Naradiya Purana

Naradiya Purana

The Naradiya Purana and the Brihannaradiya Purana are two significant texts in Vaishnavism, written in Sanskrit. Each offers a distinct perspective on various facets of Hinduism, albeit with differing emphases.


Differentiating the Two Texts

The Brihannaradiya Purana primarily centers on the worship of Vishnu, devoting itself to festivals, rituals, and ceremonies within Vaishnavism. It accentuates the glory of sacred places like Prayaga and Kashi, along with discussions on ethical duties, rites, and the varnas and ashramas in Hindu society.

In contrast, the Naradiya Purana combines elements of Vishnu worship with a diverse range of subjects. While a portion specifically focuses on Vishnu worship, the rest encompasses an encyclopedic array of topics. These include discussions on Vedangas, moksha, dharma, philosophy, and methods of worship spanning various deities like Ganesha, Rama, Krishna, Shiva, and others.

Historical Significance and Composition

Historically, these texts hold immense importance, evident from their acknowledgment in manuscripts of many Major Puranas. Initially causing confusion due to their appearance in both major and minor Purana lists, later research established the Narada or Naradiya as the Major Purana and the Brihannaradiya as the Upapurana.

The dating of these texts remains contested. While some scholars suggest a more recent composition in the 16th or 17th century, others propose a more staggered origin, with certain sections potentially dating back to the 9th century.

Content Overview

An intriguing aspect of the Naradiya Purana is its detailed summary of the 18 major Puranas, allocating an entire chapter to each. These summaries differ significantly from the extant manuscripts of the major Puranas, indicating revisions post the Naradiya Purana‘s composition.

Moreover, the text delves into diverse topics spanning flora, fauna, arts, culture, and war theories. It even extols Buddha, showcasing an openness to different traditions within its verses.

Unique Features and Legends

Both texts contain unique narratives. The Brihannaradiya Purana features legends surrounding Vishnu, while the Naradiya Purana narrates the story of King Rukmangada, subjected to trials testing his devotion to Vishnu.

Another notable aspect is the geographic Mahatmyas found in the Naradiya Purana, serving as travel guides for pilgrimages along the Ganges (Ganga), shedding light on sacred sites and regions like Haridwar, Kashi, Gaya, and Nepal.


In conclusion, the Naradiya Purana and Brihannaradiya Purana stand as significant texts in Vaishnavism, offering insights into Vishnu worship, diverse philosophical discussions, and invaluable historical and cultural information. Despite the debates surrounding their origins, these texts continue to be revered for their distinct contributions to Hindu scripture and heritage.

Leave a Reply