ध्यायते ब्रह्म परमं व्यासायामिततेजसे ॥ ४५ ॥
sarasvatyās taṭe nṛpa
dhyāyate brahma paramaṁ
nāradaḥ — the great sage Nārada; prāha — instructed; munaye — unto the great sage; sarasvatyāḥ — of the river Sarasvatī; taṭe — on the bank; nṛpa — O King; dhyāyate — unto the meditative; brahma — Absolute Truth; paramam — the Supreme; vyāsāya — unto Śrīla Vyāsadeva; amita — unlimited; tejase — unto the powerful.
In succession, O King, the great sage Nārada instructed Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam unto the unlimitedly powerful Vyāsadeva, who meditated in devotional service upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, on the bank of the river Sarasvatī.
In the Fifth Chapter of the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Nārada instructed the great sage Vyāsadeva as follows:
śuci-śravāḥ satya-rato dhṛta-vrataḥ
samādhinānusmara tad viceṣṭitam
“O greatly fortunate, pious philosopher, your name and fame are universal, and you are fixed in the Absolute Truth with spotless character and infallible vision. I ask you to meditate upon the activities of the Personality of Godhead, whose activities are unparalleled.”
So in the disciplic succession of the Brahma sampradāya, the practice of yoga meditation is not neglected. But because the devotees are bhakti-yogīs, they do not undertake the trouble to meditate upon the impersonal Brahman; as indicated here, they meditate on brahma paramam, or the Supreme Brahman. Brahman realization begins from the impersonal effulgence, but by further progress of such meditation, manifestation of the Supreme Soul, Paramātmā realization, takes place. And progressing further, realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is fixed. Śrī Nārada Muni, as the spiritual master of Vyāsadeva, knew very well the position of Vyāsadeva, and thus he certified the qualities of Śrīla Vyāsadeva as fixed in the Absolute Truth with great vow, etc. Nārada advised meditation upon the transcendental activities of the Lord. Impersonal Brahman has no activities, but the Personality of Godhead has many activities, and all such activities are transcendental, without any tinge of material quality. If the activities of the Supreme Brahman were material activities, then Nārada would not have advised Vyāsadeva to meditate upon them. And the paraṁ brahma is Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. In the Tenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, when Arjuna realized the factual position of Lord Kṛṣṇa, he addressed Lord Kṛṣṇa in the following words:
pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān
puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam
ādi-devam ajaṁ vibhum
devarṣir nāradas tathā
asito devalo vyāsaḥ
svayaṁ caiva bravīṣi me
Arjuna summarized the purpose of the Bhagavad-gītā by his realization of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and thus said, “My dear Personality of Godhead, You are the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Original Person in the eternal form of bliss and knowledge, and this is confirmed by Nārada, Asita, Devala and Vyāsadeva, and, above all, Your personal self has also confirmed it.” (Bg. 10.12-13)
When Vyāsadeva fixed his mind in meditation, he did it in bhakti-yoga trance and actually saw the Supreme Person with māyā, the illusory energy, in contraposition. As we have discussed before, the Lord’s māyā, or illusion, is also a representation because māyā has no existence without the Lord. Darkness is not independent of light. Without light, no one can experience the contraposition of darkness. However, this māyā, or illusion, cannot overcome the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but stands apart from Him (apāśrayam).
Therefore, perfection of meditation is realization of the Personality of Godhead along with His transcendental activities. Meditation on the impersonal Brahman is a troublesome business for the meditator, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (12.5): kleśo ’dhikataras teṣām avyaktāsakta-cetasām.