Brahma Purana

Definition - What does Brahma Purana mean?

"Brahma Purana" is the first of the series of Hindu texts known collectively as the Puranas. Brahma Purana is named for the creator god Brahma, but he is barely mentioned. Some sources, though, believe he is one of the narrators of the text. "Brahma Purana" is also sometimes referred to as "Adi Purana," or first Purana, and as "Saura (solar) Purana" because a portion of it focuses on Surya, the sun deity. It is one of 18 maha, or major Puranas.

The "Brahma Purana," as it reads today, is not believed to be the same as the original ancient text. It is thought to have undergone major revision sometime between the 13th and 16th centuries and other revisions since. The modern text exists in many different versions and contains substantial differences.

Yogapedia explains Brahma Purana

"Brahma Purana" is composed of two sections, the Purvabhaga and the Uttarabhaga, and 245 chapters. The content ranges from mythology to geography, descriptions of temples and cultural topics, such as temple artwork. Many of the sections mirror passages in other Puranas. For example, the description in "Brahma Purana" of the life of Krishna is identical to that in the "Vishnu Purana." "Brahma Purana" also includes information about the way in which yoga as a contemplative form of devotion should be performed.

The list can vary slightly, but 18 major Puranas typically include:

  • The Brahma
  • Brahmanda
  • Brahmavaivarta
  • Markandeya
  • Vamana
  • Vishnu
  • Bhagavata
  • Naradiya
  • Garuda
  • Padma
  • Varaha
  • Shiva
  • Linga
  • Skanda
  • Agni
  • Vayu
  • Matsya
  • Kurma
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