Tradition holds this book, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, to be the evolution, sequel, commentary, and natural progression of the most important literary works of Vedic, Upanishadic and Puranic culture.
Among all Vedic mantra, the Brahmā Gayatrī is most renowned. It directs us to place our meditation (“dhīmahi”) upon the source of all light. Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is held as the evolution of this mantra because it gives the same directive (“dhīmahi”) and also gives us ample and delightful descriptions of the All-Attractive Origin upon whom the Brahmā Gayatrī advises us to meditate.
Among all Upanishads, Vedānta Sūtra stands at the fore. It begins by defining the Supreme as the source of all things (“janmādy asya yataḥ”). Śrīmad Bhāgavatam begins with the same definition (“janmādy asya yataḥ”) and goes a step further to define the intimate personality of and all-attractive nature of that Ultimate Source.
In Puranic culture, the Mahābhārata is the greatest and most beloved work. From chapter 7 onward, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam establishes itself as a sequel to Mahābhārata.