Difference Between Vedas and Puranas

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 16, 2022, 9:32

Vedas and Puranas are significant parts of Indian culture and literature. Vedas are believed to be the ancient pieces of literature written in Sanskrit during the age-old Vedic period. The meaning of the word Veda is knowledge. The texts were heard in meditation by ancient sages and passed down verbally to students before they were compiled.

Puranas, on the other hand, are a collection of literature covering a variety of topics. Written basically in Sanskrit, Puranas were translated into many other Indian languages over time. They are like an encyclopaedia of tales about legends, heroes, gods, theories, folk tales, and more. Check the Difference Between Vedas and Puranas.

Difference Between Vedas and Puranas

While both Vedas and Puranas are ancient texts in Indian literature, they are different from each other. Firstly, Vedas are older than Puranas, written thousands of years back around 1500-500BC. They are known to be compiled by Veda Vyasa.

Puranas were probably composed between the 3rd and the 10th century. These are known to have originated from a disciple of Veda Vyas, Lomaharshana, and three others.

There is one Maha Purana, 17 Major Puranas, 18 Minor Puranas with more than 400,000 verses. They are called Smriti meaning what is remembered. There are four Vedas that exist Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda.

Each Veda is further categorized into Brahmanas, Upanishads, Samhitas, and Aranyakas based on what they talk about. Puranas describe a variety of topics though they are traditionally known to talk about five main subjects.

Vedas are regarded as sacred Hindu scriptures while Puranas, though influential in the Hindu culture, don't enjoy the authority of religious texts of Hinduism. What sets Vedas apart from other scriptures is their identity of Shruti used to describe highly religious and authoritative texts in the Hindu religion.

Puranas are inconsistent and influenced by their writer and the time they were created. The relationship between Vedas and Puranas is a matter of debate for scholars, some say they are not related while others argue they are identical and complementary to each other.

The Vedas and the Puranas together form the philosophical crux of Hinduism, with works from numerous yogis being contributed to the main texts over 1,000s of years, along with reviews and commentaries to further enhance their value.

The difference between Vedas and Puranas is just that the Vedas are predominantly religious scripts, whereas Puranas are extensive works of literature that build on Hindu philosophy.

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FAQs on the Difference Between Vedas and Puranas

Q.1. Which Is The Last Purana?

The last Purana is the Srimad Bhagavat Puran or Srimad Bhagavatam.

Q.2. What Is The Fifth Veda?

Mahabharath is regarded as the fifth Veda as most of the teachings of the religion are contained in this scripture.

The text also captures the detailed exposition about the goals of mankind and the truths of life. This is why it is hailed as the fifth Veda.

Q.3. What Subjects Are Discussed In Puranas?

Puranas deal with five main subjects including The Human Era, The Creation of The Universe, The Gods and Supernaturals, The History of the Solar and Lunar Dynasties, and the Secondary Creation after Periodic Annihilation.

Q.4. What Are The Four Main Vedas?

The Rigved contains mythological hymns, the Samaveda consists of hymns about rituals, the Yajurved talks about instructions for sacred rituals and Atharvaveda contains spells against diseases, enemies, and sorcerers.