You must have surely heard about Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh as being the symbolic representations of trinity of nature but do you know about Vishnu Purana. In this article we will discuss about the Vishnu Purana.
About Vishnu Purana
This is one of the eighteen mahapuranas that are significant in Hinduism. It is one of the most important puranas. The Vishnu Purana includes many Vedic stories and other incidents of religious importance and of spiritual significance.
Vishnu is one of the most important Deities in Hinduism and is one of the trinity amongst Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Vishnu is the preserver or bearer of the universe and all that we see around us. In the Vishnu Purana you will get all the stories about the Lord Vishnu and also get to know about the many incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
The Spiritual Significance
But it must be remembered that although for an uninitiated person unknown with depths of metaphysical concepts, the Vishnu Purana might appear to be a collection of mythological stories, for the one having the right perception and knowledge it is a goldmine of knowledge of spiritual significance.
We have been stressing in most of our articles that the ancient seers were far too intelligent than we can imagine them to be, hence they put their knowledge and thoughts in words in such a manner that they can be understood at two levels. At the mundane they are simple stories but give moral lessons to people, whilst at the deeper level they signify deep spiritual secrets and truths. Similarly the Vishnu Purana is one of the oldest texts and has volumes of knowledge embedded in it.
Whats Written In The Vishnu Purana?
It is not possible to discuss all the aspects and details of the Vishnu Purana in this one article. So we will discuss only some of the aspects of the text so that the readers have a general idea on what the Vishnu Purana is all about.
The Vishnu Purana has six parts and one hundred and twenty six chapters. The fifth part is the longest and the sixth is the shortest part. The Vishnu Purana takes the readers back in time. It starts with how the universe was created and the concept of the four yugas is explained. It gives the story of Rudra and how Vishnu was given the responsibility to control the world. It tells how Lord Vishnu has been doing his roles for thousands of years. The Vishnu Purana gives a detailed account of the samudra manthan that we have already explained in one of our articles.
It tells how Lord Vishnu was married to Goddess Laksmi. The Vishnu Purana gives a detailed account of how Lord Vishnu took the incarnations of Krishna and Lord Rama for the same of mankind. It gives the story of how Prahlad who was a great devotee of lord Vishnu forced the lord to take the form of half man and half beast (Narsimha) to kill the king Hiranya Kashyap.
The Lord Vishnu also took the form animals to protect the world. The Vishnu Purana gives a detailed account of all these forms that lord Vishnu took. These include fish (matsya), Kurma and varaha. Lord Vishnu also took the form of Mohini (a beautiful lady) couple of times. The stories related to this can also be found in the Vishnu Purana.
The Vishnu Purana discusses how the life of a man is divided into four equal halves. Each half consists of twenty five years. It tells about the cycle of birth and death. These four parts of life or ashramas are
Liberation from Reincarnation
It discusses how a soul is lead into the cycle of reincarnation again and again. It also explains the route to salvation. We can get salvation when we get rid of the worldly attachments. Moksha or salvation is a state when the soul gets free from the cycle of birth and death. It is not something that can be achieved easily. It will require a lot of hardwork and dedication. The souls that get salvation reach the lord Vishnu and become a part of his entity. These souls rest there in peace forever. This explains the importance of Lord Vishnu in ensuring that the person is liberated and gets actual peace.
Varnas of Society
The Vishnu Purana explains about the sages namely Vyasa, Surya, yama, Yajnavalkya, Shatadhanu and Shaivya. It explains the four sections or varnas that the society is divided into. The role of the varnas and the responsibilities that is attached to them is also explained in the Vishnu Purana. The Vishnu Purana explains the many rituals that a person needs to do in a life time. It is explained along with the four ashrams that life of a man is divided into. This makes the Vishnu Purana an interesting read and improves the knowledge of a person on social setup of the ancient times.
Textbook of History
The Vishnu Purana gives details of the kings who were born in the lunar and solar dynasties of India. It explains all about the kings that ruled these dynasties. There is mention of some kings who will appear in the Kaliyug. Kaliyug is the age of the demons. The name of some historical kings of Magadha, Nanda and Maurya dynasties is also mentioned in the Vishnu Purana. There is a detailed account on the life of Lord Rama and Krishna in the Vishnu Purana. It gives all the details of how they were born and how they lived until they breathe the last. The detailed account of the lives of lord Krishna in Vishnu Purana is very informative.
The Vishnu Purana also explains that at the end of kali yug (the age of the evil) the kings and rulers will be addicted by corruption. The virtues of humanity will be at their lowest ebb and as this cycle of time approaches its peak, the situation will get from bad to worse. There will be mass destruction and everything will end. The destruction is inevitable and it will be called upon by the mankind due to the greed that they will develop slowly. Basically this describes the condition of the human mind and not a doomsday prediction.
The Vishnu Purana has been translated in many languages including English. If you want you can also read the same and enhance your knowledge about Lord Vishnu. We recommend the Vishnu Purana to all the readers. It explains some really interesting concepts about life and how to get salvation from the cycle of life and death. Many saints and philosophers have spent a lot of time in understanding what the Vishnu Purana is all about and how it affects the life of each and every individual.