On the lines of the two well known Epics,Mahabharatha & Ramayana, the Eighteen Puranas authored by Sage Vyasa attract equal importance because of being treasure houses of Wisdom.One should understand that the sage is not merely interested in story telling but to tell much more than what is required from an epic.That is the reason why the puranas are aclaimed as the extracts of Vedas.They teach us how to lead the life. Apprehensions do arise when the reader finds strange things unheard of become a part of these works.Raising the eyebrows should not suffice. Instead of asking "how can it happen"one can also ask" why it can not happen".A child can ask the parent innocently whether it was a real story.An adult needs to think differently before challenging the ancestral works.
When Karigal Chola wanted to choose a place to build the capital for his empire he thought that the place must be known for bravery.He visited a place called Worayur,near Thiruchirappalli and saw a cock fighting an elephant. He thought that it could be the ideal place for building the capital. The place attained the name "Kozhi"on account of this incident.This is also narrated in the sthalapurana of this place. One may ask with disbelief whether a cock can oppose an elephant.As a result, the verdict turns against the purana as if the narration is exaggerated. No doubt,it is very difficult to defend the purana as we do not have answer on hand.
Few days back my attention was drawn towards a report that appeared in the local newspaper with a photograph of a frog trying to swollow a snake!! My mind immediately linked this report with Urayur puranam wherein the cock fought with an elephant. Had the newspaper not recorded the incident of a frog swallowing a well grown snake with photograph, no one will believe if the incident is recorded by a poet and read in the future.
It should be understood that the poet does not find pleasure in exaggerating events or creating a new one to make the epic interesting. They did not even bother for any appreciation or reward for their works.They simply recorded whatever they had studied/heard earlier.To believe it or not is therefore left to the readers.While praising the great qualities of the three tanks inside the Shiva Temple at Thiruvengadu near Sirkazhi,Thirugnanasambandar gave assurance for the childless couple to be blessed with a child.His Thevaram Hymns of this place bless such couples even today. When I suggested to recite these Hymns to my family friend who was childless for 8 years after marriage,the couple believed it and read it with lot of faith.Needless to say,they were blessed with a son in the following year.