Hinduism boasts of eighteen ‘maha puranic’ texts. The Bhagavata Purana happens to be one of these eighteen texts. The main thing that this book does is that it tells us to show our loving devotion or ‘bhakti’ to Lord Vishnu, in his incarnation as Krishna. This book presents a picture to us in which there is a war between the gods and the demons and the demons have won. It is through the ‘lila’ of Lord Vishnu that the evil forces are finally defeated. The text emphasizes again and again that only through bhakti towards Krishna can mere mortals like us hope to achieve self knowledge, bliss and salvation.
All of us have heard innumerable tales of Krishna’s childhood from our elders while growing up. The origin of all these stories is the Bhagavata Purana. The text is famous for its description of God in an almost human form. A form that is not so exalted and one that people can relate more easily to. Vaishnavs, or worshippers of Lord Vishnu throughout the world, consider the Bhagavata Purana to be a highly revered text. This text is also considered to be the guiding text for all the Vaishnav Bhakti literature that was produced later.