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What are the 18 Puranas in Hinduism?

By March 7, 2023December 6th, 2023No Comments
18 Puranas in Hinduism

Today at InstaAstro’s blog, we’ll talk about Puranas. The Puranas are also called Ashtadasha MahaPuranas. This means 18 significant manuscripts, as we have 18 total Puranas in Hinduism. These Puranas are mentioned in the form of 4 lacs granthas, where each grantha consists of 32 syllables.

Have you ever visited Badrinath? There’s a place called Vyasa Pothi situated there. The significance of this place is that it is designed in the shape of palm-leaf manuscripts. People say that Lord Ved Vyasa sat here to write the Mahabharata, the Vedas and the Puranas. Hence, it was Ved Vyasa who wrote 18 Puranas. And another person who is remembered along with the great Vyas is Vidyaranya Swami, the commentator of all the Vedas who wrote a condensed version of all the Puranas known as “Puranasara”. 

Therefore, these two people are honoured and recalled for the contributions they have made to the world of Vedas. They have introduced simplified versions of Puranas to the people of India and the world. But what do Puranas signify? Let’s read ahead to find out.

Puranas & Their Importance

Puranas are the oldest works of literature. It is believed to be binoculars of the Vedas. It mentions the principles and lessons of the Vedas in the form of stories with conversations between people. Unlike Vedas, where there are rules to read it a certain way, Puranas can be read by anybody, be it a mother, father or child. This is where the significance of the Puranas lies.

Puranas have allowed access to the sacred Veda to the outer world. It is due to the 18 Puranas in Hinduism that the dharmic values and the Vedic community still stands. That is why Puranas are considered even more valuable than the actual Vedas. With the help of the 18 Puranas in Hinduism, the Vedic language and values have reached the masses. 

Otherwise, earlier pandits or priests used to hold a mandapa outside the temple area where people used to gather to listen to the preaching of the Vedas. But what is the meaning of the word “Purana”? The word Purana means “Puran-Navam-Bhavti” in Sanskrit. It means “that through which old become new”. So, Puranas are ancient entities, but it is designed to suit the modern language or today’s human needs.

God in the Puranas 

Types of Puran

We already now know that the total number of Puranas is 18 in Hinduism. But it is classified uniquely. Instead of diving straight into 18 Puranas names or 18 Puranas in english, we need to know their classification. The list of Puranas is grouped into three categories – Sattva, Tamas and Rajas. According to the qualities each Purana contains, these 18 Puranas names are categorised into 3 Gunas below.

The list of 18 puranas that are divided into three categories or types consists of the following:

  • Sattva or “Truth” – Virtues of Vishnu
  • Tamas or “Ignorance” – Virtues of Shiva
  • Rajas or “Passion” – Virtues of Shakti and other gods

All Puran name: 18 Puranas in Hinduism

Now that we know about Gunas, it’s time to know about the number of Purans in the Hindu religion and what Guna each of the eighteen belongs to. Following are all Puran name list and their details in brief.

1. Brahma Purana

Brahma Purana is an auspicious Purana. The Guna it comes under is Sattva. It has a fine description of geography, mythology, cosmology and Universal Law, the Dharma. Moreover, with the deep research on holy rivers and cities around, this Purana contains 138 chapters.

Brahma Purana

2. Padma Purana

Padma Purana mentions the birth of Brahma and teaches us his virtues. Moreover, it belongs to the Sattva Guna. It includes five chapters and 55000 shlokas. It also talks about the creation of the universe and significance of months.

3. Vishnu Purana

Vishnu Purana teaches us lessons from the mythologies of God Vishnu. Moreover, in this Purana, Sage Parashara is the narrator where he talks with his student Rishi Maitreya. This conversation has many important lessons. 

4. Vayu Purana

You will find mentions of great rishis, asuras, Lord Surya, Lords and ancient kings in the Vayu Purana. Also, it comes under Sattva Guna. Some scholars also believe to be Shiva Purana.

Vayu Purana

5. Bhagavata Purana

Bhagvata Purana has all the virtues of all the Puranas put together. It comes under Sattva Guna. Spread over 12 chapters in 18000 shlokas; it preaches the importance of spirituality. Through the stories of Lord Vishnu and portions of Mahabharata, it motivates you to believe in divine power. 

6. Narada Purana

Naradiya or Narada Puranas mentions learnings of Lord Narad Muni and various Vishnu Bhakti topics. Therfore, it falls under the Sattva Guna. With two chapters and 25000 shlokas, it is believed to be the first purana ever written.

7. Markandeya Purana

Markandeya Puarana mentions stories. It starts with the story of four birds who teaches the rights and the wrongs. This Purana belongs to the Rajas Guna. It has 137 chapters and 9000 shlokas.

Markandeya Purana

8. Agni Purana

Agni Purana praises Agni, a form of Lord Vishnu. It talks about Lakshana Shastra, or the figures of speech. It includes information related to literature, poetry, Navarasa and medicine. Spread over 383 chapters in the form of 15000 shlokas; it has verses related to Ramayana and Mahabharata.

9. Bhavishya Purana

Bhavishya Purana, as the name suggests, focuses on the future events. It belongs to Sattva Guna. In this Purana, in the words of Lord Brahma, the virtues of lord Sun are mentioned. It has 129 chapters with 28000 shlokas. 

10. Brahma Vaivarta Purana

Brahma Vaivarta takes us to the incidents in the life of Lord Krishna and Radha. The Guna it comes under is Sattva. It preaches the good qualities of these two deities. We also get to see the mentions of the great Brahma, Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Tulsi. Spread over 218 chapters, it has 18000 shlokas.

Brahmavaivarta Purana

11. Linga Purana

Linga Purana introduces the teachings of Lord Shiva. Hence, it belongs to the Tamas Guna. It has 163 chapters and 11000 shlokas. It has verses that talks about Nandi, the cow and Dhruva, the great devotee of Lord Shiva.

12. Varaha Purana

Similar to Vamana Puran, Varaha Purana contains information on the Varaha avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Hence, it is evident that it is from Sattva Guna. It has 217 parts and 10000 shlokas.

13. Skanda Purana

Skanda Purana talks about geography and history of India. Moreover, it has clear mentions of the Himalayan region. It has 7 parts ( Maheswara, Vishnu, Brahma, Kasi, Avanti, Nagara, and Prabhasa) and 81000 shlokas. 


Skanda Purana

14. Vamana Purana

Vamana Purana talks about the vamana avatar or form of Lord Vishnu. Therefore, it belongs to the Sattva Guna. It preaches teachings of the Vedas and Upanishads. Furthermore, it also mentions about stages of human development. It has 95 chapters and 10000 shlokas.

15. Kurma Purana

Lord Vishnu is the narrator in the Kurma Purana. It talks about his tortoise avatar during Sumudra Manthan. The lessons of the churning of the sea between the Devas and the Asuras are mentioned here. This Sattva Guna type contains four chapters and 18000 shlokas. Moreover, life development stages and illusions are also highlighted in the Kurma Purana.

16. Matsya Purana

From the researcher’s point of view, Matsya Purana holds notable importance. It’s because it contains the index of all the eighteen Puranas and is unchangeable. It belongs to Tamas Guna and contains 290 chapters with 14000 shlokas.

Matsya Purana

17. Garuda Purana

Garuda Purana is one of the Vishnu Puranas. Therefore, it belongs to the Sattva. It talks about death, evil, goodness and Truth. Here, conversations between Lord Vishnu and his vahana, Garuda, happen throughout the 279 chapters and 18000 shlokas.

18. Brahmanda Purana

Brahmanda Purana includes information about the origin of the “Universe or Brahmanda”. Hence, it talks about how all the Navagarhas or Nine planets, along with other heavenly bodies, came into being. Furthermore, it belongs to Rajas Guna.

Also Read: – Origin Of The Divine Feminine Temples, The Shakti Peeth


The eighteen Puranas are teachings and preachings of different aspects of life. It is a simplified version of the Vedas, which wasn’t accessible to the common people. But Puaranas made it possible. Thanks to Ved Vyas, who wrote the Puaranas and Vidyaranya Swami, who introduced the more simplified version of even Puranas. For more such interesting information, keep visiting the InstaAstro website.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. What are the 18 Puranas?

In the Hindu religion or Hinduism, we have 18 Puranas. These Puranas are the modern version of the Vedas as they were complex and not accessible to the general public.

2. What are Puranas?

Puranas are ancient texts or manuscripts that has teachings of various Gods. It also has mentions of literature, arts, geography, history, illusion and every other aspect of human life.

3. Who wrote 18 Puranas?

Sage Veda Vyas wrote the 18 Puranas. He wrote it at Vyasa Pothi which is situated in the city of  Badrinath.

4. Which is the oldest Purana?

Narada Purana or Naradiya is the oldest Purana. Some books mention that it is the first Purana that Ved Vyasa wrote.

5. Are Puranas older than Vedas?

No, Puranas are not older than the Vedas. In fact, Puranas are a simplified versions of the Vedas. The 18 Puranas cater to the reading needs of the common people.

6. Which Purana is the most important?

Bhagvata Purana is the most important Purana. This is why it is also very popular. Moreover, it includes information on the supreme power, i.e. virtues of all Puranas in one.

Also Read: – 7 Important Benefits Of Wearing Rudraksha Mala

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