Srimad Bhagavatam


The Bhāgavata Purana, also known as Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, or Bhāgavata) is one of the "Maha" Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti (devotion) to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna.  The Sanskrit text comprises twelve skandas (cantos or books) and some 18,000 verses.  The Bhāgavata includes many stories well known in Hindu tradition, including the various avatars of Vishnu and the life of Krishna. It was the first Purana to be translated into a European language, with three French translations between 1840 and 1857.

Like all Puranas, the Bhāgavata is a product of oral tradition, its extant version usually dated to the ninth or tenth century CE.  The text itself credits Veda Vyasa with its authorship.

The intense and personal bhakti described in the Bhāgavata is directed toward Krishna as God in human form. The tenth book (or canto), which is dedicated to Krishna, takes up about one quarter of the entire Bhāgavata.  It includes the most comprehensive collection of stories about the life of Krishna, showing him in all the stages and conditions of human life. It also includes instruction in the practice of bhakti, an analysis of bhakti, and descriptions of the different types of bhakti.

The Bhāgavata takes the form of a story recounting Vyasa's work being recited for the first time by his son Śuka to the dying King Parikshit, who owes his life to Krishna. Longing to hear of Krishna before he dies, Śuka recites the Bhāgavata to Parikshit over the course of seven days.