From chapter one:
Today I shall speak to you of the history of a boy devotee named Prahlada Maharaja. He was born in a family that was stubbornly atheistic. There are two kinds of men in this world: the demons and the demigods. What is the difference between them? The main difference is that the demigods, or godly persons, are devoted to the Supreme Lord, whereas the demons are atheistic. They do not believe in God because they are materialists. These two classes of men always exist in this world. At the present moment, due to the Age of Kali (Age of Quarrel), the number of demons has increased, but the classification has existed since the beginning of creation. The incident I am narrating to you occurred very, very long ago, a few million years after the time of creation.
Prahlada Maharaja was the son of the most atheistic person and the most materially powerful as well. Because the society was materialistic, this boy had no opportunity to glorify the Supreme Lord. The characteristic of a great soul is that he is very eager to broadcast glorification of the Supreme Lord. Lord Jesus Christ, for example, was very eager to broadcast the glorification of God, but demoniac people misunderstood him and crucified him.
When Prahlada Maharaja was a five-year-old boy, he was sent to school. As soon as there was a recreation period, when the teacher was away, he would say to his friends, “My dear friends, come on. We shall speak about Krsna consciousness.” This scene is related in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Seventh Canto, Sixth Chapter. The devotee Prahlada says, “My dear friends, this is the time, in this young age, to prosecute Krsna consciousness.”
His little friends reply, “Oh, we shall now play. Why take up Krsna consciousness?”
In answer to this, Prahlada Maharaja says, “If you are intelligent, then you must begin bhagavata-dharma from childhood.”
The Srimad-Bhagavatam offers bhagavata-dharma, or the process leading to scientific knowledge about God. Bhagavata means “the Supreme Personality of Godhead,” and dharma means “regulative principles.” This human form of life is very rare. It is a great opportunity. Therefore Prahlada says, “My dear friends, you are born as civilized human beings, so although your human body is temporary, it is the greatest opportunity.” No one knows the length of his life. It is calculated that in this age the human body may live up to a hundred years. But as the Age of Kali advances, duration of life, memory, mercy, religiousness, and all other such assets decrease. So no one has any assurance of long life in this age.
Still, although the human form is temporary, you can achieve the highest perfection of life while in this human form. What is that perfection? To understand the all-pervading Supreme Lord. For other life forms this is not possible. By the gradual evolutionary process we come to this human form, so it is a rare opportunity. By nature’s law, a human body is ultimately given to you so that you can promote yourself in spiritual life and go back home, back to Godhead.