Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Upapataka included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Upapātaka

(UPAPĀPA) (Minor sins). In accordance with the Rāṣtramīmāṃsā (political philosophy) of Ancient India, crimes were divided into two types. They were called Upapātakas (minor crimes) and Pātakas (major crimes). To know about major crimes (Pātakas) see under Pāpa (sin). Upapātakas are given below:—Cow-slaughter; sacrificing by one who is unworthy to perform it; seducing another man’s wife; forsaking one’s father, mother and teacher; forsaking self-study, agni (fire) and son; becoming Parivettā (one who gets married before one’s elder brother is married.) Younger brother finishing education before the elder; giving an unmarried girl to Parivitti or Parivettā; performing sacrifice by a parivitti or a parivettā; slandering an unmarried girl; Living on the interest of money that is lent; violating one’s vow; selling pond, garden, wife or son; becoming an outcaste; forsaking relatives; Teaching the Vedas after receiving remuneration; selling things which should not be sold; working in mines; working with big machinery; destroying medicinal herbs; living by women; to impede rites; cut down fresh trees (not dried) for fire-wood; kidnapping women; mingling with slanderers of women; selfish activities; eating forbidden rice; not keeping Sacrificial fire; theft; not repaying loan; learning forbidden sciences; doing things which are bad and will cause grief to others; stealing of base metals, grains and cows; contact with drunken women; killing women, Śūdra, Vaiśya and Kṣatriya and becoming an infidel are all Upapātakas.

Causing grief to a Brahmin; inhaling the smell of liquor and other prohibited things; resorting to tricks or deceit and engaging in pederasty are sins which would make one an outcaste.

Slaughter of dog, donkey, camel, lion, sheep, junglegoat, fish, serpent and mungoose are sins of a mixed character.

Receiving money from the despicable; buying and selling; serving a śūdra; telling a lie; acting so as to render oneself unworthy; killing worms and birds; eating food along with liquor; stealing fruits, flowers and butea; and becoming a coward are also sins.

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