THE NUMBER OF PURANS
In the beginning of the universe, Brahmaji had created one Puran only. Comprising one billion verses (shlokas), this Puran was very voluminous and tough. Maharshi Vedvyas divided this huge Puran into eighteen sections with the sole idea of popularizing the knowledge and ancient discourse depicted in Puran by making it simple and easy for the common man. The total number of verses (shlokas) in these Purans is four lacs. All the eighteen Purans written by Maharshi Vedvyas and the number of shlokas in it are as hereunder:
NUMBER OF VERSES (SHLOKAS)
1. Brahm Puran
2. Padm Puran
3. Vishnu Puran
4. Shiv Puran
5. Shrimad Bhagwat Puran
6. Narad Puran
7. Markandeya Puran
8. Agni Puran
9. Bhavishya Puran
10. Brahmvaivart Puran
11. Ling Puran
12. Varah Puran
13. Skand Puran
14. Vaman Puran
15. Koorm Puran
16. Matsya Puran
17. Garud Puran
18. Brahmand Puran
Fifteen thousand and four hundred
Fourteen thousand and five hundred
Eighty-one thousand and one hundred
According to one belief, Lord Vishnu appears in the form of Vyas in every Dwapar of all the manvantars and creates these eighteen Purans for the well-being of the mankind. By reading and listening to these eighteen Purans, even a sinful man becomes sinless and sacred. Why are the Purans eighteen in number?
1. Anima, Laghima, Praapti, Praakaamya, Mahima, Siddhi, Eishitva or Vashitva, Sarvakaamaavasaita, Sarvagyatva, Doorshravan, Shrishti, Parkaaypraveshan, Vaaksiddhi, Kalpvrikshatva, Sanhaarkaransamarthya, Bhavana, Amarta, Sarvanyaykatva - these are said to be the eighteen achievements (Siddhis).
2. In the Sankhya philosophy—Purush (male), Prakriti (nature), mind, five original elements (earth, water, air, fire, and sky), five senses (ear, skin, eye, nose, and tongue), and five functional senses (karmendriyan) (wak, Paani, Paad, Payu, and Upasth) - these eighteen elements have been described.
3. Six Vedangs, four Vedas, Meemansa, Nyayashashtra, Puran, Dharmashashtra (Theology), Arthshashtra (Economics), Ayurved, Dhanurved (Archery), and Gandharvaved - these are the eighteen discipline of studies.
4. One year (Sanvatsar), five seasons, and twelve months - these constitute the eighteen distinctions of period.
5. The total number of chapters in Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta is eighteen.
6. There are a total of eighteen thousand verses (shlokas) in Shrimad Bhagawat.
7. Kali, Tara, Chhinnamasta, Shodashi, Tripur Bhairvi, Dhoomavati, Vagalamukhi, Matangi,' Kooshmanda, Katyayani, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Gayatri, Parwati, Shriradha, Skandmata, Siddhidatri - these are the famous eighteen metamorphoses of Bhagwati Jagdamba.
8. Bhagwati Durga who appeared from the fraction of Shri Vishnu, Shiv, Brahma, Indra and other gods is adorned with eighteen arms.
Maharshi Vedvyas has also created some sub-Purans (Up-Purans) other than the eighteen Purans. Up-Purans are called the brief forms of Purans. These Up-Purans are listed hereunder:
Sanatkumar Puran Nrisingh Puran
Durwasa Puran Manu Puran
Kapil Puran Ushanah Puran
Varun Puran Kalika Puran
Saamb Puran Nandi Puran
Saur Puran Parashar Puran
Aditya Puran Maheshwar Puran
Bhagwat Puran Vashishtha Puran
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