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Bhagavata Purana

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Bhagavata Purana The Bhāgavata Purāṇa also known as Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, or Bhāgavata) is one of the Maha Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti (devotion) to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna. The Sanskrit text comprises twelve skandas (cantos or books) and some 18,000 verses. The Bhāgavata includes many stories well known in Hindu tradition, including the various avatars of Vishnu and the life of Krishna. It was the first Purana to be translated into
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    Bhagavata Purana The Bhāgavata Purā ṇ a also known as Śrīmad Bhāgavatam , or  Bhāgavata ) is one of the Maha Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti (devotion) to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna. The Sanskrit text comprises twelve  skandas (cantos or  books) and some 18,000 verses. The Bhāgavata includes many stories wellknown in Hindu tradition, including the various avatars of Vishnu and thelife of Krishna. It was the first Purana to be translated into a Europeanlanguage, with three French translations between 1840 and 1857.Like all Puranas, the Bhāgavata is a product of oral tradition, its extantversion usually dated to the the ninth or tenth century CE. The text itself credits Veda Vyasa with its authorship.The intense and personal bhakti described in the Bhāgavata is directedtoward Krishna as God in human form. The tenth book (or canto), which isdedicated to Krishna, takes up about one quarter of the entire Bhāgavata. Itincludes the most comprehensive collection of stories about the life of Krishna, showing him in all the stages and conditions of human life. It alsoincludes instruction in the practice of bhakti, an analysis of bhakti, anddescriptions of the different types of bhakti.The Bhāgavata takes the form of a story recounting Vyasa's work beingrecited for the first time by his son Śuka to the dying King Parikshit, whoowes his life to Krishna. Longing to hear of Krishna before he dies, Śukarecites the Bhāgavata to Parikshit over the course of seven days.  Significance: The Bhāgavata is widely recognized as the most well known andinfluential of the  Puranas , and is sometimes referred to as the Fifth Veda .It is unique in Indian religious literature for its emphasis on the practice of  bhakti, compared to the more theoretical bhakti of the Bhagavad Gita; for its  redefining of dharma; and for the extent of its description of God in a humanform. It is also the source for many of the popular stories of Krishna'schildhood told for centuries in the Indian subcontinent. Charlotte Vaudevillerefers to the Bhāgavata as the real Bible of Krishnaism , while theBhāgavata declares itself as the essence of Vedanta:The Sri Bhāgavata is the very essence of all the Vedanta literature. One whohas enjoyed the nectar of its rasa never has any desire for anything else.(12.13.15)The Bhāgavata, along with the Bhagavad Gita, are the main sources of scriptural authority used by Gaudiya Vaishnavas for demonstrating the pre-eminence of Krishna over other forms of God. An oft-quoted verse from theBhāgavata is used as a representational statement by Krishna sects to showthat Krishna is Bhagavan Svayam   , or God himself: These [other incarnations] are amsha , or  kala , partial incarnations, but krishnas tubhagavan svayam , 'Krishna is Bhagavan, God himself.' (1.3.28).The 15th–16th century Assamese translation of the Purana (Bhagavat of Sankardeva) by Srimanta Sankardeva and others form the central text of theEkasarana Dharma, a monotheistic religion in Assam. Sankardeva'srendering of the tenth Book, locally called daxama , is particularly popular.The Puranas are a type of traditional Hindu texts that took formduring the medieval period, often both informed by earlier material andundergoing later interpolations. It is therefore problematic to assign a precisedate to any such text, The Bhāgavata Purā ṇ a itself is a typical case, a texttransformed by oral tradition which reached its basic final shape at somestage during the Indian Middle Ages.Scholarly consensus holds that the text was completed no later than around1000 CE, when it is mentioned by al Biruni and quoted by Abhinavagupta;the earliest suggestions of it are the composition of the Vishnu Purana and  Harivamsa , and the Vaishnava Bhakti movement in South India, which limitits composition to after 500 CE. Within this range, scholars such as R. C.Hazra date it to the first-half of the sixth century, while most others place itin the post-Alvar period around the ninth century. The final redactor of thetext was emphasizing the texts's claim to ancient srcns by resorting to anarchaizing Vedic flavour of Sanskrit.  The Bhāgavata itself claims primordial srcins, while accepting that it hassince been edited by human and divine hands. [11] The text and Hindutradition ascribe its authorship to Veda Vyasa, who is also credited as thescribe for the Vedas.The Bhāgavata Purā ṇ a contains apparent references to the South IndianAlvar saints and it makes a  post factum prophecy of the spread of Vishnuworship in Tamil country (BP XI.5.38–40); these facts, along with itsemphasis on emotional Bhakti to Krishna and the Advaita philosophy of Sankara , lead many scholars to trace its srcins to South India. [4] However,J. A. B. van Buitenen, a late professor of Indology at the University of Chicago points out that 10th–11th CE South Indian Vaishnava theologiansYamuna and Ramanuja do not refer to Bhāgavata Purā ṇ a in their writings,and this anomaly needs to be explained before the geographical srcins anddating are regarded as definitive.
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