Popular Pages




Puranas, part of Hindu Smriti, are religious scriptures that confer devotion and mythology. They are the richest collection of traditional stories and teachings based on the spiritual philosophy of the Vedas and the Upanishads. These ancient books teach Hinduism in an easy and interesting way and provide information of all kinds. Purana means 'old' and were compiled by Sage Vyasa.

According to Amara Simha, an ancient Sanskrit lexicographer, Purana must have five distinguishing topics - 1) Creation of Universe, 2) Its destruction and renovation, 3) The genealogy of gods and patriarchs, 4) The reigns of Manus and 5)The history of the solar and lunar races of kings.

Primarily focusing on Vishnu, Shiva, Lord Brahma and Shakti there are eighteen major Puranas and some minor ones, known as Upa Puranas. A large portion of each Purana deals with the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and his glorification. Apart from this, stories of Gods and Goddesses, hymns, an outline of ancient history, cosmology, rules of life and rituals, holy places, and instructions on spiritual knowledge are the important contents of the Puranas.

Out of the 18 puranas, six are Sattvic Puranas and glorify Vishnu; six are Rajasic and glorify Lord Brahma; six are Tamasic and they glorify Lord Shiva. Vishnu Purana, Naradiya Purana, Padma Purana, Garuda Purana, Varaha Purana, Bhagavata Purana are Sattvic Puranas. Brahmanda Purana, Brahmavaivarta Purana, Markandeya Purana, Bhavishya Purana, Vamana Purana, Brahma Purana are Rajasic Puranas. Matsya Purana, Kurma Purana, Linga Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana and Agni Purana are Tamasic Puranas.

Puranas chiefly inculcate the teachings of Vedas and Upanishads in a simple manner through concrete examples, myths, stories, legends, lives of saints, kings and great men, allegories and chronicles of great historical events.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

Copyright 2014 by Online Highways LLC. Enjoy some India trivia. Send Us Your Comments