AUM Namo Narayanaya. Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) is considered as the summum bonum of the entire vedic literature, because it directly decribes the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Lord Narayana and also the advent and pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna. Srimad Bhagavatam was composed by Bhagavan Sri Veda Vyasa Badarayana at the dawn of the present age of Kali-yuga. Srimad Bhagavatam promotes Bhakti-yoga (the path of complete devotion to the Supreme Lord) as the supreme path to reach the goal of human existence in this dark age of Kali yuga.
Srimad Bhagavatam contains twelve cantos. The first canto is a continuation of the story of the Mahabharata. It deals with the later happenings after the Great War. When Lord Krishna left for his supreme heavenly abode, the five Pandavas and their mother Kunti were deeply mournful and Kunti died instantly. They handed over their kingdom to Raja Parikshit, the son of Abhimanyu, and left their kingdom for the Himalayas and finally passed away. Raja Parikshit was a powerful ruler and took care of his people very well. However, for one mistake committed by him in showing disrespect to a seer he was cursed to death within seven days. He was deeply grief-stricken and thought of a way out. Suka dev arrived and narrated the Bhagavatam to him.
In the second canto of Srimad Bhagavatam Suka deva explains to Parikshit that when death is imminent, one should concentrate on God and relinquish all earthly desires. He also explains how death occurs and the nature of the world of delusion. The third canto deals with the nature of conflict between good and evil and also talks of Vidura, the minister of the Kauravas who left for meditation in order to avoid his participation in the Mahabharata war. There are also accounts of several incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The fourth canto has reference to Lord Shiva who destroyed the Yajna performed by his father-in-law Daksha, following the self-immolation by Sati. Fifth canto talks of seven oceans and seven islands of the earth. Among the seven islands, Jammudwipa that is Bharat, is the best according to the epic. It tells the story of Raja Bharat from which the country derives its name.
In the sixth conto of Srimad Bhagavatam, the stories of the Vritra, king Chitraketu and sage Dadhichi are described. The seventh canto tells the story of Jaya and Vijaya who were attendants of Lord Vishnu but cursed to take the births as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu, Ravana and Kumbhakarna and Shishupala and Dantavaktra respectively and killed by Vishnu in his three different incarnations. The origins of Lakshmi and amrita from the ocean and two other incarnations of Vishnu are described in eighth canto. The stories of some great devotees and the descent of the river Ganga to the earth are narrated in the ninth canto. The tenth canto is considered very important since it narrates the story of the birth of Krishna in Mathura and his activities in the Gokul and in Dwarka. The eleventh canto is deeply philosophical and most popular among the devotees. The subject matter of the canto relates to Dhyana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga. The twelfth canto a glimpse of things to come in Kaliyuga are described. Raja Parikshit leaves his mortal frame with full contentment.