Episode # 1 – A detailed introduction to “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraanam”!!!

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“Shrimad Bhaagawatham naama puraanam lokha vishrutham!
Shrunuyaath shraddhayaayukthaha mama santosha kaaranam!!

Shrimad bhaagawathee vaarthaa puraanaamapi durlabhaa!
Menire bhagawadh roopam shaastram bhaagawatham khalau!!

Yatra yatra chaturvakthra Shrimad bhaagawatham bhaveth!
Gachhaami tathra tathraaham gowryathaa sutha vatsalaa!!

Nigama kalpatharoor galitham balam shukamukaath amritatdrava sayyutham!
Pibatha bhaagawatham rasamaalayam muhuraho rasikaa bhuvi bhaavukaaha!!”

A very warm welcome to all our esteemed readers to our third new mega project – Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraanam. As many of us might be aware, this huge text called “Shrimad Bhaagawadha Puraana” is a collection of a vast number of principles of “Dharma” that were given by Sage Sukhaachaarya and was documented carefully by none other than Sage Veda Vyaasa himself. Just like how Sage Veda Vyaasa authored the whole of the Mahaabhaarata text, as we had witnessed during our previous Vidura Neeti project, here too, Sage Veda Vyaasa had taken upon himself to author this huge and important text called “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana”.

We’ve earlier seen that “Puraanaas” in our “Sanaathana Dharma” literature, occupies a prime position amongst all other texts. In fact, “Ithihaasas” and “Puraanas” are the primary basements upon which the “building” of Sanaathana Dharma is constructed. We’ve also witnessed a detailed accord on what are “Ithihaasas” and “Puraanas”. The “Ithihaasas” are none other than Shrimad Ramayana and the Mahaabhaarata. These are the texts that talk about the hands-on experiences of Bhagawan’s incarnations of Rama and Krishna respectively. Of course, the Ramayana authored by Valmiki Maharishi talks about all the narratives of the life of Bhagawan Shri Rama and the Mahaabhaarata, authored by Sage Veda Vyaasa talks about those of Bhagawan Krishna in detail. An important aspect that is to be noted by readers here is that, “Ithihaasas” were authored when Bhagawan was still present in this world. That is, the Ramayana text was authored by Valmiki Maharishi when Bhagawan Rama was still ruling Ayodhya, after defeating Ravana in Lanka. Similarly, Sage Veda Vyaasa authored the Mahaabhaarata text when Bhagawan Krishna was very much present in this world, ruling the Dwaaraka kingdom, after the Kurukshetra war had got over. But having said thus, the “Puraanaas” are those texts that were authored much later, after the incarnations of Bhagawan have been completed. The “Puraanas” are eighteen in number, which are grouped under the categories namely, “Saathvika Puraanas”, “Raajasa Puraanas” and “Thaamasa Puraanaas”, with each category comprising of six “Puraanas”. All these sacred texts are written meticulously by our great Maharishis selflessly, so that, the future generations of people should be able to free themselves from all their sins and attain the lotus feet of Bhagawan.

The main aspect that all the Puraanas discuss is the role of ourself as a human being in this world, and how are we going to impact the progress of the world towards spirituality and spiritual growth. For instance, when we were children we had gone to a school for primary and secondary education. Subsequently we entered a university for our graduation / post-graduation. Subsequently, we got a job and even there we learn loads of lessons as we progress with our corporate life. However, in all these places, we’re not taught everything that has to be taught! Some aspects go missing! There are innumerable aspects in this world that we cannot entirely learn in a classroom setup or even in a professional setup in an organization. Thus, all those aspects that do not fall under the “learning category” in schools, colleges, organizations, etc. fall under the purview of the “Puraanas”. This is the main reason why Puraanas are important in our “Sanaathana Dharma” literature and during the course of our discussions in the near future, we would understand the deeper meaning to what I have said just now.

Amidst all these classifications, the Bhaagawatha Puraana is considered to be one of the most important of all the eighteen Puraanas. Having said thus, we should now answer two important questions here – What is “Bhaagawatham”? What is “Puraanam”? If we look at the conjugation of the word “Puraana” in Sanskrit, it is as follows – “Puraana – Puraa api navam Puraanam”. This means that, Puraanas are very old in nature. However, these Puraanas contain all the important life lessons that we need to learn as we progress in our day-to-day routines of our personal and professional life. Just because certain texts are old, it doesn’t mean that they are outdated to the modern-day happenings. Especially the texts like ours in the Sanaathana Dharma, these are evergreen in nature, wherein we can learn innumerable lessons for our modern-day life as well. We’ve of course witnessed many such lessons during our Ramayana and Vidura Neeti projects and readers might well remember it as well. Similarly, if we’ve to look into the conjugation of the word “Bhaagawatham” it goes as follows – “Bhagawatha itham Bhaagawatham”. This means, all of this Puraana is of Bhagawan. Every line in this text talks about the various significances of Bhagawan and the messages that He has conveyed to all of us, both through His words and deeds.

So having said thus, for today, let us understand this basic aspect of the “Ithihaasas”, “Puraanas” and subsequently of “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana”. We shall wait till the next episode to witness more important aspects of “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” as we move into the details that Sage Sukhaachaarya has spoken about. Stay tuned! 😊

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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