Importance of Puranas in the Advaita tradition

Ashish Chandra ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 9 17:03:56 CDT 2000

>From: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at>
>Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 02:08:37 -0500
>By coincidence a follower of the Hare Krishnas emailed
>webmaster at making many of those types of arguments.  If
>he agrees, I'll post his message and my reply.

Please do post these. I hope he agrees.

>On the subject of the Padma Purana, we have to be careful because the
>Puranas are part of an oral tradition and are not 100% fixed.  However in
>this case it is more obvious that there has been tampering because there
>are several different recensions of the Padmapurana and only the one
>prevalent in Bengal (which surprise, surprise is the homeland of the
>Gaudiya tradition) has this damning evidence against Advaita.  Given the
>number of opponents there have been of the "mayavada" why has noone else
>noticed this smoking gun?

The same objection can come from (if it is not already there) about the
depiction of Bhagawan Vishnu in our Puranas as having incarnated as Buddha
to teach a false doctrine to the Asuras. I am not sure but I recall reading
somewhere (?) that Balaraama was an incarnation of Vishnu and that there
might have been a switch between Buddha and Balaraama at a later date. This
might be just some article I have read and if any members know of anything
similar, please post. But then some other Puranas describe him as an avataar
of Shesh Naag.

>That the Puranas are authentic or not is not the issue but whether they
>should be considered authoritative.

True. But witness the mention of Mohammed in Bhavishya Puran[1] and then
there is the mention of viktAvati (Queen Victoria)! I guess my question
would be if there is any "authentic set" of the eighteen puraanas that few
would have a problem accepting. The BORI version of Mahaabhaarat is probably
considered very authentic. Is there a similar "set" of Puraanas. Even if
this be of little consequence to the Advaita tradition, at least such a set
would prevent people from believing in things like Allopanishad and Yesu
Upanishad, which would incidentally be considered Sruti.


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