Our Epics and Puranas are our Historical source material. Bhagavat puran, Vishnu puran, Vayu Puran, Bhavishya Puran etc., contain long lists of dynasties and their periods have been written in detail. If we want to know the real history of our nation, we have to go to this source material to obtain the chronology of our History. As Swami Vivekananda puts it:
“ We have our own History exactly as it ought to have been for us. Those who have eyes to see will find a luminous history there and on that strength of that History they will know that the nation is alive. But that History has to be rewritten”.
It is amazing to know the amount of literary output of our nation in Samskrit. I am giving here is a brief description and the number of verses of our epics and puranas.
- Padma Purana – It has six skandas and 55,000 verses.
- Varaha Purana – Story by Varaha- It describes places and mantras. It has 14,000 verses.
- Brahma Purana – Teachings of Brahma to Daksha. It has 25,000 verses. It is called Adi Purana.
- Brahmanda purana – It describes the Origin of The Universe as told by Brahma. It has 12,000 verses. It is called Uttama Purana.
- Bhavishya purana – Surya narrated it to Manu . There are statements about future. There are praises about Surya, Agni and Naga. There are 14,000 verses.
- Markandeya Purana – It contains the story of Indra, Surya and Agni. There are praises of Durga. There are 9.000 verses.
- Vamana Purana – Similar to Varaha. It describes Siva and Parvathi marriage. It has 10,000 verses.
- Vayu Purana – Told by Vayu. There are praises of Siva. There are 14,000 verses.
- Linga Purana – It contains instructions of Siva on Dharma sitting in the form of Linga. 28 forms of Siva are described in this purana. There are 12,000 verses.
10. Agni Purana – Agni deva instructed sage Vasishta . It speaks about Sivalinga and Durgadevi. This purana deals with arts, science, astronomy and architecture. It contains 12,000 verses.
11. Kurma Purana – Kurma narrated to Indradyumna . Speaks of seven islands and seven oceans. It has 12,000 verses.
12. Skanda Purana – It is narrated by Skanda. It contains lists of dynasties of many of the kings that ruled Bharat. It narrates the story of how Tarakasura was slained by Skanda. It has 84,000 verses.
13. Matsya Purana – Matsya narrates it to Manu about the history of kings and dynasties and their respective periods of rule. It especially discusses about the Andhra kings who ruled from Girivrajapur for about 500 years. There are 13,000 verses.
14. Bhagavat puran – There are 12 skandas in this puran.
15. It narrates the 10 incarnations of Vishnu. It has 18,000 verses.
Puranas based on Brahma:
- Brahma Purana,
- Brahmanda Purana,
- Brahma Vaivartha Purana
- Markandeya Purana
- Bhavishya Purana
- Vamana Purana
Puranas based on Siva:
- Linga Purana.
- Skanda Purana
- Agni Purana.
- Matsya Purana.
- Kurma Purana.
- Ramayan – written by Sage Valmiki. It is the story of Rama. It has 24,000 verses.
- Mahabharata – written by sage Veda vyasa. It is the story of Kauravas and Pandavas and the war that took place between them. It has 1,00,000 verses. It also includes Bhagavadgita which has 700 verses.
- We have 18 Puranas in total. All the 18 puranas are composed by sage Veda Vyasa.