The Garuda Purana is one of eighteen Mahāpurāṇa genre of texts in Hinduism. It is a part of Vaishnavism literature corpus, primarily centering around Hindu god Vishnu but praises all gods. Composed in Sanskrit, the earliest version of the text may have been composed in the 1st millennium CE, but it was likely expanded and changed over a long period of time.
The Garuda Purana text is known in many versions, containing between 8,000 to 19,000 verses. Its chapters encyclopedically deal with highly diverse collection of topics. The text contains cosmology, mythology, relationship between gods, ethics, good versus evil, various schools of Hindu philosophies, the theory of Yoga, the theory of “”heaven and hell”” with “”karma and rebirth””, ancestral rites and soteriology, rivers and geography, types of minerals and stones, testing methods for gems for their quality, listing of plants and herbs, various diseases and their symptoms, various medicines, aphrodisiacs, prophylactics, Hindu calendar and its basis, astronomy, moon, planets, astrology, architecture, building home, essential features of a Hindu temple, rites of passage, charity and gift making, economy, thrift, duties of a king, politics, state officials and their roles and how to appointment them, genre of literature, rules of grammar, and other topics. The final chapters discuss how to practice Yoga (Samkhya and Advaita types), personal development and the benefits of self-knowledge.
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