Mahapurâna Srimad Devî Bhâgavatam (3)
On praising the Purânas and on each Vyâsa of every Dvâpara Yuga
1-11. Sûta said :– “O best of the Munis! I am now telling you the names of the Purânas, etc. exactly as 1 have heard from Veda Vyâsa, the son of Satyavati; listen.
The Purâna beginning with “ma” are two in number; those beginning with “bha” are two; those beginning with “bra” are three; those beginning with “va” are four; those beginning respectively with “A”, “na”, “pa”, “Ling”, “ga”, “kû” and “Ska” are one each and “ma” means Matsya Purâna, Mârkandeya Purâna; “Bha” signifies Bhavisya, Bhâgavat Purânas; “Bra” signifies Brahmâ, Brahmânda and Brahmâvaivarta Purânas; “va” signifies Vâman, Vayu, Visnu and Varaha Purânas; “A” signifies Agni Purâna; “Na” signifies Narada Purâna; “Pa” signifies Padma Purâna; “Ling” signifies Linga Purânam; “Ga” signifies Govinda Purânam; Kû signifies Kurma Purâna and “Ska” signifies Skanda Purânam.
These are the eighteen Purânas. O Saunaka! In the Matsya Purâna there are fourteen thousand slokas; in the wonderfully varied Markandeya Purânam there are nine thousand slokas. In the Bhavisya Purâna fourteen thousand and five hundred slokas are counted by the Munis, the seers of truth. In the holy Bhâgavata there are eighteen thousand S’lokas; in the Brahmâ Purâna there are Ajuta (ten thousand) S’lokas. In the Brahmânda Purâna there are twelve thousand one hundred S’lokas; in the Brahmâ Vaivarta Purânam there are eighteen thousand S’lokas.
In the Vaman Purâna there are Ajuta (ten thousand) S’lokas; in the Vayu Purânam there are twenty-four thousand and six hundred S’lokas; in the greatly wonderful Visnu Purâna there are twenty-three thousand S’lokas; in the Agni Purânam there are sixteen thousand S’lokas; in the Brihat Narada Purânam, there are twenty-five thousand S’lokas, in the big Padma Purâna there are fifty-five thousand s’lokas; in the voluminous Linga Purâna eleven thousand s’lokas exist; in the Garuda Purânam spoken by Hari nineteen thousand s’lokas exist; iu the Kurma Purâna, seventeen thousand s’lokas exist and in the greatly wonderful Skanda Purâna there are eighty-one thousand s’lokas, O sinless Risis! Thus I have described to you the names of all the Purânas and the number of verses contained in them. Now hear about the Upa Purânas.
12-17. The first is the Upapurâna narrated by Sanat Kumâra; next comes Narasimha Purâna; then Naradiya Purâna, S’iva Purâna, Purâna narrated by Durvasa, Kapila Purâna, Manava Purâna, Aus’anasa Purâna, Varuna Purâna. Kalika Purâna, Samva Purâna, Nandi Kes’wara Purâna, Saura Purâna, Purâna spoken by Parâs’ara, Âditya Purâna, Mahesvara Purâna, Bhâgavata and Vasistha Purâna. These Upa Purânas are described by the Mahatmas.
After compiling the eighteen Purânas, Veda Vyâsa, the son of Satyavati composed Mahabharata, that has no rival, out of these Purânas.
18-24. At every Manvantara, in each Dvâpara Yuga, Veda Vyâsa expounds the Purânas duly to preserve the religion. Veda Vyâsa is no other person than Visnu Himself; He, in the form of Veda Vyâsa, divides the (one) Veda into four parts, in every Dvâpara Yuga, for the good of the world. The Brahmânas of the Kali age are shortlived and their intellect (Buddhi) is not sharp; they cannot realise the meaning after studying the Vedas; knowing this in every Dvâpara Yuga Bhagavân expounds the holy Purâna Samhitas. The more so because women, S’udras, and the lower Dvijas are not entitled to hear the Vedas; for their good, the Purânas have been composed. Tne present auspicious Manvantara is Vaivasvata; it is the seventh in due order; and the son of Satyavati, the best of the knowers of Dharma, is the Veda Vyâsa of the 28th Dvâpara Yuga of this seventh Manvantara. He is my Guru; in the next Dvâpara, Yuga Asvatthama, the son of Drona will be the Veda Vyâsa. Twenty-seven Veda Vyâsas had expired and they duly compiled each their own Purâna Samhitas in their own Dvâpara Yugas. (Contd.)