Vishnu Purana, Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Viṣṇupurāṇa, Vishnupurana: 13 definitions


Vishnu Purana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit terms Viṣṇu Purāṇa and Viṣṇupurāṇa can be transliterated into English as Visnu Purana or Vishnu Purana or Visnupurana or Vishnupurana, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (V) next»] — Vishnu Purana in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Viṣṇupurāṇa (विष्णुपुराण).—One of the eighteen Purāṇas. Viṣṇu Purāṇa is the description of the activities in Varāha Kalpa (the age of Varāha—Boar). There are twentythree thousand granthas in this Purāṇa. It is stated in Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 272, that if this book Viṣṇu Purāṇa is given as a gift along with cow and water on the full moon day of the month of Āṣāḍha, the giver would attain the city of Viṣṇu. (For further details see under Purāṇa).

Source: Sacred Texts: The Vishnu Purana

The Vishnu Purana is a primary sacred text of the Vaishnava branch of Hinduism, which today probably has more adherents than any other. It is one of the canonical Puranas, a branch of post-Vedic sacred literature which was first committed to writing during the first millennium of the common era. Like most of the other Puranas, this is a complete narrative from the creation of the current universe to its destruction.

The chronology describes periods as long as a hundred trillion (1014) years! It includes extensive sections on the genealogy of the legendary kings, heroes and demigods of ancient India, including those from the epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana. There are fascinating descriptions of ancient Hindu cosmology and geography. Of general interest is a collection of stories about the boyhood adventures of Krishna and Rama, whom the Vaishnavas believe to be avatars of Vishnu. There are also references to Buddhism and Jainism, which help establish the date of composition of the work.

Source: Hindu Online: Vishnu Purana

This Purana has 6 Chapters (6 Parts) as follows:

  1. Describes the creation of the universe, birth of the gods and the demons, Pralaya, churning of the sea, tales of the devotee Dhruva; killing of Hiranyakashipu. etc.
  2. Contains the description of Priyavrata’s sons and Bharat dynasty. It also has a geographical description of Jambu dweep, Bharat varsh, Shatdweep, Patal (the hades), the sun and the planets, chariot of the sun, origin of the Ganges. etc.
  3. Contains a detailed description of Manavantaras, Kalpa, Veda Vyasa, religion and the caste system etc. It also has a description of the origin of Buddhism. etc.
  4. Origin of Brahmanand Daksha etc.; Tales of Krishna’s birth, marriage of Krishna with Jambvanti and Satyabhama. etc.
  5. Marriage of Vasudev and Devaki. Incarnation of Lord Vishnu to kill Kansa. Arrival of Yagmaya in Yashoda womb and of the Lord in Devaki’s womb. Birth of Lord Krishna, carrying of Krishna to Gokul. etc.
  6. Description of religion in Kali Yuga. Description of the importance of Kali Yuga, Shudra and women folk by Vyasa. Description of Kalpa. Description of a day of Brahma. Position of Brahma in Pralaya. etc.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Viṣṇupurāṇa (विष्णुपुराण).—One among the eighteen Purāṇas; comprises 23,000 ślokas.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 7. 23. 13. 4.
Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous (V) next»] — Vishnu Purana in Hinduism glossary
Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

The Vishnu Purana is a religious Hindu text and one of the eighteen Mahapuranas. It is considered one of the most important Puranas and has been given the name Puranaratna (gem of Puranas).

Vishnu Purana includes many stories well known in Vedic tradition, including the various avatars of God Vishnu and the life of his complete incarnation, Krishna. Presented as a dialogue between Parashara and his disciple Maitreya and divided into six parts, the major topics discussed include creation, stories of battles fought between asuras and devas, the Avatars (divine descents) of Vishnu and genealogy and stories of legendary kings. Vishnu Purana ascribes its authorship to Veda Vyasa. The Padma Purana categorizes Vishnu Purana as a Sattva Purana (Purana which represents goodness and purity).

Source: Exotic India: Hinduism

The Visnu Purana is one the eighteen major, or maha, Puranas. Of these eighteen Puranas, six are in the mode of goodness, six are in passion and six are in ignorance. Visnu Purana is one of the six sattvika Puranas. This is easily understood because the entire literature is aimed at making one understand the simple truth that Lord Vasnu, being the origin of everything, is one without a second. In other words, there is nothing in existence separate from Lord Visnu.

The Visnu Purana as herein recorded was spoken by Parasara Muni to the sage Maitreya. Parasara Muni is the father of Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa, the compiler of the Vedas and author of Mahabharata. In Mahabharata, the story of Vyasa’s birth is told. Once, Parasara Muni desired to cross the river and the boatman had engaged his beautiful daughter, Satyavati, to ply the boat that day. Parasara became enamored with Satyavati’s beauty1 and while halfway across the wide river, he expressed his desire for intimate relations with her.

Source: AncientVoice: Hinduism

Vishnu Purana is the foremost Puranas among the eighteen great Puranas of ancient India. It is claimed that it contains 23,000 verses where as the text as it is available today contains only 7000 verses. For a comparison, Rig Veda contains 10552 verses and Mahabharata contains 84879 verses. It is arranged as a dialogue between Parasara and his disciple Maitreya. Due to this, some consider that this Purana was authored by Parasara, the father of Vyasa and hence older than Mahabharata. Most likely this could be a later attribution. It is however possible that some core portions of this Purana were authored by Parasara during his life time. But most parts of this Purana describe events that are covered by Mahabharata and a few verses cover events that occurred after Mahabharata froze and stopped growing further. These events include mention of Gautama Buddha, Jaina sages, the reign of Chandragupta Maurya and many Magadha kings who ruled before and after Chandragupta Maurya.

The Purana mostly deals with the glories of Vishnu and his incarnation Krishna. It is arranged in 6 volumes or books.

  • Book 1: Creation of Cosmos
  • Book 2: Geography and Cosmology
  • Book 3: Cosmic Chronology
  • Book 4: History of Kings
  • Book 5: Life of Krishna
  • Book 6: Life of Kali
Source: Hinduism

The Vishnu Purana is a work of the late third or early fourth century c.e.It is a work dedicated essentially to the greatness of the Hindu god Vishnu and is, therefore, particularly sacred to Vaishnavas, worshippers of Vishnu. In the Vishnu Purana, Vishnu is the omnipotent deity. In fact, he is synonymous with the ultimate absolute, Brahman, as he is in the Bhagavadgita. The Vishnu Purana tells of the creation of the universe by Vishnu. The great god is the navel of the universe; he reaches from its heavens to its depths. The Purana tells of Vishnu's incarnation as the avatar Lord Krishna and of the way the universe will be absorbed into Vishnu at the end of the age. According to the Vishnu Purana, Brahman is one and the same with Brahma as he creates, Vishnu as he preserves, and Shiva as he destroys. All are elements of the same universal sacrifice, or process of creation, life, and the destruction that leads to new life

Source: Shodhganga: Introduction to Purāṇas

The Viṣṇupurāṇa is eminently Vaiṣṇava and considers Viṣṇu as the supreme being, Suprime Brahma and Paramātmā. It is a ssectarial work, but of a much more sober character than such works generally possess and appropriates to legend and panegyric a comparatively in significant portion of its content. The Viṣṇupurāṇa is supposed to be related by Parāśara, the grandson of Vasiṣṭha, to his disciple Maitreya.

Book 1) The first book mainly contains an account of creation.

Book 2)The second book consists of the usual account of the division of the earth into Dvīpas, and the formation of seven Pātālas and Narka, with the situation and course of the planets and the description of their several stars; that of sun is very fully and curiously detailed.

Book 3) The third book deals with the systematic classification of the contents of a Purāṇa.

Book 4) The fourth book deals with the genealogies of the royal families, commencing with lineages of the sun and moon, and terminating with kings of the Kali age.

Book 5) The fifth book is appropriated to the history of Kṛṣṇa, although the story is told in the usual strain, yet there is peculiarity. He is only an incarnation of Viṣṇu.

Book 6) The last book of the Viṣṇupurāṇa, after describing the divisions of the time into Kalpas, etc. expatiates on the various pangs and directs mankind to only remedy for them, faith in Viṣṇu as the Supreme.

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[«previous (V) next»] — Vishnu Purana in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Viṣṇupurāṇa (विष्णुपुराण).—Name of one of the most celebrated of the eighteen Purāṇas.

Derivable forms: viṣṇupurāṇam (विष्णुपुराणम्).

Viṣṇupurāṇa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms viṣṇu and purāṇa (पुराण).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Viṣṇupurāṇa (विष्णुपुराण) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—[Mackenzie Collection] 38. Io. 420. 1380. 1695. W. p. 144. Oxf. 62^b. 63^a. Cambr. 4. Paris. (B 12. 13 [fragmentary]). Khn. 32. K. 30. Kh. 83. B. 2, 30. 32. Ben. 51. 55. Bik. 221. Tu7b. 15. Kāṭm. 2 (and—[commentary]). Rādh. 41 (and—[commentary]). NW. 488. Oudh. Iii, 8 (and—[commentary]). Xv, 20. Np. Ix, 20. Burnell. 193^b. P. 9. Bhk. 14. Bhr. 571. Poona. 418. 420. Taylor. 1, 292. 435. Oppert. 9. 614. 1078. 2701. 3014. 3855. 4769. 4770. 5169. 6431. 7403. 7638. Ii, 357. 541. 560. 664. 853. 989. 1169. 1373. 1505. 1543. 1888. 2020. 2292. 2526. 2576. 2613. 3073. 3270. 3533. 3809. 4156. 4948. 5126. 5705. 5786. 6607. 6706. 6958. 7033. 7241. 7757. 8522. 8586. 9862. Rice. 78. Mentioned in Kūrmapurāṇa Oxf. 8^a, in Varāhapurāṇa Oxf. 59^a, in Revāmāhātmya Oxf. 65^a, in Devībhāgavatapurāṇa Oxf. 79^b.
—[commentary] Oppert. Ii, 3810.
—[commentary] by Citsukha Muni. P. 23. Quoted by Śrīdharasvāmin.
—[commentary] Svabhāvārthadīpikā by Jagannātha Pāṭhaka. W. p. 145.
—[commentary] by Nṛsiṃha Bhaṭṭa. Oppert. 8247.
—[commentary] Vaiṣṇavākūtacandrikā by Ratnagarbha. Io. 1380. 1695. W. p. 144. Oxf. 63^a. L. 2573. K. 30. Ben. 55. Oudh. Xv, 20. Np. Ix, 20. Burnell. 193^b. Bhk. 14. Bhr. 571. Poona. 418. 420. Oppert. 2702. Ii, 1374.
—[commentary] by Viṣṇucitta. Oppert. 320. 3689. Ii, 6801. 7758.
—[commentary] Ātmaprakāśa or Svaprakāśa by Śrīdharasvāmin. Io. 420. W. p. 144. Oxf. 63^a. Bik. 221 -24. Burnell. 193^b. Oppert. 2438. 6448. Sb. 232.
—[commentary] by Sūryakaramiśra. B. 2, 32. Quoted by Ratnagarbha. Viṣṇupurāṇe Kanyākṛṣṇamāhātmya. Burnell. 193^b.
—Kalisvarūpākhyāna. Burnell. 193^b.
—Jaḍabharatākhyāna. Burnell. 193^b.
—Janmāṣṭamīvratakathā. W. p. 337.
—Devīstuti. Burnell. 199^b.
—Bhaviṣyadrājavaṃśāvalī. Cambr. 5. Burnell. 193^b.
—Mahādevastotra. Burnell. 202^a.
—Lakṣmīstotra. Burnell. 199^b.
—Viṣṇuśatanāmastotra. Burnell. 199^a.
—Siddhalakṣmīstotra. Burnell. 199^b.
—Sūryastotra. Burnell. 202^b. Bṛhadviṣṇupurāṇa. Quoted in Smṛtiratnāvalī and by Hemādri. Viṣṇupurāṇasūcīpattra. Io. 841.

2) Viṣṇupurāṇa (विष्णुपुराण):—Bl. 35 ([fragmentary]). Cu. add. 2105. 2452 ([fragmentary]). Gb. 45. Gov. Or. Libr. Madras 87. Hz. 117. 356. 393. Peters. 4, 14. Rgb. 129. 130. Stein 214 ([fragmentary]).
—Selections. Fl. 46.
—[commentary] Vaiṣṇavākūtacandrikā by Ratnagarba. Gb. 45. Peters. 4, 14. Stein 214 ([fragmentary]).
—[commentary] by Viṣṇucitta. Gov. Or. Libr. Madras 87. Hz. 380. 461.
—[commentary] Ātmaprakāśa by Śrīdharasvāmin. Gov. Or. Libr. Madras 87. Stein 214. Viṣṇupurāṇe Kṛṣṇajanmāṣṭamīvratakathā. Fl. 47.
—Viṣṇupūjana. Fl. 430.
—Viṣṇuśatanāmastotra. Fl. 48.
—Sumanaḥśodhana. Fl. 430.

3) Viṣṇupurāṇa (विष्णुपुराण):—Ulwar 872.
—[commentary] by Śrīdharasvāmin. ibid.

4) Viṣṇupurāṇa (विष्णुपुराण):—As p. 177. Bc 374. Bd. 230 (aṃśa 2). Cs 4, 220. 306. E. U. (3 Mss. One of these contains only aṃśa 1. 2). Il. Śg. 1, 177. Whish 33. C. Vaiṣṇavākūtācandrikā by Ratnagarbha. As p. 177. Bd. 230 (aṃśa 2). Cs 4, 220. Edin- burgh Univ. (2 Mss., of which one contains only aṃśa 1. 2). C. by Śrīdhara. Il. Viṣṇupurāṇasūcīpattra. Io. 841. No. 3610. Viṣṇupurāṇe Uṣāharaṇakathā. L.. 312.
—Garbhagītā. Ak 129.
—Sṛṣṭikriyā. Cs 4, 201.
—Somavārīvrata. L.. 313.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Viṣṇupurāṇa (विष्णुपुराण):—[=viṣṇu-purāṇa] [from viṣṇu] n. Name of one of the most celebrated of the 18 Purāṇas (it conforms more than any other to the definition pañca-lakṣaṇa [q.v.]; and consists of 6 books, the 1st treating of the creation of the universe from Prakṛti, and the peopling of the world by the Prajā-patis; the 2nd giving a list of kings with many curious geographical and astronomical details; the 3rd treating of the Vedas and caste; the 4th continuing the chronicle of dynasties; the 5th giving the life of Kṛṣṇa; the 6th describing the dissolution of the world), [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 517.]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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