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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Purāṇasamhitā literally means ‘collection of ancient anecdotes’.

The purāṇas are extremely popular in the society even today. Many religious rites, practices and also temple rituals are based on or connected with the purāṇas. The basic material of these purāṇas lies in the gāthās,[1] ākhyāyikās[2] upākhyānas[3] and kalpoktis,[4] often referred to even in the Vedic literature. The sage Vyāsa is said to have compiled them all into one treatise called the Purāṇasamhitā, which became the basic work for the later purāṇas and upapurāṇas.


  1. Gāthās means metrical songs or proverbial sayings.
  2. Ākhyāyikās means ancient tales.
  3. Upākhyānas means anecdotes.
  4. Kalpoktis means old sayings.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore