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Bhavishya Purana

Bhavishya Purana

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The Bhavishya Purana (भविष्य पुराण) is one of the eighteen major Hindu Puranas It is written in Sanskrit and attributed to Rishi Vyasa, the compiler of the Vedas. The title Bhavishya Purana signifies a work that contains prophecies regarding the future . Despite being labelled a Purana, purana meaning "tales of ancient times", the work relates only a few legends. It is one of several Puranas in which a list of royal dynasties of the "past" are followed by lists of kings predicted to rule in the future.
The text as it exists today is a composite of material ranging from very old to very recent. Portions of the extant text are drawn from the law book of Manu, including the account of Creation which it contains. The Bhavishya Purana is classified as one of the ten Shaiva puranas in the classification system used in the Śivarahasya-khanda of the Śankara Samhita. In the traditional system of classification according to the three gunas given in the Padma Purana, it is classified in the rajas category, which contains Puranas whose central deity is Brahma.

 

 

The Bhavishya Purana itself tells us that it consists of five parts (parvans ), but the extant printed edition of the work contains only four parts ( Brahma , Madhyama , Pratisarga , and Uttara ). These four parts have distinctive content and dating.

Brahmaparvan

The greater part of the work deals with brahmanical ceremonies and feasts, the duties of castes, some accounts of snake myths, and other matters. It also covers the duties of women, good and bad signs of people, and methods of worshipping Brahma , Ganesha , Skanda , and the Snakes. A considerable section deals with Sun worship in a place called "Sakadvipa" which may be a reference to Scythia .

Madhyamaparvan

Of the four existing parts of the text, the Madhyamaparvan , which is not mentioned anywhere else as having formed a part of the Bhavishya Purana , is characterized by Rajendra Hazra as "a late appendage abounding in Tantric elements."

Pratisargaparvan

The Pratisarga parvan deals with the genealogy of the kings and sages. It is written as a universal history with the first and the second parts (called Khandas) deal with old time, the third part with the medieval, while the fourth deals with the new age.

The First Khanda (7 chapters)

It deals shortly with all the kings of the solar and the lunar family, their period of reign and their great works. Next it deals with the kings of Maurya dynasty and without dealing with the Sungas, the Guptas, the Kanvas, the Yavanas, the Sakas and the Kushanas, it straightaway jumps to the origin of the four Rajputs (Pramaras, Cauhans, Tomaras and Calukyas) born of the fire on the mount Abu. Hence, they are called Agnivamsis (of the family of Agni, the fire).

The Second Khanda (35 chapters)

It consists of the fables narrated by Vetala to the king Vikramaditya of the family of Pramaras. In the last sections of Khanda mention is made of sage Satyanarayana, grammarian Panini, and other well-known personalities like Patanjali and Bopadeva.

The Third Khanda (32 chapters)

The Mahoba, Kanauj and Delhi Kingdoms which were the centre of political activities in the medieval times, act as a pivot for events mentioned in this Khanda.

After winning the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandava brothers leave their headquarters under the protection of Lord Siva and retreat to the banks of the river Sarasvati. But Siva does not hold his promise and allows Kritavarman , Asvatthaman and Kripa , who come at the dead of the night, to enter into the headquarters and massacre all within it. The five brothers, when they hear the tidings of this tragedy, come to Siva and attack him with weapons. Siva curses them, saying that after death they should be reborn as heroes and be killed again while fighting.

During the days of king Gangasimha, the tenth descendant from Bhoja , the Arya religion is greatly favoured due to the might of the kings of the Agnivamsa . This makes Kali , the God of Mlecchas very furious. So Kali asks Vishnu for help so as to destroy the kings of Agnivamsa. Vishnu promises to create two heroes from his body and send them to him for help.

In the village of Vaksara (Buxar) there is an Abhira girl by the name of Vratapa, who begs the Goddess Candika to let two sons be born in her family who should be as strong as Balarama and Krishna. The Goddess accepts her wish. Thus, two brothers Ramamsa ( Âhlada ) and Krishnamsa ( Udayasimha ), the grandsons of Vratapa come into existence each with a portion of Vishnu (avatara). As soon as the heroes become young enough they go to Mahoba and start serving in Parimala's army.

Tomara Anangapala , the King of Delhi has two daughters Kirtimalini and Candrakanti. Kirtimalini is married to Cauhan Somesvara, the king of Ajmer and Candrakanti to Devapala, the king of Kanauj. Three sons, Krishnakumaraka, Dhundhukara and Prithiviraja are born to Somesvara from Kirtimalini. Two sons Jayacandra and Ratnabhanu are born to Devapala from Candrakanti. After Devapala, Jayacandra comes to the throne.

Anangapala anoints Prithiviraja the king of Delhi. He was the best of all his grandsons. Krishnakumaraka becomes the king of Ajmer and Dhundhukara the king of Mathura. At that time king Mahipati used to reign at Mahoba and he had two sisters Agama and Malana. Prithiviraja marries Agama and seven sons and one daughter Vela is born to him.

As soon as Prithiviraja comes to the throne, he drives the two brothers Pradyota and Vidyota out of Delhi. These brothers were very influential in the court. Both were ministers and came from the lunar family. The two brothers come to Kanauj and here they are welcomed by Jayacandra. Jayacandra even takes the city of Mahoba back from Mahipati and gives it over to Pradyota and Vidyota. Pradyota and Vidyota settle in Mahoba.

Later on Jayacandra chooses them as his ministers. On their advice he sends a messenger to Prithiviraja asking for himself half of the kingdom left over by their grandfather. But Prithiviraja refuses to give anything and Jayacandra can make no opposition to him. Jayacandra has a daughter by the name of Samyogini . This girl is kidnapped by Prithiviraja during a ceremonial performance.

Pradyota's son Parimala later becomes the king of Mahoba. Jambuka the king of Mahishmati attacks Mahoba twice during the reign of Parimala. Mahoba is destroyed by Jambuka but by the help of the forces of Kanauj the armies of Mahoba attack Mahishmati and Jambuka is captured and brought to Mahoba where he is killed.

Parimala has a son by the name of Brahmananda. Prithiviraja promises to give his daughter Vela to him. But Brahmananda, when he goes to Delhi in order to ask for the hand of his fiancée for marriage, is trapped into an assassination plot. He is saved by Vela, his fiancée. This leads to a battle between the Mahoba and Delhi Kings. This is the battle of Kurukshetra (in the Kali era) and continues for 18 days. Ramamsa and Krishnamsa along with the five Pandava brothers who are reborn as follows - Yudhishthira as Balakhani son of Vatsaraja, Arjuna as Brahmananda son of Parimala, Bhîma as Talana, the son of Satayattana the king of Benares, Nakula as Lakshana the son of the brother of Jayacandra and Sahadeva as Devasimha, the grandson of Vidyota - also take part in this battle. All these young heroes are killed. The only survivor on the side of Delhi is King Prithiviraja while on the side of Mahoba, it is Brahmananda.

One of the sons of Prithiviraja is Bhima who wants to marry Vidyumnamala, the daughter of Pürnamala, the king of Patana. The Mleccha Shahabeddina had seen this girl too and had fallen in love with her. Shahabeddina therefore fights with Prithiviraja but he is forced to fly away. The second time he again makes an attempt to fight. This time he conquers Delhi and kills Prithiviraja. He leaves his slave Qutubuddin in his place and returns home with Vidyumnamala. Thus, the Agnivamsa comes to an end and mleccha religion is established in India.

The Fourth Khanda (26 chapters)

It deals with some mleccha rulers like Qutubuddin and Timur and acharyas like Krishnacaitanya, Sankara, Nanaka and Kabir. It then proceeds to the matters of the Mughals, especially Akbar the Great and Aurangzeb. It then describes the rise of Shivaji and the invasion of Nadir Shah. Last of all it deals with the British (called Gurundas) and their occupation of India.

Comments

Hazra has the following to say regarding the Pratisargaparvan :

The Pratisargaparvan , though nominally mentioned in the Bhavisya (I.1.2-3), contains stories about Adam , Noah , Yakuta, Taimurlong , Nadir Shah , Akbar (the emperor of Delhi), Jayacandra, ... and many others. It even knows the British rule in India and names Calcutta and the Parliament.

A. K. Ramanujan mentions finding references to Christ (as Isha Putra), Moses , and Queen Victoria in the "appropriately up-to-date Bhavisya Purana " and cites this as an example of the fact that:

"In spite of repeated efforts to impose schemes and canons on them from time to time, Puranas are open systems."

It also mentions the Iranian prophet Zarathushtra . It tells the story of the union of Nishkubha, daughter of Rsi Rijihva and the Sun (Mihira). From this wedlock was born a sage called Zarashata, who apparently is Zoroaster of the Iranian traditions. Muhammad also appears as "Mahamada", in III.3.3.5-27. The passage is aware of Muhammad's Arabian origin, and portrays him as a dharmadusaka ("polluter of righteousness"), a preceptor of paisacadharma ("ghoulish religion"), and a reincarnation of Tripurasura, a demon whom Lord Shiva will destroy again.

Uttaraparvan

The Uttaraparvan , though nominally attached to the Bhavishya Purana , is usually considered to be an independent work, also known as the Bhavisyottara Purana , and as such is included among the Upapuranas (Lesser Puranas). The Bhavisyottara Purana is primarily a handbook of religious rites with a few legends and myths. Rajendra Hazra characterizes it as "a loose collection of materials taken from various sources" that is lacking in many of the traditional five characteristics of a purana, but which offers an interesting study of vows, festivals, and donations from sociological and religious points of view.



 
 


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