It is probable that this purana may
have acquired this title because it treats
this created world as only a vivarta of or
an appearance in Brahman, the Absolute.
It is a fairly voluminous work comprising 18,000 verses spread over four
khandas or books, the total number of chapters being 276.
The first book called Brahmakhanda
lauds this purana and also gives a gist
of the contents of the entire work. It declares that it is Sri Krsna who is the
creator of the entire universe and that
his world, the Goloka, is the highest of
all the divine abodes, even Vaikuntha and
Kailasa being inferior to it. A
account of creation which includes the
emanation of other deities like Narayana,
Sankara or Siva, Brahma and Dharmapurusa,
as also the goddesses like Murti,
Laksmi, Sarasvati, Durga and Savitri is
also given. Other topics dealt with in this
book include Ayurveda, (science of health)
worship of Salagrama (the stone symbol
of Visnu), austerities to be practised by
the samnyasins and widows, philosophical
teachings concerning the, ultimate identity
of the jiva (individual soul) with Brahman
and a description of the Goloka.
Prakrtikhanda, the second book, deals
with the mulaprakrti or the Mother
Nature, who is pictured as the consort of
God, forming the left part of his body as
it were. She evolves into five goddesses: Radha and Durga, Laksmi and Sarasvati as also Savitri. God or Purusa splits
himself into Sri Krsna and Narayana,
Later, Brahma and Siva also emanate
Mulaprakrti gives birth to a golden
egg from which emerges Mahavirat, the
Cosmic Being. He creates the worlds.
Here We have also
a number of miscellaneous subjects which have
been dealt with: stories of various female
deities including the river-goddesses,
worship and meditation concerning Bhumi
or Mother Earth, merits of a bath in the
Ganga River, importance of the tulasi
leaves and rules concerning its use, details
of the various salagrama stones, the
well-known story of Savitri and Satyavan, karma and its effects, descriptions of narakas or hells, detailed information
about the growth of the human foetus in the womb, story of Durga in brief as also some details about her worship.
Next comes Ganapati-Khanda. This
book deals mainly with the birth and
exploits of Ganapati and Sanmukha, the
two sons of Siva-Parvati. The story
Parasurama (the Rama of the battle-axe)
is also an important part of this section.
There are quite a few beautiful hymns in
praise of Ganapati.
book, is also the biggest. Though the story
of Krsna follows the one given in the
Bhagavata, the amorous deeds of Radha
and Krsna are portrayed prominently.
Stories of Ambarisa and Durvasa,
Astavakra and Sri Rama also find a place.
A variety of topics like the evil omens
indicated by bad dreams, duties of the
people belonging to the four varnas, special
code of conduct for the widows, foods fit
and unfit for consuming, description of
Kaliyuga or the Iron Age, greatness of the
country of Bharata and the science of
architecture are also included at appropriate places.
The last chapter of this book gives
a list of eighteen major puranas along
with the total number of verses in each
A special feature of this purana is
that it gives several important mantras
(esoteric formulae) as also their usage.
Email a Friend