At their first meeting, in 1922, Srila Prabhupada was asked by his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, to broadcast Vedic knowledge in English. In the years that followed, Srila Prabhupada wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, assisted the Gaudiya Matha in its work and, in 1944, started Back to Godhead, an English fortnightly magazine.
After compiling the Vedas, Srila Vyasadeva was inspired to present their profound essence in the form of Srimad-Bhagavatam. As “the ripened fruit of the tree of Vedic literature,” the first verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam makes clear that because the book is intended for people serious about spiritual progress, it will not deal with sectarian religious ideas, philosophical conjecture, or worldly concerns. The second text promises that anyone who reads the Srimad-Bhagavatam systematically will achieve the spiritual success meant to be attained by all human beings.
Canto One, “Creation,” introduces Saunaka Rsi and the sages at Naimisaranya, who have gathered to hear Suta Gosvami speak on devotional service to Krsna and to describe Krsna’s ten incarnations. Also told is the story of Pariksit Maharaja’s life, including how he came to be cursed to die within seven days. In Canto One, Pariksit Maharaja has retired to the bank of the Ganges, where he meets Sukadeva Gosvami and asks him what a man facing death should do. The remainder of the Bhagavatam is Sukadeva’s response.
This edition of Bhagavatam is the only complete English translation with an elaborate and scholarly commentary, and it is the first edition widely available to the English-reading public. This work is the product of the scholarly and devotional effort of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the world's most distinguished teacher of Indian religious and philosophical thought. His Sanskrit scholarship and intimate familiarity with Vedic culture combine to reveal to the West a magnificent exposition of this important classic.