महद्गतानां विरमाय तस्य ।
प्रवर्तये भागवतं पुराणं
यदाह साक्षाद्भगवानृषिभ्य: ॥ २ ॥
mahad gatānāṁ viramāya tasya
pravartaye bhāgavataṁ purāṇaṁ
yad āha sākṣād bhagavān ṛṣibhyaḥ
saḥ — that; aham — I; nṛṇām — of the human being; kṣulla — very little; sukhāya — for happiness; duḥkham — distress; mahat — great; gatānām — entered into; viramāya — for mitigation; tasya — his; pravartaye — in beginning; bhāgavatam — Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; purāṇam — Vedic supplement; yat — which; āha — said; sākṣāt — directly; bhagavān — the Personality of Godhead; ṛṣibhyaḥ — unto the sages.
Let me now begin speaking on the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, which was directly spoken to the great sages by the Personality of Godhead for the benefit of those who are entangled in extreme miseries for the sake of very little pleasure.
The sage Maitreya proposed to speak on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam because it was especially compiled, and traditionally comes down in the disciplic succession, for the solution of all the problems of human society. Only one who is fortunate can have the opportunity to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the association of pure devotees of the Lord. Under the spell of material energy, the living entities are entrapped in the bondage of many difficulties simply for the sake of a little bit of material happiness. They engage in fruitive activities, not knowing the implications. Under the false impression that the body is the self, the living entities foolishly relate to so many false attachments. They think that they can engage with materialistic paraphernalia forever. This gross misconception of life is so strong that a person suffers continually, life after life, under the external energy of the Lord. If one comes in contact with the book Bhāgavatam as well as with the devotee bhāgavata, who knows what the Bhāgavatam is, then such a fortunate man gets out of the material entanglement. Therefore Śrī Maitreya Muni, out of compassion for the suffering men in the world, proposes to speak on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam first and last.