Purana – If you notice the word Purana is a Hindi word which we often use to refer “old”. However, Hindu mythology has defined this word as the entire collection of ancient stories of Hindu Religion. Previously, it was composed in Sanskrit language only, but later it was translated into other regional languages, as many people are unable to read Sanskrit.
Puranas are said to be the post- Vedic Indian literature and are regarded as the 5th Veda which contains stories of Hindu God – Goddesses, King and their Kingdoms and other remarkable incidents. The tales are so realistically narrated that Hindus can still relate those incidents to their lives. Though these tales are scripted, they wereprohibited, and it were better made to remain as Smriti “the memories”. But if there had not been Puranas, we would have never been able to learn about the Hindu history which includes cosmogony. Cosmology, pilgrimages, folk tales, theology, medicine, grammar, philosophy, temples and anatomy.
Hindus have highly influenced the Puranas, as one can understand the Hindu culture but just going through the puranic literature. These Puranas are further categorized under two groups: MahaPurana (the well-known part) and UpaPurana (the less known par).
The MahaPurana is also discussed as Puranas and they are further categorized on these bases:
- Rajasika: Rajasika Purana speaks about Lord Brahma and his innovations.
- SathvikaPurana: SathvikaPurana speaks about Lord Vishnu and his incarnations.
- TamasaPurana: TamasaPurana speaks about Lord Shiva and his manifestation.
However, other books have classified Puranas upon other bases. Just the way the three divine deities are referred to as Trimurti (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva) for Puranas classification, the Padma Purana have referred teGuna for the Puranas classification:
- Sattva – Truth
- Raja – Passion
- Tamas – Darkness and ignorance.
So, there are total 18 Puranas. They are:
- Brahma Purana
Interestingly, there is a belief that reading the Sathvik Purana will help achieve salvation, reading the Rajasik Purana will secure one a place in heaven while reading the Tamas Purana will take one straight to hell.
List of UpaPuranas:
- Daurvaasam,ofDurvasa Rishi
- Kapilam, basis for Sankhya system
- Sauram, of Sun
- Parasaram of Parasara
- Bhargathvam of Bhargava