Padma purana classifies puranas according to gunas, but is this classification mentioned by Shankara or Ramanuja?

  • 3
    What matters? Neither were omniscient. Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 0:04
  • @Rohith. They did have a great intellect.
    – user9969
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 11:00
  • 1
    @SK modern scholarship claims that whole Vedas are nothing more than useless hymns, they claim purusha sukta to be interpolation, Indra to be supreme and many other nonsense ideas, I think you shouldn't use excuse of modern scholarship for divinely inspired scriptures. Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 11:56
  • 3
    a close relative who has passed away read the Siva Purana every day. for poster to sling mud on non-existent "tamasic puranas" is very saddening.
    – S K
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 12:04
  • 1
    @SK and don't tell me that shiva centered sites don't claim that bhagvata purana is a false puranas and other such stuff, here we are discussing beliefs, you have yourself claimed many of the scriptures to be mythology, that must hurt other people too you know, calling ramayana myth and stuff like that. Don't get emotional Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 12:08

2 Answers 2


Yes, both Adi Shankaracharya and Ramanujacharya believed in it. Here is what Adi Shankaracharya says in verse 371 of the Sarva Vedanta Siddhanta Sara:

By listening to Sattvic Puranas, by eating Sattvic food, and by serving Sadhus, one increases Sattva Guna.

And here is what Ramanujacharya says in this section of the Sri Bhashyaa:

And as to the third point, Hiranyagarbha himself is only an individual soul, and hence liable to be overpowered by the inferior gunas, i.e. passion and darkness; and hence the Yoga-smriti is founded on error, no less than the Purânas, promulgated by him, which are founded on ragas and tamas.

  • 3
    "Sattvik" in the Sankara quote is ABSOLUTELY WRONG. IT is "satva- purana'". satva is not satvika and purana is not purana in the sense of 18 puranas it is just used in the sense of katha. So Sankara is only lauding listening to "sat katha" - not "satvika purana".
    – S K
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 18:12
  • 1
    @SK That is just a distinction between noun and adjective. And there is no reason to assume that Purana has any other meaning than the texts known as the Puranas. Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 18:19
  • 3
    you need to show sankara EVER unequivocally endorsed the guna-based categorization of puranas. If he didn't then only the everyday meaning of satva can be taken. will you at least have the goodness to change sattvik to satva in your answer? @keshav srinivasan
    – S K
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 18:56
  • 1
    @SK That is precisely the purpose of my answer, to show just that. And as I said, that is just a noun vs. adjective distinction. Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 18:57
  • 3
    by the rules of this board your answer is not an answer, Even conceding your claim there is no proof that sankara believed there are tamasic and rajasic puranas @keshav srinivasan
    – S K
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 19:01


"Thus the (Vishnu-Purana) exhibits itself as meant solely for the declaration of the determinate identity of the supreme Brahman. 158. All other Puranas with other aims must be interpreted consistently with this Purana.

That they have other aims is discerned in the manner of their commencement. Whatever is found in them, altogether inconsistent with this Purana must be set aside as being of the nature of tamas"

from the above quote from the vedartha sangraha it looks like ramanuja regarded vishnu purana as purely sattvik and other puranas that have the same aim as the VP as Sattvik also. Puranas that do not share the aim of the VP would be judged by content not the whole purana: any content in such Puranas in disagreement with the VP would be tamasic, according to him.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .