Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 16 03:28:28 UTC 1998

Amos Nevo writes:

>Many of the MSS telling the story of Naciketas claim to be derived from
>Brahmanda Purana, including the MSS in the India Office of the British
>Library, that were translated by Belloni-Filippi.
>Unfortunately, I have not succeeded in tracing a text of the Brahmanda
>Purana that contains the Naciketa Katha.

The brahmANDa and skAnda purANa-s are convenient texts to which many a
sundry myth (particularly a sthala-purANa) is ascribed. Given a story
that claims to be derived from brahmANDa, there is approximately a 50%
chance that it will be actually found in the currently available mss of
the purANa.

The statement "this is from the brahmANDa purANa" often really means,
"this ought to be in the brahmANDa purANa". This does not necessarily
mean that the story itself is suspect, although a lot of phony claims
have been made. In any case, the Naciketas story probably predates the

It might help to see if any of the standard commentaries on the kaTha
upanishad quote details which they attribute to the brahmANDa purANa. If
Sankara, Rangaramanuja and Madhva (especially Madhva, who quotes more
purANas, and more often than the other two) do not say so, there is a
good chance that the tradition of deriving the Naciketas story from the
brahmANDa purANa is a recent one. Also check if sAyaNa's commentaries
say something in this regard.


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