The Bhāgavata Purāṇa
, also known as , or ) is one of the "Maha" Puranic
texts of Hindu
literature, with its primary focus on bhakti
(devotion) to the incarnations of Vishnu
, particularly Krishna
. The Sanskrit
text comprises twelve skandas
(cantos or books) and some 18,000 verses.The Bhāgavata includes many stories well known in Hindu tradition, including the various avatars
of Vishnu and the life of Krishna. It was the first Purana to be translated into a European language, with three French translations between 1840 and 1857.
Like all Puranas, the Bhāgavata is a product of oral tradition
, its extant version usually dated to the ninth or tenth century CE. The text itself credits Veda Vyasa
with its authorship.
The intense and personal bhakti described in the Bhāgavata is directed toward Krishna as God in human form. The tenth book (or canto), which is dedicated to Krishna, takes up about one quarter of the entire Bhāgavata. It includes the most comprehensive collection of stories about the life of Krishna, showing him in all the stages and conditions of human life. It also includes instruction in the practice of bhakti, an analysis of bhakti, and... Read More