Bhagavata-Purana (Sanskrit

Bhagavata-Purana (Sanskrit, "Ancient Stories of the Lord"), most revered text of the sacred Hindu literature called the Puranas, and principal holy book for the Bhagavata sect of Hinduism, after which the text is named. With 18,000 verses dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu and his humanlike incarnations Krishna and Rama, the Bhagavata-Purana has greatly influenced Indian poetry, art, drama, music, and architecture. Although it was composed in the 10th century ad, much of the philosophy, ritual, and mythology included in it has roots in Vedic traditions that date from 1300 bc.

The Bhagavata-Purana is said to have been

The Bhagavata-Purana is said to have been recorded in verse by the legendary sage Vyasa, the traditional arranger of the four Vedas. Hindus believe that the entire Puranas was transmitted to Vyasa by Vishnu, and they consider it to be a scriptural authority along with the Vedas. In Hinduism the Puranas became the medium by which Vedic teachings, normally reserved for male priests of the upper caste, were imparted to women and lower-caste men. The Bhagavata-Purana is written in the form of dialogues between sages and their pupils. These dialogues usually deal with five major subject areas: creation of the universe, periodic destruction, genealogies of gods and patriarchs, the ages of humankind, and histories of the solar and lunar royal dynasties.

The Bhagavata-Purana develops the theme

The Bhagavata-Purana develops the theme of bhakti (passionate devotion to a Hindu god) as a religious system of liberation. Containing accounts of well-known devotees such as Dhruva and Prahlada, it gives detailed stories of all the avatars (incarnations) of Vishnu, especially Krishna, presented in light of bhakti teachings. Vishnu is believed to descend to earth in a suitable form, either human or animal, whenever a threat arises to the existing dharma (cosmic and social order of things). He comes to eliminate wicked people and deliver the righteous. The tenth and most popular section of the Bhagavata-Purana contains an elaborate narration of the life of Krishna. It depicts episodes from Krishna`s life, including his defeat of various demons sent to kill him by the evil Kamsa, and love scenes with the "gopi "(wives and daughters of his cowherders).

The other books of the Puranas supply additional

The other books of the Puranas supply additional information on the topics of caste duties, vows, death rituals, reincarnation, astrology, geography, theology, mythology, yoga, science, and philosophical teachings. Scholars classify the 18 major Puranas, or Mahapuranas, into three groups: six for Vishnu that are related to the quality of purity (Vishnu, Bhagavata, Padma, Garuda, Narada, Varaha), six for Brahma that are related to passion (Brahma, Brahmanda, Brahma-Vaivarta, Markandeya, Bhavisya, Vamana), and six for Shiva that are related to darkness (Siva, Linga, Skanda, Agni, Matsya, Kurma).

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