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so ’ham nrnam ksulla-sukhaya duhkham
mahad gatanam viramaya tasya
pravartaye bhagavatam puranam
yad aha saksad bhagavan rsibhyah
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Let me now begin speaking on the Bhagavata Purana, which was directly spoken to the great sages by the Personality of Godhead for the benefit of those who are entangled in extreme miseries for the sake of very little pleasure.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
The sage Maitreya proposed to speak on Srimad-Bhagavatam because it was especially compiled, and traditionally comes down in the disciplic succession, for the solution of all the problems of human society. Only one who is fortunate can have the opportunity to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of pure devotees of the Lord. Under the spell of material energy, the living entities are entrapped in the bondage of many difficulties simply for the sake of a little bit of material happiness. They engage in fruitive activities, not knowing the implications. Under the false impression that the body is the self, the living entities foolishly relate to so many false attachments. They think that they can engage with materialistic paraphernalia forever. This gross misconception of life is so strong that a person suffers continually, life after life, under the external energy of the Lord. If one comes in contact with the book Bhagavatam as well as with the devotee bhagavata, who knows what the Bhagavatam is, then such a fortunate man gets out of the material entanglement. Therefore Sri Maitreya Muni, out of compassion for the suffering men in the world, proposes to speak on the Srimad-Bhagavatam first and last.