Bhaagvat Puraan | Introduction

Bhaagvat Puraan

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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.

Skandh 1
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.

Skandh 2
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.

Skandh 3
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.

Skandh 4
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.

Skandh 5
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.

Skandh 6
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.

Skandh 7
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.

Skandh 8
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.

Skandh 9
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 Vansh etc.

Skandh 10
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 Adhyaaya.

Skandh 11
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 them.

Skandh 12
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.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/9/02
Updated on 06/11/13