After narrating pastimes of Svāyambhuva Manu's son Uttānapāda in Canto 4, Śukadeva Gosvāmī next describes the activities of his brother Priyavrata to begin Canto 5:

This chapter describes how King Priyavrata enjoyed royal opulence and majesty and then returned to full knowledge. King Priyavrata was detached from worldly opulence, and then he became attached to his kingdom, but finally he again became detached from material enjoyment and thus achieved liberation. When King Parīkṣit heard about this, he was struck with wonder, but he was somewhat bewildered as to how a devotee with no attachment for material enjoyment could later become attached to it. Thus in astonishment he questioned Śukadeva Gosvāmī about this.