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As we all know, Srimad Bhagavatam is regarded as the best of the Mahapuranas. It is also the most famous and widely commented upon scripture.

But we also have the Devi Bhagavata, which calls itself a Mahapurana, but is actually considered as an Upapurana. Many have argued and put forth their points as to which Bhagavatam is the Mahapurana, and which should be called the Upapurana. Some of those links are here:
Here
Here
Here
Here

The facts gathered from some of the arguments are:

  • Most Puranas describe the Bhagavatam as the ideal text for gaining devotion to Vishnu.
  • Some scriptures like the Shiva Purana call it as the Purana describing Devi's Glories.
  • Devi Bhagavatam tallies fully with Mahabharata, while Bhagavatam freely digresses - the very foundation of the Bhagavatam as being narrated by Shukabrahmarshi to Parikshit is going off a tangent to the Mahabharata, because in that Parikshit builds a tower to secure himself, and Shukabrahma attains Moksha in Kailasa.
  • Srimad Bhagavatam has obviously inspired majority of Indians as compared to Devi Bhagavatam
  • The Matsya Purana lists characteristics of Bhagavata as, "That which is of 18000 verses, begins with the Gayatri, describes the glories of Sarasvata Kalpa and has Vrtrasura Vadha in it." These characteristics are there in both Puranas.

But even so, I found in the Bhagavatam itself subtle proofs that it is a work apart from the normal genre of Puranas. While the Puranas deal with exposition of the glories of the various deities and so on, the Bhagavatam is wholly dedicated to Krsna (Vishnu) and was written primarily on the advise of Narada, when Vyasa Bhagavan felt a void even after compiling the Vedas, Puranas and Mahabharata in that order.

So this would mean that the eighteen Puranas were complete, but since Vyasa was still incomplete (so to say), he finally was inspired to compose Srimad Bhagavatam.

Which leads to the question itself: Does this mean that both Bhagavatam and Devi Bhagavatam count as Mahapuranas? Or does it mean that the Devi Bhagavatam was (somehow) replaced by the new edition of Srimad Bhagavatam?

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    Both are Mahapuranas. As per Astadasapuran Darpan by Jwalaprasad Misra(pg 180-194) because srimad bhagavatam narrates the purusa(i.e krishna) pastimes etc and that prakriti aspect has been secondary, devi bhagavatam narrates the Prakriti aspect and both were complied by Vyasa that happened in different kalpas. Purana Rahasya by Surjandas Swami(pg 44-51) Edit- Its a long explanation for both.
    – SMK
    Jun 14, 2016 at 19:51
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – The Destroyer
    Jun 20, 2017 at 16:55
  • So, devi bhagwatam praises Prakriti (Devi) tattva and Purusha (Shiva) tattva is secondary and Krishna tattva is tertiary (mostly as an avatar after tridevs) there. But ultimately all are one only the classic example would be ShankaraNarayana swarupa, Ardhanareshwara Swaroopa and GopalaSundari Swaroopa and so on. Om Shanti. 😊..
    – Savdy
    Feb 9 at 8:36

2 Answers 2

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Hmm, So, This answer can be a bit controversial but so is the question. As there is already an argument given from Vaishnava point of view. I am giving point of view from Shaiva-Shakta point of view. To prove my point.

Anyways, Devi bhagwatam is more authentic MahaPurana than krishna bhagwatam (an Upa-Purana) though I can't say if krishna bhagwatam is fake or not but it is definitely not the work of Veda vyasa. Because according to Mahabharata all the 18 Puranas are made before the creation of mahabharata. Krishna bhagvat Purana which is said to have written after Mahabharata will become puran number 19th which is impossible as there are only 18 authentic Puranas. Again, it contradicts with the verses of mahabharata itself which as an author vyasa could not have done. Again as an author someone cannot write 2 books with same name that's insane and also the fact suka died even before the birth of Bhishma himself so reciting krishna bhagwatam was just impossible for him and even according to Mahabharata, king parikshit locked himself inside a specially made palace to save himself from takshaka so he didn't even met anyone at that time. This also contradicts the avatars of Lord Vishnu, where Sri Krishna is said to be the source of Lord Narayana as according to Mahabharata, Lord Narayana is the source of all the avatars including Sri Krishna also.. Plus Veda Vyasa has already mentioned the past times and leelas of Lord Krishna separately in a whole parva (Harivansha) in an itihasa (Mahabharata). Why would he repeat the same thing of same kalpa but differently cz its a real event not some fictional story for god sake. It is said that srimad bhagwatam suppose to have 18000 verses but krishna bhagwatam only has around 14000 rest 4000 are missing where as devi bhagwatam has 18000 verses and it doesn't contradicts mahabharata and also describes the death of suka before the birth of Bheeshma. Even in every Purana devi bhagwatam is described as the 5th Purana to be made so it only means one thing that krishna bhagwatam is a upa Purana written by some one totally different person. Period. Certain scholars attribute this 'Bhagavatpurana' to Vopadeva who is also the author of Mugdhabodha Vyakaranam.

According to skanda Purana.:

“aṣṭādaśapurāṇānāṃ madhye sarvottamaṃ paraṃ । devībhāgavataṃ nāma dharmakāmārthamokṣadaṃ ॥” (Skanda Purana : Devi Bhagawata Mahatmayam : Ch1: verse 23)

“Among the list of eighteen Puranas there exists a supreme Purana, the greatest one by the name of ‘Devi Bhagavatam’ which confers all the four pursuits viz. dharma, artha, kama, moksha”.

See the serialisation of the Puranas in Shiva, Vishnu, and Skanda, etc Maha Puranas.:

According to Shiva Maha Purana.:

“brāhmaṃ pādmaṃ vaiṣṇavaṃ śaivaṃ bhāgavataṃ tathā । bhaviṣyaṃ nāradīyaṃ ca mārkaṇḍeyamataḥ paraṃ ॥120 āgneyaṃ brahmavaivartaṃ laiṅgaṃ varāhamevaca । vāmanākhyaṃ tataḥ kaurmaṃ matsyaṃ garuḍameva ca ॥121 skāndaṃ tathaiva brahmāṇḍākhyaṃ purāṇaṃ ca kīrtitaṃ । yaśasyaṃ puṇyadam nṛṇāṃ śrotṛṇām śānkaraṃ yaśaḥ ॥” (Shiva Purana:V:44:120-122)

“Brahma, Padma, vaishnava, Shaiva, Bhagavata, Bhavishya, Narada, Markandeya, Agneya, Brahmavaivarta, Linga, Varaha, Vamana, Kurma, Matsya, Garuda, Skanda, and Brahmanda. These were the eighteen Puranas, which bestow glory and merit to the devotees of Shiva”.

According to vishnu Purana .:

“asṭādaśa purāṇāni purāṇajñāḥ pracakṣate । brāhma pāhma vaiṣṇavañca śaivaṃ bhāgavataṃ tathā ।।” (Vishnu Purana 3:06:20)

“Those who are acquainted with the Puráńas enumerate eighteen, or the Bráhma, Pádma, Vaishńava, Śaiva, Bhágavata, and…”.

According to skanda Purana.:

“śrīsūta । brāhmaṃ purāṇaṃ prathamaṃ dvitīyaṃ pādmamucyate । tṛtīyaṃ vaiṣṇavaṃ proktaṃ caturthaṃ śaivamucyate ॥ 7 tato bhāgavato proktaṃ bhaviṣyākhyaṃ tataḥ paraṃ ।” (Skanda Purana: Suta Samhita 01:7-8a)

“First is the Brahma Purana, second comes the Padma, third is the Vishnu, fourth is Shiva, after that comes Bhagavatam (fifth) thereafter comes Bhavishyat Purana”.

According to brahmanda Purana.:

“pañcamī pañcabhūteśī pañcasaṃkhyopacāriṇī ||” (Brahmanda Purana: Lalita Sahasranama: verse 226),

“She is the fifth, the lordess of the five elements, and worshiped with methods comprising five”.

So all these Puranas says that bhagwatam is the 5th Purana that was made, not the last one.

According to srimad Devi byagwatam mahapurana.:

“vāruṇaṃ kālikākhyaṃ ca sāmbaṃ nandikṛtaṃ śubham । sauraṃ pārāśaraproktamādityaṃ cātivistaram ॥ 15 māheśvaraṃ bhāgavataṃ vāsiṣṭhaṃ ca savistaram । etānyupapurāṇāni kathitāni mahātmabhiḥ ॥” (Devi Bhagawatam 1:03:15-16)

“Varuna Purâna. Kalika Purâna, Samva Purâna, Nandi Kes’wara Purâna, Saura Purâna, Purâna spoken by Parâs’ara, Âditya Purâna, Mahesvara Purâna, Bhâgavatam and Vasistha Purâna. These Upa Purânas are described by the Mahatmas.”

Here you can see there is another bhagvatam Purana is there which is actually an upa Purana described by other Mahatma but not by vedavyasa.

So it concludes that this upa Purana is krishna bhagwatam which is composed by some other author not by Vedavyasa himself.

I know some people will say that krishna bhagwatam is mentioned in other Puranas also. I don't think Veda vyasa himself will go and rewrite his Puranas after completing his “last Purana"(according to other people). The most interesting example is the verses in skanda Puranas which is glorifying krishna bhagwatam as a mahapurana in vishnu khanda thus contradicting itself only as in above verses it has said the same thing about devi bhagwatam. So it's a clear case of interpolation. I haven't seen Ramanujam the originator of Vaishnavas have ever talked about krishna bhagwatam which made Srimad Krishna Bhagwatam clearly as an upa Purana. Where as Seimad Devi Bhagwatam is the real MahaPurana of VedaVyasa.

As for the division of puranas into 3 gunas viz sat, raj and tam thats also illogical as it contradicts Mahabharata and Padma Purana saying that all puranas are the body parts of Sri Hari and gives salvation (thus contradicting itself only which clearly shows the signs of interpolations there).

Padma Purana itself refutes the verse in Swarga Khanda chapter 62 about the classification of the puranas into the gunas viz., sat, raj and tam. (ie. 2.62)

PURANAS--THE EMBODIMENT OF SRIHARI

Puranas are nothing but the mediums through which Sri Hari manifests himself. Brahma Purana is said to be the Forehead of Srihari, Padma Purana is said to be the 'heart' of Srihari, Vishnu Purana is said to be the 'right arm' of Srihari, Shiva Purana is said to be the 'left arm' of Srihari, Shrimad Bhagawat is said to be His 'thigh', Narad Purana is said to be His 'navel', Markendeya Purana is said to be His 'right-foot', Agni Purana is said to be His 'left foot', Bhavishya Purana is said to be His 'right-knee', Brahma Vaivrata Purana is said to be His & apos;left-knee', Linga Purana is said to be His 'right ankle', Varaha Purana is said to be His 'left ankle', Skanda Purana is said to be the hair on the body of 'Sri Hari, Vamana Purana is said to be His Skin, Kurma Purana is said to be His Back, Matsya Purana is said to be His Stomach, Garuda Purana is said to be His Bone Marrow and Brahmanda Purana is said to be His Bone.

All the Puranas being manifestation of different parts of Sri Hari's body are very sacred and capable of bestowing salvation.

Here it clearly mentions that " all the Puranas being manifestation of different parts of Sri Hari's body are very sacred and capable of bestowing salvation.

“uvāca sa mahātejā brahmāṇaṃ parameṣṭhinam॥ 67 kṛtaṃ mayedaṃ bhagavankāvyaṃ paramapūjitam। brahmanvedarahasyaṃ ca yaccāpyabhihitaṃ mayā॥ 68 kṛtaṃ mayedaṃ bhagavankāvyaṃ paramapūjitam। brahmanvedarahasyaṃ ca yaccāpyabhihitaṃ mayā॥ 68sāṅgopaniṣadāṃ caiva vedānāṃ vistarakriyā। itihāsapurāṇānāmunmeṣaṃ nirmitaṃ ca yat॥ 69 bh bhūtaṃ bhavyaṃ bhaviṣyaṃ ca trividhaṃ kālasaṃjñitam। jarāmṛtyubhayavyādhibhāvābhāvaviniścayaḥ॥ 70 vividhasya ca dharmasya hy vividhasya ca dharmasya hyāśramāṇāṃ ca lakṣaṇam। cāturvarṇyavidhānaṃ ca purāṇānāṃ ca kṛtsnaśaḥ॥ 71″ (MBH 1:01:67-71) “Then the greatly glorious Vyasa, addressing Brahma Parameshthi, said, “O divine Brahma, by me a poem hath been composed which is greatly respected. The mystery of the Veda, and what other subjects have been explained by me; the various rituals of the Upanishads with the Angas; the compilation of the Puranas and history formed by me and named after the three divisions of time, past, present, and future; the determination of the nature of decay, fear, disease, existence, and non-existence, a description of creeds and of the various modes of life; rule for the four castes, and the import of all the Puranas”.

So, Mahabharata itself is Summary of all Purāna. All Purāna are dependent on Mahabharata as said by Ved-Vyasa.

“asyākhyānasya viṣaye purāṇaṃ vartate dvijāḥ | antarikṣasya viṣaye prajā iva caturvidhāḥ ||” (MBH 1:02:380) “O ye Brahmana, as the four kinds of creatures (viviparous, oviparous, born of hot moisture and vegetables) are dependent on space for their existence, so the Puranas depend upon this history(Mahabharata)”.

Thus all Purāna are dependent on Mahabharata.

“aṣṭādaśapurāṇānāṃ śravaṇād yat phalaṃ bhavet | tat phalaṃ samavāpnoti viṣṇoḥ nātra saṃśayaḥ ||” (MBH 18:06:97) “One devoted to Vishnu acquires (through reading this Mahabharata) that merit which is acquired by listening to the eighteen Puranas. There is no doubt in this”.

Here all 18 Maha- Purāna are given equally importance.

So, Mahabharata (VedaVyasa) says that all the Mahabharata is the summary of all the 18 Puranas and all the 18 Puranas depends on Mahabharata itself. So, its every 18 Puranas were written before Mahabharata only and its not possible for a Purana to contradict Mahabharata in the same Kalpa.

Let me give some more proofs to support my claims about Bhagwata Purana.

Chapter 53 of Matsya Purana mentions Kalpas of all Puranas except Brahma and Markandeya Puranas.

Padma Purana - Padma Kalpa (hence the name)

Vishnu Purana - Varaha Kalpa (current Kalpa)

Vayu Purana (includes Shiva Purana) - Sveta Kalpa

Bhagavata Purana - Sarsvata Kalpa

Naradiya Purana - Brhat Kalpa

Agni Purana - Isana Kalpa

Bhavishya Purana - Aghora Kalpa

Brahma Vaivarata Purana - Rathantara Kalpa

Linga Purana - Agneya Kalpa

Varaha Purana - Manava Kalpa

Skanda Purana - Satpurusha Kalpa

Vamana Purana - Kurma Kalpa

Kurma Purana - Lakshmi Kalpa

Matsya Purana - Vaivastara Manvantara of Varaha Kalpa

Brahmanda Purana - Future Kalpas (No specific name mentioned)*

So, here only ,one bhagwatam purana is mentioned which was from sarsvata kalpa.

The Srimad Krishna Bhagavatam states it was written in the present Kalpa:

“parimāṇaṁ ca kālasya kalpa-lakṣaṇa-vigraham | yathā purastād vyākhyāsye pādmaṃ kalpamatho śṛṇu ||” (SB 2:10:47)

Translation: O King, I shall in due course explain the measurement of time in its gross and subtle features with the specific symptoms of each, but for the present let me explain unto you the Pādma-kalpa (i.e. the Svetavaraha Kalpa).

Here you can notice two things 1st it is written in Padma kalpa and it is even saying that Baraha kalpa and Padma kalpa are both same.

As per Chapter 46 of Markandeya Purana,

42. For a hundred of his (Brahma's) years is denominated a Para; and a Parardha or half a Para is well-known to be composed of fifty years.

43. So then a Parardha of his life has elapsed, O brahman; at the close of which occurred the Maha-kalpa, which is famed as the Padma.

44.Of the second Parardha which is now passing, O brahman, the first kalpa (or cycle) ordained is this one called the Varaha.

Lord Brahma's life-span is mentioned hundred (100) years (in which day is known as Kalpa). Lord Brahma's 100 years are known as Para which is his life span.

And Parardha or half a Para is of fifty (50) such years. In another words, Lord Brahma's life-span is of 2 Parardhas.

And at the end of Padma Kalpa (previous Kalpa), first Parardha got over i.e. half life span of Lord Brahma got completed and Lord Brahma is in his second half of life which is Baraha Kalpa.

So from all these above verse we have concluded that theoriginal Bhagwatam of devi was created in sarsvata kalpa where as the upa bhagwatam puran of krishna was created in varaha kalpa or Padma kalpa (as according to them both are same) but we also saw that Padma purana was created in Padma kalpa and vishnu puran was created in baraha kalpa by vyasa.

Again we saw that Baraha and Padma are not the same kalpa both according to markandeya Purana and matsya purana so it is contradicting every other Puranas of vyasa. How is that even possible. Its only possible because it was written by someone else some one totally different person. It's now crystal clear which one is original and which one is a substitute. Period.

Before ending the answer here i want to add one more beautiful thing, which is that VedaVyasa ended every chapter of Srimad Devi Bhagwatam with the following lines.:

Thus, here ends the ___ Chapter of the ___ Book _ On the_(Chapter's Name)_ in the Mahā Purāṇam Śrī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharṣi Veda Vyāsa.

In which VedaVyasa himself proved that its the MahaParana written by him only.

So, I rest my case here.

I hope this clarifies your queries.

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  • Note.: I am not interested in talking or arguing with anyone or any kind of conversation so instead of that u can write ur own answer or comment anywhere without mentioning me or my answer directly or indirectly. Period. I m sure everyone is perfectly capable of doing that. Goodbye. 😊..
    – Savdy
    Feb 8 at 18:16
2

Does this mean that both Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) and Devī Bhāgavata count as MahāPurāṇas?

Most Definitely, NOT. It can be only one of them, and that, I think depends upon the sect of the believer.

Generally, the overall result in this debate on 'which one is the Real Bhāgavatam' will always tend to be status-quo apriori - undecided, since no unanimous acceptance can be achieved amongst all sects.




However, here I'm giving three arguments in support of Śrīmad Vaiṣṇava Bhāgavatam being the original/real Bhāgavata Purāṇa. I'm not much aware of similar arguments in favor of Devī Bhāgavata, so I don't present argument from their perspective:-

Arguement 1.

  • Secular Opinion by Swami Tapasyananda of Ramkrishna Math:-

Here I paste a "secular" opinion of Swami Tapasyananda. Swami Tapasyananda was a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Mission, and a disciple of Swami Shivananda, one of the eminent disciples of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa. Thus, he being a follower of Advaita, one might construe a secular opinion of his.

Quoting from - 'Śrīmad Bhāgavata: An Introduction' by Swami Tapasyananda

  1. Their Principal Features and Contents:

- The Place of the [Vaiṣṇava] Bhāgavata among the Purāṇas


What exactly is the place of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa in this vast body of religious literature?

It will be noted that it is included in the traditional list of eighteen Maha-Purāṇas, but this has been questioned by the Devī Bhāgavata, which claims to be the Bhāgavata-Mahā-Purāṇa, thus relegating the Viṣṇu Bhāgavata to the position of an Upa-Purāṇa.

According to Prof. Hazra (Cultural Heritage of India, Vol. II, p. 281) the Devī Bhāgavata is only a very late production of the 12th century and it has carefully incorporated the features of the description of the Bhāgavata as found in the Matsya, Skanda and Agni Purāṇas in order to claim itself to be the Bhāgavata, and thus gain the required prestige for infusing its Śakta ideas among men.

Swami Tapasyananda, further explains, if in some scenario, one is to say that Devī Bhāgavata is a Mahā-Purāṇa, then what becomes of the Srimad Vaiṣṇava Bhāgavata Purāṇa?

He says-

If for any reason the claim of the Devī Bhāgavata is accepted, then the place of the Viṣṇu Bhāgavata can only be that of a Super-Mahā Purāṇas and not that of an Upa-Purāṇa.

For, its (the Viṣṇu Bhāgavata) excellences are of such a transcending nature that it has practically eliminated all the other Purāṇa from the minds of men and become the one book of its kind that is widely studied by all devotees, commented upon by scholars of all schools of thought, and translated into several Indian languages, besides English.

Swami Tapasyananda further comments on the [absence of] sectarian nature of the Vaiṣṇava Bhāgavatam, if any-

Though it is Vaiṣṇava, and therefore sectarian in a way, its sectarianism is not one of narrowness and exclusion but only its way of eliciting the undivided attention and devotion of men to the Deity of their choice (this point is important in reference to Devī Bhāgavata) Φ.

In the sublimity, fervour, and comprehensiveness of the pattern of devotion it inculcates, in the dignity, elevation, and terseness of its Sanskrit diction, and in the lyrical beauty and wealth of imagery of its poetry, there is no Purāṇa that comes anywhere near it. It is undoubtedly one of the greatest productions of the literary and spiritual genius of India.

So, as per Swami Tapasyananda, the Vaiṣṇava Bhāgavatam is the original and the only true Śrimada Bhāgavatam - the Bhāgavata Mahā-Purāṇa.


Here, I'd like to add an annotation to the observation by Swami Tapasyananda on the sectarian-free nature of Vaiṣṇava Bhagavatam when compared with Devī Bhāgavata.


Φ:

Elucidation on the [complete absence of] sectarian nature and exclusion, in the Śrīmad Vaiṣṇava Bhāgavatam in comparison to the Devī Bhāgavata.

While Śrīmad Vaiṣṇava Bhāgavata Purāṇa regards Viṣṇu (Kṛṣṇa) as the Supreme Brahman - Para Brahman, YET, one would not encounter a single passage in Vaiṣṇava Bhāgavata Purāṇa, that aims to justify the Supremacy of deity 'X' over deity 'Y', at the expense of the deity 'Y', by relegating the deity 'Y' as inferior.

This same, proposition, however, cannot be said for Devī Bhāgavata, since, on multiple occasions, one might encounter lots of exclusion, sectarian biases, and narrowness in regards to the above theme.

In fact, as an example to support this claim, there's a whole Chapter in the Devī Bhāgavata with the sole aim of establishing hierarchy amongst Trideva - Rudra Higher than Viṣṇu, which stands as a flagrant violation to the overarching letter and spirit of the famous Rig-Veda Verse 1.164.46.

Here goes-

Book 5: Chapter 1 - On the superiority of Rudra over Viṣṇu

स हि सर्वेश्वरो देवो विष्णोरपि च कारणम् ।
सुषुप्तस्थाननाथः स विष्णुना च प्रपूजितः ॥ २१ ॥
विष्णोरप्यथिको रुद्रो विष्णुस्तु ब्रह्मणोऽधिकः । २५.a ।
देवीतत्त्वस्य सान्निध्यादुत्तमत्वं स्मृतं शिवे ॥ २७.b ॥

....and He is the Lord of all the causal bodies that exist; in the state of Suṣupti (deep sleep). In this respect, Śiva is the creator of Viṣṇu and Viṣṇu worships Him in this light (21). Rāma, Kṛṣṇa, and others are all part incarnations of Viṣṇu; so there is no wonder if they worship Śiva.
....
.... The sages, therefore, consider Viṣṇu superior to Brahmā; they again consider Rudra superior to Viṣṇu and Māheśvarī (Turīya State) again superior to Rudra. .... .... Viṣṇu is superior to Brahmā; Rudra is superior to Viṣṇu (25.a). Therefore no doubt can arise in Kṛṣṇa’s worshipping Śiva. It is through the will of Śiva that a second Rudra originated from the forehead of Brahmā to offer boons to him (i. e., to Brahmā). This second Rudra is venerable and entitled to all worship; what to speak of the First Rudra? O King! It is through the proximity of the Devī that the importance and superiority of Śiva is thus established (27.b).. Thus the incarnations of Hari arise in yugas after yugas through the intervention of the Yoga


Further,

Arguement 2:

  • A [sectarian influenced] Conclusion by Ācārya Baladeva Upadhyaya

Acharya Baladeva Upadhyaya, using ample indological sources and traditional sources based-proofs and reasonings, also concludes, in a 16 page arguement, that - the Vaiṣṇava Bhāgavata is indeed the real Bhāgavata Mahā-Purāṇa, in his work called -

Purāṇa Vimarśa (पुराण विमर्श): Section 3 (तृतीय परिच्छेद) -
Chapter 5 (ङ): From Pages 109 (१०९) to 124 (१२४).

I'm not pasting here the elaborate reasonings and proofs he gives on account of their extreme length and translation constraints, however, the conclusion he reaches on page 123 is clear and concise - i.e., Vaiṣṇava Bhāgavatam is the real Bhāgavata Mahā-Purāṇa. In fact, on a side note, even the famous Hindu texts publisher - 'Gita Press Gorakhpur Publication' concur with this view, as they annotate - superscript [१] the word 'Bhāgavatapurāṇa', found in the Paurāṇika classification Chapter from Matsya Purana and describes it as Vaiṣṇava Bhāgavatam only.

The book [Purāṇa Vimarśa] is in Hindi and can be read from here.

I call this argument sectarian because Baladeva Upadhyaya was 'born in', and a practioner of Vaiṣṇava lineage and tradition.



Arguement 3:

  • An indeclinable Paurāṇika Statement from the Opposition sect:

In the Saṁhitā-version of Skanda Mahā-Purāṇa, we get a 'tri-guṇa' classification of purāṇas into Sāttavika, Rājasika & Tāmasika, on similar lines and tones, as found in the Garuḍa़ Mahā-Purāṇa's classification and the Padma Mahā-Purāṇa's classification. However, in this case, the classification is from Śaiva perspective, and therefore, obviously, it declares the four Vaiṣṇava Purāṇas as tāmasika, just like how Vaiṣṇava Purāṇas declare the Śaiva Purāṇas as tāmasika.

The four Tāmasika Vaiṣṇava Purana as per Skanda Mahā-Purāṇa (Saṁhitā-version) are:

विष्णोर्हि वैष्णवं तद्वत् तथा भागवतं तथा ।
नारदीय पुराणं च गारुडं वैष्णवं विदु:॥ 34
वैष्णवानि च चत्वारि तामसानि मुनीश्वराः । 49.a ।

Vishnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Narada Purana and Garuda Purana; these (four) are known as Vaishnava Puranas. Know these Four Vaishnava Puranas as Tāmsic.

Notwithstanding the tāmasika classification, the Saṁhitā-version here, clearly classify the Vaiṣṇava Bhāgavatam, as a MahāPurāṇas, albeit tāmasika, but nonetheless a MahāPurāṇas. This goes on to prove that as per a Śaiva text itself, the Vaiṣṇava Bhagavata is a Mahā-Purāṇa.

Also, an important thing to note is, that the Saṁhitā Version of Skanda Mahā-Purāṇa is considered a more original version compared to the Khaṇḍa version, on account of its antiquity, as attested by several traditional commentaries on same, as discussed in detail in this answer.


Conclusion -

Notwithstanding, the above reasonings, It'll still be inconclusive as there can't be a unanimous acceptance for the above views.

However, only one of them is a Mahā-Purāṇa.

Which one is it?

  • The verdict is left to the readers and their personal "reasonings" and "conscience"
    viz. Manu Smriti Verse 2.12.
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  • 1
    And I never claimed to have read it properly or fully, I'm just citing an instance of 'hierarchy', which is "perfectly clear" @AnubrataBit :) Downvoting answer just because, why not! :))
    – Vivikta
    Feb 9 at 7:12
  • 1
    It is not true that krishna bhagavatam is "sectarian free" as claimed in the answer. here is what it says about Kartikeya (who has been equated with Brahman in the Mahabharata) in the Banasura fight - " Lord Kārtikeya was distressed by the flood of Pradyumna’s arrows raining down from all sides, and thus he fled the battlefield on his peacock as blood poured from his limbs"
    – S K
    Apr 23 at 15:58
  • 1
    That's not sectarian. By same Lord Kartikeya logic, Bhagvatam is sectarian for Krishna himself since he "fled" away from Jarasandha. @SK no offense, but our site has a problem of keeping our emotional and rational minds disassociated when judging an answer purely on merit.
    – Vivikta
    Apr 23 at 16:39
  • 1
    to continue this would be futile. anything you say.
    – S K
    Apr 23 at 16:43

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