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Puranas, The Sacred Tales Of Hinduism In Tamil

The sacred collection of Hinduism’s greatest myths, traditional lore, and genealogy, The Puranas are widely known for the symbolic nature of their stories. A Purana primarily deals with five subjects/signs: the formation of the universe, the formation of life after complete annihilation, the lineage of divine beings and patriarchs, the rule of the Manus, and the historical backdrop of the solar and lunar bloodline. The Puranas additionally deal with several other essential concepts concerning religious advancements occurring between around 400 and 1500 CE. These concepts incorporate traditions, sacrifices, rituals, celebrations, caste obligations, the development of places of worship and idols, and pilgrimage sites. Traditionally, there are 18 Puranas- Vishnu, Naradiya, Padma, Garuda, Varaha, Bhagavata, Matsya, Kurma, Linga, Shiva, Skanda, Agni, Brahmanda, Brahmavaivarta, Markandeya, Bhavishya, Vamana, Brahma. Each of the Puranas is very partisan — some are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, some are loyal to Lord Shiva and some are dedicated to a Hindu Goddess. Be that as it may, even if the Purana is dedicated to a specific Hindu God/Goddess, it still talks in detail about other Gods/Goddesses. There are 18 "lesser" Puranas, or upa-puranas, which deal with similar concepts, and countless sthala-Puranas or mahatmyas, which celebrate temples or other sacred worship places, and are chanted during services in temples.

Various Puranas available in the Tamil Language

Puranas have always incorporated the local touch in each of their myths, legends, and lore. They have been translated into several Indian languages so that devotees around the country can understand and imbibe its teachings. Some of the well-known Puranas translated into the Tamil language are-

  1. Kanda Purana: Kanda Purana is the Tamil rendition of the Skanda Purana. It was composed by Kachiappa Sivāchāryar of Kumarakottam in Kanchi. According to Kachiappa, every day he would compose his inspirited record of the vocation of Lord Murugan or Skanda, and at night submit his day's worth of effort in the mūlasthāam of Lord Subrahmanya at Kumara Kottam. Every evening, supernaturally, the Lord Himself would adjust Kacciappa's composition with His rectifications. Consequently, the work is viewed as the legitimate record of Lord Murugan's legends bearing the endorsement of the Lord Himself.

  1. Shiva Purana: Shiva Purana is a part of Shaivism literature. It primarily talks about Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Shiva-focused cosmology, folklore, the connection between Gods, morals, yoga, tirtha (journey) destinations, bhakti, waterways, topography, and much more.

  1. Vishnu Purana: Vishnu Purana is a part of Vaishnava literature. It speaks about the universe right from its creation to the end. Vishnu Purana starts as a discussion between sage Maitreya and his Guru, Parashara, with the former inquiring, "What Is The Nature Of This Universe And Everything That Is In It?". The Hindu god Vishnu is the central figure of this Purana’s cosmology. The veneration and the worship of  Lord Vishnu are depicted in 22 sections of the initial parts of the Vishnu Purana as the path to freedom, alongside the repeated use of the other names of Lord Vishnu like Hari, Janardana, Madhava, Achyuta, and Hrishikesh.

  1. Brahma Vaivarta Purana: Brahma Vaivarta Purana is widely known for addressing Krishna as the preeminent reality and affirming that all divine beings, for example, Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma, and Ganesha are very much the same and as a matter of fact, all are the manifestations of Krishna. Goddesses like Radha, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Savitri are declared to be the same and are referenced as the manifestations of Prakruti. The text is likewise prominent for praising the feminine part of God through Radha and its libertarian views that all women are incarnations of the heavenly female, co-makers of the universe and that any abuse to a woman is abuse to Goddess Radha herself. 

  1. Periya Purana: Periya Purana is a poetic Tamil record portraying the existence of the 63 Nayanars, the sanctioned writers of Tamil Shaivism, assembled by Sekkizhar. It bears proof of trade exchanges in West Asia. Each of the holy people referenced in this awe-inspiring sonnet is an actual person from history and not legendary. Consequently, this is a written history of the 63 Saiva holy saints called Nayanmars (worshippers of Lord Shiva), who achieved salvation through their unfazed dedication to Lord Shiva.


Q1. Which is the Oldest Purana literature?

The Matsya Purana, one of the 18 traditional Purana literature in Hinduism, is the oldest and most well-preserved Purana. It is an essential Purana as it lays down the definition of what Purana Literature is.

Q2. Who authored the 18 traditional Puranas?

Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa is credited with the authorship of the 18 traditional Puranas, alongside the great epic, Mahabharata. The 18 Puranas are known to delve deeper into the legends mentioned in the Vedas.