(Last Updated on : 23/06/2010)
Indian Puranas is a religious text which was structured in the ancient times. These manuscripts are considered to be important by Hindus, Janis and the Buddhists. The Puranas are group of religious texts that narrates the history of the Universe, its creation, destruction, and genealogies of the kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography. Vyasa, the sage who had narrated the Great Indian epic Mahabharata, is traditionally considered to be the compiler of the Puranas. Though the actual Origin of Indian Puranas is not known, yet they can be identified to be the texts of antiquity.
Since the Origin of Indian Puranas, the texts give prominence to particular deities and attach plenty of religious and philosophical concepts. The Puranas are written in the form of stories and they are transferred to one generation from another orally or in written record. According to history, the earliest written versions can be traced to the reign of the Gupta Empire in the third-fifth century CE. Moreover, through the historical references, it was probably in India that the texts were composed. Furthermore, evidences trace that the written texts have been modified into the medieval times and perhaps till the present day.
In reference to the Origin of Indian Puranas, an early reference is found in the Chandogya Upanishad 500 BCE. The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad refers to Purana as the "fifth Veda" and reflects the early religious importance of these myths. The term also appears in the Atharvaveda. According to Pargiter, it is believed that, the original Purana were written during the final redaction of the Vedas. In addition to that, Gavin Flood also connects the commencement of the written Purana.
According to historical chronicles, the Puranas are related to each other. However, each of them presents a view of ordering of the world from a particular perspective. Since the Origin of Indian Puranas, these texts are given due importance and they were compiled by particular groups of Brahmins to propagate a particular vision. The texts narrate tale and legends of several deities such as Vishnu, Shiva or Goddess Durga. The Puranas come in various vernacular translations and are spread by Brahmin scholars. These texts are disseminated from one generation to another orally.
With the Origin of Indian Puranas, the civilisation was introduced to various cosmic concepts. The mass can learn about the Sarga; The creation of the universe, the Pratisarga; Secondary creations, mostly recreations after dissolution, the Vamsa; Genealogy of gods and sages, the Manvantara; The creation of the human race and the first human beings. The epoch of the Manus' rule, seventy one celestial Yugas or 308,448,000 years and the Vamsanucaritam: Dynastic histories.