23 Facts About Puranas


The Puranas are known for the intricate layers of symbolism depicted within their stories.

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The Hindu Maha Puranas are traditionally attributed to "Vyasa", but many scholars considered them likely the work of many authors over the centuries; in contrast, most Jaina Puranas can be dated and their authors assigned.

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The first versions of various Puranas were likely to have been composed between 3rd and 10th century CE.

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The Puranas do not enjoy the authority of a scripture in Hinduism, but are considered as Smritis.

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Puranas changed his place and went over to great direction, and Itihasa and Purana, gathas, verses in praise of heroes followed in going over.

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Therefore, states Kane, that in the later Vedic period at least, the Puranas referred to three or more texts, and that they were studied and recited.

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The original Puranas comes from the priestly roots while the later genealogies have the warrior and epic roots.

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However, the editing and expansion of the Puranas did not stop after the Gupta era, and the texts continued to "grow for another five hundred or a thousand years" and these were preserved by priests who maintained Hindu pilgrimage sites and temples.

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All major Puranas contain sections on Devi and Tantra; the six most significant of these are: Markandeya Purana, Shiva Purana, Linga Purana, Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Agni Purana and Padma Purana.

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Sudhakar Malaviya and VG Rahurkar state the connection is closer in that the Puranas are companion texts to help understand and interpret the Vedas.

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However, some of the 36 major and minor Puranas are more focused handbooks, such as the Skanda Purana, Padma Purana and Bhavishya Purana which deal primarily with Tirtha Mahatmyas, while Vayu Purana and Brahmanda Purana focus more on history, mythology and legends.

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Colonial era scholars of Puranas studied them primarily as religious texts, with Vans Kennedy declaring in 1837, that any other use of these documents would be disappointing.

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Jaina Puranas are like Hindu Puranas encyclopedic epics in style, and are considered as anuyogas, but they are not considered Jain Agamas and do not have scripture or quasi-canonical status in Jainism tradition.

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Scholars have debated whether the Puranas should be categorized as sectarian, or non-partisan, or monotheistic religious texts.

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Different Puranas describe a number of stories where Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva compete for supremacy.

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Further, most Puranas emphasize legends around one who is either Shiva, or Vishnu, or Devi.

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The Puranas are not spiritually partisan, states Bryant, but "accept and indeed extol the transcendent and absolute nature of the other, and of the Goddess Devi too".

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Study of Puranas manuscripts has been challenging because they are highly inconsistent.

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Yet, one failed to draw the logical conclusion: besides the version or versions of Puranas that appear in our [surviving] manuscripts, and fewer still in our [printed] editions, there have been numerous other versions, under the same titles, but which either have remained unnoticed or have been irreparably lost.

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Dimmitt and van Buitenen state that each of the Puranas manuscripts is encyclopedic in style, and it is difficult to ascertain when, where, why and by whom these were written:.

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The scholarship on various Puranas, has suffered from frequent forgeries, states Ludo Rocher, where liberties in the transmission of Puranas were normal and those who copied older manuscripts replaced words or added new content to fit the theory that the colonial scholars were keen on publishing.

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Om Prakash states the Puranas served as an efficient medium for cultural exchange and popular education in ancient and medieval India.

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Cultural influence of the Puranas extended to Indian classical arts, such as songs, dance culture such as Bharata Natyam in south India and Rasa Lila in northeast India, plays and recitations.

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