Even greater was the support it received later on from the Puranas, a class of poetical works of a partly legendary, partly discursive and controversial character, mainly composed in the interest of special deities, of which eighteen principal (maha-purana) and as many secondary ones (upa-purana) are recognized, the oldest of which may go back to about the 4th century of our era.
According to the Basava-purana he early in life renounced his caste and went to reside at Kalyana, then the capital of the Chalukya kingdom, and later on at Sangamesvara near Ratnagiri, where he was initiated into the Vira Saiva faith which he subsequently made it his life's work to propagate.
Strange to say, however, no mention is as yet made by any of these works of Krishna's favourite Radha; it is only in another Purana - though scarcely deserving that designation - that she makes her appearance, viz.
As the chief authority of their tenets, the Nimavats recognize the Bhagavata-purana; though several works, ascribed to Nimbarka - partly of a devotional character and partly expository of Vedanta topics - are still extant, Adherents of this sect are fairly numerous in northern India, their frontal mark consisting of the usual two perpendicular white lines, with, however, a circular black spot between them.
Their principal doctrinal authority is the Bhagavata-purana, as commented upon by Vallabha himself, who was also the author of several other Sanskrit works highly esteemed by his followers.
It will become evident to any student of the romantic myths that they consist of different arrange 3 See also Vishnu Purana, i.
The Vishnu Purana says, "The house-holder is to remain at eventide in his courtyard as long as it takes to milk a cow, or longer if he pleases, to await the arrival of a guest."
Of still later date are the popular developments of the modern cult of Krishna associated with Radha, as found in the Vishnu Purana.