BRAHMAVAIVART PURANA

BRAHMAVAIVART PURANA

This is a twelfth Purana. It contains four parts— Brahma khand, Prakriti khand, Ganesh khand and Shri Krishna Janma khand.

In Naimisharanya Tirth, addressing a gathering of great sages like Shaunak etc., Sutaji has described this Purana as a marvelous creation. This Purana describes the play between Lord Krishna and Radha in considerable detail. Thus, it is a basic source of inspiration for all the subsequent treatises that depict the life of Radha. It is the only Purana that exclusively describes the episodes from the life of Radha, the most beloved lady of Lord Shri Krishna.

Brahma khand: Creation of the universe. Origin of Narayana from the body of Shri Krishna. Origin of Radha in Rasamandal. Origin of Gopas, Gopis and cows from the bodies of Radha and
Krishna . Creation of all other animate-inanimate world.

Prakriti khand:
Greatness of Durga, Radha, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Savitri in the creation of the world. Tales of Savitri-Satyavaan, Surabhi, Swaha and Swadha. Description of the clan of Surath. Tale of Ganga . Tales from Ramayana. Curse of Durvasa on Indra. Worship of Lakshmi.

Ganesh khand: Mainly discusses the greatness of Lord Ganesh. Also contains tales of Jamadagni, Karteveerya, Parashurama etc.

Shri Krishna khand: Describes the life and play of Lord Shri Krishna under the headings of of Braj leela, Mathura leela, reunion of Radha and Krishna , migration of the residents of Gokul to Gokula.

In the opinion of this Purana, there are ten features of the Maha Purana. These are: creation, preservation, Pralaya (destruction), fostering, karma, description of lust, description of each of the fourteen Manus and their dynasties, description of salvation, recitation of the virtues of Shri Hari and description of the glory of the gods. But the Puranas with five features and Upa Puranas have following common features: creation, destruction, description of Chandra and Surya dynasties and their kings and description of the fourteen Manus.

AGNI PURAN

This Purana is basically a preaching to Sage Vashishth by Agni. In turn, Vashishth narrated it to Vyasaji, who related it to Sutji. Ultimately, Sutji narrated Agni Purana to an assembly of the sages in Naimisharanya.
The early chapters of the Purana describe various incarnations of the Lord, including Rama and
Krishna . Other chapters describe religious rituals, especially those related to the worship of Lord Shiva. Many chapters have a description of the earth, stars and constellations, as well as the duties of kings.

BHAVISHYA PURANA

Eleventh among the Puranas, it contains five parts. The first part contains a description of the genesis, greatness of the dates and worship of Lords Vishnu, Shiva and Surya. The second, third and fourth parts describe the greatness of Shiva, Vishnu and Surya respectively.

The fifth part contains a description of the heaven. Like the other Puranas, Bhavishya Purana also contains a description of the ancient kings and Chandra and Surya dynasties. Interestingly, Bhavishya Purana contains a description of a game that resembles modern chess to a great extent. In all, the subject matter of the Bhavishya Purana seems to be an attempt to prove and establish the supremacy of Brahma.

KURMA PURANA

Lord Vishnu, in Kurm Avatar (tortoise incarnation), had first preached this Purana to Narad. In turn, Narad narrated it to Sutji who later narrated this Purana to an assembly of the great sages. Initially, this Purana had four parts namely Bramhi Samhita, Bhagawati Samhita, Gauri Samhita and Vaishnavi Samhita. Presently, however, none of these Samhitas is available except Brahm Samhita. Present version too contains two parts-Purv and Uttar Parts.

Purv Part: Tale of Indradyumna. Description of Kurm Purana. Description of Varnashram. Description of the sequence of these ashramas. Origin of the geo-sphere. Description of various incarnations. Preaching of the gods. Description of the self-begotten Manu. Destruction of Daksh’s yagya. Killing of Hiranyakashipu. Vamana avatar (dwarf incarnation). Description of Ikshvaku clan. Description of Pururava clan. Description of Rama and
Krishna incarnations. Description of Satya-, Treta-, Dwapar- and Kali yugas. Greatness of Varanasi . Greatness of Lingas. Greatness of Prayag and Yamuna etc.

Uttar Part: Yoga of unexpressed knowledge. Appearance of Devadidev (Rudra) during Tandava. Description of metaphysical knowledge. Preaching of metaphysical knowledge by the God. Description of Ashtang Yoga. Duties of a celibate. Duties of a graduate. Description of edible and non-edible things. Rituals to be performed regularly. Rituals of dining. Description of the duties of a Vanaprasthi. Duties of an ascetic. Description of expiation. Expiation for drinking of wine. Greatness of different places of pilgrimage.

MATSYA PURANA

This is the sixteenth Purana. During the period of Mahapralaya, Lord Vishnu had taken Matsya avatar (fish incarnation) to save the seeds of all lives and Manu. Matsya Purana contains a comprehensive description of Manu and Matsya avatar.
General contents of this Purana are Description of the greatness of Narsimh incarnation. Description of all the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Greatness of fasting like Anant Tritiya and the places of pilgrimage like Prayag. Tales of Chandra vansh, Surya vansh and Kuru vansh and the kings like Yayati, Kartveerya etc. Description of the Kalpa and Yugas. Appearance of idols. Appearance and construction of Deva-mandapa (canopy for the deities). Tale of Savitri and Satyavan. Results of auspicious and inauspicious motion of the planets. Birth of Parvati. Immolation of Madan (Kamadeva) Wedding of Lord Shiva with Parvati. Birth of Kartikeya. Duties of a king. Description of the future kings.
This Purana is said to be narrated by Matsya avatar of Lord Vishnu to Manu, who was awaiting Lord’s arrival during Mahapralaya in his boat anchored on a very high mountain.

BRAHMAND PURANA

This is the eighteenth Purana. It is currently available in separate pieces, Adhyatma Ramayana is also included in this Purana, but the present versions of Brahmand Purana do not contain Adhyatma Ramayan. It has four parts- Prakriya, Anushanga, Upotaghat and Upasamhar. This Purana is said to be narrated by Sutaji on the bank of the river Drishdvati in Yaksh kshetra (identified with Sutlej in modern Himachal Pradesh). From his narration, it is clear that Sutaji had heard the Purana from Veda Vyasa who, in his turn, received it from Vayudev.
The creation of the universe, determination of Kalpa, differentiation of Yugas, description of Manvantaras, description of Jambudweep and Bharatvarsh, description of Kimpurush. Anudweep, Ketumaal varsh etc. and description of Bharat vansha, Prithu vansha, Dev vansh, Rishi vansh, Agni vansh and preceptors are the main topics of Brahmand Purana.
Described in the Purana, Adhyatma Ramayana has seven parts. First part describes the Brahmaswarup (cosmic appearance) of Shri Rama. Incarnation of Lord Rama to relieve the earth from the atrocities of the demons. Baal-leela (childhood plays). Emancipation of Ahilya. Removal of Bhargava?s (Parashuram?s) ego. Second part contains: Lord Rama?s going into exile. Demise of Dashrath. Aranyakand describes killing of the illusionary deer and abduction of Sita. Kishkindha khand describes the killing of Baali. Search of Sita. Sundar Khand has the tales of Hanuman?s entry into Lanka. Lanka khand contains the description of killing of Ravana and coronation of Lord Rama upon his return to Ayodhya. In Uttar Khand reasons for Ravana?s birth have been described. It also contains the description of Sita?s desertion by Rama. Desertion of Lakshmana. Coronation of Luv and
Kush and departure of Rama to his original Vaikunth loka.