वदन्ति कृष्ण श्रेयांसि बहूनि ब्रह्मवादिन: ।
तेषां विकल्पप्राधान्यमुताहो एकमुख्यता ॥ १ ॥
vadanti kṛṣṇa śreyāṁsi
śrī-uddhavaḥ uvāca — Śrī Uddhava said; vadanti — they speak; kṛṣṇa — my dear Kṛṣṇa; śreyāṁsi — processes for advancement in life; bahūni — many; brahma-vādinaḥ — the learned sages who have explained the Vedic literature; teṣām — of all such processes; vikalpa — of varieties of perception; prādhānyam — supremacy; uta — or; aho — indeed; eka — of one; mukhyatā — being most important.
Śrī Uddhava said: My dear Kṛṣṇa, the learned sages who explain Vedic literature recommend various processes for perfecting one’s life. Considering these varieties of viewpoint, my Lord, please tell me whether all these processes are equally important, or whether one of them is supreme.
In order to clearly establish the exalted position of bhakti-yoga, or pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Śrī Uddhava requests Lord Kṛṣṇa to identify the supreme among all processes of self-realization. Not all Vedic processes lead directly to the ultimate goal, pure love of God; some only gradually elevate the consciousness of the living entity. For the purpose of giving a general outline of the process of self-realization, sages may discuss the various methods of elevation. But when the time comes to ascertain the most perfect process, the secondary methods must be cleared from the path.