Brahmavaivarta Purana is one among the list of ancient Indian Puranas which are considered sacred to Hinduism. It is believed that Narada instructed to Savarnika the Brahmavaivarta. The main theme of the Brahmavaivarta Purana is the story of Rathantara. Apart from this, there are four Kandas in this Purana, known as the Brahma Kanda, Prakrti Kanda, Ganesha Kanda and Krishnajanma Kanda. This deals with Prapancasrsti or creation of the universe. It defines that Prapanca is no other than Vaivarta (transformation) of Lord Brahma. In addition, it contains fames and pastimes of Radha and Lord Krishna. There are eighteen thousand verses contained in the Brahmavaivarta Purana. Gifting this book on the full-moon day in the month of Magha (February) is regarded as extremely holy and auspicious.
As mentioned above, this extensive work is divided into four books. The first book, the Brahma Kanda, deals with the creation by Brahman, the First Being. This Brahman is said to b e none other than the Lord Krishna. In this book, many legends about the sage Narada are included. Chapter 16 even contains a treatise on medicine.
The second book, the Prakriti Khanda, deals with Prakriti, the original matter. In this Purana, Prakriti is conceived of in mythological terms, resolving itself, at the command of Krishna, into five goddesses (Goddess Durga, Goddess Laxmi, Goddess Saraswati, Savitri and Radha).
The third book, the Ganesha Khanda, relates legends of the elephant-headed god Ganesha, who is unknown to the oldest Indian pantheon, but is one of the most popular of the more modern Indian deities. Rather curiously, Lord Ganesha is represented here as a kind of incarnation of Lord Kishna.
The last and most extensive book, the Krishnajanma Khanda, the section of the birth of Krishna, deals not only with the birth, but with the whole life of Krishna, especially his battles and his love adventures with the cow-herdesses (Gopis). It is the chief part of the whole Purana, which throughout pursues no other object than to glorify the god Krishna and his favourite wife Radha, in myths, legends and hymns. Radha is here Krishna`s Sakti. According to this Purana, Krishna is so much the god above all gods, that legends are related in which not only Brahma and Shiva, but even Vishnu himself, are humiliated by Krishna.
In Brahma-vaivarta Purana, many very interesting details of familiar stories are found that are not seen elsewhere. There are many stories that explain the circumstances leading up to well-known occurrences, as well as previous lives of well-known personalities, shedding light on how they came to be in that condition. There is also a description of the marriage of Radha and Krsna, performed by Brahma.
The Brahma-vaivarta purana consists of four parts-Brahma-khanda, Prakrti-khanda, Ganapati-khanda, and Krsna-janma-khanda. The Krsna-janma-khanda is the largest, comprising about half of the entire work. Although the Vrndavana pastimes are narrated in this khanda, they are briefly described in comparison with what is found in Srimad-Bhagavatam. There are interesting details not found elsewhere, however, including the previous lives of many prominent characters.
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