"Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the authorized explanation of the Brahma-sūtra, and it is a further explanation of the Mahābhārata. It is the explanation of the Gāyatrīmantra and the essence of all Vedic knowledge. This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, containing eighteen thousand verses, is known as the explanation of all Vedic literature." In the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya asked Sūta Gosvāmīto explain the essence of Vedic literature. In answer, Sūta Gosvāmī presented Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as the essence of all the Vedas, histories and other Vedic literatures. Elsewhere in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (12.13.15) it is clearly stated that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the essence of all Vedānta knowledge and that one who relishes the knowledge of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has no taste for studying any other literature. In the very beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the purport of the Gāyatrīmantra is described: "I offer my obeisances unto the Supreme Truth." Thus from the first verse Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam deals with the Supreme Truth, which is described in the Bhāgavatam as the source of the creation, maintenance and destruction of the cosmic manifestation. Obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva (oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya), directly indicate Lord Sri Kṛṣṇa, who is the divine son of Vasudeva and Devakī. That Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead is more explicitly presented later in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.3.28), where Vyāsadeva asserts that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead and that all others are either His direct or indirect plenary portions or portions of those portions. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has still more explicitly developed this subject in his Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha, and Brahmā, the original living being, has substantially explained the subject of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in his treatise Brahma-saṁhitā. The Sāma Veda also verifies the fact that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the divine son of Devakī.
In his prayer (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.1), the author of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam first proposes that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the primeval Lord, and if any transcendental nomenclature for the absolute Personality of Godhead is to be accepted, it should be the name Kṛṣṇa, meaning "all-attractive." In the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord has affirmed in many passages that He is the original Personality of Godhead, and this was confirmed by Arjuna, who cited great sages like Nārada, Vyāsa and many others. Also, in the Padma Purāṇa it is stated that of the innumerable names of the Lord, the name Kṛṣṇa is the principal one. Therefore, although the name Vāsudeva indicates the plenary portion of the Personality of Godhead, and although all the different forms of the Lord are identical with Vāsudeva, in this text Vāsudeva principally indicates the divine son of Vasudeva and Devakī. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is always meditated upon by the paramahaṁsas, those who are most perfect in the renounced order of life. Vāsudeva, or Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is the cause of all causes, and everything that exists is an emanation from Him. How this is so is explained in later chapters of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu describes Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as the spotless Purāṇa because it contains transcendental narrations of the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The history of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is also very glorious. Śrī Vyāsadeva, drawing on his mature experience of transcendental knowledge, compiled it under the instruction of Śrī Nāradajī, his spiritual master. Vyāsadeva had compiled all the Vedic literatures—the four Vedas, the Vedānta-sūtra (or Brahma-sūtra), the Purāṇas and the Mahābhārata. Yet he was not satisfied. His dissatisfaction was observed by his spiritual master, and thus Nārada advised him to write about the transcendental activities of the Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Kṛṣṇa's transcendental activities are specifically described in the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the canto considered to contain the substance of the whole work. One should not approach the Tenth Canto immediately but should approach it gradually by developing knowledge of the subject matters first presented.