idam bhagavatam nama
pitur dvaipayanad aham
idam—this; bhagavatam—Srimad-Bhagavatam; nama—of the name; puranam—Vedic supplement; brahma-sammitam—approved as the essence of the Vedas; adhitavan—studied; dvapara-adau—at the end of the Dvapara-yuga; pituh—from my father; dvaipayanat—Dvaipayana Vyasadeva; aham—myself.
At the end of the Dvapara-yuga, I studied this great supplement of Vedic literature named Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is equal to all the Vedas, from my father, Srila Dvaipayana Vyasadeva.
The statement made by Srila Sukadeva Gosvami that the topmost transcendentalist, who is beyond the jurisdiction of regulations and restrictions, mainly takes to the task of hearing about and glorifying the Personality of Godhead, is verified by his personal example. Sukadeva Gosvami, being a recognized liberated soul and the topmost transcendentalist, was accepted by all of the topmost sages present in the meeting during the last seven days of Maharaja Pariksit. He cites from the example of his life that he himself was attracted by the transcendental activities of the Lord, and he studied Srimad-Bhagavatam from his great father, Sri Dvaipayana Vyasadeva. Srimad-Bhagavatam, or, for that matter, any other scientific literature, cannot be studied at home by one's own intellectual capacity. Medical books of anatomy or physiology are available in the market, but no one can become a qualified medical practitioner simply by reading such books at home. One has to be admitted to the medical college and study the books under the guidance of learned professors. Similarly, Srimad-Bhagavatam, the postgraduate study of the science of Godhead, can only be learned by studying it at the feet of a realized soul like Srila Vyasadeva. Although Sukadeva Gosvami was a liberated soul from the very day of his birth, he still had to take lessons of Srimad-Bhagavatam from his great father, Vyasadeva, who compiled the Srimad-Bhagavatam under the instruction of another great soul, Sri Narada Muni. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed a learned brahmana to study Srimad-Bhagavatam from a personal bhagavata. Srimad-Bhagavatam is based on the transcendental name, form, attributes, pastimes, entourage and variegatedness of the Supreme Person, and it is spoken by the incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, Srila Vyasadeva. Pastimes of the Lord are executed in cooperation with His pure devotees, and consequently historical incidences are mentioned in this great literature because they are related to Krsna. It is called brahma-sammitam because it is the sound representative of Lord Krsna-like the Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita is the sound incarnation of the Lord because it is spoken by the Supreme Lord, and Srimad-Bhagavatam is the sound representative of the Lord because it was spoken by the incarnation of the Lord about the activities of the Lord. As stated in the beginning of this book, it is the essence of the Vedic desire tree and the natural commentation on the Brahma-sutras, the topmost philosophical thesis on the subject matter of Brahman. Vyasadeva appeared at the end of Dvapara-yuga as the son of Satyavati, and therefore the word dvapara-adau, or "the beginning of Dvapara-yuga," in this context means just prior to the beginning of the Kali-yuga. The logic of this statement, according to Srila Jiva Gosvami, is comparable to that of calling the upper portion of the tree the beginning. The root of the tree is the beginning of the tree, but in common knowledge the upper portion of the tree is first seen. In that way the end of the tree is accepted as its beginning.
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