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Kurma Purana

The present Kurma Purana comprising two parts claims to be the first section called Brahmisamhita of a much bigger work consisting of four samhitas or sections viz., Brahmi, Bhagavati, Sauri and Vaisnavi. However the last three seem to have been lost.

Lord Visnu taught this purana in his incarnation as Kurma or tortoise, to the sages like Narada. Hence the name Kurma Purana.

A brief synopsis of the contents may now be presented here: the duties of the four varnas and the four asramas: evolution of the prakrti (primeval nature) into the world; story of Svayambhuva Manu and his wife Satarupa; story of Daksa; story of Vamana and Bali; genealogies of some risis and kings; description of the yaduvamsa (the lineage of the king Yadu); greatness of Kasi and Prayaga, the two well-known pilgrim centres; description of the physical features of the world and of Jambudvipa which contains Bharatavarsa; division of the Vedas; the famous Isvaragita; on sraddhas or after-death rites; on prayascittas or expiations for sins; pralaya or destruction of the created world.