Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 12: Chapter 13: Verses 1-14
Suta began again : Hail to the glorious Lord, whom Brahma (the creator), Varuna (the god presiding over the waters), Indra (the chief of gods), Rudra (the god of destruction), the Maruts ( the wind-gods) extol through heavenly hymns; whom the chanters of the Samaveda glorify by means of the Vedas including the Angas or branches of knowledge auxilary to the study of the Vedas (viz., phonetics, grammar prosody, astronomy, etymology and Kalpa or the branch of knowledge prescribing the ritual and giving rules for ceremonial and sacrificial acts), their analysis into word marking their sequence and the Upanisads; whom the Yogis perceive with their mind fixed on Him through meditation; yet whose whole truth neither the hosts of gods nor of the demons are able to know ! May the (incoming and outgoing breaths of the almighty Lord assuming the form of the.. divine Tortoise-who felt sleepy as a result of His being scratched (and thereby soothed) by the ends of the rocks (forming part) of the colossal Mount Mandara revolving on His back (while the ocean was being conjointly churned by the gods and the demons for the sake of nectar)-protect you ! Responding to the subtle impetus communicated by those breaths in the guise of the flow-tide and ebb-tide, the constant rise and fall of the waters of the ocean know no rest till now. (Now) hear (from me) the number of Slokas comprised in each Purana as well as their aggregate, the theme and object of this work (Srimad Bhagavata), the procedure to be followed in gifting (a copy of) it, the value of giving it away as well as of reading it and soon. The Brahma.. Purana comprises ten thousand Slokas; the Padma-Purana, fifty-five thousand; the Srivisnu-Purana, twenty three thousand; the Siva-Purana, twenty-four thousand. The Srimad Bhagavata consists of eighteen thousand; the Narada-Purana; of twenty-five thousand; the Markandeya-Purana, of nine thousand and the Agni-Purana, of fifteen thousand and four hundred. (Even) so the Bhavisya-Purana consists of fourteen thousand and five hundred Slokas and Brahmavaivarta-Purana, of eighteen thousand; while the Linga-Purana comprises eleven thousand only. The Varaha-Purana comprises twenty-four. thousand Slokas; the Skanda-Purana, eighty-one thousand and one hundred; (and) the Vamana-Purana is reputed to consist of ten thousand Slokas.The Karma- Purana has been declared as consisting of seventeen thousand Slokas; the Matsya-Purana, of fourteen thousand; the Garuda-Purana of nineteen thousand; while the Brahmanda-Purana comprises only twelve thousand Slokas. In this way the extent of (all) the Puranas taken together has been declared to be four hundred thousand Slokas. Of them (as has already been stated) Srimad Bhagavata is recognized as consisting of eighteen thousand Slokas. The Bhagavata-Purana was graciously revealed by the almighty Lord for the first time to Brahma (the creator), seated on the lotus sprung from His navel and afraid of transmigration (and hence earned the title of "Bhagavata"). It has been enriched at the beginning, in the middle and at the end with legends illustrating the glory of Dispassion and has been delighting the righteous as well as the gods with its nectar-like stories describing the pastimes of Lord Sri Hari. It has for its theme that one reality without a second-which is the sum and substance of all the Upanisads (which are the culmination of the Vedas) and has been characterized as the oneness of Brahma (the Absolute) and the (individual) soul-and has detachment of the Spirit from Matter as its only object. He who, on the full moon of (the month of) Bhadrapada (roughly corresponding to August of the English calendar) gifts (a copy of) the Bhagavata, placed on a throne of gold, attains the highest goal (after death). The other Puranas spread their lustre in an assemblage of the righteous (only) so long as the great and glorious Bhagavata is not directly visible.