Puranas form the backbone of Indian Culture and are the platform on which Sanatan Dharma was built upon. Which is popularly known as Hinduism.
Puranas – The Hindu religious text
- Puranas mainly talks Origin of the Devas and Asuras. The creation of the Universe and the appearance of Manus (the first Human), Creation of Vedic age. It also imparts light on the religious development, Custom, culture, festivals, Traditions, Rituals, Pilgrimage, sacrifices, Prayers to recite, and stories to tell and listen to.
- There are traditionally one Maha Purana, 18 Mukhya Puranas (Major Puranas), and 18 Upa Puranas (Minor Puranas), but there are several different lists of the 18, as well as some lists of more or fewer than 18.
The next earliest, composed between 750 and 1000, are :
Finally, the most recent, composed between 1000 and 1500, is the
The Mahapuranas are frequently classified according to the three aspects of the divine Trimurti,
- Brahma Puranas: Brahma Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Markandeya Purana, Bhavishya Purana,
- Vishnu Puranas: Vishnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Naradeya Purana, Garuda Purana, Padma Purana, Varaha Purana, Vamana Purana, Kurma Purana, Matsya Purana
- Shiva Puranas: Shiva Purana, Linga Purana, Skanda Purana, Agni Purana,and Vāyu Purana.
What is the difference between Puranas and Vedas?
The Vedas are older than Puranas, The Vedas are a large body of religious hymns, shruti, and smriti composed in Vedic Sanskrit and are widely regarded as the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Vedas are classified as Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Atharvaveda. Each Vedas has four sub divisions, the Samhitas, the Aranyakas, the Brahmanas and the Upanishads.
The Puranas are a vast collection of Indian literature that covers a wide range of topics, such as legends and traditional folklore.
Vedas describe everything needed to human beings and are depicted as shlokas, For example, describing how to do the task properly in life, In Kaliyuga it is very difficult for humans to understand Vedas and their intensions behind every element. Surely, The Puranas understand the depictions in Vedas through stories, like Vedas is for the scholars and Purana is for an ordinary Human.
It is also considered that even after the compilation of Vedas by Vyaasa, it is said that there were many more shloka still to be considered which were later compiled as Purana. Though Vyaasa the narrator of Mahabharata is considered the compiler of Puranas, many scholars considered them likely the work of many authors over the centuries.
Brief Information about the what each of these Puranas Are:
- Matsya Purana: considered the oldest well-preserved Sanskrit purana. It narrates the story of Matsya, the first of ten major Avatars of the Hindu god Vishnu. The text describes the mythology of a great flood, where in the world and humans led by Manu, the seeds of all plants and mobile living beings, as well as its knowledge books (Vedas) were saved by the Matsya avatar of Vishnu
2. Brahma Purana: Brahma Purana is also called the first Purana hence called the Adi-Purana. Brahma Purana is named for the creator god Brahma and he is barely mentioned, a portion of it focuses on Surya, the sun deity, it also focuses on yoga, Pilgrimage sites of Orissa.
3. Vishnu Purana: the Vishnu Purana presents its contents in Panchalaksana format – Sarga (cosmogony), Pratisarga (cosmology), Vamśa (genealogy of the gods, sages, and kings), Manvantara (cosmic cycles), and Vamśānucaritam (legends during the times of various kings).
4. Shiva Purana: It primarily centers around the Hindu god Shiva and goddess Parvati, also references many gods
5. Bhagavata Purana: The most studied and popular of the Puranas telling of the Vishnu’s avatar.
6. Narada Purana: Also called Naradiya Purana. Discusses the four Vedas and the six Vedangas
7. Markandeya Purana: Named after sage Markandeya, a student of Brahma contains chapters on Dharma and on Hindu epic Mahabharata.
8. Agni Purana: Contains encyclopedic information. Moreover, Includes geography of Mithila cultural history, politics, education system, iconography, taxation theories, organization of the army, theories on proper causes for war, diplomacy, local laws, building public projects, water distribution methods, trees and plants, medicine, Vaastu Shastra (architecture), gemology, grammar, metrics, poetry, food, rituals, and numerous other topics
9. Bhavishya: The title Bhavishya means “future” and implies caste-related and women’s rights-related discussion, Besides, The second part of the text, called Madhyamaparvan, is a Tantra-related work, third part Pratisargaparvan includes sections on Christianity, Islam, Bhakti movement, Sikhism, British rule. This last part describes festivals related to various Hindu gods and goddesses and their Titis (dates on the lunar calendar), as well as mythology and a discussion of Dharma particularly Vrata (vow) and dana (charity).
10. Brahmavaivarta Purana: Clearly, centers around the greatness of Krishna and Radha, the story of Brahma-Varaha.
11. Linga Purana: Discusses Lingam, a symbol of Shiva, and the origin of the universe as per Shaivism. It also contains many stories of Lingam, how Agni Lingam solved a dispute between Vishnu and Brahma
12. Varaha Purana: Primarily Vishnu-related worship manual and also focuses on Varaha as an incarnation of Narayana.
13. Skanda Purana: Describes the birth of Skanda (or Karthikeya), son of Shiva. Evidently,The longest Purana, it is an extraordinarily meticulous pilgrimage guide, containing geographical locations of pilgrimage centers in India
14. Vamana Purana: named after one of the incarnations of Vishnu Describes North India, particularly the region of the Himalayan foothills.
15. Kurma Purana: named after the tortoise avatar and a medieval era Vaishnavism text of Hinduism of Vishnu
16. Padma Purana: various Avatars of Vishnu and his cooperation with Shiva, depicts a story of Rama-Sita that is different from the Hindu epic Ramayana.
17. Garuda Purana: a dialogue between Vishnu and the bird-vehicle Garuda containing an encyclopedia of diverse topics, primarily about Vishnu, nonetheless it praises all gods. It Describes how Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma collaborate. the theory of Yoga, the theory of “heaven and hell” with “karma and rebirth”
18. Brahmanda Purana: Undoubtedly, One of the earliest composed Puranas Includes Lalita Sahasranamam, law codes, a system of governance, administration, diplomacy, trade, ethics.
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