One of the eighteenth major Purana, Padma Purana is a scripture of the Sanskrit texts in Hinduism. It is a text that is named after the lotus in which Lord Brahma appeared. However, The Padma Purana includes large sections dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti. The manuscripts of Padma Puranam have survived through the modern era with endless versions. It is one of the voluminous texts, claiming to have around 55,000 verses.
The textual arrangement of the Padma Purana suggests that it is a compilation through years by different sages. The Text includes sections on cosmology, mythology, genealogy, geography, rivers and season, temples, pilgrimages and numerous places in India. There is a different text that is the Jain version of Ramayan which is also known as Padma Purana Jain Granth.
Padma Purana Consists of Five Distinct Parts
- Srishti Khand
- Bhumi Khand
- Swarg Khand
- Patal Khand
- Uttar Khand
Let us understand the different parts in brief:
- Srishti Khand is an explanation of metaphysical knowledge. It isn’t in the form of a conversation between Bheeshma and Sage Pulsatya. It is a description of the Pilgrimage at Pushkar. It starts with a ritual that supports the worship of the planets
- Bhumi Khand on the other hand includes the details of the earth. It describes the tales of kings like Prithu, Nahush, Yayati, Prabhriti and sages like Shiva, Suvrata, Chyvan, etc. The description of the earth in this part of Padma Purana is often regarded as the geographical expansion of India along with the history of the period.
- Swarg Khand gives the description and details of the sequence of the creation first and then the glory of the holy places. It explains the details of India with its mountains, rivers and people.
- In Patal Khand, the sage narrated the stories of the life and days of Lord Rama in the assembly of sage and rishis. It also gives an insight into the Life and Plays of Lord Krishna
- Uttara Khand consists of a conversation about the knowledge of religion. It is a dialogue between Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati. It also consists of the 1000 names of Lord Vishnu and the hundred names of Lord Rama.
Let us Discuss Details of Srishti Khand: The beginning of Creation
Srishti Khand: The Beginning Of Creation
Pulsatya is the sage who describes the beginning of creation and Bheeshma explains it in the following manner. Keep in mind that he was blessed by Lord Brahma and thus knew how things actually occurred.
During The initial phase of the creation. Lord Brahma created Mahattatva out of which he created three types of ego. Satva, Rajas and Tamas. The three types of ego, where the origin of all the five organs and the five basic elements on the earth. The five elements being, earth, water, fire, space and air. An enormous egg came into existence with the combination of the above mentioned five elements. Within this enormous egg exists the whole universe, the planets, the earth, the deities, demons and human beings. Lord Vishnu himself helps in the creation of the rivers in the form of Brahma and also takes various incarnations on earth to protect mankind from Evil.
Lord Brahma’s Life Span
The sage in this Purana Khand describes Lord Brahma as the embodiment of Lord Vishnu who has a life of around 100 years. His life span is defined where four yugas here were equivalent to thousand years of the deities. The yugas occurred in cyclic order – Satya, Treta, Dwapar and Kaliyuga.
Satya yuga lasted for around 4000 years, Treta yuga for 3000 years, Dwapar yuga for 2000 years and finally Kali-yuga will last for 1000 years. The four yugas are collectively known as ChaturYuga. A day in Brahma’s life is equal to one thousand such Chatur yugas. When the night is over for Lord Brahma, he again commences his creation. So, the process of the whole period of Brahma’s Life span continues.
To describe, how it all actually happened in the beginning, pulsatya explains Bhishma saying, When Lord Brahma awakened, the whole earth was submerged in water, he meditated to Lord Vishnu, who took the incarnation of Varah and thus, retrieved earth from the flood. And established in the original position. After this, Lord Brahma created the Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka, Swargloka and Maharloka. Also, he divided the earth into seven islands.
The Main Four Castes
According to Padma Purana, Lord Brahma creates brahmin and Kshatriya from his mouth and chest whereas Vaishyas and Shudras from his thigh and feet respectively. He also created the manasputra to increase the population of the earth. Their names swerve Bhrigu, Pulah, Kratu, Angira, Marichi, Daksh, Atri and Vashistha. All of them were free of worldly desires and extremely intelligent. When Lord Brahma came to know about this, he became furious and thus, Lord Rudra manifested from his forehead. This manifestation of Lord Rudra was known as Ardhnareshwari, where half of the body appeared to be male and half female. Lord Brahma orders Rudra to separate the female body from the male and spread the awareness of copulation through which the population was to increase on the planet.
This was the first human pair on the earth namely Manu and Shatarupa. Four children were born to them, Priyavrata, Uttanpad, Prasuti and Aakruti. This is how the four castes were formed.
Livelihood Of A Brahmin
Padma Purana briefly describes how a brahmin should earn his livelihood. Lord Brahma mentions that the alms which a brahmin receives he must get it without making any demand for it, it is called vritta. A brahmin should accept the Dakshina which is given to him by the host after the completion of a ceremony. He must engage himself in education activities and preach those learnings of his life. If he can not attain his livelihood by the right measure he can opt for being a Kshatriya, but during such circumstances, he must learn to master both the knowledge of Vedas as well as warfare.
Importance Of Surya’s Worship
The story of King Bhadreswar is mentioned here where he gets infected with leprosy. After explaining his concern to the head priest, he was asked to perform appropriate rituals and pray to Lord Surya. King Bhadrehwar prayed and offered articles like fruits, Asksht, ardhya, etc and thus, was crude of leprosy through his undivided devotion towards lord Surya.
Importance to Rudraksha, Amala and Tulsi
Lord Vyasa explains the glory of Rudraksha by the strong fact that it bears the features of linga and yoni on its surface. He also states that one who wears a rudraksha rosary is said to be supreme among all the living beings. All the mantras and chants become powerful when chanted with the rudraksha rosary.
Amla is a very nutritious fruit and has a great significance attached to it. It is a fruit very dear to Lord Vishnu and thus, it is used as an offering during the auspicious day of Ekadashi. A person who eats amla every day enjoys a very long and healthy life.
Tulsi is the holiest tree as mentioned. The tulsi is supreme among the vegetation and is very dear to Lord Vishnu. It is said to fulfil all the desires of a man. Lord Krishna dwells near the tulsi plant. And thus spirits and ghosts never venture around the tulsi plant. It is also said that one who offers tulsi leaves to Lord Vishnu attains salvation.
Padma Puranas broad concept consists of various such lores. Even Srishti Khand is incomplete here. It consists of various other stories of the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, the origin of demons, deities and Serpents, etc. Don’t you feel Hinduism is as huge a concept as the world we’re living in right now?