In verse 8.24 of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says this:

Those who know the Supreme Brahman attain that Supreme by passing away from the world during the influence of the fiery god, in the light, at an auspicious moment of the day, during the fortnight of the waxing moon, or during the six months when the sun travels in the north.

Now at first glance, it might seem like it's saying something about time of death, but as I discuss in this answer, apart from Prabhupada pretty much all the commentators agree that this verse is actually about the path of the soul to Brahmaloka/Moksha, described in the Panchagni Vidya of the Chandogya and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, which I discuss here, here, and here. Here is how the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad describes this path:

Those who thus know this, and those who in the forest worship faith and the True, go to light (arkis), from light to day, from day to the increasing half, from the increasing half to the six months when the sun goes to the north, from those six months to the world of the Devas (Devaloka), from the world of the Devas to the sun, from the sun to the place of lightning. When they have thus reached the place of lightning a spirit comes near them, and leads them to the worlds of ... Brahman. In these worlds of Brahman they dwell exalted for ages. There is no returning for them.

Note that the terms in this passage refer not to places (the day and the year are obviously not places), but rather to gods governing certain time periods. The Advaita philosopher Adi Shankaracharya provides a good argument for this in his commentary on the Brahma Sutras; see here and here. But the Dvaita philosopher Madhvacharya provides another argument for this in his commentary on Gita verse 8.24:

The word jyoti indicates illumination and is identified with the demigod known as Archi. This is confirmed in the Narada Purana which states: After reaching Agni the demigod of fire and then Archi the demigod of illumination and thereafter Ahah the demigod of day etc. It should be understood that Agni, Archi, Ahah and others are the presiding demigods of the respective time periods. Otherwise it would not be in accordance with the Vedic scriptures to say that during the daytime one reaches the bright waxing time of the month.

The Brahma Purana states: Since in essence there only exists days which also includes nights, how can one situated in equanimity be said to have achieved the brahman only in the day during the bright waxing time of the month. So it is clear to the lucid that the presiding demigods in tandem with their corresponding time periods is the only logical interpretation in accordance with Vedic scriptures.

The Garuda Purana states: The knowers of spiritual knowledge honor the presiding demigods of the respective time periods. Along with honouring the demigods such as Agni the fire god, Archi of illumination, Ahah of the day, Sukla of the waxing moon, Satmasah of the suns northern course and others, the presiding demigods of the Vishu or the passages travelled should also be honoured.

The Brahma Vaivarta Purana states: Honouring the presiding demigods of the day, the night, the waxing and waning moons, the sun on its northern and southern course as well as the Vishu; one who has realised the brahman attains the Supreme Lord.

My question is, where are these quotes in the Narada Purana, Brahma Purana, Garuda Purana, and Brahma Vaivarta Purana? I tried looking for them, but I couldn't find them.

By the way, more generally, why is it so difficult to track down Puranic quotes by Madhvacharya? I ran into similar issues in my question here about Madhavacharya's commentary on the Mandukya Upanishad. Did Madhvacharya rely on Purana manuscripts that were different than those used by both his predecessors and those who came after him? Because it almost seems like there's no overlap between the Puranic quotes in Madhvacharya's work and the Puranic quotes from other writers.

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    meitrye Upanishad was not know earlier before 100 years now its found.. similary all will be found.some cases there can deliberate deletion also..
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 12:19
  • @keshavsrinivasan Sir, I have answered your question. Do take a look at it. Could you also answer this question of mine: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/51603/… As Sri Vaishnavas give importance to the Narayana Upanishad, do you know any works of Sri Vaishnava scholars, where it has been quoted? Commented May 22, 2022 at 9:21

1 Answer 1


As I Maadhva Vaishnava, I assume I am qualified to answer this.

It is true that many of Shripaada Madhvacharya's quotations both from the Puraanas and Vedas cannot be found currently. There are multiple reasons for this:

  • Loss of parts of the manuscripts with time: The current manuscripts of the Puraanas are not complete and the Brahma Puraana's present-day version seems to be incomplete, as it appears that copying manuscripts of Puraanas has not been done efficiently and parts have been lost, over the centuries. Even Svaami Vijayeendra Teertha Shripaadagalu's quotations from the Smrtis during his debates, cannot be found today.
  • Interpolations that have replaced the original text of the Puraanas: Certain Puraanas like the Brahma Vaivarta Puraana and the Bhavishya Puraana have too many interpolations, that most of their original text itself has been replaced with interpolations. Hence, it is futile to find those quotations from these Puraanas. (The Bhavishya Puraana even mentions "Mohamada", Jesus Christ and a queen named "Victoria")
  • The Quotations are from Lost Texts: Texts such as the Paingi Rahasya Braahmana and entire Shaakhas, too, such as the Ekaayana Shaakha of the Shukla Yajurveda are lost, that we only have quotations of those texts left. Shripaada Adi Shankaracharya and Shripaada Ramanujacharya have quoted the Paingi Rahasya Braahmana and specially the famous mantra 'Eko ha vai Naaraayana aasin..'.

    However, Shripaada Madhvacharya seems to have quoted a lot from the Paingi Rahasya Braahmana and the texts of the Ekaayana Shaakha, both of which are lost. It appears that the Ekaayana Shaakha had several mantras glorifying Shri Vishnu, which is also a reason why the Paancharaatra aagamas were derived from the Ekaayana Shaakha. Shripaada Adi Shankaracharya, in one part of his Brahma Sutra Bhaashya, gives a summary of the Paingi Rahasya Braahmana, while Shripaada Madhvacharya quotes the Paingi Rahasya Braahmana several times, as it supports the Dvaita Vedaanta philosophy. For example, he quotes this in his Brahma Sutra Bhaashya, Adhyaaya 1, Paada 2, Sutra 12.

Brahma Sutra Bhaashya 1.2.12

Also, while it indeed is tiresome in trying to find Shripaada Madhvacharya's Puraanic quotations, with difficulty, few may be found. For example, I personally found a shloka he quoted from the Varaaha Puraana, in his commentary on the Brahma Sutras, Adhyaaya 1, Paada 1, Sutra 1.

‘एाषं सृजाम्याशु योाजनान् मोाहयिष्यति ।
त्वं च रुद्र महाबाहोा मोाहशास्त्राणि कारय ॥
अतथ्यानि वितथ्यानि दर्शयस्व महाभुज ।
प्रकाशं कुरु चात्मानामप्रकाशं च मां कुरु’ इति वराह वचनात् ॥

For it is said in the Varaaha Puraana as follows: (Janaardana said,) “Now I shall create such things as would soon engender doubt and misconception among men; mighty Rudra, thou too hadst better have misleading works produced (by Dadichi, etc.). Let the people be made to see what is not true and what is against truth. Make thyself well-known to the world and spread darkness with regard to me.”

-Varaaha Puraana, Adhyaaya 70, Shlokas 35-36

The same verses can be found in the Rudra Geeta (translation by the Narayanastra Blog)

evamuktastato devaistAnuvAcha janArdanaH |
yugAni trINi bahavo mAmupeShyanti mAnavAH || 70.34||

antye yuge praviralA bhaviShyanti madAshrayAH |
eSha mohaM sRRijAmyAshu yo janaM mohayiShyati || 70.35||

tvaM cha rudra mahAbAho mohashAstrANi kAraya |
alpAyAsaM darshayitvA phalaM dIrghaM pradarshaya || 70.36||

Asked thus by the devas, Janardhana spoke – “In the first 3 yugas, most of those who are competent to meditate will attain me. In the last yuga (Kali), people who resort to me are very rare. I shall produce delusion which will confuse the people. You, Rudra, of mighty arms, shall produce the (seemingly) instructive texts which cause delusion. By just a little effort, produce a large result!”

The lines in bold have been quoted by Shripaada Madhvacharya. So, in conclusion, we will be able to find most of the other quotes from the Puraanas, provided we obtain the lost manuscripts and get the complete versions of the Puraanas, which is difficult for some, but may be possible.

  • Why does Madhwa alone among religious teachers have this issue of quoting scripture that cannot be found now?
    – S K
    Commented May 22, 2022 at 11:24
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    @SK Actually, it's not an issue with Shripaada Madhvacharya alone. He just seems to have quoted these lost texts more than other scholars. For instance, the Paingi Rahasya Braahmana, which is not extant today, has been quoted several times by Shripaada Adi Shankaracharya as well as Shripaada Ramanujacharya. Sarvananda, a 14th century scholar, in his work ‘Sarvollas’, Ullasa 6, 58-59, quotes three verses from Mahanirvana Tantra, however none of them can be traced in the printed editions. Commented May 22, 2022 at 11:56
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    Continued: For Aachaaryas to quote fictitious verses, when living in an environment of highly learned Panditas, would be both incredulous and highly improbable. It is well-known that Shripaada Madhvacharya had a bitter rivalry with the Advaitins. Had he quoted spurious verses, it would have been soundly refuted within no time by his opponents, who were always desperate to crush Madhva's doctrine. They were desperate to the extent that they had conspired to impede Madhva’s mission by less honourable means, too. Commented May 22, 2022 at 11:57
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    The fact is that a lot of those texts have been quoted even by Shripaada Ramanujacharya and Shripaada Adi Shankaracharya. The Paingi Rahasya Braahmana and the Bhaallaveya Shruti are lost, but are well-known to have been authentic. Also, it appears that the Ekaayana Shaakha of the Shukla Yajurveda had a lot of verses glorifying Shri Vishnu, due to which Shripaada Madhvacharya has quoted from those texts. Moreover, till nearly the 15th or 16th centuries, almost none of the Shaastras were lost, so they were available at that time. Commented May 22, 2022 at 13:12
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    "as shown on the Narayanastra Blog"... rather than a blog, can you please use authentic reference for the verses? Or else please remove it.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented May 26, 2022 at 9:14

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