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Mârkandeya Purâna, Books VII. VIII   By:

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In B. Hale Wortham's translation of Mârkandeya Purâna, Books VII and VIII, readers are transported into the rich tapestry of Hindu mythology and ancient religious practices. Wortham's meticulous translation allows for a captivating exploration of these profound texts, providing a wealth of knowledge and inspiration for those interested in Hindu traditions.

The seventh and eighth books of the Mârkandeya Purâna delve deep into the stories of gods, creatures, and mortal beings, presenting a vivid portrayal of the Hindu pantheon. Wortham's translation skillfully captures the essence of these ancient tales, maintaining the lyrical beauty of the original verses while making them accessible to modern readers. The lucidity of the language ensures that even those new to Hindu mythology can fully immerse themselves in its captivating narratives.

One of the notable strengths of Wortham's translation is the attention to detail given to contextual explanations and footnotes. These additions provide valuable insights into the cultural and historical background of the text, guiding readers through unfamiliar terms, names, and rituals. Such dedicated annotations allow for a deeper understanding of the religious significance and symbolism embedded in the stories, revealing the nuanced layers of meaning within the Mârkandeya Purâna.

Additionally, Wortham's translation is enriched by the inclusion of a comprehensive introduction. This introduction serves as an invaluable primer, offering an overview of the Purâna itself, its historical context, and its place within Hindu literature. The thoughtful analysis provided by the translator enables readers to approach the text with a greater appreciation for its significance, fostering a more profound engagement with its teachings.

While Wortham's translation unquestionably provides a remarkable entry point into the world of the Mârkandeya Purâna, it should be noted that the complexity of the text may pose challenges for those without prior knowledge of Hindu mythology. The sheer abundance of names, deities, and philosophical concepts could potentially overwhelm readers unaccustomed to the intricacies of this religious tradition. However, with patience and an open mind, readers can navigate these complexities and emerge from the reading experience enriched by the wisdom and enchantment contained within these pages.

In conclusion, B. Hale Wortham's translation of Mârkandeya Purâna, Books VII and VIII, is a masterful rendition that breathes life into the ancient verses of Hindu mythology. Wortham's attention to detail, contextual explanations, and comprehensive introduction ensure that readers can fully appreciate the depth and beauty of this sacred text. Whether a scholar of religious studies or a curious reader seeking to explore new realms of spirituality, this translation offers an invaluable opportunity to engage with the timeless wisdom of the Mârkandeya Purâna.

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Originally scanned at sacred by John B. Hare. This eBook was produced by Chetan Jain at BharatLiterature.

Mârkandeya Purâna

Books VII and VIII.




[New Series, Volume XIII]

[London, Trübner and Company]


Scanned and edited by Christopher M. Weimer, May 2002

ART. XIII. Translation of the Mârkandeya Purâna Books VII. VIII. By the Rev. B. HALE WORTHAM.


ONCE upon earth there lived a saintly king Named Harišchandra; pure in heart and mind, In virtue eminent, he ruled the world, Guarding mankind from evil. While he reigned No famine raged, nor pain; untimely death Ne'er cut men off; nor were the citizens Of his fair city lawless. All their wealth, And power, and works of righteousness, ne'er filled Their hearts with pride; in everlasting youth And loveliness the women passed their days.

It so fell out, that while this mighty king Was hunting in the forest, that he heard The sound of female voices raised in cry Of supplication. Then he turned and said, Leaving the deer to fly unheeded: "Stop! Who art thou, full of tyranny and hate, That darest thus oppress the earth; while I, The tamer of all evil, live and rule?" Then, too, the fierce Ganeša, he who blinds The eyes, and foils the wills of men, he heard The cry, and thus within himself he thought: "This surely is the great ascetic's work, The mighty Višvâmitra; he whose acts Display the fruits of penance hard and sore... Continue reading book >>

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