Although the size of Vishnu Puran is very brief among all I he eighteen Purans, yet it is placed superior and important in comparison to the other Purans owing to the description of the knowledge which removes illusion, substances, morals, and discourses narrated in it. That is why, the place of Vishnu Puran is highly important and appropriate in the ranking of eighteen Purans. Created by Maharshi Vedvyas, this divine text introduces devotees with the true form of Lord Vishnu by annulling their darkness resulting from attachment.
Actually the Vishnu Puran can be said to be an easy, means by which devotees can get Lord Vishnu easily. This Vishnu Puran can be said to be such a divine bridge between Shri Vishnu and his devotees as connects them in the bond of mutual love and devotion. If said in nutshell, Vishnu Puran is a complete and extraordinary text of devotion, knowledge, and god-worship.
Number of Verses (Shlokas) and Sections
Vishnu Puran consists of a total of twenty-three thousand (23,000) verses. That means it is said to be the gist of twenty- three thousand verses. The entire Vishnu Puran is divided into six fractions (ansh) [ansh is the word which has been used in this Puran instead of khand (section) or skandh] and there are 126 chapters in these 6 ansh.
The Gist of Vishnu Puran
1. Pratham Ansh (First Fraction)
There are twenty-two (22) chapters in the Pratham ansh of the Puran. This ansh begins with the beautiful situation where Maharshi Parashar has detailed the twenty-four substances, emergence of moveable and immoveable universe, and glory of Lord Vishnu for answering the universe-related questions of Maitreya rishi. According to the Puran, pradhan, purush, vyakt and kaal - all of these four are a form of Lord Vishnu and these forms of him are separately the cause of birth, fostering, and destruction of the universe, nevertheless Lord Visnu has an isolated existence despite being present in the four forms. Merely due to his histrionics he is situated in the form of vyakt, avyakt, purush, and kaal. Made of twenty- four substances, the entire cosmos, universe, moveable and immoveable world have emerged from the fraction (ansh) of Lord Shri Vishnu. From the birth of universe to various sargs have been described delightfully in this Puran.
The story of Dhruva, the greatest devotee of Lord Vishnu, has been beautifully illustrated in this ansh. Six-year-old Dhruva, devoid of fatherly love, having gone through arduous tapa to get supreme father Lord Vishnu and, pleased with his tapa, offering him a place in his lap by God is the gist of this mythological story. Whereas this mythological discourse perpetrates devotion for Lord Vishnu in the hearts of devotees, there it shows up the benign dimension of the Lord as well.
After the story of Dhruv, the characters of extremely bright King Prithu, Prachinbahir, and Prachetas born in the hierarchy of Dhruv have been described. The birth of Daksh Prajapati, the manas-putra of Brahmaji, and the description of his descend presents the detail of the beginning of the organic universe. Risking his life for devotion of lord Vishnu by bhakt (devotee) Prahlad and protection of his devotee through Nrisingh avatar are such mythological discourses which demonstrate the selfless love between God and devotee.