I have this confusion from a long time as to why other texts categorize Shiva Purana as a Taamasic Purana.

None of the holy books say bad things, same is with this book.

I have read this and I don't find any reason for calling it as Taamasic.

Can anyone please let me know the reason?

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    @Sai Thanks for the link. I checked it but the answer seems to be a bit from Vaishnavite perspective. It started on a good note but then drifted towards Vaishnav thinking. It says that because Shiva purana doesn't mention Lord Vishnu as supreme God at all places therefore it is tamasic, but since it mentions him as superior at some places therefore it can be readable. I would have rather preffered if it would've been from a neutral perspective.
    – Aby
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 3:37
  • 2
    I had put down some comments in that question if you want an Advaita perspective. All the best
    – Sai
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 14:12
  • 3
    According to Gita, "Satva", "Rajas" and "Tamas" look different. They resemble (English's) "Good", "Bad" & "Ugly" respectively. However, based on their quality/nature, one should not treat them as Right/Wrong. Even if Shiva Purana is "Tamasic", it need not be wrong.
    – iammilind
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 12:07
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    As per me , Padma purana classifies puranas as tamasic, rajasic and satvic, while calling itself as satvic purana. If someone doesnt believe all shaiva puranas are Tamasic, he can choose to ignore them
    – tekkk
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 19:30
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    Not just padma purana even matya purana classifies Shiva, linga, skandha puranas as tamasic.
    – user808
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 6:51

3 Answers 3


And the answer is "no" because if you go and check epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana there is nothing like even the Vayu Purana which is mentioned in Mahabharata itself means it exists in the times of Mahabharata do not supports it. It gives the creation story that among Tridevas no one created no one even lord Brahma is not created by either by lord Vishnu or lord Shiva . The second oldest Purana Matsya Purana too supports this but is kept by Padma Purana as "Tamsik Purana".

Even though the Padma Purana in this case looks interpolated although on my blog I have given a full article on that but then also it do not discriminate gods on the basis of satwa-rajas-tamas.

Here's the proof:—


According to Suta, all the Puranas are nothing but the mediums through which Sri Hari manifests himself---Brahma Purana is said to be the forehead of Sri Hari, Padma Purana is said to be the 'heart' of Sri Hari, Vishnu Purana is said to be the 'right arm' of Sri Hari. Shiva Purana is said to be the 'left arm' of Sri Hari. Srimad Bhagavata is said to be his 'thigh', Narada 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 '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. Brahmanda Purana is said to be his bone. So, all the Puranas being manifestation of different parts of Sri Hari's body are very sacred and capable of bestowing salvation.

— Padma Purana book 2.5 (book 2 or book 3 but make sure it shall be swarga khanda )

https://www.google.co.in/url?q=https://bhaktisanskar.com/padam-puran-hindi/&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwjH_dqT4NTWAhXJQyYKHVORASYQFggkMAU&usg=AOvVaw2qoWGN7zDW_Xujae-DlioE Now the padma puran says all purans are sacred and leads to salavation.

Now, Prakasa samhita (one ofthe pancharatra samhita) states as follows:

vārāhaṃ vaiṣṇavaṃ pādmaṃ vāyuproktaṃ ca gāruḍam /śrīmadbhāgavataṃ caiva sātvikānīti hi śrutiḥ // PS_1,4.32 //

“ Varaha ,Vishnu,Padma, Vayu, Garuda and the Srimad bhagavata purana are sattvik puranas.

”brahmāṇḍaṃ brahmavaivartaṃ mārkaṇḍeyaṃ ca vāmanam /bhaviṣyaṃ nārasiṃhaṃ ca rājasāni ṣaḍaiva hi // PS_1,4.33 //

“Brahmanda, Brahmavaivarta, Markendeya,Vamana,Bhavishya and Narsimha purana are always rajasic.

”mātsyaṃ kaurmyaṃ tathā laiṅgyaṃ śaivaṃ skāndaṃ tathaiva ca /pāśupatasaṃjñikaṃ ceti tāmasāni vido viduḥ // PS_1,4.34 //

“Matysa, Kurma,Linga,Siva,Skanda and the Pasupata sastra are the tamasic in nature.

Well this book (Prakasa samhita) is one of the pancharatra samhita which is a angma not a puran,shastra or any thing related to puranic purans. Even angmas are both vedic and non-vedic too and besides all the Prakasa samhita is one of the pancharatra samhita which is a vaishnava text.

Here is the proof:—

The Agama literature is voluminous, and includes 28 Shaiva Agamas, 77 Shakta Agamas (also called Tantras),and 108 Vaishnava Agamas (also calledPancharatraSamhitas), and numerous Upa-Agamas


”The Garuda Purana(3.1.52) confirms:

visnoh puranam bhagavatam puranam sattvottamam garudam cahur aryah

“The Aryans declare that Vishnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana and Garuda Purana the best of the Puranas in the mode of goodness."

Even though Matsya Purana is one of the oldest Puranas but it gives the story of Trimurti as when Brahman divided himself into Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha the Purana which gives such equality of Trimurti can differentiate gods on the basis of nature satwa,rajas and tamas. And the Skanda Purana which is the most interpolated Purana rest all Puranas belongs to Vaishnavism. And just because Padma Purana contains a story type for that that's why I have given points only on Padma Purana rest every Purana contains just a verse and that is nothing but a interpolation. This is the reason why Mahabharata do not mention lord bhramha, lord vishnu and lord shiva on the basis of satwa-rajas-tamas. But all equal even in the harivamsa parva of mahabharat oldest book dedicated to lord krishna.


There is nothing like mishrit purans because logically everywhere this thing is written :-

mātsyaṃ kaurmaṃ tathā laiṅgaṃ śaivaṃ skāndaṃ tathaiva ca /āgneyañ ca ṣaḍ etāni tāmasāni nibodha me //

"Know from me that Mastya,Kurma,Linga,Shiva,so also Skanda and Agni are tamasa(vicious)."

vaiṣṇavaḥ nāradīyañ ca tathā bhāgavataṃ śubhaṃ /gāruḍañ ca tathā pādmaṃ vārāhaṃ śubhadarśane //

“ The Vaisnava,Naradiya,Bhagavata,Garuda,Padma,Varaha should be known to be sattvika and should be considered auspicious."

sāttvikāni purāṇāni vijñeyāni ca ṣaṭ pṛthak /brahmāṇḍaṃ brahmakaivartaṃ mārkaṇḍeyaṃ tathaiva ca //bhaviṣyad vāmanaṃ brāhmaṃ rājasāni ca ṣaḍvidhāḥ /"

Know from me that, Brahmanda,Brahmavaivarta, Markendeya, Bhavishya,Vamana and Brahma are rajasa (endowed with the quality of passion).

"The Kurma Purana(2.43.49), Skanda Purana and the Matsya Purana(53.68-69) together states as follows:

sāttvikeṣu purāṇeṣu māhātmyamadhikaṃ hareḥ /rājaseṣu ca māhātmyam adhikaṃ brahmaṇo viduḥ //tadvadagneśca māhātmyaṃ tāmaseṣu śivasya ca

"In the Puranas in the mode of goodness, the focus is the glories of Lord Hari. Those in the mode of passion, the focus is on the glories of Lord Brahma. Similarly, those in the mode of ignorance, the focus is on the glories of Lord Siva and Agni.

No where is written about any Purana is mishrit somewhere not in Puranas but like where here only it is written that the Puranas which gives equality to all gods are focus on goddess Saraswati or ancestors.

But all 18 major Puranas are totally divided on the basis of satwa-rajas-tamas. Nowhere is mentioned about mishrit Puranas.

Now it is cleared that the classification of Puranas on the basis of satwa-rajas-tamas is useless.

Then also I have my own thinking on this topic :-

Tamas is sometimes referred as ignorant, but it also refers as darkness or the absolute when nothing was there.

So,let's move towards the Mahabharata verse to show this —

Here Narayana is the ultimate god.

The Shruti declares,--Day was not. Night was not. Aught was not. Naught was not. In the beginning there was only Tamas in the form of the universe, and she is the night of Narayana of universal form. Even this is the meaning of the word Tamas.

— The Mahabharata, Book 12: Santi Parva: Section CCCXLII

Then we know darkness  means tamas then see what Vedas say about it in this hymn:-

Well I am giving the full hymn as it is a good hymn:


  1. THEN was not non-existent nor existent: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it.What covered in, and where? and what gave shelter? Was water there, un-fathomed depth of water?

2 Death was not then, nor was there aught immortal: no sign was there, the day's and night's divider.That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever.

3 Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness this All was in-discriminated chaos.All that existed then was void and form less: by the great power of Warmth was born that Unit.

4 Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit.Sages who searched with their heart's thought discovered the existent's kinship in the non-existent.

5 Transversely was their severing line extended: what was above it then, and what below it?There were begetters, there were mighty forces, free action here and energy up yonder

6 Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this creation?The Gods are later than this world's production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?

7 He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it,Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.

So,the Vedas say darkness was there at first and the first universal nothingness  darkness means tamas that we got from Mahabharata.

Let's see what come after that tamas.

The Shvetashvatara Upanishad is one of the mukhya Upanishads. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad 4.18 also says the glory of tamas.

IV-18: When ignorance is dispelled, there is neither day nor night, neither being nor non-being. There is only Shiva who is imperishable, and who is worthy of being adored by the creator. From Him has proceeded the ancient wisdom.

So, we can say that the tamas guna referred for god Rudra and the tamsik purans is referred as which gives knowledge of absolute and take away from materialistic world to the absolute truth. Or if someone do not believe this then i have already proofed the classification of Puranas on the basis of satwa-rajas-tamas is entirely useless.

And it even does not correspond to Vedic knowledge.

Here is the proof:—

13 Glory to Gods, the mighty and the lesser glory to Gods the younger and the elder! Let us, if we have power, pay the God worship: no better prayer than this, ye Gods, acknowledge.

—Rig Veda 1.27.13

Vedas say to give equal respect to all gods.

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    "Now on my blog i have discussed about padma puran,smriti,shruti,jigyasa(curiosity) etc. Click here " This article sounds copied from blog. Plagiarism is not allowed here.
    – Pandya
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 12:05
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    my dear friend pandya it is my post of my blog only and ofcourse you can go on the given above link to conversate with me on my blog to which some content of my own blog i have pasted here. this is my blog link:— shivaandvishnu.blogspot Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 16:57
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    oh! so, you're the author of that blog. ok. Btw, I've put scriptural quotes in proper formatting, you may visit formatting guideline.
    – Pandya
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 17:01
  • 1
    Thank you dear friend pandya for your kind advice previously i was unaware of all that formating style of the website like bold. Thank you once again. Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 18:25
  • @Fiercelord where are you these days? :)
    – Rickross
    Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 17:37

Well, According to Mahā Bhārata all the Purānas are Equal.

“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, In Mahabharata (VedaVyasa) says that Mahabharata is the summary of all the 18 Puranas and all the 18 Puranas depends on Mahabharata itself.

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 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.


Skanda Purana in Kedara Khanda 1 says.:

अष्टादशपुराणेषु दशभिर्गीयते शिवः। चतुर्भिर्भगवान् ब्रह्मा द्वाभ्यां देवी तथा हरिः॥ ‘अठारह पुराणों में दस में शिव-स्तुति है, चार में ब्रह्मा की और दो में देवी तथा हरि की है।’

Which means out of the 18 Mahapuranas there are 10 of Shiva, 4 of Brahma, 2 of Devi and Vishnu each.

Chapter 2 of Sankara Samhita of Skandha Purana lists the name of 10 Shaiva Puranas as.:

तत्र शैवानि शैवं च भविष्यश्च द्विजोत्तमा:। मार्कण्डेयं तथा लैङ्गं वाराहं स्कान्दमेव च ।। मात्स्यमन्यत्तथा कौर्मे वामनं च मुनीश्वरा:। ब्रह्माण्डं च दशेमानि त्रीणि लक्षाणि संख्यया।। 31

The Shaiva Puranas are Shiva Purana, Bhavisya Purana, Markandeya Purana, Linga Purana, Varaha Purana, Skandha Purana, Matsya Purana, Kurma Purana, Vamana Purana and Brahmanda Purana making count of ten.

Again, the verse no 33 and 34 which gives name of 4 Vaishnava Puranas (as per that chapter of Skanda Purana).:

विष्णोर्हि वैष्णवं तद्वत् तथा भागवतं तथा। नारदीय पुराणं च गारुडं वैष्णवं विदु:।। 34

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

After some verses the same chapter says in 45–50 verses that 10 Shaiva Puranas are for the Brahamanas and are Satvik Purana and these 4 Vaishnava Puranas are Tamasic and are for Kshatriyas:

दश चैव पुराणानि सात्विकानि विदुर्बुधा। ब्रुवत्येव पुराणानि ब्राह्मणानां कथा: शुभा:। दश चैव पुराणानि हिंसा दोष पराङ्मुखम्। वैष्णवानि च चत्वारि तामसानि मुनीश्वराः। क्षत्रियाणां श्रुता धर्मा: तेषु तद्देवता हरि:।। 49

These ten Shaiva Puranas are known to be as Satvik Puranas. These Puranas with auspicious stories are for the Brahamanas. These ten Shaiva Puranas are beyond doshas like Himsa. Know these Four Vaishnava Puranas as Tamasic. They are for Kshatriyas and Devata is Hari in them.

Narada purāna says that Linga purāna is the greatest Puranās of all. This is given in Chapter 102.:

Lord Brahmā said to Nārada.: 4. It (Linga Purāna) indicates the greatness of Hara. It is greater than all the other Puranas. It is the essence of the three worlds.

Conclusion.: All Purānas are equal. Rest are all sectarian things. So, Sri Shiva Mahā Purānam is also a Sāttvik Purāna. Like Bhagawan Shiva himself. Prd..

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

  • You quoted the śloka 'अष्टादशपुराणेषु दशभिर्गीयते शिवः। चतुर्भिर्भगवान् ब्रह्मा द्वाभ्यां देवी तथा हरिः॥ ‘अठारह पुराणों में दस में शिव-स्तुति है, चार में ब्रह्मा की और दो में देवी तथा हरि की है।’ from Kedārakhaṇḍa of Skanda Purāṇa. Could you please tell at least the adhyāya no. too, which contains this śloka ? A whole lot of people quote this, but never mention śloka and adhyāya no.
    – Bingming
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 20:10
  • Actually, its in the Shankar Samhita of Skanda Purana see verse no. 49. Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 20:21
  • śloka 49 is not the same as what I was asking about. Also, you said in your answer that the śloka 'aṣṭādaśapurāṇeṣu....' is from Kedārakhaṇḍa.
    – Bingming
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 20:34


To understand it, one require to know the mysticim in hindu scriptures. Devatas = Law abiding Rakshas = Radicals

These Rakshasas (radicals) wanted power, prayed to Lord Shiva to get all their wishes & special astral weapons. So for things related to "Shakti", Lord Shiva is to be worshipped

For sustaining the ever changing "time / kaal", worshipping Lord Vishnu is seen

For getting knowledge (jnana) Lord Bramha and / or Goddess Saraswati.

So the Tamsic, Rajasic, Satvic = Trinity

Seeking boons on "shakti" primarily to defeat "others" falls under tamasic nature unlike jnana where a person is seeking knowledge.

Sri Adi Shankara prayed Lord Shiva & Goddess Durga (Mother), extensively as seeen from his writings, his seeking "shakti" was to invoke jnana in their followers or disciples (Professor seeking power to transform his students)

Shakti can be sought in different forms (Ravana vs Sri Adi Shankara contrast)

On corollary, when all desires die, one obtains moksha !!

In astrology, 3H, 7H, 11H (H=House/Bhava) are for desires, primarily lead to material desires and hence give raise to "tamasic nature", person is out to obtain it by sheer determination. Lord Shiva controls the burial grounds, for the restless souls need to be "contained" so that other normal souls can leave in peace !! In entire Shiva Purana, the stories are all about Rakshas seeking invisible & undefeatable powers, primarily less of bhakti than showing their superiority (in superficial comparison), unlike in Bhagatavam where primarily Lord Vishnu predominates, is all about devotee's obstacles, & lord helping them through his showering grace Object to rule (Shiva purana) (Tamsic) vs Object to divine surrender (Bhagavatam) (Rajasic) Rajasic = control over self Tamasic = control over self (little less) + dominate over others (predominant)

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    @Anonymous Thanks for your reply but I don't think just by giving some specific boons, a whole book should be said tamasic. Infact, I remember Ravana asking Lord Bramha for power to be invincible so Lord Bramha should also then come under tamasic category, isn't it. There are lot of instances when all of the Trimurtis have given such 'Shakti' boons/weapons to different people or helped them performing the same function, so all should be tamasic. This is certainly not the way of categorizing Tamasic, Satvik or Rajas.
    – Aby
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 14:11

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