It’s the sixteenth Purana. During
the period of Mahapralaya, Lord Vishnu had taken Matsya avatar (fish
incarnation) to save the seeds of all lives and Manu. Matsya Purana
contains a comprehensive description of Manu and Matsya avatar.
General contents of this Purana are Description of the greatness of
Narsimh incarnation. Description of all the ten incarnations of Lord
Vishnu. Greatness of fasting like Anant Tritiya and the places of
pilgrimage like Prayag. Tales of Chandra vansh, Surya vansh and Kuru
vansh and the kings like Yayati, Kartveerya etc. Description of the
Kalpa and Yugas. Appearance of idols. Appearance and construction of
Deva-mandapa (canopy for the deities). Tale of Savitri and Satyavan.
Results of auspicious and inauspicious motion of the planets. Birth of
Parvati. Immolation of Madan (Kamadeva) Wedding of Lord Shiva with
Parvati. Birth of Kartikeya. Duties of a king. Description of the future
This Purana is said to be narrated by Matsya avatar of Lord Vishnu to
Manu, who was awaiting Lord’s arrival during Mahapralaya in his boat
anchored on a very high mountain.
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According to the Matsya Purana (47.32), "When the end of
an Age rolls around and time has lost its strength, then Lord Vishnu is
born among men. When the gods and demons go to war, then Hari [Vishnu]
The Matsya Purana (47.32-52), for instance, enumerates
Matsya Purana (221.2), Prosperity forsakes those who
always dream of fate and favors those who persevere. One should
therefore always be active and alert.
Matsya Purana (180.5-7), Even the worst problems have
solutions if one only perseveres.
Matsya Purana (53.65,68,69):
A Purana has five characteristics as opposed to an
Akhyana. (The scriptures are divided into three classes - sattvika,
rajasika, and tamasika.) The glory of Lord Hari is greater in the
sattvika Puranas; the glory of Lord Brahma is more in the rajasika
Puranas; the glory of Lord Siva and Agni is more in the tamasika Puranas.
In the mixed scriptures the glory of Sarasvati and the Pitrs is
The verse cited from the Matsya Purana refers to the
five characteristics of a Purana. These characteristics are given in
another verse of the Matsya Purana, 53.65:
sargasca pratisargasca vamso manvantarani ca
vamsyanucaritancaiva puranam pancalaksanam
"Creation, dissolution, genealogy, manvantaras and
descriptions of the activities of famous kings, these are the five
characteristics of a Purana."
The characteristics of Srimad Bhagavatam are given in
the Matsya Purana (53.20-22), "That which explains the topmost
principles of religion, basing it on Gayatri, and which has the incident
of the killing of Vrtrasura is to be known as the Srimad Bhagavatam.
This Purana has eighteen thousand verses. Whoever makes a copy of the
Srimad Bhagavatam and, placing it on a golden lion throne, donates it on
the full moon day in the month of Bhadra (August-September), will attain
the supreme goal".
According to Matsya Purana (Chapter 53) the Hayagriva
avatara of Visnu preceded Matsya; when the worlds were burnt down, Visnu
in the form of a horse re-compiled the four Vedas, Vedangas, etc. The
Devi Bhagavata and the Skanda Purana in its Dharnmranya Khanda, however,
allude to two different accounts on the origin of the Hayagriva form of
consists of xx chapters: