|1 Preface of the Purana|
At a holy gathering convened by King Shataanik of Pandava Vamsa (clan) where a galaxy of illustrious Maharshis like Vasishth, Parashar, Jaimini, Yagnyavalkya, Goutam, Vaishampaayan, Shaunak, Angira and Bharadwaj were present, Veda Vyas along with one of his disciples Sage Sumantu made an entry and introduced the pupil as a highly competent Scholar and could be depended on to clear any of the King’s doubts; the latter was interested in hearing of Bhavishya Purana which was originally recited by Brahma, then on to Maha Deva to Vishnu to Narada to Indra to Parashar to Vyasa and further down to Sumantu.The underlining Message in the Purana was that ‘Sadachara Dharma’ or Moralistic Virtue was the best way of life: Idam swastyayatanam shreshthamidam buddhi vivardhanam, idam yashasyam satatamidam nih shreyasam param/ (This Purana is the most propitious, the enhancer of high quality virtue, reputation and ‘Paramapadam’ or Salvation.).
Sumantu prefaced that this Purana had five features viz. Sarga (Creation), Pratisarga (Secondary Creation) that preceded each Kalpa, Water and Earth; Vamsa, Manvantara and Vamsanuchara. There were also fourteen Vidyas viz. Four Vedas of Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva; six Vedangas viz. Siksha (Phonetics or Study and Application of Knowledge), Kalpa (Ritual), Vyakarana(Grammar), Niruti (Entymology or ‘Utpatti’ or the Production of Word-derivatives), Chandas (Meter or Prosody/ Rhythemics of Verses), and Jyotisha (Study and Practice of Astronomy); ‘Meemamsa’ (Reasoning and or to perform a duty); Nyaya; (Justice); Purana and Dharma Shastra (The Guidebook on Virtue); additionally, there are four more Vidyas viz. ‘Ayur Veda’ or the Veda related to Longevity and Good Health, Dhanur Veda (The Martial Art of Bow and Arrows), Gandharva Veda (The discipline Fine Arts) and Artha Shastra (The discipline of Fine Arts) thus totalling Eighteen Vidyas.