|Madhya-līlā||Chapter 24: The Sixty-One Explanations of the Ātmārāma Verse|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 24.313
ahaḿ vedmi śuko vetti
vyāso vetti na vetti vā
bhaktyā bhāgavataḿ grāhyaḿ
na buddhyā na ca ṭīkayā
aham — I (Lord Śiva); vedmi — know; śukaḥ — Śukadeva Gosvāmī; vetti — knows; vyāsaḥ — Vyāsadeva; vetti — knows; na vetti vā — or may not know; bhaktyā — by devotional service (executed in nine different processes); bhāgavatam — the Bhāgavata Purāṇa (called the Paramahaḿsa-saḿhitā, the text or treatise readable by the topmost transcendentalists); grāhyam — to be accepted; na — not; buddhyā — by so-called intelligence or experimental knowledge; na — nor; ca — also; ṭīkayā — by imaginary commentary.
"[Lord Śiva said:] 'I may know; Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsadeva, may know; and Vyāsadeva may know or may not know Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. On the whole, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the spotless Purāṇa, can be learned only through devotional service, not by material intelligence, speculative methods or imaginary commentaries.'"
Devotional service includes nine processes, beginning with hearing, chanting and remembering the activities of Lord Viṣṇu. Only one who has taken to devotional service can understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is the spotless Purāṇa for a transcendentalist (paramahaḿsa). So-called commentaries are useless for this purpose. According to the Vedic injunction, yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau [ŚU 6.23]. All Vedic literatures maintain that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has to be learned from the person bhāgavata, and to understand it one has to engage in pure devotional service. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam cannot be understood by so-called erudite scholars or grammarians. One who has developed pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness and has served the pure devotee, the spiritual master, can understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Others cannot.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness