1 Protection and destruction.Creation and everything else 1 flow from him. Directly, and indirectly, he knows of all the objectives.
He rules over himself. He is the one who filled the heart of Brahmā, 2 the original wise being. The gods
are bemused by him. He is like the interaction between energy, water and earth. He is the certain cause
behind the three types of creation. 3 He is always his own refuge. He is the one who casts out illusion. He
is the absolute truth. We meditate on him. 4 This illustrious Bhagavata 5 was composed by the great sage. 6
It is about supreme dharma and is completely free from deceit. It is for the virtuous who are devoid of
envy. Knowledge exists here about true reality and bliss and about uprooting the three kinds of misery. 7
What else is needed to obtain the lord? If a person has cleansed his soul and is faithful, through this, he
instantly establishes him in his heart. The sacred texts are like trees that yield all the objects of desire and
this represents their ripened fruit. It emerged from Shuka’s mouth, with the pulp and juice of amrita. Drink
the Bhagavata, the store of juices. O those who possess taste! Savour it repeatedly and become happy on
2 With knowledge of the Vedas.
3 Meaning the three qualities (guna) of sattva, rajas and tamas.
4 This first shloka has considerable scope for interpretation. Therefore, translations vary widely,
depending on interpretations chosen. We have deliberately kept it simple. Although we have said this
about this shloka, the same statement can also be made about all the other shlokas in this first
paragraph. Indeed, this can be said about the first three chapters.
5 Bhagavata Purana.
6 Vedavyasa, although there is also the belief that it was originally composed by Narayana. Vedavyasa (or
Vyasadeva) is more like a title. There is a Vedavyasa in every great age, the title being conferred on
someone who collates and classifies the Vedas. This Vedavyasa’s name was Krishna Dvaipayana,
Krishna because he was dark and Dvaipayana because he was born on an island (dvipa). Vedavyasa is
the composer of the Mahabharata and the Puranas.
7 Relating to adhidaivika (destiny), adhibhoutika (nature) and adhyatmika (one’s own nature).