Markandeya Purana

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Description

The Markandeya Purana is a famous one amongst the eighteen Mahapuranas. This Purana has a character different from that of all the others. It has nothing of a sectarial spirit, little of a religious tone; rarely inserting prayers and invocations to any deity; and such as are inserted are brief and moderate. It deals little in precepts, ceremonial or moral. Its leading feature is narrative; and it presents an uninterrupted succession of legends, most of which when ancient are embellished with new circumstances, and when new partake so far of the spirit of the old, that they are disinterested creations of the imagination, having no particular motive, being designed to recommend no special doctrine or observance.

This translation of the Markandeya Purana being made for the Asiatic Society of Bengal naturally follows the edition of this work prepared by the Rev. Dr. K. M. Banerjee, and published in the Bibliotheca Indica in 1862; yet other editions and some MSS. have been consulted and are referred to. The translation has been kept as close to the original as possible, consistently with English sense and idiom; for a translation loses some of its interest and much of its trustworthiness, when the reader can never know whether it reproduces the original accurately or only the purport of the original. The time during which the work has been in hand has rendered it difficult to maintain one system of transliteration throughout; but, in order to place the whole in a consistent state, the system established by the Royal Asiatic Society and approved by the Asiatic Society of Bengal has been adopted in the Index and in this Introduction.

The general character of this Purana has been well summed up by Prof. Wilson in his preface to his Translation of the Visnu Purana, except that his description hardly applies to the Devi-mahatmya. "This Purana has a character different from that of all the others. It has nothing of a sectarial spirit, little of a religious tone; rarely inserting prayers and invocations to any deity; and such as are inserted are brief and moderate. It deals little in precepts, ceremonial or moral. Its leading feature is narrative; and it presents an uninterrupted succession of legends, most of which when ancient are embellished with new circumstances, and when new partake so far of the spirit of the old, that they are disinterested creations of the imagination, having no particular motive, being designed to recommend no special doctrine or observance. Whether they are derived from any other source, or whether they are original inventions, it is not possible to ascertain. They are most probably, for the greater part at least, original; and the whole has been narrated in the compiler's own manner; a manner superior to that of the Puranas in general, with exception of the Bhagavata."

Book Details

Author:
K.L. Joshi(Ed.)
Language:
Sanskrit Text with English Translation
Publisher:
Parimal Publication
Pages:
616
Edition:
2004
Cover:
Hardcover

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