Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Puranas

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Sarup & Sons, 2001 - Puranas - 1432 pages

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This Vedic encyclopedia is a remarkable reference book. I certainly commend the Swami for his efforts to compile such a massive project. His references include so many scriptures such as the Visnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana, the Manu-smrti, and so on. The difficulty I found is discerning the validity of so many different stories. For example, both Devi Bhagavata and Srimad Bhagavata Purana are mentioned side by side. Personally, I have more difficulty accepting the Devi Bhagavata stories than the stories of the Bhagavata Purana. The Bhagavata Purana was compiled by Vyasadeva and is an established authoritative Purana. I cannot say so for the Devi Bhagavata.
With all the mixing of stories, many scholars will find them Mythological, but Vaisnavas accept the Bhagavata Purana as the spotless Purana. This means that it includes the pastimes of Sri Krishna in its full glory. In confidence, the Bhagavata Purana is called "Radha Bhagavatam." She is the actual and original "Devi" of all the Puranas. It appears that the Devi of the Devi Bhagavata is the consort of Siva. I may be wrong about that aspect, because the Devi Bhagavata is not as well known as the Bhagavata Purana. Still the compilation is impressive and helpful if one has some background with the Vedas. It is a welcome addition to anyone's scriptural library for the wonderful stories alone.
Also the philosophical explanation of "moksa" is not according to the Vaisnava explanation. The Jivatma (embodied soul) is not the same as Paramatma (Supersoul). They are two distinct souls, and the moksa or liberation of the Vaisnavas means actual freedom from artha (wealth), dharma (religiosity), kama (sense gratification) and the final moksa meaning liberation by mukti-svarupena, or attaining one's original identity as eternal servant of Sri Krishna.
Tirthapada Das Vanacari

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