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Bull Indian Inst Hist Med Hyderabad. 2006 Jul-Dec;36(2):97-116.

Introduction to Garudapurăna with reference to Ayurvĕda.

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Indian Institute of History of Medicine, Osmania Medical College, Putlibowli, Hyderabad.


The Purănas are the encyclopedic works of the ancient and medieval Hindu religion, philosophy, history, politics, ethics, sciences etc. There are 18 (Astădaśa) purănas, which are, considered as mahăpurănas, among which Garudapurăna is popular one. The Garudapurăna is divided into two parts viz., Pŭrvakhanda and Uttarakhanda. The first part, which is also called Acărakhanda consists of 240 chapters. The greater part of the Pŭrvakhanda occupies the descriptions of Vratas (religious observances), sacred places dedicated to the Sŭrya (sun), Lord Siva and Lord Visnu. It also contains treatises on various aspects like astrology, palmistry, politics, Sănkhya, Yŏga, anatomy, precious stones and extensive information on vedic medicine i.e., Ayurveda. The Uttarakhanda consists of two khandas viz. Dharmakhanda and Brahmakhanda, which are divided into 42 and 29 chapters, respectively. The Dharmakhanda is also known as the Prĕtakalpa which contains directions for the performance of obsequies rites. The Prĕtakalpa portion of the Garudapurăna is generally recited during the period of mourning and so its importance is self-evident. It is almost impossible to narrate within such a small framework, the wide range of splendid truths scattered in the pages of this noble purănam. Little information is available from internal evidence to establish its exact period. However, it is supposed to be quite ancient in its origin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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