An Introduction to Koorm Puran
The holy 'Koorm Puran' comes under the category of Brahm varg. The superior essence of all the four Vedas is available in this Puran. Lord Vishnu had taken Koorm-avatar on the prayer of gods to keep Mandarachal mountain stable during the churning of ocean. Thereafter, during his Koormavatar, he had provided the intriguing mysteries of knowledge, devotion, and moksha (emancipation) to king Indradyumn. His discourse, full of knowledge, has been compiled in this Puran. Therefore this Puran has been said to be Koorm Puran. Maharshi Vyas had given the knowledge of this Puran to his disciple Romharshan (Lomharshan) Sootji. After that Romharshan Sootji had narrated this Puran to Shaunak and other rishi-munis at the forest of Naimish (Naimisharanya).
Although Koorm Puran is predominantly a Vaishnav Puran, yet the ideologies of Shaiv and Shaakt too have been discussed in it in detail. The five distinctions of Puran - Sarg, Pratisarg, Vansh,Manvantar, and Vanshanucharit - have been described in detail in this Puran.
Number of Verses and Sections (Khand)
There are narrated a total of eighteen thousand verses (shlokas) in the entire Koorm Puran. This Puran is divided into four Samhitas (khand) - Brahmi, Bhagwati, Gauri, and Vaishnavi. In the present time, however, Brahmi Samhita alone is available. The other three Samhitas have disappeared in time.
There are a total of six thousand verses (shlokas) in the Brahmi Samhita. This Samhita has been divided in two parts - pre-division and post-division. There are 51 chapters in the pre- division and 44 chapters in the post-division of the Samhita.
The Gist of Koorm Puran
1. Pre-Division (Poorva Vibhag)
This division begins with the birth of Maharshi Sootji and his popular name becoming Romharshan. Listening the joyful Purans from the revered mouth of Maharshi Vyas, every pore of Sootji had become exalted. His name became Romharshan Sootji due to this. Acknowledging him as the only deserving one to listen Puran, Maharshi Vyas had provided him the knowledge of Purans. Eighteen Purans and its sub-Purans have been listed in this chapter. After that, there are episodes of Koorm-avatar of Lord Vishnu and the emergence of Lakshmi. In this context, the birth of King Indradyumn in the Brahmin yoni, pleasing of Lord Vishnu through performing arduous tapasya by Indradyumn, and securing the knowledge of Paratpara tatva as boon have been elicited.
In the second chapter, emergence of Brahmaji, Shivji and Lakshmi from the fraction of Lord Vishnu, emergence of nine manasputras (sons), four Vedas, and four castes by Brahmaji, and establishment of the varnashram dharma on the basis of the knowledge of Vedas have been made.
In this Puran, Shri Vishnu has explained two distinctions of the four ashrams, namely brahmcharya, grihastha, vaanprastha, and sanyas. Upkuvnik and Naishtik are the two distinctions of Brahmcharya according to him. After acquiring the complete education of scriptures, the one who enters into Grihastyashram is called 'Upkuvnik brahmchari' and the one who spends his whole life at the service of his guru is called "'Naishtik brahmchari".