Vamana is assigned fourteenth position in the list of eighteen Mahapuranas or major Puranic texts, preceded by Skanda and suceeded by Kurma. It gets its name after Vamana or the dwarf incarnation of God Visnu, which is the first human incarnation preceded by the “Fish”, “Tortoise”.
“Boar” and “Man-Lion” incarnations that can, by the way, be seen as corresponding to the earlier stages of the evolution of life on the earth, the main pupose of the Purana being a description of the legend of the demon Bali, grandson of Prahlada, the Visnu devotee par excellence, suffering a great discomfiture due to very tactful manoeuvre resorted by God Visnu as the dwarf.
The extent text of Vamana has 95 chapters and approximately 6,000 slokas, though Bhagavata and some other Puranas state that Vamana has an Uttarabhaga also containing four Samhitas of 1000 slokas each, which, however, has not been discovered so far. As the title indicates, this Purana has mainly a Vaisnava theme but Saiva material also forms an integral part of it, e.g., ›ivaís killing of the demon Andhaka, marriage of Siva and Parvati, birth of Ganesa and Karttikeya, defeat of Mahisasura by Devi, glorification of Sivalingas and their installation. The legends, stories and episodes included in this Purana re generally of the same type as found in other Puranas.
About the Author
Skanda Purana – Part 22: Ancient Indian Tradition & Mythology – Vol. 70 (HB)
G.P. Bhatt (Author)