What are the Puranas?
- July 7, 2020
The Puranas are religious texts composed in Sanskrit, orally narrated for centuries before being written down from the 2nd century CE onwards. They are part of the sacred literature of the Hindu faith that also comprise of the Vedas, Brahmanas, Aryayankas, Upanishads, and the great epics.
The earliest form of Hindu worship was concentrated around the rite
of yagna or Vedic sacrifice. The gods of the Vedic age were linked to natural phenomena. such as Indra (god of thunder and rain), Vayu (god of wind), Agni (god of fire), Surya (sun god), Chandra (moon god), and so on. The Vedic myth of creation speaks of vast cosmic oceans energised into life by a combination of heat, light, air, and the power of thought or desire. Brahma, the Creator, was seen as a powerful creative force, who materialised the world and living things from his physical body or just with his mind.
Illustration: Sanjhiya Mayekar
Over the centuries, numerous ideas, local traditions and folklore across the land were assimilated into Hindu practice. Gradually, a religious feeling came to focus on supreme deities such as Shiva, Vishnu and the Devi, and the worship of their images in temple...