by Goswami Mitali | 2018 | 68,171 words
This page relates ‘Review of Literature’ of the study on the Vedic influence of Sun-worship in the Puranas, conducted by Goswami Mitali in 2018. The tradition of observing Agnihotra sacrifice and the Sandhya, etc., is frequently observed among the Hindus. Another important innovation of the Sun-worship in the Puranas is the installation of the images of the Sun in the temples.—This section belongs to the series “Vedic Concept of God and Religion”.
The Vedic texts occupy a specific place in the field of Indian religious history. They are considered as the best source of socio-cultural records of ancient India. The Ṛgvedasaṃhitā contains several data, relating to the Sun-worship in ancient Vedic period. Many scholars have prepared their commentaries on the Ṛgvedasaṃhitā and it has been published several times by different Editors. The Mādhavīyavedārthaprakāśa by Sāyaṇācārya is the best commentary written on the text. It is very helpful for the proper understanding of the content of the Ṛgvedasaṃhitā. Along with the interpretation of the Vedic terms, Sāyaṇācārya has added here the grammatical peculiarities, etymological derivations and so on. Among different editions of the Ṛgvedasaṃhitā, one is the Ṛgvedasaṃhitā with the commentary of Sāyaṇācārya, edited in five volumes, which is published by Vaidika Saṃśodhana Maṇḍala, in 1972. Besides this, the Ṛgvedasaṃhitā, along with the commentaries of Skandasvāmin, Udgītha, Veṅkaṭamādhava and Mudgala is edited by Visvabandhu Shastri and published by the Vishveshvarananda Vedic Research Institute, Hoshiarpur, in seven volumes. Again, the English translation of the Ṛgvedasaṃhitā, in two volumes, under the title Hymns of the Rigveda is prepared by R.T.H. Griffith, that is published in the year 1889-1890 from Benares: E.J. Lazarus and Company. Without the help of these works, the study relating to the worship of the Sun-god in the Vedic period cannot be completed. Again, the Atharvavedasaṃhitā, along with the commentary of Sāyaṇācārya is published in four volumes by the Krishnadas Academy, Varanasi, in the year 1989, which is edited by Shankar Pandurang Pandit. The Taittirīyasaṃhitā, along with the commentaries of Bhaṭṭabhāskara and Sāyaṇācārya is edited by T.N. Dharmadhikari, which is published in three volumes by Vaidika Saṃśodhana Maṇḍala, in 1985. The great scholars Uvaṭa and Mahīdhara have made their commentaries on the Vājasaneyisaṃhitā. J.L. Shastri has edited the work and Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, has published it in 1971. All these Saṃhitās contain references to the Sun-worship, in the Vedic period. The Aitareyabrāhmaṇa, along with the commentary of Sāyaṇācārya is published in two volumes, by Tara Book Agency, Varanasi, in the year 1980-83. The work contains great discussion on the worship of the deity in different sacrificial works. Again, the Śatapathabrāhmaṇa is published by the Nag Publishers, Delhi, along with the commentaries of Sāyaṇācārya and Harisvāmin, in five volumes, which is edited by S. Sarma. The work remains as the abundant source of the Vedic Sun-worship, containing discussion on the salient traits of the Sun-god. Furthermore, there are several Brāhmaṇas, Āraṇyakas and Upaniṣads, those contain data relating to the Sun-worship during the Vedic period. The Principal Upaniṣads is the great Upaniṣadic text, which is edited with introduction, text, translation and notes by S. Radhakrishnan and published by Harper Collins Publishers, in the year 2011. In this work, the translations of eighteen principal Upaniṣads are found along with their origin texts in transliterated form. The Gṛhyasūtras contribute a lot towards the study of the Sun worship. They contain the references to the worship of the Sun-god, in different rites and rituals, in the Vedic period. Almost all the Gṛhya texts are published along with their commentaries, those have been prepared by the renowned scholars. The Āpastambagṛhyasūtra is published along with the commentary of Haradatta Miśra and Sudarśana, which is edited by U.C. Pandeya and published by Choukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi, in 2015. The Ṛgvedīya Gṛhyasūtra is another work that includes the two Ṛgvedic Gṛhyasūtras, viz. the Āśvalāyanagṛhyasūtra, the Śāṅkhyāyanagṛhyasūtra or the Kauṣītakigṛhyasūtra. The work is edited by Amarkumar Chattopadhyaya and published by Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar, Kolkata, in the year 2001. The Pāraskaragṛhyasūtra is another important Gṛhyasūtra, which is edited by Gopalshastri Nene, along with the commentaries of Harihara, Gadādhara and Jayarāma, and published by Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series office, Benaras, in the year 1925. The Gṛhyasūtras are translated into English by H. Oldenburg and this monumental work is edited by F. Max Müller in two volumes, under Sacred Books of the East Series, under the title The Gṛhyasūtras, and published by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi.
The Purāṇas are regarded as next to the Vedas. They contain references, relating to the worship of the Sun. The Purāṇas are published several times by different scholars. The Agnipurāṇa is edited by Pancanana Tarkaratna and it is published by Nababharat Publishers, Calcutta, in the year 1389. Another edition of the work is published by Chowkhamba Sanskrit Pratisthan, Delhi, along with the Hindi commentary, made by Acarya Sivaprasad Dwibedi. The Agnimahāpurāṇa is again published by the Nag Publishers, Delhi in the year 1955. The Bhāgavatapurāṇa, along with the commentary Śrīmadbhāgavatabhāvārthadīpikā by Śrīdharasvāmin is edited by J.L. Shastri, and is published by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi in 1983. The Brahmapurāṇa is published by Nag Publisher in the year 2007. Again, the Brahmāṇḍapurāṇa is edited by J.L. Shastri and published by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, in the year 1973. The Matsyapurāṇa is published in two volumes along with the English translation by H.H. Wilson. The introductory note of the work is precious one that deals with the Purāṇic literature as a whole. The work is published by Nag Publishers, Delhi, in 1983. The earliest edition of Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa is published by Nababharat Publishers, Calcutta, which is edited by Pancanana Tarkaratna, in the year 1390. The Nababharata Publishers, Calcutta also has published the Padmapurāṇa in all the khaṇḍas, which are edited by Pancanana Tarkaratna. The Bhaviṣyamahāpurāṇa and the Sāmbapurāṇa are the great works, dealing with the worship of the Sun-god. The Bhaviṣyapurāṇam is published in three parts by Nag Publishers, Delhi, which is edited by R.N. Sharma. The Sāmbapurāṇa is edited by V.C. Srivastava, along with the text and translation, and published by Parimal Publications, Delhi, in 2013. Almost all the Purāṇas are published and presently available, those help the reader in the study of the Sun-worship in the Purāṇic period.
Among the modern works, Sun-Worship in Ancient India, authored by Lalta Prasad Pandey is regarded as one of the valuable works. The work contains chapters on Sun-Worship in India, in Pre-Vedic age, Vedic age and the post-Vedic age. It contains discussion on the Sun-worship in Śunga period, Gupta period, etc. There is also found about the centeres of Sun-worship in India. The work is published by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, in the year 1968. Another work, under the same title Sun-Worship in Ancient India, authored by V.C. Srivastava is published by Indological Publications, Allahabad, in 1972. Among the works, relating to the Sun-worship, this work is regarded as important one. The work is written into seven chapters. Sun Cult in Prācyadeśa, History, Religion & Iconography, written by Bijoy Kumar Sarkar is another work directly related to the Sun-cult, which is published by Pratibha Prakashan, Delhi, in the year 2010. This is a noted work written on the Sun-worship in India, especially in Bengal. The work contains six chapters. The Religion and Philosophy of the Veda and Upanishads, written by Arthur Berridale Keith, in two volumes, is regarded as one of the best works in the field of ancient Indian religious history, which is originally published in the year 1925, and again published by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, in the year 2007. The work specially deals with the religion and philosophy of the Vedic literature. The work contains discussion on different Vedic deities, including the solar gods. The Religion of the Veda by Hermann Oldenberg is a famous work, published by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, in the year 1988. The work contains discussion on Vedic religion and deities. Vedic Mythology, authored by A. A. Macdonell is one of the prominent works, dealing with the specific characters of the Vedic gods. The work is published in the year 1897. The work, in seven chapters, contains various data regarding the solar divinities. Treatment of Nature in the Ṛgveda, authored by Braj Bihari Chaubey is one of the famous works, dealing with the treatment of nature in the Ṛgvedic text. The work is published by Vaidik Sahitya Sadan, Hoshiarpur, in 1970. Studies in the Purāṇic Records on Hindu Rites and Customs by R.C. Hazra, is the monumental work in the field of Purāṇic religion, which is published by the Unniversity of Dacca, in the year 1936. Studies in the Upapurāṇas is another famous work by R.C. Hazra which is published in two volumes by Sanskrit College, Calcutta. The first volume of it contains discussion on the Saura and Vaiṣṇava Upapurāṇas. This work stands as the best source of study for the topic Sun worship in Purāṇic period.