Ten Topics of Bhāgavatam

There are ten facets, ten topics, in Śrīmad Bhagavatam. 2.10.1 lists them. The next verse explains that the first nine serve to clarify the tenth and main topic. Then five verses elaborate on what the titles of the topics mean. Here are the ten topics:

  1. The origin of things (sarga)
  2. The creation of things (visarga)
  3. The existence of things (sthāna)
  4. The maintenance of things (poṣaṇa)
  5. Enjoyable deeds (ūti)
  6. Spans of time (manvantara)
  7. Affectionate discussion of the Master (īśa-anukathā)
  8. Death and the destruction of things (nirodha)
  9. Liberation (mukti)
  10. The ultimate shelter and refuge (āśraya)


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  1. ok and now i have a challenge for you Vraja! You just came out with Bhagavatam in Four verses. Can you unpack each of the 10 subjects and condense that into a blog or a book? How do each of the first 9 topics clarify the 10th(asraya) Lord Damodara whose bound with the special rope of unconditional love?


    1. Well, yes. The whole Bhagavatam unpacks the 10 subjects. I will present it as 12 books, in the Beautiful Tales of the All Attractive series. But I know what you are talking about – something more concise and direct. That is a nice challenge. I will keep it in my Tupperware Tiffin labeled “great projects to do when you need a fourteenth project to work on.” =) It is a wonderful idea for a book. Probably I can only really do a proper job of it AFTER I’ve written all twelve volumes of Beautiful Tales.

      Maybe a lot of information is already in some commentaries. I will keep an eye out for it.

      The five verses 2.10.3-7 really sort of do what you’ve asked. I’ll read it to you in person next time I can see you. I will publish it, of course, in Vol. 2 of Beautiful Tales.

      Very briefly – in the caturloki we heard “anvaya vyatirekhābhyā” (make “direct and indirect” inquiry). Many of the 9 other topics are vyatirekha – indirect inquiry. For example, ūti will discuss the various ambitions people can have, which leads them to do different deeds and attain different destinations in this plane of reality as well as in heavenly and hellish planes. All this indirectly clarifies the 10th subject (the ultimate refuge) by showing that no destination attained by selfish ambition can be a really suitable and satisfying destination for us. Only the 10th subject is the suitable and satisfying destination.


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