing technology was not in vogue, the voluminous collection of Vedic knowledge were taught to and memorized by dedicated students through Svādhyāya remembered and verbally transmitted from one generation to the next.
The Brahmanas are a complex layer of texts within the Vedas. Some embed speculations about natural phenomenon such as sunset. For example, section 3.44 of the Aitareya Brahmana speculates whether sun rises or sets. The sun set; when people think the sun is setting it is not so. For after having arrived at the end of the day, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making night to what is below and day to what is on the other side; when they believe it rises in the morning this supposed. Having reached the end of the night, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making day to what is below and night to what is on the other side; the Panchavimsha Brahmana speculates on rivers starting in mountains, fed by snow and rain, flowing over the ground and underground, both emptying into the sea. These speculations, are in the context of rituals; each Vedic shakha has its own Brahmana. A total of 19 Brahmanas are extant at least in their entirety: two associated with the Rigveda, six with the Yajurveda, ten with the Samaveda and one with the Atharvaveda.
Additionally, there are a handful of fragmentarily preserved texts. They vary in length; the Brahmanas were seminal in the development of Indian thought and scholarship, including Hindu philosophy, predecessors of Vedanta, astronomy, linguistics, the concept of Karma, or the stages in life such as brahmacarya, grihastha and sannyasa. Brahmanas lack a homogeneous structure across the different Vedas, with some containing sections that are Aranyakas or Upanishads in their own right; the Shathapatha Brahmana discusses soteriological questions. The language of the Brahmanas is a separate stage of Vedic Sanskrit, younger than the text of the samhitas, ca. 1000 BCE, but for the most part are older than the text of the Sutras. As with the whole of Vedic literature, no dating more precise than within a few centuries is possible; the Brahmanas as a whole are placed in the first half of the 1st millennium BCE, with the oldest parts dat
The Aranyakas constitutes the philosophy behind ritual sacrifice of the ancient Hindu sacred texts, the Vedas. They represent the sections of Vedas, are one of many layers of the Vedic texts; the other parts of Vedas are the Samhitas and the Upanishads. Aranyakas describe and discuss rituals from various perspectives, but some include philosophical speculations. For example, the Katha Aranyaka discusses rituals connected with the Pravargya; the Aitareya Aranyaka includes explanation of the Mahavrata ritual from ritualisitic to symbolic meta-ritualistic points of view. Aranyakas, neither are homogeneous in content nor in structure. Aranyakas are sometimes identified as karma-kanda /, ritualistic action/sacrifice section), while the Upanishads are identified as jnana-kanda knowledge/spirituality section). In an alternate classification, the early part of Vedas are called Samhitas and the ritualistic commentary on the mantras and rituals are called the Brahmanas which together are identified as the ceremonial karma-kanda, while Aranyakas and Upanishads are referred to as the jnana-kanda.
In the immense volume of ancient Indian Vedic literature, there is no absolute universally true distinction between Aranyakas and Brahmanas. There is no absolute distinction between Aranyakas and Upanishads, as some Upanishads are incorporated inside a few Aranyakas. Aranyakas, along with Brahmanas, represent the emerging transitions in Vedic religious practices; the transition completes with the blossoming of ancient Indian philosophy from external sacrificial rituals to internalized philosophical treatise of Upanishads. "Aranyaka" means "produced, relating to a forest " or rather, "belonging to the wilderness". It is derived from the word Araṇya, which means "wilderness". Several theories have been proposed on the origin of the word Aranyaka; as per Oldenberg, it meant (dangerous texts to be studied in the wilderness. A post-Vedic theory holds that these texts were meant to be studied in a forest, while the other holds that the name came from these being the manuals of allegorical interpretation of sacrifices, for those in Vanaprastha stage of their life, however the Vanaprastha Ashrama came into existence only well after that of the Sanyasin -- according to the historic age-based Ashrama system of human life.
Taittiriya Ar. 2 says, "from where one cannot see the roofs of the settlement", which does not indicate a forested area. Aranyakas are diverse in their structure. Jan Gonda summarizes, The structure of the Aranyakas is as little homogenous as their contents; some portions have the character of a Samhita, others of a Brahmana, others again of a Sutra, according to the material that, varying from Veda to Veda, from school to school, was collected in an Aranyaka corpus. Linguistically and stylistically these works form a transition between the Brahmanas proper and the speculative literature that follows them and develops part of the ideas and lines of thought which are characteristic of them. Many Aranyaka texts enumerate mantras, etymologies, discussions and symbolic interpretations, but a few such as by sage Arunaketu include hymns with deeper philosophical insights; the Aranyakas discuss sacrifices, in the language and style of the Brahmanas, thus are concerned with the proper performance of ritual.
The Aranyakas were restricted to a particular class of rituals that were included in the Vedic curriculum. The Aranyakas are associated with, named for, individual Vedic shakhas. Rigveda Aitareya Aranyaka belongs to the Aitareya Shakha of Rigveda Kaushitaki Aranyaka belongs to the Kaushitaki and Shankhayana Shakhas of Rigveda Yajurveda Taittiriya Aranyaka belongs to the Taittiriya Shakha of the Krishna Yajurveda Maitrayaniya Aranyaka belongs to the Maitrayaniya Shakha of the Krishna Yajurveda Katha Aranyaka belongs to the Katha Shakha of the Krishna Yajurveda Brihad Aranyaka in the Madhyandina and the Kanva versions of the Shukla Yajurveda; the Madhyandina version has 9 sections. Samaveda Talavakara Aranyaka or Jaiminiya Upanishad Brahmana belongs to the Talavakara or Jaiminiya Shakha of the Samaveda Aranyaka Samhita is not a typical Aranyaka text: rather the Purvarchika of the Samaveda Samhitas has a section of mantras, called the'Aranyaka Samhita', on which the Aranyagana Samans are sung.
The Atharvaveda has no surviving Aranyaka, though the Gopatha Brahmana is regarded as its Aranyaka, a remnant of a larger, lost Atharva Brahmana. There are five chapters each of, considered as a full Aranyaka; the first one deals with the regimen known as ‘Mahaa-vrata’. The explanations are both ritualistic as well as speculative; the second one has six chapters of which the first three are about ‘Praana-vidyaa’ – meaning, the Vital Air that constitutes the life-breath of a living body is the life-breath of all mantras, all vedas and all vedic declarations. It is in this portion of the Aranyaka that one finds specific statements about how one who follows the vedic injunctions and performs the sacrifices goes to become the God of Fire, or the Sun or Air and how one who transgresses the Vedic prescriptions is born into lower levels of being, namely, as birds and reptiles; the 4th, 5th and 6th chapters of this second Aranyaka constitute what is known as Aitareya Upanishad. The third Aranyaka in this chain of Aranyakas is known as ‘Samhitopanishad’.
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The Linga Purana is one of the eighteen Mahapuranas, a Shaivism text of Hinduism. The text's title Linga refers to the iconography for Shiva; the author and date of the Linga Purana is unknown, the estimates place the original text to have been composed between the 5th- to 10th-century CE. The text exists in many inconsistent versions, was revised over time and expanded; the extant text is structured with a cumulative total of 163 chapters. The text presents cosmology, seasons, geography, a tour guide for pilgrimage, a manual for the design and consecration of the Linga and Nandi, the importance of these icons, a description of Yoga with claims of its various benefits; the estimate composition dates for the oldest core of Linga Purana vary between scholars, ranging from the 5th-century CE to 10th-century. Like all the Puranas, the Linga Purana has a complicated chronology. Cornelia Dimmitt and J. A. B. van Buitenen state that each of the Puranas is encyclopedic in style, it is difficult to ascertain when, why and by whom these were written: As they exist today, the Puranas are a stratified literature.
Each titled work consists of material that has grown by numerous accretions in successive historical eras. Thus no Purana has a single date of composition, it is as if they were libraries to which new volumes have been continuously added, not at the end of the shelf, but randomly. The Linga Purana survives in many versions, consisting of two parts – the Purva-bhaga with 108 chapters and Uttara-bhaga with 55 chapters. However, the manuscripts of the text assert in verse 2.55.37 that the Uttara-bhaga only has 46 chapters, suggesting that the text was expanded over time. Some scholars suggest that the entire Uttara-bhaga may be a insertion or attachment to the older part; the text is titled after its theme, the worship of Linga, the text is focussed on Shiva as Supreme. However, along with Shiva-related themes, the Linga Purana includes chapters dedicated to Vedic themes, as well as includes reverence for Vishnu and Brahma. Linga, states Alain Daniélou, means sign, it is an important concept in Hindu texts, wherein Linga is a manifested sign and nature of someone or something.
It accompanies the concept of Brahman, which as invisible signless and existent Principle, is formless or linga-less. The Linga Purana states, "Shiva is signless, without color, smell, beyond word or touch, without quality and changeless"; the source of the universe is the signless, all of the universe is the manifested Linga, a union of unchanging Principles and the changing nature. The Linga Purana text builds on this foundation; the Linga Purana consists of two parts -- the shorter Uttara-bhaga. They discuss diverse range of topics, illustrative sections include: Cosmology: the text presents cosmology in several places. For example, in early chapters it refers to the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, in chapter 1.70 it presents a Samkhya-type cosmology. Astronomy: the Purana presents its theory of sun, moon and stars in the night sky in chapters 1.55 to 1.61, with the mythology associated with each. Geography: the earth has seven continents asserts the text, it names and describes the mountains and rivers, what grows in various regions, the text woven in with mythology.
Tirtha: the holy cities of Varanasi, Kedarnath and Kurukshetra are extolled in chapters 1.77 and 1.92, for example. Yoga and ethics: the Linga Purana discusses Pashupata Yoga and ethics in many sections, such as chapters 1.8, 1.88-1.89, 2.13, 2.55 and others. The Linga Purana is notable for its aggressiveness in retaliating against those who censure Shiva, suggesting in chapter 1.107 that Shiva devotee should be willing to give his life to end the censorship of Shiva, if necessary with violence against those who censure Shiva. In Chapter 1.78, the text emphasizes the virtues of non-violence, stating, "violence should be avoided always, at all places."The Linga Purana's ideas incorporate, states Stella Kramrisch, those of the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy. The chapter 1.17 of the Linga Purana introduces Linga as Pradhana or Prakriti, while Shiva is described as Lingin, or one with this "subtle body". Linga is presented by the text as an abstract concept, contrasted with Alinga, along with its phallic significance and sexual truth in nature's process of life creation.
The verses of the text, states Kramrisch, presents Linga as an aniconic symbol of both the matter and the spirit, the Prakriti and the Purusha, whereby the "powers of creation and annihilation" are symbolized by the icon. Dimmitt, Cornelia. B.. Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas. Temple University Press. ISBN 978-1-4399-0464-0. Kramrisch, Stella; the Presence of Śiva. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691019307. Dalal, Rosen. Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin. ISBN 978-8184752779. K P Gietz. Epic and Puranic Bibliography Annoted and with Indexes: Part I: A - R, Part II: S - Z, Indexes. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-447-03028-1. Rocher, Ludo; the Puranas. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3447025225. Linga Purana - Part 1, English Translation by J. L. Shastri Linga Purana - Part 2, English Translation by J. L. Shastri