Srimad Bhagavatam - Bhagavata Purana


The Bhāgavata Purāṇa , also Śrīmad Bhāgavata Mahā Purāṇa, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata) is one of Hinduism's eighteen great Puranas (Mahapuranas, great histories).

The texts contains about  335 cantos with 18000 verses.

Composed in Sanskrit it is nowadays available in almost all Indian and may western languages.

The purana  promotes bhakti (devotion) to Krishna and integrates themes from the Advaita (monism) philosophy of Adi Shankara. The theistic Samkhya as taught by Kapila is the dominant philosophy in the text.

The Purana teaches a form of Dharma that competes with the view of the Vedas.

It is suggesting that Bhakti finally leads to Self-knowledge, Moksha (salvation) and bliss(ananda).


Book 1 -  introduces the Bhagavata with a dialogue between the sages Vyasa and Narada who  discuss the weaknesses in the  Bhagavad Gita. The  call it the philosophical treatise of the Mahabharata. Thereafter they declare that the monism and oneness taught in Upanishads is too abstract.

Book 2 - Shuka tells Parikshit that one should become free of the fear of death by letting go of all attachments to likes and dislikes. One should do Yoga by controlling the breath and mind and concentrating on the sacred Aum. Shuka then explains the theory of Yoga, of bhakti, different types of dharana, the nature of Bhagavan, and the liberation for a yogi. He  also presents a theory of cosmology, a theory on human anatomy, how human body has all the Vedic gods in it (Sattvic) etc..

Book 3 - Krishna's death in chapter 1 of Book 3 ; The story of the birth of Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa is told, including the latter's death at the hands of Varaha or boar avatar of Vishnu, u.a...

Book 4 - The story of Daksha and his sacrifice is told, in which he mocks Shiva in front of Dakshayan - his own daughter and Shiva's consort. It resultet in Dakshayani's self-immolation, who later came to be known by her name Sati.

Book 5 - story of Manu's sons and their children leads eventually to Bharat; a description of the world, the sun and its course, the moon and the planets, the regions below the earth, and the twenty-eight hells (naraka).

Book 6 - mythology, cosmology and philosophical themes

Book 7 - the story of the Daitya Hiranyakaśipu, his son Prahlada, the death of Hiranyakaśipu at the hands of Narasimha

Book 8 - description of the six past Manvantaras and the seven future ages of Manu - it includes several stories, many involving the avatars of Vishnu.

Book 9 - describes the current age of Manu

Book 10 - Images and stories of Krishna

Book 11 - Krishna's ascent to Vaikuntha, the Uddhava Gita

Book 12 - various prophecies