Introduction to Bhaagvat Puraan
Shree Mad-Bhaagvat Puraan is
a very well-known and well-read Hindu religious book. It is one of the 18
Puraan, and is second to Raamaayan in popularity in household readings. It
is very popularly known as "Sukh Saagar" too. It is in the form
of dialog between Pareekshit and Shuk Dev Jee. When Pareekshit got the Shaap
(curse) of Shameek Rishi's
son Shringee Rishi that
"whosoever has misbehaved with my father, will die from Takshak bite
on the 7th day from today", he went to the bank of Gangaa Jee and sat
there without eating and drinking till death thinking as what to do now.
When Naarad Jee heard this he came to him and advised him to hear Shree
Mad-Bhaagvat Puraan as this is the only way to Mukti (salvation) in such
a short time. Then Shuk Dev Jee said it and Pareekshit heard it.
First of all Shree Hari told
this Bhaagvat to Brahmaa Jee, Brahma Jee told it to his son Naarad Jee, Naarad
Jee told it to Maharshi Ved Vyaas Jee, Ved Vyaas Jee told it to his son Shuk
Dev Jee, and Shuk Dev Jee told it to Pareekshit Jee. It is written by Ved Vyaas
Jee. It is written in Sanskrit language but for people who do not know Sanskrit,
its Hindi and English translations are also available. Its description of kings'
lineages is from the 1st Manvantar - Vaivaswat Manvantar (the present Manvantar
is the 7th one).
This is a very large Granth (book).
It has 12 Skandh, each containing several Adhyaaya (chapters), (see the table below)
and each Adhyaaya containing many Shlok. In total it contains 18,000 Shlok. This
presentation here is not a complete translation of the Bhaagvat Puraan, but has
attempted to cover most of the details of the Granth. Normally the things of descriptive
nature, such as description of Bhagavaan, cities, nature etc. have been omitted to
keep it in limit. Some very deep complex spiritual matters have also been omitted,
because it is written here for general people so that everybody can have a broad
idea of Bhaagvat as what it contains. Besides there are many types of geographical
and historical information also omitted here because this has been meant to be very
basic and easy. This brief Bhaagvat Puraan is given here for those who do not know
either Sanskrit or Hindi.
As people may be aware of, that translation
of many words to depict the same meaning as in the original language may lose their
meaning and beauty, besides those words depict their real meaning only in the same language
in which they have been written therefore many words have been used as they are written
in Hindi language, for many words their possible English translation has been provided in
brackets. All Hindi words are capitalized. To see the meaning of many words in Hindi (words,
names, places, history) Religious
Dictionary may be kept opened.
Why Was Bhaagvat Written
Why Shree Mad-Bhaagvat Puraan was written? As you already know that Bhaagvat
Puraan was written by Ved Vyaas Jee, and Mahaabhaarat was also written by
Ved Vyaas Jee. After Ved
Vyaas Jee wrote Mahaabhaarat he got very sad and upset seeing the end
of the family. One day he was sitting on the banks of Gangaa River that
Naarad Jee came to him and asked the reason of his sadness and being upset.
Vyaas Jee told him everything and told that he had no peace of mind after
finishing Mahaabhaarat. Naarad Jee said - "In my opinion, if one doesn't
sing Hari Kathaa, he doesn't get peace in his heart, so you should sing Hari
Kathaa." "Hari" means Vishnu and "Kathaa" means His
activities. Then Vyaas Jee conceived the idea of Bhaagvat Puraan in which he
described about Vishnu - His Avataar (incarnations). Since Krishn was the
last Avataar of Vishnu in human form by that time, he has described it in
this book in very detail. It is said that after writing Bhaagvat Puraan he
got the peace of mind.
Number of Adhyaaya in Each Skandh
Skandh 1 - 19 Chapters
Skandh 2 - 10 Chapters
Skandh 3 - 33 Chapters
Skandh 4 - 31 Chapters
Skandh 5 - 26 Chapters
Skandh 6 - 19 Chapters
Skandh 7 - 15 Chapters
Skandh 8 - 24 Chapters
Skandh 9 - 24 Chapters
Skandh 10 - 90 Chapters
Skandh 11 - 31 Chapters
Skandh 12 - 13 Chapters
Synopsis of Bhaagvat Puraan's Skandh
Bhaagavat has 12 Cantos. Each canto (called Skandh' in Sanskrit) has several
chapters (Adhyaaya) contributing to 335 chapters in all . The largest canto
is the tenth (having 90 chapters). It deals with Krishn Avatar. Each chapter
has several Shlok. The Shlok are sometimes short (like most of the Shlok in
the Raamaayan or the Bhagvad Geetaa), but more often long. The total number
of Shlok in the Bhaagavat according to tradition is 18,000, though the actual
number is much less. (Raamaayan has 24,000 Shlok; Mahaabhaarat has 100,000).
Following is the brief synopsis of every Skandh. All main issues discussed in
the Skandh are given here so that one can find the Skandh of his interest.
This Skandh is like a Prolog. What is Dharm? What are Avataar? Dis-satisfaction
of Vyaas Jee, Naarad Jee tells Ved VYaas Jee about his previous life and suggests
to write about Bhagavaan's Avataar and Leelaa, Krishn's protecting of Pareekshit,
Paandav go to Swarg Lok, Shaap to Pareekshit, Pareekshit goes to the bank of Gangaa
River, Many Rishi Muni gather there and Shuk Dev Jee tells Bhaagvat Kathaa.
How to meditate, Bhagavaan's Viraat Roop, Description of Avataar in brief, Pareekshit's
questions about Creation, Ten Characteristics of Bhaagvat. Bhaagavat in four Shlok, as
given by the Absolute to Brahmaa the first-born.
Vidur Jee meets Uddhav Jee and he describes Bhagvaan's Baal Leelaa, Vidur asks
about Bhaagvat Dharm then Uddhav Jee directs him to Maitreya Jee, Vidur goes to
Maitreya Jee to Haridwaar, About Creation, Kaal Division, Varaah Avataar, Diti
expresses her desire for children, Sankaadi Muni give Shaap to Jaya and Vijaya
and they are born to Diti, Story of Kardam Rishi and Devahooti, Birth of Kapil
Muni and He delivers the knowledge of Saankhya Shaastra to Devahooti.
Description of Kardam Jee's nine daughters, Story of Daksh Prajaapati, Enmity
between Shankar Jee and Daksh Jee and Satee leaves her body, About Brahmaa Jee's
son Manu's children, Story of Manu's children, Manu's son Uttaanpaad's son Dhruv,
Story of Vane (in Dhruv's lineage), Story of Prithu and Archi produced from
Vane's body, Prachetaa Gan (in Prithu's lineage), and Story of Puranjan.
Account of Manu's another son Priyavrat, his son Aagneedhra, and his son Rishabh,
and Rishabh's son Bharat (on whose name this piece of land is called Bhaarat Varsh).
Description of Universe and Gangaa River, Seven islands and other Varsh, Chariot of
the Sun and its speed, Position of various planets and their speed, Shishumaar Chakra,
Raahu's position and other Lok, Sankarshan Bhagavaan.
Story of Ajaamil, Story of Daksh and his 60 daughters, Insult of Brihaspati and
Devtaa appoint Vishwaroop as their Guru, Vishwaroop's Naraayanee Kavach to protect
Devtaa from Daitya, Indra kills Vishwaroop and divides His Brahm Hatyaa Paap in four
parts, Vishwaroop's father Twashtaa produces a Krityaa named Vritraasur.
In this Skandh Dharm is described in very detail. Jaya and Vijaya's story, Maharshi
Kashyap, Prahlaad story with Nrasinh Avataar have been described in detail.
This Skandh describes all Manvantar (there are 14 Manvantar). This includes the
stories of Gaj and Graah, Saagar Manthan, Mohinee Avataar, Shankar Jee's confusion
about Mohinee, Manu's functions, Bali's victory over Swarg, Kashyap tells about
Payo-Vrat, Vaaman Avataar and Raajaa Bali, Matsya Avataar.
In this Skandh you will find many biographies, such as, from the beginning -
Manu, Chyavan Rishi, Naabhaag, Ikshwaaku Vansh, Raajaa Trishanku, Raajaa Sagar,
Bhageerath, Shree Raam, Raajaa Nimi, Parashuraam Jee, Vishwaamitra Jee, Yayaati
Vansh, Raajaa Dushyant-Shakuntalaa story, Raajaa Rantidev, Yadu Vansh, Kaurav
This is the largest Skandh in Bhaagvat. It has 90 Adhyaay in total. This Skandh
is wholly devoted to the life of Shree Krishn. There are two parts of this Skandh -
Poorvaardh and Uttaraardh. Poorvaardh part describes Shree Krishn's childhood events,
it has 49 Adhyaay; and Uttaraardh part describes His adult life and it has 41
This Skandh is full of spiritual knowledge. In this Skandh Krishn Jee delivers the
knowledge of Bhaagvat Dharm to Uddhav Jee before going to His Param Dhaam. Its all
chapters are a little bigger than others, and it takes some time to read and understand
This Skandh is the last Skandh of the Bhaagvat Jee. In this Skandh Pareekshit leaves
his body. Description of Kaliyug, Maarkandeya Muni's story, about Soorya (Sun) and
His chariot, synopsis of the Bhaagvat Jee, and number of Shlok in each Puraan etc
topics are given.