Author: A Compilation
Publisher: Gita Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8129302837
The word purana means old or ancient. Thus the puranas are old and ancient texts that have come down to us through the ages. They have stories about famous people and descriptions of religion and society of those times.
The Brahma Purana is not only the first in the list of mahapuranas, it is also believed to have been the first to be composed. Accordingly, it is sometimes referred to as the adi (first or original) Puranas. This purana has almost nineteen thousand shlokas; it is medium-sized, as puranas go. These couplets are divided into 245 chapters.
What exactly is a mahapurana? The puranas themselves give a definition of a mahapurana. According to this definition, to be categorized as mahapuranas, any text has to exhibit five characteristics. That is, there are five subjects that the text must describe. These five subjects are the original creation of the universe, the periodical process of destruction and re-creation, the different eras, the histories of the solar dynasty and lunar dynasty, and royal genealogies. The Brahma Purana does describe all these five subjects.