A vast literature available in the form of Puranas, stands next to the Vedas, in importance and popularity. It envisages to popularize the precepts, morals and values, propounded in the Vedas, the Upanisads, the Epics, and the DharmaSutras. It not only succeeded in its mission, but also in completely revitalising and revolutionising, and modernising the Vedic religion. Later and modern Hindu religion is an offshoot of the Pauranic religion. The path of devotion and worship propounded in Vedic literature as against the path of ritualistic exercises was followed more vigorously in the Puranas. Thus, the Puranas freed Hinduism from the clutches of the chosen few and spilled it over to masses who were unable to understand the complexities of the Vedic doctrines. The simple and lucid language of these works made more easier the attainment of the desired objective of instruction to the masses in moral and mental education. The value of Puranas cannot be minimized by calling them mythological or religious. Their avowed theme is the presentation of the history of the kings up to the end of the 5th century A.D. There is no doubt that the Puranas embody the earliest traditional history and that much of their material is old and valuable. Altekar has correctly stressed the importance of the Puranas as a source of valuable information for the archaic period of Indian history. Taken collectively they may be described as a popular encyclopaedia of ancient and medieval Hinduism, religion, philosophy, history, politics, ethics etc. Indian tradition believes that the sage Vyasa, with the help of the tales, anecdotes, songs and lore, which had come down from the ages, compiled a Purana and taught it to his pupil, the Suta. He made that Puranasamhita into six versions and taught them to his six disciples. Evidently this handing over from teacher to his pupil continued for some times and resulted in the evolution of eighteen Puranas. The order of enumeration seems to be, more or less, stereotyped, with a few exceptions. The Puranas are classified on the basis of the trinity of gods, Brahma Visnu and Siva. According to the Padma Purana, the Saiva Puranas are : Matsya, Kurma, Linga, Siva, Skanda and Agni ; the Vaisnavas are Visnu, Narada, Bhagavata, Garuda, Padma and Varaha. The Puranas dedicated to Brahma are Brahmanda, Vamana, and Brahma. This would mean that the three gods Brahma, Visnu, and Siva would, respectively, be the object for adoration in their groups of the Puranas. But the two gods Visnu and Siva attained greater prominence which gave currency to the view that the Puranas advocate the worship of either Visnu or Siva.