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The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, [1840], at

17. The Gárud́a Puráńa

17. Gárud́a Puráńa. "That which Vishńu recited in the Gárud́a Kalpa, relating chiefly to the birth of Gárud́a from Vinatá, is here called the Gárud́a Puráńa; and in it there are read nineteen thousand verses 79."

The Gárud́a Puráńa which has been the subject of my examination corresponds in no respect with this description, and is probably a different work, though entitled the Gárud́a Puráńa. It is identical, however, with two copies in the Company's library. It consists of no more than about seven thousand stanzas; it is repeated by Brahmá to Indra; and it contains no account of the birth of Garuda. There is a brief notice of the creation; but the greater part is occupied with the description of Vratas, or religious observances, of holidays, of sacred places dedicated to the sun, and with prayers from the Tántrika ritual, addressed to the sun, to Śiva, and to Vishńu. It contains also treatises on astrology, palmistry, and precious stones; and one, still more extensive, on medicine. The latter portion, called the Preta Kalpa, is taken up with directions for the performance of obsequial rites. There is nothing in

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all this to justify the application of the name. Whether a genuine Gárud́a Puráńa exists is doubtful. The description given in the Matsya is less particular than even the brief notices of the other Puráńas, and might have easily been written without any knowledge of the book itself, being, with exception of the number of stanzas, confined to circumstances that the title alone indicates.


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