Shri Hira Ballabh Joshi

A detailed version of the Garud Puran has been authored by Shri Hira Ballabh Joshi, who is a Senior level Civil Servant in India hailing from a priestly family.

Here he explains the reasons for undertaking this work and how it will help the readers gain significant insight into this wonderful book. 

The existing version of Garud Puran which was compiled by the late Mr. Naunidhi Ram, the priest of the ruling family of Jhunjhunu state of Rajasthan has sixteen chapters. This version was published in 1888. He compiled this version mainly based on the “Pret Kalp” of Mahagarud Puran but few verses were taken by him from other sources like Gita, Vivek churamni Neeti Shastra, Vairagya Shastra and other Puranas and it was named as Sharodhar. It has 1288 verses.

However, though it was a good effort to prepare a brief version of “Pret Kalp”, it had a number of short comings. It had references which were promoting very archaic and barbaric traditions like Sati, Caste system and so on. In fact the treatment of human being as an atom of brahm (not brahma) makes it clear that each human being is equal and divine. Therefore, there is no scope for discrimination based on caste and gender in Hindu religion. It is extremely important to note that these traditions are not part of Hindu religion. They developed during certain periods of history and somehow penetrated into religious books. Interestingly, even the word “sati” does not appear in the entire Vedic literature. Similarly, the system of superiority and inferiority based on caste and gender is alien to Sanatan Dharma. There are also short comings in the existing edition of Garud Puran regarding understanding of context, meaning and philosophy. There has been misinterpretation of basic concepts likeMokshya, Sanshara, Punarjanm, etc. For example-the use of Putra in the scriptures has been used for son as well as daughter. This was basically due to limitation of language and not that it disregarded daughters. Similarly, the words like Brahmahatya, has been interpreted as the killing of Brahmin actually this denoted the killing of human beings. These type of errors have since been attended to in the present version.
Interestingly there are a number of references in the original Pretkalp which are on very relevant and topical subjects like environmental protection, healthcare, human action as oblation and so on, which were left out in the previous editions. These have now been incorporated in this edition. Some very important issues like emphasis on compassion, Daan, have been included.
Efforts have been made to drop unrelated verses and replace them with more philosophical, contextual and relevant verses. Some of the key verses which are actually the soul of puranas have also been incorporated in this version. Efforts have also been made to refer to Vedic literature particularly the verses from Grihyasutra, Gita and Upanishads wherever necessary to complete the philosophical context to ensure better understanding of the subject.
This version would also help in bringing better understanding of Sanatan Dharma and also would bring harmony, cohesiveness, compassion concern for nature, concern for other creatures, awareness to help, family values, Dharma and so on. This is no doubt the most authentic version of Garud Puran and brings forward the soul of prêt kalp.
The Garud Puran is the only book in the world written about the post death journey and the author feels that this is one book everyone should read before one dies and read it with full faith and reverence. The other work being taken up the author is related to daily worship. This will be mainly for the common Hindus in a very simple manner keeping in view the present day lifestyle where there is shortage of time.
The Hindi version of the the book can be purchased from
DPB publications, 110, Chawadi Bazaar, Choak Badshahbulla ,
Post Box 2037 , Delhi -06 .  The price is only Rs. 200/-
Phones 011-23251630,23273220.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *