THE IMPORTANCE OF SRIMAD BHAGAVATA
Srimad Bhagavata is an important purana among the eighteen puranas in Hinduism. Srimad Bhagavata was written by Sage Vyasa. Apart from writing Srimad Bhagvata, Sage Vyasa had organized, separated and codified the Veda into four sections as Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Veda. Since he has codified the Vedas he was known as Ved Vyasa. He taught the Rig Veda to his disciple Pyla Maharshi, Sama Veda to Jaimini Maharshi. Yajur Veda to Vysambayana Maharshi and Atharva Veda to Sumanthu Maharshi. All the four were the disciples of Sage Veda Vyasa. He has written totally eighteen puranas and ithihasa Mahabharata. He taught the puranas and ithihasa to his disciple Romaharsha Maharshi.
Even after doing so much, at the end of dwapara Yug, he felt an unrest and dissatisfaction in his mind. He searched for reasons but he could not find out. At that time he met Sage Narada. Sage Ved Vyasa and Narada were worried about the mentality of the people in Kali Yug. They discussed that the people of Kali Yug will be lazy, their life span will be short, and dharma will fade away in this Yug. They were concerned about the life in Kali Yug. Sage Ved Vyasa expressed about the unrest in his mind. After hearing Sage Vyasa, Sage Narada said, ‘You have codified the Veda, written many puranas, wrote Mahabharata, but you have not written about the chaitanya that is residing in all; that is Sri Vasudeva Krishna. You have not written about bhakti which is a very wonderful and powerful emotion; and hence write about bhakti towards Sri Vasudeva Krishna’.
Sage Ved Vyasa took the words of Sage Narada as an intuition and wrote Srimad Bhagava from the Vyasa guha on the banks of river Saraswati. After writing it he taught Srimad Bhagavata to his son Sri Suka Brahmarishi. All his disciples taught the vedas, puranas and ithihasa to their disciples and it passed on generation after generation through guru-sishya parampara.
Srimad Bhagavata is written in a very lucid form explaining the history of Baghavan Krishna; including in it were various facts and stories that happened during Sri Krishna’s life time. Srimad Bhagavata is the essence of all the Vedas and puranas and hence it is known as the fifth Veda. Vedas are suitable only for the people who are highly spiritually elevated, and puranas are suitable for the people who follow dharma. Srimad Bhagavata is suitable for the people from all walks of life including women and children.
Srimad Bhagavata is a nivritti purana where we can find the solution for many of our problems in life. In our life we are expected to follow two dharmas; they are the vyavahara dharma and para dharma. Vyavahara dharma are the duties we follow in our life using our gross body like, earning money, taking care of our family, accepting professional responsibilities etc. Paradharma is related to our mind. We all have skills and talents. We develop it according to our opportunities and situations. Sometimes our talent and skills are respected. Sometimes they are ignored or rejected and sometimes not given the due value. During such situations our mind goes into depression. Such depression may push us in to problems both in the family and in the profession. Spirituality is absolutely helpful in such situations. Reading Srimad Bhagavata helps to keep our mind in a balanced state. The hymns and Gitas in Srimad Bhagavata helps to keep our mind stable. We understand that even Baghavan Krishna has many problems in life and we perceive how he overcame it in his life time.
Srimad Bhagavata is devotional text embedded in philosophy. Hence Srimad Bhagavata is considered as an important text in Hinduism.