Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 1: Chapter 2: Verses 1-14
Vyasa says : Ugrasrava (the son of Romaharsana) was transported with joy to hear this question of the holy Brahmanas. He welcomed their words and commenced his discourse. Suta said : When the sage Dwaipayana (Vedavyasa; lit., one who was born in an island) saw his son (Sukadeva) going away all alone with the intention of leading the life of a recluse, even though he had not yet been invested with the sacred thread and had, therefore, had no occasion to perform any secular or religious duties, he was agitated at the thought of separation from him and called out, "Hullo, my son!" At that time it was the trees (on the roadside) that responded on his behalf, filled as they were by his presence. I bow to that sage (Sukadeva), who (being one with the Universal Spirit) has access to the hearts of all. Srimad Bhagavata is a mysterious Purana; it possesses a glory of its own and constitutes the very essence of all the Vedas. It is a unique light illuminating the spiritual realities for those worldly men who seek to go beyond the darkness of ignorance. It was out of compassion for such men that this teacher of sages, Sukadeva, uttered this Purana. I take refuge in that son of Vyasa. After bowing to the divine sages Narayana and Nara, the Supreme Person (Sri Krsna), Goddess Saraswati (the goddess of speech) and the sage Vyasa, one should then recite Srimad Bhagavata (which enables one to conquer the cycle of birth and death as well as all the aberrations of the mind).
Sages, you have done well in asking me a question which is conducive to the welfare of the world; for your enquiry relates to Sri Krsna, a topic which completely purifies the heart. That alone is the highest duty of men, from which follows devotion to Sri Krsnaa devotion which is absolutely motiveless and knows no obstruction, and as a result of which the soul realizes the all-blissful God and thus attains its object. Contact established with Bhagavan Vasudeva (Sri Krsna) through Devotion speedily awakens dispassion and immediate knowledge. A duty well performed is but labour lost, if it fails to generate love for the stories of Bhagavan Viswaksena (Sri Krsna). Riches cannot be the end of Dharma (virtue), which culminates in absolution or final beatitude. Even so wealth is a means of earning religious merit; sensuous enjoyment has not been recognized as its consummation. Again, gratification of the senses is not the end of sensuous enjoyment; keeping the body and soul together is the only use of sensuous enjoyment. And enquiry into Truth is the object of keeping the body and soul together and not the attainment of heaven etc., through the performance of pious acts. The knowers of Truth declare knowledge alone as the Reality-that knowledge which does not admit of duality (the distinction of subject and object), in other words, which is indivisible and one without a second, and which is called by different names such as Brahma (the Absolute), Paramatma (the Supreme Spirit or Oversoul) and Bhagavan (the Deity). Sages who are full of faith perceive that Truth as their own Self in their own heart through Devotion coupled with Knowledge and Dispassion and acquired through hearing (of Srimad Bhagavata etc.). Therefore, O noblest of Brahmanas, the consummation of duties efficiently performed by men according to their respective Varna (grade in society) and Asrama (stage in life) lies in securing the pleasure of Sri Hari. Hence with undivided mind one should ever hear and sing the praises of, meditate upon and worship the Lord, who is the protector of His devotees.