[Advaita-l] Re: itihAsa purANa in the bR^ihadAraNyaka

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Sat Jul 29 20:24:05 CDT 2006

On 7/28/06, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 28 Jul 2006, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
> > I was able to locate the shAyaNa bhAShya, where he says:
> >
> > brAhmaNAni - karmacodanA.h "vAyavyAgm shvetamAlabheta"
> > The brAhmaNa (passages) are the ones impelling action such as "place
> > the white (animal?) in the northwest direction" (?)
> >
> That the important Vedic statements are those that impell action (vidhi)
> is the standard Mimamsaka party line.  "offer a white animal to Vayu" is
> also a stock Mimamsaka example of a vidhi.  So he seems to be saying
> Brahmana = vidhi.

It's somewhat obvious that it's a brAhmaNa sentence, and of course the
most important brAhmaNa sentences in the context of rituals are
vidhis. My ? mark was since I don't know the context of the sentence
and was unable to translate properly. Is there any reason for
interpreting vAyavyAm with vAyum?

> > itihAsA - mahabhAratAdayaH
> > The itihAsas are mahAbhArata and the rest. Note: the plural being used
> > he seems to have in mind the rAmAyaNa and at least one another since
> > the plural and not dual is used.
> >
> > purANAni - brahmANDAdIni
> > The purANas are the brahmANDa and the rest
> >
> I think a better translation would be "including upto Brahmanda".  See
> below.

Interesting thought, but I am not very convinced by it. Adi is
typically used in a series and the first in the series, or the
beginning, is usually placed befor aadi. I remember seeing
sR^iShTyadayah and never pralayAdayah. Moreover brahmANDadini is
simply the nominative or accusative plural of the neuter brahmADAdi,
and there doesn't seem to be any justification in interpreting
brahmANDAdi as some kind of bahuvrIhi (purANas ending in the
brahmANDa). Is that even kosher? I am not adept enough in the grammar,
but don't ever remember seeing a compund with aadi being interpreted
as a bahuvrIhI.  In any case, this is all predicated on the assumption
that shAyaNa knew this verse.

Remember that the lalitaa trishatii and sahasranaama are from this
puraaNa and evidently would have been important to shAyaNa, who
mentions vidyaatiirtha in his salutation verses.

> Rather I think he is merely recollecting the traditional shlokas that
> name the 18 mahapuranas.
> brAhmaM pAdmaM vaiShNavaM cha shivaM bhAgavataM tatha |
> tathanyannAradIyaM cha mArkaNDeyaM cha saptamaM ||
> AgneyaM aShTamaM proktaM bhaviShyannavamaM tathA |
> dashamaM brahmavaivartaM lingamekAdashaM tathA ||
> vArAhaM dvAdashaM proktaM skAndaM chAtra trayodashaM |
> chaturdasham vAmanaM cha kaurmaM pa~nchadashaM tathA ||
> mAtysaM cha garuDaM chaiva brAhmANDAShTAdashaM tathA ||


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