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SB 12.13.4-9

The Brahma Purāṇa consists of ten thousand verses, the Padma Purāṇa of fifty-five thousand, Śrī Viṣṇu Purāṇa of twenty-three thousand, the Śiva Purāṇa of twenty-four thousand and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam of eighteen thousand. The Nārada Purāṇa has twenty-five thousand verses, the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa nine thousand, the Agni Purāṇa fifteen thousand four hundred, the Bhaviṣya Purāṇa fourteen thousand five hundred, the Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa eighteen thousand and the Liṅga Purāṇa eleven thousand. The Varāha Purāṇa contains twenty-four thousand verses, the Skanda Purāṇa eighty-one thousand one hundred, the Vāmana Purāṇa ten thousand, the Kūrma Purāṇa seventeen thousand, the Matsya Purāṇa fourteen thousand, the Garuḍa Purāṇa nineteen thousand and the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa twelve thousand. Thus the total number of verses in all the Purāṇas is four hundred thousand. Eighteen thousand of these, once again, belong to the beautiful Bhāgavatam.


This clearly states that Srimad Bhagavatam has 18000 verses. But if you count all of the verses, only 14094 verses are there in Bhagavata Purana, even if you add the original Sanskrit verses. Why does Bhagavata Purana contradict itself?

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The figure 18,000 refers to granthas. A grantha in this context means a verse of 32 syllables. As Monier-Williams says,

An arrangement of words, especially a sloka of 32 syllables." 32 syllables is the standard verse-length in the Gita (though there are a fair number that are longer, especially in chapt. 11). The Bhagavatam has many verses of more than 32 syllables, and the SB has quite a few long prose passages (especially in the 5th canto) that contain way more than 32 syllables. I haven't done the calculation, but I assume if one counts up all the syllables in the Bhagavatam and divides by 32, one will get 18,000.

[Ref: Room conversation with HG Gopiparanadhana Prabhu and why we didn't get nearly 18,000 "verses.]

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