"According to the Vedic injunctions: yasya deve para bhaktih. Srimad-Bhagavatam can only be recited by one who has unflinching faith in the lotus feet of Krsna and His devotee, the spiritual master. One should try to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam from the spiritual master. The Vedic injunction states: bhaktya bhagavatam grahyam na buddhya na ca tikaya. One has to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam through the process of devotional service and by hearing the recitation of a pure devotee. These are the injunctions of Vedic literature - sruti and smrti."
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madyam lila 22-131
"If you want to realize what is Bhagavat, then you must go and learn Srimad-Bhagavatam from a person whose life is Bhagavatam, not the professional Bhagavat reciters. So here it is said... And who will recite Bhagavatam daily unless he has dedicated his life for Bhagavan. He's bhagavata. Grantha-bhagavat, and the person bhagavata. Bhagavata. Maha-bhagavata. A person, a devotee is called bhagavata. And the grantha-bhagavata. So we have to serve both. We have to hear daily Srimad-Bhagavatam from the realized person. Nityam bhagavata sevaya. The guru. The devotee. They are bhagavat. So we have to serve, we have to please them. That is also said in the Bhagavad-Gita. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya."
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam, 09-26-74, Calcutta
"This statement is also confirmed in the Third Canto, Twenty-fifth Chapter, verse 25, of Srimad-Bhagavatam, where Lord Kapila says, "My dear mother, when a person is actually in association with pure devotees, the sublime potency of My devotional service can be experienced." In other words, when a pure devotee speaks, his words act upon the hearts of the audience. What is the secret of hearing and chanting? A professional speaker cannot impress transcendental ecstasy within the hearts of the listeners. However, when a realized soul who is engaged in the service of the Lord is speaking, he has the potency to inject spiritual life within the audience. One should, therefore, seek the association of such pure, unalloyed devotees, and by such association and service a neophyte devotee will certainly develop attachment, love and devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 17
"Simple hearing is not all; one must realize the text with proper attention. The word nivista means that Suta Gosvami drank the juice of Bhagavatam through his ears. That is the real process of receiving Bhagavatam. One should hear with rapt attention from the real person, and then he can at once realize the presence of Lord Krsna in every page. The secret of knowing Bhagavatam is mentioned here."
Srimad Bhagavata is known as the ripened fruit of the desire-tree of Vedic literatures. Bhagavat-sravana, the study of Bhagavata, is essential for one who aspires to understand the science of Krsna consciousness. Ten primary subject matters are delineated in the Bhagavatam, as follows:
- Sarga -- The primary creation, a description on the Lord as the origin of the elements of this world;
- Visarga -- The secondary creation, a description of the constituents and creation of this world;
- Sthana -- Various abodes where the living entities dwell, among which teh spiritual world is supreme;
- Posana -- The protection and care of the Lord for those depending on Him;
- Uti -- The impetus for action, an analysis of the various dispositions of the living entities in this world;
- Manvantara -- Descriptions of the cosmic ages of Manu, histories from the past ages;
- Isanukatha --The various descents of the Lord and His activities together with His great devotees;
- Nirodha -- The eventual withdrawing of the cosmic manifestation by the Lord;
- Mukti -- Liberation from the bondage of matter and the attainment of one's constitutional nature; and
- Asraya -- The ultimate shelter of everything, the ever-independent Supreme Person.
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.