The Padma Purana is one of the most important and largest among the eighteen maha-puranas. Contains about 55 thousand shlokas (verses). This is one of the most significant and early works of the Purana genre, dated by the Indologists (along with Vishnu-, Markandeya-, Vayu-, Brahmanda-, Linga- and Kurma-purana) to the 4-8 centuries. The text of the Padma-purana has come down to us in two main reviews, the later of which contains six "books" (khandas), and the earlier one — five books.

Part 1, called Srishti-khanda ("Book of the world-creation"), opens with a traditional introduction for the Puranas.

Part 2, Bhumi-khanda ("Book of Earth"), begins with the legends of Somasharmana, born among demons, to whom the origin was not an obstacle to become in the future a famous admirer of Vishnu, known as Prahlada.

In part 3, Svarga-khanda ("Book of Heaven"), which is a symmetrical opposition to the previous one, the worlds of the various gods are described: Surya, Indra, Agni, Yama, in the description of which many legends are woven.

Part 4, Patala-khanda ("The Book of the Lower World"), as its name implies, is dedicated to the world of the Nagas, half-human-half-demes, or serpent deities. The mention of Ravana as the king of demons serves as a pretext for presenting the story of the Ramayana, which here partially corresponds to the famous poem and partially to the poem of Kalidasa Raghuvansha.

The concluding part 5, Uttara-khanda ("The Last Book"), is a detailed explanation of the Vishnuit cult and holidays.