not equal in length. The Matsya Purana is a medium-length Purana,and consists of fifteen thousand couplets. The longest Purana, theSkanda Purana, has eighty-one thousand. And the shortest Purana,the Markandeya Purana, has only nine thousand. The fourteenthousand shlokas of the Maysya Purana are divided into two hundredand ninety-one chapters (adhyaya).The eighteen Mahapuranas are sometimes divided into three groups,with six Puranas in each group. There are 33 million administrativedemigods mentioned in the Vedas. But the primary gods are Brahma,Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is regarded as the creator, Vishnu as themaintainer, and Shiva the destroyer. Since all three are importantgods, any sacred text will glorify each of them. But the relativeemphasis often varies from text to text. For example, a text whichspends many chapters on the act of creation tends to glorify Brahmarelatively more and is known as a rajasika Purana. A text whichdescribes the forms (avatara) of Vishnu in great detail tends toglorify Vishnu more and is known as a sattvika Purana. A text mainlyconcerned with rituals and norms tends to attach more importanceto Shiva and is known as a tamasika Purana.The word 'matsya' means fish. Usually Vishnu is regarded as havinghad nine incarnations, with a tenth one, Kalki, due to come in thefuture. The names of these incarnations are as follows.1.Matsya or fish. This is sometimes also referred to as the mina(fish) avatara.2.Kurma or turtle.3.Varaha or boar.4.Nrisimha or narasimha, the half-man and half-lion.5.Vamana or dwarf.6.Parashurama.7.Rama.8.Krishna.9.Buddha.10.Kalki.The Matsya Puranais so named because it was first recited byVishnu himself, in his incarnation of a fish.Vedavyasa did much more than compose the Mahabharata and thePuranas. So far as the Vedas are concerned. Krishna Dvaipayana hadfour other disciples. But the Puranaswere taught only toRomaharshana.