- The Puranas occupy a unique position in the sacred literature of the Hindus.
- They are regarded next in importance only to the Vedas and the Epics.
- There are said to be 18 Puranas and about the same number of Upapuranas.
- Their origin can be traced as far back as the time when Buddhism was gaining importance and was a major opponent of the Brahmanic culture.
|The Eighteen Puranas
||Shrimad Bhagwat Purana
||Brahm Vaivertya Purana
- Puranas are mythological works which propagate religious and spiritual messages through parables and fables.
- They have a potent influence in the development of the religious lives of the people.
- The Puranas follow the lines of the epics, and the earliest Puranas were compiled in the Gupta period.
- They are full of myths, stories, legends and sermons that were meant for the education of the common people.
- These Puranas contain important geographical information / histories and deal with the mysteries of creation, re-creation and dynastic genealogies.
- This period also saw the compilation of various smritis or law books written in verse.
- The phase of writing commentaries on the smritis begins after the Gupta period.
- Amarasimha the Sanskrit Lexicographer, states that a Purana should describe five topics; (1) Sarga (Creation) (2) Pratisarga (Secondary creation) (3) Vemsa (Geneology) (4) Manvantara (Manu periods) and (5) Vamsanucarita (dynastic history)
You May Also Like