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Bhavisya Purana

The Bhavisya-purana has been classed among the major puranas and hence sometimes called the Bhavisya-mahapurana also. According to one printed version, it is divided into four books: Brahma Parva, Madhyamaparva, Pratisargaparva and Uttaraparva. In all, there are 585 chapters and 26,000 slokas. The last book is sometimes treated as an independent purana entitled Bhavisyottara-purana. Minus this book, the number of verses comes to 14,000 or 14,500, a number generally and widely accepted by the scholars based on the information given in other puranas like The Matsya and the Agni.

The whole purana is a miscellany dealing with a variety of subjects. The upasana (worship) of Surya, the Sun-god, has been given a prominent place. Details concerning the construction of temples, making and consecration of images, varieties of vratas or religious observances motivated by desires, sins and their expiations, dana or giving gifts these are some of the other subjects dealt with in the work.

The Bhavisya Purana is a veritable storehouse of several topics normally dealt with in the dharmasastras. The following is the list of some selected topics: the sixteen samskaras or sacraments like namakarana and upanayana; rules concerning the study of the Vedas; some aspects of varnasrama-dharma: a good number of vratas or religious observances slated for certain days; snakes and their worship; praise and worship of Surya, the sun-god; creation of this world and a description of this earth; several types of dana or giving gifts ceremonially; description of good conduct.

A very interesting aspect of this purana is the bringing of the Maga brahmanas from the Sakadvipa into our country by Samba, son of Shri Krisna and getting them settled on the banks of the river Candrabhaga. They were Zoroastrians from Persia. They gradually integrated themselves into the Hindu society. Sun-worship in India got a boost because of them.

This purana has been called Bhavisyapurana, purana predicting future events, probably because it gives the genealogy of the kings who will come in future and the way they rule the country.