Varaha Purana

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Varaha Purana

Listed as the twelfth among the eighteen Mahapuranas, the Varaha Purana is a Vaisnava work. It was taught by Varaha (third incarnation of Lord Visnu) to Bhudevi (Mother Earth). The extant texts have 217 or 218 chapters, the total number of verses being around 10,000, though some puranas like the Matsya mention it as 24,000. Six chapters are entirely in prose.

It deals with a number of stories and gives detailed accounts of vratas (religious rites) and tirthas (places of pilgrimage). It also deals with several topics normally dealt with in the dharmasastras such as sraddha (obsequial rites), prayascittas (expiations), dana (giving gifts), images and their worship, narakas (hells) and so on.

Verses from this work have been extensively quoted in the dharmasastra treatises.

There are two recensions of this purana: the Gaudiya and the Daksinatya. They differ from each other in quite a few places.

Two episode of this purana the Madhurakhyana and the Naciketopakhyana are well-Known. The latter contains detailed descriptions of heaven and hell.