From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Varāhapurāṇa is listed as the twelfth among the eighteen Mahāpurāṇas. It is a Vaiṣṇava work. It was taught by Varāha[1] to Bhudevī.[2] The extant texts have 217 or 218 chapters, the total number of verses being around 10,000, though some purāṇas like the Matsya mention it as 24,000. Six chapters are entirely in prose. It probably took the present shape before the tenth century A. D.

It deals with a number of stories and gives detailed accounts of vratas[3] and tīrthas.[4] It also deals with several topics normally dealt with in the dharmaśāstras such as:

  1. Śrāddha - obsequal rites
  2. Prāyaścittas - expiations
  3. Dāna - giving gifts
  4. Images and their worship
  5. Narakas - hells
  6. Others

Verses from this work have been extensively quoted in the dharmaśāstra treatises.


  1. Varāha is the third incarnation of Lord Viṣṇu.
  2. Bhudevī means Mother Earth.
  3. Vratas means religious rites.
  4. Tīrthas means places of pilgrimage.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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