SB 1.2.3

यः स्वानुभावमखिलश्रुतिसारमेकमध्यात्मदीपमतितितीर्षतां तमोऽन्धम् ।
संसारिणां करुणयाह पुराणगुह्यं तं व्याससूनुमुपयामि गुरुं मुनीनाम् ॥३॥


yaḥ svānubhāvam akhila-śruti-sāram ekam
adhyātma-dīpam atititīrṣatāṁ tamo ‘ndham
saṁsāriṇāṁ karuṇayāha purāṇa-guhyaṁ
taṁ vyāsa-sūnum upayāmi guruṁ munīnām


yaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigyah

who; a devotee who; a person; a person who; all those; any person who; any such master who; anyone (king or governor); anyone; anyone who; Bali Mahārāja; because; everything; he (who has); he; he person who; He who (Govinda); he who (Jahnu); He who (Lord Nārāyaṇa); He who (Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu); he who (my so-called husband); he who (Somadatta); He who (the Lord); He who (the Personality of Godhead); He who (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); he who (Śunaḥśepha); he who; I who; it is He only; King Khaṭvāṅga who; Lord Rāmacandra who; Mahārāja Sagara who; on account of; one; one of the sons of Sagara Mahārāja; one which; one who (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); one who (Viśvāmitra); one who; one who is; person; such a person (as you); such a person; that; that is; that person; that Personality of Godhead who; that same person who; that which; the Lord who; the one; the one who; the person; the person who; the same Jaḍa Bharata who was formerly Mahārāja Bharata, the son of Mahārāja Ṛṣabhadeva; the same Rāhu; the Supreme Lord who; the Supreme Personality of Godhead; the Supreme Personality of Godhead who; the system; who; who are; who is; whoever; whom; you who; Your Lordship.
—he who; svaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsva

by himself; by your own; his; his own; in his own; of one's own; of their own; one's own; own; personal, internal; personal, own; with his wealth.
-anubhāvamplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_biganubhāvam

as a result of such influence; character; glories; His power; influence; the activities.
—self-assimilated (experienced); akhilaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigakhila

all; all around; all kinds of; all sorts; all that be; all-embracing; all-inclusive; complete; entire; everywhere; of all; of everyone; of the entire universe; of the universe; throughout; universal.
—all around; śrutiplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigśruti

by hearing; the Vedas; the aim of understanding; the Vedas; the Vedic version; Vedic mantras; Vedic revelation.
—the Vedas; sāramplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsaram

cream; essence; essential; firmness; patience; the essence; very substantial.
—cream; ekamplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigekam

alone; alone, all by Himself; he alone; in one; once; one (the same Supreme Soul); one; one of them; one only; one without a second; only; only one; the one; the one and only; the only one; unified.
—the only one; adhyātmaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigadhyatma

due to being highly elevated in spiritual consciousness; in the matter of transcendental knowledge; minds of others; pertaining to the self; spiritual; spiritualism; transcendental; with full knowledge of the self.
—transcendental; dīpamplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigdīpam

just like the light in the darkness; lamp; torchlight.
—torchlight; atititīrṣatāmplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigatititīrṣatām

desiring to overcome.
—desiring to overcome; tamaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigtamah

tamas; and of the mode of ignorance; and the mode of ignorance; by ignorance; dark; darkness; darkness in self-knowledge; from the darkness of hellish life; great darkness; hell; ignorance; ignorance in the material world; in ignorance; in the darkest region of hellish life; in the mode of ignorance; material nature; mode of ignorance; mundane ignorance; nescience; nothing but darkness; of darkness; of illusory existence; of the darkness; the dark planet; the darkness; the darkness of ignorance; the darkness within the material creation; the greatest; the material condition of sleeping; the mode of darkness; the mode of ignorance; the mode of ignorance, by which one performs pious and impious activities; the mode of ignorance, or the darkness of night; the ocean of nescience; to darkness; to ignorance.
andhamplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigandham

a blind man; dark; dense; gross ignorance; ignorance (forgetting his body and soul); ignorance.
—deeply dark material existence; saṁsāriṇāmplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsaṁsāriṇām

of the materialistic men.
—of the materialistic men; karuṇayāplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigkarunaya

by causeless mercy; by His causeless mercy; by mercy; out of causeless mercy.
—out of causeless mercy; āhaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigaha

addressed; calls; chants; declared; dictated; explained; has described; have said; He instructed; He said; Hiraṇyākṣa said; inquired; it is said; narrated; order; ordered; predicted; replied; said (Varuṇa); said; said it; said to himself; she replied; she said; she spoke; spoke; the fish said; was said; you said.
—said; purāṇaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigpurana

Purāṇas; old history recorded in the stories of the purāṇas; supplement to the Vedas; the Purāṇas; the subject matter explained in the Purāṇas, the old histories, especially the Matsya Purāṇa; the supplementary Vedic literatures called the Purāṇas.
—supplement to the Vedas; guhyamplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigguhyam

confidential; confidential duty; confidential topics; from His confidential knowledge; mysterious; secret; the most confidential; very confidential (because ordinary men cannot understand the activities of Kṛṣṇa); very confidential.
—very confidential; tamplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigtam

by Him; Dhruva; Dhruva Mahārāja; for that reason; from him (Kardama); from him (Maitreya); him (Ajāmila); him (Arjuna); him (Bali); him (Cyavana); him (Dhruva Mahārāja); him (Gajendra); him (Gargamuni); him (Hiraṇyakaśipu); him (Indra); him (Jaḍa Bharata); him (Kardama); him (King Yayāti); him (King Yudhiṣṭhira); Him (Kṛṣṇa); him (Lord Indra); Him (Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva); him (Lord Śiva); Him (Nara-Nārāyaṇa); him (Nārada Muni); him (Prahlāda Mahārāja); him (Prajāpati Dakṣa); him (Pṛthu); him (Pṛṣadhra); Him (Rohiṇī-nandana, the son of Rohiṇī); him (the bull); him (the condemned person); him (the he-goat); him (the King of heaven, Indra); him (the King); Him (the Lord); him (the male bird); him (the saintly person); Him (the Supreme Lord); Him (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); Him (the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa); him (Tṛṇabindu); him (Vasudeva); him (Vidura); him (Viśvarūpa); Him (Vāmanadeva); him (Vṛtrāsura); him; Him, Lord Rāmacandra; him, Mahārāja Sumitra.
—unto him; vyāsaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigvyāsa

compiler; Dvaipāyana Vyāsa; explicitly; of Vyāsadeva; the authorized writer Vyāsadeva; the great author Vyāsadeva; the sage Vyāsa; Vedavyāsa; Vyāsa; Vyāsadeva; Śrīla Vyāsadeva.
-sūnumplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsūnum

Kṛṣṇa, the son of a cowherd man.
—the son of Vyāsadeva; upayāmiplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigupayāmi

I may take; let me offer my obeisances.
—let me offer my obeisances; gurumplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_biggurum

heavy; his spiritual master; his spiritual master, Vasiṣṭha; his spiritual master, Śukrācārya; most severe; most worshipable; preceptor; spiritual master; the instructor; the master; the perfect spiritual master; the preceptor; the spiritual master; the supreme spiritual master; the supreme spiritual master, Kṛṣṇa; the teacher or spiritual master; unto his guru; unto his spiritual master; unto the spiritual master; you who act as a good advisor to all fallen souls.
—the spiritual master; munīnāmplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigmunīnām

great saintly persons; in the presence of the sages; of great sages; of such saintly persons; of the great philosophers or mental speculators; of the great sages; of the sages; those four sages.
—of the great sages. 


Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto him [Śuka], the spiritual master of all sages, the son of Vyāsadeva, who, out of his great compassion for those gross materialists who struggle to cross over the darkest regions of material existence, spoke this most confidential supplement to the cream of Vedic knowledge, after having personally assimilated it by experience. 


In this prayer, Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī practically summarizes the complete introduction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the natural supplementary commentary on the Vedānta-sūtras. The Vedānta-sūtras, or the Brahma-sūtras, were compiled by Vyāsadeva with a view to presenting just the cream of Vedic knowledge. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the natural commentary on this cream. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī was a thoroughly realized master of the Vedānta-sūtra, and consequently he also personally realized the commentary, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And just to show his boundless mercy upon bewildered materialistic men who want to cross completely over nescience, he recited for the first time this confidential knowledge. 

There is no point in arguing that a materialistic man can be happy. No materialistic creature—be he the great Brahmā or an insignificant ant—can be happy. Everyone tries to make a permanent plan for happiness, but everyone is baffled by the laws of material nature. Therefore the materialistic world is called the darkest region of God’s creation. Yet the unhappy materialists can get out of it simply by desiring to get out. Unfortunately they are so foolish that they do not want to escape. Therefore they are compared to the camel who relishes thorny twigs because he likes the taste of the twigs mixed with blood. He does not realize that it is his own blood and that his tongue is being cut by the thorns. Similarly, to the materialist his own blood is as sweet as honey, and although he is always harassed by his own material creations, he does not wish to escape. Such materialists are called karmīs. Out of hundreds of thousands of karmīs, only a few may feel tired of material engagement and desire to get out of the labyrinth. Such intelligent persons are called jñānīs. The Vedānta-sūtra is directed to such jñānīs. But Śrīla Vyāsadeva, being the incarnation of the Supreme Lord, could foresee the misuse of the Vedānta-sūtra by unscrupulous men, and, therefore, he personally supplemented the Vedānta-sūtra with the Bhāgavata Purāṇa. It is clearly said that this Bhāgavatam is the original commentary on the Brahma-sūtras. Śrīla Vyāsadeva also instructed the Bhāgavatam to his own son, Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who was already at the liberated stage of transcendence. Śrīla Śukadeva realized it personally and then explained it. By the mercy of Śrīla Śukadeva, the Bhāgavata-vedānta-sūtra is available for all those sincere souls who want to get out of material existence. 

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the one unrivaled commentary on Vedānta-sūtra. Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya intentionally did not touch it because he knew that the natural commentary would be difficult for him to surpass. He wrote his Śārīraka-bhāṣya, and his so-called followers deprecated the Bhāgavatam as some “new” presentation. One should not be misled by such propaganda directed against the Bhāgavatam by the Māyāvāda school. From this introductory śloka, the beginning student should know that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the only transcendental literature meant for those who are paramahaṁsas and completely freed from the material disease called malice. The Māyāvādīs are envious of the Personality of Godhead despite Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya’s admission that Nārāyaṇa, the Personality of Godhead, is above the material creation. The envious Māyāvādī cannot have access to the Bhāgavatam, but those who are really anxious to get out of this material existence may take shelter of this Bhāgavatam because it is uttered by the liberated Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī. It is the transcendental torchlight by which one can see perfectly the transcendental Absolute Truth realized as Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān.