Purāṇa-s are considered as the Sacred Scriptures laying down guidelines for religious and pious living, mostly in the form of stories or verses. The exact dates of these purāṇa-s remain unknown. Garuḍa Purāṇa is said to be approximately 700 years old. It is also said that the original purāṇa-s have undergone changes over a period of time. Generally, only eighteen purāṇa-s are often discussed and Garuḍa Purāṇa is one among them. Major portion of this great Scripture is in the form of conversation between Garuḍa, the vāhana (vehicle) of Lord Viṣṇu and sage Kaśyapa.
Garuḍa Purāṇa has three kāṇḍa-s (sections). They are ācāra kāṇḍa, which generally deals with rituals, dharmaśāstra, etc; dharma kāṇḍa or preta (corpse) kāṇḍa, which deals with death and allied subjects; brahma kāṇḍa which deals with the supremacy of Lord Viṣṇu, with criticism on māyā and avidya.
In this new series, titled Garuda Purana, second section viz. Preta Kāṇḍa dealing with death and associated rituals will be discussed briefly.