By Swami Harshananda
Significance of Nilapurāṇa
If the number and the titles of the Mahāpurāṇas are fairly well-settled, those of the Upapurāṇas are not. One of the Upapurāṇas, not listed among the traditional ones, but quoted by the writers of dharmaśāstras is the Nila or the Nilapurāṇa. Though mentioned only in the Rāja-tarañginī of Kalhaṇa, it is a very interesting work, throwing a lot of light on the various aspects of Kashmir, like its history, legendary lores and topography.
Contents of Nilapurāṇa
While dealing with the Dīpāvalī festival, it calls the Aśvina-amāvāsyā as ‘Śukhasuptikā’ and gives a grand, detailed description of its celebration. Fasting during the day, decorating temples with a long series of oil lamps, dressing oneself in new clothes and giving good feast to the brāhmaṇas are the methods given for celebrating this festival.
- He lived in 12th cent. A. D.
- Aśvina-amāvāsyā is the new-moon day of the month of Āśvina in November.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore