parīkṣito 'tha rājarṣer
saṁsthāṁ ca pāṇḍu-putrāṇāṁ
parīkṣitaḥ—of King Parīkṣit; atha—thus; rājarṣeḥ—of the King who was the ṛṣi among the kings; janma—birth; karma—activities; vilāpanam—deliverance; saṁsthām—renunciation of the world; ca—and; pāṇḍu-putrāṇām—of the sons of Pāṇḍu; vakṣye—I shall speak; kṛṣṇa-kathā-udayam—that which gives rise to the transcendental narration of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Sūta Gosvāmī thus addressed the ṛṣis headed by Śaunaka: Now I shall begin the transcendental narration of the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and topics of the birth, activities and deliverance of King Parīkṣit, the sage amongst kings, as well as topics of the renunciation of the worldly order by the sons of Pāṇḍu.
Lord Kṛṣṇa is so kind to the fallen souls that He personally incarnates Himself amongst the different kinds of living entities and takes part with them in daily activities. Any historical fact old or new which has a connection with the activities of the Lord is to be understood as a transcendental narration of the Lord. Without Kṛṣṇa, all the supplementary literatures like the Purāṇas and Mahābhārata are simply stories or historical facts. But with Kṛṣṇa they become transcendental, and when we hear of them we at once become transcendentally related with the Lord. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is also a Purāṇa, but the special significance of this Purāṇa is that the activities of the Lord are central and not just supplementary historical facts. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is thus recommended by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as the spotless Purāṇa. There is a class of less intelligent devotees of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa who desire to relish at once the activities of the Lord narrated in the Tenth Canto without first understanding the primary cantos. They are under the false impression that the other cantos are not concerned with Kṛṣṇa, and thus more foolishly than intelligently they take to the reading of the Tenth Canto. These readers are specifically told herein that the other cantos of the Bhāgavatam are as important as the Tenth Canto. No one should try to go into the matters of the Tenth Canto without having thoroughly understood the purport of the other nine cantos. Kṛṣṇa and His pure devotees like the Pāṇḍavas are on the same plane. Kṛṣṇa is not without His devotees of all the rasas, and the pure devotees like the Pāṇḍavas are not without Kṛṣṇa. The devotees and the Lord are interlinked, and they cannot be separated. Therefore talks about them are all kṛṣṇa-kathā, or topics of the Lord.
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