The Vayu Purana
: वायु पुराण) is a Shaiva Purana
, a Hindu
religious text, dedicated to the god Vayu
(the wind god), containing about 24,000 shlokas
refers to this work in his Kadambari
. In the Harshacharita
he says that this text was read out to him in his native village
Alberuni (973 -1048), the noted Persian scholar, describes eighteen Puranas in his works and Vayu Purana is said to have ranked as a sacred scripture, even prior to 600 AD .
The extant text is divided into four padas
(chapters 1-6), Anushanga-pada
(chapters 7-64), Upodghata-pada
(chapter 65-99) and Upasamhara-pada
(chapters 100-112). The Gayamahatmya
(chapters 105-112), praising the Gaya tirtha
is not found in all the manuscripts of this work and also found sepaarately as an independent work.
The Vayu Purana deals with the following topics: creation and re-creation of the universe; measurement of the Kala (time); Origin of Agni, Varuna and a number of gods; origin and descendants of Atri, Bhrigu, Angiras and some other sages, daityas, rakshasas, gandharvas and pitrs; origin of animals, birds, trees and creepers; genealogies of the ancient kings descended from Vaivasvata Manu and Ila and the kings of Kaliyuga ending with the Gupta dynasty; detailed geography of the earth divided into seven dvipas and further sub-divided into the varshas; accounts of inhabitants of different dvipas; names and descritption of the seven Patalas (netherworlds); description of the solar system and the movements of the celestial bodies; description of the four yugas and fourteen manvantaras. It also contains chapters on music, various shakhas of the Vedas, Pashupata-yoga, duties of the people belong to different castes and funeral rites.
- Mani, Vettam. Puranic Encyclopedia. 1st English ed. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1975.