Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 12 Chapter 13
The Glories of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
yaṁ brahmā varuṇendra-rudra-marutaḥ stunvanti divyaiḥ stavair
vedaiḥ sāṅga-pada-kramopaniṣadair gāyanti yaṁ sāma-gāḥ
dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yogino
yasyāntaṁ na viduḥ surāsura-gaṇā devāya tasmai namaḥ
sūtaḥ uvāca — Sūta Gosvāmī said; yam — whom; brahmā — Lord Brahmā; varuṇa-indra-rudra-marutaḥ — as well as Varuṇa, Indra, Rudra and the Maruts; stunvanti — praise; divyaiḥ — with transcendental; stavaiḥ — prayers; vedaiḥ — with the Vedas; sa — along with; aṅga — the corollary branches; pada-krama — the special sequential arrangement of mantras; upaniṣadaiḥ — and the Upaniṣads; gāyanti — they sing about; yam — whom; sāma-gāḥ — the singers of the Sāma Veda; dhyāna — in meditative trance; avasthita — situated; tat-gatena — which is fixed upon Him; manasā — within the mind; paśyanti — they see; yam — whom; yoginaḥ — the mystic yogīs; yasya — whose; antam — end; na viduḥ — they do not know; sura-asura-gaṇāḥ — all the demigods and demons; devāya — to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tasmai — to Him; namaḥ — obeisances.
Sūta Gosvāmī said: Unto that personality whom Brahmā, Varuṇa, Indra, Rudra and the Maruts praise by chanting transcendental hymns and reciting the Vedas with all their corollaries, pada-kramas and Upaniṣads, to whom the chanters of the Sāma Veda always sing, whom the perfected yogīs see within their minds after fixing themselves in trance and absorbing themselves within Him, and whose limit can never be found by any demigod or demon — unto that Supreme Personality of Godhead I offer my humble obeisances.
pṛṣṭhe bhrāmyad amanda-mandara-giri-grāvāgra-kaṇḍūyanān
nidrāloḥ kamaṭhākṛter bhagavataḥ śvāsānilāḥ pāntu vaḥ
yātāyātam atandritaṁ jala-nidher nādyāpi viśrāmyati
pṛṣṭhe — upon His back; bhrāmyat — rotating; amanda — most heavy; mandara-giri — of Mandara Mountain; grāva-agra — by the edges of the stones; kaṇḍūyanāt — by the scratching; nidrāloḥ — who became sleepy; kamaṭha-ākṛteḥ — in the form of a tortoise; bhagavataḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; śvāsa — coming from the breathing; anilāḥ — the winds; pāntu — may they protect; vaḥ — all of you; yat — of which; saṁskāra — of the remnants; kalā — the traces; anuvartana-vaśāt — as the effect of following; velā-nibhena — by that which resembles the flow; ambhasām — of the water; yāta-āyātam — the coming and going; atandritam — ceaseless; jala-nidheḥ — of the ocean; na — does not; adya api — even today; viśrāmyati — stop.
When the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as Lord Kūrma, a tortoise, His back was scratched by the sharp-edged stones lying on massive, whirling Mount Mandara, and this scratching made the Lord sleepy. May you all be protected by the winds caused by the Lord’s breathing in this sleepy condition. Ever since that time, even up to the present day, the ocean tides have imitated the Lord’s inhalation and exhalation by piously coming in and going out.
dānaṁ dānasya māhātmyaṁ
pāṭhādeś ca nibodhata
purāṇa — of the Purāṇas; saṅkhyā — of the counting (of verses); sambhūtim — the summation; asya — of this Bhāgavatam; vācya — the subject matter; prayojane — and the purpose; dānam — the method of giving as a gift; dānasya — of such gift-giving; māhātmyam — the glories; pāṭha-ādeḥ — of teaching and so on; ca — and; nibodhata — please hear.
Now please hear a summation of the verse length of each of the Purāṇas. Then hear of the prime subject and purpose of this Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the proper method of giving it as a gift, the glories of such gift-giving, and finally the glories of hearing and chanting this literature.
brāhmaṁ daśa sahasrāṇi
pādmaṁ pañcona-ṣaṣṭi ca
mārkaṇḍaṁ nava vāhnaṁ ca
catur-daśa bhaviṣyaṁ syāt
tathā pañca-śatāni ca
laiṅgam ekādaśaiva tu
skāndaṁ śataṁ tathā caikaṁ
vāmanaṁ daśa kīrtitam
mātsyaṁ tat tu catur-daśa
brahmāṇḍaṁ dvādaśaiva tu
brāhmam — the Brahma Purāṇa; daśa — ten; sahasrāṇi — thousands; pādmam — the Padma Purāṇa; pañca-ūna-ṣaṣṭi — five less than sixty; ca — and; śrī-vaiṣṇavam — the Viṣṇu Purāṇa; trayaḥ-viṁśat — twenty-three; catuḥ-viṁśati — twenty-four; śaivakam — the Śiva Purāṇa; daśa-aṣṭau — eighteen; śrī-bhāgavatam — Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; nāradam — the Nārada Purāṇa; pañca-viṁśati — twenty-five; mārkaṇḍam — the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa; nava — nine; vāhnam — the Agni Purāṇa; ca — and; daśa-pañca-catuḥ-śatam — fifteen thousand four hundred; catuḥ-daśa — fourteen; bhaviṣyam — the Bhaviṣya Purāṇa; syāt — consists of; tathā — plus; pañca-śatāni — five hundred (verses); ca — and; daśa-aṣṭau — eighteen; brahma-vaivartam — the Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa; laiṅgam — the Liṅga Purāṇa; ekādaśa — eleven; eva — indeed; tu — and; catuḥ-viṁśati — twenty-four; vārāham — the Varāha Purāṇa; ekāśīti-sahasrakam — eighty-one thousand; skāndam — the Skanda Purāṇa; śatam — hundred; tathā — plus; ca — and; ekam — one; vāmanam — the Vāmana Purāṇa; daśa — ten; kīrtitam — is described; kaurmam — the Kūrma Purāṇa; sapta-daśa — seventeen; ākhyātam — is said; mātsyam — the Matsya Purāṇa; tat — that; tu — and; catuḥ-daśa — fourteen; eka-ūna-viṁśat — nineteen; sauparṇam — the Garuḍa Purāṇa; brahmāṇḍam — the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa; dvādaśa — twelve; eva — indeed; tu — and; evam — in this way; Purāṇa — of the Purāṇas; sandohaḥ — the sum; catuḥ-lakṣaḥ — four hundred thousand; udāhṛtaḥ — is described; tatra — therein; aṣṭa-daśa-sāhasram — eighteen thousand; śrī-bhāgavatam — Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; iṣyate — is said.
The Brahma Purāṇa consists of ten thousand verses, the Padma Purāṇa of fifty-five thousand, Śrī Viṣṇu Purāṇa of twenty-three thousand, the Śiva Purāṇa of twenty-four thousand and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam of eighteen thousand. The Nārada Purāṇa has twenty-five thousand verses, the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa nine thousand, the Agni Purāṇa fifteen thousand four hundred, the Bhaviṣya Purāṇa fourteen thousand five hundred, the Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa eighteen thousand and the Liṅga Purāṇa eleven thousand. The Varāha Purāṇa contains twenty-four thousand verses, the Skanda Purāṇa eighty-one thousand one hundred, the Vāmana Purāṇa ten thousand, the Kūrma Purāṇa seventeen thousand, the Matsya Purāṇa fourteen thousand, the Garuḍa Purāṇa nineteen thousand and the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa twelve thousand. Thus the total number of verses in all the Purāṇas is four hundred thousand. Eighteen thousand of these, once again, belong to the beautiful Bhāgavatam.
idaṁ bhagavatā pūrvaṁ
idam — this; bhagavatā — by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pūrvam — first; brahmaṇe — to Brahmā; nābhi-paṅkaje — upon the lotus growing from the navel; sthitāya — who was situated; bhava — of material existence; bhītāya — who was fearful; kāruṇyāt — out of mercy; samprakāśitam — was fully revealed.
It was to Lord Brahmā that the Supreme Personality of Godhead first revealed the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in full. At the time, Brahmā, frightened by material existence, was sitting on the lotus flower that had grown from the Lord’s navel.
vastv advitīyaṁ tan-niṣṭhaṁ
ādi — in the beginning; madhya — the middle; avasāneṣu — and the end; vairāgya — concerning renunciation of material things; ākhyāna — with narrations; saṁyutam — full; hari-līlā — of the pastimes of Lord Hari; kathā-vrāta — of the many discussions; amṛta — by the nectar; ānandita — in which are made ecstatic; sat-suram — the saintly devotees and demigods; sarva-vedānta — of all the Vedānta; sāram — the essence; yat — which; brahma — the Absolute Truth; ātma-ekatva — in terms of nondifference from the spirit soul; lakṣaṇam — characterized; vastu — the reality; advitīyam — one without a second; tat-niṣṭham — having that as its prime subject matter; kaivalya — exclusive devotional service; eka — the only; prayojanam — ultimate goal.
From beginning to end, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is full of narrations that encourage renunciation of material life, as well as nectarean accounts of Lord Hari’s transcendental pastimes, which give ecstasy to the saintly devotees and demigods. This Bhāgavatam is the essence of all Vedānta philosophy because its subject matter is the Absolute Truth, which, while nondifferent from the spirit soul, is the ultimate reality, one without a second. The goal of this literature is exclusive devotional service unto that Supreme Truth.
dadāti yo bhāgavataṁ
sa yāti paramāṁ gatim
prauṣṭhapadyām — in the month of Bhādra; paurṇamāsyām — on the full-moon day; hema-siṁha — upon a golden throne; samanvitam — seated; dadāti — gives as a gift; yaḥ — who; bhāgavatam — Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; saḥ — he; yāti — goes; paramām — to the supreme; gatim — destination.
If on the full moon day of the month of Bhādra one places Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam on a golden throne and gives it as a gift, he will attain the supreme transcendental destination.
rājante tāvad anyāni
purāṇāni satāṁ gaṇe
yāvad bhāgavataṁ naiva
rājante — they shine forth; tāvat — that long; anyāni — the other; purāṇāni — Purāṇas; satām — of saintly persons; gaṇe — in the assembly; yāvat — as long as; bhāgavatam — Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; na — not; eva — indeed; śrūyate — is heard; amṛta-sāgaram — the great ocean of nectar.
All other Purāṇic scriptures shine forth in the assembly of saintly devotees only as long as that great ocean of nectar, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, is not heard.
nānyatra syād ratiḥ kvacit
sarva-vedānta — of all Vedānta philosophy; sāram — the essence; hi — indeed; śrī-bhāgavatam — Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; iṣyate — is said to be; tat — of it; rasa-amṛta — by the nectarean taste; tṛptasya — for one who is satisfied; na — not; anyatra — elsewhere; syāt — there is; ratiḥ — attraction; kvacit — ever.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is declared to be the essence of all Vedānta philosophy. One who has felt satisfaction from its nectarean mellow will never be attracted to any other literature.
nimna-gānāṁ yathā gaṅgā
devānām acyuto yathā
vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ
purāṇānām idam tathā
nimna-gānām — of rivers flowing down to the sea; yathā — as; gaṅgā — the Ganges; devānām — of all deities; acyutaḥ — the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead; yathā — as; vaiṣṇavānām — of devotees of Lord Viṣṇu; yathā — as; śambhuḥ — Śiva; purāṇānām — of Purāṇas; idam — this; tathā — similarly.
Just as the Gaṅgā is the greatest of all rivers, Lord Acyuta the supreme among deities and Lord Śambhu [Śiva] the greatest of Vaiṣṇavas, so Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the greatest of all Purāṇas.
kṣetrāṇāṁ caiva sarveṣāṁ
yathā kāśī hy anuttamā
kṣetrāṇām — of holy places; ca — and; eva — indeed; sarveṣām — of all; yathā — as; kāśī — Benares; hi — indeed; anuttamā — unexcelled; tathā — thus; purāṇa-vrātānām — of all the Purāṇas; śrīmat-bhāgavatam — Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; dvijāḥ — O brāhmaṇas.
O brāhmaṇas, in the same way that the city of Kāśī is unexcelled among holy places, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is supreme among all the Purāṇas.
śrīmad-bhāgavataṁ purāṇam amalaṁ yad vaiṣṇavānāṁ priyaṁ
yasmin pāramahaṁsyam ekam amalaṁ jñānaṁ paraṁ gīyate
tatra jñāna-virāga-bhakti-sahitaṁ naiṣkarmyam āviskṛtaṁ
tac chṛṇvan su-paṭhan vicāraṇa-paro bhaktyā vimucyen naraḥ
śrīmat-bhāgavatam — Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; purāṇam — the Purāṇa; amalam — perfectly pure; yat — which; vaiṣṇavānām — to the Vaiṣṇavas; priyam — most dear; yasmin — in which; pāramahaṁsyam — attainable by the topmost devotees; ekam — exclusive; amalam — perfectly pure; jñānam — knowledge; param — supreme; gīyate — is sung; tatra — there; jñāna-virāga-bhakti-sahitam — together with knowledge, renunciation and devotion; naiṣkarmyam — freedom from all material work; āviṣkṛtam — is revealed; tat — that; śṛṇvan — hearing; su-paṭhan — properly chanting; vicāraṇa-paraḥ — who is serious about understanding; bhaktyā — with devotion; vimucyet — becomes totally liberated; naraḥ — a person.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the spotless Purāṇa. It is most dear to the Vaiṣṇavas because it describes the pure and supreme knowledge of the paramahaṁsas. This Bhāgavatam reveals the means for becoming free from all material work, together with the processes of transcendental knowledge, renunciation and devotion. Anyone who seriously tries to understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, who properly hears and chants it with devotion, becomes completely liberated.
kasmai yena vibhāsito ’yam atulo jñāna-pradīpaḥ purā
tad-rūpeṇa ca nāradāya munaye kṛṣṇāya tad-rūpiṇā
yogīndrāya tad-ātmanātha bhagavad-rātāya kāruṇyatas
tac chuddhaṁ vimalaṁ viśokam amṛtaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi
kasmai — unto Brahmā; yena — by whom; vibhāsitaḥ — thoroughly revealed; ayam — this; atulaḥ — incomparable; jñāna — of transcendental knowledge; pradīpaḥ — the torchlight; purā — long ago; tat-rūpeṇa — in the form of Brahmā; ca — and; nāradāya — to Nārada; munaye — the great sage; kṛṣṇāya — to Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa; tat-rūpiṇā — in the form of Nārada; yogi-indrāya — to the best of yogīs, Śukadeva; tat-ātmanā — as Nārada; atha — then; bhagavat-rātāya — to Parīkṣit Mahārāja; kāruṇyataḥ — out of mercy; tat — that; śuddham — pure; vimalam — uncontaminated; viśokam — free from misery; amṛtam — immortal; satyam — upon the truth; param — supreme; dhīmahi — I meditate.
I meditate upon that pure and spotless Supreme Absolute Truth, who is free from suffering and death and who in the beginning personally revealed this incomparable torchlight of knowledge to Brahmā. Brahmā then spoke it to the sage Nārada, who narrated it to Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa. Śrīla Vyāsa revealed this Bhāgavatam to the greatest of sages, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and Śukadeva mercifully spoke it to Mahārāja Parīkṣit.
namas tasmai bhagavate
ya idam kṛpayā kasmai
namaḥ — obeisances; tasmai — to Him; bhagavate — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vāsudevāya — Lord Vāsudeva; sākṣiṇe — the supreme witness; yaḥ — who; idam — this; kṛpayā — out of mercy; kasmai — to Brahmā; vyācacakṣe — explained; mumukṣave — who was desiring liberation.
We offer our obeisances to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vāsudeva, the all-pervading witness, who mercifully explained this science to Brahmā when he anxiously desired salvation.
yogīndrāya namas tasmai
yogi-indrāya — to the king of mystics; namaḥ — obeisances; tasmai — to him; śukaya — Śukadeva Gosvāmī; brahma-rūpiṇe — who is a personal manifestation of the Absolute Truth; saṁsāra-sarpa — by the snake of material existence; daṣṭam — bitten; yaḥ — who; viṣṇu-rātam — Parīkṣit Mahārāja; amūmucat — freed.
I offer my humble obeisances to Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the best of mystic sages and a personal manifestation of the Absolute Truth. He saved Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who was bitten by the snake of material existence.
bhave bhave yathā bhaktiḥ
pādayos tava jāyate
tathā kuruṣva deveśa
nāthas tvaṁ no yataḥ prabho
bhave bhave — in life after life; yathā — so that; bhaktiḥ — devotional service; pādayoḥ — at the lotus feet; tava — of You; jāyate — arises; tathā — so; kuruṣva — please do; deva-īśa — O Lord of lords; nāthaḥ — the master; tvam — You; naḥ — our; yataḥ — because; prabho — O Lord.
O Lord of lords, O master, please grant us pure devotional service at Your lotus feet, life after life.
taṁ namāmi hariṁ param
nāma-saṅkīrtanam — the congregational chanting of the holy name; yasya — of whom; sarva-pāpa — all sins; praṇāśanam — which destroys; praṇāmaḥ — the bowing down; duḥkha — misery; śamanaḥ — which subdues; tam — to Him; namāmi — I offer my obeisances; harim — to Lord Hari; param — the Supreme.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Hari, the congregational chanting of whose holy names destroys all sinful reactions, and the offering of obeisances unto whom relieves all material suffering.