Structure And History Of Brahmanda Purana
One of the eighteen mahapuranas, Brahmanda Purana is referred to in medieval Indian literature as Vayaviya Purana or Vayu Purana. Before we discuss the brahmanda Purana book in detail let us discuss what actually is Purana and enlist the 18 Mahapuranas that exists in medieval Indian literature.
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What are Puranas?
The word Purana is a Sanskrit word that means old or ancient. IT is a vast genre of Ancient India Literature written in the Sanskrit Language, that includes a wide range of topics. The Puranas include the story of Legends and traditional lore. Several of these Purana are named after the names of Indian deities such as Brahma, Vishnu and Lord shiva.
The Puranas is basically an encyclopedia dealing with diverse topics like cosmology, gods, goddesses, kings, heroes, sages, demigods, grammar, astronomy, mineralogy, medicine, temples, philosophy, etc. The content included in the Puranas is highly inconsistent as it is the work of many authors over the centuries.
18 Maha Puranas Associated With Ancient Indian Scriptures
Out of many texts designed as Purana, the most important are the Maha Puranas. The following are the 18 Maha Puranas associated with Ancient Indian Scriptures.
- Brahma : With more than 10,000 verses, Brahma purana, also known as Adi Purana, The Brahma Puranas shares the passage with Lord Vishnu, Vayu, Markandeya Purana and the Mahabharata. The Brahma Purana includes mythology, theory of war, artwork in techniques and other cultural topics.
- Padma Purana: Compiled of 55,000 verses that describe cosmology, the world and nature of life from the perspective of Lord Vishnu. It discusses the aspects and importance of Indian festivals, legends and geography of rivers. It is a detailed description of the travel and pilgrimage centres of India.
- Vishnu Purana: This is one of the most studied Purana with around 23,000 verses. The text has been presented in different versions that discuss Buddhism and Jainism. It is composed around the south Asian regions including Kashmir and Punjab.
- Shiva Purana: With 2400 verses, The Shiva Purana discusses the story of Lord Shiva
- Bhagavata Purana: With 18,000 verses, the Purana is a description of Vishnu’s Avatars and Vaishnavism. It includes details about various dynasties.
- Narada Purana: Also known as Naradiya Purana, with 25,00 verses, it discusses the four Vedas and the six Vedangas. It includes the discussion of philosophies, planets, astronomy and various characteristics of Gods and Goddesses.
- Markandeya Purana: It describes the details of Western India, It is expected to be composed in the valleys of Narmada and Tapi rivers, in Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is a collection of around 9000 verses.
- Agni Purana: With 15,400 verses in all, the Purana consists of information regarding the geography of the Mithila region, its cultural history, politics, education system, war stories and causes, diplomacy, etc.
- Bhavishya Purana: Compilation of around 14,500 verses, the Purana consists of the future and thus, contains work that deals with prophecies of the future.
- Brahma Vaivarta: With around 18,000 verses is related to Narad, and centres around the greatness of Krishna and Radha. Here are the geographies of the river such as Ganga to Kaveri.
- Linga: Linga Purana includes the discussion of Lingam, a symbol of Shiva and the origin of the universe as per Shaivism.
- Varaha: with around 24,000 verses, this Purana contributes the knowledge of the Vishnu related worship manual, with the geographical study of Mathura and Nepal.
- Skanda: The birth of Skanda, son of Shiva is described in this Purana. It is a pilgrimage guide with around 81,100 verses.
- Vamana: It is the 10,000 verses with a description of 10,000 verses that includes the details of the region of the Himalayan foothills.
- Kurma: It contains a combination of verses describing Vishnu and Shiva and legends related to mythology, pilgrimage and theology.
- Matsya: The Purana includes 14,000 verses that narrate the story of Matsya, the first of ten major Avatara of Vishnu. It also contains details of various dynasties.
- Garuda: The Garuda Purana is an encyclopedia of diverse topics. It praises all gods, it describes the cosmology, theory of yoga, heaven and hell, karma and rebirth and Upanishadic discussion of self-knowledge as a means of moksha.
- Brahmanda: With around 12,000 verses, this is one of the oldest Puranas. It contains genealogical details of various dynasties. Let us discuss the Brahmanda Purana in detail
Introduction To Brahmanda Purana
As mentioned above, Brahmanda Purana is one of the eighteen Maha Purana, written in Sanskrit. It’s one of the medieval Indian alliterations, and it is expected to be the same as the Vayu Purana Before these texts developed into two overlapping compositions of scripts.
The Brahmanda Purana has received his name from one of the cosmological theories, namely the cosmic egg. The scripture is one of the oldest Purana and is said to be written during the 4th century CE. There are multiple editions of the same texts, with numerous changes added to them. The topics included in Brahmanda Purana are yoga, duties, cosmology, passage rites, ethics, diplomacy, trade, festivals, travel guide to places such as Kashmir, Cuttack and Kanchipuram, etc.
Lalita Sahasranamam, the scripture that praises goddess as the supreme entity of the universe, is notably present in the Brahmanda Purana, The text is also notable of Adhyatma Ramayan. It enhances its focus on reconciling Bhakti in God Rama and Shaktism with Advaita Vedanta.
One of the oldest Purana, the Brahmanda Purana is dated to the 4th Century BCE. The Adhyatma – Ramayana is one of the most important embedded sets of chapters which are actually the extended versions of the Purana. The original version of Brahmanda Purana does not exist. From the initial phrases and verses, the 19th-century scholars located and procured independent subparts of this Purana.
The Structure Of Brahmanda Purana
The published manuscript of the Brahmanda Purana is divided into three parts. The first part is divided into two subparts or Two Padas, the other two parts having eone pada each. These published texts have 156 chapters in total.
The traditional Purana has around 12,000 verses, but the published version consists of 14,286 verses, This suggests that the older version of the Indian scriptures may have been smaller in length.
The texts involved in the Brahmanda Purana is an encyclopedia in itself. It refers to all gods and goddesses, including Brahmna, Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, Surya, Shakti. The text describes sacrifices and rituals.
The sections of Brahmanda Purana includes:
- A detailed description of the creation of the cosmos, and thereby discussing time as a dimension. It also focuses on the details of Kalpa and Yuga.
- A short description of dynasties that lived through ancient ages. The houses of Bharata, Prithu, Rishi and Agni are discussed here.
- Religious and geographical aspects are discussed here, in context to the descriptions of Jambudvipa and Bharat-Varsha.
- 20% of the chapters are related to Lalitopakhyana, which includes the goddess theology and her central importance.
- 35% of the text on Adhyatma Ramayana, is a collection of 65 chapters and 4,500 verses.
- Most of the 30% chapters are a collection of 47 chapters, which are geographical Mahatmyas to various locations across India, such as those in modern Kashmir, Odisha and Tamil Nadu.
- Adhyatma Ramayana is a text consisting of 4500 verses in 65 chapters and divided into seven Kandas.
The Brahmanda Purana is after all a Sanskrit Text scripture that will indeed help you inculcate great knowledge of various topics like ethics, duties, Yoga, geography, rivers, etc.
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