Lomaharshana now gave the sages a list of the eighteen mahapuranas. In the beginning, there was only one Purana. The sage Vedavyasa divided this original Purana into eighteen mahapuranas. The mahapuranas have four lakh shlokas all together and their names are as follows. (i) The Brahma Purana: This was originally recited by Brahma to the sage Marichi and has thirteen thousand shlokas. This text should be donated on a full moon night (purnima) in the month of Vaishakha. Such a donation brings undying punya. (ii) The Padma Purana: This has fifty-five thousand shlokas and should be donated in the month of Jyaishtha. (iii) The Vishnu Purana: This was first recited by the sage Parashara and has twenty-three thousand shlokas. It is auspicious to donate this text in the month of Ashada. (iv) The Vayu Purana: This has twenty- four thousand shlokas and was first recited by the wind-god Vayu. It should be donated in the month of Shravana. (v) The Bhagavata Purana: This has eighteen thousand shlokas and should be donated in the month of Bhadra, on the night of the full moon. (vi) The Narada Purana: this was first recited by the sage Narada and has twenty-five thousand shokas. It should be donated on the night of the new moon (amavasya) in the month of Ashvina. (vii) The Markandeya Purana: This has nine thousand shlokas. A person desirous of obtaining punya should donate this text in month of Margashirsa. (viii) The Agni Purana: This was first recited by the fire-god Agni to the sage Vashishtha. It has sixteen thousand shlokas and should be donated in the month of Margashirsha. (ix) The Bhavishya Purana: Brahma himself was the first reciter of this Purana and it has fourteen thousand and five hundred shlokas. It is primarily concerned with what is due
to happen in the future. The text should be donated on the occasion of purnima, in the month of Pousha. (x) The Brahmavaivarta Purana: This was first recited by Savarni Manu to the sage Narada. It has eighteen thousand shlokas and should be donated on purnima in the month of Magha. (xi) The Linga Purana: Brahma recited this first and it has eleven thousand sholkas. Punya is acquired if this text is donated in the month of Falguna. (xii) The Varaha Purana: The great Vishnu first recited this to the earth. It has twenty-four thousand shlokas and is to be donated in the month of Chaitra. (xiii) The Skanda Purana: This was composed by the god Skanda or Kartikeya. It has eighty-one thousand shlokas and one desirous of punya donates the text in the month of Chaitra. (xiv) The Vamana Purana: Brahma was the first person to recite this. It has ten thousand shlokas and the text should be donated in early autumn (sharat). (xv) The Kurma Purana: Vishnu recited this in his form of a turtle. It has eighteen thousand shlokas and should be donated at the time of the equinoxes. (xvi) The Matsya Purana: Vishnu recited this in his form of a fish to Manu. It has fourteen thousand shlokas and should be donated at the time of the equinoxes. (xvii) The Garuda Purana: Krishna was the first person to recite this and it has eighteen thousand shlokas. (xviii) The Brahmanda Purana: Brahma recited this and it has twelve thousand and two hundred shlokas. But these Puranas, as stated, are merely for human consumption. Much longer versions are read by the gods. The total number of shlokas in the Puranas that the gods read is one hundred crores.