In padma purana it classifies some puranas as rajasic and tamasic, specifically it says tamasic puranas will lead to hell. I do not understand this verse, as it seems to contradict what I have known as Veda Vyasa's intentions of to provide help to those in the Kali Yuga. The way I understand tamasic puranas is that they are more appreciated by a tamasic mind, but it would seem that its effects would be to elevate a person, otherwise why would Vyasa write it? I believe the verse in padma purana is like tathaiva tamasa nirayapraptihetavah. niraya meaning the hell. It seems like this is a pretty direct statement, so I guess this means that if one believes tamasic puranas literally and does not rise above its meaning, then one will go to hell. But perhaps the potential is still there that by reading, it will cause one to go beyond? Does anyone have any practical experience with this, the tamasic puranas leading one to advaita realization and god realization?

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    There's no such classification. It would be preposterous that reading glories of Shiva would take to hell. – The Destroyer Dec 27 '15 at 4:40
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    Also, there's no consensus on Bhagavatha whether it is Devi Bhagavatha or Srimad Bhagavatham (Krishna's Bagavatham). – The Destroyer Dec 27 '15 at 5:09
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    There is no classification of puranas into tamasic. Maybe an attempt by a fanatic to one sect. – Swami Vishwananda Dec 29 '15 at 5:17
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    Nope that's just an attempt to retain one's followers. This is all too common in world history (not just hinduism) where people are always very eager to put down other religions, rather than learn their own religions better. This is the quality of sectarianism. One has the right to Love His God. God is One. A True Vaishnava believes that His Lord Vishnu is the Antaryami of Lord Shiva (thus all prayers to Lord Shiva reach Lord VIshnu). A True Shaivite believes that His Lord Shiva is the Antaryami of Lord Vishnu. Thus these real followers never waste their time fighting each other. Good q. – Sai Dec 29 '15 at 11:27

What can be more ridiculous as saying reading Purans will lead you towards Hell. It can be refuted just by using common sense, common logic and simple intellect.

Padma Purana itself is sufficient in refuting this statement. The verse you are talking comes in Padma Purana Uttar Khanda chapter 236

मात्सयं कौर्मं तथा लैङ्गम् शैवं स्कान्दं तथैव च ।
आग्नेयं च षडेतानि तामसानि निबोधत ।।

Matsya Purana, Kurma Purana, Linga Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana, Agni Purana these six are Tamasic (236.20)

सात्विका मोक्षदाः प्रोक्ताः राजसा सर्वदा अशुभाः ।
तथैव तामसा देवि निरयप्राप्तिहेतवः ।।

Among these puranas Satvika Puranas lead one to liberation, Rajasa do not cause good > and tamasa puranas lead one to hell. (236.21)

Padma Purana itself refutes this verse in Swarga Khanda chapter 62. (ie. 2.62)


Puranas are nothing but the mediums through which Sri Hari manifests himself. Brahma Purana is said to be the Forehead of Srihari, Padma Purana is said to be the 'heart' of Srihari, Vishnu Purana is said to be the 'right arm' of Srihari, Shiva Purana is said to be the 'left arm' of Srihari, Shrimad Bhagawat is said to be His 'thigh', Narad Purana is said to be His 'navel', Markendeya Purana is said to be His 'right-foot', Agni Purana is said to be His 'left foot', Bhavishya Purana is said to be His 'right-knee', Brahma Vaivrata Purana is said to be His & apos;left-knee', Linga Purana is said to be His 'right ankle', Varaha Purana is said to be His 'left ankle', Skanda Purana is said to be the hair on the body of 'Sri Hari, Vamana Purana is said to be His Skin, Kurma Purana is said to be His Back, Matsya Purana is said to be His Stomach, Garuda Purana is said to be His Bone Marrow and Brahmanda Purana is said to be His Bone.

All the Puranas being manifestation of different parts of Sri Hari's body are very sacred and capable of bestowing salvation.

Here it clearly mentions that " all the Puranas being manifestation of different parts of Sri Hari's body are very sacred and capable of bestowing salvation." Hence there is no question of going to Hell by reading Purans.

Imagine a man without his Stomach, Back, Right ankle, Left arm, Hair and Left foot. How would he look like? Such is his condition if he rejects these 6 Purans.

He himself is doing a grave sin by depriving Lord Hari with his Stomach, Back, Right ankle, Left arm, Hair and Left foot.

Then why is there such verse in Uttar khanda of Padma Purana ?

There can be various answers. The most fitting answer is interpolation. Even if you do not believe it to be interpolation then also you can take it positively.

God sometimes propagates false message for specific reason. For eg. For killing the demon Tripurasur false philosophy and texts were created. Similarly it could also be  a part of divine leela. May be it is for generating 'Virodhi Bhakti' for those who can't take divinities positively. For those they may meditate on Lord by their criticism.

For eg. In Shiva Gita of Padma Purana it is said:

अनादरेण शाठ्येन परिहासेन मायया ।
शिवभक्तिरतश्चेत्स्यादन्त्यजोऽपि विमुच्यते ।।

"Anyone while doing criticism or while > disrespecting or due to jealousy if meditated or gains devotion for Shiva, he would get cleansed of all the sins immediately. "

The concept 'Virodhi Bhakti' itself has a great importance on its one. Its for those whose intellect can't grasp the divinities positively. for eg. Kamsa, Chanur and Sishupal were liberated through it. They were constantly thinking of Lord Krishna (like in meditation) every time even it was as hatred and anger. Bhagavata Purana 10.29.15 also justifies it. It says

"15. Persons who constantly direct their lust, anger, fear, protective affection, feeling of impersonal oneness or friendship toward Lord Hari are sure to become absorbed in thought of Him."

Hence you can yourself think that verse as an interpolation or a Verse to generate Virodhi Bhakti for those who can't grasp divinities positively or you can also believe reading those 6 Purans will lead it you to Hell or you can also be a non-believer. You are always free to choose it as per your intellect.

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    You're posting some very good answers since you joined this site. Keep it up! – Chinmay Sarupria Apr 9 '16 at 11:05
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    Wow I have not read a better answer on this subject! – Surya Apr 9 '16 at 11:42
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    make a list of puranas which are interpolated – Rakesh Joshi May 3 '17 at 2:35
  • Is Ther any ref to puranas as Tamasic or rajasic in skand puran? Sm1 sent me this... सात्विकेशु पुरानेशु महात्म्यमाधिकम हरे| राजसेशु च महातम्यधिकं ब्रम्हणो विदुं|| तद्वदगनेश्व महातम्य तामसेशु शिवस्य हि| संकीर्ने चा सर्सवत्या पितृणा चा निध्यते|| -स्कान्द ७-२ – Vishal prabhu lawande Dec 14 '18 at 0:25

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