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Revision in the Puranic Sun-Cult

Revision in the Puranic Sun-Cult
Item Code: NAG597
Author: V.C. Srivastava
Publisher: Banaras Hindu University
Language: English
Edition: 1996
Pages: 86
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 9.5 inch X 6 inch
weight of the book : 175 gms



As early as 1968 I presented a vision of the Sun-worship in ancient India which was published in an uptodated and rearranged form in 1972. The reviews of the book brought into focus many issues which attracted my attention from time to time. Some other works on the Sun-cult, for example H. Von. Stietencron (1968). L.P. Pandey (1971), C.D. Pandey (1986) AJ. Gail, Der Sonnen Kult imalten Indien, ZDMG, 128 (1978), also posed new theories and inspired me to investigate these viewpoints and theses in a detailed manner which I could not do in my earlier monograph as the convass in terms of space and time was so large that it was practically impossible for me to enquire into many subtle points in the work. Some of these criticisms related to the charge of less attention to the evidence of the Samba Purana while new hypotheses and viewpoints concerned themselves with such problems as the division of the Sun-worshipping foreign priesthood into two distinct groups the Magas and the Bhojakas, the continuity and change in the tradition of Indian Sun-cult, the real nature and degree of Tantric impact on the Puranic Sun-cult, the long continuity and popularity of the Sunworship and historical causality behind it. Naturally these suggestions, criticisms, theories and questions needed a thorough and critical appraisal which led me to enquire into them and present a re-vision of the Indian Sun-cult, Herein lies the rationale of presenting the present monograph entitled "REVISION IN THE PURANIC SUN-CULT".


The mongraph consists of six chapters which are revised, uptodated and relooked articles of mine presented in different national and international conferences/seminars/lectures and published originally in different journals/ proceedings. The first chapter is a critical review of the classical source of the Sun-cultthe Samba Purana which is the original source for the reoriented Magianised Sun-cult from which other Puranas such as the Bhavisya Purana borrowed the material on the Sun-cult. The second chapter is concerned with the metaphysical foundation of the Sun-cult which seems to be the primary cause for its popularity and continuity and others factors such as socioeconomic were subsumed in this ideational causality. The third chapter provides the answer to the problem of Vedic survival and continuity and Puranic changes in the Indian Cult of the Sun-god, The fourth chapter is an uptodated reconstruction of the origin, advent, home, impact and other facets of the priesthood of the Indian Sun-cult. The fifth chapter is a critical review of the theory of two distinct groups of Indian-Sun-priests by H. Von Stietencron. The review shows on textual and historical bases that the theory can not be substantiated. The last chapter is a critical analysis of the nature and degree of the impact of Tantricism on the Puranic Sun-cult. It has been concluded that the impact of Tantricism on the Puranic Sun-cult had been only on the outward form-ritual but not on the fundamental ideology as no supreme Surya Sakti could be evolved on the lines of Uma of Hinduism and Prajna of Buddhism.


I have been helped by many in the preparation of this monograph and I would be failing in my duty if I do not thank them. I express my gratefulness to all the scholars who reviewed or discussed my book specially Professor (Late) Tucci of Italy, Prof. (Late) A.L. Basham of Australia, Prof. Joseph M. Kitagawa of Chicago, Prof. H. Yon. Stietencron of Germany, Prof. A.J. Gaill of Germany, Prof. Klaus Karttunen of Helsinki, Prof. (Late) H.D. Sankalia, of Po on a and Prof. L. P. Pandey of Shimla, I am thankful to Prof. G.C. Pande of Allahabad, Prof. Lallanji Gopal of Yaranasi and Dr. S.D. Trivedi of Lucknow for various academic discussions and inspirations and information. I thank Prof. P. Singh Dean (Arts) and Prof. P.C. Pant, present Head of the department for permitting and helping me in getting this work published as a monograph of the department. I heartily thank Shri Prabhat Chandra I.A.A.S., Finance Officer, Banaras Hindu University for providing me necessary funds for the publication of the monograph. Dr. Jeewan Rai, U. G. C. Research Associate under me in the department deserves all praise for preparing the index as well as for proof-reading and also for all sundry works connected with the press. Shri Atma Singh deserves thanks for typing the manuscript speedily and neatly. It is needless to say that without the cooperation of my wife Smt. Madhuri Srivastava and active inspiration of my Son-in-law Shri Balaji and daughter Dr. Madhumita and their loving kid Bhavana the work would not have been completed and as such I have all appreciation and blessings for each one of them.






Chapter 1


The classic source: the samba purana


Chapter 2


The metaphysical foundation of Indian sun-cult


Chapter 3


Continuity and change in the puranic sun-cult


Chapter 4


Indian sun-priests


Chapter 5


Two distinct groups of Indian sun-priests an appraisal


Chapter 6


Tantricism and the sun-cult in India a historical perspective





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