The Markandeya Purana (Study)

by Chandamita Bhattacharya | 2021 | 67,501 words

This page relates ‘Vegetarian Food’ of the study on the Markandeya Purana, one of the oldest of the eigtheen Mahapuranas preserving the history, civilisation, culture and traditions of ancient India. The Markandeyapurana commences with the questions raised by Rishi Jaimini (a pupil of Vyasa), who approaches the sage Markandeya with doubts related to the Mahabharata. This study examines various social topics such as the status of women, modes of worship, yoga, etc.

Vegetarian Food

There are various kinds of vegetarian foods found in this purāṇa. These are the old kind of cultivated plants that have been in tradition.

These are:

  1. vrīhi (rice),
  2. yava (barley),
  3. godhūma (wheat),
  4. aṇu (anu-grain),
  5. tila (sesamum),
  6. priyaṅgu,
  7. udāra (kovidara),
  8. korādūṣa,
  9. cīnaka,
  10. māṣa,
  11. mudya (green gram),
  12. masūra,
  13. niṣpāva (the finest pulse),
  14. kulatthaka,
  15. āḍhaka (pulse),
  16. caṇaka (chick pea) and
  17. hemp.[1]

It is seen that queen Vīrā, while observing penance, lived on roots and fruits only.[2] These roots and fruits are also mentioned as a food for yogins.[3] The Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa quotes the names of a number of vegetables and other foods. But it doesn't give any detailed explanation about the shape, taste, colour etc.

Footnotes and references:


Ibid., 46.67-69; cf. Vayupurāṇa, 8.147-150


Ibid., 125.36


Ibid., 38.11; cf. Vayupurāṇa, 16.13

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