According to the count, the 'Vaman Puran' is placed fourteenth among the eighteen Purans. Although this Puran has been named after the Vaman-avatar of Lord Vishnu, and which is very important among his main ten incarnations, yet Shaiv ideology has got more prominence in it than Vaishnav ideology. Therefore this Puran has been said to be predominant in Shaiv ideology.
First of all Maharshi Pulastya had elaborated it while providing the knowledge of this Puran to Devarshi Narad. Hence Maharshi Pulastya has been said to be the first orator and Devarshi Narad has been said to be the first listener of this Puran. Subsequently, Devarshi Narad gave the knowledge of this Puran to Maharshi Vyas, who gave it to Lomharshan Sootji and he gave it to Shaunak and other rishi-munis. Thus this Puran reached to the common man by several rishi-munis.
Although, comprising all the distinctions, various mythological episodes and incidents are described in the Vaman Puran in the clear chronological order and logically, yet these episodes and incidents are slightly different in comparison to that of the other Purans.
The Number of Verses (Shloka) and Sections
Ten thousand (10,000) verses have been narrated in the Vaman Puran. This Puran is narrated in two khands (sections) - Poorva (First half) and Uttar (Second half). There are six thousand (6,000) verses in the Poorva khand and four thousand (4,000) verses in the Uttar khand. However, at present, like Bhavishya Puran, only the first half is available. Which means that we are totally ignorant of the knowledge and those extraordinary incidents which are narrated in the Uttar (second half) of the Puran. There are 97 chapters in the Poorva khand of Vaman Puran.
The Gist of Vaman Puran
This Puran begins with the queries of Devarshi Narad about the Vaman-avatar of Lord Vishnu and Maharshi Pulastya telling him the story of Vaman-avatar. The histrionic character of Lord Vaman and the benevolence of the king of demons Bali have been illustrated by means of this story. In spite of being tipped by the guru of demons, Shukracharya, that Lord Vishnu himself had come in the disguise of Vaman, Bali donated three steps of land to Lord Vaman and proffered his head when the land fell short for the third step; it is the episode which illustrates benevolence, religiousness, and nice- heartedness of Bali, the grandson of Prahlad.
After the description of Vaman-avatar, the extraordinary histrionic character of Lord Shiv and the advent of Jeebhootvahan have been described. According to the story narrated in the episode of Jeebhootvahan, Goddess Parvati asks Lord Shiv to build a house to be protected from the rain. But Lord Shiv ridicules the proposal and expresses his inability to build a house as he considers himself an inhabitant of the burial ground of the dead. After that, he covers the clouds when Goddess Parvati reiterates her demand so that the rainwater could not touch Bhagwati Parvati. Since then Lord Shiv became famous by the name of Jeebhootvahan (a name of Indra).
After that, the episode of beheading of Brahmaji, episode of Kapalmochan, and the stories of the destruction of Daksh's yajna have been described. The story of the destruction of Daksh's yajna is altogether different in this Puran in comparison to the other Purans. According to this Puran, Goddess Sati comes to know about Daksh's yajna through Jaya who was the daughter of Maharshi Gautam and granddaughter of Daksh Prajapati. Coming to know that Lord Shiv was not invited in the yajna, Goddess Sati sacrifices her life right there on the ground. Then Veerbhadra, by the command of Lord Shiv, along with Shivgana goes to destroy Daksh's yajna.