The Puranas being expressed in the form of parables and narratives have become the scripture for the common people.
They are encyclopedias furnishing an image of spiritual, religious, social, political and cultural life comprising an astonishingly varied repertory of folklore and information regarding diverse topics including philosophy, ethics, legal institutions, popular festivals, and several arts. They even have subjects like grammar, prosody, rhetoric, archery, care of horses and elephants etc.
There are eighteen Puranas, with each one consisting of various stories of the gods and goddess, hymns, an outline of ancient history, cosmology and instructions on spiritual knowledge.
The main Puranas are the Vishnu Purana, the Naradiya Purana, the Srimad Bhagavata Purana, the Garuda Purana, the Padma Purana, the Varaha Purana, the Brahma Purana, the Brahmanda Purana, the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, the Markandeya Purana, the Bhavishya Purana, the Vamana Purana, the Matsya Purana, the Kurma Purana, the Linga Purana, the Siva Purana, the Skanda Purana and the Agni Purana. Out of these Puranas, six are Sattvic Puranas glorifying Lord Vishnu, six are Rajasic Puranas glorifying Lord Brahma, and six are Tamasic glorifying Lord Shiva.
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