The narrator of most of the Puranas is the Suta Romaharsana or his son Ugrasravas and it is clearly stated in the ancient Vayu Purana 1.33 that the duty of the sutas or bards was the preservation of the geneologies of kings and rishis and they had nothing to do with religious sermons which were reserved for the priests. The suta has no right to preach the Vedas. This means that the orignal Purana contained only the record of kings and rishis and that they had nothing to do with religious sermons which were reserved for the priests. Is it then that Puranas existed in some shape or form in the Vedic times as a secular counterpart of the Vedic hymns? As a matter of fact there is actually mention in the Samhita and Brahmana literature of a work called Purana. Thus Atharvaveda 11.7.24 mentions Purana with rcs, samans and the yajus. The mention of the word in singular number and along with rcs, samans and yajus each of which form a single book shows that there was orignally a single purana. According to Vishnu Purana 3.6.16-18 the orignal Purana was transmitted to Romaharsana by Vyasa. Romaharsana in turn taught it to his disciples, three of whom wrote down three Purana Samhitas based on the orignal Purana learnt by them..There are at present 18 Puranas out of which Brahma Purana is considered the oldest (some consider Markandeya Purana as oldest). It is also called Adi Purana. Also internal evidence shows that these 18 Puranas were written at different times. Vyasa, the narrator of the Mahabharata, is traditionally considered the compiler of the Puranas.The earliest written versions were compiled during the time of the Gupta Empire (4 - 6 century CE) and much of the material may be dated, through historical references and comparative studies, to this period and the succeeding centuries.The Vayu, Brahmanda and Vishnu mention the Guptas among the royal dynasties, they could not have been redacted before the fourth century A.D. The present text of Bhagavata Purana took shape in the second half of 6th century A.D. Most of the Puranas including Matsya Purana and Bhagavata Purana mention about Buddhits and Jains and this sets the upper limit of their date.Harivamsha (1.41) Vishnu Purana (3.18) Bhagavata Purana (1.3.24, 2.7.37, 11.4.23) Garuda Purana (1.1, 2.30.37, 3.15.26) Agni Purana (16) Narada Purana (2.72) Linga Purana (2.71) Padma Purana (3.252) etc. Matsya Purana 285.6-7 Naradiya Samhita 1.60 The Matsya Purana's verse is found engraved on Pallava monuments of cir. 700 A.D. at Mahabalipuram, where the Buddha is mentioned as the 9th avatara of Vishnu.In Philosophy of Bhagavata Vol I Prof Siddheswara Bhattacarya writes: "The conclusion therefore seems therefore seems to emerge that Bhagvata Purana has three phases of development. In its earlier form it consists of very old material; it was givne the shape of a Mahapurana and this second phase in the early Christain era; and its last and final phase represents the contribution of the Tamil saints. Viewed from this point of view the extant Srimad Bhagavatm may be said to be contemporaneous with the Tamil saints (Alvars)." This theory finds support from internal evidence gathered from the text of the Bhagavata. There is mention of the Bhagavata transimitted by the Lord Brahma and by him to Narada with permission to elaborate it as he found necessary (Sk 2.9). In Sk III it is mentioned that Bhagavata was revealed by Sankarshana to Sanatkumara from whom it came to Vidura through Sankhyayana, Parasara and Maitreya. And in Sk I it is claimed that Vyasa got it by meditation and spread it through his son Suka. This can very well be reference to the three phases of the development of the Text. The theory of close connection of Bhagavata with the Alvars is supported by 11.5.38-40: ".....For in Kali are born many devotees of Narayana in several parts of the Dravida country through which holy rivers like Tamrapani, the Kritamala, the Payasvini and the Cauvery flow. Those who drink the water of these riversbecome pure in heart and develop devotion to Vasudeva." In the Mahatmaya portion the stroy of the damsel Bhakti born in the Dravida country and meeting with many distortions during her travel through Karnataka and Maharashtra at last reached Vrindava where she grew to full maturity echoes the above fact. In the stereo typed description of decorations in cities, even in those banks of the Saraswati and in Dwarka there is mention of an abundance of plantain trees and areca palms and its flowers. It is doubtful whether the latter occur in those regions at all. But in the South they are common. In the description of Balarama's piligrimage a very detailed and orderly knoweledge of all important places in the South are shown, while description of nothern places is rather casual and informal. There is no difference between Atman and Paramatma Ch 2.11 to 2.25 describe the characteristics of the Atman. Verse no 17, 18, 20 and 24 describe jiva to be eternal, birthless, all pervading, immutable, omnipresent and ancient. It cannot be said to refer to Para Brahman as this would contradict the beginning of the chapter where the subject matter is to describe the Atman. Ch 13.2 The Lord himself speaks of being the Kshetrajna or Knower of the Field which is only one. He is undivided but appears to be divided in all beings as said in Verse 16. In Verse 17 He is spoken of as being the triad of Knower, Knowledge and Known. From verse 29 to 34, the Knower of the Field is clearly referred to as the Supreme Self and is one and all pervading but its presence is known in the body. Ch 6.29-31 says that highest realization is earned through the knowledge of the self as existing everywhere.