saunaka uvaca
sa vai nivrtti-niratah
sarvatropeksako munih
kasya va brhatim etam
atmaramah samabhyasat
saunakah uvaca—Sri Saunaka asked; sah—he; vai—of course; nivrtti—on the path of self-realization; niratah—always engaged; sarvatra—in every respect; upeksakah—indifferent; munih—sage; kasya—for what reason; va—or; brhatim—vast; etam—this; atma-aramah—one who is pleased in himself; samabhyasat—undergo the studies.
Sri Saunaka asked Suta Gosvami: Sri Sukadeva Gosvami was already on the path of self-realization, and thus he was pleased with his own self. So why did he take the trouble to undergo the study of such a vast literature?
For the people in general the highest perfection of life is to cease from material activities and be fixed on the path of self-realization. Those who take pleasure in sense enjoyment, or those who are fixed in material bodily welfare work, are called karmis. Out of thousands and millions of such karmis, one may become an atmarama by self-realization. Atma means self, and arama means to take pleasure. Everyone is searching after the highest pleasure, but the standard of pleasure of one may be different from the standard of another. Therefore, the standard of pleasure enjoyed by the karmis is different from that of the atmaramas. The atmaramas are completely indifferent to material enjoyment in every respect. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami had already attained that stage, and still he was attracted to undergo the trouble of studying the great Bhagavatam literature. This means that Srimad-Bhagavatam is a postgraduate study even for the atmaramas, who have surpassed all the studies of Vedic knowledge.

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