Repertoire of ancient lore

The Purana and Itihasa stories contain the essence of the dharma sastras ordained for mankind by the Vedas, though they are likely to reflect diverse viewpoints. There may also be many unexplained factors regarding events and characters in these innumerable stories and the connection between them may span many births, yugas and even kalpas.

The Devi Bhagavata Purana adopts the technique of dialogue sessions between Janamejaya and Vyasa to fill in the gaps in the narratives that give rise to doubts in many of us, pointed out Sri K. Srinivasan in a discourse. Janamejaya is disturbed as he looks back at the life of his immediate ancestors. His questions to Vyasa try to probe the mysterious ways of the Lord’s avatars. If Krishna is the all Supreme Lord, why did He take avatar in jail? Why did He, who was the leader of Yadavas, go to Gokula? Why did He choose to be born in the womb of Devaki? Why was the venerable Vasudeva, His father, imprisoned by Kamsa when punishment in jail is reserved for only those who commit heinous crimes? He who is in full control of this entire jagat could have easily released his parents from the jail. Who were those six babies born before Krishna and killed by Kamsa?

In the Ramayana, Valmiki makes use of Uttara kanda as a supplement to explain many issues that could not be incorporated as part of the story line. Hanuman is introduced in Kishkinta Kanda and brings about the friendship between Rama and Sugriva. He plays an important role in the Sundara and Yuddha kandas. But we come to know of his antecedents, his extraordinary prowess, valour, etc, only in Uttara Kanda. Hari Vamsa, likewise is an appendix to Mahabharata and in it are explained many aspects of Krishna avatar that are merely indicated and not clarified straight away.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 11:48:11 AM |

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