karna-dharah—captain of the ship; iva—like; apare—in the extensive oceans; bhagavan—representative of the Lord; para-darsakah—one who can give directions to the other side; atha—thus; ababhase—began to say; bhagavan—the godly personality; naradah—the great sage Narada; muni-sat-tamah—the greatest among the devotee philosophers.
You are like a captain of a ship in a great ocean and you can direct us to our destination. Thus addressed, the godly personality, Devarsi Narada, greatest of the philosopher devotees, began to speak.
There are different types of philosophers, and the greatest of all of them are those who have seen the Personality of Godhead and have surrendered themselves in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Among all such pure devotees of the Lord, Devarsi Narada is the chief, and therefore he has been described herein as the greatest of all philosopher devotees. Unless one has become a sufficiently learned philosopher by hearing the Vedanta philosophy from a bona fide spiritual master, one cannot be a learned philosopher devotee. One must be very faithful, learned and renounced, otherwise one cannot be a pure devotee. A pure devotee of the Lord can give us direction towards the other end of nescience. Devarsi Narada used to visit the palace of Maharaja Yudhisthira because the Pandavas were all pure devotees of the Lord, and the Devarsi was always ready to give them good counsel whenever needed.
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