The Bhagavata Purana (Devanagari: भागवतपुराण, also known as Srimad Bhagavata Maha Purana, Srimad Bhagavatam or Bhagavata, literally meaning Divine-Eternal tales of Supreme God) is one of the maha (prefix meaning great) Puranic texts of Hinduism, with its focus on bhakti (religious devotion) to Supreme God Vishnu (Narayana), primarily focusing on Krishna. The Bhagavata Purana includes many stories well known in Hinduism, including the various avatars of Vishnu and the life and pastimes of his complete incarnation, Krishna or Svayam Bhagavan. It was the first Purana to be translated into a European language, with three French translations made also between 1840 and 1857. The Padma Purana categorizes Bhagavata Purana as a Sattva Purana (Purana which represents goodness and purity). Veda Vyasa is accredited for being the author of Bhagavata Purana.
The Bhagavata Purana is considered to be the purest and greatest of all the puranas since it invokes devotion towards Lord Vishnu and his various incarnations, primarily focusing on Krishna since he was the complete incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Bhagavata Purana truly reveals the means for becoming free from all material work, together with the processes of pure transcendental knowledge, renunciation and devotion to Lord Vishnu and anyone who seriously tries to understand, hears and chants the verses of the Bhagavata Purana with devotion to Lord Vishnu, becomes completely liberated from material bondage and attains moksha or liberation from the cycle of births and deaths in the material world.
The Bhagavata Purana declares Lord Vishnu (Narayana) as Para Brahman Supreme Lord who creates unlimited universes and enters each one of them as Lord of Universe. Lord Vishnu engages in creation of 14 worlds within the universe as Brahma when he deliberately accepts rajas guna. Lord Vishnu himself sustains, maintains and preserves the universe as Vishnu when he accepts sattva guna and annihilates the universe at the end of maha-kalpa as Shiva or Rudra when he accepts tamas guna.
The intense and personal bhakti described in the Bhagavata is directed toward Krishna as Vishnu in human form. The tenth book (or canto), which is dedicated to Krishna, takes up about one quarter of the entire Bhagavata. It includes the most comprehensive collection of stories about the life of Krishna, showing him in all the stages and conditions of human life. It also includes instruction in the practice of bhakti, an analysis of bhakti, and descriptions of the different types of bhakti. Many Vaishnavas consider Srimad Bhagvatam to be non-different from Krishna and to be the literary form of Krishna.
The Bhagavata takes the form of a story recounting Vyasa's work being recited for the first time by his son Shuka to the dying King Parikshit, who owes his life to Krishna. Longing to hear of Krishna before he dies, Parikshit hears the Bhagavata recited by Shuka, including questions by the king and replies by the sage, over the course of seven days.The famous Bengali Vaishnava saint Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu declared the Bhagavata Purana to be the "spotless" purana and considered it to be Krishna, himself.
- 1 Significance
- 2 Aim
- 3 Origin and date
- 4 Philosophy
- 5 Contents
- 6 Theatre and dance
- 7 Commentaries
- 8 Translations
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
The Bhagavata is widely recognized as the best known and most influential of the Puranas, and is sometimes referred to as the "Fifth Veda" along with itihasa and other puranas. 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 human-like form. It is also the source for many of the popular stories of Krishna's childhood told for centuries in the Indian subcontinent. The Bhagavata declares itself as the essence of Vedanta:
The Bhagavata, along with the Bhagavad Gita, are the main sources of scriptural authority used by Vaishnavas for demonstrating the devotion to Hari. An oft-quoted verse from the Bhagavata is used as a representational statement by some Krishna sects to show that Krishna is "Bhagavan Svayam", or God himself: "These [other incarnations] are amsha, or kala, partial incarnations, but krishnas tu bhagavan svayam, 'Krishna is Bhagavan, God himself.'" (1.3.28). But many vedic scholars say that krishnas tu bhagavan svayam is stated because Krishna is the complete avatar of Mahavishnu. In Vishnu Purana also, Krishna is described as an incarnation of vishnu . Various other incarnations of Vishnu like Rama are also often referred as ″Bhagavan″.
The 15th–16th century Assamese translation of the Purana (Bhagavat of Sankardeva) by Srimanta Sankardeva and others form the central text of the Ekasarana Dharma, a monotheistic religion in Assam. Sankardeva's rendering of the tenth Book, locally called daxama, is particularly popular.
The bhagavata purana itself reveals the aim of all scriptures including bhagavata purana. It posits the secret of advaita in bhagavata purana and confirms that the true philosophy of bhagavata purana is advaita philosophy.
″sarvavedanta saram yadbramhatmaikatva lakshanam vastwadwitiyam tannishtham kaivalaikaprayojanam″( BP 12.13.12) ″You already know that the essence of all vedanta is the non-dual unity of atma and brahman . Only this is the given subject of bhagavat purana. The aim of this ( bhagavat purana ) is kaivalya moksha only.″
Origin and date
The Bhagavata itself claims primordial origins, while accepting that it has since been edited by human and divine hands. The text and Hindu tradition ascribe its authorship to Veda Vyasa. As a composer, Veda Vyasa re-edited the vedas which was a single unit into four units Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva, so that the four kinds of officiating priests may perform and the vedas do not disappear. Vyasa also wrote Mahabharata for the people who were debarred from studying vedas to understand Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha principles. Still he was very dissatisfied with himself and was contemplating on the source of his distress in the banks of river Saraswati. During that time Sage Narada arrived and Vyasa Maharshi confesses that he was unhappy and that he does not feel any joy or satisfaction within himself. He asks Sage Narada for advice. Narada asks Veda Vyasa to create an epic (divine sacred text) which would describe the unsullied glory of Lord Vasudeva (Vishnu) and sing the glory of the Omnipresent Hari since it is only devotion which would please the Lord and nothing else. Agreeing to which, thereupon, Vyasa wrote Bhagavata Purana and attained perfect peace of mind.
The Puranas are a type of traditional Hindu texts that took form during the medieval period, often both informed by earlier material and undergoing later interpolations. It is therefore problematic to assign a precise date to any such text, The Bhagavata Purana itself is a typical case, a text transformed by oral tradition which reached its "basic final shape" at some stage during the Indian Middle Ages.
Dated between 500 - 1000 CE. Scholarly consensus holds that the text was completed no later than 1030 CE, when it is mentioned by al Biruni and quoted by Abhinavagupta; and since it contains more details of Krishna's biography that the 3rd- 4th-century Harivamsha and Vishnu Purana, it limits its date to 500–1000 CE. Within this range, scholars such as R. C. Hazra date it to the first-half of the 6th century, while most others place it in the post-Alvar period around the 9th century. The final redactor of the text was emphasizing the text's claim to ancient origins by resorting to an archaizing Vedic flavour of Sanskrit.
The Bhagavata Purana contains apparent references to the South Indian Alvar saints and it makes a post factum prophecy of the spread of Vishnu worship in Tamil country (BP XI.5.38–40); these facts, along with its emphasis on "emotional Bhakti to Krishna" and the "Advaita philosophy of Sankara", lead many scholars to trace its origins to South India. 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 theologians Yamuna and Ramanuja do not refer to Bhagavata Purana in their writings, and this anomaly needs to be explained before the geographical origins and dating are regarded as definitive.
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The Bhagavata is primarily a bhakti text, with an emphasis on achieving moksha through cultivating a personal relationship with Vishnu in the form of Krishna. The philosophy and teachings of the Bhagavata include several traditions, and an absence of a "narrow, sectarian spirit". While Bhakti Yoga is the prominent teaching, various passages show a synthesis that also includes Samkhya, Yoga, Vedanta, and Advaita Vedanta.
The Bhagavata is among the most important texts on bhakti, presenting a fully developed teaching on bhakti that originated with the Bhagavad Gita. Bhakti is presented as a path of yoga, or "union with the divine". Many of the bhakti teachings in the Bhagavata are presented as yogic activities—meditating on the lila of Krishna; hearing and singing about Vishnu as Krishna; remembering, serving, and worshiping him; dedicating all of one's actions to him—all are among nine activities of Bhakti Yoga taught in the Bhagavata. While classical yoga attempts to shut down the mind and senses, the Bhakti Yoga in the Bhagavata teaches that the focus of the mind is transformed by filling the mind with thoughts of Krishna.
There are many didactic philosophical passages, but the lengthy narrative stories are also a teaching; the book describes one of the activities that lead to liberation (moksha) as listening to and reflecting on the stories of Bhagavan. Even Kapila, the Samkhya philosopher, teaches his mother that in order to reach liberation, she must have bhakti, jnana (wisdom), and vairagya (dispassion), with bhakti being the most important. (3.25.18)
The Bhagavata also teaches that bhakti is more important than caste, stating that even a Chandala who has deep faith and devotion is dearer to God than a Brahmin without faith. (III.33.7) While not completely dismissing the caste system, it does reject the superiority of the Brahmin based solely on birth. In the Bhagavata, devotees of Krishna include those from lower castes: Prahlad, considered the greatest of devotees, is the son of a demon king and of 'low birth'; the gopis are uneducated wives of herdsman, yet are very close to Krishna. The Bhagavata held out the possibility of salvation through devotion (bhakti) regardless of caste or social status. The Bhagavata is also critical of the acquisition, protection, and enjoyment of wealth, going as far as implying that only the poor can be true followers of bhakti. In one passage, Krishna says to Rukmini, "We are poor and we are always the favourites of poor persons." (X.60.14)
Surendranath Dasgupta describes the theistic Samhkhya taught by Kapila in the Bhagavata as the dominant philosophy in the text. In the Bhagavata, Kapila is described as an avatar of Vishnu, born into the house of Kardama in order to share the knowledge of self-realization and liberation. Kapila's Samkhya is taught by him to his mother Devahuti in Book Three, and by Krishna to Uddhava in Book Eleven. Samkhya in the Bhagavata is presented somewhat differently from in other classical Samkhya texts. It describes Brahman, or Bhagavan, as creating all beings within his Self in latent form—then, on its own initiative, bringing itself into Maya and falling " under the influence of its own power". This is in contrast to classical Samkhya, where the impulse for creation is "inherent in primal nature", or prakriti.
The treatment of Samkhya in the Bhagavata is changed by the text's emphasis on devotion. In Chapter Eleven, Krishna describes the world as an illusion, and the individual as dreaming, even while in the waking state. He gives Samhkhya and Yoga as the way of overcoming the dream, with the goal of Samhkhya as Bhagavan himself in the aspect of Krishna.
The Bhagavata frequently discusses the merging of the individual soul with the Absolute Brahman, or "the return of Brahman into His own true nature", a distinctly advaitic or non-dualistic philosophy. In the same passages, the Bhagavata still recommends Bhagavan as the object of concentration for reaching that goal. Scholars describe this philosophy as "Advaitic Theism", which combines the seemingly contradictory beliefs of a personal God that can be worshiped with a God that is immanent in creation and in one's own self. Daniel P. Sheridan describes Advaitic Theism as a "both/and" solution for the question of whether God is transcendent or immanent in relation to creation, and credits the Bhāgavata with a "truly creative religious moment" for introducing this philosophy.
The Bhagavata extends the concept of dharma that had previously been regarded either as the duty to follow Vedic injunctions, as a moral code that emphasizes ahimsa (non-injury), and satya (truthfullness), or as the idea of self-realization through yoga. Breaking with these senses of the term, the Bhagavata also considers dharma to consist of sincere worship and devotion towards God without any ulterior motive. Such worship is said to cleanse the spirit of all impurities—such as motives, jealousies, and pretensions to reveal man's nature as part of the absolute, leading to supreme bliss. Conversely, the Bhagavata teaches that simply following Vedic injunctions that do not produce devotion towards God, is of transitory benefit and so is considered to be fruitless labour.
A classical approach to yoga is taught in the beginning of the second chapter, when Shuka tells Parikshit to prepare for death by making an asana (place to sit) in a solitary place and meditating on Om, without regard for the distractions caused by the lower qualities of raja and tama guna. Śuka also describes different meditations on the gross and subtle aspects of Bhagavan, or God, in a way that is similar to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Several passages describe the merging of the individual soul with the Absolute Brahman. The Bhagavata, in explaining the method of reaching that goal, recommends the object of concentration as Bhagavan, with an emphasis on yoga as a form of bhakti.
Siddhis, or spiritual powers developed through yoga practice, are described in many passages in ways that echo the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The tenth chapter of the eleventh skanda teaches that the yogi who has controlled his senses and concentrated his mind on Bhagavan develops these siddhis. Patanjali describes siddhis as obstacles to reaching the ultimate goal of yoga (union)—the Bhāgavata describes them as blessings that are present in Bhagavan in infinite form, and given to the yogi in varying degrees depending on the yogi's devotion.
Narrators and setting
The Bhagavata is a recounting of events by the storyteller Ugrasrava Sauti (Sūta) to Shaunaka and other sages assembled in the Naimisha Forest. As Sūta explains, Veda Vyasa was feeling unsatisfied, even after he made divine knowledge available to humans by writing the Vedas and the Mahabharata. The sage Narada, in his role as intermediary between gods and men, visited Vyasa to inform him that his unease was because he had not yet described the highest goal of knowledge—bhakti, or devotion to God.
Sūta recounts the first recital of Vyasa's work, given by Vyasa's son Shuka to King Parikshit, the grandson of Arjuna. Parikshit, who owed his life to Krishna, had angered a rishi's son for being disrespectful to the rishi's father. He was cursed to be bitten by a poisonous snake and had only seven days to live. Fasting by the banks of the Ganges River, and with Krishna no longer alive, Parikshit longed to hear of him. The Bhāgavata introduces the life of Parikshit as background, thus bringing Krishna into the story, and is presented as part of Shuka's recital over the course of seven days. It concludes with Shuka asking Parikshit the standard, "What more do you want?" (12.5.13) Completely satisfied with what he has heard and his purpose in life fulfilled, Parikshit dies. (12.6.12–15)
The first book introduces the Bhagavata, with Shaunaka gathering the sages in Naimisha Forest to hear Sūta praise bhakti to Krishna and describe the ten avatars of Vishnu. Sūta tells the story of the life of Parikshit, son of Abhimanyu, beginning while still in his mother's womb, where Krishna protected him from the Brahmastra weapon of Ashwatthama. The conclusion of Parikshit's life introduces the main storyline of the Bhagavata—a curse is placed on Parikshit that will cause him to die within seven days. Parikshit retires to the bank of the Ganges to fast until his death, with several sages gathered around him, including Shuka, son of Vyasa. Parikshit asks Shuka what he should do to prepare for death. Shuka's response constitutes the main part of the Bhāgavata.
Shuka tells Parikishit that when one is about to die, they should become free of the fear of death and let go of all attachments to pleasure, home, and family. They should control the breath and mind and concentrate on the sacred Aum. The development of yoga and bhakti, different types of dharana, the nature of Bhagavan, and the liberation of a yogi upon his death are also explained by Shuka. In response to Parikshit's questions, Shuka describes creation and the avatars of Vishnu, concluding with a description of the ten characteristics of a Purana.
Vidura's pilgrimage to various holy places provides the backdrop for the stories and spiritual teachings in Book 3. Near the Yamuna River Vidura meets Uddhava, who gives him the news of the Kurukshetra War and about Krishna leaving this world. Next he meets the sage Maitreya, who gives instruction on the creation of the world, the divisions of time, and other subjects. The story of the birth of Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa is told, including the latter's death at the hands of Varaha, the boar avatar of Vishnu. An important story is the tale of Devahuti and her son Kapila—Kapila's Samkhya teachings help lead her to final liberation.
The story of Daksha and his sacrifice is told, in which he mocks Shiva in front of Dakshayani—his own daughter and Shiva's consort—resulting in Dakshayani's self-immolation, which later came to be known by one of her names, Sati. The legend of Dhruva's penance and devotion to Vishnu is also recounted, along with the related story of king Prithu. The book ends with the recounting of the renunciation and liberation of the Pracetas brothers.
The story of Manu's sons and their children leads eventually to Bharat and a description of the world, the sun and its course, the moon and the planets, the regions below the earth, and the twenty-eight hells (naraka).
Book 6 includes the story of Ajāmila, who reached the supreme abode Vaikuntha as a reward for uttering the syllables "Na-ra-ya-na" on his deathbed, even though he was only intending to call his son. The story of the son of the Praceta brothers is also recounted, along with the victory of Indra over Viśvarūpa. Book 6 ends with the birth of the Maruts.
The main portion of the seventh book is dedicated to the well known story of Hiranyakaśipu, his son Prahlada, and the death of Hiranyakaśipu at the hands of Narasimha, an avatar of Vishnu. This version expands on the story of Prahlada as told in the Vishnu Purana, and is the form that is most commonly told in Hinduism. Prahlada is considered a great devotee of Vishnu, and describes the process of bhakti toward Bhagavan. Book seven also includes a discussion of the dharma involved with the different varnas and with the four ashramas (stages) of life.
The description of the six past Manvantaras (ages or time periods of Manu) and the seven future ages of Manu includes several stories, many involving the avatars of Vishnu. Nine chapters are dedicated to the oft told story of Vishnu's Vamana (dwarf) avatar and his defeat of Bali. The story of the churning of the ocean of milk  is also recounted, which is done with the help of the Kurma avatar of Vishnu.
The current age of Manu is described at length, including the traditional history of the Solar Dynasty founded by Ikshvaku and the Lunar Dynasty of Pururavas. A long history of dynasties is described—Panchala, Magadha, Kuru, Anu, Druhyus, Turvasu, and others—leading up to the Yadu dynasty and the birth of Krishna to his parents Vasudeva and Devaki.
The tenth book, dedicated to Krishna, is responsible for the widespread popularity of the Bhagavata Purana. Book Ten includes the most enduring images and stories of Krishna: the mischievous child who steals butter; the God as a child who holds the entire universe within himself; the boy who can slay demons and move an entire mountain with one finger; the cowherd who is the love of all the gopis, making them leave all their duties to follow him.
The tenth book is by far the lengthiest, taking up almost one quarter of the entire Bhagavata. While the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita show Krishna in various roles as teacher and diplomat, book 10 shows Krishna simply engaging in lila, or divine and intimate play with his devotees. It presents this intimate relationship with God as the highest goal of human existence.
The destruction of the Yadava dynasty, including Krishna and all his kinsmen, is caused by the curse of a Brahmin—instigated by Krishna himself. The Yadavas kill each other in a drunken fight and Krishna dies as a result of the same curse, the result of a metal-tipped arrow striking his foot. The last chapter describes Krishna's ascent to Vaikuntha. Book eleven also includes the so-called Uddhava Gita, the last discourse of Krishna which he addresses to his dear friend Uddhava. Canto or Book 11 section 7-9 discusses the pastimes and realizations of an Avadhuta.
The future rulers of Magadha are predicted, along with the evils of Kali Yuga and the future destruction of the world (pralaya). The main story ends with the death of King Parikshit—cursed to die from snakebite—and the thwarted snake sacrifice of his son Janamejaya. The text finally concludes with a second description of the ten characteristics of a purana, the life of Markandeya, a summary of the Bhagavata, and the assurance that it is the greatest among puranas.
Theatre and dance
The Bhagavata cult centred on the worship of Krishna and the related puranas, played a central role in the development of theatre and dance in India, particularly through the tradition of Ras and Leela, which are dramatic enactments of Krishna wooing gopis (cow herding girls), and episodes from his life, respectively. Though this dance-theatre tradition predates the composition of the Harivamsa, Vishnu and Bhagavata Purana, they were significant in its evolution. In particular, many Ras plays dramatise episodes related in the Rasa Panchadhyayi ("Five chapters of the Celestial Dance"; Book 10, chapters 29–33) of Bhagavatam. The purana accords a metaphysical significance to the performances and treats them as religious ritual, which cleanses the hearts of faithful actors and listeners and gains them para bhakti (supreme devotion) towards the Lord. Bhagavatam also encouraged theatrical performance as a means to propagate the faith (BP 11.11.23 and 36, 11.27.35 and 44, etc.), and this led to the emergence of several theatrical forms centred on Krishna all across India.
In Book 10, Bhagavatam describes Krishna dancing the Tandava, a vigorous dance, on the hood of the cobra Kāliyā. This is regarded as the origins of the classical dance style of Kathak, and has influenced other forms including Odissi, Manipuri and Bharatnatyam.
The oldest exegetical commentary presently known is Tantra-Bhagavata from the pancaratra school. From the modern age there is the commentary by Madhvacharya (c. 13th century CE) titled Bhagavata Tatparya Nirnaya, then later Sridhara Swami's Sridhariyam written in the 15th century CE. Other commentaries are: Hanumad-Bhasya, Vasana-bhasya, Sambandhoki, Vidvat-kamadhenu, Tattva-dipika, Paramahamsa-priya, Suka-hridaya. Vopadeva wrote the Mukta-phala and the Hari-lilamrita. Vijayadhvaja composed the Pada-ratnavali. Viraraghava also edited The Bhāgavata-Candrika (from Ramanuja's school). Other works are the Subodhini by Vallabha and Bhakti-ratnavali by Visnupuri. Among the Gaudiya Vaishnava commentaries there are Jiva Goswami's Krama-sandarbha (16th century CE), the Sarartha Darsini by Vishvanatha Chakravarti (17th century), the Dipikadipani by Radharamana, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati's Gaudiya-bhasya (20th century).
The Bhagavata has been rendered into various languages over centuries by saints and exegetes of the Bhagavata religion. From the nineteenth century onwards, the text has also become the subject of scholarly interest. The following is a partial list of translations in order of chronology:
- A Telugu version was rendered by the poet Pothana in the 15th century Andhra Maha Bhagavatam.It is considered as the crown jewel of Telugu literature .
- The transcreated work, known as the Bhagavata of Sankaradeva, is the primary theological source for Mahapurushiya Dharma in the Indian state of Assam. Sankaradeva (1449-1568 AD) drew inspiration chiefly from the Bhagavata and he himself undertook the task of rendering of the major portion, namely Books I, II, III, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI and XII. Besides the rendering, he composed a large number of works with materials from the Bhagavata such as the Kirttana Ghosha which is an anthology (kavya-kosh) of more than two dozen epics of various magnitudes. Most of the poems of the Kirttana are renderings or adaptations from the Bhagavata Purana. His Nimi Nava Siddha Samvada is a doctrinal treatise based on Book XI of the Bhagavata. His Anadi Patana is mainly an adaptation from Book III of the Bhagavata. The Gunamala, the 'Garland of Praises (for Lord Krishna)' written by Sankaradeva is a little handbook capturing in racy, rhyming and sonorous verses, the essence of the Bhagavata Purana. Within the compass of a single laudatory verse, the poet recounts many incidents from Krishna's life making them easy to remember. This 'pocket-Bhagavata' is a sacred text for all Assamese Vaisnavas and is often placed in the pedestal or the Guru-Asana (sacred throne) in the congregational prayer-house called Namghar as the object of veneration. See English translation of Sankaradeva's Gunamala
- A condensed Srimad Bhagavatam in Sanskrit, the Narayaneeyam, was composed by Melpathur Bhattathiri of Kerala in 1586.
- The 16th-century Saint Eknath of Paithan- Maharashtra wrote a scholarly commentary on the 11th Canto of the Shrimad Bhagavatam named "Ekanathi Bhagavata" in Marathi, the vernacular language of the Indian state of Maharashtra.
- The first translation of the Bhagavata into French was made by Eugene Burnouf in 1840.
- A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has written a multi-volume edition that includes English translation and commentary. Translation also available in more than 40 languages. For free online reading, see: http://www.vedabase.com/en/sb or http://www.vedabase.net/sb/en
- Swami Tapasyananda has written an English translation in four volumes.
- Swami Prabhavananda wrote an English version that is part translation, part summary and paraphrase, titled The Wisdom of God: Srimat Bhagavatam.
- Asthan Vidwan Motaganahalli Ramashesha Sastri (picture shown) was the first person to translate Bhagavata Purana into Kannada. For this translation, a detailed foreword replete with historical references was given by renowned Indian historian S. Srikanta Sastri in 1932.
- Gita Press has a two-volume English and Hindi translation (with Sanskrit text and English translation).
- Kamala Subramanian has written a concise version of this book in English.
- Another translation of Book X was published on Writers Workshop in 1997, transcreated by Nandini Nopani and P. Lal.
- Bhagavata Purana Canto 12 Chapter 13 Verse 11
- Bryant 2007, pp. 111–113
- Wilson, H. H. (1840). The Vishnu Purana: A system of Hindu mythology and tradition. Oriental Translation Fund. p. 12.
- Bhagavata Purana: Canto 12 Chapter 13 Verse 16
- Bhagavata Purana Canto 12 Chapter 13 Verse 18
- Bhagavata Purana Canto 2 Chapter 10 Verse 10
- Bhagavata Purana Canto 2 Chapter 5 Verse 16-18
- Bhagavata Purana Canto 11 Chapter 4 Verse 5
- "Anthology of World Scriptures", by Robert Van Voorst, p. 28, year = 2007, isbn = 1111810745
- Matchett 2003, pp. 129–144
- Kumar Das 2006, pp. 172–173
- Sheridan 1986, pp. 1–16
- Matchett 2001, pp. 107
- Haberman & Rūpagōsvāmī 2003, p. 65
- Bryant 2007, pp. 113–114
- Bhagavata Purana Canto 12 Chapter 13 Verse 12
- Beach 1965, pp. 168–69
- Brown 1983, pp. 553–554
- (Sheridan 1986, p. 7)
- Bhagavata Purana (1.4.25 To 1.5.21)
- Ludo Rocher points out that modern Puranic studies have mistakenly seen the Puranas as manuscripts to be studied, when "fundamentally, they do not belong in books", but are an oral tradition. He writes that "it is not possible to set a specific date for a Purana as a whole."Rocher 1986, pp. 59, 103
- "The Advaitic Theism of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa", p. 6, by Daniel P. Sheridan
- (Sheridan 1986, p. 6)
- van Buitenen, J. A. B (1966). "The Archaism of the Bhagavata Purana". In Milton Singer. Krishna: Myths, Rites, and Attitudes. pp. 23–40.. Reprinted in van Buitenen 1996, pp. 28–45
- Estimated dates given by some notable scholars include: R. C. Hazra – 6th century, Radhakamal Mukherjee – 9th–10th century, Farquhar – 10th century, Nilakanta Sastri – 10th century, S. N. Dasgupta – 10th century Kumar Das 2006, pp. 172–173
- Sheridan 1986, p. 10–12
- Rukmani 1993, pp. 217–218
- Cutler 1987, p. 1
- Bryant 2007, p. 117
- Matchett 1993, p. 103
- Matchett 1993, p. 106
- Kumar Das 2006, pp. 176–177
- Dasgupta 1949, p. 30
- Sheridan 1986
- Dasgupta 1949, p. 24
- Sheridan 1986, pp. 1–2
- Dasgupta 1949, pp. 2–11
- Rukmani 1993, pp. 220, 224
- Matchett 1993, pp. 95–116
- Rocher & 1986 pp. 138–151
- Story of Maha Kumbh Mela from Srimad Bhagvatam
- Matchett 2001, pp. 127–137
- Bryant 2007, pp. 113–115
- Varadpande 1987, pp. 92–94
- Datta 2006, p. 33
- Varadpande 1987, pp. 95–97
- Varadpande 1987, p. 98
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