atha taṁ sukham āsīna
devarṣiḥ prāha viprarṣiṁ
vīṇā-pāṇiḥ smayann iva
sūtaḥ—Sūta; uvāca—said; atha—therefore; tam—him; sukham āsīnaḥ—comfortably seated; upāsīnam—unto one sitting nearby; bṛhat-śravāḥ—greatly respected; devarṣiḥ—the great ṛṣi among the gods; prāha—said; viprarṣim—unto the ṛṣi among the brāhmaṇas; vīṇā-pāṇiḥ—one who carries a vīṇā in his hand; smayan iva—apparently smiling.
Sūta Gosvāmī said: Thus the sage amongst the gods [Nārada], comfortably seated and apparently smiling, addressed the ṛṣi amongst the brāhmaṇas [Vedavyāsa].
Nārada was smiling because he well knew the great sage Vedavyāsa and the cause of his disappointment. As he will explain gradually, Vyāsadeva's disappointment was due to insufficiency in presenting the science of devotional service. Nārada knew the defect, and it was confirmed by the position of Vyāsa.
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