Puranas are the scriptures of Hinduism which are accepted by some people and rejected by some people. There are 18 Mahapuranas which are the most important. The basic theory that puranas are interpolated or not written by Sage Vyasa arises because many verses of Puranas contradict each other. Vishnu Purana says Lord Vishnu is supreme and other Devas are His subordinates and the same Shiva Mahapurana says that Lord Shiva is supreme and other devas are His subordinates (Same thing in Devi Purana etc). Some Puranic stories also contradict other but to defend these puranas the theory is that the contradiction is arised due to Kalpa-Bheda. It could be true also.

Now I want to know what did Adi Shankara thought about Puranas? He mainly wrote a commentary on Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita, did he mention anything about Puranas? Are Puranas authentic according to Shankara?

  • The period at which Sri Sankara existed itself is in dispute. Some say it was 509–477 BCE and some others say it was around 700 – c. 750 CE . And, most of the texts that were attributed to Adi Shankara and are likely to be works of his admirers or scholars (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adi_Shankara ). So how can we make sure that his observations on Puranas are from his own writings?@Karmanya Nanda Commented Jun 15, 2019 at 16:16
  • You may this useful: advaita-vedanta.in/…
    – user9969
    Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


According to Shankaracharya Puranas are authentic, but the Puranas mentioned in Upanishads refer to Brahmana portion of the Vedas as per his Upanishadic Bhasya.

  • As from a fire kindled with wet faggot diverse kinds of smoke issue, even so, my dear, the Ṛg-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sāma-Veda, Atharvāṅgirasa, History(Epics), Mythology(Puranas), arts, Upaniṣads, verses, aphorisms, elucidations and explanations are like the breath of this infinite Reality. They are like the breath of this Supreme Self. (Brihadaranyaka Up 2.4.10)

Acharya Comments " History, such as the dialogue between Urvaśī and Purūravas—‘The nymph Urvaśī,’ and so on (Ś. XI. iv. 4. 1); it is this Brāhmaṇa that is meant. Mythology, such as, ‘This universe was in the beginning unmanifest,’ etc. (Tai. II. 7) "

  • Then, its Northward rays are its northern honey-cells :- The Atharvangirasas are the honey-producers ;-the Itihasa-Purana are the flower :-those waters are the nectar.These Atharvagirasas pressed this Itihasa-Purana : from it, thus pressed, proceeded its essence in the form of fame, replendence, efficient organs, strength and eatable food. (Chandogya Up 3.4.1-2)

Acharya comments "Itihasa-Purana are the flowers ;-the use of Itihasa-Purana is well-known as to be made as part of the 'Pariplava Nights' at the Ashwamedha sacrifice.

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    He has extensively cited Puranas in his shlokas and the bhashya of vishnu sahasranama. Therefore, it can be considered he did believe they were authentic.
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 11:01
  • Yeah sir but Puranas and Itihasas referred in Upanishads mean Brahmanas of Vedas not Vishnu Bhagavata Skanda Puranas as per Acharya Shankara. @GIRIBLR Commented May 7, 2021 at 11:03
  • 1
    Thanks for the answer Commented May 7, 2021 at 11:42
  • @SethuSrivatsa do you know about those Vishnu sahasranama shlokas which GIRIBLR is saying? it will make a good answer better. A small 2-3 line example maybe?
    – Adiyarkku
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 11:47
  • I didnt understad @Archit , should I quote his Vishnu Sahasranama Bhasya to say that he accepts Puranas? Commented May 7, 2021 at 11:48

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