The Srimad Bhagavatam, one of the major 18 puranas and the most popular and controversial purana has been recommended by many saints such as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The purana is very popular in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition and hence too in Bengal. But what was Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's opinion of the Srimad Bhagavatam?

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    How is Shrimad Bhagwatam controversial? – Yogi Jul 23 '17 at 6:08
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    @Yogi It is controversial because some of the verses seems to contradict Mahabharata and also cannot co-exist with the Devi Bhagavatam. Also Krishna expanding into Mahavishnu seems very unusual. – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Jul 23 '17 at 6:12
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    You know, that what you said that the Srimad Bhagavatam is "controversial because some of the verses seems to contradict Mahabharata" we could say the other way round, namely "Mahabharata is controversial because some of the verses therein seems to contradict Srimad Bhagavatam"! ... many people do not realise that :) ... And the same applies to the Devi Bhagavata as well. Srimad Bhagavatam is often said to be the best among the Puranas because it is perfectly consistent with Sruti and Smriti, which is the most important thing for any scripture. ... – brahma jijnasa Jul 23 '17 at 14:59
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    ... And those scriptures which are not consistent with Sruti and Smriti are said to be of very low quality, and should be discarded as false knowledge! It is well known that some Puranas such as Shiva, Skanda, etc, and even Devi Bhagavata in many of their verses are not consistent with Sruti and Smriti! And that is way it is said about them that they contain knowledge of very low quality, and they belong to low qualities (gunas) of rajas and tamas. ... – brahma jijnasa Jul 23 '17 at 15:00
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    ... The qualities (gunas) of nature rajas (passion) and tamas (ignorance) pollute the consciousness of a man, and that is the reason why we should study the sattvic (goodness, purity) Puranas such as Srimad Bhagavatam and other Vaishnava Puranas, and discard those other rajas and tamas scriptures. For our own wellbeing we should purify and elevate our consciousness with sattva, and not pollute our consciousness with rajas (passion) and tamas (ignorance). – brahma jijnasa Jul 23 '17 at 15:01

In the Introduction to The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, section heading In Communion With the Divine Beloved, Swami Nikhilananda writes (available here - http://www.belurmath.org/gospel/index.htm):

One day, listening to a recitation of the Bhagavata on the verandah of the Radhakanta temple, he [Ramakrishna] fell into a divine mood and saw the enchanting form of Krishna. He perceived the luminous rays issuing from Krishna's Lotus Feet in the form of a stout rope, which touched first the Bhagavata and then his own chest, connecting all three--God, the scripture, and the devotee. "After this vision", he used to say, "I came to realize that Bhagavan, Bhakta, and Bhagavata--God, Devotee, and Scripture--are in reality one and the same."

There are many instances in the Gospel where Ramakrishna reverently repeats this - "Bhagavan, Bhakta, Bhagavata"

  • Any other references to the Srimad Bhagavatam? – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Aug 1 '17 at 4:58
  • there are many references to it. The answer given is the one that most conveys the question as to what his opinion of it was. – Swami Vishwananda Aug 1 '17 at 5:02

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