The Puranas are collections of mythology, hymns, ancient history, rules of life, rituals, instructions and knowledge, cosmology. Most attained their final written form around 500 AD. Today they are among the most commonly used scriptural texts.
There are 18 Puranas, with six each dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. In all the Puranas the goddess Lakshmi is given a prominent place without any sectarian dispute.
The most important Puranas are:
- Vishnu Purana
- Bhagavata Purana (Krishna)
- Shiva Purana
- Markendeya Purana (to the Goddess)