INVOCATION
om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
SYNONYMS
om—O my Lord; namah—my respectful obeisances unto You; bhagavate—unto the Personality of Godhead; vasudevaya—unto Lord Krsna, the son of Vasudeva.
TRANSLATION
O my Lord, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
PURPORT
Vasudevaya means "to Krsna, the son of Vasudeva." Since by chanting the name of Krsna, Vasudeva, one can achieve all the good results of charity, austerity and penances, it is to be understood that by the chanting of this mantra, om namo bhagavate vasudevaya, the author or the speaker or any one of the readers of Srimad-Bhagavatam is offering respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Krsna, the reservoir of all pleasure. In the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the principles of creation are described, and thus the First Canto may be called "Creation."
Similarly, in the Second Canto, the post-creation cosmic manifestation is described. The different planetary systems are described in the Second Canto as different parts of the universal body of the Lord. For this reason, the Second Canto may be called "The Cosmic Manifestation." There are ten chapters in the Second Canto, and in these ten chapters the purpose of Srimad-Bhagavatam and the different symptoms of this purpose are narrated. The first chapter describes the glories of chanting, and it hints at the process by which the neophyte devotees may perform meditation on the universal form of the Lord. In the first verse, Sukadeva Gosvami replies to the questions of Maharaja Pariksit, who asked him about one's duties at the point of death. Maharaja Pariksit was glad to receive Sukadeva Gosvami, and he was proud of being a descendant of Arjuna, the intimate friend of Krsna. Personally, he was very humble and meek, but he expressed his gladness that Lord Krsna was very kind to his grandfathers, the sons of Pandu, especially his own grandfather, Arjuna. And because Lord Krsna was always pleased with Maharaja Pariksit's family, at the verge of Maharaja Pariksit's death Sukadeva Gosvami was sent to help him in the process of self-realization. Maharaja Pariksit was a devotee of Lord Krsna from his childhood, so he had natural affection for Krsna. Sukadeva Gosvami could understand his devotion. Therefore, he welcomed the questions about the King's duty. Because the King hinted that worship of Lord Krsna is the ultimate function of every living entity, Sukadeva Gosvami welcomed the suggestion and said, "Because you have raised questions about Krsna, your question is most glorious." The translation of the first verse is as follows.

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