Purāṇa means supplementary to the Vedas, to explain the knowledge. That is Purāṇa. Mahābhārata. Mahābhārata is also explanation of the Vedic knowledge, but through history. Because Vyāsadeva found it that directly to understand Vedic knowledge will be difficult for three classes of men. Trayī na śruti-gocarā. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā (SB 1.4.25). Trayī. Trayī means Vedas, dealing with the three guṇas. Traiguṇya-viṣayā vedāḥ. In the Bhagavad-gītā, traiguṇya-viṣayā vedāḥ. Trayī. There are three subject matters in the Vedas. The first subject matter is to know God and what is my relationship with God. This is the first subject matter. Then second subject matter is that what is the ultimate goal of life, and the third subject matter is how to attain it. To know God, my relationship with God, and what is my ultimate goal of life, and how to attain it—these three subject matters are Vedic knowledge. That is everywhere. Another subject matter is... Trayī, means Veda is dealing with this material world. There is spiritual knowledge in glance.
Therefore Vyāsadeva, after compiling all Vedic literatures, so many Purāṇas, so many Upaniṣads, Vedānta philosophy and four Vedas, but he was not satisfied. He was not satisfied. So when Nārada Muni, his spiritual master, came, he inquired that "Why you are not satisfied?" So Vyāsadeva said, "My dear sir, yes, as you say, I have done so many activities. I have written so many books. But still, I don't feel any satisfaction. So I do not know why it is. You can direct me. You are my spiritual master." So he said that "You have done, you have labored so hard in writing so many books, but you have not glorified the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Simply ordinary dealings with man to man, how to deal, dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90), how to make people religious, how to develop economic position, how to satisfy senses, how to go to heavenly planet to enjoy more—these things you have described. But you have not described about yena ātmā samprasīdati, by which your ātmā, your soul will be satisfied. That you have done nothing." You have read in the First Canto, jugupsita-dharma. "You are diverting the attention of the people to the dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa, never to the bhakti. Then in future, if people are advised, 'Come to the bhakti platform, not on the platform of this dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa, cātur-varṇyam—they will not take it. So whatever you have done, it is not very good. Better simply try to explain about Bhagavān." That is Bhāgavata. That is Bhāgavatam.
Bhāgavatam means... Bhāgavata. Bhāgavata means the Supreme Lord, and Bhāgavatam means about Him, or about His devotees. That is bhāgavata. Because a devotee is called bhāgavata. This is book bhāgavata, and a devotee is person bhāgavata. So according (to) our Caitanya Mahāprabhu's cult, the Bhāgavata should be studied from the person bhāgavata, not from the professional reciters. No. Therefore Svarūpa Gosvāmī... One... Because when Caitanya Mahāprabhu was present at Jagannātha Purī, many people used to come, present so many literatures, so many commentaries, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu will not hear them unless it is passed by His secretary Svarūpa Dāmodara. First of all Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī will see whether it is written properly, according to siddhānta. Then he will allow. That was the business. So one brāhmaṇa came. So there was many discrepancies in his writing. So Svarūpa Dāmodara chastised him that "You do not know how to write. Why you have attempted this?" So he said, bhāgavata paḍā giyā bhāgavata sthāne(?): "If you want to know about Bhāgavata, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, then you study Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from a person bhāgavatam, whose life is Bhāgavatam. From such person, if you read, if you understand Bhāgavata, then you will benefit." It is not a scholarship. Because you know, "ungwang,"(?) that is not the qualification. Bhāgavata should be studied from the person whose life is Bhāgavata. This is the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's personal secretary.