The King

The king’s duties are many. He has to punish his enemies, ensure the prosperity of his subjects and arrange that his kingdom is ruled well. He has to protect the sages who perform tapasya inside the boundaries of his kingdom. A king should appoint a wise brahmana as his priest.…

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The Harivamsha Purana

As you have already been told, Brahma emerged from Vishnu’s navel. Brahma’s son was Atri, Atri’s son Soma, Soma’s son Pururava, Pururava’s son Ayu, Ayu’s son Nahusha and Nahushja’s son Yayati. Yayati had two wives, Devayani and Sharmishtha. Devayani had two sons, Yadu and Turvusu. And Sharmishtha had three sons,…

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The Agni Purana’s Virtues

The last chapter of the Agni Purana describes three virtues of the Purana. The Agni Purana is most holy. It gives health and ends nightmares. It spreads happiness. Ill omens vanish from house where the Agni Purana is kept. A man who listens to the recital of the Agni Purana…

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Buddha

The ninth avatara of Vishnu was Buddha. Many years ago, there was a war between the devas and the asuras in which the demons managed to defeat the gods. The gods went running to Vishnu for protection and Vishnu told them that Mayamoha would be born as Buddha, the son…

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Places Of Pilgrimage

A visit to a place of pilgrimage (tirtha) brings the same punya that is obtained from performing a yajna. It is because people had not gone on pilgrimages or donated gold and cows in their earlier lives that they were born poor in their next lives. The best place of…

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Manvantaras

Each manvantara (era) is rule over by a Manu. The first Manu was Svayambhuva. Shatakratu held the title of Indra during this manvantara. The second Manu was Svarochisha. Vipashchita held the title of Indra during this manvantara. Third Manu was Uttama and Sushanti was Indra then. The fourth Manu was…

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Giving Alms

Giving alms is extremely important as means for achieving punya. Alms always have to be donated when one goes to visit a temple or a place of pilgrimage. The giver must always face the east and the receiver must always face the north when alms are being given. Such donations…

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Sins And Their Atonement

If one commits a sin, one has to atone for it. This is known as prayashchitta. If one does not atone for the sins that one has committed, it is the king’s duty to punish the sinner. If one drinks from a well where the dead body of an animal…

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Astrology

The Agni Purana next gives a lot of information on astrology. It states when marriages should take place and when they should not. For example, marriages are never to be held in the months of Chaitra and Pousha or under the signs of Libra or Gemini. If one is going…

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The Mahabharataa

The Pandavas were merely a pretext. Krishna used the Pandavas to rid the world of evil men. You have already learnt that one of Yayati’s sons was Puru. In Puru’s line were born Bharataa and Kuru. One of Kuru’s descendants was the king Shantanu. Shantanu married Ganga and Bhishma was…

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The Dwarf

Prahlada’s grandson was Bali and Bali became very powerful. When he was the king of the asuras, there was a war between the devas and the asuras. The gods were defeated and were driven off from svarga. As always, the gods fled to Vishnu and began to pray to him…

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Man – Lion

Hiranyaksha had a brother named Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu was furious to learn that his brother had been killed and the resolved to kill Vishnu. But this could not be done unless h e himself became powerful land invincible. Hiranyakashipu, therefore, began to pray to Brahma through difficult meditation. Brahma was pleased…

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The Boar

Vishnu’s next incarnation was in the form of a boar. The sage Kashyapa and his wife Diti had a son named Hiranyaksha. He became the king of the asuras. Hiranyaksha’s meditation pleased Brahma and Brahma granted him the boon that he would be invincible in battle. Thus armed. Hiranyaksha went…

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Donating the Puranas

The Agni Purana now describes the benefits of giving alms along with the Puranas. The Puranas are to be donated together with cows. And in talking of the mahaPuranas, the Agni Purana also mentions most of their length, in terms of the number of shlokas (couplets) that each has. This…

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The Fish

Agni told Vashishtha the story of the fish incarnation. Many years ago, the whole world was destroyed. The destruction in fact extended to all the three lokas (worlds) of bhuloka, bhuvarloka and svarloka. Bhuloka is the earth, svarloka or svarga is heaven and bhuvarloka is a region between the earth…

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AGNI PURANA

In  the forest  that  is  known as  Naimisharanya,  Shounaka and  the other rishis  (sages)  were performing a yajna (sacrifice) dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. Suta had also come there, on his way to a pilgrimage. The sages told Suta, “We have welcomed you. Now describe to us that which makes…

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The Turtle

Many years ago there was a war between the devas (gods) and the daityas (demons) and the gods lost this war. They prayed to Vishnu to rescue them from the oppression of the demons. Vishnu told Brahma and the other gods that they should have a temporary truce with the…

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Creation

Agni next told Vashishtha the history of creation. Vishnu is the Lord of creation, preservation and destruction. Before creation, it was only the Brahman that was everywhere. There was no day, night or sky. First Vishnu created the waters. And in the waters he sowed the seeds of brahmanda, the great…

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LITERATURE AND GRAMMAR OF AGNI PURANA

Thereafter, the Agni Purana has many chapters on literature and grammar. It describes the different types of chhanda (metres) that are used in poetry. Next it discusses the alphabet. There are sixty-four letters (varna) in the alphabet, of which twenty-one are vowels (svara varna). There are three tones (svara) in…

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Dynasties

Brahma was born from Vishnu’s navel. Brahma’s son was Marichi, Marichi’s son Kashyapa and Kakshyapa’s son Vivasvana. From this line was descended Pururava and Pururava’s descendants were the kings of the surya (solar) dynasty. Brahma also had a son named Atri and Atri had a son named Soma. Soma performed…

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Yoga

Yoga is the way to circumvent the miseries of life. True knowledge is that which informs one about the true nature of Brahman or Paramatman. The atman or jivatman is that which characterises an individual. Yoga means union, it is the union of the jivatman with the Paramatman. Yoga concentrates…

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Omens and Signs

If one is about to go out of the house, one should take care of any bad omens that there might be. Such bad omens are cotton, dried grass, cowdung, coal, molasses, leather, hair, a lunatic, a chandala, a widow, a dead body, ashes, bones and a broken vessel. If…

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The Knowledge Of The Brahman

 Brahma jnana is the knowledge of Brahman. This knowledge, which gives the ultimate bliss, is nothing but the sense that the individual  atman is identical with the universal Brahman or Paramatman. The physical body is not the atman. Nor are the senses the atman. The mind or intelligence is not…

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Vratas in Hinduism

 Depending on the tithi (lunar day), the day of the week, the nakshatras (stars), the month, the season and the position of the sun, certain specific religious rites and ceremonies have to be performed. These are known as vratas. The first day of the lunar fortnight is known as pratipada.…

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Medicine

Dhanvantari was the physician of the gods and he taught Sushruta the art of ayurveda (medicine). The Agni Purana now describes what the sage Ssushruta had learnt, that is, the treatment for various diseases. This does not simply mean the treatment of human illnesses. There is a section known as…

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Yama And Hell

When human beings die, their physical bodies are given up. But they acquire new bodies that are known as  ativahika bodies.  In  these  bodies,  they are brought  to  Yama’s  abode  by Yama’s servants. Living beings other than human are not brought to Yama. Yama then decides whether the dead person…

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