RETRIEVAL OF HISTORY FROM PURANIC MYTHS

RETRIEVAL OF HISTORY FROM PURANIC MYTHS

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Item Code: IDD200
Author: Bhargava
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 1998
ISBN: 8124601003
Pages: 146 (Color Illus: 50)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.8" X 5.7"

About the Author:

Dr. P. L. Bhargava is an eminent Indologist, who retired as Professor and Head of the Sanskrit Department, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, A historian of equal renown too, he had been at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for two years: 1974-76, as a Visiting Professor of Religion. His Ph. D thesis entitled: India in the Vedic Age, was hailed as "the most original work of our time" (U.N. Ghoshal), "a distinct advance over Pargiter's work" (A.S. Altekar), and "a brilliant sorting out of the very complex data into clear and logical pattern" (A.L. Basham).

A recipient of many academic honours-the latest among which being the 1994-95 President's Award for "Eminent Sanskritists", Professor Bhargava has so far published eight books and over sixty research papers.

About the Book:

Did Rama banish his wife Sita? Did krsna have Radha for his companion? Was Sakuntala Visvamitra's daughter? Could Bhagiratha bring about the Ganga's descent from heaven? Or, was Vyasa really the author of the traditional eighteen Puranas? Addressing these and other similar questions, Dr. Bhargava retrieves historically valid answers from the maze of Puranic myths- notwithstanding their deeply entrenched contradistinctions in the Hindu psyche.

As a well known genre of Sanskrit literature, the Puranas, besides giving an account of the creation and the dissolution of the universe and the ages of Manus (the ancestors of mankind), also list the genealogies of Aryan kings and rsis, and the life stories of famous persons. They have accordingly lent to ancient Hindu lore a most remarkable air of veracity. The historicity of these personages is evident from the fact that the names of may of them occur in the Vedic literature also, which is much older than, and quite independent of these Puranas. A systematic, critical, and comparative study of the Puranas and the Vedic literature, as well as of other time-honoured literary sources conducted in this book makes it possible to discredit the myths that have grown around the names of many great men and women of ancient India.

The book logically demolishes some of the widely-prevalent Puranic myths, focusing on eight celebrated great men of remote historical past: Visvamitra, Parasurama, Bhagiratha, Rama, Vyasa, Krsna, Yudhisthira, and Valmiki - whose real characters have been shrouded in the mist of centuries of mythologization. The author has demonstrated that when shorn of all myths, the real greatness of these men is fully revealed.

A widely acclaimed work, Retrieval of History from Puranic Myths is now on its second, revised edition.

 

CONTENTS

 

  Preface to the Second Edition vii
  Preface to the First Edition ix
  Transliteration Chart xiii
1. The Puranas and the Ramayana 1
2. Did Rama Banish his Wife Sita? 25
3. Did Rama kill Balin Surreptitiously? 31
4. Was Visvamitra the Father of Sakuntala? 35
5. Did Parasurama kill his own Mother? 41
6. Did Bhagiratha bring the Ganga from Heaven? 49
7. Did Krsna have a Companion named Radha? 55
8. Was Yudhisthira Crowned King of
Hastinapura in 3102 B.C. ?
69
9. Was Vyasa the Author of the Traditional
Eighteen Puranas?
85
  Appendix 103
  Glossary 129
  Bibliography 133
  Index 137

 

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