It is widely accepted that Krishna-dwaipayana, who likewise composed the Vedas and the Mahabharata, is the creator of the mythological accounts in the Puranas. These scriptures, according to Sanskrit scholars, contain information about the universe's birth and renewal, the division of time, the institutions of law and religion, the history of patriarchal families, and the dynasties of kings. The worth of Indian Puranas is expanded by the teaching of folklore, cosmogony, space science, geology, language, and a host of different subjects. Aside from teaching Sanskrit literature, these scriptures also teach anatomy, medicine, and kings' genealogies. The myths and tales paint accurate portraits of the eras they originate from. Many aspects of historical reality can be inferred indirectly from a holistic understanding of the mythology and theology of the time. The glorification of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva in their many incarnations, however, was undoubtedly the principal goal. Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are depicted as contending divinities in the Puranas. Empowering the love of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva around the country, Puranas have significantly eased back the spread of Buddhism. In addition, they teach Vedic principles to women and men from lower castes who are unable to understand the intricate works. These scriptures also provide guidance on how to conduct daily life and perform religious ceremonies. A wealth of legendary knowledge about ancient India can be found in the Indian Puranas. They are sometimes referred to as the fifth Veda. Pantheism is one of the main characteristics of the Indian Puranas. Pantheism believes that God resides in the entirety of the universe, and in all its components- energies, substances etc.; that the components itself are godly. It is the belief that the natural world is divine and thus deserving of respect, or the belief that the divine is present throughout the natural world.
Individual creators can embed anything they desire to discuss from the open-ended structures made by the genealogies of the divine beings, Manus, and lords. Step by step instructions to carry on with a blessed life and how to revere the divine beings are the major questions that worry such creators. Such commitment involves ceremonies (pujas) that should be completed at home, in temples, and on specific celebration days, as well as pilgrimage destinations, prayers to be said, and stories to be told and paid attention to. Prominently, most of those functions can be performed without the help of a Brahman priest.
Notable Puranas of India
Bhagavata Purana: The references of Bhakti in the Bhagavata Purana is the best clue about its date of composition. Scholars believe that the Purana was written during the tenth century in the Tamil regions of the Southern part of India, as its devotion to the teachings of Bhakti are similar to that of the Southern devotional poets, the Alvars. Among all its chapters, one that is extremely well-known among the masses is Book X that talks about Lord Krishna’s youthful days in Vrindavana. This section makes the Purana a hit among the Vaishnava sect.
Devi-Bhagavata Purana: The Devi Bhagavata Purana speaks extensively about Goddess Durga as the embodiment of Shakti (feminine energy). Because the supreme power was originally "Nirguna" (without form), which eventually showed itself as three Shaktis, Hindus revere goddess Durga as Devi.
Skanda Purana: It is the most expansive of the eighteen Puranas that we know, and talks about Puranic concepts of cosmology, genealogy, dharma and religious festivals.
Bhavishya Purana: It is one of the 18 Puranas that has a deep-dive account of several royal dynasties and their kings who will be leading them in the future, thus the name of the Purana literally meaning “The future of the history”.
Q1. Why were the Puranas composed?
The Puranas were exclusively composed to disseminate the teachings of the Vedas among the masses.
Q2. What does the Shiv Purana deal with?
Shiv Purana talks about complete devotion to Lord Shiva as a path to salvation.
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