Vamana Purana is the only Purana, that gives a detailed and comprehensive account of the avatars, along with a number of other topics, including Puranas characteristics.
Order of Vamana Purana
Vamana Purana, according to Vishnu Purana, stands in the 14th rank in the Puranas order. However, Devi Bhagavata allotted it 8th and Linga Purana 13th positions. All these Puranas claim Vamana Purana as Mahapurana.
Origin of Vamana Purana
Sage Pulastya narrated Vamana Purana to Narada. Then in Naimisharanya, upon asked by other sages, Narada narrated it to them. Another edition says that Romaharshana Suta narrated to sages from Naimisharanya.
First verse of Vamana Purana
Below is the first verse of Vamana Purana, which salutes lord Vishnu in the Vamana form.
Trailokyarajyamacchidya balerindraya yo dadau |
Namastasyai sureshaya sada vamanarupin
Structure of Vamana Purana
10000 verses in total, are believed to be included in the Vamana Purana. It consists 5813 stanzas and 5 prose pieces which are stotras.
Date of Vamana Purana
It is widely believed to be composed between 100 AD to 200 AD. But Dr Vasudevasharana Agarwal says it was 7th AD.
Subject matter of Vamana Purana
Vamana Purana’s subject matter is described at its very beginning, where Narada asks Pulastya about assuming Vamana form by Vishnu, waging of a war by Prahalada, though a Bhagwata, against Gods acceptance of wifehood of Siva by Sati, the daughter of Daksha, the glory of the place of pilgrimage, account of Dana, vrata, Upasana, etc.
From the above information, it is evident that, Vamana Purana is originally a Vaishnava Purana, which gives an equal reverence to Saivism and other religious sects.
Vamana deals with Karma-vipaka the duty of castes and asramas, general customs, eatables and non-eatables, purity and impurity and Vishnu- worship. However, Vamana lacks, all the 5 themes and characteristics of the older Mahapuranas.
Also read: Do your duty without attachment
According to this Purana, lord Brahma taught 3 objects of existence in connection with the greatness of Trivikarma, which treats, Vamana-kalpa and which consists of 10000 verses is called the Vamana Purana. There is no mention of the Vamana kalpa, nor is the Purana said to have been narrated by Brahma.
The Saiva materials in the current Vamana, differing with the title and content given in the Matsya and the Skanda, show that, the Purana in its earlier form was a Vaishnava treatise, and was later recast by Siva worshippers, who changed the work with additions and alterations and made only little content available.
The Vamana Purana contains much material on Geography, sociology, history, culture and philosophy of ancient India. In the several places of Purana, the Pauranic narratives are lifted to the refinement of the greater art. The purana exhibits a variety of meters and poetic embellishments.
By Phani Ch