After the Upanishads and the Bhagavadgita, the Srimad Bhagavatam is the most authoritative of the Indian Scriptures. By means of stories from the lives of Avataras, sages, devotees, and kings, it popularizes the truths contained in the Vedas. At this moment more than two hundred million Hindus find in it their most cherished expressions of religious faith and their dearest exemplars. To study it is the best of all ways to become acquainted.
Its peculiar excellence is that it reconciles the heart with the head, devotion with learning. "It is fried in the butter of Knowledge," says Sri Ramakrisna, latest of Indian prophets, "and steeped in the huney of Love."
Only the more generally interesting portions of the more generally interesting portions of the work-amounting to somewhat less than half of the whole-are included in the present version. Of this version, again, about half is summary and paraphrase rather than translation; the remainder, however, consisting of the teachings of Sri Krisna to his disciple Uddhava (Book XI), has been rendered without omission and with approximate literalness. Everywhere the primary object has been to interpret in English the inner spirit of the Sanskrit text.
In no form hitherto, so far as I am aware, has the Bhagavatam been readily available to the English-speaking public.
In revising my translation for the press, I am happy to acknowledge, I have had the assistance of my friends Jane Manchester and Frederick Manchester.
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