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Retrieval of History from Puranic Myths

Exposure of late Puranic myths about some great characters of the earliest Indian history by: P.L Bhargava

The book logically demolishes some widely-prevalent Puranic myths, focussing on eight celebrated men of remote historical past: Visvamitra, Parasurama, Bhagiratha, Rama, Vyasa, Krsna, Yudhisthira and Valmiki — whose real characters have been shrouded in mythologisation.

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ISBN: 9788124607404
Year Of Publication: 2014
Edition: 2nd
Pages : xiii, 146
Bibliographic Details : Appendix; Glossary; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Paperback
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 22
Weight: 350

Overview

Did Rama banish his wife Sita? Did Krishna have Radha for his companion? Was Shakuntala Vishvamitra’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 rishis, 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 many 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, focussing on eight celebrated great men of remote historical past: Vishvamitra, Parashurama, Bhagiratha, Rama, Vyasa, Krishna, Yudhishthira, 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 in its second, revised edition.

Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Transliteration Chart
1. The Puranas and the Ramayana
2. Did Rama Banish his Wife Sita?
3. Did Rama Kill Balin Surreptitiously?
4. Was Vishvamitra the Father of Shakuntala?
5. Did Parashurama Kill his Own Mother?
6. Did Bhagiratha Bring the Ganga from Heaven?
7. Did Krishna have a Companion Named Radha?
8. Was Yudhishthira Crowned King of Hastinapura in 3102 bc?
9. Was Vyasa the Author of the Traditional Eighteen Puranas?
10. Was Valmiki a Robber in his Youth?
Appendix
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
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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 the McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for about 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 times” (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 already published eight books and over 60 papers.
Books of P.L Bhargava