Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Mahapuranas

THE MAHAPURANAS (Indian, unknown dates, perhaps from c. 250 CE)

The Puranas (a Sanskrit word meaning "ancient") constitute a vast genre of Indian literature on a wide range of topics, mostly related to the gods and their activities, including the Mahabharata; holy places and festivals; cosmology and the world; genealogies of various dynasties; and the practice of Yoga. Out of the many, 18 have been designated Maha ("great") puranas (though the texts included may vary depending on the source). The shortest purana is 9,000 verses; the longest, 81,100; many individual verses appear in more than one purana. Most of the Mahapuranas are named for Hindu gods. One list has: Brahma, Padma, Vishnu, Shiva, Bhagavata, Narada, Markandeya, Agni, Bhavishya, Brahmavaivarta, Linga, Varaha, Skanda, Vamana, Kurma, Matsya, Garuda, and Brahmanda.


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