Puranas occupy a unique position in Indian literature, both sacred and secular. Composed at different times, they not only contain valuable historical material, but also canons relating to several spheres of art and life. The Puranas have enabled our people to maintain unimpaired the sense of the unity of India.
Agni-Purana, although it begins with Visnu, still it is in essence a Saivite work and treats exhaustively the mystic cult of the linga (phallus) and of Durga. There are chapters on cosmology, genealogy and geography which are all so characteristic of the Puranas. But what characterizes this Purana is its encyclopedic character. It actually deals with each and everything. In it we find chapters on astronomy and astrology, on marriage and funeral rites, on omens and portents, house construction and other customs of everyday life and also on politics (niti) and the art of warfare, on law, on medicine, prosody, poetics and grammar.
The present work is the Agni-Purana with the Sanskrit text in Devanagari as well as Roman script. This has been supported by the translation into English by M.N. Dutt. It is the first time that the Agni-Purana is appearing in such a user-friendly format and will surely find a good readership amongst scholars and students alike.