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| [[తామసం (తత్వశాస్త్రం)|తామస]] ("చీకటి; అజ్ఞానం") || [[మత్స్య పురాణము]], [[కూర్మ పురాణము|కూర్మ పురాణం]], [[లింగ పురాణము]], [[శివ పురాణం]] [[స్కంద పురాణం]], [[అగ్ని పురాణం]]
|}
==Manuscripts==
[[File:Devimahatmya Sanskrit MS Nepal 11c.jpg|thumb|300px|An 11th-century Nepalese palm-leaf manuscript in Sanskrit of Devimahatmya (Markandeya Purana).]]
The study of Puranas manuscripts has been challenging because they are highly inconsistent.<ref name=ludorocher59m>Ludo Rocher (1986), The Puranas, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, {{ISBN|978-3447025225}}, pages 59-67</ref><ref>Gregory Bailey (2003), The Study of Hinduism (Editor: Arvind Sharma), The University of South Carolina Press, {{ISBN|978-1570034497}}, pages 141-142</ref> This is true for all Mahapuranas and Upapuranas.<ref name=ludorocher59m/> Most editions of Puranas, in use particularly by Western scholars, are "based on one manuscript or on a few manuscripts selected at random", even though divergent manuscripts with the same title exist. Scholars have long acknowledged the existence of Purana manuscripts that "seem to differ much from printed edition", and it is unclear which one is accurate, and whether conclusions drawn from the randomly or cherrypicked printed version were universal over geography or time.<ref name=ludorocher59m/> This problem is most severe with Purana manuscripts of the same title, but in regional languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and others which have largely been ignored.<ref name=ludorocher59m/>
 
{{Quote|
Modern scholarship noticed all these facts. It recognized that the extent of the genuine Agni Purana was not the same at all times and in all places, and that it varied with the difference in time and locality. (...) This shows that the text of the Devi Purana was not the same everywhere but differed considerably in different provinces. Yet, one failed to draw the logical conclusion: besides the version or versions of Puranas that appear in our [surviving] manuscripts, and fewer still in our [printed] editions, there have been numerous other versions, under the same titles, but which either have remained unnoticed or have been irreparably lost.
|Ludo Rocher|The Puranas<ref name="Ludo Rocher 1986 page 63"/><ref>Rajendra Hazra (1956), Discovery of the genuine Agneya-purana, Journal of the Oriental Institute Baroda, Vol. 4-5, pages 411-416</ref>}}
 
===Chronology===
Newly discovered Puranas manuscripts from the medieval centuries has attracted scholarly attention and the conclusion that the Puranic literature has gone through slow redaction and text corruption over time, as well as sudden deletion of numerous chapters and its replacement with new content to an extent that the currently circulating Puranas are entirely different from those that existed before 11th century, or 16th century.<ref name=dominicifixvii/>
 
For example, a newly discovered palm-leaf manuscript of Skanda Purana in [[Nepal]] has been dated to be from 810 CE, but is entirely different from versions of Skanda Purana that have been circulating in South Asia since the colonial era.<ref name="R Andriaensen 1994 pages 325-331"/><ref name=dominicifixvii>Dominic Goodall (2009), Parākhyatantram, Vol 98, Publications de l'Institut Français d'Indologie, {{ISBN|978-2855396422}}, pages xvi-xvii</ref> Further discoveries of four more manuscripts, each different, suggest that document has gone through major redactions twice, first likely before the 12th century, and the second very large change sometime in the 15th-16th century for unknown reasons.<ref name=kengoharimoto/> The different versions of manuscripts of Skanda Purana suggest that "minor" redactions, interpolations and corruption of the ideas in the text over time.<ref name=kengoharimoto>Kengo Harimoto (2004), in Origin and Growth of the Purāṇic Text Corpus (Editor: Hans Bakker), Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120820494}}, pages 41-64</ref>
 
Rocher states that the date of the composition of each Purana remains a contested issue.{{Sfn|Rocher|1986|p=249}}{{Sfn|Gregory Bailey|2003|pp=139-141, 154-156}} Dimmitt and van Buitenen state that each of the Puranas manuscripts is encyclopedic in style, and it is difficult to ascertain when, where, why and by whom these were written:{{Sfn|Dimmitt|van Buitenen|2012|p=5}}
 
{{Quote|
As they exist today, the Puranas are a stratified literature. Each titled work consists of material that has grown by numerous accretions in successive historical eras. Thus no Purana has a single date of composition. (...) It is as if they were libraries to which new volumes have been continuously added, not necessarily at the end of the shelf, but randomly.
|Cornelia Dimmitt and [[J. A. B. van Buitenen|J.A.B. van Buitenen]]|''Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas''{{Sfn|Dimmitt|van Buitenen|2012|p=5}}}}
 
===Forgeries===
Many of the extant manuscripts were written on [[palm leaf manuscript|palm leaf]] or copied during the British India colonial era, some in the 19th century.{{Sfn|Rocher|1986|pp=49-53}}<ref name="Powell2010p128"/> The scholarship on various Puranas, has suffered from frequent forgeries, states [[Ludo Rocher]], where liberties in the transmission of Puranas were normal and those who copied older manuscripts replaced words or added new content to fit the theory that the colonial scholars were keen on publishing.{{Sfn|Rocher|1986|pp=49-53}}<ref name="Powell2010p128">{{cite book|author=Avril Ann Powell|title=Scottish Orientalists and India: The Muir Brothers, Religion, Education and Empire|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=KOnS1X8a528C|year=2010|publisher=Boydell & Brewer|isbn=978-1-84383-579-0|pages=130, 128–134, 87–90}}</ref>
 
===Translations===
[[Horace Hayman Wilson]] published one of the earliest English translations of one version of the Vishnu Purana in 1840.<ref>HH Wilson (1840), [https://archive.org/stream/worksbylatehorace06wils#page/n5/mode/2up Vishnu Purana] Trubner and Co., Reprinted in 1864</ref> The same manuscript, and Wilson's translation, was reinterpreted by Manmatha Nath Dutt, and published in 1896.<ref>MN Dutt (1896), [https://archive.org/stream/Vishnupurana-English-MnDutt#page/n1/mode/2up Vishnupurana] Eylsium Press, Calcutta</ref> The All India Kashiraj Trust has published editions of the Puranas.<ref>{{Harvnb|Mittal|2004|p=657}}</ref>
 
Maridas Poullé (Mariyadas Pillai) published a French translation from a Tamil version of the Bhagavata Purana in 1788, and this was widely distributed in Europe becoming an introduction to the 18th-century Hindu culture and Hinduism to many Europeans during the colonial era. Poullé republished a different translation of the same text as ''Le Bhagavata'' in 1795, from [[Pondicherry]].<ref>[[Jean Filliozat]] (1968), Tamil Studies in French Indology, in Tamil Studies Abroad, Xavier S Thani Nayagam, pages 1-14</ref> A copy of Poullé translation is preserved in [[Bibliothèque nationale de France]], Paris.
 
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