Bhagavatam can be considered to be the “Indian Bible”; as it describes
the origin of the universe, the origin of creatures, man, development of
civilizations, and maintenance and destruction of the universe. It
is mainly a history of the southeast asia region and the ways of
worshipping the supreme reality, which was represented by Lord Krishna
or Narayana (The God who Maintains Creation), but the origin and the
knowledge Canto’s (chapters) have some very interesting information about
the true nature of consciousness and the ways to attain it.
deals mainly with the importance of worshipping the all pervading
sustenance principle of ‘Vishnu’ as sure means to salvation and stresses
on the importance of devotion, rather than pure knowledge (which many of
you would like to choose as a pathway to eternity) for swimming past the
ocean of life into the brighter realms of eternity; nevertheless it is
replete with the detailed descriptions and deeper divine knowledge of
how the minute elements of our body framework was constructed from sub
quarks through atoms to molecules and how the living force courses
through the cells by the endocrine nodal points and also a detailed
account is given of the structure of the universe, sun, moon and planets.
Below is given the
first few lines from Bhavatam, which is described to be compiled so that
it would be beneficial for mankind in the KaliYuga (Present Times).
rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this
Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by
those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality
distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots
the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great
sage Vyasadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God
realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one
attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this
culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.
expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad-Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of
the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri
Sukadeva Gosvami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful,
although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including
Once, in a
holy place in the forest of Naimisaranya, great sages headed by the sage
Saunaka assembled to perform a great thousand-year sacrifice for the
satisfaction of the Lord and His devotees.
after finishing their morning duties by burning a sacrificial fire and
offering a seat of esteem to Srila Suta Gosvami, the great sages made
inquiries, with great respect, about the following matters.
said: Respected Suta Gosvami, you are completely free from all vice. You
are well versed in all the scriptures famous for religious life, and in
the Puranas and the histories as well, for you have gone through them
under proper guidance and have also explained them.
eldest learned Vedantist, O Suka Gosvami, you are acquainted with the
knowledge of Vyasadeva, who is the incarnation of Godhead, and you also
know other sages who are fully versed in all kinds of physical and
you are submissive, your spiritual masters have endowed you with all the
favors bestowed upon a gentle disciple. Therefore you can tell us all
that you have scientifically learned from them.
therefore, being blessed with many years, explain to us, in an easily
understandable way, what you have ascertained to be the absolute and
ultimate good for the people in general.
one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are
quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.
many varieties of scriptures, and in all of them there are many
prescribed duties, which can be learned only after many years of study
in their various divisions. Therefore, O sage, please select the essence
of all these scriptures and explain it for the good of all living
beings, that by such instruction their hearts may be fully satisfied.
Like this Suka
Deva Goswami, who was an enlightened soul started describing One Of the
Longest Known Epic- ‘Srimad Bhagavatham”
literature fully glorifies the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari, who
removes all His devotees’ sinful reactions. The Lord is glorified as
Narayana, Hrisekesa and the Lord of the Satvatas.
4. This literature describes the mystery of the Supreme Absolute Truth,
the source of the creation and annihilation of this universe. Also
presented are divine knowledge of Him together with the process of its
cultivation, and the transcendental realization one achieves.
5. The following topics are also narrated: the process of devotional
service together with its subsidiary feature of renunciation, and the
histories of Maharaja Pariksit and the sage Narada.
6. Also described are saintly King Pariksit’s sitting down to fast until
death in response to the curse of a brahmana’s son, and the
conversations between Pariksit and Sukadeva Gosvami, who is the best of
7. The Bhagavatam explains how one can attain liberation at the time of
death by practicing fixed meditation in yoga. It also contains a
discussion between Narada and Brahma, an enumeration of the incarnations
of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and a description of how the
universe was created in progressive sequence, beginning from the
unmanifest stage of material nature.
8. This scripture also relates the discussions Vidura had with Uddhava
and with Maitreya, inquiries about the subject matter of this Purana,
and the winding up of creation within the body of the Supreme Lord at
the time of annihilation.
9. The creation effected by the agitation of the modes of material
nature, the seven stages of evolution by elemental transformation, and
the construction of the universal egg, from which arises the universal
form of the Supreme Lord-all these are thoroughly described.
10. Other topics include the subtle and
gross movements of time, the generation of the lotus from the navel of
Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and the killing of the demon Hiranyaksa when the
earth was delivered from the Garbhodaka Ocean.
11. The Bhagavatam also describes the
creation of demigods, animals and demoniac species of life; the birth of
Lord Rudra; and the appearance of Svayambhuva Manu from the half-man,
12. Also related are the appearance of
the first woman, Satarupa, who was the excellent consort of Manu, and
the offspring of the pious wives of Prajapati Kardama.
13. The Bhagavatam describes the
incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the exalted sage
Kapila and records the conversation between that greatly learned soul
and His mother, Devahuti.
14-15. Also described are the progeny of
the nine great brahmanas, the destruction of Daksa’s sacrifice, and the
history of Dhruva Maharaja, followed by the histories of King Prthu and
King Pracinabarhi, the discussion between Pracinabarhi and Narada, and
the life of Maharaja Priyavrata. Then, O brahmanas, the Bhagavatam tells
of the character and activities of King Nabhi, Lord Rsabha and King
16. The Bhagavatam gives an elaborate description of the earth’s
continents, regions, oceans, mountains and rivers. Also described are
the arrangement of the celestial sphere and the conditions found in the
subterranean regions and in hell.
17. The rebirth of Prajjapati Daksa as the son of the Pracetas, and the
progeny of Daksa’s daughters, who initiated the races of demigods,
demons, human beings, animals, serpents, birds and so on-all this is
18. O brahmanas, also recounted are the
births and deaths of Vrtrasura and of Diti’s sons Hiranyaksa and
Hiranyakasipu, as well as the history of the greatest of Diti’s
descendants, the exalted soul Prahlada.
19. The reign of each Manu, the
liberation of Gajendra, and the special incarnations of Lord Visnu in
each manvantara, such as Lord Hayagriva, are described as well.
20. The Bhagavatam also tells of the
appearances of the Lord of the universe as Kurma, Matsya, Narasimha and
Vamana, and of the demigods’ churning of the milk ocean to obtain
21. An account of the great battle fought
between the demigods and the demons, a systematic description of the
dynasties of various kings, and narrations concerning Iksvaku’s birth,
his dynasty and the dynasty of the pious Sudyumna-all are presented
within this literature.
22. Also related are the histories of Ila
and Tara, and the description of the descendants of the sun-god,
including such kings as Sasada and Nrga.
23. The histories of Sukanya, Saryati,
the intelligent Kakutstha, Khatvanga, Mandhata, Saubhari and Sagara are
24. The Bhagavatam narrates the sanctifying pastimes of Lord Ramacandra,
the King of Kosala, and also explains how King Nimi abandoned his
material body. The appearance of the descendants of King Janaka is also
25-26. The Srimad-Bhagavatam describes
how Lord Parasurama, the greatest descendant of Bhrgu, annihilated all
the ksatriyas on the face of the earth. It further recounts the lives of
glorious kings who appeared in the dynasty of the moon-god-kings such as
Aila, Yayati, Nahusa, Dusmanta’s son Bharata, Santanu and Santanu’s son
Bhisma. Also described is the great dynasty founded by King Yadu, the
eldest son of Yayati.
27. How Sri Krsna, the Supreme personality of Godhead and Lord of the
universe, descended into this Yadu dynasty, how He took birth in the
home of Vasudeva, and how He then grew up in Gokula-all this is
described in detail.
28-29. Also glorified are the innumerable
pastimes of Sri Krsna, the enemy of the demons, including His childhood
pastimes of sucking out Putana’s life air along with her breast-milk,
breaking the cart, trampling down Trnavarta, killing Bakasura, Vatsasura
and Aghasura, and the pastimes He enacted when Lord Brahma hid His
calves and cowherd boyfriends in a cave.
30. The Srimad-Bhagavatam tells how Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama killed
the demon Dhenukasura and his companions, how Lord Balarama destroyed
Pralambasura, and also how Krsna saved the cowherd boys from a raging
forest fire that had encircled them.
31-33. The chastisement of the serpent
Kaliya; the rescue of Nanda Maharaja from a great snake; the severe vows
performed by the young gopés, who thus satisfied Lord Krsna; the mercy
He showed the wives of the Vedic brahmanas, who felt remorse; the
lifting of Govardhana Hill followed by the worship and bathing ceremony
performed by Indra and the Surabhi cow; Lord Krsna’s nocturnal pastimes
with the cowherd girls; and the killing of the foolish demons
Sankhacuda, Arista and Kesi-all these pastimes are elaborately
34. The Bhagavatam describes the arrival of Akrura, the subsequent
departure of Krsna and Balarama, the lamentation of the gopis and the
touring of Mathura.
35. Also narrated are how Krsna and
Balarama killed the elephant Kuvalayapida, the wrestlers Mustika and
Canura, and Kamsa and other demons, as well as how Krsna brought back
the dead son of His spiritual master, Sandipani Muni.
36. Then, O brahmanas, this scripture recounts how Lord Hari, while
residing in Mathura in the company of Uddhava and Balarama, performed
pastimes for the satisfaction of the Yadu dynasty.
37. Also described are the annihilation of each of the many armies
brought by Jarasandha, the killing of the barbarian king Kalayavana and
the establishment of Dvaraka City.
38. This work also describes how Lord
Krsna brought from heaven the parijata tree and the Sudharma assembly
hall, and how He kidnapped Rukmini by defeating all His rivals in
39. Also narrated are how Lord Krsna, in
the battle with Banasura, defeated Lord Siva by making him yawn, how the
Lord cut off Banasura’s arms, and how He killed the master of
Pragjyotisapura and then rescued the young princesses held captive in
40-41. There are descriptions of the
powers and the deaths of the King of Cedi, Paundraka, Salva, the foolish
Dantavakra, Sambara, Dvivida, Pitha, Mura, Pancajana and other demons,
along with a description of how Varanasi was burned to the ground. The
Bhagavatam also recounts how Lord Krsna relieved the earth’s burden by
engaging the Pandavas in the Battle of Kuruksetra.
42-43. How the Lord withdrew His own dynasty on the pretext of the
brahmanas’ curse; Vasudeva’s conversation with Narada; the extraordinary
conversation between Uddhava and Krsna, which reveals the science of the
self in complete detail and elucidates the religious principles of human
society; and then how Lord Krsna gave up this mortal world by His own
mystic power-the Bhagavatam narrates all these events.
44. This work also describes people’s characteristics and behavior in
the different ages, the chaos men experience in the age of Kali, the
four kinds of annihilation and the three kinds of creation.
45. There are also an account of the
passing away of the wise and saintly King Visnurata [Pariksit], an
explanation of how Srila Vyasadeva disseminated the branches of the
Vedas, a pious narration concerning Markandeya Rsi, and a description of
the detailed arrangement of the Lord’s universal form and His form as
the sun, the soul of the universe.
46. Thus, O best of the brahmanas, I have explained herein what you have
inquired from me. This literature has glorified in full detail the
activities of the Lord’s pastime incarnations.
47. If when falling, slipping, feeling pain or sneezing one
involuntarily cries out in a loud voice, “Obeisances to Lord Hari!” one
will be automatically freed from all his sinful reactions.
48. When people properly glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead or
simply hear about His power, the Lord personally enters their hearts and
cleanses away every trace of misfortune, just as the sun removes the
darkness or as a powerful wind drives away the clouds.
49. Words that do not describe the transcendental Personality of Godhead
but instead deal with temporary matters are simply false and useless.
Only those words that manifest the transcendental qualities of the
Supreme Lord are actually truthful, auspicious and pious.
50. Those words describing the glories of the all-famous Personality of
Godhead are attractive, relishable and ever fresh. Indeed, such words
are a perpetual festival for the mind, and they dry up the ocean of
51. Those words that do not describe the glories of the Lord, who alone
can sanctify the atmosphere of the whole universe, are considered to be
like unto a place of pilgrimage for crows, and are never resorted to by
those situated in transcendental knowledge. The pure and saintly
devotees take interest only in topics glorifying the infallible Supreme
52. On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of
the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes and so on
of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of
transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the
impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization. Such
transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard,
sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.
53. Knowledge of self-realization, even though free from all material
affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Infallible
[God]. What, then, is the use of even the most properly performed
fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning
and transient by nature, if they are not utilized for the devotional
service of the Lord?
54. The great endeavor one undergoes in
executing the ordinary social and religious duties of the varnasrama
system, in performing austerities, and in hearing from the Vedas
culminates only in the achievement of mundane fame and opulence. But by
respecting and attentively hearing the recitation of the transcendental
qualities of the Supreme Lord, the husband of the goddess of fortune,
one can remember His lotus feet.
55. Remembrance of Lord Krsna’s lotus feet destroys everything
inauspicious and awards the greatest good fortune. It purifies the heart
and bestows devotion for the Supreme Soul, along with knowledge enriched
with realization and renunciation.
56. O most eminent of brahmanas, you are all indeed extremely fortunate,
since you have already placed within your hearts Lord Sri Narayana-the
Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller and the ultimate Soul of
all existence-beyond whom there is no other god. You have undeviating
love for Him, and thus I request you to worship Him.
57. I also have now been fully reminded of the science of God, which I
previously heard from the mouth of the great sage Sukadeva Gosvami. I
was present in the assembly of great sages who heard him speak to King
Pariksit as the monarch sat fasting until death.
58. O brahmanas, I have thus described to you the glories of the Supreme
Lord Vasudeva, whose extraordinary activities are most worthy of
glorification. This narration destroys all that is inauspicious.
59. One who with undeviating attention constantly recites this
literature at every moment of every hour, as well as one who faithfully
hears even one verse or half a verse or a single line or even half a
line, certainly purifies his very self.
60. One who hears this Bhagavatam on the
Ekadasi or Dvadasi day is assured of long life, and one who recites it
with careful attention while fasting is purified of all sinful
61. One who controls his mind, fasts at
the holy places Puskara, Mathuraor Dvaraka, and studies this scripture
will be freed from all fear.
62. Upon the person who glorifies this Purana by chanting or hearing it,
the demigods, sages, Siddhas, Pitas, Manus and kings of the earth bestow
all desirable things.
63. By studying this Bhagavatam, a brahmana can enjoy the same rivers of
honey, ghee and milk he enjoys by studying the hymns of the Rg, Yajur
and Sama Vedas.
64. A brahmana who diligently reads this essential compilation of all
the Puranas will go to the supreme destination, which the Supreme Lord
Himself has herein described.
65. A brahmana who studies the Srimad-Bhagavatam achieves firm
intelligence in devotional service, a king who studies it gains
sovereignty over the earth, a vaisya acquires great treasure and a sudra
is freed from sinful reactions.
deals with each and everything which may be seen and perceived in this
world or nether worlds, but the primary objective of this scripture is
to expound the fact that Knowledge alone is not enough for Salvation in
this time of KaliYuga, as Maya is virtually insurmountable as the Gunas
are totally mixed. Only Divine Blessings can save disillusioned souls
from the clutches of illusion and the scripture advises strongly that as
Vishnu is the maintenance power in this world, worshipping him is the
only, easy and sure way to eternity. The book is but a complete treasure
house also for it’s invaluable first hand accounts of creation &
dissolution of the universe, calculation of time, description of the
structure of atoms, the yogic disciplines by which the endocrine chakras
may be opened and among many other things; it is an excellent account of
the indian subcontinent’s geographical and political history from the
creation of Man; like The Old Testament’s account of geneology
concerning middle east and europe.