Shrimad Bhagwat-A Hindu Mahapuran
Shrimad Bhagwat is a Hindu Mahapuran. It is a devotional scripture. The main subject of this Puran is the deep personal devotion to Krishna, the full incarnation of Lord Vishnu, i.e. “Lord Himself”. Many stories of Hindu mythology, including the twenty-four incarnations of Vishnu, are recorded in the Bhagwat Puran. This puran was first practiced orally. Its present form dates back to sometime between the 4th and 10th centuries AD. The Bhagwat Puran is the first Puran to be translated into any European language. Between 1840 and 1856, three French translations of the Bhagwat Puran were published. According to the classification of the Padmapuran, the Bhagwat Puran is a sattvic Puran (i.e., this Puran is associated with welfare and holiness). According to traditional Hindu belief, Veda Vyasa is the author of this Puran.
Bhagwat Puran is considered to be the holiest and greatest Puran. Because, it preaches devotion to Vishnu and his various incarnations (mainly Krishna). This Purana describes the means of Moksha (the liberation from the bondage of worldly deeds, the means of attaining pure spiritual knowledge and the greatness of devotion to Vishnu).
In the Bhagwat Puran, Vishnu (Narayana) is mentioned as Parabrahma, who is the one who creates innumerable worlds and enters into each of them in the form of God. Vishnu, in the form of Brahma, created fourteen worlds by adopting Rajaguna(the guna of activity); He protects and nurtures those worlds in the form of Vishnu by accepting Sattvaguna(the guna of purity)and destroys those worlds in the form of Rudra by adopting Tamaguna(the guna of darkness, destruction) in the end of Mahakalpa.
The story of the devotion to Krishna, the human form of Vishnu, is discussed in the 10th volume of this Puran. This volume covers one-fourth of the entire Bhagwat Puran. All the events from the birth to the disappearance of Krishna are recorded in this volume. There are also devotional practices, explanations of devotion and descriptions of different types of devotion. Many Vaisnavas consider this book and Krishna to be identical and consider this book to be the image of Krishna.
All the stories in the Bhagwat Puran are narrated by Shuka, the son of Veda Vyasa. In the Mahabharata, King Parikshit came to life through the activities of Krishna. As seen in the Bhagwat Puran, the dying devotee, Parikshit wanted to know about Krishna from Shuka. In answer to his various questions, Shuka told him the story of Bhagwat Puran in seven days.
This Purana is composed in the form of Brahma Sutra of medieval Krishna devotees and it is known as Bhagwat Mahapuran.