ta ekada tu munayah
sat-krtam sutam asinam
papracchur idam adarat
te—the sages; ekada—one day; tu—but; munayah—sages; pratah—morning; huta—burning; huta-agnayah—the sacrificial fire; sat-krtam—due respects; sutam—Sri Suta Gosvami; asinam—seated on; papracchuh—made inquiries; idam—on this (as follows); adarat—with due regards.
One day after finishing their morning duties and burning a sacrificial fire and respectfully offering a seat to Srila Suta Gosvami, the great sages, headed by Saunaka Rsi, earnestly addressed him.
One day, after finishing their morning duties by burning a sacrificial fire and offering a seat of esteem to Srila Suta Gosvami, the great sages made inquiries, with great respect, about the following matters.
Morning is the best time to hold spiritual services. The great sages offered the speaker of the Bhagavatam an elevated seat of respect called the vyasasana, or the seat of Sri Vyasadeva. Sri Vyasadeva is the original spiritual preceptor for all men. And all other preceptors are considered to be his representatives. A representative is one who can exactly present the viewpoint of Sri Vyasadeva. Sri Vyasadeva impregnated the message of Bhagavatam unto Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, and Sri Suta Gosvami heard it from him (Sri Sukadeva Gosvami). All bona fide representatives of Sri Vyasadeva in the chain of disciplic succession are to be understood to be gosvamis. These gosvamis restrain all their senses, and they stick to the path made by the previous acaryas. The gosvamis do not deliver lectures on the Bhagavatam capriciously. Rather, they execute their services most carefully, following their predecessors who delivered the spiritual message unbroken to them.
Those who listen to the Bhagavatam may put questions to the speaker in order to elicit the clear meaning, but this should not be done in a challenging spirit. One must submit questions with a great regard for the speaker and the subject matter. This is also the way recommended in Bhagavad-gita. One must learn the transcendental subject by submissive aural reception from the right sources. Therefore these sages addressed the speaker Suta Gosvami with great respect.
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