It was composed near the place where the river Godavari rises
(near Nasik of Maharashtra). Generally considered as one of the oldest of the eighteen puranas.
The work as available in print now, comprises four padas as follows: Prakriya (5 chapters), Anusanga (33 chapters), Upodghata (74 chapters) and Upasamhara (4 chapters). Thus, the 12,000 verses of
this purana are spread over 116 chapters
in 4 padas. This is followed by Lalitopakhyana (in 40 chapters) which contains
the famous Lalitasahasranama, a hymn known for its mystical power.
The subjects dealt with in this purana
may be summarised briefly as follows:
creation, geography of the earth and of
Bharatavarsa, manvantaras, pupils of
Vyasa and the distribution of the
Vedasakhas or branches of the Vedas;
creation of gods, demons, gandharvas,
sages and their progeny; all aspects of
sraddha or obsequial ceremonies in detail;
exploits of the warrior-sage Parasurama;
story of the descent of the river Ganga
to this earth; Dhanvantari and the Ayurveda, the science of health and longevity.
The writers of the dharmasastras
have quoted verses from this purana fairly
extensively in support of their views.
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