- ta ekadā tu munayaḥ
- prātar huta-hutāgnayaḥ
- sat-kṛtaṁ sūtam āsīnaṁ
- papracchur idam ādarāt
te—the sages; ekadā—one day; tu—but; munayaḥ—sages; prātaḥ—morning; huta—burning; huta-agnayaḥ—the sacrificial fire; sat-kṛtam—due respects; sūtam—Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī; āsīnam—seated on; papracchuḥ—made inquiries; idam—on this (as follows); ādarāt—with due regards.
One day, after finishing their morning duties by burning a sacrificial fire and offering a seat of esteem to Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī, 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 Bhāgavatam an elevated seat of respect called the vyāsāsana, or the seat of Śrī Vyāsadeva. Śrī Vyāsadeva 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 Śrī Vyāsadeva. Śrī Vyāsadeva impregnated the message of Bhāgavatam unto Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī heard it from him (Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī). All bona fide representatives of Śrī Vyāsadeva in the chain of disciplic succession are to be understood to be gosvāmīs. These gosvāmīs restrain all their senses, and they stick to the path made by the previous ācāryas. The gosvāmīs do not deliver lectures on the Bhāgavatam capriciously. Rather, they execute their services most carefully, following their predecessors who delivered the spiritual message unbroken to them.
Those who listen to the Bhāgavatam 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-gītā. One must learn the transcendental subject by submissive aural reception from the right sources. Therefore these sages addressed the speaker Sūta Gosvāmī with great respect.