Śrīmad Bhāgavatam | Canto 1 Chapter 3
Kṛṣṇa Is the Source of All Incarnations
jagṛhe pauruṣaṁ rūpaṁ
sūtaḥ uvāca — Sūta said; jagṛhe — accepted; pauruṣam — plenary portion as the puruṣa incarnation; rūpam — form; bhagavān — the Personality of Godhead; mahat-ādibhiḥ — with the ingredients of the material world; sambhūtam — thus there was the creation of; ṣoḍaśa-kalam — sixteen primary principles; ādau — in the beginning; loka — the universes; sisṛkṣayā — on the intention of creating.
Sūta said: In the beginning of the creation, the Lord first expanded Himself in the universal form of the puruṣa incarnation and manifested all the ingredients for the material creation. And thus at first there was the creation of the sixteen principles of material action. This was for the purpose of creating the material universes.
brahmā viśva-sṛjāṁ patiḥ
yasya — whose; ambhasi — in the water; śayānasya — lying down; yoga-nidrām — sleeping in meditation; vitanvataḥ — ministering; nābhi — navel; hrada — out of the lake; ambujāt — from the lotus; āsīt — was manifested; brahmā — the grandfather of the living beings; viśva — the universe; sṛjām — the engineers; patiḥ — master.
A part of the puruṣa lies down within the water of the universe, from the navel lake of His body sprouts a lotus stem, and from the lotus flower atop this stem, Brahmā, the master of all engineers in the universe, becomes manifest.
tad vai bhagavato rūpaṁ
viśuddhaṁ sattvam ūrjitam
yasya — whose; avayava — bodily expansion; saṁsthānaiḥ — situated in; kalpitaḥ — is imagined; loka — planets of inhabitants; vistaraḥ — various; tat vai — but that is; bhagavataḥ — of the Personality of Godhead; rūpam — form; viśuddham — purely; sattvam — existence; ūrjitam — excellence.
It is believed that all the universal planetary systems are situated on the extensive body of the puruṣa, but He has nothing to do with the created material ingredients. His body is eternally in spiritual existence par excellence.
paśyanty ado rūpam adabhra-cakṣuṣā
paśyanti — see; adaḥ — the form of the puruṣa; rūpam — form; adabhra — perfect; cakṣuṣā — by the eyes; sahasra-pāda — thousands of legs; ūru — thighs; bhuja-ānana — hands and faces; adbhutam — wonderful; sahasra — thousands of; mūrdha — heads; śravaṇa — ears; akṣi — eyes; nāsikam — noses; sahasra — thousands; mauli — garlands; ambara — dresses; kuṇḍala — earrings; ullasat — all glowing.
The devotees, with their perfect eyes, see the transcendental form of the puruṣa who has thousands of legs, thighs, arms and faces — all extraordinary. In that body there are thousands of heads, ears, eyes and noses. They are decorated with thousands of helmets and glowing earrings and are adorned with garlands.
nidhānaṁ bījam avyayam
etat — this (form); nānā — multifarious; avatārāṇām — of the incarnations; nidhānam — source; bījam — seed; avyayam — indestructible; yasya — whose; aṁśa — plenary portion; aṁśena — part of the plenary portion; sṛjyante — create; deva — demigods; tiryak — animals; nara-ādayaḥ — human beings and others.
This form [the second manifestation of the puruṣa] is the source and indestructible seed of multifarious incarnations within the universe. From the particles and portions of this form, different living entities, like demigods, men and others, are created.
sa eva prathamaṁ devaḥ
kaumāraṁ sargam āśritaḥ
cacāra duścaraṁ brahmā
saḥ — that; eva — certainly; prathamam — first; devaḥ — Supreme Lord; kaumāram — named the Kumāras (unmarried); sargam — creation; āśritaḥ — under; cacāra — performed; duścaram — very difficult to do; brahmā — in the order of Brahman; brahmacaryam — under discipline to realize the Absolute (Brahman); akhaṇḍitam — unbroken.
First of all, in the beginning of creation, there were the four unmarried sons of Brahmā [the Kumāras], who, being situated in a vow of celibacy, underwent severe austerities for realization of the Absolute Truth.
dvitīyaṁ tu bhavāyāsya
yajñeśaḥ saukaraṁ vapuḥ
dvitīyam — the second; tu — but; bhavāya — for the welfare; asya — of this earth; rasātala — of the lowest region; gatām — having gone; mahīm — the earth; uddhariṣyan — lifting; upādatta — established; yajñeśaḥ — the proprietor or the supreme enjoyer; saukaram — hoggish; vapuḥ — incarnation.
The supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices accepted the incarnation of a boar [the second incarnation], and for the welfare of the earth He lifted the earth from the nether regions of the universe.
tṛtīyam ṛṣi-sargaṁ vai
devarṣitvam upetya saḥ
tantraṁ sātvatam ācaṣṭa
naiṣkarmyaṁ karmaṇāṁ yataḥ
tṛtīyam — the third one; ṛṣi-sargam — the millennium of the ṛṣis; vai — certainly; devarṣitvam — incarnation of the ṛṣi amongst the demigods; upetya — having accepted; saḥ — he; tantram — exposition of the Vedas; sātvatam — which is especially meant for devotional service; ācaṣṭa — collected; naiṣkarmyam — nonfruitive; karmaṇām — of work; yataḥ — from which.
In the millennium of the ṛṣis, the Personality of Godhead accepted the third empowered incarnation in the form of Devarṣi Nārada, who is a great sage among the demigods. He collected expositions of the Vedas which deal with devotional service and which inspire nonfruitive action.
akarot duścaraṁ tapaḥ
turye — in the fourth of the line; dharma-kalā — wife of Dharmarāja; sarge — being born of; nara-nārāyaṇau — named Nara and Nārāyaṇa; ṛṣī — sages; bhūtvā — becoming; ātma-upaśama — controlling the senses; upetam — for achievement of; akarot — undertook; duścaram — very strenuous; tapaḥ — penance.
In the fourth incarnation, the Lord became Nara and Nārāyaṇa, the twin sons of the wife of King Dharma. Thus He undertook severe and exemplary penances to control the senses.
pañcamaḥ kapilo nāma
pañcamaḥ — the fifth one; kapilaḥ — Kapila; nāma — of the name; siddheśaḥ — the foremost amongst the perfect; kāla — time; viplutam — lost; provāca — said; āsuraye — unto the brāhmaṇa named Āsuri; sāṅkhyam — metaphysics; tattva-grāma — the sum total of the creative elements; vinirṇayam — exposition.
The fifth incarnation, named Lord Kapila, is foremost among perfected beings. He gave an exposition of the creative elements and metaphysics to Āsuri Brāhmaṇa, for in course of time this knowledge had been lost.
ṣaṣṭham atrer apatyatvaṁ
vṛtaḥ prāpto ’nasūyayā
ṣaṣṭham — the sixth one; atreḥ — of Atri; apatyatvam — sonship; vṛtaḥ — being prayed for; prāptaḥ — obtained; anasūyayā — by Anasūyā; ānvīkṣikīm — on the subject of transcendence; alarkāya — unto Alarka; prahlāda-ādibhyaḥ — unto Prahlāda and others; ūcivān — spoke.
The sixth incarnation of the puruṣa was the son of the sage Atri. He was born from the womb of Anasūyā, who prayed for an incarnation. He spoke on the subject of transcendence to Alarka, Prahlāda and others [Yadu, Haihaya, etc.].
tataḥ saptama ākūtyāṁ
rucer yajño ’bhyajāyata
sa yāmādyaiḥ sura-gaṇair
tataḥ — after that; saptame — the seventh in the line; ākūtyām — in the womb of Ākūti; ruceḥ — by Prajāpati Ruci; yajñaḥ — the Lord’s incarnation as Yajña; abhyajāyata — advented; saḥ — He; yāma-ādyaiḥ — with Yāma and others; sura-gaṇaiḥ — with demigods; apāt — ruled; svāyambhuva-antaram — the change of the period of Svāyambhuva Manu.
The seventh incarnation was Yajña, the son of Prajāpati Ruci and his wife Ākūti. He controlled the period during the change of the Svāyambhuva Manu and was assisted by demigods such as His son Yāma.
aṣṭame merudevyāṁ tu
nābher jāta urukramaḥ
darśayan vartma dhīrāṇāṁ
aṣṭame — the eighth of the incarnations; merudevyām tu — in the womb of Merudevī, the wife of; nābheḥ — King Nābhi; jātaḥ — took birth; urukramaḥ — the all-powerful Lord; darśayan — by showing; vartma — the way; dhīrāṇām — of the perfect beings; sarva — all; āśrama — orders of life; namaskṛtam — honored by.
The eighth incarnation was King Ṛṣabha, son of King Nābhi and his wife Merudevī. In this incarnation the Lord showed the path of perfection, which is followed by those who have fully controlled their senses and who are honored by all orders of life.
ṛṣibhir yācito bheje
navamaṁ pārthivaṁ vapuḥ
dugdhemām oṣadhīr viprās
tenāyaṁ sa uśattamaḥ
ṛṣibhiḥ — by the sages; yācitaḥ — being prayed for; bheje — accepted; navamam — the ninth one; pārthivam — the ruler of the earth; vapuḥ — body; dugdha — milking; imām — all these; oṣadhīḥ — products of the earth; viprāḥ — O brāhmaṇas; tena — by; ayam — this; saḥ — he; uśattamaḥ — beautifully attractive.
O brāhmaṇas, in the ninth incarnation, the Lord, prayed for by sages, accepted the body of a king [Pṛthu] who cultivated the land to yield various produce, and for that reason the earth was beautiful and attractive.
rūpaṁ sa jagṛhe mātsyaṁ
nāvy āropya mahī-mayyām
apād vaivasvataṁ manum
rūpam — form; saḥ — He; jagṛhe — accepted; mātsyam — of a fish; cākṣuṣa — Cākṣuṣa; udadhi — water; samplave — inundation; nāvi — on the boat; āropya — keeping on; mahī — the earth; mayyām — drowned in; apāt — protected; vaivasvatam — Vaivasvata; manum — Manu, the father of man.
When there was a complete inundation after the period of the Cākṣuṣa Manu and the whole world was deep within water, the Lord accepted the form of a fish and protected Vaivasvata Manu, keeping him up on a boat.
pṛṣṭha ekādaśe vibhuḥ
sura — the theists; asurāṇām — of the atheists; udadhim — in the ocean; mathnatām — churning; mandarācalam — the Mandarācala Hill; dadhre — sustained; kamaṭha — tortoise; rūpeṇa — in the form of; pṛṣṭhe — shell; ekādaśe — the eleventh in the line; vibhuḥ — the great.
The eleventh incarnation of the Lord took the form of a tortoise whose shell served as a pivot for the Mandarācala Hill, which was being used as a churning rod by the theists and atheists of the universe.
trayodaśamam eva ca
apāyayat surān anyān
mohinyā mohayan striyā
dhānvantaram — the incarnation of Godhead named Dhanvantari; dvādaśamam — the twelfth in the line; trayodaśamam — the thirteenth in the line; eva — certainly; ca — and; apāyayat — gave to drink; surān — the demigods; anyān — others; mohinyā — by charming beauty; mohayan — alluring; striyā — in the form of a woman.
In the twelfth incarnation, the Lord appeared as Dhanvantari, and in the thirteenth He allured the atheists by the charming beauty of a woman and gave nectar to the demigods to drink.
bibhrad daityendram ūrjitam
dadāra karajair ūrāv
erakāṁ kaṭa-kṛd yathā
caturdaśam — the fourteenth in the line; nāra-siṁham — the incarnation of the Lord as half-man and half-lion; bibhrat — advented; daitya-indram — the king of the atheists; ūrjitam — strongly built; dadāra — bifurcated; karajaiḥ — by the nails; ūrau — on the lap; erakām — canes; kaṭa-kṛt — carpenter; yathā — just like.
In the fourteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as Nṛsiṁha and bifurcated the strong body of the atheist Hiraṇyakaśipu with His nails, just as a carpenter pierces cane.
kṛtvāgād adhvaraṁ baleḥ
pañcadaśam — the fifteenth in the line; vāmanakam — the dwarf brāhmaṇa; kṛtvā — by assumption of; agāt — went; adhvaram — arena of sacrifice; baleḥ — of King Bali; pada-trayam — three steps only; yācamānaḥ — begging; pratyāditsuḥ — willing at heart to return; tri-piṣṭapam — the kingdom of the three planetary systems.
In the fifteenth incarnation, the Lord assumed the form of a dwarf brāhmaṇa [Vāmana] and visited the arena of sacrifice arranged by Mahārāja Bali. Although at heart He was willing to regain the kingdom of the three planetary systems, He simply asked for a donation of three steps of land.
paśyan brahma-druho nṛpān
niḥ-kṣatrām akaron mahīm
avatāre — in the incarnation of the Lord; ṣoḍaśame — the sixteenth; paśyan — seeing; brahma-druhaḥ — disobedient to the orders of the brāhmaṇas; nṛpān — the kingly order; triḥ-sapta — thrice seven times; kṛtvaḥ — had done; kupitaḥ — being engaged; niḥ — negation; kṣatrām — the administrative class; akarot — did perform; mahīm — the earth.
In the sixteenth incarnation of the Godhead, the Lord [as Bhṛgupati] annihilated the administrative class [kṣatriyas] twenty-one times, being angry with them because of their rebellion against the brāhmaṇas [the intelligent class].
tataḥ saptadaśe jātaḥ
cakre veda-taroḥ śākhā
dṛṣṭvā puṁso ’lpa-medhasaḥ
tataḥ — thereafter; saptadaśe — in the seventeenth incarnation; jātaḥ — advented; satyavatyām — in the womb of Satyavatī; parāśarāt — by Parāśara Muni; cakre — prepared; veda-taroḥ — of the desire tree of the Vedas; śākhāḥ — branches; dṛṣṭvā — be seeing; puṁsaḥ — the people in general; alpa-medhasaḥ — less intelligent.
Thereafter, in the seventeenth incarnation of Godhead, Śrī Vyāsadeva appeared in the womb of Satyavatī through Parāśara Muni, and he divided the one Veda into several branches and subbranches, seeing that the people in general were less intelligent.
cakre vīryāṇy ataḥ param
nara — human being; devatvam — divinity; āpannaḥ — having assumed the form of; sura — the demigods; kārya — activities; cikīrṣayā — for the purpose of performing; samudra — the Indian Ocean; nigraha-ādīni — controlling, etc; cakre — did perform; vīryāṇi — superhuman prowess; ataḥ param — thereafter.
In the eighteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as King Rāma. In order to perform some pleasing work for the demigods, He exhibited superhuman powers by controlling the Indian Ocean and then killing the atheist King Rāvaṇa, who was on the other side of the sea.
vṛṣṇiṣu prāpya janmanī
rāma-kṛṣṇāv iti bhuvo
bhagavān aharad bharam
ekonaviṁśe — in the nineteenth; viṁśatime — in the twentieth also; vṛṣṇiṣu — in the Vṛṣṇi dynasty; prāpya — having obtained; janmanī — births; rāma — Balarāma; kṛṣṇau — Śrī Kṛṣṇa; iti — thus; bhuvaḥ — of the world; bhagavān — the Personality of Godhead; aharat — removed; bharam — burden.
In the nineteenth and twentieth incarnations, the Lord advented Himself as Lord Balarāma and Lord Kṛṣṇa in the family of Vṛṣṇi [the Yadu dynasty], and by so doing He removed the burden of the world.
tataḥ kalau sampravṛtte
tataḥ — thereafter; kalau — the Age of Kali; sampravṛtte — having ensued; sammohāya — for the purpose of deluding; sura — the theists; dviṣām — those who are envious; buddhaḥ — Lord Buddha; nāmnā — of the name; añjana-sutaḥ — whose mother was Añjanā; kīkaṭeṣu — in the province of Gayā (Bihar); bhaviṣyati — will take place.
Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Añjanā, in the province of Gayā, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist.
nāmnā kalkir jagat-patiḥ
atha — thereafter; asau — the same Lord; yuga-sandhyāyām — at the conjunction of the yugas; dasyu — plunderers; prāyeṣu — almost all; rājasu — the governing personalities; janitā — will take His birth; viṣṇu — named Viṣṇu; yaśasaḥ — surnamed Yaśā; nāmnā — in the name of; kalkiḥ — the incarnation of the Lord; jagat-patiḥ — the Lord of the creation.
Thereafter, at the conjunction of two yugas, the Lord of the creation will take His birth as the Kalki incarnation and become the son of Viṣṇu Yaśā. At this time almost all the rulers of the earth will have degenerated into plunderers.
avatārā hy asaṅkhyeyā
hareḥ sattva-nidher dvijāḥ
sarasaḥ syuḥ sahasraśaḥ
avatārāḥ — incarnations; hi — certainly; asaṅkhyeyāḥ — innumerable; hareḥ — of Hari, the Lord; sattva-nidheḥ — of the ocean of goodness; dvijāḥ — the brāhmaṇas; yathā — as it is; avidāsinaḥ — inexhaustible; kulyāḥ — rivulets; sarasaḥ — of vast lakes; syuḥ — are; sahasraśaḥ — thousands of.
O brāhmaṇas, the incarnations of the Lord are innumerable, like rivulets flowing from inexhaustible sources of water.
ṛṣayo manavo devā
kalāḥ sarve harer eva
ṛṣayaḥ — all the sages; manavaḥ — all the Manus; devāḥ — all the demigods; manu-putrāḥ — all the descendants of Manu; mahā-ojasaḥ — very powerful; kalāḥ — portion of the plenary portion; sarve — all collectively; hareḥ — of the Lord; eva — certainly; sa-prajāpatayaḥ — along with the Prajāpatis; smṛtāḥ — are known.
All the ṛṣis, Manus, demigods and descendants of Manu, who are especially powerful, are plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord. This also includes the Prajāpatis.
ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ
kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
mṛḍayanti yuge yuge
ete — all these; ca — and; aṁśa — plenary portions; kalāḥ — portions of the plenary portions; puṁsaḥ — of the Supreme; kṛṣṇaḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa; tu — but; bhagavān — the Personality of Godhead; svayam — in person; indra-ari — the enemies of Indra; vyākulam — disturbed; lokam — all the planets; mṛḍayanti — gives protection; yuge yuge — in different ages.
All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.
janma guhyaṁ bhagavato
ya etat prayato naraḥ
sāyaṁ prātar gṛṇan bhaktyā
janma — birth; guhyam — mysterious; bhagavataḥ — of the Lord; yaḥ — one; etat — all these; prayataḥ — carefully; naraḥ — man; sāyam — evening; prātaḥ — morning; gṛṇan — recites; bhaktyā — with devotion; duḥkha-grāmāt — from all miseries; vimucyate — gets relief from.
Whoever carefully recites the mysterious appearances of the Lord, with devotion in the morning and in the evening, gets relief from all miseries of life.
etad rūpaṁ bhagavato
hy arūpasya cid-ātmanaḥ
etat — all these; rūpam — forms; bhagavataḥ — of the Lord; hi — certainly; arūpasya — of one who has no material form; cit-ātmanaḥ — of the Transcendence; māyā — material energy; guṇaiḥ — by the qualities; viracitam — manufactured; mahat-ādibhiḥ — with the ingredients of matter; ātmani — in the self.
The conception of the virāṭ universal form of the Lord, as appearing in the material world, is imaginary. It is to enable the less intelligent [and neophytes] to adjust to the idea of the Lord’s having form. But factually the Lord has no material form.
yathā nabhasi meghaugho
reṇur vā pārthivo ’nile
evaṁ draṣṭari dṛśyatvam
yathā — as it is; nabhasi — in the sky; megha-oghaḥ — a mass of clouds; reṇuḥ — dust; vā — as well as; pārthivaḥ — muddiness; anile — in the air; evam — thus; draṣṭari — to the seer; dṛśyatvam — for the purpose of seeing; āropitam — is implied; abuddhibhiḥ — by the less intelligent persons.
Clouds and dust are carried by the air, but less intelligent persons say that the sky is cloudy and the air is dirty. Similarly, they also implant material bodily conceptions on the spirit self.
ataḥ paraṁ yad avyaktam
sa jīvo yat punar-bhavaḥ
ataḥ — this; param — beyond; yat — which; avyaktam — unmanifested; avyūḍha — without formal shape; guṇa-bṛṁhitam — affected by the qualities; adṛṣṭa — unseen; aśruta — unheard; vastutvāt — being like that; saḥ — that; jīvaḥ — living being; yat — that which; punaḥ-bhavaḥ — takes birth repeatedly.
Beyond this gross conception of form is another, subtle conception of form which is without formal shape and is unseen, unheard and unmanifest. The living being has his form beyond this subtlety, otherwise he could not have repeated births.
iti tad brahma-darśanam
yatra — whenever; ime — in all these; sat-asat — gross and subtle; rūpe — in the forms of; pratiṣiddhe — on being nullified; sva-saṁvidā — by self-realization; avidyayā — by ignorance; ātmani — in the self; kṛte — having been imposed; iti — thus; tat — that is; brahma-darśanam — the process of seeing the Absolute.
Whenever a person experiences, by self-realization, that both the gross and subtle bodies have nothing to do with the pure self, at that time he sees himself as well as the Lord.
yady eṣoparatā devī
māyā vaiśāradī matiḥ
sampanna eveti vidur
mahimni sve mahīyate
yadi — if, however; eṣā — they; uparatā — subsided; devī māyā — illusory energy; vaiśāradī — full of knowledge; matiḥ — enlightenment; sampannaḥ — enriched with; eva — certainly; iti — thus; viduḥ — being cognizant of; mahimni — in the glories; sve — of the self; mahīyate — being situated in.
If the illusory energy subsides and the living entity becomes fully enriched with knowledge by the grace of the Lord, then he becomes at once enlightened with self-realization and thus becomes situated in his own glory.
evaṁ janmāni karmāṇi
hy akartur ajanasya ca
varṇayanti sma kavayo
evam — thus; janmāni — birth; karmāṇi — activities; hi — certainly; akartuḥ — of the inactive; ajanasya — of the unborn; ca — and; varṇayanti — describe; sma — in the past; kavayaḥ — the learned; veda-guhyāni — undiscoverable by the Vedas; hṛt-pateḥ — of the Lord of the heart.
Thus learned men describe the births and activities of the unborn and inactive, which is undiscoverable even in the Vedic literatures. He is the Lord of the heart.
sa vā idaṁ viśvam amogha-līlaḥ
sṛjaty avaty atti na sajjate ’smin
bhūteṣu cāntarhita ātma-tantraḥ
ṣāḍ-vargikaṁ jighrati ṣaḍ-guṇeśaḥ
saḥ — the Supreme Lord; vā — alternately; idam — this; viśvam — manifested universes; amogha-līlaḥ — one whose activities are spotless; sṛjati — creates; avati atti — maintains and annihilates; na — not; sajjate — is affected by; asmin — in them; bhūteṣu — in all living beings; ca — also; antarhitaḥ — living within; ātma-tantraḥ — self-independent; ṣāṭ-vargikam — endowed with all the potencies of His opulences; jighrati — superficially attached, like smelling the fragrance; ṣaṭ-guṇa-īśaḥ — master of the six senses.
The Lord, whose activities are always spotless, is the master of the six senses and is fully omnipotent with six opulences. He creates the manifested universes, maintains them and annihilates them without being in the least affected. He is within every living being and is always independent.
na cāsya kaścin nipuṇena dhātur
avaiti jantuḥ kumanīṣa ūtīḥ
nāmāni rūpāṇi mano-vacobhiḥ
santanvato naṭa-caryām ivājñaḥ
na — not; ca — and; asya — of Him; kaścit — anyone; nipuṇena — by dexterity; dhātuḥ — of the creator; avaiti — can know; jantuḥ — the living being; kumanīṣaḥ — with a poor fund of knowledge; ūtīḥ — activities of the Lord; nāmāni — His names; rūpāṇi — His forms; manaḥ-vacobhiḥ — by dint of mental speculation or deliverance of speeches; santanvataḥ — displaying; naṭa-caryām — a dramatic action; iva — like; ajñaḥ — the foolish.
The foolish with a poor fund of knowledge cannot know the transcendental nature of the forms, names and activities of the Lord, who is playing like an actor in a drama. Nor can they express such things, neither in their speculations nor in their words.
sa veda dhātuḥ padavīṁ parasya
yo ’māyayā santatayānuvṛttyā
saḥ — He alone; veda — can know; dhātuḥ — of the creator; padavīm — glories; parasya — of the transcendence; duranta-vīryasya — of the greatly powerful; ratha-aṅga-pāṇeḥ — of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who bears in His hand the wheel of a chariot; yaḥ — one who; amāyayā — without reservation; santatayā — without any gap; anuvṛttyā — favorably; bhajeta — renders service; tat-pāda — of His feet; saroja-gandham — fragrance of the lotus.
Only those who render unreserved, uninterrupted, favorable service unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who carries the wheel of the chariot in His hand, can know the creator of the universe in His full glory, power and transcendence.
atheha dhanyā bhagavanta itthaṁ
yad vāsudeve ’khila-loka-nāthe
kurvanti sarvātmakam ātma-bhāvaṁ
na yatra bhūyaḥ parivarta ugraḥ
atha — thus; iha — in this world; dhanyāḥ — successful; bhagavantaḥ — perfectly cognizant; ittham — such; yat — what; vāsudeve — unto the Personality of Godhead; akhila — all-embracing; loka-nāthe — unto the proprietor of all the universes; kurvanti — inspires; sarva-ātmakam — one- hundred-percent; ātma — spirit; bhāvam — ecstasy; na — never; yatra — wherein; bhūyaḥ — again; parivartaḥ — repetition; ugraḥ — dreadful.
Only by making such inquiries in this world can one be successful and perfectly cognizant, for such inquiries invoke transcendental ecstatic love unto the Personality of Godhead, who is the proprietor of all the universes, and guarantee cent-percent immunity from the dreadful repetition of birth and death.
idaṁ bhāgavataṁ nāma
cakāra bhagavān ṛṣiḥ
dhanyaṁ svasty-ayanaṁ mahat
idam — this; bhāgavatam — book containing the narration of the Personality of Godhead and His pure devotees; nāma — of the name; purāṇam — supplementary to the Vedas; brahma-sammitam — incarnation of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa; uttama-śloka — of the Personality of Godhead; caritam — activities; cakāra — compiled; bhagavān — incarnation of the Personality of Godhead; ṛṣiḥ — Śrī Vyāsadeva; niḥśreyasāya — for the ultimate good; lokasya — of all people; dhanyam — fully successful; svasti-ayanam — all-blissful; mahat — all-perfect.
This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the literary incarnation of God, and it is compiled by Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the incarnation of God. It is meant for the ultimate good of all people, and it is all-successful, all-blissful and all-perfect.
tad idaṁ grāhayām āsa
sutam ātmavatāṁ varam
sāraṁ sāraṁ samuddhṛtam
tat — that; idam — this; grāhayām āsa — made to accept; sutam — unto his son; ātmavatām — of the self-realized; varam — most respectful; sarva — all; veda — Vedic literatures (books of knowledge); itihāsānām — of all the histories; sāram — cream; sāram — cream; samuddhṛtam — taken out.
Śrī Vyāsadeva delivered it to his son, who is the most respected among the self-realized, after extracting the cream of all Vedic literatures and histories of the universe.
sa tu saṁśrāvayām āsa
saḥ — the son of Vyāsadeva; tu — again; saṁśrāvayām āsa — make them audible; mahā-rājam — unto the emperor; parīkṣitam — of the name Parīkṣit; prāya-upaviṣṭam — who sat until death without food or drink; gaṅgāyām — on the bank of the Ganges; parītam — being surrounded; parama-ṛṣibhiḥ — by great sages.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsadeva, in his turn delivered the Bhāgavatam to the great Emperor Parīkṣit, who sat surrounded by sages on the bank of the Ganges, awaiting death without taking food or drink.
kalau naṣṭa-dṛśām eṣa
kṛṣṇe — in Kṛṣṇa’s; sva-dhāma — own abode; upagate — having returned; dharma — religion; jñāna — knowledge; ādibhiḥ — combined together; saha — along with; kalau — in the Kali-yuga; naṣṭa-dṛśām — of persons who have lost their sight; eṣaḥ — all these; purāṇa-arkaḥ — the Purāṇa which is brilliant like the sun; adhunā — just now; uditaḥ — has arisen.
This Bhāgavata Purāṇa is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the Age of Kali shall get light from this Purāṇa.
tatra kīrtayato viprā
ahaṁ cādhyagamaṁ tatra
so ’haṁ vaḥ śrāvayiṣyāmi
tatra — there; kīrtayataḥ — while reciting; viprāḥ — O brāhmaṇas; vipra-ṛṣeḥ — from the great brāhmaṇa-ṛṣi; bhūri — greatly; tejasaḥ — powerful; aham — I; ca — also; adhyagamam — could understand; tatra — in that meeting; niviṣṭaḥ — being perfectly attentive; tat-anugrahāt — by his mercy; saḥ — that very thing; aham — I; vaḥ — unto you; śrāvayiṣyāmi — shall let you hear; yathā-adhītam yathā-mati — as far as my realization.
O learned brāhmaṇas, when Śukadeva Gosvāmī recited Bhāgavatam there [in the presence of Emperor Parīkṣit], I heard him with rapt attention, and thus, by his mercy, I learned the Bhāgavatam from that great and powerful sage. Now I shall try to make you hear the very same thing as I learned it from him and as I have realized it.