(1) Sûta said: "Offering my obeisances to Lord Krishna, to the creator, to the brahmins and to the supreme of dharma, I shall now discuss the eternal nature of religion [in terms of the topics discussed in the Bhâgavatam]. (2) O sages, upon your request I related to you these wonderous pastimes of Lord Vishnu that are especially suitable for people in respect of the person. (3) The direct interest of this narration is the glorification of the Lord, the Remover of All Sins, Nârâyana, the Lord of the Senses, the Supreme Personality and Master of the Sâtvatas. (4) The creation and annihilation of this universe and the confidential knowledge of the One Self-existent Supreme Spirit is discussed herein, together with the purity of perception and the means of cultivating that realization.
(5-6) Bhakti-yoga and the renunciation belonging to it are at length discussed [in 1.2, 7.5-10 & Canto 11.29], just as the history of Nârada [1.4-6] and the story of Parîkchit describing how the sage among the kings fasted until death because he was cursed by [the son of] a sage and then had his conversation with S'uka, the best of the brahmins [see Canto 1.8-18]. (7) What follows is a discussion of how one may attain liberation by concentrating in yoga in case one has to die [2.2: 15-21], a conversation between Nârada and Brahmâ [2.5], the row of avatâras [1.3 & 2.7] and how the process of evolution takes place from the primary of nature [or pradhâna, 3.26: 10-72]. (8) Next there is the discussion Vidura had with Uddhava [3.1: 25-3.4] and the one Vidura had with Maitreya [3.5-4.31], [preceded by] what a Purâna entails [in general, see 2.10: 1 and 12.7: 9-10], and then the subject is discussed of the winding up of the creation within the Mahâpurusha [2.10: 6, 3.11: 30, 8.5: 35, 11.3: 8-15, 12.4]. (9) What follows is the creation the way it occurs from [the modes of] material nature and the generation of the seven derivatives [of mahat, ahamkâra and the tanmâtras, see 3.20: 12-17], that come about with the evolution of the egg of the universe from which the universal form of the Lord arises [3.6]. (10) The gross and subtle movements of time [3.11], [are discussed as well as] the generation of the lotus [3.8] and the killing of Hiranyâksha relating to the deliverance of the earth from the ocean [3.17-19]. (11) [And thus we have] the creation of the higher beings, the animals and the lower ones [3.12: 37-48], the birth of Rudra [3.12], and the appearance of Svâyambhuva Manu from the male/female division of the Lord [see 3.12: 49-53, 4.1]. (12-13) [Discussed are] the progeny of the excellent consort of the first woman S'atarûpâ, and the offspring of [the nine daughters of] the pious wife [Devahûti] of the founding father Kardama [see 3.24: 20-25 and 4.1], the descend of the Supreme Soul, the Supreme Personality of Lord Kapila and the conversation of the scholarly Kapila with Devahûti [4.25-33]. (14-15) The descendants of the nine brahmins [who married Kardama's daughters, 4.1], the destruction of Daksha's sacrifice [4.2-7] and the history of Dhruva [4.8-13] is then followed by the stories of Prithu [4.15-23] and Prâcînabarhi [4.24-29], his conversation with Nârada [4.29], the stories of Priyavrata [5.1], o brahmins, Nâbhi [5.3], the life of Rishabha [5.3-6], and Bharata Mahârâja [5.7-13]. (16) The continents, subcontinents and oceans, the mountains and rivers are described in detail [5.19-20], as well as the celestial sphere [5.21-23] and the arrangement of the subterranean regions and hell [5.24-26]. (17) [Described are] Daksha's [re-]birth as the son of the Pracetâs [6.4] and the progeny of his daughters from which there were the demigods, demons and human beings, the animals [the mammals], serpents, birds and other species [6.6]. (18) [Also there is] the birth and death of [Vritra, 6.9-12] the son of Tvashthâ and the two sons of Diti, Hiranyâksha [3.14-19] and Hiranyakas'ipu, o brahmins, together with the history of the great soul Prahlâda, the controller of the Daityas [7.2-8]. (19-20) In detail are described the reigns of the Manus [8.1], the liberation of the king of the elephants [Gajendra, 8.2-4] and the avatâras of Lord Vishnu in each period of Manu [8.5 & 13] like Hayas'îrshâ [8.24: 8 & 57; 5.18: 1], Nrisimha [7.9-10], Vâmana [8.18-22], Mâtsya [8.24] and Kûrma for the sake of churning the nectar from the milk ocean by the inhabitants of heaven [8.7-8]. (21) The great war between the demons and the gods is described [8.10] as also systematically the dynasties of the kings [9.2, 7, 9, 12, 13, 17, 20-24]; the dynasty of Sudyumna [9.1] and the birth of Ikshvâku and his dynasty [9.6]. (22) Related are the stories of Ilâ [9.1: 16-27] and Târâ [9.14: 4-13] as also an account of the descendants of the Sûrya-vams'a, like S'as'âda [Vikukshi, 9.6: 6-11] and Nriga [9.1: 11-12, 9.2: 17 & 10: 64]. (23) There are the stories of Sukanyâ [9.3], [the daughter of] S'aryâti, the intelligent Kakutstha [Purañjaya, 9.6: 12-19], Mândhâtâ [9.6: 33-37 & 9.7], Saubhari [9.6], Sagara [9.8] and Khathvânga [9.9: 41-47]. (24) [Presented are] the pastimes of Lord Râmacandra, the King of Kosala, which dispel all sin [9.10 & 11], Nimi who gave up his material body [9.13], and the appearance of the descendants of king Janaka [or S'îradhvaja, 9.13: 18-27]. (25-26) [Spoken is about] the elimination of the ruling class by Lord Paras'urâma, the Greatest One of Bhrigu [9.15 & 16]; about Aila [Purûravâ, 9.14 & 15], Nahusha [9.18: 1], Yayâti [9.18 & 19], Dushmanta's son Bharata [9.20], S'ântanu [9.22: 12-13] and S'ântanu's son Bhîshma [9.22: 18-19] of the Candra-vams'a as also about the celebrated dynasty of Yadu, the eldest son of Yayâti [9.23: 18-29]. (27) [It is] the dynasty in which - in the house of Vasudeva - the Supreme Lord known as Krishna, the Controller of the Living Being, descended; [following is described] His birth [10.3] and how He grew up in Gokula [10.4-10]. (28-30) His countless exploits are [next] glorified [in the descriptions of]: how He sucked the milk along with the life-air out of Pûtanâ [10.6], how He as a child broke the cart and trampled Trinâvarta [10.7], killed Baka, Vatsa [10.11], and Agha [10.12], [and how He dealt with] Brahmâ hiding away the calves and boys [10.13 & 14], how He destroyed Dhenuka [10.15] and Pralamba [10.18] with His companions, and how He saved them [the gopas] from a forest fire that entrapped them [10.17 & 19]. (31-33) [Recounted are] the subduing of the snake Kâliya [10.16-17]; the vows that to the contentment of the Infallible One were observed by the young gopîs [10.21 & 22]; the mercy for the brahmin wives feeling sorry [10.23]; the lifting of Govardhana Hill [10.25] and the worship and ritual bathing next performed by Indra and Surabhi [10.27]; Krishna's sporting with the gopîs during the nights [10.29-33], the rescue of Nanda Mahârâja from a great serpent [10.34] and the killing of the foolish S'ankhacûda [10.34], Arishtha [10.36] and Kes'î [10.37]. (34) Thereafter Akrûra arrives [10.38] and the departure takes place of Râma and Krishna, there is lamentation of the women of Vraja [10.39] and the tour around Mathurâ [10.41]. (35) Then the killing of the elephant Kuvalayâpîda [10.43], the wrestlers Mushthika, Cânûra, and Kamsa and others [10.44], as well as the retrieval of the son of Sândîpani, the guru are described [10.45]. (36) Residing in Mathurâ in the company of Uddhava and Balarâma, by the Lord, o brahmins, pastimes were performed for the satisfaction of the circle of the Yadus [10.48]. (37) [Next there is] the annihilation many times over of the troops assembled by Jarasândha [10.50], the founding of Dvârakâ and the killing of the barbarian king [10.51]. (38) There is the kidnapping of Rukminî with the Lord defeating His rivals in battle [10.53] and the pârijâta from heaven [from Indra, 10.50: 54] received together with the Sudharmâ assembly hall. (39) The killing of the master of Prâgjyotishapura [Bhauma or Naraka] and the rescue of the young maidens [is discussed in 10.59] with next the forced yawning of S'iva in the battle with Bâna and the cutting of Bâna's arms [10.63]. (40-41) The [Bhâgavatam also deals with the] prowess and death of Pañcajana [10.45: 40-41], S'ambara [10.55], Pîthha [10.59], Mura [10.59], Dvivida [10.67], the king of Cedi [10.74], S'âlva [10.76-77], the foolish Dantavakra [10.78], and others; how the Pândavas became the direct cause [for Krishna] to relieve the earth of its burden [10.49] and the burning of Vârânasî [10.66]. (42-43) [Dealt with is] the withdrawal of His own family [11.30] on the pretext of a curse from the learned [11.1] and the wonderful discussion of Vâsudeva with Uddhava in which the science of the true self came to its full expression in ascertaining the dharma [of how to live with Krishna not physically present anymore, see 11.6-29], with thereafter His forsaking of the mortal world by the strength of His own mystical power [11.31]. (44) [Also discussed are] the characteristics of the different yugas and their corresponding activities [11.17 & 12.3], the total annoyance of man in Kali-yuga [12.1-3] and the four types of annihilation and three [guna] kinds of creation [12.4]. (45) [At last there is an account of] Vishnurata [Parîkchit], the intelligent saintly king, relinquishing his body [12.5-6], how the seer [Vyâsa and others] conveyed the branches of the Veda [12.6-7], the pious narration about Mârkandeya [12.8-10] and the arrangement of the [limbs of the] Mahâpurusha and the arrangement [of time] in relation to the sun, the self of the living being of the universe [12.11].
(46) Thus I have discussed in this narration, in response to your inquiry o best of the twice-born, the activities of the lîlâ-avatâras. (47) If one, falling, tripping, being hurt or sneezing spontaneously cries out aloud 'haraye namah' (obeisances to Hari), is one freed from all that leads to a fall-down. (48) Of persons who properly chant about the Supreme Lord and hear about the Unlimited One His potency, the misery that enters the heart is cleansed away entirely, the same way the sun removes the darkness or a strong wind removes the clouds. (49) Vain indeed are those words and discussions about the relative truth wherein the Possessor of the Opulences, the Lord in the Beyond is not mentioned; that alone is true, that alone indeed is auspicious, that alone is meritorious which gives rise to the qualities of the Fortunate One. (50) That for true is attractive, is newer and newer; that indeed is a constant, great festival to the mind; that [way of speaking] in which the glories of the Best One of the Verses, Uttamas'loka, are sung repeatedly, dries up the ocean of misery for all persons. (51) An exposition of illustrative words which never describes the sanctifying glories of the Lord compares to a place of pilgrimage for crows and is never served by the swanlike, the pure saints who think of Acyuta only [alike 1.5: 10]. (52) That creation of words which revolutionizes the sins of the people and in which, although imperfectly composed, each verse depicts the names and glories of the unlimited Lord, is heard, sung and accepted by the ones who are purified and honest [identical to 1.5: 11]. (53) In spite of self-realization free from material motives, the transcendental knowledge of the infallible that is void of love [or devotion for the Supreme Lord] doesn't look very good actually. Would indeed working for a result do any good when one fails in the unsurpassable work that is performed for the Lord [alike 1.5: 11]? (54) When one is of penance and listens to the scriptures and so on, one is, for the sake of repute and material success, of great endeavor in serving the varnâs'rama system. But when one listens to and exercizes respect for - and so on - the lotus feet of the Maintainer of the Goddess of Fortune, one is of remembrance because one lives in confirmation of the qualities. (55) The remembrance of Lord Krishna's lotusfeet destroys everything inauspicious, leads to good fortune, purification of the heart and, connected in the wisdom and detachment, to spiritual knowing and devotion for the Supreme Soul. (56) You all, o most eminent brahmins, are indeed extremely fortunate being constant with Nârâyana, the Original Soul and Godhead of all, in having placed in your heart the Heavenly Lord Beyond Whom No Other is Found. Unrelenting in your love be now of worship. (57) I also was reminded of this science of the Soul as I, just as you present in an assembly of attentively listening great sages, heard it from the mouth of S'uka, the greatest of sages, when king Parîkchit was fasting until death. (58) This o learned ones, what I narrated to you about the glories of Vâsudeva, the One of Great Deeds Who is Most Worthy to Describe, completely puts an end to all inauspiciousness. (59) Someone who with unswerving attention every yâma [three hour period] and every kshana [a moment of 1.6 second] with faith makes others listen or faithfully listens himself to but one verse or even half a one, but one line or even half a line, will purify his very soul. (60) If one, not having eaten, with careful attention recites or listens [to the Bhâgavatam] on the eleventh or either twelfth day [of a 15-day lunar fortnight, on Ekâdas'î thus, see 3.11: 10], one will be blessed with a long life and be freed from all that causes one to fall. (61) In self-control fasting and reciting this collection of verses at [the holy places of] Pushkara, Mathurâ or Dvârakâ, one will be freed from the fear [of Time, or of a material life, see also 1.13: 19]. (62) Chanting or hearing being of that glorification, the demigods and sages, the perfected and the forefathers, the progenitors and the kings will bestow all that is desired. (63) A twice-born soul studying [this text] as a result may obtain the same rivers of honey, ghee and milk one acquires with studying the Rig, Yayur and Sâma verses. (64) Diligently studying this essential compilation of classical stories will a twice-born as a consequence attain that supreme position which is described by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (65) An educated man studying it achieves spiritual insight, a king achieves this way the dominion, a businessman the lordship of treasures and a worker will rid himself of all that leads to a falldown. (66) Because in Kali-yuga Hari, the Lord of All and Annihilator of the Contamination, is not [really or as fully] described anywhere else but in here, for the justification of Bhagavân who expands in countless forms, each and every verse is describing Him in the form of the stories as they've been told. (67) I am bowed down to Him the Unborn, Unlimited, Real Self by whose energies there is the creation, maintenance and destruction of the universe, to Him the Lord Infallible who is unfathomable in His glory to [even] the masters of heaven who are lead by the unseen one [Aja or Brahmâ], the mighty one [S'akra or Indra], and the beneficent one [S'ankara or S'iva]. (68) My obeisances to the Eternal Lord, the Best of All the Gods, to the Fortunate One whose Manifestation is Pure Consciousness and who by His nine powers [s'aktis or potencies] arranged for His own Self as the safe haven of the moving and nonmoving living beings.
(69) I bow down to him, the son of Vyâsa who defeats everything inauspicious and who, attracted in his heart by the pastimes of His activities, in order to please the one Unconquerable, in denial of any other type of consciousness had the intelligence to give up his solitary happiness and mercifully disclosed the [Bhâgavata] Purâna, the light of reality."