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In this excerpt from the Padma Purana, in a chapter which I think is likely an interpolation, Shiva comes to Rama's court disguised as a Brahmana and tells Rama how you can derive omens by picking verses from a Purana and interpreting their significance in light of whatever problem you're trying to solve. Rama asks what happens if you don't understand a meaning of a particular verse, and Shiva says this:

The meaning of the verse: Madhuni ca madhunyatra madhurmadhubhujam madhuh; madhuna madhunadyartham visani ca visani ca is unintelligible; it is not recommended in (finding out) an omen. So also the verse: Ruti rute rute rorauriri raram rari-raram; evam karoti suddhatma brahmano brahmanotithih. This verse is intelligible in part (the latter half is intelligible: a pure-souled brahmana, the guest of Brahman, acts like this). (Therefore) it is not recommended in (finding out) an omen. O best of the Raghus, such and other verses occur in the Puranas. They have no explanation.

Now Rama ultimately uses this method to find out that Vibhishana has been tied up in Sri Rangam for killing a Brahmana, and he rescues Vibhishana. But my question is, which Puranas do the so-called unintelligible "Madhuni ca" and "Ruti rute" verses mentioned by Shiva come from?

Shiva says that the two best Puranas for deriving omens are the Skanda Purana and the Vishnu Purana. But so far I haven't found either verse outside of the Padma Purana.

Also, is it really hopeless to try to understand these two verses? Madhu means honey, so is it possible that the verse is talking about honey? It might be connected to the Madhu Vidya found in the Upanishads, which I discuss here and here.

  • "Vibhishana has been tied up in Sri Rangam for killing a Brahmana," WHAT? – Surya Apr 15 '16 at 5:58
  • And I can't believe I am saying this but for once I think Shiva was out of his mind. Those verses are totally intelligible. (But I can't decipher them, though I have come across similar verses). And I thought only Vishnu blabber... – Surya Apr 15 '16 at 6:02
  • It is chapters like these that make want to tell Vishnu or Shiva or whoever to just keep quiet. What is all this omen business? – Surya Apr 15 '16 at 6:12
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    @Surya Well, given that the Puranas are divine, I find it plausible that you can derive omens from them. Concerning Vibhishana, here's the full chapter: gdurl.com/qcyq Basically Vibhishana accidentally killed an old and frail Brahmin in Sri Rangam by bumping into him with his foot. So the Dravidas (Tamils) tied him up and asked Rama to execute him. The situation was resolved when Vibhishana donated 360 cows as prayaschittam for the Brahmahatya. In any case, the chapter doesn't say why Vibhishana was in Sri Rangam, but presumably it was one of his regular visits to see Ranganatha. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 15 '16 at 12:50
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    But Ranganatha travelled to Srirangam after Ramavatara, so obviously Vibhishana wouldn't have purpose going there during Ramavatara... And Vibhishana killed a man by bumping into him? That would be like after accidentally kicking him, "Excuse Me, Sir,". "Oops, I killed him." I mean, seriously? – Surya Apr 15 '16 at 13:11

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