Narad Puran or Vaishnav Puran
'Narad Puran' is called as Vaishnav Puran because like Shrimad Bhagwat and Vishnu Puran, its theme also is devotion to Vishnu. The gist of all of the eighteen Purans is narrated in this Puran. Besides there is detailed analysis of mythological and educative descriptions, the stories related with the important vrats of the twelve months, its method of worship, glory of ekadashi (eleventh day of a month) vrat, the science of mantra and astrology, the glory of holy Ganga and pilgrim spots situated at her bank, etiquettes and dharma of varnashram, stories inspiring devotion, and the spiritual philosophy.
This Puran begins with the five questions raised before Sootji by rishi-munis:
1. Which is the easiest method to please Lord Vishnu?
2. What is the benefit of devotion and what should be the appearance of the devotees of God?
3. How can man attain emancipation (moksha)?
4. What is the actual form of varnashram?
5. How should guests be received?
The gist of the answers of these questions as offered by Maharshi Lomharshan Sootji is as follows:
1. The easy way to realize Lord Vishnu lies in observing reverence, devotion, and good conduct.
2. Lord Vishnu's blessings are obtained through devotion. This is the greatest reward of life. Those have been said to be true devotees who observe selfless devotion to Lord Vishnu.
3. Man can achieve closeness to God which means that he can attain emancipation (moksha) by dedicating his mind in Shri Vishnu's feet through selfless devotion by regulating his senses.
4. There have been said to be four varna - Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra; and there have been said to be four ashrams - brahmcharya, grihastha, vaanprastha, and sanyas. The duty of Brahmin is to do yajna and rituals, Kshatriya has to protect people, for Vaishya business etc., and Shudra has to serve the three class of the people mentioned above. Among ashrams, brahmcharya should be observed with special strictness and the grihastha should take care of the men in other three ashrams.
5. Guest should be given great reception as if he is the real God.
It is evident from the above statements that the human values, the related rules, actions and dharma have been analysed in detail in the Narad Puran. Besides Vishnu's worship, there is description of method of mantra and worship of Shri Ram, Hanuman, Krishna, Kali, and Shiv in this Puran. Number of Verses and Sections
There are twenty-five thousand (25,000) verses in Narad Puran. The total Puran is divided into two sections - first part and second part. There are one hundred and twenty-five chapters in the first part and eighty-two chapters in the second part. Thus the entire Narad Puran is narrated in two hundred and seven (207) chapters.