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Read Puraan; Puraan-List
Puraan are an important religious books of Hindu religion. Literally "stories of ancient times",Puraan are about the three major deities - Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiv. Although some of the stories may relate back to real events that occurred as early as 1500 BC, they were not compiled until the Gupt period in the 5th century AD. During the destruction of the world at the end of the age, Hayagreev is said to have saved the Puraan. A summary of the original work is now preserved in Heaven. The stories are often the only source of information about the period immediately following the early Ved. Each Puraan was intended to deal with five themes - (1) Sarg - the creation of the world; (2) Pratisarg - its destruction and recreation; (3) Vansh - the genealogy of gods and patriarchs, (4) Manvantar - the reigns and periods of the Manu, and (5) Vanshaanucharit - the history of the solar and lunar dynasties. The tradition of writing in Sanskrit language in the courts continued until Muslims replaced it with Persian (from the first three decades of 10th century, just before the Norman conquest of England, when the Turk Mahamood of Gazanee carried Muslim power across Panjaab into India until the 18th century)
(India Handbook, 1996, p 131)
While Bhaagvat Puraan describes its
characteristics of Puraan as 10, see "Characteristics of Puraan" below
Puraan are also called Shruti, because all of them are presented in a dialog form - so there is one teller and one listener. There are said to be 108 Puraan, but 18 Puraan are most common and popularly read. Their complete list is given here below in alphabetical order.
1. Agni Puraan (15,400 verses)
Except the starred ones Harivansh, Ling, and Sthal Puraan, the other 18 Puraan are the most established Puraan or commonly known as mahaa Puraan. Among these 18 Puraan, six are Saattwik Puraan glorifying Vishnu (Bhaagvat, Vishnu, Padm, Matsya, Varaah, Vaaman); six are Raajsaik glorifying Brahmaa Jee and the rest six are Taamasik glorifying Shiv (Shiv, Maarkandeya, Skand).
As the Puraan grew in size and number, less emphasis was placed on genealogies and more on describing the live incarnations of God. These 18 Puraan are (1) Agni, (2) Bhaagvat, (3) Bhavishya, (4) Brahm, (5) Brahmaand, (6) Brahmvaivart, (7) Garud, (8) Koorm, (9) Ling, (10) Maarkandeya, (11) Matsya, (12) Naarad, (13) Padm, (14) Skand, (15) Vaaman, (16) Varaah, (17) Vaayu, and (18) Vishnu.
Shiv Puraan which was perhaps added after 1600 AD and which assumed great importance, is considered one of the minor 18 Puraan. The interpolators and writers of these 18 Puraan inserted matter in all of these at all times, this is the reason everyone of these Puraan mentions all other Puraan. And because the interpolator did not care what other interpolators added, there are lots of duplicate stories and matter, contradictions and historical differences. It seems that caliber of these writers was very low, that is why much of the materials of these Puraan is of poor quality in its contents. Some of the material is definitely obscene and even blasphemous.
It was during this period that Ganapati and Shiv, the two formless gods, were transformed into elephant-headed Ganesh and human Shiv who married and had children.
The approximate dates of some of the Puraan are as follows :-
Brahm Puraan - 350 AD
And Shiv Puraan was perhaps produced
around 1600 AD. Characteristics of a Puraan
Characteristics of a Puraan
Maharshi have told ten characteristics of a Puraan according to Ved and Shaastra. According to them the followings should be in a Puraan to call it a Puraan, they are - Vishwa Sarg, Visarg, Vritti, Rakshaa, Manvantar, Vansh, Vanshaanucharit, Sansthaa (Pralaya), Hetu (Ooti), and Apaashraya. some tell only five but both are correct, because Mahaa-Puraan (large Puraan) have all the ten, while the short ones have only five. Now you listen to those ten characteristics -
(1) When Gun get Kshobh in Mool Prakriti, then Mahat-Tattwa appears and
from that appear three types of Ahankaar - Sat, Raj and Tam; and from
these three Ahankaar appear Panch-Tanmaatraa, Indriyaan and pleasures.
This creation is called Sarg.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 01/26/12