It is well known that Padma Purana classify Puranas into three which is shown below:

  • Sattva: Vishnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Naradeya Purana, Garuda Purana, Padma Purana, Varaha Purana
  • Rajas: Brahmanda Purana, Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Markandeya Purana, Bhavishya Purana, Vamana Purana, Brahma Purana
  • Tamas: Matsya Purana, Kurma Purana, Linga Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana, Agni Purana

Padma Purana also says Sattva Puranas lead one to heaven and Tamo Guna Puranas lead one to hell.

However, I heard from someone that Skanda Purana classifies 10 Shaiva Puranas as puranas with Sattva Guna and Vaishnava Puranas as puranas with Tamo Guna, so if Vaishnava Puranas contradict Shaiva Puranas, only Shaiva Puranas should be accepted as Pramana.

Is this classification really mentioned in the Skanda Purana? If yes, please provide Canto and chapter number.

  • Which 10 puranas?
    – user16618
    Dec 17, 2018 at 5:26
  • @RaRe I don't know. Dec 17, 2018 at 6:08
  • Matsya Purana also classifies though it doesn't mention which purana falls into which, it just says characteristics of the puranas in each guna.
    – user16618
    Dec 17, 2018 at 7:13

1 Answer 1




There is no finality regarding what constitute saattvika and what taamasika purANas. In the skanda purANa there is a mention thus:

dasha shaivapurANAni saattvikAni vidurbudhAH . vaiShNavAni ca chatvAri tAmasAni munIshvaraaH. [ the ten shaivapurANas are sAttvika. The four vaiShNava puraaNas are tAmasika. ]

I found this quotation in a book titled 'gunjAgarvabhanjanam' (sanskrit). This book also says that there is no pramANa for the three types among jiva-s.

If this really exists in the Skanda purana - we can end the ad nauseum mention of "Tamasic puranas" - the "guna" of a Purana is in the eye of the beholder.

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