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Excerpt from Forward by Dr. Swami Satya Prasad Dasji Vedantacharya - Bhuj:
The principal speaker in this Purana is Lord Skanda, also known by such other names like
Shanmuka, Subramanya and so on.
This Purana is divided into different ‘Khanda-s’ or divisions like Vishnu-Khada, Shiva-Khanda etc. The Vishnu-Khanda deals with the episodes that speak about the ‘Leela-s’ (pastimes) that depict the greatness and supremacy of Lord Vishnu or Narayana.
Among the many ‘Mahatmya-s’ found in the Vishnu-Khanda, the ‘Vasudeva Mahatmya’ is one
of the most important Mahatmya-s that we come across.
These Mahatmya-s explain the Greatness of particular aspects connected to the Lord.
As far as the Swaminarayana Sampradaya is concerned, the ‘Vasudeva Mahatmya’ is one of the most im-
It seems that Bhagavan Shree Swaminarayan advocated that all of his followers study the ‘Vasudeva Mahatmya’ with great devotion and dedication. During His time, Bhagavan Shree Swaminarayan strongly opposed those Vedic sacrifices in which animals were killed and offered to the sacrificial fire.
He won many debates over the Brahmins who argued there was nothing wrong in killing animals as long as they were within the purview of the Sastras.
One of the main instances Bhagavan Shree Swaminarayan quoted while winning the debates in this regard were instances found in the Vasudeva Mahatmya, where a great sage is considered to be a sinner since he supported the killing of animals as part of the Vedic sacrifices.
Apart from this, we also see the description of the Goloka, the blissful and exalted abode of the Supreme Lord Narayana in this part of the Skanda Purana.
The Mandala of the Lord Maha-Vishnu is also described here in a minute manner.
Further, the method of worship of the Lord is also prescribed here. It is based on this part of the Purana, that
Bhagavan Shree Swaminarayan has prescribed the method of worship to be followed by all His followers.
The details of the duties and responsibilities of the four classes of people viz. Brahmana-s, Kshatriya-s, Vaidhya-s and Shudra-s are also described in great detail.
The general principles as well as the special principles to be followed by men and women during their various stages of life like childhood, youth, old age etc too are described in a very beautiful manner.
Finally the procedure of performing the “Ashtanga Yoga” (Yoga having the eight aspects) and the procedure to meditate and worship the Lord is explained in a very concise and beautiful manner.
At the end, the lineage of the knowledge of Vasudeva Mahatmya is described in the final chapter.
Since the Original text is in Sanskrit language, it was not accessible to people not knowing Sanskrit language.
Later it was translated into Gujarati and Hindi. Thus it could reach a large number of devotees knowing these languages.
However, nowadays, there are many devotees belonging to the Sampradaya in foreign countries.
They are not well-versed in Indian languages.
This effort to translate Vasudeva Mahatmya into English is aimed at reaching the noble message of the Vasudeva Mahatmya to all the Hari-Bhaktas’s (devotees) residing abroad as well as those in India too who know English".