Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 1 Chapter 3
THE FIRST BOOK
On praising the Purāṇas and on each Vyāsa of every Dvāpara Yuga
1-11. Sūta said:
“O best of the Munis! I am now telling you the names of the Purāṇas, etc., exactly as I have heard from Veda Vyāsa, the son of Satyavati; listen.
The Purāṇa beginning with "ma" are two in number; those beginning with “bha” are two; those beginning with “bra" are three; those beginning with "va” are four; those beginning respectively with “A”, “na”, “pa”, “Ling”, “ga”, “ku” and “Ska” are one each
and “ma” means Matsya Purāṇa, Mārkandeya Purāṇa;
“Bha” signifies Bhaviṣya, Bhāgavat Purāṇas;
“Bra” signifies Brahmā, Brahmāṇḍa and Brahmāvaivarta Purāṇas;
“va” signifies Vāman, Vāyu, Viṣṇu and Varaha Purāṇas;
“A” signifies Agni Purāṇa;
“Na” signifies Nārada Purāṇa;
“Pa” signifies Padma Purāṇa;
“Ling” signifies Linga Purāṇa;
“Ga” signifies Govinda Purāṇa ;
Ku signifies Kurma Purāṇa and
“Ska” signifies Skanda Purāṇa.
These are the eighteen Purāṇas.
In the Matsya Purāṇa there are fourteen thousand Ślokas;
in the wonderfully varied Mārkandeya Pūraṇaṁ there are nine thousand Ślokas.
In the Bhaviṣya Purāṇa fourteen thousand and five hundred Ślokas are counted by the Munis, the seers of truth.
In the holy Bhāgavata there are eighteen thousand Ślokas;
in the Brahma Purāṇa there are Ajuta (ten thousand) Ślokas.
In the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa there are twelve thousand one hundred Ślokas;
in the Brahma Vaivarta Purāṇa there are eighteen thousand Ślokas.
In the Vāman Purāṇa there are Ajuta (ten thousand) Ślokas;
in the Vāyu Purāṇa there are twenty-four thousand and six hundred Ślokas;
in the greatly wonderful Viṣṇu Purāṇa there are twenty-three thousand Ślokas;
in the Agni Purāṇa there are sixteen thousand Ślokas;
in the Brihat Nārada Purāṇa, there are twenty-five thousand Ślokas,
in the big Padma Purāṇa there are fifty-five thousand Ślokas;
in the voluminous Linga Purāṇa eleven thousand Ślokas exist;
in the Garuda Purāṇa spoken by Hari nineteen thousand Ślokas exist;
in the Kurma Purāṇa, seventeen thousand Ślokas exist and
in the greatly wonderful Skanda Purāṇa there are eighty-one thousand Ślokas,
O sinless Rishis! Thus I have described to you the names of all the Purāṇas and the number of verses contained in them. Now hear about the Upa Purāṇas.
12-17. The first is the Upapurāṇa narrated by Sanat Kumāra; next comes Narasimha Purāṇa; then Naradiya Purāṇa, Śiva Purāṇa, Purāṇa narrated by Durvasa, Kapila Purāṇa, Manava Purāṇa, Auśanasa Purāṇa, Varuna Purāṇa. Kālika Purāṇa, Samva Purāṇa, Nandi Keśwara Purāṇa, Saura Purāṇa, Purāṇa spoken by Parāsara, Āditya Purāṇa, Mahēśvara Purāṇa, Bhāgavata and Vaṣiṣṭha Purāṇa. These Upa Purāṇas are described by the Mahātmas.
After compiling the eighteen Purāṇas, Veda Vyāsa, the son of Satyavati composed Mahābhārata that has no rival among these Purāṇas.
18-24. At every Manvantara, in each Dvāpara Yuga, Veda Vyāsa expounds the Purāṇas duly to preserve the religion. Veda Vyāsa is no other person than Viṣṇu Himself; He, in the form of Veda Vyāsa, divides the (one) Veda into four parts, in every Dvāpara Yuga, for the good of the world.
The Brāhmaṇas of the Kali age are short-lived and their intellect (Buddhi) is not sharp; they cannot realise the meaning after studying the Vedas; knowing this in every Dvāpara Yuga Bhagavan expounds the holy Purāṇa Samhitās.
The more so because women, Śudras, and the lower Dvijas are not entitled to hear the Vedas; for their good, the Purāṇas have been composed.
The present auspicious Manvantara is Vaivasvata; it is the seventh in due order; and the son of Satyavati, the best of the knowers of Dharma, is the Veda Vyāsa of the 28th Dvāpara Yuga of this seventh Manvantara. He is my Guru; in the next Dvāpara, Yuga Asvatthama, the son of Droṇa will be the Veda Vyāsa. Twenty-seven Veda Vyāsas had expired and they duly compiled each their own Purāṇa Samhitās in their own Dvāpara Yugas.
25-35. The Rishis said:
O highly fortunate Sūta! kindly describe to us the names of the previous Veda Vyāsas, the reciters of the Purāṇas in the Dvāpara Yugas.
In the first Dvāpara, Brahma Himself divided the Vedas; in the second Dvāpara, the first Prajāpati Vyāsa did the same; so Śakra, in the third, Brihaspati, in the fourth, Surya in the fifth; Yama, in the sixth, Indra, in the seventh, Vasistha, in the eighth; Sarasvata Ṛṣi in the ninth, Tridhama, in the tenth; Trivriṣa, in the eleventh, Bharadvāja, in the twelfth; Antariksha, in the thirteenth; Dharma, in the fourteenth; Evaruni in the fifteenth; Dhananjaya, in the sixteenth; Medhatithi in the seventeenth; Vrati, in the eighteenth; Atri, in the nineteenth; Gautama in the twentieth, Uttama, whose soul was fixed on Hari, in the twenty-first, Vājasravā Vena, in the twenty second; his family descendant Soma in the twenty-third; Trinaviṇdu, in the twenty-fourth; Bhārgava, in the twenty-fifth; Śakti, in the twenty-sixth, Jātūkarṇya in the twenty-seventh and Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana became the twenty-eighth Veda Vyāsa in the Dvāpara Yugas.
Thus I have spoken of the 28 Veda Vyāsas, as I heard. I have heard the holy Śrīmad Bhagavatī from the month of Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana. This removes all troubles, yields all desires, and gives Mokṣa and is full of the meanings of the Vedas. This treatise contains the essence of all the Śāstras and is dear always to the Mumukṣas (those who want Mokṣa or liberation).
36-43. O best Munis! Thus, compiling the Purāṇas Veda Vyāsa thought this Purāṇa to be the best; so (without teaching it to other persons) he settled that his own son the high-souled Śuka Deva born of the dry woods used for kindling fire (excited by attrition), having no passion for the worldly things, would be the fit student to be taught this Purāṇa and therefore taught him;
at that time I was a fellow student along with Śūka Deva and I heard everything from the mouth of Vyāsa Deva and realised the secret meanings thereof. This has happened through the grace of the merciful Guru Veda Vyāsa.
Here ends the Third Chapter of Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam on praising the Purāṇas and on each Vyāsa of every Dvāpara Yuga.