Back of the Book
"Srimad Bhagavatam is the crest-jewel among the Puranas and the wealth of the Vaisnavas. It describes that pure knowledge, dear to the paramahamsas, and illuminates the path of detachment along with Bhakti, Jnana, and Vairagya. Those, who hear, read or meditate on its meaning, are liberated. This nectar is not available in heaven, Satya-loka, Kailasa or Vaikuntha. Therefore, O fortunate listeners, please drink it again and again, and never leave it."
In the dark age of Kali, bhakti is the only process for getting free from material conditioning
Bhakti is achieved only by the holy association of a pure devotee of the Supreme Lord. Specifically, one must hear krsna-katha, pastimes of Lord Krsna, from such a devotee. Srimad Bhagavatam is the best source of krsna-katha. It presents questions and answers related to Lord Krsna, His name, from, pastimes, energies, and various incarnations. It was compiled by Srila Vyasa, and is the essence of all Vedic literature.
Srimad Bhagavatam is so potent that it captivated the heart of Sukadeva Gosvami, a self relalized soul completely absorbed in Brahman. He ran away from home after his birth, but returned, as soon as he heard a few verses of Srimad Bhagavatam. Although he renounced everything including even a kaupin, a loincloth worn by the renounced saints, he could not give up Srimad Bhagavatam. He was very fond of forest life (aranya-priya), but after hearing Srimad Bhagavatam from his father, he became very dear to the devotees (visnujana-priya), by reciting Srimad Bhagavatam. He was so renounced that he did not distinguish between male and female, yet he relished narrating the most intimate pastimes of Lord Krsna with the cowherd damsels.
Srimad Bhagavatam is the very life and soul of the Vaisnavas, especially the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu called it spotless (amala Purana). He would hear it from His dear associate, Sri Gadadhara Pandita at Narendra Sarovara in Jagannatha Puri. In Bhakti-rasamrta sindhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami lists hearing Srimad Bhagavatam as one of the five essential processes of devotional service. Indeed, it is so wonderful that even impersonalists, who do not consider the Lord's form or abode transcendental, cannot resist studying and commenting upon it.
Srila Prabhupada carried Srimad Bhagavatam aboard the Jaladuta to the United States and with this weapon he conquered the world. He blessed many thousands with the wealth of Srimad Bhagavatam. He referred to his Bhaktivedanta Purports on Srimad Bhagavatam as his "emotional ecstasies". He made it mandatory for his followers to hear Srimad Bhagavatam daily. Wherever he went he spoke on Srimad Bhagavatam; he sometimes relished hearing it from his disciples as well.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati said that if all the books in the world were destroyed, and only Srimad Bhagavatam remained, there would be no loss. It will be clear from this booklet, that this is not an overstatement.
This book is a translation of six chapters of the Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda, entitled Srimad-bhagavatam remained, there would be no loss. It will be clear from this booklet, that this is not an overstatement.
This book is a translation of six chapters of the Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda, entitled Srimad-bhagavata-mahatmya, is the mature fruit of the Vedic tree and therefore, can grant all desires. The process of hearing Srimad Bhagavatam in seven days (Saptaha-Yajna) is the means for attaining all desires. Generally pure devotees of the Lord, being free from all material desires, do not engage in such recitation or rituals, but they use the Saptaha process for preaching to the masses. Therefore, they are not concerned with all the details of the rituals, as the real purpose is to convey the importance of hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam.
The Puranas sometimes instruct through the indirect method of story telling (paroksavada). As Sri Narada Muni informed King Pracinbarhi (S. B. 4.28.65), "My dear King, in this way I have indirectly instructed you in the science of self-realization. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the creator and controller of the universe, is very much pleased with indirect explanations, paroksavada." This does not mean, however, that this narration is a fable. It is factual, but there is a moral to the story. To give some insight into the story, brief comments are given at the end of each chapter.
Within these chapters there is a lucid description and incidental predictions for the modern age. Unscrupulous scholars should not consider them interpolations because even according to modern historians, the Puranas existed prior to the activities narrated herein. This is a confirmed historical fact. For example, the first chapter states that Yavanas will take control of holy places and demolish temples, this is a reference to Muslim rulers like Aurangazeb, who destroyed the major temples in Vrndavana, Mathura, and other holy places. There is also an implicit prediction that Srila Prabhupada would preach in the west. This should make atheists, agnostics, and skeptics reconsider their convictions.
Brahma Sutras (81)
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