History vs Puranas
History and Puranas are two important terms that may appear to have same connotations but as a matter of fact there is some difference between the two. History is the record of events that definitely happened in the past. History indicates national events of the past pertaining to invasions, civilizations and political administrations.
Puranas on the other hand are mythological accounts of dynasties and kingdoms of different lands. Puranas are particularly in vogue in India. There are 18 puranas divided into three main sections called Sattivika puranas, Rajasika puranas and Tamasika puranas concerned with the three Gods namely, Vishnu, Brahma and Siva respectively.
Puranas give a detailed account of festivals and the rules and regulations pertaining to the conduct of austerities and other practices, whereas history gives a detailed account of the various events that took place under the rules of various kings and emperors of different dynasties and empires.
The cultural development of a country can be evaluated on the basis of the historical account of the particular country. On the other hand the religious development of a country like India can be estimated on the basis of the pauranic account of the particular traditions of the country.
History can be proved by facts whereas as pauranic events cannot be proved by facts but can be assumed to have happened on the basis of faith and belief. This is the major difference between history and puranas.
One of the major differences between history and puranas is the fact that historical figures existed in the past and there are proofs to show such as palaces, buildings, offices, tombs and other constructions. On the other hand pauranic figures might not have existed in the past and there are no proofs to show either. These facts are based on assumptions and hypothetical statements. There are no documents to prove them.
History pays more importance to material wealth whereas puranas pay more importance to the spiritual and religious wealth. There are stories of various Gods and Goddesses, places of worship, spiritual centers, descriptions of pilgrimage centers like Gaya and Kasi and such other explanations in the puranas.
On the other hand history abounds in the description of wars, battles, achievements of various kings and queens, construction of gardens and palaces, advancement made in the fields of music and dance and such other explanations. History is thus subject fit to be widely researched.
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