among the eighteen Puranas, Padma Purana contains five parts- Srishtikhand,
Bhumikhand, Swargkhand, Patalkhand and Uttarkhand.
Srishtikhand contains an explanation of metaphysical knowledge in a dialogue style between Bheeshma and the sage Pulastya. It contains a description of Pushkar Tirth. Surprisingly, this part ridicules the worship of the planets (Grahas).
Bhumikhand has a description of the earth, besides the tales of the kings like Prithu, Nahush, Yayati, Prabhriti and the sages like Shiva Varma, suvrata and Chyvan. For its description of the earth and archaic matter, this part is often regarded as the geography and the history of a period.
Swargakhand describes the sequence of creation first and then the glory of the holy places as well as the geographical expansion of India along with her mountains, rivers and the people.
In the Patalkhand, Sutaji narrates the tales related to the life and plays of Lord Rama in an assembly of the sages. This part also contains a description about the life and plays of Lord Krishna.
Uttarkhand contains a discussion about the metaphysical knowledge of religion presented in a dialogue style between Lord Shiva and Parvati. This part also contains thousand names of Lord Vishnu and one hundred names of Lord Rama.
revealed the contents of all the Puranas to his son Ugrashrava, Sage Lomaharshan
instructed him to go to 'Naimisharanya' and spread it among the sages doing
penance over there.
There is an interesting tale how this sacrosanct forest of Naimish derived it's name --
Once, the sages sought Lord Vishnu's help in finding a suitable place, where they could perform their religious activities unhindered. Lord Vishnu released his chakra and instructed them to follow it. 'This chakra had many circumferences (Nemi) and all of you can commence your penance at the place where one of them gets detached from the chakra' ---said Lord Vishnu.
The Sages followed the chakra as per the instruction of Lord Vishnu. Once of the circumferences of chakra got detached and fell at a place called Gangavarta. In course of time this particular place was famous as 'Naimish' because the term 'Nemi' in Sanskrit means circumference. When Ugrashrava who was popularly known as 'Sutji' reached 'Naimisharnya' all the sages received him with enlighten all the sages on the divine tales of Padma Puran.
Sutji replied--- Padma Puran consists of five sections and fifty-five thousand shlokas. The names of these sections are Shrishti-Khand, Bhumi-Khand, Swarg Khand, Patal Khand and Uttam-Khand. The tales of Padma-Puran praise the glory of Lord Vishnu. These tales were narrated to Lord Brahma by Lord Vishnu himself, who in turn propagated them in this world through various sages.
BEGINNING OF CREATION
Sages requested Sutji to narrate about the incident when sage Pulastya had met
Bhishma. Sutji replied---- Bhishma was doing penance at a place called Gangadwar.
Being pleased by his austere penance, Lord Brahma instructed Pulastya to go to
Gangadwar and bless Bhishma.
After reaching there, Pulastya told Bhishma that Lord Brahma was pleased by his penance. 'Ask any boon you wish for' said Pulastya. Bhishma thanked his good fortune of getting a chance to meet Sage Pulastya. He requested Pulastya to reveal how Lord Brahma had created the world.
Pulastya replied--- During the initial phase of his creation, Lord Brahma created the Mahattatva first of all. After that he created the three types of Ego from the Mahattatva---Satva, Rajas and Tamas. These three types of Ego are the origins of all the five sense-organs, organs of action and all the five basic elements--space, water, fire, air & earth.
An enormous egg came into existence with the permutation and combination of these five basic elements. Within this egg exists the whole universe including the mountains, islands, oceans, planets, deities, demons and the human beings. The layers of water, fire, air, space and darkness envelop this enormous egg. These elements are once again covered by the 'Mahattatva', which in turn is enveloped by the 'Prakriti' (nature). Lord Vishnu himself does creation in the form of Lord Brahma and also takes various incarnations to protect the mankind. At the end of the Kalpa, it is only He, who annihilates in the form of Rudra. After the end of Kalpa, he takes rest on the back of Sheshnag for the full period of deluge.
LORD BRAHMA'S LIFE-SPAN AND THE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER OF THE 'ERAS'
Pulastya says---Lord Brahma, the embodiment of Lord Vishnu has a life-span of one hundred years. His life-span is also called 'Par', and half of its period is known as 'Parardha'. One 'Kashtha' consists of 15 Nimesha while a Kala consists of 30 'Kashthas'. A muhurta consists of 30 Kalas. The periods of 30 muhurtas are equal to one day and Night of the human beings. A month of this world is equivalent to 30 days and nights. Six months make an 'Ayan' and a year consists of two 'Ayans'. These two 'Ayans' are also known by two other names---Dakshinayan and Uttarayan. Dakshinayan is the night of the deities where as Uttarayan is their day.
Four yugas are equivalent to twelve thousand years of the deities, which occur in a cyclic order---Satya, Treta, Dwapar and Kaliyuga. The periods of these yugas are as follows---
yuga is followed by the hibernation periods of 'Sandhya' and Sandhyansh, which
are as follows-- Sandhya