Sthala purana

Religious account of a Hindu temple and its site

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The Sthala Purana (Tala Valararu) of Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Thiruvenkatanathapuram, Tirunelveli, written in Tamil outside the shrine.

A Sthala Purana or a Sthalapurana (Sanskrit: स्थलपुराण, romanizedSthalapurāṇa, lit.‘regional history’) or Sthala Puranam refers to a religious account that recounts the historical significance of a Hindu temple, or the sacredness of the region in which it is situated. It is sometimes referred to as a eulogistic work that glorifies a sacred site.[1] The name of a given place and the temple present in a Sthala Purana traditionally has a religious or a historical association, with some major event surrounding it.[2]

Etymology[edit]

Sthala Purana comes from the Sanskrit terms Sthala, meaning, ‘place’, and Purana, meaning, ‘history’. A Sthala Purana serves to offer information regarding the events associated with a given place, which is usually a temple.[3][4]

Description[edit]

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Sthala Puranas were historically transmitted orally, traditionally by the priests of a Hindu temple, who would recount the account during puja. They were also sometimes preserved in manuscripts, usually included in works of religious literature. In the contemporary period, these accounts are often offered in printed pamphlets, or summarised on websites on the Internet. Such accounts offer narratives regarding how the murti (a representation of the deity that is worshipped) of a temple came to be in that place, either as a svayambhu (self-manifestation), a miraculous discovery, acts of the deity performed at the given site, or how a saint or devotee was blessed by the deity in the site. They may also explain the relationship between the mulavar (main deity) housed in the temple, and the murtis of other deities also enshrined within. The forms of ritual worship that are prescribed to be performed at a given temple, and the punya (virtue) one would be rewarded with for engaging in worship at the site are also often detailed. Such accounts generally extol the glory of one deity in particular, and regard the veneration of that deity to be most virtuous.[5]

Sthala Puranas are categorised along three main themes: tirtha (sacredness of a site), khestra (a geographic area or place), and daivata (deity).

Traditions[edit]

Sthala Puranas are found more often in South India, where the dominant Hindu traditions are Vaishnavism and Shaivism.[6] Accordingly, most of these chronicles offer veneration to Vishnu or Shiva in their contents. In Tamil Nadu, Sthala Puranas are rendered Tala Valaraṟu (Tamil: தல வரலாறு), and are generally transmitted in Tamil.[7]

Vaishnava Sthala Puranas are primarily associated with the Sri Vaishnava tradition, to which the twelve poet-saints, the Alvars, belonged to. Each of the Divya Desams, the 108 sacred abodes of Vishnu, scattered throughout India, has a Sthala Purana associated with it.[8] The Alvars are regarded to have visited and extolled these shrines,[9] their hymns compiled in the Sri Vaishnava canon, called the Naalayira Divya Prabandham.[10]

Shaiva chronicles of this genre tell of the origins and traditions of particular Tamil Shiva temples or shrines. There are numerous Sthala Puranas, most written in the vernacular, but some with Sanskrit versions as well. The 275 Shiva Sthalams of the continent have such Puranas for each, famously glorified in the Tamil literary work Tevaram. Some appear in Sanskrit versions in the Mahapuranas or Upapuranas. Some Tamil Sthala Puranas have been researched by David Dean Shulman.[11]

Examples[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  1. ^ .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free.id-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited.id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration.id-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription.id-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error,html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error,html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}www.wisdomlib.org (2018-03-30). “Sthalapurana, Sthalapurāṇa, Sthala-purana: 6 definitions”. www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  2. ^ a b Saxena, Saurabh (12 August 2019). “Mamallapuram – Sthalapuranas”. puratattva.in. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  3. ^ Frykenberg, Robert Eric (1996). History and Belief: The Foundations of Historical Understanding. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-8028-0739-7.
  4. ^ “Kakatiya-era Rama temple has rare door carvings”. The Hindu. 6 February 2021. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  5. ^ Flueckiger, Joyce Burkhalter (2015-05-06). Everyday Hinduism. John Wiley & Sons. p. 99. ISBN 978-1-4051-6021-6.
  6. ^ Sears, M.; Merriman, D. (2012-12-06). Oceanography: The Past: Proceedings of the Third International Congress on the History of Oceanography, held September 22-26, 1980 at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA on the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of the Institution. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 781. ISBN 978-1-4613-8090-0.
  7. ^ Journal of the Epigraphical Society of India. The Society. 1984. p. 32.
  8. ^ Padma, Sree (2014-07-03). Inventing and Reinventing the Goddess: Contemporary Iterations of Hindu Deities on the Move. Lexington Books. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-7391-9002-9.
  9. ^ Doniger, Wendy (1993-01-01). Purana Perennis: Reciprocity and Transformation in Hindu and Jaina Texts. SUNY Press. p. 278. ISBN 978-0-7914-1381-4.
  10. ^ Narayanan, Vasudha; Nammaaolvaar (1994). The Vernacular Veda: Revelation, Recitation, and Ritual. Univ of South Carolina Press. pp. xiv. ISBN 978-0-87249-965-2.
  11. ^ Shulman 1980. sfn error: no target: CITEREFShulman1980 (help)
  12. ^ “Vishnu temple in an ancient Chola capital”. The Indian Express. 13 October 2021. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  13. ^ “Traces of Thiruvottiyur in texts”. newindianexpress. 11 September 2021. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  14. ^ “Story of Mumbai”. talkingmyths.com. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  15. ^ “Holy Dham-Information about Holy places in India”. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  16. ^ “Sthala Purana and History of Meenakshi Amman Temple”. Temple Diary. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  17. ^ “Sthala purana of The Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Vari Devasthanam Simhachalam Temple”. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  18. ^ “Places of Interest”. nalgonda.telangana.gov.in. Retrieved 8 November 2021.



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