देवदेव नमस्तेऽस्तु भूतभावन पूर्वज ।
तद् विजानीहि यज्ज्ञानमात्मतत्त्वनिदर्शनम् ॥ १ ॥
deva-deva namas te ’stu
tad vijānīhi yaj jñānam
nāradaḥ uvāca — Śrī Nārada said; deva — of all demigods; deva — the demigod; namaḥ — obeisances; te — unto you as; astu — are; bhūta-bhāvana — the generator of all living beings; pūrva-ja — the firstborn; tat vijānīhi — please explain that knowledge; yat jñānam — which knowledge; ātma-tattva — transcendental; nidarśanam — specifically directs.
Śrī Nārada Muni asked Brahmājī: O chief amongst the demigods, O firstborn living entity, I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto you. Please tell me that transcendental knowledge which specifically directs one to the truth of the individual soul and the Supersoul.
The perfection of the paramparā system, or the path of disciplic succession, is further confirmed. In the previous chapter it has been established that Brahmājī, the firstborn living entity, received knowledge directly from the Supreme Lord, and the same knowledge was imparted to Nārada, the next disciple. Nārada asked to receive the knowledge, and Brahmājī imparted it upon being asked. Therefore, asking for transcendental knowledge from the right person and receiving it properly is the regulation of the disciplic succession. This process is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā (4.2). The inquisitive student must approach a qualified spiritual master to receive transcendental knowledge by surrender, submissive inquiries and service. Knowledge received by submissive inquiries and service is more effective than knowledge received in exchange for money. A spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from Brahmā and Nārada has no demand for dollars and cents. A bona fide student has to satisfy him by sincere service to obtain knowledge of the relation and nature of the individual soul and the Supersoul.