Canto One (volume 1): “Creation”
After compiling the Vedas, Śrīla Vyāsadeva was inspired to present their profound essence in the form of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. As “the ripened fruit of the tree of Vedic literature,” the first verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 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 Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam systematically will achieve the spiritual success meant to be attained by all human beings.
Canto One, “Creation,” introduces Śaunaka Ṛṣi and the sages at Naimiṣāraṇya, who have gathered to hear Sūta Gosvāmī speak on devotional service to Kṛṣṇa and to describe Kṛṣṇa’s ten incarnations. Also told is the story of Parīkṣit Mahārāja’s life, including how he came to be cursed to die within seven days. In Canto One, Parīkṣit Mahārāja has retired to the bank of the Ganges, where he meets Śukadeva Gosvāmī and asks him what a man facing death should do. The remainder of the Bhāgavatam is Śukadeva’s response.
This edition of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 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 Prabhupāda, 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.