The PURANA SAMHITA compares the offspring of such unions to barren hybrids, like the mule which is incapable of propagation of its own species. Artificial species are eventually exterminated. History offers abundant proof of numerous great races which no longer have any living representatives.
It was much later that the imagination of Hindu writers took full wing and carried the people into the all but infinite reaches of Puranic chronology. One must wait for the elaboration of Vishnu Purana, for instance, in order to meet that apparent sobriety of mathematical detail which is utilized to add credibility to the most fantastic time system that imagination ever devised.
For instance, in the Vishnu Purâna, we find a description of the emanation of the present Universe by the Supreme Spirit, at the beginning of the present Kalpa or Aeon, an infinity of Kalpas and Universes stretching behind. This he creates endowed with the Quality of Goodness, or the Pneumatic Potency. Sir Wm.
But, an objection is raised, the Vishnu Purana, in the sloka, 'The stars are Vishnu, &c. This is not, we reply, a true representation of the drift of the passage. The passage at the outset states that, in addition to the detailed description of the world given before, there will now be given a succinct account of another aspect of the world not yet touched upon.
If these are described in the Purana, I should like to hear them. "Sauti said, 'What thou askest me is, indeed, the subject of the Purana. O twice-born one, listen as I briefly recite it all. "Once upon a time, when the lord of creation, Kasyapa, was engaged in a sacrifice from desire of offspring, the Rishis, the gods, and the Gandharvas, all gave him help.
For the Vallabhacharyas derive their scriptural sanction from the eighth book of the Bhagavata Purana, which they have completely falsified from its true meaning in their translation called the Prem Sagar, or "Ocean of Love." You saw the son? In twenty years for these people cannot last long trade and cunning and the riot of all the senses will have made him what you saw the father."
There at the beginning Narada says, 'I know the Rig-veda, the Yajur-veda, the Sama-veda, the Atharvana as the fourth, the Itihasa- purana as the fifth, and so on, enumerating all the various branches of knowledge, and finally summing up 'with all this I know the mantras only, I do not know the Self. Now this declaration of the knowledge of the Self not being attainable through any branch of knowledge except the knowledge of the Bhuman evidently has no other purpose but to glorify this latter knowledge, which is about to be expounded.
The word "Purana" means "old," and in ancient Sanscrit writings it has the same meaning as our "cosmology." The "Puranas," however, are ill-arranged collections of theological and philosophical reflections, myths and legends, ritual, and ascetic rules. They depend very much on the two great epics, especially the Mahabharata.
It is clear, in fact, that however much the one tradition involved a break with morals, the second tradition shrank from countenancing adultery and it was this latter tradition which commanded the authors' approval. Finally, on one important issue, the Purana as a whole is in no doubt. Krishna's true consort is Rukmini.
As the full-moon by its mild light expandeth the buds of the water-lily, so this Purana, by exposing the light of the Sruti hath expanded the human intellect. By the lamp of history, which destroyeth the darkness of ignorance, the whole mansion of nature is properly and completely illuminated.