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Srimad Bhagavatam
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivdanta Swami Prabhupada

Preface

 
We must know the present need of human society. And what is that need? Human society is no longer bounded by geographical limits to particular countries or communities. Human society is broader than in the Middle Ages, and the world tendency is toward one state or one human society. The ideals of spiritual communism, according to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, are based more or less on the oneness of the entire human society, nay, of the entire energy of living beings. The need is felt by great thinkers to make this a successful ideology. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam will fill this need in human society. It begins, therefore, with the aphorism of Vedānta philosophy janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1] to establish the ideal of a common cause.

 
Human society, at the present moment, is not in the darkness of oblivion. It has made rapid progress in the field of material comforts, education and economic development throughout the entire world. But there is a pinprick somewhere in the social body at large, and therefore there are large-scale quarrels, even over less important issues. There is need of a clue as to how humanity can become one in peace, friendship and prosperity with a common cause. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam will fill this need, for it is a cultural presentation for the re-spiritualization of the entire human society.

 
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam should be introduced also in the schools and colleges, for it is recommended by the great student-devotee Prahlāda Mahārāja in order to change the demoniac face of society.

 
kaumāra ācaret prājño
dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam
(SB 7.6.1)

 
Disparity in human society is due to lack of principles in a godless civilization. There is God, or the Almighty One, from whom everything emanates, by whom everything is maintained and in whom everything is merged to rest. Material science has tried to find the ultimate source of creation very insufficiently, but it is a fact that there is one ultimate source of everything that be. This ultimate source is explained rationally and authoritatively in the beautiful Bhāgavatam, or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

 
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the transcendental science not only for knowing the ultimate source of everything but also for knowing our relation with Him and our duty toward perfection of the human society on the basis of this perfect knowledge. It is powerful reading matter in the Sanskrit language, and it is now rendered into English elaborately so that simply by a careful reading one will know God perfectly well, so much so that the reader will be sufficiently educated to defend himself from the onslaught of atheists. Over and above this, the reader will be able to convert others to accepting God as a concrete principle.

 
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins with the definition of the ultimate source. It is a bona fide commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra by the same author, Śrīla Vyāsadeva, and gradually it develops into nine cantos up to the highest state of God realization. The only qualification one needs to study this great book of transcendental knowledge is to proceed step by step cautiously and not jump forward haphazardly like with an ordinary book. It should be gone through chapter by chapter, one after another. The reading matter is so arranged with its original Sanskrit text, its English transliteration, synonyms, translation and purports so that one is sure to become a God-realized soul at the end of finishing the first nine cantos.

 
The Tenth Canto is distinct from the first nine cantos because it deals directly with the transcendental activities of the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa. One will be unable to capture the effects of the Tenth Canto without going through the first nine cantos. The book is complete in twelve cantos, each independent, but it is good for all to read them in small installments one after another.

 
I must admit my frailties in presenting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but still I am hopeful of its good reception by the thinkers and leaders of society on the strength of the following statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.5.11):

 
tad-vāg-visargo janatāgha-viplavo
yasmin prati-ślokam abaddhavaty api
nāmāny anantasya yaśo 'ṅkitāni yac
chṛṇvanti gāyanti gṛṇanti sādhavaḥ

 
"On the other hand, that literature which is full with descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, form and pastimes of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a transcendental creation meant to bring about a revolution in the impious life of a misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though irregularly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest."

 
Oṁ tat sat
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Dated at Delhi
December 15, 1962
pasted from: prabhupadabooks.com

                                     
Srimad Bhagavatam Set

Srimad Bhagavatam Set

Srimad Bhagavatam Set
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Srimad Bhagavatam , an "Epic Philosophical and Literary Classic", holds a prominent position in India's voluminous written wisdom. The timeless wisdom of India is expressed in the Vedas, ancient Sanskrit texts that touch upon all fields of human knowledge. Originally preserved through oral tradition, the Vedas were first put into writing by Srila Vyasadeva, the "literary incarnation of God." After compiling the Vedas, Srila Vyasadeva was inspired by his spiritual master to present their profound essence in the form of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Known as "the ripened fruit of the tree of Vedic Literature, Srimad-Bhagavatam is the most complete and authoritative exposition of Vedic Knowledge.

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Scholars Praise  the Books of

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

"This is a work to be treasured. No one of whatever faith or philosophical persuasion who reads these books with an open mind can fail to be both moved and impressed."
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Dr. Garry Gelade, Professor of Psychology
Oxford University
.
"It has been my great pleasure recently to have read the Srimad-Bhagavatam in the superb edition authorized by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I am sure this monumental work will go far to bring the sublime message of the Bhagavatam to numerous Westerners who otherwise would miss this opportunity."
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Dr. Alex Wayman, Professor of Sanskrit
Columbia University
.
"The Srimad-Bhagavatam is extremely useful for all those interested in ancient India, whether their interest be that of the philosopher, the student of religion, the historian, the linguist, the sociologist or the political scientist. I truly hope that Srila Prabhupada will complete his translation of the entire Bhagavata and continue to translate other eminent Sanskrit works as well. Undoubtedly, this work of Swamiji's is a great contribution to the troubled human society of today's world."
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Dr. Sooda L. Bhatt, Professor of Indian Languages
Boston University
.
"The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust editions of famous religious classics of India, with new translations and commentaries, are an important addition to our expanding knowledge of spiritual India. The new edition of the Srimad-Bhagavatam is particularly welcome."
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Dr. John L. Mish, Chief, Oriental Division
New York Public Library

"A commentary on the Vedanta-sutra by Srila Vyasadeva divided into twelve 'cantos' of which four are presented here in eight beautifully produced volumes. These lavish volumes, obviously the product of devotional effort, contain many lovely full-color illustrations."
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Choice magazine, June, 1975
.
"In the diversity of religious approaches offered by the yogis of India, the most significant, of course, is the way of Krsna consciousness. It is amazing to see how Sri Bhaktivedanta Swami has in less than ten years succeeded, by his personal devotion, untiring energy and efficient direction, in organizing the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. Now, he has undertaken the stupendous project of rendering the entire Bhagavata, the great devotional classic of India, into English. His edition is learning blended with devotional feeling and inspired by a definite purpose of communicating the intense Iyrical and devotional quality of the Bhagavata. Srila Prabhupada has done an excellent service by his able rendition of 'the abode of divine joy' that the Bhagavata is."
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Dr. Mahesh Mehta, Professor of Asian Studies
University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
.
"It is axiomatic that no book can be expected entirely to satisfy all its potential readers. Here is one, however, which can be said to come remarkably close to that ideal... we have here the ideal of what an edition of a Sanskrit text for a Western audience should be."
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Dr. R. E. Asher, Professor of Linguistics
University of Edinburgh
.
"For those who have no access to the Sanskrit language, these books convey, in superb manner, the message of the Bhagavatam. In addition to being a scholarly work, it directly reflects the spiritual aspirations of a religious community which has gained considerable popularity in modern America."
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Dr. Alaka Hejib, Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies
Harvard University

"Srimad-Bhagavatam is a valuable source material and cannot but be attractive to serious students and scholars of religion and philosophy. I recommend this series, to anyone, as an important and useful reference work."
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Dr. C. P. Agrawal, Chairwoman
Department of Humanities, University of Michigan

 


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