शुकमध्यापयामास निवृत्तिनिरतं मुनि: ॥ ८ ॥
śukam adhyāpayām āsa
saḥ — that; saṁhitām — Vedic literature; bhāgavatīm — in relation with the Personality of Godhead; kṛtvā — having done; anukramya — by correction and repetition; ca — and; ātma-jam — his own son; śukam — Śukadeva Gosvāmī; adhyāpayām āsa — taught; nivṛtti — path of self-realization; niratam — engaged; muniḥ — the sage.
The great sage Vyāsadeva, after compiling the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and revising it, taught it to his own son, Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who was already engaged in self-realization.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the natural commentation on the Brahma-sūtras compiled by the same author. This Brahma-sūtra, or Vedānta-sūtra, is meant for those who are already engaged in self-realization. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is so made that one becomes at once engaged in the path of self-realization simply by hearing the topics. Although it is especially meant for the paramahaṁsas, or those who are totally engaged in self-realization, it works into the depths of the hearts of those who may be worldly men. Worldly men are all engaged in sense gratification. But even such men will find in this Vedic literature a remedial measure for their material diseases. Śukadeva Gosvāmī was a liberated soul from the very beginning of his birth, and his father taught him Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Amongst mundane scholars, there is some diversity of opinion as to the date of compilation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is, however, certain from the text of the Bhāgavatam that it was compiled before the disappearance of King Parīkṣit and after the departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa. When Mahārāja Parīkṣit was ruling the world as the King of Bhārata-varṣa, he chastised the personality of Kali. According to revealed scriptures and astrological calculation, the Age of Kali is in its five thousandth year. Therefore, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was compiled not less than five thousand years ago. Mahābhārata was compiled before Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and the Purāṇas were compiled before Mahābhārata. That is an estimation of the date of compilation of the different Vedic literatures. The synopsis of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was given before the detailed description under instruction of Nārada. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the science for following the path of nivṛtti-mārga. The path of pravṛtti-mārga was condemned by Nārada. That path is the natural inclination for all conditioned souls. The theme of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the cure of the materialistic disease of the human being, or stopping completely the pangs of material existence.