The holy Puranas are a vast treasure of literary and spiritual knowledge that throw light on past, present and future. It is said that the Puranas are the richest collection of mythological information in this world. In totality, the Eighteen Puranas contain information about ancient myths and folklores that pertain to some form of spiritual knowledge. Each of these Puranas is a book of hymns, stories, knowledge and instructions regarding sacred rituals and the way life should be led. It contains cosmic knowledge and how the universe affects our living. Traditionally, there are supposed to be 18 major Puranas. To know more about Puranas, continue to read this insightful article on it.

Eighteen Puranas

Agni: It contains 15,400 verses and has information regarding the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

Bhagavata: It is said that after Vyasadeva finished writing Puranas, he still felt like something was missing. At this moment, Narada Muni suggested Vyasadeva to start writing Srimad Bhagvatam. This was vyasadeva's most important work as it contains the in-depth description of Lord Vishnu's various incarnations and also entails a description of Lord Krishna's life. It has 12 chapters in it with about 18,000 verses. After the completion of this purana, Vyasa taught this knowledge to his son Suka Bramha Rishi. After learning about Bhagvata purana, Suka Brahma imparted his freshly achieved knowledge to Maharaja Parikshit. The story goes like this -- Maharaja Parikshit was the king of the world and had a pious nature. He was suffering from a curse and was suppose to die within a week's time. This inspired him to renounce everything and meditate at the banks of Ganges. While he was doing so, he met Suka Brahma and requested him to impart his knowledge of Bhagavatam purana on him. Suka Brahma narrated it for seven straight days, in an assembly of other learned saints. One of the sages from the assembly, sage Suta, narrated the Bhagavam to sages in the forest of Naimisaranya.

Bhavishya: It is the 11th purana and contains a detailed narrative of the genesis, stories of different gods and their reincarnations, special description of Lord Vishnu, Shiva and Surya. It is in the Bhavishya purana that an exact prediction on Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad, Adam and Eve, the extinction of Sanskrit, Buddha, Asoka, Krishna Chaitnya, etc. is given. In Bhavishya purana the supremacy of Lord Brahma has been established.

Brahma: It contains 24,000 verses and has details about the beginning of universe and cosmos. The story behind Brahma purana is --one day all the learned sages were preparing for a yajna in Naimisharanya forest. Amongst these sages was Romaharshana as also attending the great yajna, he was a disciple of Vedavyasa's. He was well read in all of the puranas. Therefore, all the other sages at the yajna made a request to him to tell them the stories of the puranas. Romaharshana imparted the knowledge that he received from his master which was the knowledge that first Brahma himself discoursed many years ago to Daksha and the other sages.

Brahmanda: It contains 12,000 verses and contains the Lalitha Sahasranamam, a text recited as a prayer. It is apparently available in separate parts as it is very vast textually. It has four main parts: Prakriya, Anushanga, Upotaghat and Upasamhar. The narrator of this purana was Sutaji, who narrated it on the banks of the river Drishdvati in Yaksh Kshetra. Sutaji had herad this purana from Vedvyasa himself. Brahmanda consists of the story of the creation of the universe, segregation of different yugas, narrative of Kimpurush, etc.

Brahmavaivarta: It contains 18,000 verses and describes the creation and purpose of life and the deeds of different Gods like Ganesha, Krishna, etc.

Garuda: It contains 19,000 verses and has information about what happens after a person dies and kind of treatment he gets for his deeds on earth. It is similar to the concept of Judgment Day in Christianity.

Harivamsa: It contains 16,000 verses and has information on the life of Lord Krishna.

Kurma: It contains 17,000 verses and has information on the avatar of Lord Vishnu as a tortoise that came to be known as the Kurma avatar.

Linga: It contains 11,000 verses and it has information on the importance of the holy Linga and the origin of the Universe.

Markandya: It contains 9000 verses and it contains the dialogue between two ancient sages, Jamini and Markandya.

Matsya: It contains 14,000 verses and describes the first avatar of Lord Vishnu as a fish.

Narada: It contains 25,000 verses and contains the description of major pilgrim places.

Padma: It contains 55,000 verses and has information on the essence of religion and cosmos.

Shiva: It contains 24,000 verses and is completely dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Skanda: It contains 81,000 verses and is probably the longest Purana of all. It is dedicated to the life of Lord Shiva and Parvati's son, Karthikeya.

Vamana: It contains 10,000 verses and contains information regarding the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Vayu: It contains 24,000 verses and is dedicated to the Wind God, Vayu.

Vishnu: It contains 23,000 verses and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.