PURANAS – THEIR ESSENCE
What is Purana?
The Veda is called Sruti because it is learnt by hearing.
It has four interwoven parts.
(Hymns or prayers in Sacrifice and Prayers in Musical form for World
To make these four sections more easily performable Vyasa Deva compiled
four parts into four separate books. Being sympathetic towards the
of Kali-Yuga, who are lazy, misdirected and have no inclination for
life, Vyasa Deva compiled the Purana, from related historical facts,
explain the teachings of the four Vedas. In other words, the Purana
Vedic literature in story form, making spiritual life more simple,
in this age, they are more important.
There are eighteen Purana that are divided into three groups along
Guna- Nature Action
of the Deity
Satwa- Goodness Preservation of Goodness Vishnu
Tamas- Ignorance Destruction
of Ignorance or
Beginning of Knowledge
A Purana describes;
1) SARGA (Creation)
2) PRATISARGA (Recreation)
3) VAMSA (History of
4) MANVANTARA (Periods
5) VAMSANUCARITA (Genealogy
They are divided in this way to gradually raise the conditioned soul
ignorance to pure goodness. The three divisions of the Purana are
this way to appeal to those people in these respective modes and to
them to the perfection of life.
LORD VISHNI (Predominating Deity)
Vishnu Purana - 23,000 verses. Stories of various devotees;
of varnasrama; The six angas of the
Veda; A description of the age of
Kali; It describes the Sveta Varaha Kalpa, Vishnu dharmotara;
Naradiya Purana - 25,000 verses. This Purana contains a synopsis of
everything; It describes Jagannatha Puri, Dwaraka,
Padma Purana - 55,000 verses. Contains the glory of Srimad Bhagavatam;
stories of Rama, Jagannatha, Matsya, Ekadasi, Bhrigu, etc.
Garuda Purana - 19,000 verses. Subject of Bhagavad-gita; Reincarnation;
Visnusahasranam; It describes the Tarsya Kalpa.
Varaha Purana - 24,000 verses. Describes different Vrata;
Bhagavata Purana - 18,000 verses. (Included by some in the mode of goodness).
LORD BRAHMA (Predominating Deity)
Brahmanda Purana - 12,000 verses. Describes the
Vedangas; Describes the
Brahmavaivarta Purana - 18,000 verses. Contains the glories and pastimes of
Radha and Krishna.
Markendeya Purana - 9,000 verses. Stories of Rama and Krishna.
Bhavisya Purana - 14,500 verses. Contains the glories of devotional service;
Prediction of Lord Chaitanya.
Vamana Purana - 10,000 verses. Contains the story of Lord Trivikrama.
Brahma Purana - 10,000 verses.
LORD SIVA (Predominating Deity)
Matsya Purana - 14,000 verses. Temple
construction; Describes Vamana and
Kurma Purana - 17,000 verses. Contains the conversation between Krishna
Sun-god; Danvantari; Describes the Laksmi
Linga Purana - 10,000 verses. Contains the glory of Lord Narsimha deva;
Janardhana; The story of Ambarisha; The glories of Gayatri.
Siva Purana - 24,000 verses.
Skanda Purana - 81,000 verses.
Agni Purana - 15,400 verses. Contains the description of Salagrama; Describes
the Isana kalpa.