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Book Details

The Vishnu Purana: A System of Hindu Mythology and Tradition
Horace Hayman Wilson
Trubner, 1870

Vishnu Purana with Vishnuchittiyam commentary
Vishnuchitta Alwar (also known as Engalalvan), edited by PB Annangaracharya
1922, Kanchipuram

Vishnu Puranamu
K. Bhavanarayana

Kaliprasanna Vidyaratna
1926, Shri Sitanath Ray and Sons

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About the Vishnu Puran

A purana is a story about the deeds and life of a deity. They are part of the mythic literature of Hinduism, together with the epics like the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Traditionally, there are 18 Puranas, and a few lesser Puranas or Upapuranas. The 18 major Puranas include the Skanda Purana, Padma Purana, Naradiya Purana, Shiv Puran, Varaha Purana, Vishnu Purana, Garuda Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Brahmavaivarta Purana, Kurma Purana, Agni Purana, Matsya Purana, Bhavisya Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Vamana Purana, Brahma Purana, Linga Purana, and Markandeya Purana.

The Vishnu Purana is notable for providing the chart for the measurement of time in the Hindu way of life. This is given as follows:
kashtha - 15 twinklings of the eye
kala - 30 kashthas
muhurtta - 30 kalas
ahoratra (and vara or tithi) - 30 muhurttas; a human day and night
masa - a lunar month; 30 human days
paksha - half of a lunar month; 15 days waxing and 15 days waning
ayana - 6 human months; 180 days
2 ayanas - human lunar year of 360 days
southern ayana - night of a deva (god); human lunar half year of 180 days
northern ayana - a day of the gods human lunar half year of 180 days
sandhya - period that precedes each yuga, it lasts for 400, 300, 200, and 100 divine years, depending on the yuga
krita-yuga - 4,000 divine years; 1,728,000 human years (144,000 +1,440,000 +144,000)
treta-yuga - 3,000 divine years; 1,296,000 human years
dvapara-yuga - 2,000 divine years; 864,000 human years
kali-yuga - 1,000 divine years; 432,000 human years
chatur-yuga (four yugas) or mahâyuga - 12,000 divine years; 4.32 million human years
manvantara or mahâyuga - the reign of a 4.32 million human years of Manu
ardha-kalpa - a half kalpa, the night or day of Brahma, 1,000 mahâyugas; 4.32 trillion human years
kalpa - 2 ardha-kalpas; a day and night of Brahma; 8.64 trillion human years
a day or night of Vishnu - 1,000 ardha-kalpas; 4.32 quadrillion human years
a day and night of Vishnu - 2000 kalpas; reign of 8.64 quadrillion human years
a year of Vishnu - 360 Vishnu days and nights
mahâkalpa - 100 Vishnu years, a VIshnu lifetime; 3.110417 human years
laya - the destruction at the end of a manvantara or mahayuga
pralaya - after each day of Vishnu, a dissolution of the universe
mahâpralaya - the great dissolution after the lifetime of a Vishnu
srishthi - creation (literally, “discharge”)
prasrishthi - creation before each kalpa
mahaprasrishti - great creation before each Brahma
mahaprasthiti - the entire period of evolution in the lifetime of one Vishnu

Vishnu is one of the more popular gods of Hinduism in recent centuries, primarily in his form as Rama and Krishna. His importance emerges clearly in literature such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, where he is depicted sending a portion of himself to earth to take human form (as Rama and Krishna, respectively) to restore Dharma and defeat the forces of disorder. He is regarded as having responsibility for maintaining the world, Brahma acting as creator and Shiva as destroyer.

Other Resources

1. Mahabharata Stories

2. Leela - An exploration of Krishna's Path by Sadhguru. A free weekly webstream.

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