A 5,000 Years Legacy
At the dawn of the present age, some 5,000 years ago, Srila Vyasadeva, the compiler of all the Vedic literature, foresaw the age we now live in deteriorating more and more through quarrel and hypocrisy. To help man not spoil the actual purpose of his human life, he compiled the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Srimad-Bhagavatam gives clear directions on how we can live a contented and happy life.
The Srimad-Bhagavatam's origin, its statements, and its story are extraordinary and wonderful. The Srimad-Bhagavatam had itself prophecied that it would create a revolution throughout the world - a fact that has only recently been witnessed in our present, modern time. Srimad-Bhagavatam passed down from Vyasa to the present through a continuous line of spiritual masters and disciples. The present edition in English is the fruit of this disciplic succession. And, its passage through the centuries was not without incident. In the fifteenth century, during the reign of the Moghuls in West Bengal, India, the Srimad-Bhagavatam took on a very public role in the hands of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Sri Caitanya's personality and life is very remarkable, as was his influence within society. He began and spread the practice of sankirtana, or the public glorification of God. Through this practice, He not only spread the text of the Srimad-Bhagavatam but its essence as well. Sankirtana proved very effective in reviving people's dormant feeling for God, or Krsna consciousness. It also enabled them to have satisfied, peaceful and fulfilled lives.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu inspired many of His followers to establish centers of learning and to compose literature further elaborating on the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Headed by the works of Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami, their writings are unequaled even today in their logic, insight and detail regarding spiritual matters. The present edition of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, aside from its faithful rendering into English from the original Sanskrit, draws upon and gives the essence of all these works.
The destiny of the Srimad-Bhagavatam ever unfolding, it finally spread to every country of the world through the efforts of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
In 1965, a lone missionary arrived in New York, the only passenger on a cargo ship from India. He was 69 years old and miraculously survived two heart attacks on his sea voyage. Practically penniless, knowing no one as a friend, he came to bring the "message of peace" to America. Within a few years, he succeeded to do so for almost all the countries of the world!
Srila Prabhupada came on the order of his spiritual master to, as he put it, "systematically educate and train people in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values and to achieve real unity and peace in the world."
The contribution of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is remarkable and unique. He single-handedly fulfilled the prophecy of the Srimad-Bhagavatam spreading and changing the lives of people throughout the entire world. He united individuals from every country, every color, every creed and race, of every religion and of every economic background as brothers. He alone did what the United Nations has failed to do even to this day.
Srila Prabhupada's success began with his unique rendering of the Srimad-Bhagavatam in English. Complete with the original Sanskrit text, transliterations, synonyms, translations and purports, his rendering is very exhaustive and comprehensive. Above all, the authority of his work is unquestionable. Srila Prabhupada did not leave room for misinterpretation of the conclusions or implications of text. Using precise, simple and clear language, he spells out the standard Vedic truths regarding all the relevant issues in our lives. He speaks as if to each individual, while being comprehensive enough for a man of responsibility to implement. He discusses every relevant subject very thoroughly. He boldly addresses and refutes the challenge of foolish and dangerous ideologies.
Srila Prabhupada's list of accomplishments is such that his life's story is itself intriguing and an impetus to know about the books he wrote and what they teach.
Before his passing away in 1977, Srila Prabhupada achieved the amazing feat of publishing over 30 volumes of the 48 part series of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Having been completed by his disciples, the entire Srimad-Bhagavatam is now available as a new 18-volume set.
What Wisdom, What Knowledge!
"This Bhagavata Purana is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krsna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc.. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy shall get light from this Purana."
Read the Srimad-Bhagavatam, or the "spotless Purana". Pick up knowledge that will enlighten and help you - presented through a wonderful dialogue and narrative. Enjoy a meaningful and transparent view of the world around you. Moreover, use it to help you make more informed choices in your life. Make it your guide to the art of living.
-- Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.43
The Definition of Religion
"The Supreme occupation for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self."
Harmony with Nature
-- Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6
"O Maharaja Pariksit,...during the reign of Lord Ramacandra the forests, the rivers, the hills and mountains, the states, the seven islands and the seven seas were all favorable in supplying the necessities of life for all living beings.... all bodily and mental suffering, disease, old-age, bereavement, lamentation, distress, fear and fatigue were completely absent. There was even no death for those who did not want it."
The Facts of Life
-- Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.10.52
"Under the supervision of the Supreme Lord and according to the result of his work, the living entity, the soul, is made to enter the womb of a woman through the particle of male semen to assume a particular type of body.... Pushed downward all of a sudden by the wind, the child comes out with great trouble, head downward, breathless and deprived of memory due to severe agony..."
A Queen's Realizations
-- Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.31.1
"Srimati Kunti said: O Krsna, I offer my obeisances unto You because You are the original personality and are unaffected by the qualities of the material world. You are existing both within and without everything, yet You are invisible to all."
The Rainy Season and Autumn in Vrndavana
-- Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.18
"With the advent of the rainy season, the insignificant streams, which had become dry, began to swell and then strayed from their proper courses, like the body, property and money of a man controlled by the urges of his senses. The newly grown grass made the earth emerald green, the indragopa insects added a reddish hue, and white mushrooms added further color and circles of shade. Thus the earth appeared like a person who has suddenly become rich.... When the Vrndavana forest had thus become resplendent, filled with ripe dates and the jambu fruits, Lord Krsna, surrounded by His cows and cowherd boyfriends, and accompanied by Sri Balarama, entered the forest to enjoy."
Prahlada Maharaja - the Saintly Son of the Demon Hiranyakasipu
-- Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.20.10
"From the very beginning of his life, Prahlada Maharaja was uninterested in childish playthings. Indeed, he gave them up altogether...he could not understand how the world goes on being fully absorbed in the activities of sense gratification... My dear King Yudhisthira, the demon Hiranyakasipu tormented this exalted, fortunate devotee although Prahlada was his own son."
The Battle Between Lord Varaha and the Demon Hiranyaksa
-- Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.4.37
"The demon being challenged by the Personality of Godhead, became angry and agitated, and he trembled in anger like a challenged cobra. Hissing indignantly, all his senses shaken by wrath, the demon quickly sprang upon the Lord and dealt Him a blow with his powerful mace. The Lord, however, by moving slightly aside, dodged the violent mace-blow aimed at His breast by the enemy, just as an accomplished yogi would elude death."
How Ajamila was Saved from the Jaws of Death
-- Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.18.13
"In the city known as Kanyakubja, there lived a brahmana named Ajamila who married a prostitute maidservant and lost all his brahminical qualities.... Ajamila gave trouble to others by arresting them, by cheating them in gambling or by directly plundering them. This was the way he earned his livelihood and maintained his wife and children..."
-- Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.21
The Art of Living at Your Fingertips
"This Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all."
Whether it is family, health, career, recreation or general well-being that occupies your time or thoughts, the Bhagavatam benefit is the one missing dimension that will bring a clear perspective and positive change in the quality of your life. Discover the realm of your consciousness, of life and all the world around you...a library of philosophy, history, religion and culture. A lifetime's experience for you and your family.
-- Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.2
The Srimad-Bhagavatam makes a beautiful and valuable addition to your home. You'll find yourself turning to its pages for sheer pleasure as well as for specific information. When used as your constant companion, the Bhagavatam will be a joy at every step and a friend in times of need. Its philosophy will help to clarify many issues and develop a clearer vision. The Srimad-Bhagavatam is presented to you with all your possible needs and uses in mind:
- 18 magnificent volumes
- More than 16,000 pages
- 238 specially commissioned paintings
- Sanskrit word glossary
- Verse index
- General index
- Cross-references and quotations
- 25 years to render to English
- The fruit of a succession of teachers, 5,000 years after compilation- now brought to you!
- Beyond birth, old-age, disease and death
- Transcending the influence of Time
- The freedom to control your karma and destiny
- Transmigration of the soul through 8,400,000 species of life and the three planetary systems
- Six diseases: lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness, and envy
- Three causes of suffering: your body and mind, other living beings and natural disturbances
- Varna and asrama, training for your profession and future from when you are five.
- Twenty-six qualities of saintly men
- Laws of God, the reality beyond belief
- Hearing from authorities: the science of progress and prosperity
- Experimenting: the science of errors and suffering
- Bhakti-yoga - the king of knowledge, the secret of all secrets
- The powers of celibacy and fears of promiscuity
- Higher dimensional science - there's more than meets your eyes, your ears,... even your mind
- Simple living and high thinking versus endless bureaucracy
- Krsna, the father - the only basis for uniting nations
- You are not the body
- Purification of heart, an atonement for life
- Deity worship - how you can love the Supreme
- Spiritual sky - where every tree is a desire tree, every word is a song, and every step is a dance, the land is touchstone, all water is nectar,...
- "God is great": the greatness of His nature, potencies, and activities
- Economics of sacrifice - no rains, no grains
- Vedic wisdom, improving the quality of life is not an armchair philosophy
- Chanting the names of God, the only practical meditation
- Love of God - your ultimate experience
"Words fail to describe the height of scholarship and devotion manifest in Srila Prabhupada's vast writings. Our future generations will definitely find a better world to live in through the efforts of Srila Prabhupada."
TEXT - The original text is in the Sanskrit language, which literally means perfectly composed. Sanskrit is recognized as the mother of all modern languages by historians and linguists.
-- Sri Viswanath Shukla, Ph.D., M.U. Aligarh, India
TRANSLITERATION - This system of transliteration uses English letters with diacritic marks to give a simple and accurate pronunciation of the Sanskrit verse. These verses are mantras that are suitable for meditation when chanted.
SYNONYMS - The English equivalents for Sanskrit bridge the gap between the two languages. With the meaning of the verse being clear, you will save time and effort trying to read 'between the lines'.
TRANSLATION - Based on the synonyms, the translations are clear, consistent and authoritative. The style is enjoyable and enlivening. Reading from verse to verse you'll feel as if time stands still.
PURPORT - Srila Prabhupada described his purports as his personal ecstasies. Through them Srila Prabhupada provides his valuable personal guidance. You learn of the historical personalities involved in the narration and all the lessons of particular importance. Combined with his liberal use of quotations from relevant literature and commentaries, the purports help to make the Srimad-Bhagavatam the perfect counselor in the home.
COLOR PICTURES - These are like windows to the spiritual sky. Highly praised by the art community, these paintings give a visual insight of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
GLOSSARY - Many ideas of Vedic knowledge are better understood in their original Sanskrit. The glossary gives definitions of some of the common and important words. They help you to become better conversant with topics such as karma, yoga, and bhakti.
VERSE INDEX - Every verse in the Srimad-Bhagavatam is authoritative and the basis for the complete Vedic culture. Therefore, this alphabetical listing of each line of every verse helps to easily look up any references.
CONTENTS - Have an at-a-glance insight into each chapter from a list of subtitles. Much of the text is summarized as subtitles to give you an overview of the chapter. This is useful when you have 347 chapters to choose from!
SANSKRIT PRONUNCIATION GUIDE - Nothing could be easier than pronouncing Sanskrit once you are familiar with this short guide. In Sanskrit every letter is pronounced the exact same way wherever it occurs. With practice this will enable you to enjoy singing the various verse meters.
GENERAL INDEX - This comprehensive and thorough index, with thousands of references, serves as the beginning for all your points of interest or concern. Like the text itself, the General Index is unique in its coverage of relevant topics such as: freedom from lust, process of acquiring intelligence, duties of householders, and many more.
"Undoubtedly, this work of Srila Prabhupada's is a great contribution to the troubled human society of today's world."
-- Dr. Sooda L. Bhatt, Boston University
Order your Srimad-Bhagavatam and learn the art of living! Available in set of books or on multimedia CDROM format!
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