Kurma Purana, translated by Bibek DebroyThis is the seventh Purana that I am reviewing. It is the fifteenth Purana in order, and is a Tamasika Purana.
You must be a little confused at this point. Doesn’t the name clearly state ‘Kurma’ Purana, and one of Vishnu’s avatara’s was the Kuma avatara? Here is where everyone gets confused. This Purana got its name because Lord Vishnu narrated this Purana when he was in the form of a turtle (kurma), hence Kurma Purana. This Purana is seventeen thousand shlokas long, and is divided into four samhitas (sections). They are the Brahmi samhita, the Bhagvati samhita, the Souri samhita, and the Vaishnavi samhita. Unfortunately, only the Brahmi Samhita is available to us now, and goes by the name of the Kurma Purana. The Brahmi samhita is divided into two parts, which are the Purva bhaga and the Upari bhaga. The Purva bhaga has fifty-two chapters, and the Upari bhaga has forty-four chapters.