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The Puranas are post-Vedic texts which typically contain a complete narrative of the history of the Universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of the kings, heroes and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology and geography.

There are 17 or 18 canonical Puranas, divided into three categories, each named after a deity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. There are also many other works termed Purana, known as 'Upapuranas.'

The Vishnu Purana
The primary text of the Vaishnava branch of Hinduism, and one of the canonical Puranas of the Vishnu category translated by H.H. Wilson (1840).

It contains portions about the cycle of legends of the boyhood deeds of Krishna and Rama.

The Garuda Purana
A Vishnu Purana with Dantesque descriptions of the afterlife, and details of Hindu funeral rights, translated by Ernest Wood and S.V. Subrahmanyam (1911).

The S'rimad Devî Bhâgawatam
One of the Upaparanas devoted to the Devi (Goddess), translated by Swami Vijnanananda (Hari Prasanna Chatterji) (1921).

The Devî Gita
The Song of the Goddess (an excerpt from the S’rimad Devi Bhagawatam above), translated by Swami Vijnanananda (Hari Prasanna Chatterji) (1921).

The Prem Sagur
The English translation of a popular Hindi retelling of the Krishna Cycle, based on the tenth book of the Bhagavata Purana, translated by W. Hollings (1848) of Prem Sagar by Lallu Lal.

The Transmigration of the Seven Brahmans
An excerpt from the Harivamsa, a Puranic text, translated by the American transcendentalist philosopher Henry David Thoreau (1931).

Kundalini: The Mother of the Universe
Translation of the Lalita Sahasranama, the ‘Thousand Names of the Goddess’, from the Brahmanda Purana, by Rishi Singh Gherwal (1930).

Related Recommended Reading:


The Hindu Epics



Other Primary Hindu Texts

Later Hindu Texts

Modern Hindu Books

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