सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Bhagavata Purana>"


Bhagavata Purana


भागवत पुराण


bhāgavata purāṇa

In General

Shremad Bhaagvat Purana is a is one of the 18 Purana and in household reading it is only second to Ramayana. The stories related to Krishna, the most intimate God is the main theme of Bhagavata. While the King Parikshith was under the shadow of death because of a curse, Suka Maharshi was invited to palace and for continuous seven days he told the king several stories, and that has been later compiled as Bhagavata. It has 12 chapters. The10th chapter is comparatevely large and contain the story of Krishna. The interlocutors are Sage Ugrava and Sage Suta

It is commenly said, Vyasya was not contended with the vast literature he wrote and edited. Vyasa was born to a poor fisher woman, and he wanted everybody to get initiated into spiritual life. He was well aware that the intellectual work in Vedas will not reach the poor and uneducated as they cannot understand it. So he wrote Mahabharata for common people. After completing the work on Mahabharata, it appears to him more like a history text and he feared it is not enough to create Bhakti in commen people. Narada who wrote Bhakti Sutra visited him, advised him to write Bhagavad leela. So he started new work Bhagavata


The contents of Bhagavata is as follows

Bhagavata Canto 1:

Saunaka and other sages introgates the Sage Sutha (Ugrasrava). Glory of the Lord Sri Krishna’s narrative and Devotion to Him. The Lord’s Avatars or Descents into the world of matter. A sense of frustration over takes Veda Vyasa. Glory of singing the Lord Sri Krishna’s praises and an account of Devarishi Narada’s previous life. Aswathama assassinates Draupadi’s sons and Arjuna in his turn curbs his pride. Sri Krishna protects Parikshith at the womb of his mother; Yudhishthira gives ways to grief. Yudhishthira and others calls on Bhishma and the later drops his mortal body extolling Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna’s Departure to Dwaraka. Royal reception to Sri Krishna at Dwaraka. Birth of Parikshith. Departure of Dritharashtra and his wife Gandhari, for the forest at the instance of Vidura. King Yudhishthira grows apprehensive at the sight of evil omens and Arjunas return from Dwaraka. Stricken with grief at their separation from Sri Krishna, the Pandava’s install Parikshith on the throne of Hastinapura and ascend to heaven. Conquest of the world by King Parikshith and the dialogue between Dharma(the God of piety) and mother Earth. King Parikshith subdues Kali. The Yong ascetic Sringi utters a curse against King Parikshith. Parikshith takes a Vow of fasting till death and Sage Suka pays a visit to him.

Bhagavata Canto 2:

The process of meditation and the cosmic form of Lord. Concentration in the gross and subtle form of Lord and two type of Mukthi, the Kramamukti or gradual Liberation and Sadyomukti or immediate Liberation. Worship of different Deities for the gratification of various desires and the superiority of devotion to the Lord. Parikshith ask question about creation of Universe and the sage Suka commences his discourse. A description of the Cosmos. Glories of the Cosmic Being. The stories of the lords descents. King asks various questions of sage Suka. Brahma beholds the divine Abode of the lord and is taught by Him. Ten characteristics features of Bhagavata

Bhagavata Canto 3:

Meeting of Uddhava and Vidura. Uddava recounts the childish sport of the Lord. A brief survey into lords other exploits. As directed by Uddava, Vidura calls on Sage Maitreya. The sage Maitreya describes the process of creation in replay to Viduras question. Appearance of Cosmic body. Viduras questions. Brahmas Manifestation. Brahma extols the Lord. Description of the tenfold creation. Division of time such as Manvantharas. Multiplication of creation. Lord’s descent as divine Boar. Diti’s conception. Sanakadi Rishis curse against Jaya and Vijaya. Fall of Jaya and Vijaya from Vaikunta. Birth of Hiranyakashibu and Hirnyaksha and the later conquest the four quarters. Encounter of Devine Boar with Hiranyaksha and the death of Hiranyaksha. The various species of living being created by Brahma. The Sage Kardama practices austerities and lord confers boon on him. The sage Kardama accepts the hand of Devahuti. Amorous pastimes of Kardama and Devahuti. Descent of Lord Kapila. Lord Kapila expatiates on the glory of Devotion in response to the query of mother Devahuti. The process of evolution of Mahat-tattva and other fundamental principles. How to attain Liberation through the differentiation of mater and spirit. The process of eight fold Yoga. True meaning of devotion and the glory of time. Downfall of man attached to body, house etc. the stages of growth of a human embryo. The destiny of the souls departing from this world by the bright path, the dark path and so on and the superiority of Bhakti Yoga. Devahuti receive the light of wisdom and attain the final beatitude.

Bhagavata Canto 4:

The progeny of Swayambhuvamanu’s Daughters. Ill feeling between Siva and Daksha. Sati insist on joining the sacrificial festival at her father’s residence. Daksha use bad words on Siva, Sati burns herself at the yagna fire. Virabhadra wrecks Daksha’s Sacrifice and beheads him. Brahma and other Gods proceeds to Kailasa and appease Lord Siva. Completion of Daksha’s Sacrifice. Druva’s departure for woods. Druva return home after receiving boon from Lord. Uttama’s death at the hands of Yaksas and Druva’s encounter with them. Swayambhuva Manu intervenes and persuades Dhruva to cease fighting. Kubera confer a boon on Druva who ascends to the abode of Vishnu. Druvas posterity and the narrative of king Anga. The story of king Vena. Descent and coronation of king Prthu. Glorification of king Prthu by the bards. King Prthu gets angry with Earth and the later extols him. King Prthu milk Godess Earth in the form of a Cow. King Prthu perform a hundred horse sacrifices. Lord Vishnu manifests Himself in the Sacrificial hall of king Prthu. King Prthu teaching to his subjects. The sage Sanaka and his three bothers imparts instruction to king Prthu. King Prthu practices asceticism and depart for the other world. The hymn sung by Lord Siva (and taught to Pracetas). Introductory part of the parables of Puranjana. Puranjana goes for a hunting in the forest and the queen gets angry with him. Raid of Candavega against the capital of Puranjana and the story of Kalakanya. Puranjana reborn as a women and attains liberation through the teaching of his friend Avijnatha. The dialogue between King Pracinabarhi and the sage Narada. Bhagavan Vishnu confers a boon on the Pracetas, who then return to their city and marry foster daughter of the trees. The story of the Pracetas.

Bhagavata Canto 5:

The story of Priyavrata. An account of Agnidhra. The descent of Risabhadeva. Rishabhadeva instruct his sons and he, himself to take to the life of ascetic who has shaken off worldly feeling and obligation. Rishabhadeva quits his body. The story of Bharata. Bharata conceive an infatuation for fawn and is reborn as a deer. Bharata reborn again as a Brahmin. The meeting of Jadabharata with king Rahugana. Bharata’s teaching to King Rahugana. Bharata allegorically represents this state of worldly existence as a forest and the doubts of Rahugana get resolved. Jadabharata elucidates the meaning of the allegory. Priyavarta’s story continued. A description of the terrestrial world. An account of the descent of the holy Ganga and a song of praise to Lord Sankarsana by the Lord Sankara. A description of universe and Jambudwipa in detail. Discription of other six Dwipas and the mountain range called Lokaloka. Adiscription of the stellar sphere as well as chariot of sun and its path. The relative position of planet and their movements. The disposition of stellar sphere represented in the form of dolphin. The position of Rahu etc. and limitys of heaven like subterranean region. A supplement of the description of the subterranean system. A description of the infernal regions.

Bhagavata Canto 6:

The introductory part of the story of Ajamila. The messengers of Lord Vishnu expound the Bhagavata Dharma(the cult of devotion) and Ajamila ascends to the Lord’s supreme abode. A dialogue between Yama and his messengers. Daksa extols the Lord, who appear in person before him. Narada subjected to an execration by Daksha. The posterity of Daksha through his sixty daughters. Brihaspati leaves God and Swarga and Gods choose Viswarupa as their new preceptor. The text of the holy Narayana Kavacha as taught to Indra. Indra slays Viswaroopa; and routed by the demon Vrtra(the younger brother of Viswaroopa), the Gods calls on Dadhichi at the instance of the Lord. An account of the conflict between Indra and Vrtra. Indra slain Vrtra Asura. The Lament of Citraketu. Citraketu consoled. Citraketu realizes his oneness with the supreme spirit. Citraketu cursed by Ma Parvati. An account of birth of Maruts(the fourtynine wind God). The procedure of observing the sacred vow of Pumsavana.

Bhagavata Canto 7:

A dialogue between Narada and Yudhisthira; the story of Jaya and Vijaya. Hiranyakashipu rids his mother (Diti) of her grief (caused by death of young brother Hiranyaksha). Hiranyaksipu started austerities and pleased Brahma to got boon. Hiranyakashipu’s autrocities and Prahlad’s virtues recounted. Hiranyakashipu attepts the life of Prahlada. Prahlad’s teaching to the demon boys and Daitya’s sons. Lord Narasimha extolled on the death of the demon King. An Eulogy of the Lord by Prahalada. The story of the conquest of Tripura. An enquiry into the right conduct. The course of conduct prescribed for a sanyasi and dialogue between Avadhuta and Prahlada. An nquiry into the right conduct.

Bhagavata Canto 8:

Manvanthara described. The Lord of elephant is caught in the grip of an alligator. The leader of the elephants extols the Lord and is rescued from the dangerous situation. Deliverance of the lord of elephants. The Gods resorts to Brahma and the latter glorifies the Lord. Transportation of Mount Mantara to serve as churn-staff for stirring of Ocean of Milk. The Gods and Demons proceeds to churn the Ocean and Lord Siva drinks the poison appearing out of it. The manifestation in personal form of Lord in enchanting potency. Appearing in the form of Mohini Lord deals out the nectar among the Gods. Outbreak of hostilities between Gods and Demons. Conflict between Gods and Demons. Infatuation of Lord Sankara. An account of the eight manvantara. Function of a Manu and other functionaries holding office in his administration. Conquest of Heaven by Bali. The procedure of observing the vow of Payovrata disclosed by Aditi. The Lord manifest Himself before Aditi and grant her desired boon. The Lord appear as the divine Dwarf and visits the sacrificial performance of Bali. The Lord ask three paces of land of Bali, who gives his word; while Sukra remonstrates with him against this course. A vision of the cosmic body of the Lord. Dialogue between King Bali and Vamana. Freed from bondage, Bali enters the region of Sutala. The story of the descent of the divine Fish recounted.

Bhagavata Canto 9:

The story of Sudyumna, Son of Vaivaswata Manu. The posterity of Karusa and other four sons of Vaivaswata Manu. The story of Sage Chyavana and his wife Sukanya; the posterity of King Satyati. The Story The story of Nabhaga and King Ambarasia. The posterity of Ikshwaku. The story of Mandhata and the sage Saubhari. The story of the King Harichandra. The story of King Sagara. T he story of King Bhagiratha. The descent of the holy Ganga. The story of Yayati. Yayati’s Renunciation. The Posterity of Puru and the stories of Dushyanta and Bharata. The posterity of Bharata and the story of Rantideva. The genealogy of the Panchala, the Kurus, and the kings of Magadha. An account of the posterity of Anu, Druhyu, Turvasu and Yadu. An account of Posterity of Yadu

Bhagavata Canto 10 (first half):

The Lord reassures Mother Earth, Vasudeva marries Devaki and Kamsa despatches the six sons of Devaki. The Lord enters the womb of Devaki and is extolled by the Gods. Advent of Lord Krishna. Slipping from the grip of Kamsa, Yogmaya ascended to the heaven and utters prophecy. Festivities connected with birth f Sri Krishna at Gokula. Deliverance of Puthana. Deliverance of the demon Trnavarta. The naming ceremony of the Lord and his infantile sports. Grace showered on Yasoda. The imprecation pronounced on Kubera’s sons by Nanda and their consequent redemption. Destruction of Vatsasura and Bhakasura. Deliverance of Bhakasura. Deliverance of Aghasura. Brahma is seized with and ultimately rid of infatuations. Brahma extols the Lord. The demon Dhenuka slain. The deliverance of Kaliya. The Lord rescues the inhabitants of Vraja from a wild fire. A description of the Rains and Autumn. The Song inspired by the flute. The Lord steals away the garments of cowherd maids. Redemption of the wives of some Brahmanas engaged in sacrifice. The Lord stops the sacrifice of Indra. The Lord lift up the mount Govardhana. Nanda’s conversation with the cowherds about Sri Krishna’s glory. Indra extols Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna rescues his father from the realm of Varuna. A description of Rasa Leela of the Lord. The Gopis quest for Sri Krishna during the Rasa Leela. The Gopis Song at the Lords disappearance during Rasa Leela. The Lord comforts the Gopis during the Rasa Play. A description of Rasa Play. The Lord makes short work of Sankhacuda. The Gopies song in pair of verses. Kamsa sends Akrura to Vraja to bring Sri Krishna and Balarama for Mathura. The demon Vyoma slain by the Lord. Departure of Sri Krishna and Balarama for Mathura. Akrura’s eulogy of the Lord. Entry of Sri Krishna and Balarama into Mathura. A description of the amphitheatre for Wrestlers setup by Kamsa. The elephant Kuvalayapida killed by the Lord. The Lord slain Kamsa. The Lord brings back His preceptor’s son from abode of death. The Lord relieves the agony of Nanda by dispatching Uddhava to Vraja with a message of endearment. Dialogue between Uddhava and Gopies and ode to a black bee. The Lord pays a visit to Kubja, the hunchbacked woman and Akrura at their respective places. Akruras visit to Hasthinapura.

Bhagavata Canto 10 (scond half):

The Lord built a fortress for his people in an area adjacent to western sea under the name Dwaraka. Kalyavana get burnt and the Sage Muchukunda glorifies Lord. Sri Krishna’s withdrawal to Dwaraka. Balarama’s Marriage. Rukmini sends a Brahmana with a message to Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna carries away Rukmini. Discomfiture of Sisupala’s allies and Rukmi and the Espousal of Rukmini by Sri Sri Krishna solemnized. The story of Pradyumna’s birth and the destruction of demon Sambara. The story of Syamantaka gem. Sri Krishna weds Jambavati and Satyabhama. Syamantaka stolen, Satadhanava killed and Akrura recalled to Dwaraka. Sri Krishna’s espousal with the rest of His eight principal Spouses. The Lord snatches away by force a Parijata tree from paradise and kills the demon Naraka(the son of mother earth) and free the captive women. A dialogue between Krishna and Rukmini. A description of Lords progeny. Rukmini killed by Balarama during Aniruddha’s wedding. Aniruddha made captive. Aniruddha brought back to Dwaraka. The story of King Nirga. Baladeva triumphantly divert the river Yamuna from course. Paundraka and others killed. Dwivida killed by Balarama. The triumph of Sankarsana in the form of dragging Hastinapura. Glimpse into the household life of Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna’s daily routine; Kings taken captive by Jarasandha send their messenger to Sri Krishna. Jarasandha killed. Sri Krishna and others return to Indraprastha. Sisupala killed by Sri Krishna. Duryodhana’s humiliation. Salva’sencounter with Yadavas. Salva’s deliverance. Deliverance of Dantavaktra and Viduratha. Suta killd by Sri Balarama during his Pilgrimage. Sri Krishna’s reception of Sudhama. The story of Parched rice brought as a present for Krishna by Sudhama. Meeting of Vrishni’s with Gopas and Gopies of Vrindavana. Conversation between Bhagvan Sri Krishna’s consorts and Draupadi. An account of Pilgrimage under taken by Sri Krishna. The Lord bring back from the abode of death his six elder brothers throttled by Kamsa. Subhadra carries away by Arjuna. The Lords grace on Srutadeva. A song of Praise uttered by the Vedas in their living form. Lord Rudra rescued from trouble. The three chief Gods put to test by Sage Brighu. The lord brings back the dead sons of a Brahmana. The story of the amorous sports of Sri Krishna narrated.

Bhagavata Canto 11:

The curse of Rishis invoking the destruction of Yadu’s race. Narada visits Vasudeva and reproduces the dialogue between King Janaka and nine Yogiswaras. A description of Maya and the means of transcending it; an exposition of Brahma and the path of Action. A description of Lords descents. The fate of non devotees. Different method of Lords worship according to the different Yugas. The Gods entreat the Lord to return to His divine realm and Uddhava approaches him on the eve of the Yadu’s departure for Prabhasa. The legend of an ascetic and the story of twenty four preceptors recognized by him. The emptiness of earthly and other worldly enjoyments exposed. The characteristics of bound and liberated souls as well as of devotees. The Glory of Satsanga. How to perform ones prescribed duty and how to relinquish it. The teaching imparted by Lord in the form of the Devine Swan to the four Sanakadi Rishis. Glory of the path of devotion and the process of meditation described. Names and characteristics of the various Siddis acquired through Yoga. Glorious manifestation of Lord enumerated. The duties pertaining to four Varnas and four Ashrams. The duties of anchorites and recluses. A desertation on Devotion, spiritual enlightenment and Yogic disciplines in the form of yamas, niyama asana etc. Jnana Yoga Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga analysed. The process of determining what is good and what is evil and the secret underlying it. Categories enumerated; distinction between Prakriti and Purusha. The Episode of a forbearing Brahmana. A desertation on Sankhya Yoga. The operation of the three Gunas described. The utterances of Pururava bearing on aversion for the pleasures of sense. The Yoga of formal worship. The highest truth discussed. Courses of conduct pleasing to the Lord. Uddhava’s departure for Badarikashrama. Holocaust of Yadu’s Race. The Lord Ascent to His Divine Realm.

Bhagavata Canto 12:

Lines of Kings of Kaliyuga. The evils of Kaliyuga. Vanity of Kings. Righteous conduct of every yuga. Means to escape the evils of Kaliyuga. Loud chanting of Divine name. The four fold Pralaya. The final teaching of Sukadeva concerning Brahma. Parikshith attain supreme goal and Janamejaya commences a snake sacrifice. Classicifation of Vedas into so many Sakhas or schools. Different school of Atherva Veda and characteristics of Puranas. The Sage Markandeya embarks on a course of austerities and receives a boon. The sage Markandeya witnesses the Lord’s Maya. Lord Siva confers a boon on Markandeya. The significance of Lords own limbs. Attendants, weapons and a description of the retinue of Sun God as he is changing in very month in the course of a solar year. The extent of eighteen puranas and glory of Bhagavata.

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