Śrīmad Bhāgavata Mahā Purāṇa is one of eighteen great Puranas (Mahapuranas, great histories). The Bhagavata Purana, like other Puranas, discusses a wide range of topics including cosmology, genealogy, geography, mythology, legend, music, dance, yoga and culture. As it begins, the forces of evil have won a war between the benevolent devas (deities) and evil asuras (demons) and now rule the universe. Truth re-emerges as Krishna, (called “Hari” and “Vasudeva” in the text) – first makes peace with the demons, understands them, and then creatively defeats them, bringing back hope, justice, freedom and good – a cyclic theme that appears in many legends.
Srimad Bhagavatam consists of 18,000 verses. The most studied and popular of the Puranas, telling of Vishnu’s Avatars, and of Vaishnavism. It contains controversial genealogical details of various dynasties. Numerous inconsistent versions of this text and historical manuscripts exist, in many Indian languages. Influential and elaborated during the Bhakti movement. The date of composition is probably between the eighth and the tenth century CE, but may be as early as the 6th century CE.