("ancient") Traditional Indian mythology is preserved in this major genre of smrti literature.

The smrtis, or "remembered," writings were a kind of literature that was considered less authoritative than the shrutis, or "heard" texts, despite their importance.

In a nutshell, the shrutis denoted the Vedas, the oldest and most authoritative Hindu religious texts, whereas the smrtis denoted the two great epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, the dharma literature, the Bhagavad Gita, and the puranas, which included the two great epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, the dharma literature, the Bhagavad Gita A purana, according to one traditional definition, must include descriptions of at least five key events: the creation of the world, its destruction and restoration, the origins of the gods and patriarchs, the Manvantaras' reigns, and the reigns of the Solar and Lunar Lines' reigns.

In practice, the puranas include a wide range of holy information, ranging from mythological narratives to ceremonial instructions to the exaltation of different sacred locations (tirthas) and activities.

Individual puranas are often sectarian in nature, with the goal of promoting the worship of one of the Hindu gods, whether Vishnu, Shiva, or the Goddess.

The main puranas are eighteen in number, although there are hundreds of smaller works.

The puranas, like the epics, are repositories of mythological narratives that represent the common religious currency among traditional Hindus.

Because the stories in the puranas are general knowledge, they are much more influential than any of the Vedas in this regard.

The Vedas' contents are less well-known, while being more authoritative.

The value of individual puranas varies depending on sectarian beliefs, however the Agni Purana, Shiva Purana, Brahma Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, Harivamsha, and Markandeya Purana are among the most prominent puranas.

Cornelia Dimmitt and J. A. B. van Buitenen, Classical Hindu Mythology, 1978, provide a broad translation of tales from puranic scriptures.