We all know about how the Bhagavad Gita came into existence. But what about the Srimad Bhagavatam? How did the great Ved Vyasa end up writing the Bhagavat Puran after having compiled the Vedas and composing the Mahabharata? Let's find out in this post...
Shuka, son of the great sage Ved Vyasa, was an ascetic, who immersed himself completely in spirituality. Vyasa tried his best to persuade his son to engage with the world, but Shuka was clear about his chosen path. One day, this topic was again at the top of discussion between father and son, when Shuka started walking away from his father, to end the conversation. Adamant that he was, Vyasa kept following his son, continually trying to converse with him to change his mind. Time passed and Shuka reached a pond where some celestial nymphs were bathing. They continued to bathe nonchalantly, without taking any note of Shuka's presence. However, as soon as Vyasa reached the spot, he noticed that they hurriedly tried to cover their bodies.
This intrigued Vyasa no end, and he approached the nymphs to ask them the reason for their behaviour. What they said, shocked him.
The nymphs mentioned that when Shuka passed from the place, they did not notice a 'man', but when Vyasa reached there, they noticed his presence, and out of shyness they covered themselves up. That is when it struck Vyasa, that his son was truly on a spiritual journey, having surpassed the physical realm, something which Vyasa himself, inspite of having written the epic Mahabharata and compiling the Vedas, hadn't been able to do.
Vyasa kept pondering over this incident, trying to fathom what he could do, to better himself, but couldn't find out how he could do that. That's when I thought of helping him out. I spoke to him and made him realise that although he was a great sage having written some intellectual works, for spirituality, bhakti (devotion) was of utmost important. He needed to practice devotion to the God, and he could do so by using his talent of writing to talk about Sri Vishnu and fill the world with his life stories and invoke love for the God in people's minds. And that is how the Srimad Bhagvatam came into existence.