Some Māyāvādī scholars argue that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was not compiled by Śrīla Vyāsadeva, and some suggest that the book is a modern creation written by someone named Vopadeva. In order to refute this meaningless argument, Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī points out that many of the oldest Purāṇas make reference to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The first śloka, or verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins with the Gāyatrīmantra, and there is reference to this in the Matsya Purāṇa (the oldest Purāṇa). In that Purāṇa it is said about the Bhāgavatam that in it there are many narrations and spiritual instructions, that it begins with the Gāyatrīmantra, and that it contains the history of Vṛtrāsura. It is also said that whoever makes a gift of this great work on a full-moon day attains to the highest perfection of life and goes back to Godhead. There is also reference to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in other Purāṇas, which even indicate that the work consists of twelve cantos and eighteen thousand ślokas. In the Padma Purāṇa there is also a reference to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, during a conversation between Gautama and Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. The king was advised to read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam regularly if he at all desired liberation from material bondage. Under these circumstances, there is no doubt regarding the authority of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. For the past five hundred years, since the time of Śrī Caitanya Mahaprabhu, many scholars have made elaborate commentaries upon Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and have displayed unique scholarship. The serious student will do well to attempt to go through these commentaries in order to more happily relish the transcendental messages of the Bhāgavatam.
In his commentary on the Bhāgavatam Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura specifically deals with original and pure sex psychology (ādi-rasa), devoid of all mundane inebriety. The entire material world turns due to the basic principle of sex life. In modern human civilization, sex is the central point of all activities; indeed, wherever we turn our face we see sex life prominent. Thus sex life is not unreal, but its true reality is experienced in the spiritual world. Material sex is but a perverted reflection of the original; the original is found in the Absolute Truth. This validates the fact that the Absolute Truth is personal, for the Absolute Truth cannot be impersonal and have a sense of pure sex life. The impersonal, monist philosophy has given an indirect impetus to abominable mundane sex because it overly stresses the impersonality of the ultimate truth. The result is that men who lack knowledge have accepted perverted material sex life as all in all because they have no information of the actual spiritual form of sex. There is a distinction between sex in the diseased condition of material life and sex in the spiritual existence. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam gradually elevates the unbiased reader to the highest perfectional stage of transcendence, above the three kinds of material activities, namely fruitive actions, speculative philosophy and worship of functional deities indicated in the Vedas. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the embodiment of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, and is therefore situated in a position superior to other Vedic literatures.
Religion includes four primary subjects: (1) pious activities, (2) economic development, (3) satisfaction of the senses, and (4) liberation from material bondage. Religious life is distinguished from the irreligious life of barbarism. Indeed, it may be said that human life actually begins with religion. The four principles of animal life—eating, sleeping, defending and mating—are common to both the animals and human beings, but religion is the special concern of human beings. Since human life without religion is no better than animal life, in real human society there is some form of religion aiming at self-realization and referring to one's eternal relationship with God.