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The Ganesa Purana - Krida Khanda (Set of 2 Books)

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Item Code: NAN872
Author: Greg Bailey
Language: English
Edition: 2017
ISBN: Book I: 9788120837003
Book II: 9788120840980
Pages: 674
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch x 6.0 inch
Weight 1.10 kg
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Book Description

The second book of the GnP must be read as a complement to the first book, the Upasanakhanda. Where the first introduces the mythology of Ganesa by focussing on how a person becomes his devotee and the subsequent worship this requires, the second takes a more direct theological aim. It offers a comprehensive set of narratives dealing with the god's adventures in the world and how he cheats certain classes of people, saves others, reveals himself to yet a third category and provokes a fourth. These adventures are placed together and organized through the application of a number of thematic frames exercizing control over a diverse range of content, which despite its diversity, has a certain uniformity about it. Of these the avatara frame is one of the most important and easily recognized, and conveys a kind of a universal ambience to the god's activities. Its ubiquity in the Krkh means that the Ukh can be read as focusing on the individual in relation to Ganesa, whereas the Krkh focuses on the triple-world in relation to him. And to extend this further, the majority of myths In the Ukh are in part built around the motif of the consequences of an individual's failure to worship Ganesa first before any undertaking. This motif is far less common in the Krkh, without, however, being totally absent.

In the GN and Wai editions of the GnP, the second khanda is called Uttarakhanda, in contrast with the Purvakhanda, the alternative name for the Upasanakhanda. However, in the colophons the title haphazardly alternates between Krida and Uttarakhanda. Yet irrespective of whether the word lila or Krida is used, the reader/hearer is never allowed to lose sight of the games being depicted in the myths populating the Krkh. As both avatara and boy, Ganesa is depicted in game playing activities from the beginning to the end of the GnP, and even when the .austere Visvarupa forms of the god are described at so many spots in the text, the idea of play is present and, like the BhagP, the Krkh can he read as a meditation on lila.

I. Literary Organization of KRKH

Like the Ukh the Krkh can easily be divided into individual myths and larger Narrative Units. The Ganesagita (138-148), for example, stands as a separate generic unit by itself, even though most Gitas do appear within larger textual units than themselves. An overall organization of the contents of this khanda is given, typically, as early as the first chapter and it is followed relatively consistently and the reader/hearer is reminded time and again of its relevance.

In period after period Ganesa has different names, different vehicles, different deeds, different qualities and he destroys different demons. In the Krtayuga he is mounted on a lion, he is ten-armed and named Vinayaka. His body looks splendid, it is huge, he gives gifts to everyone and he is independent. In the Tretayuga he is mounted on a peacock and he has six arms, a white skin and he is famous in the triple-world under the name of Mayuresvara. In the Dvaparayuga he is coloured red, mounted on a rat and four-armed. He is called Gajanana and gods and humans worship him. But in the Kaliyuga he is smoke-coloured, mounted on a horse and has two hands. He is called Dhumraketu and destroys the barbarian armies. He has killed many demons and I am now going to tell you about that, sage.

This is only a rough guide to the reading of the contents. The sections of the text which correspond to the four yuga frame are the following: Krta (2,1,23-2,72,36), Treta (2, 73, 3- 2,126,63), Dvapara (2,127,7 - 2,137,41) and Kali (2, 149, 1541) ; and the respective demonic figures are Devantaka and Narantaka, Sindhu and Sindura, but with no such figure occurring in the Kaliyuga. Chapters 138-148 comprise the GG and from 149-155 all of the major interlocutory frames are completed and the conditions under which the Purana was first heard are given.

Such an organization of events is not uncommon, being seen already in the; ViP, and earlier still in the Mbh, but some utilize the temporal frame provided by the pancalaksana scheme. What is perhaps unique about the GnP is its stated intention to use the yuga scheme and the very perceptible way it carries through this intention. The ViP does not trace the role of Visnu extensively through the entire text in the same way as the GnP. Running alongside this is the Balacarita The Life of the Boy. This name occurs in thirty-six out of one hundred and fifty-five colophons of the Kshh, overwhelmingly in the first seventy chapters, after which it does not occur at all. Within these chapters it is concentrated between chapters nine and forty-six, which deal with Ganesa's childhood from two separate perspectives: his upbringing in the hermitage of Kasyapa and Aditi, on the one hand, and his time spent with the king of kasi, on the other. The whole of the Krkh is a Balacarita in the sense that the god is presented as a boy overwhelmingly. As an adult he hardly appears at all, an observation valid also for the Ukh. Yet the linear temporality of many of the chapters is organized in line with Ganesa's age measured by year or samskara performed. This has a much more vivid and immediate impact on the narrative as the temporality of much of the action corresponds to the time of a particular samskara of the boy. In short, the periods of his boyhood break up the narration into short periods of narrated time, contrasting fundamentally with the huge time spans of the yugas.

Strictly speaking the Balacarita is subordinate to the yuga scheme, but that scheme is nowhere as developed as the Balacarita, nor does its presence emerge so closely to the surface of the text. It is, finally, arguable that the Balacarita is a generic type, pro to type in earlier texts such as the BhagP, though different from the Ganapatikhanda of the Brahmavaivarta Purana; which could conceivably have been taken as another model. I suspect though, that the childhood of Krsna in the tenth book of the BhagP, with the erotic material absented, would have been the most appropriate model as it ties in the theme of childhood with that of the avatara, a combination not replicated in the Ganapatikhanda.


What ties together both temporal frames just outlined is the avatara myth which, closely intertwined with Ganesa's games, forms the principle plot of the Krkh. The depiction of the avatara in the Krkh is absolutely dear and possesses no ambiguity. As an example are the following words of Ganesa when he addresses Kasyapa after he has killed Devantaka and Narantaka.

Formerly propitiated by austerities, I became your son, and I removed the Earth's burden and appropriately destroyed the very powerful daityas, oppressors of the triple world, Devantaka and Narantaka. The gods and the sadhus were protected and others were supported. (2, 72, 35-36)

Here are the central elements of the avatara plot: the overburdened Earth, the powerful demonic forces, the oppression of the gods and the propitiation of the god to become the avatara. Other descriptions are closer to the wording given in the famous passage from the Bhg 4, 7-8.

Why did Ganesa have to be depicted as an avatara, considering that this particular role is never brought into association with him in the classical Puranas where his mythology is initially strongly developed? Two possibilities could be suggested for this and it is significant that the avatara role is also heavily stressed in the MudP. In the first instance, Ganesa is a creator and destroyer of obstacles, either of which can be given emphasis in any of the myths in the GnP. Since, formally speaking, all myths involve the creation of a lack and its removal, the avatara myths derive their plot line from the (often inadvertent) establishment of a lack in dharma and the removal of this lack by the re-establishment of dharma. This is consistent with the theme of the god who removes obstacles and, equally, it falls within the required role of the avatara. Secondly, in a text which aims to provide a Puranic style text for the Ganapatyas or some other very prominent lineage of Ganesa devotees, the text would have to be complete in what it offers about Ganesa, but also ensure the image presented of him is one that would make him comparable to the other major gods and goddesses who are accorded avataras in the maha and Upapuranas. This responds to both sectarian and generic pressures.


The compound Balacarita is a keyword whose various meanings reach far beyond the actual meanings of the words "boy" and "life." The boy is depicted brilliantly in several different guises: as a growing boy being taken through the sa1fl$kiiras, as a playmate, as someone who takes many disguises, as a son, as an object of devotion, sometimes as a young warrior and as an object of derision. In the interaction of all these themes a complex-image of the boy develops, an image strongly influenced by the way those figures with whom he interacts perceive the divine/human split. This does not mean the text is offering us a simple binary opposition which would take precedence as an heuristic device. Rather it is the implications of the interaction of all these distinct images and-the status of those who perceive them that is vital in reading the complex persona of the boy.



  Abbreviations xi
  Introduction xiii
I Literary Organization of the Krkh xiv
II Avatara xvi
III Boyhood and Divine Identity xvii
IV Mothers xxvi
V Demonic Recognition. xxxii
VI Elephant-head or Human-head xxxviii
VII Ganesa as Object of Devotion xli
VIII Types of Myths in the Krkh xlvi
IX Intertextuality: The Life of Krsna lx
  Translation and Notes  
1 Obeisance to the Lord of the Illustrious, Ganesa 1
2 Gaining of the Boon 6
3 Victory in Heaven 9
4 Vyasa's Question 13
5 Dialogue between Sage Kasyapa and Aditi 15
6 Vinayaka's Manifestation 20
7 Liberation of the Demoness Viraja 25
8 The Liberation of the Crocodile 28
9 The Eulogy Beginning with Ha Ha 31
10 Description of Various Names 36
11 Indra's Theophany 39
12 The Killing of the Night-Stalkers 43
13 Ganesa's Entry into Kasi 48
14 Ganesa's Kills Demons for the Brahmin Dharmadatta 51
15 The Freeing of the City 55
16 The Return of the King 59
17 Ganesa's Invitation to Bhrusundin 64
18 The Killing of the Cheating Demon 69
19 The Killing of Kupa and Kandara 73
20 The Killing of the Three Demons 77
21 The Killing of the Demoness who Appears as Aditi 81
22 The People's Request 87
23 The Gift of the Boon to Sukla 91
24 The Tale of Vinayaka's Feeding 95
25 The Tale of the Proclamation about Devotion 99
26 The Liberation of Bhisma and the Raksasa 102
27 The Confinement of the Ministers 104
28 Description of the Births of Bhisma and the Raksasa 107
29 The Killing of Virocana 110
30 Tale of the Vamana Avatara 113
31 Vamana's Praise of Ganesa 117
32 The Description of Kirti's Praise 122
33 The Revival of the Boy 126
34 The Story of Mandara and Samika 130
35 The Praise of Mandara and Sami 134
36 Savitri Curses the Gods to become Rivers 138
37 The Glorification of the Sami and the Mandara 141
38 Dhundhiraja 144
39 The Narrative of Durasada 150
40 Vinayaka Born from Parvau's Sakti 153
41 The Battle between Ganesa and Durasada 157
42 The Victory over Durasada 160
43 The Narrative of Dhundhiraja 163
44 Divodasa' s Reign 164
45 The Tale of Divodasa 166
46 Ganesa Enters Varanasi as an Astrologer 170
47 Visnu Enters Varanasi as a Buddhist 173
48 The Gift of a Boon to Kirti 177
49 The Description of the Results of the Sami and the Mandara 182
50 The Description of Ganesa's World 185
51 The Arrival of the Flying Vehicle 191
52 Tour of the Divine Cities 194
53 Description of the King's Attainment of Wonderful Bliss 199
54 Ganesa Gives a Darsana to the People of Varanasi 204
55 The Release of the Messengers 209
56 The Departure of Narantaka 212
57 The Confinement of the King 217
58 The Restraint of Narantaka 221
59 Liberation of the King 225
60 The Battle between Narantaka, the Daitya King and Vinayaka 229
61 The Destruction of the Daitya and Manifestation of the Universal Form 233
62 The Siege of the City 236
63 The Removal of Sukra 241
64 Battle between the Siddhis and the Demons 244
65 Buddhi's Victory 246
66 The Defeat of the Siddhis 249
67 The Battle of the Weapons 252
68 The Battle of the Weapons (contd.) 255
69 Entrance into the City 259
70 Entrance into the City (contd.) 262
71 Vinayaka's Return to the Hermitage 264
72 The Tale of Vinayaka's Life 268
73 The Description of Sindhu's Progenation 272
74 The Gift of a Boon 277
75 The Defeat of the Gods 281
76 Visnu Battles the Demon Army 285
77 Visnu Gives a Boon to Sindhu 287
78 The Gift of a Boon of Prosperity to the Gods 290
79 The Gift of a Mantra to Gauri 294
80 Ganesa Agrees to be Reborn in Parvati 298
81 Ganesa Appears before Parvati in his Universal Form 301
82 Ganesa's Name-Giving 304
83 Ganesa Kills the Vulture Grdha before Parvati 309
84 The Killing of Balasura 313
85 Ganesa's Protective Amulet 317
86 Description of the seating on the Ground 321
87 The Killing of the Asura Kamatha 324
88 The Killing of the Asura Mancaka 328
89 The Killing of the Asura Salabha 332
90 The Killing of Avija 335
91 The Killing of Silasura and Matsyasura 338
92 The Showing of the Universal Vision and the Killing of the Asura Kardama 343
93 The Killing of Cancala 348
94 The Trip to Gautama's Hermitage 351
95 The Killing of the Asura Vrka 355
96 The Debate between Aditi and Gauri 361
97 Vinata and Kadru 366
98 The Giving of a Boon to Sikhandin 371
99 The Killing of the Asura Bhaga I 375
100 The Killing of the Asura Bhaga II 380
101 The Destruction of the daitya Army 385
102 The Battle with the Asura Kamala 388
103 The Killing of the Asura Kamala 391
104 The Manifestation of the Universal From 394
105 The Casting Out of the Idea of Difference in Visvadeva 398
106 Ganesa Steals the Moon on Siva's Forehead 404
107 The Destruction of Indra's Sacrifice 407
108 The Removal of Yama's Arrogance 412
109 The Killing of the Raksasas 415
110 The Despatch of Nandin 419
111 The Description of the Deliberations I 421
112 The Description of the Deliberations II 425
113 The Killing of Mitra and Kaustubha 428
114 The Defeat of Sindhu's Army 432
115 The Enacting of a Multiplicity of Forms to Sindhu 436
116 The Cleansing of the Battlefield 440
117 Durga's Speech 444
118 The Killing of Kala and Vikala 447
119 Sindhu's Sons Fight the Divine Army 450
120 The Conversation between Sindhu and His Father 453
121 Mayuresa Defeats Sindhu's Army 458
122 The Destruction of Sindhu's Army 463
123 The Killing of Sindhu 467
124 The Trip to the City 473
125 Canesa's Marriage to Siddhi and Buddhi 478
126 The Magnificence of the Doors 482
127 The Origin of Sindura 488
128 The Freeing of Parvati 491
129 Ganesa is Propitiated to Kill Sindura 497
130 The Imperceptibility of Gajanana 500
131 The Victory over the Gandharvas 504
132 The journey to Kailasa 506
133 The Appearance of Parasara 509
134 How the Rat Became Ganesa's Vehicle 512
135 The Description of the Curse on Kraunca 516
136 The Departure of Sindura 519
137 The Instruction of Varenya 522
138 The Yoga of the Meaning of the Essence of Samkhya 527
139 The Yoga of Action 533
140 The Attainment of Knowledge 537
141 The Two-fold Yoga and Renunciation 542
142 The Yoga Recommending the Lifestyle of Yoga 545
143 The yoga of Intellect 548
144 The Yoga of Worship 550
145 The Appearance of his Universal Form 552
146 The Yoga of Discrimination between Knower of the Field and the Field 554
147 The Instruction about Yoga 558
148 The Description of Objects Having Three Types 560
149 The Dismissal of the Sage 564
150 The Description of Siddhiksetra and the Favour to Vyasa 569
151 The Description of the Arrival of the Vehicle 571
152 The Visit of Hernakantha 574
153 The Description of Sornakanta's Arrival at the God's Abode 578
154 The Description of the Fifty-Six Vinayakas 581
155 The Description of the Fruits of Hearing 583

Sample Pages

Book- I

Book- II

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