Canto Three: “The Status Quo”

His Divine GraceA. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda


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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 Three, “The Status Quo,” tells of Vidura’s pilgrimage to holy places and his meeting with an ecstatic Uddhava, from whom he hears of Kṛṣṇa’s departure. Uddhava later meets Maitreya and hears from him about creation. Also told in this canto are the births of Hiraṇyakaśipu and Hiraṇyākṣa, and Hiraṇyākṣa's death at the hands of Varāhadeva. Kardama Muni and Devahūti marry, and their divine son, Kapiladeva, teaches devotional Sāṅkhya philosophy, which includes an analysis of the material world and how to become liberated from it.

This edition of 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.