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(po͝orä`nə): see Sanskrit literatureSanskrit literature,
literary works written in Sanskrit constituting the main body of the classical literature of India. Introduction

The literature is divided into two main periods—the Vedic (c.1500–c.200 B.C.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



canonical texts of Hinduism.

The oldest puranas date from the middle of the first millennium B.C., but the basic texts that have come down to us appeared chiefly in the second half of the first millennium. The most valuable, by literary and historical considerations, are the Markandeya Purana, Vayu Purana, Vishnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana, and Matsya Purana. Depending on which god the purana is dedicated to, there are Vishnuite, Saiva, and Brahmanic puranas, but, as a whole, they express the basic religious, social, and ethical principles of Hinduism.

In content and form, the puranas resemble ancient Indian epic poetry. They present cosmogonic legends, myths about the origins of all creatures, and the genealogy of the gods, divine sages, and legendary dynasties. The ethical and metaphysical ideas of the puranas influenced most of the philosophers of medieval India. Poets and dramatists also used the myths of the puranas in their works. The Bhagavata Purana, in which the cult of ecstatic love for god (bhakti) is preached and legends about the life of Krishna are retold, has especially influenced religious and literary traditions in the modern Indian languages.


Bhagavata Purana, vols. 1–5. Translated and published by E. Burnouf et al. Paris, 1840–98.
Vayu Purana, vols. 1–2. Calcutta, 1880–88.
Matsya Purana. Poona, 1907.
Markandeya Purana. Bombay, 1924.
Vishnu-Purana, vols. 1–5, 3rd ed. Translated by H. H. Wilson. Calcutta, 1972.
In Russian translation:
Lallu Ji Lal. Prem Sagar. Translated from Hindi with introduction and notes by A. P. Barannikov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1937.


Wilson, H. H. Puranas or an Account of Their Contents and Nature. Calcutta, 1911.
Pusalker, A. D. Studies in the Epics and Puranas. Bombay, 1955.
An Anthology of the Epics and Puranas. Edited by S. K. De and R. C. Hazra. New Delhi, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Written and directed by Rohit Shetty, Bol Bachchan stars Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Asin, Prachi Desai and Archana Puran Singh.
He said the shopkeepers were arrested in Puran, Martung, Makhozay, Alpuri, Belkanai, Shahpur, Damorai, Olandar and Bisham.
The workers distributed sweets and arranged fireworks in Peshawar, DI Khan, Bannu, Swat, Dir Upper, Shangla, Bisham, Alpuri, Dir Lower, Puran, Dargai, Mardan, Swabi, Bunner, Nowshera and Kohat to celebration his nomination as party KP chief.
He issued these directives during a visit to Sarfraz Canal in Digri, Main Spinal of LBOD drain, Puran Drain at Mir Wah, Dhoro Puran at Jhuddo and drainage channels at village Sirae and Roshanabad.
Puran Chand Wadali (Padma Shri) and his brother Pyarelal Wadali were bound to Delhi on JetLite S2 0632 at 9.40 a.m.
He added that funds were approved for the link roads of Pishlor, Kabalgram, Bayna, Enawar, Awarai, Kadoona, Mandoria, Faiza Algram, Alami Banda and Machkandai areas of Puran, Makhozay and Martung tehsils.
He said that due to the establishment of two new grid stations at Besham Shang and Puran Makhozai Martoong, the problem of low voltage would be resolved on permanent basis.
Upper areas of Malakand Division being lashed by rains and snowfalls since last night, while Swat road and Alpuri Puran road in Shangla have been closed for traffics.
The awards, announced at the Shastri Bhawan in the national capital, among other categories included 'Best National Integration film' which went to 'Delhi 6', award for the Best Debute Director for Sanjay Puran Singh for his film 'Lahore' while the Best Director award going to Rituparno Ghosh for his film 'Abhomaan'.
He said that a police team stopped a car (AD-3335), which was heading to Puran Aloch from Swat, and during search recovered fake currency notes worth Rs136,000 from the possession of the gang members.