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While reading the article "Kamakshi Mahatyam" (on Kamakotimandali) I found the claim that Brahmanda Purana is the last among the Puranas.


The limitless glory of Sri Kamakshi has been described in Sruti, Smrti, Purana, Itihasa, Agama and Tantras. Works like Kamakshi Rahasya, Kanchi Mahatmya, Saubhagya Chintamani, Kamakala Vilasa are written with the sole purpose of singing praises of akhilANdakoTi brahmANDa nAyaki, Sri Kamakshi – the only shtUla swarUpa of Bhagavati Sri Rajarajeshwari Parabhattarika. Of these, Brahmanda Purana has a very special status. Upanishads, which form the vedAnta, the ‘end’ of Veda, represent the peak of Vedic thought, describing the loftiest of all principles. Eighteen Puranas and Upa-Puranas were revealed by Bhagvan Badarayana to elaborate on Veda and Vedanta Tattva. Like Upanishads are to the Veda, Brahmanda Purana is the last of the eighteen Maha Puranas and the last part of Brahmanda Purana is Sri Lalitopakhyana. Thus, Sri Lalitopakhyana, which is also the source for Sri Lalita Sahasranama and Trishati, is the essence of Sruti, Smrti and Puranas. It can be safely stated that every other work dealing with Srividya, be it Agamic or Tantric in nature, derives inspiration from this work at some level. Sri Lalitopakhyana describes the glory of Sri Kamakshi thus:

Is the order of creation of Puranas given in some Purana itself? Like X is the first Purana and Y is the last?

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  • Both are showing Brahmanda Purana as a last one........ – hanugm Jun 11 at 7:42
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    Does this answer your question? Sequential Order of Puranas and Is each of the 18 Mahapurans related to a different Kalpa? – YDS Jun 11 at 8:22
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    Rickross I suggest you to change the question slightly so that the title and the description covers answer given by @Archit. As this question is going to get close votes it would be sad if such an informative answer of Archit remains trapped in a closed question! – Tezz Jun 11 at 11:37
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    Archit is actually answering by refuting the premise of my question and which is also a valid way of answering. So I don't know what to change in the question @Tezz – Rickross Jun 11 at 12:45
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It is incorrect to say that the Puranas have a specific order of creation.

As far as the ‘creation’ goes, the Purāṇa is actually described as a single text of a 100 crore verses that is remembered by Brahmaji at the beginning of creation, something similar to what you describe for the Vedas and Dharma here. Similar to the Vedas, it is also described as everlasting (infra) which probably is the reason why the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.4.20 calls it the fifth Veda.

The Matsya Purāṇa Chapter 3 while talking of the appearance of the shastras says:

तपश्चचार प्रथमममराणां पितामहः। आविर्भूतास्ततो वेदाः साङ्गोपाङ्गपदक्रमाः॥३.२॥ पुराणं सर्वशास्त्राणां प्रथमं ब्रह्मणा स्मृतम्। नित्यं शब्दमयं पुण्यं शतकोटिप्रविस्तरम्॥३.३॥ अनन्तरञ्च वक्त्रेभ्यो वेदास्तस्य विनिःसृताः।

The Grandfather of the devatas (Brahmaji) first did a penance from whence came the Vedas along with their Angas (limbs) and Upangas (sub-limbs). Of all the Shastras, Brahmaji first conceived the everlasting (Nitya i.e. without beginning or end), pure Purāṇa which consisted of a 100 crore verses. After that from his faces/ mouths the Vedas came out.
-(Verses 2-4a)

The same is also described in Chapter 53 of the Matsya Purana with the additional details about how the Purana was obtained in the current Manvantara and how it is shortened to four lakh verses by Vyasa in every Dwapara Yuga. In this regard Vishnu Bhagwan says:

At the beginning of the era after the pralaya, I in the Matysa form described this Purāṇa from within the water. Hearing that, Brahmaji told the devatas and the sages. (Verses 6-7)

Seeing the effect of time, where people begin to show nonchalance towards the Purāṇa, I take the form of Vyasa in every Dwapara Yuga and shorten the Purāṇa to four lakh verses. That same Purāṇa is then bifurcated into eighteen parts and published in this Bhu Loka. Even today this Purāṇa is in Deva Loka with 100 crore verses. The same Purāṇa has been compressed to 4 lakh verses for this world (verses 8-11)

Of the single Purāṇa, the shlokas which were distributed to many sages and devas (supra), the verses which were told to a particular entity, got the name of a particular Purāṇa when bifurcated by Vyasa. For example the Matysa Purāṇa chapter 53 says:

Earlier, the number of verses which Brahmaji taught Marichi, that became the first called the Brahma Purāṇa. It has 13000 verses.
-(verses 12b-13a)

One can see the order in which the 18 Puranas have been ‘composed’ (as asked in the following question) from : Sequential Order of Puranas and of course among them the Brahmanda Purāṇa was last.

Therefore it is incorrect to say that the Puranas have a particular order of ‘creation’, in which Brahmanda Purāṇa is the last. It is only while summarising and bifurcating the single Purāṇa into one of 4 lakh verses and dividing that into 18, that Brahmanda Purāṇa comes last.


Note: The question has asked about the order of creation of Puranas and hence I’m answering from the perspective of creation only. Not from the perspective of composition for which another question exists.
Link for Matsya Purana : Matsya Purana Gita Press

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  • How to reconcile this statement - "the Purāṇa is actually described as a single text of a 100 crore verses that is remembered by Brahmaji at the beginning of creation" with the Kalpa-bheda theory of different Purāṇas being compiled as per different days or as per the dominant-guṇa of Brahmaa that day ? And what time exactly is the Matsya Purāṇa referring to? - Is it the beginning of a new MahAKalpa (freshly manifested Brahmaa from the Navel)? or just one of the regular days of Brahmaa, the Matsya P. is talking about ? – peace Jun 11 at 11:13
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    @Vivikta at the beginning of creation, when Brahma is born as Hiranyagarbha- so at the beginning of a Mahakalpa. (Navel birth happened just before our Seeta Varaha Kalpa. There’s a QA for that). To reconcile I don’t know but Probably the events are eternal and little change due to only kalpa bheda have to yet do little study on this aspect. – Archit Jun 11 at 11:19
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    @Vivikta on second thoughts though the previous chapter is talking about Brahmaji’s original appearance as Hiranya Garbha, logically it’s more likely that he remembers every kalpa, just as he does for the Vedas. So to modify and state, this should be ideally talking about first creation of Swayambhuva Manvantara of current kalpa. The events must be being modified to be narrated in accordance with the kalpa they’re being narrated for. – Archit Jun 11 at 11:36

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