sa samhitam bhagavatim
sukam adhyapayam asa
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
The great sage Vyasadeva, after compiling the Srimad-Bhagavatam and revising it, taught it to his own son, Sri Sukadeva Gosvami, who was already engaged in self-realization.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Srimad-Bhagavatam is the natural commentation on the Brahma-sutras compiled by the same author. This Brahma-sutra, or Vedanta-sutra, is meant for those who are already engaged in self-realization. Srimad-Bhagavatam is so made that one becomes at once engaged in the path of self-realization simply by hearing the topics. Although it is especially meant for the paramahamsas, or those who are totally engaged in self-realization, it works into the depths of the hearts of those who may be worldly men. Worldly men are all engaged in sense gratification. But even such men will find in this Vedic literature a remedial measure for their material diseases. Sukadeva Gosvami was a liberated soul from the very beginning of his birth, and his father taught him Srimad-Bhagavatam. Amongst mundane scholars, there is some diversity of opinion as to the date of compilation of Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is, however, certain from the text of the Bhagavatam that it was compiled before the disappearance of King Pariksit and after the departure of Lord Krsna. When Maharaja Pariksit was ruling the world as the King of Bharata-varsa, he chastised the personality of Kali. According to revealed scriptures and astrological calculation, the Age of Kali is in its five thousandth year. Therefore, Srimad-Bhagavatam was compiled not less than five thousand years ago. Mahabharata was compiled before Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the Puranas were compiled before Mahabharata. That is an estimation of the date of compilation of the different Vedic literatures. The synopsis of Srimad-Bhagavatam was given before the detailed description under instruction of Narada. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the science for following the path of nivrtti-marga. The path of pravrtti-marga was condemned by Narada. That path is the natural inclination for all conditioned souls. The theme of Srimad-Bhagavatam is the cure of the materialistic disease of the human being, or stopping completely the pangs of material existence.