Amos Nevo amnev at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 16 08:18:10 UTC 1998

I am grateful to vidyasankar Sundaresan for his clarification:
>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.
>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.

Actually the MSS of the story of Naciketas, mostly variations of the
name  "NAsiketopAkhyAnam", are recent versions of the ancient story from
the VrAha PurANa.
All the commentators that I know of - old and modern, Western and
Eastern - do not mention the recent story at all. Belloni-Filippi
translated the MSS found in the British Library and S. Krause, who
translated a Rajastani version of the story, refers to Belloni-Filippi.
So, as far as I know, in commentating on KaTHopaniSad, no one refers to
the recent versions of the story.
If anybody could enlighten me about the subject, I shall appreciate it.
Thanks in advance.

Amos Nevo
14/51 Bolivia St. Jerusalem
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Email: amnev at

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